Farm Fresh – Meet Your Farmer

Seibel’s Organic Dairy is a fifth-generation family owned and operated dairy farm near Bloomer, Wisconsin. Chuck and Diane Seibel bought the farm from his dad in 1983. Chuck transitioned the farm and became certified organic in 2001 in search of a healthier life style.  Their son Adam and his wife Chrissy joined the operation about ten years ago.  Around that time they all formed their pasture-raised organic meat business.

Why Organic?

Organic farming does not use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, which are designed to kill living organisms, can be harmful to wildlife, and can contaminate food, air, and water, as well as accumulate in our cells. Organic farmers also do not use synthetic growth or breeding hormones, which are often used to alter reproductive cycles and speed up growth. This means healthier, less stressed animals and less exposure to endocrine-disrupting hormones for those consuming organic meats. The Seibels do not use antibiotics in raising their beef, nor do they use any genetically modified crops. They seek to raise their animals in harmony with nature.  They feel strongly that their meat tastes better and has more flavor than other meats due to the humane way they are raised.

How Are the Animals Raised?

All of their animals are raised in well-ventilated facilities, all built since 2005.  From birth until two months of age, the calves receive milk, water, and calf starter, which is a mix of oats, corn, and all the right minerals to help them get off to a great start.  Calves are housed in a state-of-the-art calf facility with individual pens. From two to six months the calves eat oats and dry hay and are grouped in adjustable pens to comfortably house anywhere from two to fifteen calves Once the calves reach six months of age, they receive a majority of their feed from the farm’s rich, lush pastures.  If the weather is not ideal for them to be outside, they can come into the barn to cool off in the summer or warm up in the winter.

What Products Do They Sell?

Seibel’s Organic Meats, LLC, offers frozen ground beef, tenderloin, ribeye, New York strip, sirloin steak, round steaks, sirloin tip roast, rump roast, prime rib roast, and beef roast. Beef is also available by the eighth, quarter, or half.  They just recently began raising chickens.  Their chickens are fed all certified organic feed and raised with access to pasture.  These chickens are frozen whole and available year-round, however they are not certified organic due to processing plant licensing.  All items are available for pick up at the farm, but they ask that you call before coming to make sure someone will be there. All pricing is listed on their website.

Contact them at seibelsorganic@gmail.com, call Chuck at (715) 568-2587 or Adam at (715) 933-2494. Visit them on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/seibelsorganic  or find them on Facebook

Should You Be Concerned About GMOs?

By Heidi Toy

What Is a GMO?

GMOs, or “genetically modified oganisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. This is also called genetic engineering (GE) and genetic modification (GM)

This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Nearly all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide (these are called Roundup Ready crops) or to produce their own systemic insecticide (Bt corn and Bt cotton).

In the grocery store, approximately 80 percent of the items are made with GMOs: corn chips, corn cereal, corn starch, soy milk, tofu, high fructose corn syrup, sodas, non-dairy creamers, salad dressings, baby formulas, candy bars, waffles, seasoning packets, frozen meals, soups, sauces, snack foods. Then there are the individual product ingredients: amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, vitamin C, citric acid, sodium citrate, ethanol, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, maltodextrin, molasses, monosodium glutamate, sucrose, textured vegetable protein, xanthan gum. In other words, GMOs are in most processed foods.

The following crops are being genetically engineered for human consumption:

▪ 95 percent of sugar beets
▪ 94 percent of soybeans
▪ 90 percent of canola
▪ 90 percent of cottonseed (cottonseed oil is a common ingredient in vegetable oils and margarine)
▪ 88 percent of corn
▪ Hawaiian papaya
▪ small amounts of zucchini and yellow squash

Recently, genetically modified alfalfa won U.S. government approval and is being grown for animal feed. Also, in the summer of 2012, GMO sweet corn (corn on the cob, frozen corn, and canned corn) appeared on grocery store shelves and roadside produce stands.

In addition to GMO alfalfa, GMO corn and GMO soy are fed to livestock. If you are not consuming GMOs directly, say by eating What Are the Health Risks Associated with GMOs?

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a ban on GMOs and urges physicians to advise all patients to avoid GMOs and indicates that several animal studies indicate serious health risks, including:

▪ infertility
▪ immune problems including allergies
▪ accelerated aging
▪ faulty insulin regulation
▪ gastrointestinal disease
▪ DNA damage
▪ cancer

The British Medical Society, in 1999, called for a ban on the introduction of GE crops.

As long ago as 1997, scientists warned that genetically engineered food may result in new pathogenic bacteria because GMOs have crossed species lines.

Additionally, the use of GMO crops has increased the use of pesticides that are carcinogenic. Exposure to pesticides is linked to all manner of chronic illnesses including increased risk of reproductive abnormalities, birth defects, neurological problems, allergies, and cancer.

Industry points to the lack of a “smoking gun.” Deniability of health problems is easy when they come on slowly as opposed to a pandemic. Remember it took twenty-plus years for the U.S. government to admit that smoking causes cancer, for example. Meanwhile, we saw a lot of industry-sponsored studies that smoking was not harmful. There were a lot of industry lobbyists behind the scenes working to keep cigarettes on the market. Today, we see the soda industry in a similar battle as more and more experts, including CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, lay considerable blame for the obesity epidemic on the soda manufacturers’ products. Bottom line: human problems may be hidden for years, and may be masked by well-financed public relations campaigns, industry sponsored studies, and lobbying.

Heidi Toy is a Functional Nutritional Therapist, and the owner of “Educated Nutrition”, located in Altoona, WI. Her focus is helping people heal holistically, with an emphasis on digestion, weight loss, depression, female hormone issues, and fatigue. 

Lawn Care and Gardening Basics

By Gordon Petschow, Midwest Environmental Consultants

The goal of most gardeners, turf grass admirers, and farmers is to have the most scenic, productive site. This is to be acquired with least expensive materials, rapid-growing plants, and lowest labor investment possible. This philosophy can be realized if the grower is operating by the rules of nature and accepts the premise that nature is independent, interdependent, and dependent on both the nonliving, or a-biotic, and biotic parts of life. This is called ecology, and the natural world operates with ecological principles.

If sowing of seed or planting purchased plants, and forcing growing plants with toxins like herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic chemical fertilizers and genetically altering food, then success is brought into question because we operate outside the ecological boundaries. Harmful, toxic substances and practices can mutate or kill living organisms that are composed of cells. Cells derive their energy and growth from the variety of minerals, air, and water in the soil. If the cell is not productive because the soil is only stimulated with chemicals and with minimal nutrition, the end result will not be as useful to the grower as it could be, even though there is a large yield. If gardening success is determined by quantity only and quality of food is forgotten, then more study should be undertaken.

The role of water and minerals are part of the life cycle of organisms. What are the basic needs of plants and turf? Air, water, and minerals in balance with each other. A fourth obscure item that is sometimes forgotten is the acidity level in the soil. Let’s examine each item.

AIR. Soil that is dry and compacted does not allow an abundance or air to pass through. Soil that is pliable and moist produces a better crop. To increase aeration it is advisable to mechanically aerate or have live microorganisms aerating the soil. The question is: What method is a labor saver?

WATER.  This a-biotic substance works with the air and makes the soil become workable and minerals available to the plant.

MINERALS.  They are derived from degraded rock or plant matter and are made available to the plant in solution. They are nutritional servers to the plant working with air and water to bring growing success.

ACIDITY and ALKALINITY.  Plants, grasses, and other living organisms have a preferred acidity level. To find optimal acidity or alkalinity levels, soils have to be tested periodically. This knowledge reveals where the plant is most productive.

From considering these individual factors, it can be seen that ecological principles are at work integrating and regulating the outcome of an organism’s success. To force an outcome with chemical means or altering the cell workings can bring detrimental, unwanted consequences to gardening success at some unknown point in time. For best success, go back to the basics.

Spring Cleaning Your Indoor and Inside Environment

By Dr. Lynn Thompson

The short dark days of winter are now over, and we look to cleaning and renewing not only in our yards and external environment but also our inside environment. This is the perfect season to check our homes for toxic materials and perhaps to do an internal cleanse.

In previous articles we addressed outdoor toxins. This article will be limited to toxins inside the home and your body. Looking around the house, we can start in the kitchen.  When did you last change the oils you cook with? Did you realize when oils are heated, they will oxidize and go rancid? Are you using quality oil for your cooking?   (https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/common-cooking-oil-cancer-nightmare).

Recommendations are for using olive oil or organic coconut oil (lots of health benefits are attributed tousing these saturated fats). What are you using to cleanse your countertops, sinks, windows, or oven? Many of the cleaning materials have warnings on the label for avoiding inhalation and to protect yourself from skin contact. Many of the products we encounter also have known (easily referenced through google search) toxic materials. Even some of the “healthy” products contain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate for foaming and sudsing actions. There are so many natural, inexpensive materials we can use safely and effectively.  (www.healthy-holistic-living.com/72-uses-simple-household-products-save-money-avoid-toxins.html?t=fol) Stepping into the bathrooms, similar challenges are found. Shampoos, conditioners, and body soaps can also be a source of toxins. When you bathe or shower the warm water will allow the pores to open, and any toxic material you apply for cleansing will have a pathway into your body.

In a new study, the chemical inhibited muscle activity in individual human heart cells, mice, and minnows. (www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/triclosan-a-chemical-used-in-antibacterial-soaps-is-found-to-impair-muscle-function-22127536/#JeSwD6kdWtHXZgoY.99)

There are alcohol and Triclosan-free natural alternatives that can be made at home quickly and inexpensively. The laundry room also has its share of toxins in laundry detergents and dryer sheets. In the United States, commercial dryer sheets are loaded with all sorts of toxic chemicals including benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, chloroform, and linalool, none of which are good for your health. In addition to all the chemicals that end up on your skin, when heated as from the heat of the dryer, the fumes are also toxic. These toxins go straight to the brain’s most sensitive neurological centers and wreak havoc.

In 2007, TIME Magazine Article How “Fresh” Is Air Freshener?

Research has identified  phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), a group of chemicals that are used to dissolve and carry fragrances, soften plastics, and also used as sealants and adhesives, and that are commonly found in a variety of products, including cosmetics, paints, nail polish, and children’s toys, have long been at the center of a larger international controversy over their health effects. (http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1664954,00.html)

According to Newsmax, Be Aware of Indoor Toxins from Scented Candles

Scented candles can be another source in indoor toxins. Check what’s in your candles carefully. (www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/scented-candles-killer-home/2016/04/06/id/722608/?ns_mail_uid=95883358&ns_mail_job=1663040_04082016&s=al&dkt_nbr=qitu3hoz)

Suggestions from Newsmax for cleaning the indoor environment include:

1. Add indoor plants. Common houseplants can help through their leaves and roots and turn them into nutrients. Dr. Wolverton recommends bamboo palm (chamaedorea seifritzii), Chinese evergreen (aglaonema modestum), English ivy (hedera helix), and gerbera daisy (gerbera jamesonii).

2. Use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. Consider any product unsafe if it carries a warning.

3. Buy “green” products. Some products, such as low-emission carpets, paint, and building materials, have special labels that identify them as among those that give off the least chemicals. Low-emission carpets, for example, are labeled Green Label and Green Label Plus. Internal cleansing can include using nutritional supplements, essential oils, pure water, and sleep.

In Eau Claire County, we are able to dispose of old prescriptions and OTC (over the counter) medications, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials, and pet medications to local drop-off locations at:

• Altoona Emergency Services, 1904 Spooner Ave., Altoona, M-F 8:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M.
• Augusta City Hall, 145 W Lincoln Street, Augusta, M-F 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
• Fall Creek Village Hall, 122 E Lincoln Ave., Fall Creek, M-F 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
• Eau Claire County Jail Lobby (Enter from 2nd Avenue), Eau Claire, M-F 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
• Eau Claire County Courthouse Law Enforcement Center, 721 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire, M-F 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M

Please do not bring: Illegal drugs, inhalers, needles/sharps, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing bodily fluid or blood).Removal or limiting the toxins we are exposed to in our homes will create a situation where we are able to detoxify our bodies and not continually re-introduce the very toxins were are trying to alleviate.

Dr. Lynn Thompson holds doctorates in chiropractic, naturopathy, and homoeopathy, and is one of sixty-five people worldwide certified by doTERR to teach the AromaTouch Technique of essential oil application. She is also authorized by NCBTMB to provide CEU for massage therapists for the AromaTouch Technique.

Is It Lyme Disease or So Much More?

By Dr. Margaret Meier, DVM, CVSMT

If this is your first experience with A Second Opinion, welcome to the best regional source for wellness and alternative health for both you and your pet! And, if you are a seasoned regular who doesn’t miss an issue, I’m sure you enjoyed the article on “Chronic Lyme Disease” by Sue Peck and Gail Corse in the March-April 2016 issue.  In their article they discussed the organism, the epidemiology, and the symptoms of Lyme disease commonly observed in humans.

Pet parents often ask me: “Are the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease the same in our pets as they are in us?” “How do I know if my pet’s symptoms warrant a visit to my veterinarian?”  “What are these ‘vector-born’ diseases that you are recommending my pet be tested for, and exactly how are you going to test for them?”

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in your pet can vary from intermittent and shifting leg lameness to vomiting, lethargy, high fever, in acceptance, and the inability/refusal to move. The severity of these symptoms can depend on your pet’s vaccination status as well.  With the very high incidence of Lyme disease in our area, we strongly recommend dog owners consider helping protect their canine companions with RecombiTEK® lyme vaccine.  This vaccine is the only non-adjuvanted Lyme vaccine available that has shown to “block transmission of B. burgdorferi from the tick to the dog.”1 There are many different Lyme vaccines on the market, so verifying which vaccine your veterinarian uses is important.  In my experience, patients that have been properly vaccinated with this vaccine have substantially less severe symptoms than non-vaccinated patients. Especially if co-infections exist; for example Lyme and Anaplasma. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these symptoms, it’s important to consult your veterinarian when you first see them, as Lyme disease, if left untreated, may lead to fatal kidney disease.

The most common in-house vector-born diseases tested for in dogs, in addition to Lyme, are heartworm, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia.  This is a blood test commonly referred to as a “4Dx” test.  We recommend your pet have this test performed annually, and spring is a great time to do it!  A vector is defined to be “a carrier, usually an insect or other arthropod, that transmits the causative organisms of disease from infected to non infected individuals, especially one in which the organism goes through one or more stages in its life cycle.”2 Ticks are the most common vector incriminated with these diseases, but other biting, blood-sucking insects, such as mosquitoes may also be the cause.  Discussing how to best protect your pet from these parasites with your veterinarian will not only help your pet, but your budget as well.  An ounce of prevention is truly worth more than a pound of cure when it comes to parasites, and we not only match, but usually beat over-the-counter or Internet prices!  And, did you know that most manufacturers only guarantee products purchased directly from your veterinarian? If your pet’s blood produces a positive test result on the Idexx Laboratories, Inc. SNAP* 4Dx* Plus, or other in-house blood test, what does it mean for you and your pet?  Depending on which organism produces a positive result, follow-up confirmation tests are often recommended to either quantify the antibody response to determine if the infection is active (i.e., Lyme) or confirm the presence of the antigen (i.e., heartworm).  If your pet has a negative result on the test, but your veterinarian is still suspecting a vector-born disease, they will often recommend testing for Bartonella, Babesia, or other special tests for the specific rickettsial diseases they suspect based on their examination.

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, 1 out of every 12 dogs tested positive for Lyme disease in Wisconsin, and 1 out of every 17 dogs tested positive for Anaplasmosis so far in 2016.  To see the prevalence of these diseases in your area visit www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps and highlight your county for real-time numbers.  You will likely be surprised as to how prevalent these diseases really are!  Give me a call at 715-926-3836 to get your pet tested and protected today!

Dr. Meier obtained her certification in veterinary spinalmanipulative therapy at the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Sturtevant, WI.  In 2007 she was certified by theAmerican Veterinary Chiropractic Association in animal chiropractic, and in 2012, Dr. Meier was also certified by the International Veterinary