Survival News

So How Do Swales Work and Should You Use Them – Miyagi Mornings Epi-155

Survival Podcast - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:03
If for any reason the Odysee video above does not play well for you, the back up YouTube version is here. So some of my old swale videos are getting the usual question about mosquitos, being stagnate, etc. I thought … Continue reading →

6 Fall Vegetables To Plant & Harvest In 45 Days – How To Grow More Now!

Old World Garden - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 07:23

Are you looking to plant and harvest a few more vegetables from your garden this fall before winter sets in? Believe it or not, there is still time to grow …

The post 6 Fall Vegetables To Plant & Harvest In 45 Days – How To Grow More Now! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How to Mentally Prepare Yourself for the EPIC Economic SHTF That’s Coming

Organic Prepper - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 07:05
by Fabian Ommar

Author of The ULTIMATE Survival Gear Handbook

In my last article, I tried to establish the relationship between the economy and SHTF and provide some insights … Read the rest

The post How to Mentally Prepare Yourself for the EPIC Economic SHTF That’s Coming appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

What Should We Do to Lower Lead Levels in Breast Milk?

Nutrition blog - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 07:00

What are the effects of sodium and calcium intake on blood lead levels in pregnant and breastfeeding women? 

Although our skeleton “has predominantly been considered a storage site for sequestering absorbed lead, bone is not simply an inert storage site. Once deposited in bone, lead can be remobilized from bone” back into the bloodstream if, for example, we lose bone due to osteoporosis. Even normal menopause can do it, raising lead levels as our bones start to lose their integrity, but the biggest concern is the “mobilization of long-term stores of lead from the maternal skeleton…during pregnancy and lactation.” In order to maintain maternal lead levels as low as possible during this critical period, we need to minimize bone loss.  

How do we do that? As I discuss in my video Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?, “habitual excessive NaCl [salt] intake could be a factor in promoting bone loss.” So, is there a relationship between maternal sodium intake and blood lead levels during pregnancy? Researchers found that higher salt intake was associated with higher lead levels, but only for women who were getting less than 840mg of calcium a day. “The findings…suggest that adequate Ca [calcium] with a low Na [sodium] intake may play a beneficial role in decreasing the blood Pb [lead] concentration in pregnant women.”  

Higher calcium intake has been associated with lower blood lead concentrations during pregnancy, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect unless you put it to the test.   

What if you gave women calcium supplements? I’ve previously explored how milk may actually make things worse, but what about just straight calcium, especially for women with low calcium intake? Study participants, African women who had been getting only 350mg of calcium a day, which is only 35 percent of the 1000mg RDA, were given a whopping 1,500mg of daily calcium. That will protect their bones, right? As you can see at 2:00 in my video, without the calcium, when the women were getting only 350mg of calcium a day in their diet, they lost some bone in their spine and hip. How did they do when researchers gave them 1,500mg of calcium a day? They lost even more bone. The women who had received the calcium supplements had a significantly lower bone mineral density at the hip and greater bone loss in the spine and wrists. 

What happened? It looks like the researchers messed up the women’s body’s natural adaptation. At the start of the study, they had only been eating 350mg of calcium a day. Because our body isn’t stupid, they were maximizing absorption and minimizing loss. Then, the researchers stepped in with calcium pills and undermined the whole process, turning off those adaptations and leaving their body thinking they were always going to get those massive calcium doses. When the study stopped, the women went into major calcium deficit and had to steal more from their bones. They researchers went back later on and found that although the women who had been in the placebo group bounced back, those given the extra calcium continued to suffer the effects, as you can see at 3:04 in my video

What about in Western women who are already taking in more than 1,000mg of calcium a day? Would giving them an extra 1,200mg a day cut down on some of that bone flux? Yes, it did seem to cut down on bone resorption by about 16 percent, “and, thus, may constitute a practical intervention to prevent the transient skeletal loss associated with childbearing,” which could release any lead trapped there, but you don’t know until you put it to the test. 

In a different paper from the same study, the researchers measured what was happening to the women’s lead levels. That drop in bone borrowing led to a drop in lead release. As such, it may help lower lead exposure to both the fetus and the infant, as the benefits continue through breastfeeding. Okay, but the women in this study were living in Mexico City, where they may have been exposed to lead-glazed ceramics with lead levels approaching 10 ug/dL. What about women with lead levels closer to the current U.S. average under 5 ug/dL?  

Researchers randomized half the breastfeeding women in their study to take 500mg of extra calcium a day. As you can see at 4:25 in my video, the lead levels of both groups started out the same during pregnancy. In the non-supplemented group, those levels shot up during breastfeeding, as presumably some of the lead was released from their bones. In the group getting the daily 500mg calcium supplement, however, there was no spike in lead in their bloodstream, providing “evidence that calcium supplementation during lactation [breastfeeding] may be effective in limiting mobilization of lead from bone stores, thus reducing the risk of lead transfer to the nursing infant through mother’s [breast] milk.”  

Regardless, breast is still best. Supplementation or not, “the risks are outweighed by the benefits of breast milk consumption,” but calcium supplementation may help reduce any risk even further. Of course, it’s better not to build up lead in your bones in the first place. As a famous occupational medicine paper put it a half–century ago, there are all methods of dietary interventions, but there is only one way to prevent lead poisoning: Don’t get poisoned in the first place. Anything else just diverts attention from treating the underlying cause. 

For other toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, for example, women are “advised to avoid the consumption of predatory fish”—that is, fish-that-eat-other-fish—“during pregnancy and when breastfeeding to decrease MeHg [mercury] exposure.” In fact, they should start even before pregnancy. Indeed, “women of child–bearing age and nursing mothers should avoid consuming piscivorous [fish-eating] fish” to avoid building up the mercury in the body in the first place. And, for lead, that means not living next to a smelter plant and avoiding smoking.  

There is one other way to detox your body of lead to protect some of your future children, but it’s not ideal. Remember that menopause study, where postmenopausal women had higher blood lead levels than premenopausal women? Well, even higher still were postmenopausal women who had never had children. As you can see at 6:00 in my video, “The postmenopausal increase in lead levels was less in women with prior pregnancies,” presumably because they had already detoxed some of their lead into their children. 


  • Lead, once deposited in bone, can flood back into our bloodstream when bone is lost, for example, due to osteoporosis, menopause, pregnancy, and lactation.
  • Researchers found that higher intake of salt was associated with higher levels of lead for women getting less than 840 mg of daily calcium and suggest that adequate calcium intake with low sodium consumption may be beneficial in decreasing blood lead levels in women during pregnancy.
  • When African women who had been getting 350 mg of daily calcium from their diet (just 35 percent of the RDA) were given 1,500 mg a day via supplement, they lost even more bone. It appears their natural adaptation was disrupted and their body expected the massive calcium influx such that they went into major deficit when the study concluded and the supplement was no longer taken so more calcium was taken from the stores in their bones.
  • Researchers randomized breastfeeding women to take an extra 500 mg of daily calcium and found that the lead levels in the non-supplemented group increased during breastfeeding, likely due to some lead being released from their bones, whereas there was no spike in blood lead levels in the group taking 500 mg of calcium a day, suggesting that calcium supplementation during lactation may limit lead mobilization from bone stores and reduce transfer risk to nursing infants.
  • Breastmilk is still preferred, but calcium supplementation may be reduce further risk.
  • Preventing lead poisoning is important, just as avoiding other toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, found in many fish.

In case you missed the last video, The Rise in Blood Lead Levels at Pregnancy and Menopause offers some background on this issue. 

The video I mention about milk making things worse is How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Breakfast, Whole Grains, Milk, Tofu?.

Note that whole–food sources of calcium may be preferable, as I document in my video Are Calcium Supplements Safe?

For more on pregnancy detox, see: 

In health, 

Michael Greger, M.D. 

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations: 


Foraging for Wild Spinach

Insteading - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 15:44

“Eat more healthy! Eat organic leafy greens!” The bleached-smile exhortations of the nutritional elite ring out from websites and health shows. So we trundle over to the grocery store and are greeted by the sight of an $8 bundle of organic spinach that would barely feed a rabbit — much less a whole family. Then we grumble to Twitter, repeating the common line that it’s just not financially possible for us to buy those health foods. We mumble through mouthfuls of “food” from a Burger-World paper sack that it’s not our fault we can’t afford ridiculously priced, real food. Not everyone has an organic farm in their backyard; not everyone has a 6-figure salary that can support a green smoothie habit. Not everyone can eat healthy.

Hold up! This whole story, familiar as it may sound, is a fallacy embodied. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Watch the Video

Yes, we need to eat more leafy, organic greens. Many of our American dinner plates are painfully, tragically devoid of nutrition and the tradition of cooking greens as a daily part of our diet. And yes, we need to eat organic ones — as the pesticides coating the surfaces of commercial veggies are nothing to ignore. But no, they are not prohibitively expensive — not all of them. And no, your only other option for a full stomach is not prepackaged garbage masquerading as nutrition. Real food is not more expensive than fast food. You just have to think outside the takeout box (and outside the grocery store box) because some of the best, most nutritious, and widely available foods are right outside your door, absolutely free for the taking.

Enter wild spinach.

Wild spinach is a weed that knows no socioeconomic bounds. It grows among the fancy cultivated tea roses in the gated community and fills the abandoned lots of the city. It’s probably growing in your garden or next to the sidewalk right now. When I lived in a poor city neighborhood, I allowed this wonderful plant to take over much of my postage stamp of a backyard, and in return, it fed me and my family countless meals for free. Now, when I find it on our homestead, it’s a familiar friend … even when (annoyingly) pushing past my seedling corn.

I’d like to introduce you to this abundant weed. I bet you’ve met it before, but had no idea it was food. Let’s fix that!

Finding and Identifying Wild Spinach

Chenopodium album is a plant of a dozen common names — this is one of the many reasons why knowing the scientific name of a plant is imperative when it comes to identifying it correctly. I’ll be referring to it as wild spinach for the purposes of this article, but you’ll also find this plant called lamb’s quarters, goosefoot, pigweed, bacon weed, melde, bathua, frost-blite, or fat hen, to name a few. I take its multitude of titles as a marker of how useful this plant has been in the past for humans and animals alike.

Chenopodium album is found pretty much anywhere across the United States. Though C. album, the feature plant of this article, is listed as a debatably European weed (it’s been in cultivation so long nobody’s really sure of its origin), it is very closely related with C. berlandieri, a native plant that was used as a food and grain source by Native American Nations for thousands of years. These plants also hybridize and have incredibly diverse forms. So all that to say — it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and you’ll not need to worry about overharvesting when you find a decent patch of it. Pluck those leaves at will.

wild spinach // wren Everett

Wild spinach is a summer plant, growing in abundance as the mercury rises and the sun blazes. It endures, too, growing all the way until the leaves start to fall. In my personal foraging calendar, it graciously takes up the greens-for-dinner mantle once pokeweed has started to mature. It’s typically found in sunny places where the soil has been disturbed. This is a huge list of areas including river bottoms, sun-soaked slopes, construction sites, any garden plot, crop fields, backyards, semi-arid areas, pastures, abandoned lots, and areas disturbed by recent floods.

striped Stem of the wild spinach // wren everett

In appearance, I find the plant to be distinctive. The leaves alternate, growing on a striped stem that often has a bit of red where the leaves join with it. The leaves grow in a vaguely arrowhead shape with wide teeth or lobes along their edges. As with most plants, those growing in direct sunlight will have more sculpted edges than those growing in partial shade. And most distinctively, the undersides of the bluish-green leaves are coated with an unmistakable whitish powder — it will rub off on your fingers if you touch it, giving the leaves a distinctively gritty feeling. The powder is harmless and rubs off when you wash the plant for consumption, but it’s a key characteristic. You’ll especially find this white powder on the leafy tips of a branch where new growth is forming. Aside from helping with identification, this powdery layer makes dew drops bead beautifully on wild spinach leaves. Grab your macro lens and get some gorgeous early morning photography, if you happen upon it.

If you catch the plant growing in early summer, it may be only a foot tall. That’s usually when you find it peeking between the tomatoes in your garden. But left unmolested, it will easily grow between 3 and 5 feet tall, and up to 7 feet in optimal growing conditions.

As the plant matures, it branches out and begins creating its underwhelming flower stalks. The flowers are tiny and unremarkable, but they produce tons of little black, shiny seeds. Upon close inspection, some people may notice that they bear a remarkable similarity to quinoa. And in fact, that recently popular Andean grain is also part of the Chenopodium genus.

In the fall, the plants turn a lovely fire red before they die. This is usually when the seeds are ripe and falling. Grab a handful of the abundant, bitty grains and spread them where you want to find a haul of wild spinach next year.


To my knowledge, there aren’t any problematic look-alikes for wild spinach. The only plants I’ve found that have a similar appearance are other just-as-edible members of the Chenopodium genus. Though C. album is probably the most widespread, those who live in the eastern United States will likely also encounter C. hybridium, the maple-leaved goosefoot. This species is more tolerant of shade, often growing in hardwood forests. It also lacks the distinctive whitish powder on its leafy undersides, but is nonetheless, just as edible and useful. There are many other members of this genus that are locally abundant across the United States. As you grow in botanical literacy, check your local flora guides for the Chenopodium plants that grow in your region.

Note: Samuel Thayer mentions in his book The Forager’s Harvest, that Mexican tea and epazote may be unsafe to eat in quantity. Apparently, they have a strong smell and look quite different from other similar plants (and have been reclassified as Dysphania ambrosioides).

Harvesting Wild Spinach

In the late spring and early summer, you can harvest the entire plant. The stem should be tender enough by that point to not pose a problem in your finished dish. Once the heat of summer sets in and the plant really takes off growing, however, the main growing stem will quickly become way too tough to eat, or even break easily. The leaves, no matter what stage, however, are always prime pickings.

Plucking individual leaves from 5-foot plants is incredibly tiresome, however. So, I’ll share my method of harvesting buckets of greens in short order. If you want to leave the plant standing to produce seeds later on, hold the tender growing tip in one hand to keep the branch taught, then, skipping that first tuft of leaves, run your closed hand down the length of the stems. The leaves and tender little branches will snap off effortlessly.

If you’re cleaning out plants from the garden and already ripped them out, you just need to run your fist against the grain of the plucked stem — laying them on a picnic table will make it easy to get things organized. After you’ve twisted off the tender growing tip as well, place handfuls of greens in your bag or basket, and throw the cleaned stems in the compost pile. Within minutes, you’ll have a heap of food for dinner.

The one safety note I have concerning wild spinach has nothing to do with the plant itself, but with its growing environment. As a mineral-rich green, this plant uptakes all its abundant nutrition from the soil. This fascinating feature makes wild spinach a useful plant in bioremediation experiments, as it is able to remove heavy metals from the soil naturally. But it also means that plants growing in contaminated ground are, themselves, contaminated. When you gather your wild spinach, therefore, vet the environment and make a judgement call about whether or not it’s polluted. Plants growing in your garden or yard are fine, and plants growing in an abandoned lot in the city are probably alright too, but plants growing around a dump, parking lot, or otherwise industrialized area are probably not safe for consumption.

I should mention that the seeds, being quinoa relatives, are edible as well. I should also mention, however, that I’ve never gone through the process of collecting enough to merit cooking them. The seeds of C. album are tiny and a bit fiddly to free from their calyxes — at least with the methods I’ve tried. My inexperience in this department should not stop you, though. There are archaeological records indicating that different Native Americans did gather and consume the seeds as a grain. I would love to have known their process.

There are also different species of Chenopodium plants that have different-sized seeds. The maple-leaved goosefoot in particular, has much bigger seeds, but since it doesn’t grow in my area, I haven’t gotten to mess around with it. If any of you have experience with using this underutilized food source, please share your know-how with us below! And in the meantime, you can check out Ashley’s endeavors using water to winnow C. album grain at her website: Practical Self Reliance.

Cooking Wild Spinach

Wild spinach is a perfect spinach substitute, and you can use it in any and every way that you would the conventional stuff. Raw, wilted, or fully cooked, it is as versatile as it is delicious. I actually prefer wild spinach to cultivated spinach, as I find it doesn’t give me that minerally weird, tooth-squeaky feeling that I often get when eating store bought leaves. Instead, the flavor, while mild, is unmistakably green and hearty with a very wild floral note. And the nutrition can’t be beat. I don’t give much stock to nutritional analyses of wild greens as they vary so widely according to their environments, but if these numbers here are anything close, it’s safe to assume that wild spinach is full of good stuff your body needs.

If you’re accustomed to cooking wild greens, you’ll not have any trouble coming up with ideas for this abundant food source. But if you’re feeling a little unsure, here are some easy ways to use one of my favorite, summer wild foods.

One of the easiest is to throw a handful of cleaned leaves into whatever you’re cooking at the time. The first handful of this summer’s wild spinach harvest, for example, was washed and tossed into an Italian-style stew, and served alongside eggs and corn pones. The leaves cook down quickly, adding their color and nutrition without swerving the flavors. Wild spinach is also amazing stir-fried with ginger and garlic or thrown into an omelet with cheese.

A simmered and blended wild spinach paste is also an incredibly versatile ingredient. Add it to soups, blend it with eggs and spices and bake it in a pie crust, or add tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic to make a verdant and bright pasta sauce.

My absolute favorite way to use wild spinach, however, is in a wild version of palak paneer — those delectable homemade cheese cubes swimming in a fragrantly spiced green gravy. I’ll be detailing my recipe (along with others) in an upcoming article, so stay tuned!

And true to its name, “fat hen” wild spinach is relished by chickens. But once you figure out how tasty and useful it is, you may have a hard time sharing it with them.

Most people have seen this weed and having it growing somewhere nearby, and I’d wager that a majority of them have no idea it is food. Can you imagine the healthful impact of adding this one, healthful, easy-to-identify and easy-to-cook green to everyone’s knowledge base? That pile of overpriced spinach at the grocery store would stop holding so much esteem, that’s for sure. And maybe the misconception that healthy food is the privilege of the well-off would lose its edge as well. Good food is everywhere, and available to everyone who has the eyes to see it. I hope that you make acquaintances with Chenopodium album. It’s a good friend to know!

Matt Hill of Start9 on True Digital Sovereignty – Epi-2937

Survival Podcast - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 15:07
Matt Hill is a passionate leader by example with 12 years experience building products, teams, and companies. Matt is the CEO / Co-Founder of Start9 Labs, founder and developer of WorkBlast, the co-creator of Borker, and the co-architect and former … Continue reading →

How to Have a Productive Fall Garden (in 5 Easy Steps)

1/10th acre farm - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 13:53

Would you like to have a high-yielding fall vegetable garden? Follow these five easy steps for a smooth transition from summer to fall.

The post How to Have a Productive Fall Garden (in 5 Easy Steps) appeared first on Tenth Acre Farm.

Episode 216. Sheep and the Sun: Solar Grazing with Lexie Hain

National Center for Appropriate Technology - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 12:44
This week’s episode of Voices from the Field takes a look at solar grazing, the practice of using livestock to manage the vegetation under solar panels. Sheep are widely considered the best animal for solar grazing, and they are being used in many countries with great success. National Center for Appropriate Technology Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey talks with Lexie Hain, a co-founder of the American Solar Grazing Association. Lexie, who began grazing sheep at solar arrays in 2016, talks about how she began solar grazing and offers practical tips for anyone who is considering the practice. With agricultural land in...

Getting Started Shot Shell Reloading – Miyagi Mornings Epi-154

Survival Podcast - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 11:46
If for any reason the Odysee video above does not play well for you, the back up YouTube version is here. Here are Some Reasons I Think New Reloaders Should Start with Shot Shells… One – Cheap to get started … Continue reading →

Venezuela’s Central Bank Will Launch Digital Currency Oct. 1 to “Stabilize the Economy”

Organic Prepper - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 07:57
by J.G. Martinez

I have been home for over two months now, and I have only acquired four banknotes of 500,000 Bolivares each. Finding cash is a pain. I … Read the rest

The post Venezuela’s Central Bank Will Launch Digital Currency Oct. 1 to “Stabilize the Economy” appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Who Should Take Statins?

Nutrition Video - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 06:50
How can you calculate your own personal heart disease risk and use it to determine if you should start on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug?

Dave Jones on Podcast Index, Free Speech and More – Epi-2936

Survival Podcast - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 15:21
Dave has been a system administrator for 24 years and has been building RSS aggregation software for about 15 years. He worked with Adam Curry to build a product called the Freedom Controller, which is used as the shownotes/research platform … Continue reading →

20 Things Most People Get Wrong about Bitcoin – Miyagi Mornings Epi-153

Survival Podcast - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 11:42
If for any reason the Odysee video above does not play well for you, the back up YouTube version is here. On a daily basis I hear or read people make claims about Bitcoin that have no basis in reality. … Continue reading →

Why Was the National Guard Hiring Internment/Resettlement Specialists LAST WEEK?

Organic Prepper - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 07:41
by Jeff Thompson

The National Guard is hiring Internment/Resettlement Specialists.

Let that sink in.

Editors note: the National Guard removed the job listing. However, we have added screenshots (see Read the rest

The post Why Was the National Guard Hiring Internment/Resettlement Specialists LAST WEEK? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How To Can Diced Tomatoes – A Great Way To Preserve Tomatoes

Old World Garden - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 07:16

Once you learn how to can diced tomatoes you will be able to enjoy the delicious taste of garden fresh tomatoes any day of the year. Every year, as our …

The post How To Can Diced Tomatoes – A Great Way To Preserve Tomatoes appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Why Blood Lead Levels Rise at Pregnancy and Menopause  

Nutrition blog - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 07:00

The lead trapped in our skeleton can leach back into our bloodstream when we temporarily or permanently lose bone due to pregnancy, weight loss, menopause, or osteoporosis. 

The half-life of lead in the bloodstream is only about a month. In other words, if you feed people lead for about a hundred days to boost up their blood levels and then you stop giving them lead, the levels in their blood starts to drop, such that within about 30 days, their lead levels are cut in half. In another month, they’re cut in half again. So, by around three months, their body is able to remove about 90 percent from their bloodstream. You can see a graphic depicting this at 0:10 in my video The Rise in Blood Lead Levels in Pregnancy and Menopause.  

If you’re chronically exposed to lead, however, you can have chronically high lead levels in your blood. More than half a million kids in the United States have concerningly high lead levels, and “poor people…in politically disempowered communities of color are most at risk of lead poisoning,” regardless of age. 

If you don’t live in those communities and are not constantly exposed to lead, why should you care about dietary strategies to lower the lead level in your own blood, if your body is already so good at it? Even if you do get exposed to lead here and there, about 90 percent of the lead in your blood is gone after just three or four months. Ah, but gone where?  

More than 90 percent of lead in our body “is stored in our bone where it has a half-life of years to decades,” so instead of it taking a few months to get rid of it, how about a few decades? Indeed, researchers estimate the half-life of the tibia, commonly known as shinbone, to be 48.6 years. So, even if we moved to some other planet and never had any further exposure to external sources of lead, we still have an internal source of lead leaching the toxic heavy metal into our system throughout our life. 

Okay, but if it’s mostly just stored in our skeleton, what’s the big deal? Well, if you were to lose bone, all the trapped lead could come flooding back into your system. For example, when we lose weight, we lose bone, which makes a lot of sense. Heavier people have a heavier skeleton with greater bone mineral density. Their body has to maintain stronger bones to carry around all that extra weight. So, if we lose weight, do the levels of lead in our bloodstream go up as our skeleton downsizes? As you can see at 2:14 in my video, the answer, unfortunately, is yes—but only if we lose a lot of weight. If you lose 10 pounds or so, not much happens, but if you lose more like 80 pounds, the lead levels in your blood can rise 250 percent. 

When else can you experience bone loss? With osteoporosis, obviously. As you can see at 2:31 in my video, women with osteoporosis can lose an average of 3 percent of their bone mass a year. However, even healthy, postmenopausal women without osteoporosis may lose a percentage of their skeleton annually. So, do the lead levels in women go up when they lose their periods? Apparently so. A study of nearly 3,000 women found “a highly significant increase” in lead levels after menopause, which “provides evidence that bone lead is in fact mobilized into blood…A major implication of this finding is that even low level lead exposure, over a relatively long time, may result in increased body burdens of lead which would be releasable in toxicologically significant amounts during critical physiological states” where bone is in flux. So, it’s not just osteoporosis, but, most seriously, during pregnancy and lactation. 

Most of the calcium the baby gets in utero comes from “increased maternal absorption” of dietary calcium. The mother’s gut starts absorbing 60 or 70 percent more calcium in the second and third trimesters to build the baby’s skeleton. That’s why women’s dietary calcium requirements are not increased by pregnancy or breastfeeding. Your body’s not stupid. When it realizes it needs more calcium, it just absorbs more calcium. Now, when that isn’t enough, you do end up dipping into the calcium stored in your bones. That isn’t a problem, though, because after it’s all over, your body puts the calcium back into your skeleton, such that six months after delivery, after giving birth, your bone mineral density is right back where you started.  

That’s why, as you can see at 4:10 in my video, even those women who breastfeed for a long time, well past those six months after giving birth and having had multiple pregnancies, end up with no compromise to their bone mineral density later in life, whether measured in their wrists, spine, or hips. So, why does it matter if your body makes a withdrawal from the bone bank during pregnancy and lactation, if it ends up just depositing it all back? Because of the lead. When your body dissolves some of your bone to borrow that extra calcium, it releases the lead that had been locked in the skeleton at the worst possible moment—right when your baby is most vulnerable. That is part of “lead’s toxic legacy.”  


  • Chronic lead exposure can result in chronically high blood lead levels, which affect more than a half-million children in the United States. At highest risk of lead poisoning are lower-income communities of color regardless of age.
  • Lead in our bloodstream has a half-life of about a month, which means half of the amount of lead will be cut in about 30 days if intake is stopped. The following month, half of the remaining level will be cut, and so on.
  • More than 90 percent of the lead in our body, however, is stored in our bone with a half-life of years to decades instead of a month. For instance, the half-life of lead in our shinbone is 48.6 years.
  • The lead trapped in our bones can flood back into our system when bone is lost, for example, due to weight loss, osteoporosis, post-menopause, pregnancy, and lactation.
  • During pregnancy, most of the calcium gotten by the fetus to build their skeleton comes from the mother’s increased absorption of dietary calcium or stored calcium from her bones. Her body recognizes that more calcium is needed during pregnancy, so it simply absorbs more or pulls more from her skeleton.
  • After delivery, the mother’s bone mineral density is replenished and her body replaces the calcium back into her skeleton, however, the issue is the lead that is released when the body dissolves some bone for that needed extra calcium, pulled when the fetus is most vulnerable.

What can we do about it? You can find out in my video Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?

To see my other videos on lead, check out: 

In health, 

Michael Greger, M.D. 

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations: 

Your Mind is Powerful & That Can be Dangerous – Epi-2936

Survival Podcast - Mon, 08/16/2021 - 15:33
In todays episode of Miyagi Mornings we discussed strategic relocation and what I guess you would call the “after show” came from a comment about how many people in cities feel “trapped” as though they can’t move.  This led to … Continue reading →

Planting Beans For a Protein Supply if Meat Disappears

David the Good - Mon, 08/16/2021 - 13:50

We’re planting beans right now to see if we can get find dry varieties for this climate. It’s important to have a good supply of protein in tough times and I believe a collapse is coming. Though animals are a better source of protein, beans will do if we can’t get meat.

A couple months ago I bought Black Coco beans from the Vermont Bean Seed Company.

According to a conversation I had with Steve Solomon, the “Black Coco” bean tastes much better than most other beans. The beans themselves are large, black and rounded more than other black beans I’ve seen.

Last week I planted two rows under trellises before I realized they were bush.


They’re coming up now, and are happy, despite my mistake.

Anyhow, them being a bush type is good, as I have plenty of non-trellised space. As meat may be lacking in the near future, I am testing bean varieties. Dry beans are also storable. Many bean varieties are bland, however, so if this type is as good as reported I will plant a lot more of them.

In a meat shortage, eggs are also good and I got chickens for that reason. We also plant hunger-satisfying carbs. Potatoes, grain corn, cassava. It’s hard to get full on most plant food. Beans are the latest experiment, since I don’t trust the meat supply. I’ve had a hard time with them in the past as they tend to rot in the pods in rainy tropical weather. Hoping they do well in a dry fall.

Other varieties I plan to test include kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzos. We’ll let you know what works out.

The post Planting Beans For a Protein Supply if Meat Disappears appeared first on The Survival Gardener.

Strategic Relocation within The United States – Miyagi Mornings Epi-152

Survival Podcast - Mon, 08/16/2021 - 12:48
If you like these videos you will likely love my podcast and all my other stuff you can find at If for any reason the Odysee video above does not play well for you, the back up YouTube version … Continue reading →