A breast cancer survivor, Sandy Powers
turned to organic foods to
heal her liver and fight breast cancer recurrence. Sandy and
her husband, Mike, live in Englewood, Florida, where they
enjoy chasing after their grandsons. Organic for Health
explains in detail about the toxic pesticides and
fertilizers that are used in growing conventionally foods
and the detrimental role they are playing in our family's
health. Studies have shown malignancies in children are
linked to the pesticide residues in our food. Over forty
antioxidant-packed recipes are included in Organic for
health to help fight diseases and boost the immune system.
Visit Sandy online at
PageOneLit.com: Where did you grow
up and was reading and writing a part of your life? Who were your
earliest influences and why?
Sandy Powers: I grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a small steel town on the
shores of Lake Erie. With the demise of heavy industry in this country,
growing up in a steel town is a page from history. Life in Lorain
depended on the life of the steel mill. It was a place where blue collar
workers could earn a decent wage, except when there was a strike. Then,
there was no wage at all.
Education was foremost in the mind of every
steelworker and his family. This was the path to a better life. In
my home, books and magazines were everywhere. I actually canít
remember when I couldnít read. To this day, my sisters, my brothers,
and I always seem to have a book in our hand. Avid readers were not
unusual in Lorain when I was growing up. We had a wonderful large
two-story library in the heart of town so it was not surprising that
schools in Lorain, Ohio were good. Maybe even better than good
because in my graduating class of 1959, 49 percent of the class went
Dedicated parents, dedicated teachers, and a steel town named Lorain
were the greatest earliest influences in my life.
PageOneLit.com: Your new book Organic for Health tells how you are a
cancer survivor. You turned to organic foods after discovering you
had cancer. Briefly explain.
Sandy Powers: My journey began in August 2005 when
I was diagnosed with breast cancer and liver disease. I had a
mastectomy for the breast cancer but I could not continue with
further cancer treatment because of my unhealthy liver. After a year
of liver function tests with no improvement, my doctor wanted to
begin treatment. A year after cancer surgery and I was still not
doing well. I thought it was time to try to heal myself. I became my
own guinea pig. I researched everything I could find on the liver
and cancer recurrence. Certain words kept popping up: toxic
pesticides, toxic fertilizers, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics,
vitamin and mineral supplements. From this research, I developed my
blueprint for health: switching to organic foods and discontinuing
my daily vitamin and mineral supplements.
Becoming knowledgeable about the way our food is
grown and how it affects our health is a new concept to the average
consumer. Little information has been available to the consumer on
how his food in the last 40 years has gone from healthy to
containing dangerous levels of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics,
and E.coli. But that is all changing. Organics have moved from New
Age to mainstream because organics are the only sector of the food
industry experiencing sustained growth. Conventional companies such
as General Mills, Heinz, and Philip Morrisís Kraft have entered into
the organic market because itís good business. This means more
products and more availability in the organic market.
PageOneLit.com: Organic for Health discusses the
toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are used in growing our
conventional foods -- Why do you think the average consumer is not
educated regarding these toxins and why do you think the FDA and
farmers are not turning to more organic ways of farming?
Sandy Powers: The quality of conventionally grown produce has
consistently deteriorated through the years because of intensive
farming practices. Intensive farming is concerned with productivity.
To achieve high productivity, powerful pesticides, powerful
fertilizers, and growth-regulators are used. While intensive farming
does provide large quantities of relatively cheap food, it is at the
cost of vitamins and minerals in the food. For example, the
conventionally grown orange you are eating today has less vitamin C
than the conventionally grown orange of fifty years ago.
PageOneLit.com: In Organic for Health you write
about health problems and low immunity as a result of consuming
conventional foods --- Is it possible to go 100% organic? Where do
Sandy Powers: Is it possible to go 100% organic today? No. The
availability of an organic product in the grocery store today is
much like the availability of a product in a grocery store of 40
years ago: whatís in season. Organic peaches are bought when in
season. Organic cabbage is bought when in season. However, more
organics are making it year round with commercial canning and
freezing. Still, vegetables like organic cabbage are not good
candidates for these types of preservation. As the world markets
expand into organics, we will see year round availability in our
Where do I shop? I do most of my shopping for organics in my local
mainstream grocery stores. I buy my Gold Medal Organic Flour at
Wal-Mart, my frozen organic vegetables and fruits at SweetBay, and
my fresh organic produce and organic meat at Publix and Whole Foods.
PageOneLit.com: How much research went into writing Organic for
Health ? Are you now an advocate?
Sandy Powers: As soon as my cancer was diagnosed, I
started my research on treatment and recurrence. There is no cure
for breast cancer. Recurrence is always with you. To delay
recurrence as long as possible is the goal of every breast cancer
patient. Since I could not have any follow up treatment for cancer
after my mastectomy, my goal was to find a natural method of
preventing recurrence as long as possible. After two years of daily
research, I wrote Organic for Health. Over two and one-half years
later, I am very much alive and well. There was a popular
catchphrase of the 1970ís; "You are what you eat." I altered that to
"Your health depends on what you eat." In the beginning of Organic
for Health, I included a Buddhist saying: Every human being is the
author of his own health. My advocacy of organic food is to inspire
the reader to ask the question: What kind of book do I want to
PageOneLit.com: What questions do you hear people
ask the most about some of the problems with conventional foods?
Sandy Powers: The foremost concern most people have
with conventional food is the pesticide residues that remain on the
food. Study after study has shown pesticides are linked to
Parkinsonís disease, non-Hodgkinís lymphoma, leukemia, and cancers
of the brain, not to mention a host of other problems that are not
so deadly, like asthma. Since you canít wash or cook off pesticide
absorption, the only way to prevent ingestion is to avoid it
completely. This is role of organic food. While organic food has
more antioxidants and immune boosters to better fight disease than
conventional food, organic food is also more expensive. Organic food
costs more because it is more costly to produce. There is a lesser
yield in crops with safer pesticides and fertilizers.
Nevertheless, we donít have to bankrupt our food budget so we
gradually switch to organic eating. Begin with planting most of your
vegetables. A four-foot square box divided into sixteen one-square
foot plots is a great beginning and doesnít need much space. It is
estimated that one four-foot square box will harvest enough
vegetables for two people for a season. What you donít use, freeze
for later use. Second, buy store brands for organics.
Writing a book requires discipline. Discipline has never been my
strong suit until I started writing Organic for Health. In order to
complete the book in a timely manner, I had to learn discipline. And
conciseness. My daughters have always teased me about telling a four
minute story in eight. I wanted Organic for Health to be concise so
the reader would actually absorb and use the information.
I was traveling throughout Russia shortly after
Gorbachevís Perestoika and I was shocked by the damage committed to
the air, land, and water by the Communists. At that time it was
estimated that 25 percent of the children entering kindergarten
would be mentally disadvantaged. Back then I committed myself to
writing a book on how to stay healthy in a contaminated world. I
have started working on it. Today, it is more important than ever.
PageOneLit.com: What was the last book you read?
Sandy Powers: Donít be surprised. The Chase by
PageOneLit.com: Do you have any hobbies? What are
they? How do they enhance your writing?
Sandy Powers: I am a research buff. A simple
sentence in an article will send me to hours of research. All this
research has come in handy since I write articles for seven web
My web site,
www.organicforhealthsite.com, has continuing changing
information about organics and new recipes.