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Your grocery bill could rise 3.5% in 2019, study predicts





The price of food could increase by up to 3.5 per cent in 2019, an annual study of food prices predicts, but there’s good news for Canadian consumers buying meat and seafood, which are projected to become cheaper.

Meat and seafood have seen sharp increases in recent years, but a shift away from eating meat to a more plant-based diet is reducing demand.

Canada’s Food Price Report 2019, an independent analysis produced by university researchers, predicts the price of meat will drop by up to three per cent and seafood by two per cent. 

But those drops are more than offset by rising prices in other areas, led by a 4-6 per cent hike in the price of vegetables.

The annual food expenditure for the average Canadian family of four is expected to increase by $411 in 2019 to around $12,157 for the year.

That hike is a little more than for 2018, when the overall cost of food rose by about 1.8 per cent, in line with the report’s predictions for the year, which was a 1-3 per cent increase.

Restaurant prices, which rose steeply in 2018, are expected to take another jump and a family could spend an additional $143 on out-of-home food purchases.

Food economy researchers from Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph look at numerous factors to determine how food prices might change, everything from the weather, the retail environment and changes among food processors to consumer preferences.

Canadians are eating less meat

A big trend is the drop in meat consumption, with a separate survey by researchers from the same two universities suggesting 32.2 per cent of Canadians are thinking of reducing their meat intake over the next six months.

That is based on interviews with 1,067 Canadians over age 18 in September 2018 with a margin of error of 3 per cent or 19 times out of 20.  

In the past year, Canadians consumed approximately 94 million kilograms less beef per year, compared to 2010. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

“We’re seeing a gradual shift to more vegetarian and vegetable-based diets in the markets,” said Simon Somogyi, one of the lead authors of the Food Price Report

The authors call this the “protein wars” with pulses and legumes replacing meat in North American diets, leading to a fall in demand, especially for beef. In the past year, Canadians consumed approximately 94 million kilograms less beef annually, compared to 2010.

Young consumers are leading the way, with 63 per cent of vegans under age 38. That could mean big changes in the tastes of young families down the road.

Changing tastes ahead for food producers

“We see a clear market segment that is changing. Under-35 females are leading the way to plant-based diets and that is having a big impact on food systems,” Somogyi said.

It’s not just the women. Men are also leaning towards eating more vegetables and the very image of meat as the basis of a man’s dinner is changing. Among the baby boom generation, the trend is toward a “flexitarian” diet, meaning less meat and more meat alternatives.

Even Canada’s Food Guide, scheduled to be updated this year, is set to notice this trend, according to the Food Price Report.

The report predicts the price of meat will spiral downwards until 2020, until food producers adapt to the new marketplace.

Higher prices hurt low-income Canadians harder

Trish Hennessy, executive director of Upstream, a non-profit group focused on healthy living, points out that the food choices Canadians make depend on their income.

“There’s the people who are buying organic vegetables and eating out. They’ve got lots of choices,” she said.

“But if you live on social assistance or a pension or you are working for minimum wage, you are unlikely to be able to afford the kind of healthy diet recommended in Canada’s Food Guide.”

Those low-income people will feel the impact of food price increases the hardest, she said. And lack of fresh food plays into health issues such as diabetes and increased childhood obesity.

The kind of groceries people select also depends on their geographic location — in Canada’s North the price of fresh fruits and vegetables are so high that many cannot afford them.

The price of seafood is also falling because of falling demand, though global market forces play a role, Somogyi said.

The USMCA trade deal opens Canada’s market for poultry and eggs, but Somogyi said most of those price differentials are too small to have an impact.

Effects of free trade deal, climate change

Most significant of the trade deal’s impacts is allowing U.S.-made ingredients in yogurt, cheeses and some other dairy products. Whether that will make a difference to the family grocery bill may depend on your grocer.

“Will it be passed to the consumer or will it be absorbed by the retailer? Most retailers operate on very small margins,” he said.

As consumers abandon meat in favour of vegetables “that increases demand and that increases the prices.”

Canadians are changing the way they eat and both producers and grocers have to adapt. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

Other factors also could affect vegetable pricing over the coming year, among them currency fluctuations and changes in the weather.

With the unpredictable impact of climate change, Somogyi is hesitant to say definitively how the weather will change, but El Nino, a warming of the Pacific Ocean, is likely to take over from El Nina and result in drier weather, following a cold winter. North America may have extremely dry conditions and problems with access to water that could affect growing conditions and push up prices.

“It has an impact on producers. Most of our produce we used to get from California and it is highly perishable and has to be shipped by truck,”  he said.

Somogyi said researchers avoided trying to predict the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, but that could also have an impact on vegetable and fruit prices.

Concern over high vegetable prices

Abby Langer, a dietitian in Toronto, is concerned that a sharp rise in vegetable prices will cause some Canadians to eat fewer vegetables.

“Vegetables have been identified as a luxury item with that increase of up to six per cent,” she said.

Affordability can be a problem for middle-class families as well as low-income Canadians, she said, pointing out that price is an incentive and they may be faced with cheaper meat as well as more expensive veggies.

“People may make other choices if they can’t afford vegetables. Canadians already eat too few,” Langer said.

“Remember if you can’t afford fresh vegetables, frozen ones are just as nutritious.”

She applauds the change in Canadian eating patterns to more plant-based diets.

“People are really health conscious and that’s a good thing. Dietitians hope to encourage that.”.


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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants





With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine





(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech





(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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