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com¡mon sense noun

the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions


a TMM T H E M I L L M AG A Z I N E

E D I T I O N 8 N O . 1

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FEATURES

p.18 SMELL·SENSE p.58 STARCH SENSE & THE MISSING PHEROMONE

WHOLE FOOD GOODNESS

p.30 LOCAL SENSE COMMUNITY FOCUSED STOCK EXCHANGE

TECH p.44SENSE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

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SMELL·SENSE AND THE MISSING PHEROMONE Te x t b y M e l i s s a P o r t e r

We have five senses and smell just may be the most powerful of them. It is through life experience that we learn what should smell good and what smells bad. What we think about a waft from a barrel of hot, salty boiled peanuts or the blend of potatoes, lobster, and sausage will either make our mouth water or our nose shrivel up in disgust. Our sense of smell drives hunger, memory, emotions, and attraction. When I was a teenager, my first boyfriend wore Drakkar Noir, a popular cologne in the early 1990s. Still to this today when I catch a hint of the unique scent, I’m reminded of a moment from our multi-year relationship. He was my first true crush, my first love, and my best-friend. Drakkar Noir will forever bring a little smile to my face as I recall my memories of that time.

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J

ust behind your nose in your nasal passages are sensory cells about the size of a postage stamp. It’s these little receptors that pick up the molecules of odor as they waft by. Some may cause us to have an obvious physical or emotional response, while others are simply noticed only by our subconscious. As young children, every scent is new and curious. It isn’t until we are about four years old that societal influence begins to shape our brain’s idea about what smells good or bad. Curiosity is the reason that children are intrigued by their waste. It isn’t until an adult tells them that it smells bad does a child develop the idea that poop stinks. Boiled peanuts and a Low Country Boil are a familiar scent to anyone who grew up in the South.

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However, those from other parts of the country may find the smell of salted water and hot peanuts or a mix of seafood, meat, and vegetables unappetizing. Every region of the country and the world has their unique specialty food that, at first smell, is unappealing to outsiders. Could you imagine eating fermented shark? Or what about a cheese that smells like your feet after a hot summer day trapped in your shoes? Fermented shark is


a delicacy in Iceland. Camembert from Normandy, France looks like brie, but has a more pungent aroma often described as stinky feet, ammonia, or cabbage depending on the sense of smell you’ve developed. The tongue has over 100,000 taste buds that sends our brains five distinct sensations, while the 1,000 sensory cells in the nose can identify ten different odors: citrus, chemical, fragrant, fruity, mint, pungent, sweet, toasted and nutty, woody and resinous, or decayed. Everything emits one or a combination of these smells as odor molecules. When they reach our nose, they bind to our sensory cells, or olfactory receptors, which tells our frontal lobe that a smell has been detected. What happens from there is subjective based on your life experiences. Scientists have been trying to crack the code to understanding the human sense of smell. It was not until 2014 that researchers

at Rockefeller University discovered that our mind has the ability to blend the ten odors to make over one trillion individual distinct scents. It was previously believed that we could only identify 10,000 different smells, but that was based on a study from 1927. A study published in 2012 showed that our olfactory system can detect fear and disgust. Researchers had men who used scentfree products and stopped consuming items that produced a scent when released through the skin. Men watched movies that triggered emotional responses, while scientists collected their sweat. The female participants completed a visual search test, while unknowingly exposed to the sweat of their study counterparts. The women displayed physical movements and facial expressions in accordance with the emotional sweat for disgust and fear.

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E

SUBCONSCIOUS SMELLS

very human has their own unique scent, much like a fingerprint. For centuries, scientists have tried to discover the odor molecule that intrigues adults, the pheromone. We want to know if we smell attractive? If not, can we smell attractive? Adolf Butenandt, a German scientist, studied silkworm moths for twenty years. Adolf and his team searched for the hidden thing that even the Ancient Greeks knew existed, a sex scent. The Greeks believed female dogs sent secret signals to male dogs miles away, without a sound. They discovered that male dogs would chase a rag previously rubbed on a female dog in heat. It had to be through the power of smell. Adolf discovered

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THEMILLMAGAZINE.COM•EDITION 8 NO. 1•COMMON SENSE

a single molecule was responsible for creating a reaction in the male moth. Since Adolf ’s study of the silkworm moths, a pheromone molecule has been discovered in both male and female animals across the animal kingdom. The molecule has been identified in goldfish, lobster, insects, and nearly every mammal. All the scientists who discovered the pheromone molecule in these animals used Adolf ’s scientific method to find


them. When he chose the silkworm moth, he accidently found the perfect subject to allow him to track his method. He needed half a million moths to obtain enough material for a chemical analysis. Adolf chronicled his systematic approach to analysis and synthesization of silkworm moth pheromones. So, what about the human pheromone? It may shock you to discover, no one knows. Despite the number of products available on the market, a human pheromone molecule has yet to be identified.

There are theories that it might exist in the armpit. The armpit is common to both men and women. It is a location that changes when we all begin puberty. The body secretes more in this area than others, some stinky and some odorless. The armpit reacts to our emotional states, like receiving a flirtation from a love interest, and begins to sweat when we are nervous or excited. Yet, there is no evidence a human pheromone exists here, or anywhere else.

ELICIT RESPONSE

Scientists have demonstrated natural human body odor elicits a response in other humans. Researchers have observed, since the 1970s, a change in a woman’s menstrual cycle when she’s exposed to another woman’s sweat. COMMON SENSE•EDITION 8 NO. 1•THEMILLMAGAZINE.COM

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Another study found that a man’s testosterone level increases when he smells the scent of an ovulating woman. There has yet to be a study that has found the specific cause or potential molecule that stirs the reaction. These studies have lead researchers in circles and led them to hypothesize that perhaps human pheromones are more complex and may be a “modulator” pheromone that changes response based on the mood or mental state of the receiver. Researchers in France changed their tact, deciding to start over. Upon accessing the most recent studies, they decided to take a look at newborns. We know that infants have a natural relationship with their mother, however, we do not understand why. Could it be that

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babies are attracted to their mother’s scent? If so, where does the smell originate? When a mammal is born it needs to have its first milk within the first few hours otherwise it is at risk of death. Non-human mammals easily suckle and achieve their first milk without many issues. Humans, on the other hand, might need coaching to learn how to attach to their mother for milk. If you poke the cheek of a newborn, they instinctively attempt to suckle. The French researchers are using this instinct as a signal in their odor study. Placing a clean tube under the nose of a sleeping infant elicits no response. Filling that same tube with a few drops of milk from any woman causes the baby to start suckling. What invisible smell could the baby be reacting to?


W

LOVE POTION NUMBER 9

hile we await researchers to discover the molecule that could make finding a life mate easier, do not spend money on false pheromone potions. There is no Love Potion Number 9. Humans are complicated beings. We are also complicating the discovery of the human pheromone. Scientists say the one thing that has made discovering the human odor molecule harder is our ability to affect our response. Just as we develop our sense of smell based on societal standards, we have also learned to adjust our emotional and physical responses.

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LOCAL SENSE COMMUNITY FOCUSED STOCK EXCHANGE Te x t b y W i l l i a m E m e r s o n

S

ince the 1790s, groups of brokers

have gathered to piece together a financial market.

And after the Civil War, regional exchanges really took off. The history of the early exchanges has been largely forgotten, “but they were engines of regional growth, facilitating the flow of capital into area business ventures and stoking their local economies,” stated Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How To Profit From It.

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A

THE SHIFT

ccording to a research study on the role of regional exchanges, the areas that saw the most manufacturing growth (175% on average) were those with an exchange. Thus, regional stock exchanges were strongly associated with regional economic growth. Through securities regulations, business was bled away from the regional exchanges in favor of the bigger exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange. With the advent of technology, further consolidation occurred and the nature of the markets themselves changed from a not-for-profit status to being publicly traded entities as well. The focus shifted to larger companies with higher trading volumes and profits. Cortese pointed, “Wall Street is less a place than a metaphor for a vast, pulsing financial network that, in its pursuit of profits around the globe, has lost its sense of purpose and connection with the communities and regions it once served.” Of the trillions of dollars flowing through today’s exchanges, 99% is trading and speculation with the remaining 1% funding innovation and expansion. The purpose of the market was to raise capital, now the trend is of a speculative nature.

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N

COMMUNITY FOCUSED STOCK EXCHANGE

ew community focused stock exchanges would handle all of the functions of a stock market, listing company shares, providing price information, and facilitating trading, but for a specific region. As the major stock exchanges continue their global consolidation, community focused exchanges would offer an alternative for a region’s companies and investors, much like the small exchanges that once flourished across the United States and other countries. COMMON SENSE•EDITION 8 NO. 1•THEMILLMAGAZINE.COM

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MAIN

ST

A

LOCAVESTORS

t a time when many communities are promoting buylocal campaigns, new local exchanges could serve as a focal point for local economic activity, as well as a branding tool for the region and its unique local enterprises.“Activity may be slow, and there won’t be the kind of volatility that allows traders to make a quick killing, but then, that’s exactly the point,” explained Cortese. Local stock exchanges, like the kind that once dotted the land

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and served their regional economies, are staging a cautious comeback. They are seen by their proponents as an alternative to the frenzied speculation of modern markets and a way to reinvigorate capital investment in small, innovative firms and regional economies.

T

BENEFITS

he biggest benefit of local exchanges is liquidity. Investors would be able to sell shares if they needed to, rather than having to hold them indefinitely, making many types of local COMMON SENSE•EDITION 8 NO. 1•THEMILLMAGAZINE.COM

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i

nvestments more attractive. Regional exchanges could lead to a greater volume and diversity of publicly traded companies and help offset the decline in listings at major exchanges. Investors would gain access to a diverse pool of qualified companies in their region to invest in. Local exchanges would be free of casino-like speculation and high-frequency trading; traders won’t be attracted to markets where there is not a lot of action. Communities can take back

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control and promote their own economies.

G

RISKS

reat change always comes with some risk. Any new exchanges will likely take some time to get established.

While the markets would provide liquidity, trading is likely to be light and even intermittent. Small companies of the type that may list on a local exchange may carry more risk than large, well-capitalized ones. The availability and quality of company research may not be the same as for large caps that trade on the major exchanges. A community focused stock exchange is a compelling idea that could, if well executed, provide a safe, alternative marketplace and important source of liquidity for small, locally based companies and investors.

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TECHSENSE

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES Te x t

by Simon Johns

In a moment, I’m going to ask you to shut your eyes. Before you do, think of a busy day of errands that you need to complete before, during, or after work. For example, the postman left a notice for a package pick up at the post office, you need groceries for dinner, your meeting that friend for lunch, your daughter needs a new pair of cleats for soccer, and your son needs to be shuttled to and from daycare. Get in your car and mentally walk through the motions. You get in, put your seatbelt on, and turn the car on. Now, shut your eyes and travel the route to accomplish your errands. Was the mental journey serene or was it frustrating? Did you zip through traffic and enjoy driving for the first time in ages? Or, did you have road rage because you even added that horrible intersection that traps you at the red light every time?

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The average American commute is 52 minutes round trip. Collectively, we spend 3.4 million years commuting every year. The majority of us commute alone, guzzling coffee, listening to talk radio, increasing our blood pressure, and developing severe back problems. And, we do it in cars that have the ability to go over 100 miles per hour, but usually trudge along no faster than we did sixty years ago. The solution has always been to add more lanes to existing roads or build more roads. Our roads are clogged and no matter how many more roads or bypasses we build, the problem will still persist. Our solution has not been a solution thus far, so perhaps it is time for innovation. What would happen if we become a driverless society?

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Remove the need for traffic lights, double yellow lines, speed limits, or bypasses. If we removed the elements of human error and blind spots, could we live in a world where our commutes are reduced to five minutes for every thirty minutes it would take a human driver? If you could live in a world where the average American commute was 9 minutes, how would you spend the extra 43 minutes of your day? Would you sleep longer, read to your kids, spend time with your spouse? There are a lot of things we need and time is always at the top of the list. Now, imagine those errands again . . . How much time would you save if you could arrive to each location within five minutes?


Y

AUTONOMOUS CARS OF TODAY

ou might be surprised to learn that semi-autonomous vehicles have been on the road since 2014. In Pittsburgh if you hire an Uber, it might be a self-driving vehicle. If you have $90,000, you could buy a Tesla Model S with the optional Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability. Google has worked on their self-driving car project since 2009 and several of the major car manufacturers have tossed their hats in the ring as well.

Robotics Institute in early 2015 to develop their self-driving vehicles. The city’s Mayor William Peduto, initially, opened up the city to the project, “Pittsburgh and, in particular, Carnegie Mellon University have been leaders in autonomous vehicle research for decades and this is a logical next step.”

UBER Uber hired researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s

Pittsburgh provides the right types of challenges in developing a vehicle that needs to learn how to react to a multitude of

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scenarios. More than just experiencing the weather of all four seasons, Pittsburgh is an older American city. That means that Uber’s car will need to learn to navigate old bridges, an irregular street grid, and lots of potholes.

January, Peduto publically called out Uber, “We’ve held up our end of the bargain, but we haven’t seen much from Uber. This is a two-way street, not a one-way. I need to see more interest from them in our communities, both locally and internationally.”

Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus, said “We like to call Pittsburgh the double black diamond of driving.” He feels confident that if they can master Pittsburgh, then they can have a great chance of mastering nearly any other city in the world.

GENERAL MOTORS Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a series of bills, known as the SAVE Act legislation, in December 2016 to allow autonomous vehicle testing on their public roads.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, Uber may have used up all their goodwill. In December they began testing in San Francisco without a permit and were sent a cease and desist letter by the Department of Motor Vehicles. By the end of

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General Motors tests more than 40 cars in California and Arizona and, with the new laws in Michigan, they immediately began testing in metro Detroit. The city will become their primary location for development of autonomous technology in winter climates.


According to CEO Mary Barra, the Orion Township assembly plant, the same factory that produces the Chevrolet Bolt, will produce the next generation of autonomous test vehicles. “We expect GM will become the first high-volume auto manufacturer to build fully autonomous vehicles in a mass production assembly plant," Barra stated during a press conference that was livestreamed on Facebook. In the first half of 2016, General Motors acquired three-yearold Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous vehicle technology, for $1 billion. In recent months, the new GM division announced they developed a mobile app that allows users to request rides from a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV. Current employees use the app to request a ride from their home to the company’s office.

General Motors aggressive moves into autonomous cars also includes a partnership and $500 million investment into Uber competitor Lyft and the creation of an engineering team dedicated to autonomous driving. WAYMO Google’s self-driving car project became Waymo, a subsidiary to Google’s parent company Alphabet, in December 2016. In January, the new company announced their Chrysler Pacifica minivans were ready for public road testing in California and Arizona. They gave the public the first look at the self-driving minivans at the North American International Auto Show. For the first time, the company will be producing all of the technology, from the cameras to the sensors, in-house. This will

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allow Waymo to exert more control over the precision of the hardware and the ability to lower the cost of the minivan in the future.

autonomous vehicle testing. The reporting requirements allow a unique opportunity to make side-by-side assessments, at least for the companies that test within the state.

CEO John Krafcik recently said that by building their own LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors the company shaved 90 percent of its costs.

Mike Ramsey, a car analyst at Gartner, said there is an “enormous difference in both miles driven and performance between the Google Waymo system and everyone else.”

Statistics released by California regulators show Waymo’s technology is far more comprehensive and mature than its rivals. Driving safety situations that required human intervention occurred only 0.2 times per one thousand miles driven.

Of the nine companies testing in the state, BMW followed Waymo with a required 1.6 human interactions, whereas Mercedes Benz required 499 interactions per one thousand miles driven.

There are no federal regulations on self-driving vehicles, however, California requires permits and reporting of

This is the most comprehensive look at the state of autonomous technology available today.

THEMILLMAGAZINE.COM•EDITION 8 NO. 1•COMMON SENSE


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AUTONOMOUS CARS OF NEAR FUTURE

e might not see the 9 minute commute in the next decade, but some driving pressures could be alleviated.

A commuter could use the time to remote work an hour a day, so there is an extra hour of family time every night. Or, just use the time to meditate and release the stresses of the world in an autonomous sound bath. Over the next decade while regulations catch up to technology and technology continues to reduce the need for a human driver, we will grow accustomed to seeing autonomous vehicles. We will even be willing to relinquish control of the wheel fulltime. When we are able to tell the car where to go and sit back,

we will be able to deconstruct the double yellow lines, the speed limits, and even the parking headaches. You may find it hard to imagine living in a world where your driving test is not about verifying that you understand road signs or how to parallel park. In the future, you may need to simply identify the buttons on the dashboard and display your ability to pull off a three sea shell evac emergency.

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STARCH·SENSE WHOLE FOOD GOODNESS

Te x t b y C a n d a c e M a t t i n g l y

Do you crave potatoes, pasta, corn, or rice? Of course, you do! There’s a good reason for these, almost primal, cravings that might surprise you. And, you might want to consider heeding the temptation for your health’s sake. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH STARCH? To understand the importance of starch, we must first understand carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are made by plants and stored in their leaves, stems, roots, and fruits. Plant foods contain both simple and complex carbohydrates in various amounts. Fruits are often more than 90 percent carbohydrate, but most of their carbohydrates are the sweet-tasting simple forms of carbohydrate, such as glucose and fructose. Green and yellow vegetables store most of their calories as complex carbohydrates, but since they contain very few total calories, the amount of complex

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carbohydrate they provide in the diet is small. Whole grains like rice and corn, whole grain flours like wheat and rye, as well as whole grain pastas made from them, such as wheat and soba noodles, tubers like potatoes and yams, legumes like beans and peas, and winter squashes like acorn and kabocha contain large quantities of complex carbohydrates and thus are known as starches.

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in essential amino acids from proteins, essential fats, fibers, and minerals. Many starches, such as potatoes, have a full complement of vitamins as well, whereas grains and legumes need the help of fruits or green and yellow vegetables in order to provide adequate vitamin A and C.

Rice, corn, and other grains, as well as potatoes, typically store about 80 percent of their calories in the form of complex carbohydrates. Beans, peas, and lentils are approximately 70 percent complex carbohydrates.

WHY DO WE CRAVE STARCHY FOODS? The human body is designed to enjoy and become satiated by carbohydrates, both simple and complex sugars (starches), not surprising since this substance is our intended fuel. Consider the tips of our tongues have sweet-tasting taste buds. We are designed to seek and enjoy this flavor. There are no similar sensors on our tongues for fat or protein.

Starches contain sufficient calories to easily meet the energy requirements of an active person, and they’re also abundant

Once consumed, carbohydrates cause changes in bodily hormones and brain chemistry, resulting in satisfaction of

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the appetite and our reward for eating correctly. Failure to eat sufficient carbohydrates, when people consume beef, chicken, fish and cheese, all containing almost no carbohydrates, leaves them wanting sugars, which may cause some people to conclude that they are addicted to carbohydrates. HUMAN HISTORY SUPPORTS STARCH All successful civilizations thrived on starches. In fact, here are some historical examples of starch-based diets: barley in Middle East for 11,000 years, corn in Central and South America for 7000 years, millet in Africa for 6,000 years, oats in Middle East for 11,000 years, sorghum in East Africa for 6,000 years, rice in Asia for more than 10,000 years, rye in Asia for 5000 years, and wheat in Near East for 10,000 years. “All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout

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written human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch. Examples of thriving people include, Japanese and Chinese in Asia eating sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and rice, Incas in South America eating potatoes, Mayans and Aztecs in Central America eating corn, and Egyptians in the Middle East eating wheat,” explained Dr. John McDougall author of The Starch Solution. Over the past century there has been an escalating trend in Western societies of people abandoning starchy plant-foods for low-carbohydrate meat and dairy foods. A worldwide epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer has followed this dietary change. “There are no exceptions, all large populations of healthy, trim people have lived on starch-based diets. We are obliged to eat


starch, and failure to eat this way, means failure to thrive, both as individuals and as civilizations,” said Dr. McDougall. The established benefits of eating whole grains are: lowers cholesterol, lowers blood sugar, lowers insulin levels, lowers IGF1 levels, reduces risk of thrombosis, reduces heart attack risk, reduces risk of type-2 diabetes, reduces risk of obesity, reduces insulin resistance, lowers colon cancer risk, lowers gastric cancer risk, improves bowel function, accelerates bowel transit time, delays gastric emptying, relieves constipation, increases “good” bowel bacteria (bifidobacteria), decreases ”bad” bowel bacteria (E. Coli), and provides anti-oxidant activity. CAN WE LIVE ON POTATOES ALONE? According to Dr. McDougall, many populations, for example people in rural populations of Poland and Russia at the turn of

the 19th century, have lived in very good health doing extremely hard work with the white potato serving as their primary source of nutrition. One landmark experiment carried out in 1925 on two healthy adults, a man 25 years old and a woman 28 years old, had them live on a diet primarily of white potatoes for 6 months. A few additional items of little nutritional value except for empty calories like pure fats, a few fruits, coffee, and tea were supplemented in their diet. The report stated, “they did not tire of the uniform potato diet and there was no craving for change.” Even though they were both physically active, they were described as, “…in good health on a diet in which the nitrogen (protein) was practically solely derived from the potato.” The potato is such a great source of nutrition that it can supply

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all of the essential protein and amino acids for young children in times of food shortage. Eleven Peruvian children, ages 8 months to 35 months, recovering from malnutrition, were fed diets where all of the protein and 75% of the calories came from potatoes. Soybean-cottonseed oils and pure simple sugars, neither of which contain protein, vitamins, or minerals, provided some of the extra calories. Studies during the experimental feeding showed this simple diet provided all the protein and essential amino acids to meet the needs of growing children. Not only can we survive, but we can thrive and even reverse the damage caused by serious ailments, too.

at one calorie per gram. By comparison, sugar, cheese, and beef are about 4 calories per gram and vegetable oils are 9 calories per gram. Second, potatoes are 1% fat – so there are virtually no fat calories to wear. By comparison, beef and cheese can be 70% fat and butter is 100% fat. And third, potatoes are at the top of the carbohydrate list with about 90% of the calories from appetitesatisfying carbohydrates.

THE STARCH SOLUTION Dr. McDougall stressed that when it comes to the national health epidemic of obesity there are only three food issues to consider: First, potatoes are at the bottom of the list of calorie dense foods,

“One of the strongest risk factors for type-2 diabetes and heart disease is excess body fat, explained Dr. McDougall; therefore, any expert who says potatoes will lead to diabetes or obesity is ignoring the bulk of the scientific and nutrition literature. And,

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Beef, fish, chicken, butter, and olive oil are a few examples of commonly consumed foods with no carbohydrates. Only 2% of the calories from cheese come from carbohydrates.


they are ignoring an observation anyone can make: people living on diets high in starch like Japanese and Chinese are trim, young, and active people with very low rates of diabetes.” STARCH-BASED WORKPLACE Sick employees cost companies money. Average health care costs per employee in the U.S. have now reached more than $11,000 a year. In response, 43% of employers now offer incentives to encourage participation in biometric screenings that check blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, tobacco use, etc. Another 30% offer incentives to engage in healthy lifestyle activities in the workplace. Immersion Programs are also available to teach employees to live healthy, productive lives that contribute to a more productive workforce.

In 2010, the McDougall Healthy Employee Immersion Program was created for the employees of Whole Foods Market. Two years later, John Mackey, co-Founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market reported substantial savings for his company and was so impressed with the results that he predicted global acceptance of programs like these to continue. Starchy whole foods are inexpensive, comfort foods that provide a large part of the world’s nutritional needs and should make up a large part of your plate at every meal.

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The Mill Magazine Edition 8 No. 1 Common Sense  
The Mill Magazine Edition 8 No. 1 Common Sense  

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