Did Your Collagen Supplement Come From a CAFO?

Please make sure you watch the video above as you will surely enjoy it. It will quickly help you understand not only the benefits of collagen but the very serious risks you run when you purchase nonorganic collagen, which is almost universally made from hydrolyzed CAFO cattle hides, not beef bones.

Collagen makes up anywhere from 25%1 to 30%2 of the total proteins in your body, and as much as 70% to 80% of the protein in your skin,3 in terms of dry weight. It’s found specifically in the connective tissues throughout your body,4 making collagen supplementation a valuable tool for healing many injuries.

An ideal way to supply your body with much-needed collagen is to make homemade broth by boiling down chicken feet or beef bones. The gelatin that forms on top as it cools is your richest source of collagen. (The difference between collagen and gelatin is that collagen is the raw material, and gelatin is what you get when you cook the collagen.5)

Most people, however, prefer using a collagen supplement, which presents a number of challenges. Many nonorganic products have been found to contain contaminants associated with factory farmed animals, which is no great surprise, but even organic products have their quality concerns, specifically those made from bovine (cow) hides.

They may be made from organically raised cattle hides, but the hides in question are still scraps from the leather tannery industry, which have undergone such intense processing that one cannot help but question how “organic” the product is by the end of it all.

Nonorganic Collagen Products Are Likely CAFO-Derived

Another downside is the issue of contamination. For example, when ConsumerLab tested 11 popular collagen products, one was contaminated with the heavy metal cadmium, which disqualified it from being approved by the lab for use.6

In another case, the FDA announced that a company was recalling its collagen protein bites and bars due to a possible listeria contamination.7 In 2018 another recall was announced due to a possible milk — an allergen to some — contamination.8

While most agree that collagen can be helpful for certain health issues, a real concern is how to make sure the product you choose is safe, according to Dr. Mark Moyad, of the University of Michigan Medical Center, who told WebMD:9

“I think the elephant in the room here is safety. We are talking about ground-up fish, chicken, pig, and cow parts, and these parts tend to act as sponges for contaminants and heavy metals.”

Aside from the potential health concerns such contaminants might pose, CAFO products are problematic and best avoided for other reasons as well. Importantly, CAFO operations accelerate antibiotic resistance and contribute to severe environmental pollution.

The take-home message here is to be aware that nonorganic collagen supplements made either from cows or poultry are likely derived from CAFO byproducts, and if you make a point to avoid CAFO foods in general, you’d want to avoid these supplements as well, and opt for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic10 collagen supplements.

In this case, you may still want to avoid collagen derived from cow hides, though. In our quest for the highest-grade collagen, my research team visited many tanneries to see firsthand where the hides used to make collagen come from, and what we learned raised many important production questions. In the end, we decided not to source our collagen from cow hides.

Hide-Based Collagen Is a Byproduct of the Tannery Industry

Raw, newly skinned hides arrive to the tannery on large pallets, where they can remain to rot for weeks before being processed. Even though they’re salted, they’re not entirely preserved and the stench is overwhelming. The tannery process itself typically involves an acid bath and processing with harsh chemicals such as sulfuric acid or chromium salts.

Hides with scars and imperfections are discarded once they’ve gone through this processing, and these castoffs are what are used to make bovine hide-based collagen supplements. The already processed scraps then undergo additional processing to dissolve the hide and release the collagen peptides.

So, sure, the original raw hide may have come from an organically raised, grass fed cow, but after all that chemical processing, just how organic is the final product?

From my perspective, even organic collagen products, if derived from cow hides, have the potential to be problematic in terms of quality for this reason. Collagen products made from organic poultry or grass fed beef bone broth (which is typically dehydrated bone broth) would be safer options. Without a doubt, though, your best source of collagen is homemade broth made from grass fed beef bones or organic chicken feet.

The Many Benefits of Collagen

Assuming you have obtained a high-quality collagen source, how can it benefit your health? As detailed in “How to Boost Collagen for Better Skin,” collagen can help counteract dull, wrinkled, sagging skin11,12,13  and dry, brittle hair and nails, all of which are signs of aging that result from a loss of collagen. Its value is far from simply cosmetic, however. Health benefits provided by collagen supplementation also include:

Deeper sleep and serotonin release due to its glycine content14

Reduced joint pain and stiffness,15 including osteoarthritis pain16

Improved muscle building17

Improved wound healing18,19 and connective tissue repair (which also translates into more rapid workout recovery), as your body selectively takes collagen into stressed areas

Improved gut health and digestion, thanks to the presence of glycine20

Improved blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular damage21

Improved glucose tolerance22

Stronger bones23,24,25

Some of the benefits of collagen may also be attributable to the glycine it contains. Glycine is one of the three predominant amino acids that make up collagen.26

Glycine (and collagen, being a source of glycine) inhibits the consumption of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), thereby lowering inflammation and oxidative damage in your body.

NADPH is used as a reductive reservoir of electrons to recharge antioxidants once they become oxidized. It’s also necessary to make your steroid hormones and fats.

As discussed in this previous article about NADPH, glycine supplementation may be beneficial for the prevention and/or treatment of metabolic syndrome, complications from diabetes, cardiac hypertrophy, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver disorders.

Boosting Your Collagen Without Supplements

While taking a collagen supplement off the shelf may seem like the easiest way to get the collagen you need, it may not be the most ideal. It’s certainly not your only option. In fact, you may not even need a collagen supplement if you provide your body with the needed precursors and building blocks.27 Below are several ways to boost your collagen level in lieu of taking a supplement:

Making and consuming homemade bone broth, made from organic, pasture-raised poultry or grass fed and finished bovine bones and cartilage. Chicken feet are excellent for this, as chicken claws are particularly rich in collagen.28

Low-level laser light therapy has been shown to increase collagen production, thereby reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity.29

The antioxidant retinol (vitamin A1) increases the life span of collagen and blocks enzymes that destroy it. Food sources include beef and lamb liver, cod liver oil, herring, mackerel and wild caught Alaskan salmon.30,31

Ginseng, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has been found to increase collagen in the bloodstream and may have anti-aging benefits.32

Aloe vera, taken orally, nearly doubled hyaluronic acid and collagen production in study participants.33

Hyaluronic acid, an important compound for collagen in the skin, can be found in beans and root vegetables, or taken as a supplement. Hyaluronic acid has also been shown to improve skin moisture and suppleness and reduce wrinkles when added to the diet.34

Vitamin C boosts collagen production in your body by helping the amino acids lysine and proline convert to collagen.35 Since it plays an important role in collagen synthesis, your body’s natural collagen production will be impacted if your vitamin C level is low. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C include kiwi, oranges and other citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli.

Antioxidants enhance the effectiveness of existing collagen. Berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are good sources.

Garlic contains sulfur, a necessary component for collagen production, as well as lipoic acid and taurine, which help rebuild damaged collagen fibers.

Coca-Cola Launches Obesity Subscription Service

I have been writing for a long time about Coca-Cola Co.’s unethical marketing of its obesity-producing products, especially to children. For example, though Coca-Cola vowed to stop advertising directly to audiences that were composed of more than 35% children1 in the 200 countries and territories in which it operates,2 its promises were found to be false.

While it said it would stop advertising on children’s TV, Coke still advertises on family-oriented TV, at amusement and theme parks and in other child-rich venues, reported the Center for Science in the Public Interest.3 Coca-Cola also said it would cease using characters who strongly appeal to children under 12, yet it still uses its holiday polar bears4 to sell its products — even as I write this.

And there’s more, as the late-night ads say. Not content to just continue advertising to kids despite its vows, in December 2019, Coca-Cola North America debuted its “Insiders Club” — a whole new way to stick with Coke products.

Fattening Beverages Delivered Directly to Your Door

What is the Coca-Cola Insiders Club? It is a subscription service that gives “fans the opportunity to taste some of 20-plus new drinks launching in early 2020,” without having to wait for the new brands to hit the stores, says Coca-Cola North America.5,6

Members of the Insiders Club will receive a monthly shipment of new beverage brands ranging from flavored sparkling water to Coke Energy, along with “a few surprises and swag”7 for a small monthly fee.

To add urgency to joining the Insiders Club, Coca-Cola limited the number of subscribers who could join to 1,000 and the slots filled up in three hours.8 Latecomers who had been shut out were told they could join the waitlist.9

The Insiders Club is a cross between a loyalty program and an e-commerce subscription service. Coca-Cola says it got the idea of cultivating “loyalists” who want early access to a new product from the success of Coke Cinnamon. The subscription idea came from the success of meal kits and other items now sold through subscriptions.

It is a novel way to enjoy Coca-Cola products, where members can “enjoy the ease of having hand-picked products arrive on their doorstep, and the Christmas morning-like joy of opening up a mystery box each month,” Coke says of the new program.

But not everyone agrees about the “Christmas morning-like joy” the Insiders Club will bring. Posted comments that initially greeted the announcement included, “So you want me to pay you $10 a month to be a test rat for Type 2 diabetes?” and “Poisonous garbage … should be illegal for kids under 16.”10

Clearly, many realize the Coca-Cola Insiders Club is actually an Obesity Subscription Service. Shameless Coca-Cola strikes again.

Coca-Cola’s Hand in Scientific Research

When the Coca-Cola Co. was caught trying to secretly influence health and sugar science, it vowed greater transparency. Coca-Cola’s then chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent wrote a 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed that admitted the company had made mistakes in the way it:

“ … engaged the public health and scientific communities to tackle the global obesity epidemic that is plaguing our children, our families and our communities… I am disappointed that some actions we have taken to fund scientific research and health and well-being programs have only served to create more confusion and mistrust.”11

But articles that appeared in The BMJ12 and the Journal of Public Health Policy13 in 2019, using data obtained by the nonprofit consumer and public health watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), showed that Coca-Cola is still controlling research.

Despite lacking day-to-day control over research conducted with Louisiana State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Toronto and the University of Washington, Coke can still suppress unfavorable findings without even giving a reason. Responding to the revelations, Marion Nestle, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and public health at New York University, said the research:14

“ … demonstrates what we have all long suspected. Companies that sponsor research make sure that they get what they pay for. The study documents the involvement of Coca-Cola in many aspects of developing research projects.

It is no surprise that its funded research typically comes out with results that are useful for Coca-Cola marketing purposes. Industry funded research is marketing research, not scientific research.”

Coca-Cola’s Deceptions Continue

You would think with the exposure of Coca-Cola’s research and child advertising duplicity, the company would want to prevent further public embarrassment and tarnishing of its image. But more evidence of Coca-Cola playing fast and loose with the truth has surfaced.

A December 2019 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health analyzed Coca-Cola’s requests for proposals to public relations firms for its 2016 Rio Olympic Games and its 2013 to 2014 “Movement is Happiness” campaigns and found:15

” … Coke specifically targeted teenagers and their mothers as part of the two PR campaigns. Furthermore, Coke was explicit in its intentions to build allies, particularly with key media organisations, and to marginalise opposition.

This study highlights how PR campaigns by large food companies can be used as vehicles for marketing to children, and for corporate political activity.

Given the potential threats posed to populations’ health, the use of PR agencies by food companies warrants heightened scrutiny from the public-health community, and governments should explore policy action in this area.”

Even though a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2015 to 2016 found that 18.5% of U.S. kids ages 2 to 19 were obese, the goals of Coca-Cola’s Rio Olympic Games PR campaign “included trying to shift teens’ sense of the health impacts of drinking sugary soda,” reported The Washington Post.16

The tactics are reminiscent of another harmful product’s lobby, said Gary Ruskin of USRTK, a co-author of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health paper.17

“What’s insidious here is a health campaign that is using tobacco’s tactics, promoting alternative science in a way that advances the notion that sugary sodas aren’t really so bad for people’s health.”

Coca-Cola’s alternative science is an impediment to enacting effective policies to address the harm caused by sugary drinks, says Ruskin.18

“There’s a global effort from policymakers and public health people across the world trying to grasp the … effect of ultra-processed food on human health … It’s a weapon of mass destruction.”

Coca-Cola Influences Policy at the Highest Levels

USRTK also obtained emails exposing how Coca-Cola lobbied the CDC to advance its corporate objectives at the price of public health.19

After the World Health Organization published a new guideline that called sugary beverages a primary cause of global childhood obesity, a former Coca-Cola strategist lobbied a current CDC director to get a meeting with WHO decision makers to change their sugary drink guidelines. According to documents obtained by USRTK, and reported in The BMJ:20,21

“Barbara Bowman, former director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, agreed to try to help Alex Malaspina, a Coca-Cola strategist and former executive, to soften the World Health Organization’s stance on soft drinks …

… In 2014 Bowman, a former Coca-Cola employee, wrote in an email to Wamwari Waichungo, a Coca-Cola vice president, asking him to ‘please change to my personal email address.’ Bowman left the CDC in June 2017.”

A major and successful Coca-Cola goal is to portray obesity as mainly caused by a lack of exercise rather than excessive calories and therefore not the fault of soft drink makers.

To that end, Coca-Cola provides funding to universities and a wide spectrum of medical groups including the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American College of Cardiology and the American Academy of Pediatrics.22,23

It also contributes to the CDC itself, which accepts corporate donations through its CDC foundation.24,25 You can’t help but wonder if that is why Harvard Medical School/Partners in Health, a recipient of Coca-Cola funding, writes this about obesity:26

“Obesity results from energy imbalance: too many calories in, too few calories burned. A number of factors influence how many calories (or how much ‘energy’) people burn each day, among them, age, body size, and genes. But the most variable factor-and the most easily modified-is the amount of activity people get each day.”

Michael Pratt, who served as senior adviser for global health at the CDC, previously served as scientific adviser to ILSI North America, a group founded by Coca-Cola’s Malaspina.

Obesity Is a Childhood Scourge

Since the 1970s, obesity rates for children have tripled.27 Childhood obesity costs as much as $14 billion a year in direct health expenses but the real tragedy is what it does to the health of the children themselves. Here are some of the complications of obesity listed by the University of California San Francisco Children’s Hospital:28

Asthma — Overweight children are at risk of asthma.

Diabetes — Overweight children and adolescents are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Gallstones — The obese have a higher incidence of gallstones.

Heart Disease — Atherosclerosis, associated with high triglyceride levels, can develop in obese children.

High Blood Pressure — Overweight children are more likely to have high blood pressure, which can strain the heart.

Liver Problems — Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a liver problem, is more common in the obese.

Menstrual Problems — Obesity often brings on early puberty and can contribute to uterine fibroids and menstrual irregularities in later life.

Trouble Sleeping — Obstructive sleep apnea, a serious, potentially life-threatening breathing disorder, is more common in overweight children.

It is not just American children who are at risk. Big Food, of which Coca-Cola is a leader, is increasingly eyeing poor countries as markets for their soft drinks and junk and processed foods.

In addition to the many diseases soft drinks and junk food invite, Big Food also supplants the subsistence and indigenous agriculture of developing countries by introducing GMO crops and the toxic chemicals that accompany them, such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Coca-Cola’s Expansionism Continues

From its sneaky advertising to children and bought research, to its aggressively promulgated fiction that lack of exercise alone, and not sugary drinks, causes obesity, Coca-Cola has earned a permanent place in the Big Food hall of shame. Yet, undaunted, Coca-Cola is continuing its aggressive expansionism with its Obesity Subscription Service, otherwise known as its Insiders Club.

GaiaPortal 12-31-19… “Portals of “New Beginnings” for Gaia open and are traversed by the Higher Vibrationals”

Certainly this GaiaPortal, coming at this moment, just prior to the 1-1-20, is “right on” for this time.

Segue” has this definition: “To move smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, condition, situation, or element to another”. And this points to pathways for “rising up” via “smoothed out” routes.

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Portals of “New Beginnings” for Gaia open and are traversed by the Higher Vibrationals

Portals of “New Beginnings” for Gaia open and are traversed by the Higher Vibrationals.

Segue-ways assist in the transitions.

Partners of Light engage the depths.

Storms of revelation come.

Earned? Or Unearned?


By Anna Von Reitz

I get all sorts of distressed messages from Senior Citizens worried that if they exercise their right to declare their proper political status as Americans, they will lose Social Security payments or Military pensions or Military health care services.

There are a number of key questions only you can answer, and the primary question is — were your particular retirement payments earned by you or by your spouse (or in some cases your parent) — or are they “unearned” welfare benefits? 

To qualify for earned benefits under the Social Security program, someone has to have worked and contributed to the Federal Pension Plan for forty quarters — a period of ten years — after which, they became “vested” in the program and have a legal claim against the program and against the “governmental services corporation” sponsoring it. 

If you (or your spouse) didn’t work and contributed to Social Security for at least ten years, you are not vested in the program and any payments you receive are welfare “benefits”. 

The difference between “earned program dividends” and “benefits” is crucial for one reason — if you or your spouse (or parent) vested in the system and earned the payments and services you are receiving, this represents a Priority Obligation of the corporation in back of all this.  If, however, nobody actually paid in for the required ten years, and you are receiving Social Security as welfare benefits —- “benefits” are a gift; and, the corporation isn’t obligated to pay out gifts. It can stop doing so at any time and you have no recourse.

So the first thing to determine is — are your payments earned or unearned?

If they are earned the rats are on the hook for it, and you need to inform them that your “program receipts” are not welfare “benefits” — they are earned program dividends and you object to their attempt to mischaracterize them as welfare.  You (or your spouse or your parent) earned every penny of funds and services you receive. 

You can live anywhere and adopt any political status you please and the corporation is still on the hook for it.

If they are not earned, you are a Federal Welfare Recipient, and you are stuck maintaining “US Citizenship” as a result.  You are also advised that such “benefits” can stop at any time for any reason, because they are essentially gifts that are made without obligation, similar to promises to provide “Equal Civil Rights” to “US Citizens”. 

What the foreign corporations provide, the foreign corporations can take away— except when it is a contractual commercial obligation.

So— are your Social Security payments earned or unearned? 

Same thing with Military Pensions and Services, though it is a given that you “earned” at least part of anything you receive by virtue of your military service, there may be some aspects of what you receive that have been added on as “gifts” — and those extras might disappear at any time for the same reasons outlined above.

All basic military and dependent pensions and services are earned by definition and you should never allow a bureaucrat to mischaracterize the funds or the services as “benefits”—- which implies “welfare benefits”. 

You earned more than they can ever pay you, and certainly more than you are getting, so don’t be shy about it.  If there is any question about whether a particular payment or service is earned or a “gift” — ask. 

Generally speaking, if there are any limitations or eligibility requirements, it is an “earned” payment or service.  Such limitations or eligibility requirements might include Honorable Discharge, service in a particular theater of action, or service during a particular time period, or length of service, and so on.

Unearned “gifts” amounting to welfare have to be generally available without restriction to all members of a population, so if you are not “charged” anything in terms of service requirements or funds, and everyone is eligible for it, its a gift.

In recent years, some pharmaceutical companies have provided certain drugs to the military for free and the military has passed these on to patients for free. This is not exactly typical, but it is common enough so that if you are in receipt of “free” drugs that are not part of the standard military program, you may be receiving these drugs as a welfare benefit or gift from the pharmaceutical companies.  

That does not enable the military to claim that your program receipts are “benefits” overall and the removal of such “benefits” would be limited to loss of access to those drugs for free via military subcontractors. 

You can regain access to the same drugs, same deal, same pharmaceutical companies, via a private physician– so that this should not in any way endanger your claim to earned pensions and service-related medical care.

It’s just something to be aware of, in case the Vermin among us attempt to mischaracterize your military pension and medical services as “benefits” in general, and you need to pull rank and address these specious claims based on your receipt of gifts from pharmaceutical companies or similar emoluments.

My point is that your basic military pension and service-related medical services remain in the “earned” category and remain owed and stand as an obligation of the governmental services corporations, regardless of whether or not you receive any sidebar “gifts” in addition.

Finally, and this is key to remember — all such “Federal” retirement programs are being delivered by large corporations, so that your pensions are actually not being delivered by any government directly.  This means that all the same principles apply to such pensions as to, for example, a pension from General Electric, Inc. or Ford Motor Company, Inc.

They continue to owe you earned pension funds and services no matter what political status you adopt and no matter where you choose to live on Earth.

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See this article and over 2100 others on Anna’s website here: www.annavonreitz.com

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