Sourcing Health Locally 2018

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Sourcing Health Locally

  “A Conference Collaboration of The Suppers Programs and NOFA-NJ”

Sunday, September 16, 2018
8:45 AM – 2:30 PM (Registration $48)
Suzanne Patterson Center, Princeton
45 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Sourcing Health Locally gathers doctors, farmers and eaters in a forum to examine key questions that relate to both health care and agricultural practices. The catastrophic rise in potentially avoidable illness — from autism to Alzheimer’s, diabetes to heart disease, depression to mental illness — relates to changes in our environment and what and how we eat. The solutions lie in close collaborations among the people who grow our food (and our immune systems), prevention-oriented health care practitioners, and us eaters who have the power to choose delicious, whole, real food. Participants will come away with a practical understanding of how to avoid inflammatory diseases and prevent and reverse endocrine disruption, cognitive losses and dementia.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of NJ and The Suppers Programs partner to provide these workshops. The science will be presented in terms manageable for lay people. The solutions will manifest in the form of absolutely delicious, mostly locally sourced food – the food that heals.



TimeMainRoom 1/2Room 5
8:45 AM – 9:15 AMRegistration and Refreshments
9:15 AM – 9:30 AMIntroductory Remarks: Dor Mullen, The Suppers Programs, Adrian Hyde, NOFA-NJ, and Howard Hindin, DDS
9:30 AM – 10:20 AMKate Thomsen, MD, “Chronic Disease is Environmental Disease”
10:30 AM – 11:20 AMKathleen DiChiara, FDN-P, “Secret Ingredients”
11:30 AM – 12:30 PMLunch
12:30 PM – 1:20 PMAfternoon 1: Adi Benito, MD, “Endocrine Disruption”Breakout: John Paul Learn, Mandala Farm, “Perennial Gardens”Breakout: Lee Yonish, Foundation for Airway Health, “Breathing, Sleeping and Nutrition”
1:30 PM – 2:20 PMAfternoon 2: Amy O’Donnell, MD, “Preserving Cognitive Function”Practitioners’ Roundtable: Airway Health, Sleep and NutritionBreakout: Joseph Heckman, PhD, Rutgers University, “Reasons for Real Organic Food and Farming”

Workshop Descriptions (click items for details)

Kate Thomsen MD, MPH, ABOIM highlights current research on the health effects of electrosmog, glyphosate, aluminum, non-organic food, and mineral depleted soils. The consequences for our health, especially gut health, predispose us to a wide range of chronic diseases and mental health challenges. Healthy resources and solutions will be discussed, including collaborations among consumers and our local heroes in the health care and food systems.

Kate Thomsen worked as an environmentalist prior to becoming a physician. This influenced her interpretation of health as an ecosystem right from the start. She is trained in Family Medicine, Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She has been practicing Functional Medicine for over 20 years. Her office is located in Pennington, NJ. For more information see

Kathleen DiChiara and her family were like most families in America. Despite their best effort to live a healthy lifestyle – exercising and ‘eating right’ – they were suffering in silence with a myriad of chronic illnesses. It wasn’t until Kathleen had to face her own health crisis did she realize what was happening.

Kathleen was enjoying a successful career in investor relations with a Fortune 500 company when she developed a case of sudden-onset neuropathy in her leg. She underwent back surgery for a compressed nerve and suffered serious complications. This cascaded into a number of complex disorders including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and more, which eventually led to permanent disability. Her three children were also struggling with conditions from eczema to developmental learning disorders. In search for answers, they went to countless doctors and specialists – ultimately, they were still left “managing” their conditions with medications and therapies.

When Kathleen showed signs of vision loss and was told she may be in the early stages of multiple sclerosis, she took matters into her own hands. Kathleen began doing her own research on disease and learning about how nutrition affects the body. She started experimenting in the kitchen and eventually discovered the hidden contaminants in their diet that were keeping them in a perpetual cycle of illness. Kathleen’s and her family’s journey back to health, served as inspiration for her entry into the field of nutrition and holistic health.

As a nutrition educator and researcher, Kathleen has dedicated her work to increasing the public’s knowledge about the connection between nutrition and patterns of disease. Her practices aim to address the health of the whole by taking into account the physiology and biochemistry of the human body and our connection to our Nature. In addition to her training as a Functional Nutrition Practitioner, Kathleen is a Certified Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach and a Bio-individual Nutrition Practitioner with specialized training in the biochemistry and individualized diets for autism, allergies, autoimmune, and other chronic conditions. In 2014 Kathleen became a best-selling author with her first book, The Hidden Connection, and will soon release her next book Resilience: A Simple Guide to Cultivating Health with Hay House in 2019.

Her incredible story of recovery and hope is featured in the award-winning documentary film Secret Ingredients (

Topping the list of serious health effects from conventional agricultural practices is endocrine disruption. It can be linked to thyroid disease, obesity, diabetes, and reproductive woes. Effective treatment includes unloading the toxic burden that comes into our homes in our food and sourcing food organically to restore function to our glands and organs. Prevention is key, and we will review where those disruptors hide, useful tips to avoid them, and then tips to combat the effects of these endocrine disruptors on our hormones and metabolism.

Perennial Gardens for Better Health and Vitality

Perennial Gardens provide pathways to a more resilient life and environment. Do you want to grow ‘superfoods’ in your own garden? Many perennial fruits, nuts, vegetables, and herbs that we can grow ourselves offer us incredible nutrient density and health benefits.  In this workshop, you will learn to successfully and easily cultivate perennial crops that can grow in our local bioregion.  Many of these foods are some of the most expensive we will find for sale. Others are not available in any stores or farmers markets anywhere.  By investing a small amount of our time and sweat equity, we can save on our financial expenses and self-empower a more active lifestyle that supports our health and offers the benefit of nutrient dense harvests for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

With all individuals looking for solutions to the systemic illness we are experiencing as a society, we owe it to ourselves to make our own personal health the priority in our life.  Proactive solutions can lie in our backyard within arm’s reach. In this engaging and practical discussion, we will learn some of the highest value, easiest grown perennial plants that will thrive in our region.  We will talk about their habitats, their establishment, and their care.

Breathing, Sleeping & Nutrition

What do organic farming and nutritious food have to do with breathing and sleeping? Well, almost everything. In this breakout session, Lee Yonish will draw upon her youngest son’s personal story to present how nutrient-dense foods impact one’s facial development and therefore his/her airway, breathing, sleeping, behavior, and overall health. She will explain why it took over a dozen practitioners and years of appointments to learn about her son’s “obstructed airway” and what it was doing to his health. Lee will also discuss ways to determine, and what you can do, if you or someone in your family is suffering from the consequences of an obstructed airway (it’s more common than you think). Finally, she will share the wisdom and resources she’s picked up along this fascinating journey.

Preserving Cognitive Function: An Introduction to the Bredesen Protocol

Following last year’s keynote, during which we were introduced to the Bredesen Protocol and The End of Alzheimer’s, we asked Amy O’Donnell, MD – a neurologist and good friend of Suppers — to provide a protocol overview.  She will speak from the point of view of both a conventionally trained neurologist and an organic mom.  Huge numbers of pharmaceutical studies have focused on a single target and have failed to show any clinical improvement in Alzheimer’s.  Many of our modern diseases can be improved by proper diet, exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction.  She will talk about the diet and lifestyle interventions described in Dr. Bredesen book, starting with her appointment with a functional medicine doctor and a three-week experiment on the ketogenic diet.

Lee Yonish, Adi Benito, MD, and Howard Hindin, DDS of the Foundation for Airway Health will lead a discussion among airway/sleep/nutrition practitioners and take questions from the audience.

Participants also will include Subooha Zafar, MD of the Capital Health Center for Sleep Medicine and Naomi Hillel, DMD, pediatric dentist.


Reasons for Real Organic Food and Farming

Eating is said to be an agricultural act. Current trends show that what people want to eat is placing new demands on the agricultural industrial complex. There are questions and concerns about fresh locally grown vs imported foods, organic vs conventional, hydroponic vs grown in living soil, livestock in confinement or raised outside on pasture, raw dairy vs pasteurized, and of course pesticide residues. Food isn’t just food: farming practices matter.

Joseph Heckman, Ph.D. Professor of Soil Science, Rutgers University, teaches courses in Soil Fertility, and Organic Crop Production.  He conducts research and extension programs on optimizing nutrition and soil quality in support of plant, animal, and human health. Dr. Heckman has authored numerous publications on soil fertility and organic farming.  He was the lead author of a chapter on Soil Fertility in Organic Farming for American Society Agronomy book entitled Ecology of Organic Farming Systems.  He is co-author of books on Fresh Milk Production, The Cow Edition and Fresh Milk Production, The Goat Edition.  Most recently he published an analysis of the raw milk movement: Securing fresh food from fertile soil, challenges to the organic and raw milk movements.