Special Efforts

NPI and UKB Community Food Project

NPI & UKB Community Food Project Narrative (USDA Grant Application)

Title: Organic Foods, with High Polyphenolics Content, to Reduce Diabetic Amputations

The specific community to be served consists of 9,548 Kituwa Indians scattered over a 14 county area of NE Oklahoma. These Kituwas are members of the United Keetoowah Band (UKB) of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. The Kituwas formed as a confederation of communities (circa 1750), in the area of Bryson City, North Carolina, and slowly migrated west to escape European influence. Kituwas consider themselves full bloods and “Old Settlers” in Oklahoma. On 03 Oct 1950, the Kituwas ratified the Constitution, Bylaws, and Federal Corporate Charter that allowed the UKB to create its tribal government in Oklahoma. In 1968, Chief W.W. Keeler, of the Cherokee Nation, initiated legal action that resulted in the Kituwas being locked out of their offices.

This dispute was over whom could best represent the Cherokee people. Since that time, the Kituwas have had a long struggle to survive and recover as a distinct tribal entity. In the 1990s, the UKB began to strengthen their tribal government, and by 1997 they were receiving federal grants to facilitate land purchases, housing development, as well as construction of a community center and a bingo hall. In brief, the community to be served consists of some 3,000 impoverished Kituwas who are members of the UKB and reside in individual homes or on small farms scattered throughout NE Oklahoma.

1a) Needs to be addressed include poverty, food security, health, strengthening the UKB’s infrastructure development, and finding long-term solutions to several other problems. More than 30 percent of Kituwas are considered impoverished, and about 24 percent receive some type of “food aid.” Local hospitals and clinics report that over half of Cherokee patients (including UKB) are being treated for diabetes and complications of diabetes. The Chronic Disease Service, in Oklahoma, estimates that diabetes among the Cherokee peoples (including Kituwas) is increasing 01 % annually. The number of diabetic amputations is also increasing, and at an average cost of $63,000 each, this one problem alone could bankrupt the UKB. As a relatively new government entity, the UKB needs to strengthen its infrastructure to develop the capability to provide for the needs of the Kituwas. Priority long-term solutions needed include food security, microenterprise development to create jobs, and greater self-sufficiency.

The critical elements of the local food system are based on the fact that available food is mostly high-fat, low-nutrient, and non-traditional foods often containing hormones, antibiotics, assorted chemicals, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) all believed (by medical experts) to contribute to the very serious diabetes epidemic among Native Americans. These indigenous populations lived for thousands of years on a diet of traditional, natural foods containing none of the above additives. Moreover, natural or organic foods are known to contain 58 percent more polyphenolics ---and polyphenolics are known to lower stress and help protect against diseases as well as reducing harmful effects of diseases. These latter facts were documented by research at the University of California, Davis. Since NE Oklahoma is Ozark Hills with poor soils, the food system needs more innovative aquaculture, aquaponics, algalculture, and unique crop/ livestock systems ---to greatly enhance food security and increase income for many impoverished UKB farm families. Although the Kituwas represent only 01 percent of the population in NE Oklahoma, we assume the examples and successes of subject project will result in replication by a mixture of Cherokee, Whites, Hispanics, and a few African- American families and farmers, in the area.

Organizations involved in the project include: a) Needful Provision, Inc. (NPI), a 501(c)(3) charity, has over 8 (eight) years of experience in planning and developing unique community food security/ biosecurity projects with indigenous populations --and has a current food security effort in Russia; b) The UKB tribal government has developed a capability to provide health services and “food aid” for the Kituwas, and they are now starting a community garden project to help provide the poor with fresh, organic foods; c) A UKB Farmer Organization being formed by Go Back Sanders, the Community Garden Director for the UKB; d) Preparedness Systems Intl., Inc. (PSI), a for-profit company that manufactures and markets biosecurity products for gardens and farms; e) The National Testing Lab, a lab that conducts 95 tests to establish the purity of water to help guarantee purity for organic foods produced; f) Oklahoma State University Soils Lab to determine the content of soils used in organic food production; g) Limb Salvage Intl., Inc. (LSI), a 501(c)(3) organization specializing in the prevention of diabetic amputations among local Native American populations; h) Oaks Mission School to assist in the planning of an organic school lunch program; i) AquaRanch Industries to provide support in constructing aquaculture, aquaponics, and algalculture facilities; and j) The University of Arkansas will undertake the program evaluation for subject project. Many Kituwas, and their families, will participate in the community garden and individual family gardens, as well as creating edible landscaping around their homes. This community participation is confirmed via a letter from the UKB Tribal Council. WIC and providers of other types of “food aid” will perform appropriate roles as a supplement to project efforts to provide food to poor Kituwas.

Project goals and purposes are as follows based upon a one-time infusion of Federal assistance to: a) Increase food security in the UKB community using community food gardens, family gardens, edible landscaping, and improving small farm production using sustainable, organic means; b) Meet the healthful food needs of low-income Kituwas, with an emphasis on providing foods high in polyphenolics to those known to have diabetes or a high threat of diabetes; c) Provide food self-reliance by extensive local production distributed by a UKB farmers market, and a unique UKB “farm-to-consumer” marketing handbook, “food aid,” and organic school lunch programs; d) Promotion and teaching of techniques to increase production of organic foods high in the polyphenolics needed to reduce rates of diabetes; e) Teaching resource conservation, alternative energy, carbon sequestration, and microenterprise creation (with value-added product innovation) as related to increasing farm income for UKB farmers ---and help meet national goals for each; f) Infrastructure types of development and improvement for the UKB; g) Increased planning to meet future food needs for poor Kituwas; h) Development of specialized techniques to make food more accessible for low-income consumers (Kituwas and others in the community); i) Act to make the project self-sustaining, while providing Kituwas with new job skills; j) Make the project easily replicable for other areas; and k) Evaluate and report results achieved for the project and each aspect of the project, starting with the reduction in numbers of diabetic amputations among Kituwas (a project priority). (Polyphenolics occurs naturally in foods, and the level of polyphenolics is much higher in organic foods.)

Activities to achieve subject goals include a series of specific actions. To wit: Kituwas who have volunteered to participate in the project, including Kituwa farmers, will be trained in all aspects of sustainable, organic food production at NPI’s 50-acre training farm in the Rocky Ford area of Cherokee County, Oklahoma --- in the center of UKB territory. This training will include gardening, sunspace production, aquaculture, aquaponics, algalculture, carbon sequestration crop production, sustainable crop/ livestock systems, biosecure food production techniques, and creation of value- added products. NPI’s staff will assist each Kituwa with organic food production plans and startup, and sources of possible startup funding will be identified as may be needed.

The National Testing Lab will conduct water tests, and the Oklahoma State University Soils Lab will conduct soils tests, to identify any potential hazards for organic food production by Kituwa participants. UKB staff members will conduct a survey of the Kituwas to determine those low-income individuals and families having food needs, and determine the pre- project means of meeting or not meeting those food needs. At the same time, this survey will update medical records for those low-income Kituwa with diabetes or a high threat of diabetes.

Using the above survey information, the UKB staff will determine the names and contact information for the low-income Kituwa having the greatest need for fresh, organic foods high in polyphenolics. The UKB will then direct its “food aid” to these individuals and families using fresh, organic foods purchased from Kituwa farmers participating in subject project. In addition, these low-income Kituwa will receive the support needed to help start their own organic food production to help reduce overall program costs.

The UKB staff will work with Limb Salvage Intl., Inc. (LSI) in finding Kituwa volunteers with diabetes and a high risk of diabetic amputation. These Kituwa volunteers will be provided a diet of locally produced, traditional, organic foods tested to establish a high level of polyphenolics. Over a period of 2-years, the medical records of these volunteers will be compared to another control group of volunteers who elected to retain their current diets without the fresh, organic foods. At the end of the 2- year period, LSI’s medical doctors will document the observed benefits as related to reduction of diabetic amputations.

Benefits of foods high in polyphenolics will be made known to the Kituwas, and locally produced fresh organic foods (high in polyphenolics) will be made readily available via a UKB Farmers Market, a UKB “farm-to-consumer” marketing handbook, “food aid” programs as noted above, and by planning of organic school lunch programs for schools where Kituwa children attend. During the 2-year project period, the initial food product for schools will be a “puffed” organic amaranth grain candy with an algal-polyphenolics supplement, and natural honey as a sweet. (This mix makes a very healthful candy similar to Rice Krispie treats.) Actual organic school lunch programs will take 3 to 4 years to develop due to the number of farmers required for sustained production of all the various foods needed. For low-income Kituwa farmers, NPI will offer an advanced program of instruction to teach resource conservation, biosecurity, development of alternative energy, use of carbon sequestration crops for income, and microenterprise creation based upon value-added products or other appropriate options. The major focus is on creating very meaningful self-employment and a reasonable income for Kituwa farmers. In addition, these efforts help to meet national objectives related to better resource management, reduced energy use, efficient carbon recovery, biosecurity, and economic development for rural areas of the U.S.

By extending and expanding the lines of communication between the UKB tribal government and the Kituwas, the UKB infrastructure will be improved. NPI will also provide the UKB’s staff with training materials on infrastructure development.

NPI will provide the UKB with planning guidelines as regards long- term program development for the food, health, enterprise, income, self-sufficiency, and other needs of the Kituwas residing in the project area.

Efforts will be undertaken to help convince the Congress and USDA to provide some cash, as part of the “food aid” program, so the UKB can have an increased capability to purchase fresh, organic foods for “food aid” for low-income Kituwas. This change is important because commodity foods now provided are generally high-fat and low-nutrient, while being low in polyphenolics.

Using a combination of organic food production, value-added products, microenterprise development, and market expansion, sufficient income is expected to sustain subject project over the long-term ---for the Kituwas, and the UKB. The many new job skills and self-employment means created will assist in this sustainability. If the project results in 45 low-income Kituwas achieving self-employment (thereby earning a good income), over $540,000 in annual welfare benefits will be saved. Added to this, the project expects to reduce the number of annual diabetic amputations (for the Kituwas) by not less than 10 persons. Thus, $630,000 in actual medical savings will be achieved by the UKB. The UKB will sell the public organic traditional foods, from their Community Garden Project. Sales of crayfish alone, a popular food for all Cherokee, are expected to provide over $90,000 in annual net income to help continue the UKB work to achieve and sustain community food security.

All aspects of the project will be designed to facilitate replication by other indigenous and rural populations throughout the U.S. A detailed implementation plan will be written to facilitate such replication.

The University of Arkansas will be responsible for a fully detailed, independent evaluation of subject project. A process evaluation will be used to measure progress towards achieving objectives. An outcome evaluation will be used to determine if objectives were met. Limb Salvage Intl., Inc. (LSI) will participate in the evaluation as regards medical examination of Kituwas with a high threat of diabetic amputations. LSI will make the best possible determination of the health benefits of a more traditional diet of fresh organic foods (foods high in polyphenolics).

Progress reporting, and a final project report, will be completed by NPI’s staff, with the help of “key” personnel from the UKB. Evaluation reporting shall be completed by NSU and LSI, as indicated above. The reporting format is as required by USDA.

The timeline is as indicated hereinafter for the 24-month project: a) Interview the low-income and diabetic Kituwas who have volunteered to participate in the project (2 mo.); b) Undertake training in all aspects of organic food production (4 mo.); c) Start and organize all community food productions systems for individuals, families, the UKB, and small farmers 3 mo.); d) Select low-income and diabetic Kituwas to receive fresh, organic “food aid,” and begin deliveries (2 mo.); e) Undertake medical exams for the Kituwas with a high threat of diabetic amputations (1 mo.); f) Develop and begin each of the proposed marketing systems needed to facilitate sale of foods produced in excess of individual, family, and “food aid” needs (4 mo.), g) Provide advance training as stated in paragraph G above (2 mo.); h) Plan organic school lunch programs, and introduce the Amaranth Krispie candy to school menus (1 mo.); i) Operate all aspects of the program for purposes of evaluation (6 mo.); j) Complete second medical exams, for the diabetic Kituwas, to determine health status of limbs after a year of eating fresh organic foods (1 mo.); and k) Complete evaluations and reporting requirements (2 mo.). (Some activities overlap, so the total timeline is still 24-months.)

Relationships to USDA’s program objectives are: a) Community-based; b) High probability of sustainability after one-time infusion of Federal assistance; c) Is designed to increase food security in a community; d) Helps to meet the food needs of low-income people; e) Increases self-reliance as regards the ability of the community to meet their own food needs; f) Provides very comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; g) Meets local, state, and national agriculture needs; h) Improves the infrastructure of a tribal government; i) Provides for long-term solutions for an array of local problems; j) Creates innovative marketing activities; and k) Is of mutual benefit to agricultural producers and low-income consumers. (See above details.)

Evaluation procedures will include process evaluations and outcome evaluations by the Univ. of Arkansas (UAR), acting as a Third Party observer. As required, UAR personnel will attend USDA evaluation training meetings, and will follow specific USDA guidelines for evaluation of community food projects. LSI’s staff will participate in the evaluation process only as regards medical evaluation of Kituwa volunteers having a high risk of diabetic amputations. (Further details were provided in paragraph M, above.) Evaluation design will be completed after USDA training. Janie S. Hipp, J.D., LL.M. the Natural Resources Specialist, at the University of Arkansas (UAR) shall plan and direct evaluation efforts. Dr. Juliet Burk, a diabetic amputations prevention specialist, at Limb Salvage Intl., Inc. (LSI) will have responsibility for determining if a diet of fresh, organic foods substantially lower the risk of diabetic amputations. (This initial research can be replicated, at a later date, to further confirm results.)

Self-Sustainability will be achieved by a one-time infusion of Federal funds in the amount of $125,000 per year for two years ($250,000 total). These funds will be used to provide the training, organization, infrastructure, and food production capabilities --as well as microenterprises-- will provide a sustainable supply of fresh organic foods and generate cash from the sales of foods and value-added products. In the U.S. demand for organic foods has increased more than 20 percent annually for the last decade, and there is a strong local demand for organic and traditional foods. Value-added products, to be sold, includes Amaranth Krispies and similar organic food items. Primary revenue sources, for the UKB, will be the traditional foods (such as crayfish) produced and sold to the 67,000 Cherokee who reside in NE Oklahoma. These traditional foods are high-dollar and high-demand types of food made even more desirable if fresh, organic, and produced locally by other Cherokee (including Kituwas). In brief, the Federal funds help to make self-sustainability possible.

“Key” Personnel include: a) Project Director and President of NPI, David A. Nuttle, who has over four decades of experience with community food projects, for local or indigenous populations, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East as well as the U.S. Nuttle has a farming background, a BS in Agriculture, and 63 inventions related to sustainable agriculture; b) NPI’s COO, Charles A. Gourd, Ph.D., a Kituwa who is a specialist in technology transfer (to indigenous populations) for community food projects; c) Karen M. Lees, NPI’s Training Director, who has an MS in Special Education plus 25 years experience in developing and instructing special programs to teach an array of subjects to include community food projects; and d) Go Back Sanders, an experienced and excellent Kituwa farmer, who directs the UKB Community Garden Project ---and the Acting Director of the UKB Farmers Organization. (Additional details follow.) Budget, Match and Justification: The project budget is $750,000 over a 2-year period, with USDA providing $250,000 in grant funding. Budget details, and the Budget Narrative are included herewith. USDA requires a 1 : 1 match, and that match is documented in the form of in-kind contributions from NPI. These NPI contributions are based on use of a 50-acre organic gardening/ food production facility, and a series of unique training models located thereon. But primary in-kind value is in the sub-license, at no cost to the Kituwas, of NPI’s proprietary (patented) organic food production technology such as U.S. Patent No. 5,121,708, by David A. Nuttle, inventor. These various patents have a fair market value of not less than $27 million.

Given the fact that NPI’s contribution greatly exceeds match requirement, only limited documentation is provided on the UKB’s added in-kind contribution of $250,000. USDA’s annual grant of $125,000 (x 2-years) is to be expended as follows: a) Data collection & administration = $12,500; b) Project evaluation = $12,500; c) Development and training activities = $55,000; d) Water & soil tests, organic fertilizers, tools, and seeds = $22,000; e) Food distribution and marketing efforts = $23,000. Given the number of project activities, and contributions to USDA’s program objectives, USDA’s grant contribution of $250,000 over 2-years (for this project) is well justified. If algal-polyphenolics prove to be very effective in reducing the rate of diabetes, and/or minimizing the damages from diabetes, a multi-billion dollar benefit could be realized as a result of the herein proposed community food project. Polyphenolics may also provide a defense against bioterrorism. The basis of claims for polyphenolics are as follows: In 1979, medical researchers discovered what is now known as the “French Paradox.” The basis of this discovery is that wine consumption is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Additional research established that this effect is from the polyphenolics contained in grapes.

U.S. Patent No. 4,698,360 covers a method for preventing the harmful effect of free radicals in humans ---with polyphenolics being the method of prevention.

Recent research at the University of California, Davis, established that organic foods contain 58 percent more polyphenolics than non-organic foods. In addition, this research indicated that polyphenolics may provide a “defense” against most diseases as well as reducing damages for persons with diseases.

Extensive research by Polyphenolics, Inc. (a company in Madera, California) has conducted and sponsored extensive research on polyphenolics. Results indicate that: the polyphenolics have an antioxidant capacity superior to Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene; have a synergistic effect with Vitamins C and E; reduces LDL (bad cholesterol); may be effective in reducing blood pressure; and remain active in the blood for hours after it has been taken. The ancient Aztec and Inca civilizations made a practice of harvesting wild algae, algae that was then sun dried before being crushed and added to typical bread flour and soups. Insofar as can be determined from ancient records, these populations were very healthy until after foreign missionaries demanded that they discontinue eating algae.

Microalgae is known to be very high in polyphenolics. Two tribes in Africa, and three Native American tribes were known to harvest and consume wild algae. The tribes in Africa continue this algal eating practice, and they are known to be far healthier than their tribal neighbors. (Algal proteins, vitamins, and minerals also contribute to benefits.)

Both grapes and microalgae contain anthocyanins (pigments) now proven to have positive health benefits. (Anthocyanins & polyphenolics together produce more benefits.)

There is considerable evidence of a very positive synergistic relationship when algal-polyphenolics are combined with the squalene lipids found in Grain Amaranth.