Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eating unwashed fruit is better than eating junk food...

According to a report in the Huffington Post...check it out!

Of course, this raises the larger issue of pesticides in agriculture...which is really what the piece is about!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Help save a grass-fed bison farm in California

It's always hard to buck the trends and I've just learned about the Linder's organic, grass-fed bison farm  near Mt. Lassen in northern California.  They've been selling their natural bison at LA Farmer's Market but unless they get some outside financial help, they'll be forced to cull their herd.  The trouble is that their well broke and shipping in hay to feed their bison is prohibitively expensive. They are risking the loss of their herd and farm.  The story's and their request for help is here:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/water-for-bison--3


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mark Bittman on chicken and salmonella...

I think Mark rants a bit but hey, if Sweden can sell salmonella-free chicken it's certainly possible if we want to do it and this raises a very good question about who is in charge of our food safety and security...a really good dinner party conversation topic!


CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER

Should You Eat Chicken?


I tell this friend about the latest salmonella outbreak, and she asks me, “Should I stop eating chicken?”

It’s a good question. In recent weeks, salmonella on chicken has officially sickened more than 300 people (the Centers for Disease Control says there are 25 illnesses for every one reported, so maybe 7,500) and hospitalized more than 40 percent of them, in part because antibiotics aren’t working. Industry’s reaction has been predictably disappointing: the chicken from the processors in question — Foster Farms — is still being shipped into the market. Regulators’ responses have been limited: the same chicken in question is still being sold.
Until the Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) of the Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) can get its act together and start assuring us that chicken is safe, I’d be wary.

Read the rest at the New York Times.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

prions from veggies?

This just in from the American Society of Mammalogists' newsletter...

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to be a Vegetarian!
  

Prions similar to those that cause chronic wasting disease can be taken up from the soil by plants such as corn, alfalfa, and tomatoes.  The plants can then be infectious to lab mice.  The findings from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin document a new potential pathway for exposure to this fatal brain disease.  Spread of CWD has previously been shown via direct contact with infected deer and contaminated soil.  
***

One more reason why we need to take care of our animals.  Chronic Wasting Disease has been hypothesized to jump to wild animals from captively-housed animals in excessively high density conditions...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The deleterious effects of 'big food' on our health

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:
         
The Pulse: Facts You Need from Experts You Trust                     


It's no secret--the American diet of unhealthy, processed foods is killing us. More than 725,000 Americans die from heart disease and stroke each year. We can shrink this number through healthy eating, but we need our government working for--not against--us. Our new report, The $11 Trillion Reward, shows just how damaging current U.S. food policy is--favoring cheap, processed foods over fresh fruits and veggies--and what we can do to improve it. 

Check out the new report:

Read the Pulse in full online: 

Considering a ban on deep sea trawling

An excellent essay in Nature by Les Watling points out the damage caused by deep sea trawling and challenges key industry claims that trawling can be managed.  The take-home message:  avoid buying seafood harvested by trawling.

"Trawling the bottom of the ocean, dragging heavy metal equipment along the seabed at high speed, is the most destructive form of deep-sea fishing in the world. The fishing industry loves it because it is very effective. But it is indiscriminate and leaves behind a trail of devastation.

This month, the European Union (EU) is scheduled to vote on a proposed ban on deep-sea bottom trawling. If passed, the ban would be the first of its kind, although it would build on existing prohibitions on trawling in shallower water. It could give the seas some breathing space and fish stocks a chance to recover."

Friday, August 23, 2013

Looks like a fun read!

From The Economist:
Economics and eating


THE dismal science has been getting a makeover. Long associated with the abstruse art of mathematical modelling, economics has become the discipline of choice to explain all sorts of phenomena, from human decision-making to the mysteries of the housing market. Economists such as Steven Levitt have been making their fortunes by grappling with real-world problems in books such as “Freakonomics”. Tyler Cowen, a professor at George Mason University with a widely read economics blog called “Marginal Revolution”, joins the crowd with a book on food, now out in paperback.