Category Archives: nutrition

Roundup of Tidbits

  • The USDA is paying dead farmers $1.1 billion!

    For 1999 through 2005, USDA paid $1.1 billion in farm payments in the names of 172,801 deceased individuals (either as an individual recipient or as a member of an entity). Of this total, 40 percent went to those who had been dead for 3 or more years, and 19 percent to those dead for 7 or more years.

  • The Farm Bill is up for House vote today. It will reach the Senate in September.
  • This is just strange. And funny. Airport security seized a “dense clay-like substance” – a block of cheese!
  • This makes me embarassed to live in California. Obesity is in a never-ending downward spiral.
  • Another nutritious bar reaching the market. Vegan, organic, and raw! No wonder it’s named he Raw Organic Food Bar.
  • Killer whales are the most poluted European arctic mammal. Just more proof that the animal rights movement and the environmental sustainability movement are interconnected beyond belief.
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Learn Something New Every Day: Hugo, Pelosi, and more

Now, I know that I’ve been doing a lot of linking posts lately, and by default not enough original posts. Well, rest assured, I am planning a series of Vegan Nutrition 101 posts. It’s basically going to be the absolute basics of what every vegan (or vegetarian…..or omni) should know. Anywho, these are a few things to keep your mind busy in the meantime.

  • While organics are on the rise we all still know how expensive they can be. SmartMoney’s Keli Grant has five ideas for finding cheaper organics. My personal favorite: Local farmers. Who would’a thunk?
  • The Farm Bill is up for vote this week, which Nancy Pelosi is “very proud” of. It would send millions to corn, cotton, and a few other major crops. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert on the subject, but that just doesn’t sound right. Muchless, something to be “very pround” of. Rep. Ron Kind has promised to ammend (or rather, correct) the bill. All ammendments must be submitted by the 24th, Tuesday.
  • A vegetarian restaurant in Brooklyn, Counter, is serving up fruity cocktails for dinner. As one customer said, “I drank my dinner a couple of times. I’m kind of proud of that… [made with] muddled cucumber. That’s a vegetable, right?” The cocktails are full of anioxidants, vegetable purees, and vitamins. And, supposedly, don’t leave you with a hangover. So, go ahead, drink up, just don’t lie to yourself; Cucumber is not a vegetable!
  • This makes me sick to my stomach. The sizzle of decaying flesh is just the frosting on the cake.
  • Another species saved from extinction! The El Segundo blue butterfly is alive an kicking in Southern California. The species was entered to the endangered species list in 1976.
  • Another reason to hate McDonalds. They have been attempting to change their image by cutting out the supersize menu and adding salads, fruit, etc. Their latest addition is the 42 oz “Hugo” drink. Full of regular soda, it contains 410 calories (the equivalent of a small meal.) Drink 5, and you’ve had your share of energy intake for the day. Am I the only one that is reminded of Hugo on Lost?
  • Castleberry Food is recalling it’s chili and dog food after finding the meat was contaminated with botulism. What? Humans are eating the same meat as their pets? Not much of a suprize, but at least they are spreading disease evenly throughout the animal kingdom.
  • Genetically modified rice has been on our shelves since 2001. Constmerist reports,

    Six years ago, Avenits Crop Science introduced Liberty Link, a transgenic rice strain resistant to Liberty, an Aventis weed killer. The Liberty Link experiment ended abruptly when StarLink – a transgenic corn strain made by Aventis that was approved only for use in animal feed, not for human consumption – was found in Kraft taco shells.

    In 2006 Liberty Link was found in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, and Louisiana in products such ar Budweiser and Uncle Ben’s. Up until this point the mutant rice was not approved by the FDA, but faced with the decision to recall massive amounts of rice, and rice containing products, they instead opted to approve it, without testing.

    Their reasoning? The mutant rice was similar to mutant corn and canola that hadn’t yet harmed American consumers.


In the U.S., there ae about 5.2 million Jews, 15 % of which keep strict kosher. What is becoming more popular though is the eco-kosher diet. According to Grist,

Its followers seek nourishment that not only adheres to traditional Jewish dietary laws, but is also local, organic, sustainable, and humane.

A label will soon be generated to make it easier for those looking to support processors with these ethical values. This segment of the diet will include roughly 100,000 items which may have substantial positive effects on the environment.

Childhood Obesity

Recent studies have shown that government spending on nutrition education, over $1 billion, is having little to no effect on childhood obesity. 57 programs have been reviewed and only four showed any real success.

Since the 1970’s, rates of obesity in children ages 6 to 11 have quintupled while rates of teens and children ages 2 to 5 have tripled.

One thing that is for sure is that the power is held by the parents. Parents not only set examples for their children but also contribute to their kids’ taste buds. Women, while pregnant, will pass on their tastes to their kids. What’s more, unless children are taught healthy habits before puberty those habits can be significantly harder to change. No one listens to a hypocrite, muchless kids, so set an example, be healthy, be happy, and live long.

Learn Something New Every Day

Tid-bits I found interesting from the latest issue of VegNews:

  • Spain has developed a new way of attaining foie gras without force feeding ducks. The birds naturally gorge on food before their winter migratory cycle. The foie gras “artisans” as they are called, then kill the ducks at their heaviest point. Since there is no force feeding in this method, the official foie gras ban, which is supposed to take full effect in California in 2012, can be side stepped. Don’t celebrate our victory yet!
  • The Humane Society recently discoverd that clothing labed as faux fur may actually be dog fur. Cothing sold by Tommy Hilfiger, Andrew Marc, Michael Kors, and others were mislabeled when made with domestic dog or Asiatic racoon dog fur (use of dog and cat fur is illegal in the U.S.) 25 coats were tested, 24 of which were mislabeled.
  • Wolfgang Puck has stopped serving foie gras in all of his restaurants and will, by the end of the year, no longer be using battery-cage eggs, or veal or pork from crated animals. He will also adapt a progressive animal-welfare plan (Happy Meat.) If he cares about the animals, why not try vegan, or even vegetarian restaurants?
  • The meat in pet food is there becuase they had no where else to put it. The animal parts unfit for human consumption (esophagus, udders, intestines, cancerous animal parts, etc.) are in your dog’s food. There’s more: euthanized animals, such as dogs, are in there, too. Think, mad dog disease. If it’s not good enough for you, it’s no good enough for your dog.

Beefy Sperm Count

A study published in Human Reproduction found that pregnant women consuming beef may be impacting the fertility of their sons. 400 men and their mothers were studied. Women who ate beef 7 times a week while pregnant produced male children with a sperm count rought 25% lower than average and 3 times the risk for fertility problems. This may be caused by the pesticides, hormones, etc. in meat.

Yet another reason to stay away from dead and rotting flesh.

More Eyes on Organics

In addition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, food suppliers can now have there products certified organic by an independent third party. Quality Assurance International (QAI), based in San Diego, requires that, “food must be grown without synthetic pesticides or bioengineered genes. Livestock cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones, and must be given access to the outdoors.” Also, the organic foods are not allowed to make contact with non-organic foods.

A shift is slowly taking place in which organics are no longer shoved into a “hippy corner” of supermarkets. With this additional organic certification, organics are becoming more and more mainstream