Saturday, December 7


If you buy "dolphin-safe tuna," thinking you're being so eco-correct, think again. It turns out that at least 3,000 dolphins are killed yearly by fishing in eastern tropical Pacific alone according to a Commerce Department report. Word is the Bush administration doesn't want to publicly release the report because that would undermine the government's attempt to help Mexico and other countries label their tuna as "dolphin-safe." So think again, and again, if you think fish is a thoughtful entree.

Friday, December 6


Maybe the company isn't at death's door, but individual stores are certainly seeing some heated debate. I told you how some workers were fed up with global anti-McDonald's sentiment and were fighting back, assaulting customers in New Zealand. The next phase, it seems, is to put razor blades into pies in New Orleans - to teach people to keep their mouths shut, I guess. But these violence breeds violence, and soon came word that another McDonald's has been firebombed, killing three. Not to be outdone, McDonald's itself blew up its own restaurant (via faulty air conditioning - or so they say), injuring 17 people. It's gotten so bad that Mickey D's is now pulling out of Bolivia for good, and the article on this mentions the chain "will be survived by Burger King." Gosh - survived? Isn't that the kind of language you use when something's... er... dying? No wonder CEO Greenberg decided to bail the hell out of this fiasco. Who can blame 'im?
UPDATE 12/12: Forget Bolivia - will Japan be next? McDonald's profits there just fell an unprecedented 95 percent!


In this article on nutrition research, it's mentioned that "study after study links lifelong diets high in plant foods to lower cancer rates." So what do our nutrition leaders do with that knowledge of how the whole diet affects the metabolism? Tell people to eat lifelong diets high in plant foods? Of course not! The answer is to launch yet another study focusing on specific nutrients as if they operated in a vacuum! Meanwhile, a more comprehensive study found that a plant-based diet reduces cholesterol dramatically, possibly eliminating the need for cholesterol-lowering drugs. Heh heh - I can't wait to see what the pharmaceutical companies find to throw at this.

Sunday, December 1


This is a point I've been making myself for a while by juxtaposing news stories, and this study is far from definitive, but I thought it was worth linking to the first appearance I've seen of the basic concept spelled out for all to see: The mercury found in fish may counteract the benefits of omega3 fatty acids on the heart. In other words, no matter how heart-healthy fishes' Omega-3 fatty acids are, the mercury most fish has in it is that unhealthy and more. The story also claims that "warning(s) on mercury exposure should not be confined to high-risk groups like pregnant women, or those of child-bearing age who may become pregnant, as previously thought."
ALSO: This LA Times story on the devestation caused by salmon farming puts another ugly gouge in fish's "healthy" or "small-footprint" patina.


I don't usually post news reports relating to animal tests, given all the problems there are with that industry - both ethical and pragmatic - but I'll make an exception here because of the gravity of this news, and because it's centered on the animals themselves: It turns out that more people may have the human form of mad cow disease than previously thought - that is, people who have "ordinary" or "sporadic" CJD may be among those whose illness was caused by BSE. Previously only "new variant" CJD cases, which don't occur as frequently, were linked. The agent of this increase is sheep. And worse, a recent attempt to protect sheep from BSE failed miserably as a "resistant" sheep contracted mad cow disease in laboratory tests. The scientist who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for nailing down how prions work is now saying every person in Britain should be tested for CJD and every cow and sheep in the country should be tested for BSE, and stresses that "eating meat may still pose a serious health risk." These developments show how little we understand these diseases and how imperative it is that we eliminate their breeding grounds immediately, i.e. modern animal agriculture. Although that won't happen anytime soon, it may be hastened by more people wising up and staying away from sheep, beef and other likely agents for this deadly illness.