Friday, September 12


Pennsylvania's Agricultural Secretary, Dennis C. Wolff, is lobbying the USDA to put butter back in the nation's school-lunch program. Why? Because it would help PA dairy farmers, including Dennis C. Wolff. Starting from the minimal point that margarine has trans fats, Wolff tries to argue that butter is more nutritious, listing trace elements that can be found in it, but copiously avoiding mentioning saturated fat (or trans fats, which are also in butter, but in lesser amounts). Wolff even admits that the nutritional differences between butter and margarine are minimal. "But having said that," he asked, "why not use butter?" Gosh, why not? Maybe because unlike vegetable oil, we have to steal it from a calf? Maybe because we don't need it? Maybe because we might want to take a stand for once against corporate profiteers-cum-politicians warping children's diets in order to make a buck for themselves and their cronies? Hard to say.

Thursday, September 11


Experts in the UK have identified a new "killer strain" of E.coli - Escherichia coli 026 - that isn't picked up in current tests and "could soon be posing a serious public health threat." (via vegan porn) And on the other end, a new study shows that children who survive food poisoning from E.coli-contaminated meat can suffer from kidney problems for the rest of their lives. Another reason to avoid crappy food.

Wednesday, September 10


From the sun-rises-in-the-east dept: "The likelihood of developing heart disease is indeed lower [between 10 and 15 percent] with a diet high in fiber, especially water-soluble fiber, according to a study in the latest issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, published by the American Medical Association. Here's a page with some tips on where to get fiber, but I can simplify it for you: PLANT FOODS. One more time - all plant foods have fiber, zero animal foods have fiber.


"Cow-Calf farmers fear they are next BSE victims" whines CBC Saskatchewan. Awww - those poor, poor victims. "Not being able to sell out cows and our yearlings in the summer time," Mervin Stoll says. "That market is gone and we're not going to be able to get it back." Stop! I'm already crying over your inability to sell out calves and yearlings! But the story goes on to report that "Stoll's neighbour Kevin Mercer says if the government doesn't act soon, the future of the cattle industry in Saskatchewan is at risk." So, see, there is an upside after all.

Tuesday, September 9


Just when you thought it was safe to listen to health officials - the ones who said SARS was dead & buried a couple months ago, comes news that hey! SARS is back! And in case you missed it when it was only informed speculation, it's now official: SARS came to us from overcrowded food animals. Keep that in mind if this wave is anything like the last one.


I guess this shows how far I've drifted from the mainstream - I can't figure out whether this animation is supposed to be funny - to the general public - or a consciousness-raiser. 'Cause for me, it's neither. The "joke," if it is that, is pretty apparent from the first snapshot, and it just draaaaags on and on while you wait for the obvious punchline. But it's so cheesily done that I can't see it melting any hearts either. Is it me? Someone care to clue me in? (via Everlasting Blort)

Monday, September 8


As another example of how the most extreme tactics to get a message across may not always carry the day, here's a Washington Post article about a supposedly kinder, gentler approach by Compassion Over Killing. If nothing else, the group has a hook that's gotten them this major coverage, exposing WP readers to facts they wouldn't otherwise encounter. And generating great quotes like the one from this egg producer, who says banning cages would only drive up the cost of eggs. "Do they weigh the animal's life, which is genetically designed to be in that environment to lay eggs, do they weigh that at a greater importance than the opportunity of someone to go out and buy cheap food?" I love it when they spell out job one like that.