Friday, October 8


It's already a cliche - "It's not what you eat, but how much." Well, certainly eating one hamburger a day is better than eating ten hamburgers a day. But to a great extent, yes, it is what you eat, as a NYT article from a couple days ago explains. And guess what: If you base your eating around sensible plant foods, you can eat more food without adding calories! "People tend to eat a consistent weight of food," says Dr. Barbara J. Rolls, a professor of behavioral health at Penn State. The article continues: "When consuming a calorie-dense food high in fat, people are likely to eat more calories just to get in a satisfying amount of food. What increases food volume without adding calories? You guessed it. Water. And what foods naturally contain the most water? You got that right too. Fruits and vegetables. 'People given the message to eat more fruits and vegetables lost significantly more weight than those told to eat less fat,' Dr. Rolls said." So go ahead and eat MORE, not less, as long as you're eating good food instead of crap.

Thursday, October 7


That's overstating the correlation a little - there are some animal fats (some fish, for example) that are unsaturated, and a couple plant fats (tropical oils) that are saturated, but let's be realistic: If you want to reduce your gallstone risk on a day-to-day basis, replace your animal fats with plant fats. That's certainly a valid reading of this 14-year study of more than 45,000 men. It found that "those who ate the most unsaturated fats -- the kind generally found in vegetables, rather than meat -- were 18 percent less likely to develop gallstones than men with the lowest unsaturated fat intake, according to the report, published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine."

Wednesday, October 6


The Jack LaLanne story seems to be older than even he is, but that's just because we've seen it so often, every year on his birthday as he gets older and older and is still seemingly fit. Now that he's hit ninety, remember two of his key fitness tips: #6 - Don't eat at McDonalds (paraphrased), and especially #7 -"You've got to get at least five or six raw vegetables every day of your life. You've got to get at least four or five pieces of fresh fruit every day of your life. And you've got to eat whole grains."

Tuesday, October 5


I love it when breaking political news intersects with our Meat Facts mission. The man chosen as Executive Director of the CIA has now pulled his name from consideration after a Washington Post report that "in late 1981, [Michael] Kostiw was caught shoplifting a $2.13 package of bacon from a supermarket in Langley, according to two former CIA officials familiar with the incident." At the time, the Post notes, Kostiw had been a CIA case officer for 10 years. And while we're on this story, what the heck does this mean: "In a CIA polygraph test, Kostiw's responses to questions about the incident and his past tours abroad led agency officials to place him on administrative leave for several weeks..." Um, am I the only one who finds that phrase "and his past tours abroad" intriguing? He was lying about the CIA work he'd been doing? I guess anything's possible if you're hooked on meat.

Monday, October 4


CBC News is reporting that the Canada's May 2003 mad cow "was turned into feed and may have been mistakenly fed to other cows." The Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered that cattle at a number of farms were eating feed intended only for pigs and chickens - feed that may contain the rendered remains of the diseased cow. Fortunately, "in response to the CBC report, the federal agriculture minister said rules banning the use of cow brain, eyes and backbone in all animal feed would soon be published." Whew. Does all this sound familiar? Does anyone seriously believe our own USDA is somehow more on the ball than this? And do we have any assurance that the Mad Cow feed, or a cow that had eaten it, didn't cross the border?


OK, this is over in England, but it's still a pretty stunning development: McDonald's is hooking up with the Vegetarian Society in Britain, adding "Quorn burgers, yogurt, bagels and fruit toast to McDonald's menus" in an attempt to forestall its economic tailspin. The Vegetarian Society "is said to have gone to great lengths to ensure the production of the new options did not involve meat in any way." Good, but unless that's soy yogurt (doubtful), they didn't pres to make 'em all vegan. Baby steps, baby steps... right?

UPDATE 10/11: It's not just over in England any more: "In a nod to the growing number of vegetarians - and sensing a moneymaking opportunity," McDonald's has introduced the McVeggie Burger at 50 locations in New York City. The chain has previously test-marketed the McVeggie in smaller markets and in California, but Manhattan is a big step. If it can make it there, it'll make it anywhere, or so they say.