Saturday, April 16


"State health officials Friday warned women of childbearing age and children younger than 15 to not eat most fish caught in the Adirondacks and Catskills -- the most expansive warning ever in New York -- because of mercury contamination. The warning says young women and children should avoid eating northern pike, pickerel, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and larger yellow perch," says this Times-Union story. Pretty damn sweeping prohibition - note that "young children" used to mean infants and toddlers; now it's anyone under 15. Getting the message yet, folks?

Friday, April 15


Contrary to previous claims from the dairy industry, new study findings show that "downing lots of dairy food appears to do little in the short term for young women's waistlines," according to this Reuters story. But remember, no new study will deny that dairy is chockful of IGF-I. Mmmmmm, hormonerrific.

Thursday, April 14


"Eating beans or lentils at least twice a week may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer," says this Food Navigator write-up of a study in the International Journal of Cancer. The data comes from 90,630 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study II. So it's not just your heart, after all, that beans are good for. (Via Vegan Porn)

Wednesday, April 13


This is a first, at least in my experience: An article on the benefits of Omega-3s that gives double billing to a plant food along with fish. More on the fish thing below, but another attention-grabbing thing is that it's not flax or flax oil, but soy oil that's touted for its Omega-3-based heart-healthiness. First I've heard of that... but I don't get out much.

As to the fish itself, once again, it does contain beneficial substances, but usually pretty significant harmful ones as well, in the same place - the oily fat - unlike plant sources of this same beneficial fat. And the relative benefits of the Mediterranean diet - as well as fish consumption in general - couldn't come as much from the inclusion of fish as they do from the exclusion of even worse animal products, and the inclusion of whole plant foods. That's because despite the wide variety in our diets and attendant health, the per-capita fish consumption of the US and Italy (where it seems all Mediterranean-diet stories are based) is practically the same: They eat 23 kg of fish per capita, we eat 21 kg. You're not going to tell me the health benefits of that diet are locatedin the 2-kg difference, are you? Let's not kid ourselves: It's cutting out as much meat and dairy as possible that brings you the life-extending goodness.

NOTE: I got the per-capita numbers from two different sources, as I couldn't find one page on the Web that compared them for the same time period side-by-side. If you know of such a page with more exact information, please feel free to pass it along.

Tuesday, April 12


I'm sure it's just a meaningless coincidence, but it happens that "a three-time Iditarod musher has been found guilty of animal cruelty after officers found some of his dogs dehydrated and so emaciated that their spines and hip bones showed." How ironic, right, that his hobby involved what some wild-eyed activists termed as cruelty? Bizarre.

Monday, April 11


"Antibiotic-resistant bacteria [campylobacter] continued to be found in chickens bought at [Baltimore] area supermarkets a year after two large poultry producers stopped using an antibiotic blamed for creating the resistant strains, Johns Hopkins researchers report. The researchers say the findings suggest antibiotic-resistant bacteria may persist in the poultry industry after the use of the antibiotics, known as fluoroquinolones, has stopped and may contaminate more poultry than previously thought." Great. So for the foreseeable future, our entire population has to live with a threat created by short-sighted meat producers, while Perdue, Tyson and their ilk pay absolutely nothing for unleashing this scourge on us.


"A scientist and former inspector for the U.S Department of Agriculture says he is willing to take a lie detector test to back his charge that the United States is covering up mad-cow disease. Lester Friedlander, now a consumer advocate, was fired from his job as head of inspections at a large meat-packing plant in Philadelphia in 1995 after criticizing what he called unsafe practices. Mr. Friedlander said U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarians sent suspect cow brains to private laboratories, which confirmed they were infected with mad cow disease. Samples from the same animals, however, were cleared by government labs. He would not reveal the names of the veterinarians, saying in an interview that they still work for the agriculture department and would be fired if identified."

Interesting. Friedlander was quoted a lot by Steve Mitchell last year, but not to the extent of this allegation. It will be interesting to see if he can back this up with anything, though.

UPDATE 4/13: Wow. Two other USDA scientists, one retired and the other apparently still on the job, tell a very similar story of bad and/or suspicious testing - dating back to 1997. Still no one else coming forward to confirm the spiked positive test, though. I gotta say, love how Canada is going after this like a pitbull, as it would "prove" the US really was the cause of Mad Cow in North America after all. Fascinating stuff.