Saturday, January 12


A new study has found that eating meat increases breast cancer risk up to a whopping 23 percent, echoing previous studies by finding a correlation in the disease with total meat (lower), with red meat (higher) and processed meats like sausage and baloney (highest). It now seems this connection is beyond dispute, but I'm sure the meat industry and its meat-swilling patsies in the media will find a way to keep it "an open question."

Tuesday, January 8


Like meat, cows' milk can be unhealthy - deadly, even - for humans either in a long-term way or more immediately. Here are two stories reflecting those tendencies, making the case pretty definitively that anyone who considers milk a "health food" needs to wake up and smell the data.

Long-term: Nonfat milk linked to prostate cancer, announces Reuters, referring to two studies that found "the amount of calcium and vitamin D in the diet appears to have little or no impact on the risk of prostate cancer, but the consumption of low-fat or nonfat milk may increase the risk."

The buried lede here is that prostate cancer has long been pegged as tied to dietary fat, but here it's the lower-fat varieties of this substance that are the more dangerous - just as many vegan doctors and researchers have predicted for years. "Skim milk was linked with advanced prostate cancer," the story reports, citing a result common to both studies. "Calcium from non-dairy food, by contrast, was tied to a reduced risk of non-advanced prostate cancer."

Immediate: Third person dies from bad milk is the head for this report on a listeria outbreak tied to a dairy in Massachusetts, a reminder that milk is a product that eminates from an animal's hind end, and as with meat, this can cause problems.

Let's be clear: These three deaths, while tragic, are pretty extreme cases for milk; they're outliers in the overall context. But look at the kind of coverage they've gotten (virtually nill, outside Massachusetts) and compare it to the apocalyptic national hysteria generated by every death that can be taken to have anything to do with veganism. By the standards of Nina Planck and her ilk, these three deaths prove that all cow's milk should be withdrawn from the market immediately, if not before!

UPDATE 1/9: Add to the casualty total a woman who contracted listeriosis from milk and recovered but suffered a miscarriage. And enjoy the standard of fine journalism practiced by the Associated Press in the opening paragraph: "Customers like [Whittier Farms milk] products because they are a hormone-free taste of old New England." Amazing! Alone in the world, this one dairy has somehow figured out how to produce cows' milk for sale that contains no hormones! Someone should look into this - maybe it was that new, secret process that somehow introduced the listeria.


One of the highlights for Philly vegetariana in 2007 was a weekend visit by Dan Piraro (for the Veggie Cabaret), whom I had the chance to drag around town to various noteworthy locations. Dan's a genuinely funny, genuinely committed vegan who, oh yeah, also draws a widely seen and much loved comic called Bizarro. He's now started a blog on Blogger, so check it out and give him a big bloggy welcome!

Monday, January 7


Usually I'm here to tell you about recalls that you didn't hear about (due to the USDA's canny strategy in playing the media timing game) but this time, since I missed blogging all of December, neither of us heard about them. And it looks like I missed some November ones as well. Please note that I'm not excluding non-meat recalls for this period - that's all there is:

  • November 15: 98,000 pounds of frozen sausage roll products - Listeria
  • November 24: 95,927 pounds of ground beef products - E. coli
  • December 6: 990 pounds of beef and chicken products - undeclared milk (most common food allergy) and soy
  • December 10: 98,772 pounds of liver sausage - undeclared milk
  • December 17: 102 pounds of hamburger patties and bulk ground beef - E. coli
  • December 25: 88 pounds of beef patty product - Listeria

    And, finally, the one I just heard about, which was announced Saturday (ahem)...

  • January 5: 13,150 pounds of steaks and ground beef products - E. coli

    Yeah, Atkins can raise your health risk within a month - if you're lucky, that is, and don't happen to get one of these batches.


    I know it's beating the proverbial dead horse, but a lot of misguided people continue to try to find nourishment in said dead horse, so it's worth noting that a team of medical scientists found that the Atkins diet raises your heart-attack risk after only one month. The lead researcher asked rhetorically, "Why not start out with a diet that will be healthier for you in the long run after weight loss?" (Hmmmm... maybe because institutions like the New York Times give Atkins cultists like Gary Taubes platforms to spout their pro-meat wishful thinking unfettered by facts about health and nutrition? Just a guess.)