Saturday, August 30


Vegan Diet Reduces Risk of Arthritis, Heart Attack and Stroke is the headline for this report on a small study that found that "eating a vegan, gluten-free diet may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in rheumatoid arthritis patients, as well as reducing the severity of the disease." So the headline may be a tiny bit overblown, as the gluten factor wasn't controlled for separately. But on the other side, I find it interesting that those on the non-vegan diet were eating the same carb-fat-protein ratio. That should knock the whole "it's the fat" excuse down a bit.

Thursday, August 28


Hey, remember the largest meat recall in US History? The one caused by a couple of rogue slaughterhouse employees who were skirting the rules?

The main guy says he'd been abusing downer cows "had been going on for 23 years and "nobody ever complained or disciplined him for the manner in which he did it."

Many additional interesting details in the story. Give it a read.

Wednesday, August 27


It's no revelation, but this new study puts its data points in good, media-friendly sound-bite form:

"Giving up meat could drastically reduce your carbon footprint, with meat-eaters' diets responsible for almost twice the emissions of those of vegetarians, a German study said on Tuesday. A diet with meat is responsible for producing in a year the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a mid-sized car 4,758 kilometres (2,956 miles), the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOeW) said. [PDF of study]

"But the food a vegetarian consumes in 12 months is responsible for generating the same emissions as driving 2,427 kilometres. Going vegan -- giving up meat and dairy products -- would cut the emissions released in making what you eat more than seven-fold, to the equivalent of driving 629 kilometres."

Some great international headlines:

  • Going vegan the way to reduce carbon footprint
  • 'The Cow Is a Climate Bomb'
  • Meat-eaters, the end is nigh

    Too bad that as of this writing the story has apparently not seen the light of day in any US media outlet. Shocking, huh?

    RELATED: Just prior to this study, E Magazine came out with a cover story on the topic: The Meat of the Matter:
    Our Livestock Industry Creates More Greenhouse Gas than Transportation Does

  • Tuesday, August 26


    As usual, I find this animal-behavior study a little suspect, in that behavior that could be instinctual for evolutionary reasons (keeping the entire clan alive rather than just yourself would increase chances for population expansion) is considered only as an analog of a human mental process. BUT: That said, this is still cool:

    "Monkeys can experience the joy of giving in much the same way as humans do, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. Tests in capuchin monkeys showed the animals consistently chose to share food with another monkey if given the option, suggesting they are capable of empathy, the team at the Yerkes Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta found."

    "They seem to care for the welfare of those they know," Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes, said in a statement.


    Yet another for the pile of studies showing health benefits:

    "Antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables such as oranges, carrots and broccoli can reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer of the larynx, oesophagus, cervix and lungs... The study by Edith Cowan University nutritionists found that people who ate two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables a day could cut their risk of developing a range of cancers, heart and blood vessel disease, metabolic syndrome, and bone disease.

    The researchers said while some of the protection against common diseases came from the weight loss associated with diets high in fruit and vegetables, there was now good evidence that phytochemicals and vitamins such as A, C and E in fresh produce had their own powerful antioxidant effects."

    I thought there was already "good evidence," but I guess now the evidence is even better.


    "A University of Guelph study published Thursday said 25 percent of fish sold in Toronto and New York are mislabeled. The university study isn't based on fish tales, but DNA analysis. According to the samples analyzed by the university, tuna was actually tilapia, halibut was hake, and red snapper was sold as lavender jobfish, Labrador redfish, perch or cod."

    Gosh, I wonder why they don't have this problem with plums, lettuce or bananas?

    Monday, August 25


    I'm not going to try to catch up on every recall from the past month, but a couple notable ones...

    First, this recall was still going on through mid- to late August, with even Whole Foods getting dinged for handling the potentially E.coli-tainted meat.

    Then just after I left Canada there was this huge Maple Leaf recall of 220 deli-meat products, which has resulted in sicknesses and deaths and, of course, a class-action lawsuit. Gee, it would be a shame for that meat producer to go the way of Topps, wouldn't it?


    I was on vacation for a couple weeks there, but took a longer vacation from blogging, what with preparing for the big 50th Vegcast (more on this later). Anyway, I'll try to catch up on the most important developments over the past month or so, but feel free to write in with any I've missed.