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11_04_02: Clean Food, Democracy, Irradiated Meat & Potatoes

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  • Mark Sutton
    This is a re-send... Yahoo cut off the bottom sections of the first send. Don t know why... Best, Mark ... HOWDY! Welcome to the 11th Issue of the MadCowboy
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 4, 2002
      This is a re-send... Yahoo cut off the bottom sections of the first send.
      Don't know why... Best, Mark

      HOWDY! Welcome to the 11th Issue of the MadCowboy e-Newsletter.

      This issue: new pix from filming the Documentary and the Vegetarian
      Society of DC's VegFest, a Weeping Elephant, an elephant signs a petition,
      200+ potato recipes, an unusual week of "irradiated announcements," and an
      article about "Why Vegetarians should be Concerned about Food Irradiation."

      Also, new factoids, a useful website that gets 10 million hits a month,
      and a link to "Online Tools to Make Use of Democracy" that will help guide
      and/or motivate you to get out and VOTE!

      Welcome to our new subscribers! At the end of the newsletter you'll find a
      website address for checking out our back issues.

      Best to all... Mark (Editor, MadCowboy Newsletter)


      01: Quotes of Note
      02: Online Tools to Make Use of Democracy
      03: New Pix from Filming the Documentary
      04: Humor: "Fool Me Once"
      05: Pix of VSDC's VegFest 2002
      06: New Factoids: Diets (High Protein) + Fad Diet Links
      07: Potatoes! (History/Nutrition)
      08: 200+ Veg'n Potato Recipes!
      09: Articles: Irradiation, Obesity
      10: USDA (Food Safety) Dr. Elsa Murano's Background
      11: Irradiation Info Resources Online
      12: Safety/Recall Alerts Website
      13: Humor: Vegetarian Cuisine
      14: Howard's Schedule
      15: Last Issue's Questions Answered
      16: Elephant Signs Petition
      17: Donating to Filming MadCowboy Documentary
      18: Closing Thoughts

      *01: Quotes of Note
      "My general election campaign [in 1982 for Congress] was based on three
      basic themes: Clean Air, Clean Water, and Clean Food. We developed a
      coalition based not on political ideology but on the concern for theland we
      farmed, the air we breathed, and the water we drank.

      Montana's voters may not have been ready to support a campaign centered on
      organic farming, but they did -- and do -- have an abiding concern for the
      environment, and they understood intuitively when I made the point that
      family farming could restore the land that factory farming was destroying.

      I caught people's attention as a candidate who was a factory farmer taking
      the side of the family farmers. I wasn't pointing a finger at someone
      else; I was pointing at myself -- I had met the enemy and it was me.

      I believed then and I believe now that family farms outght to be considered
      our greatest natural resource and that the fundamental healthfulness of our
      food and the long-term health of our economy are closed tied to their
      well-being." (Howard, in "Mad Cowboy," p. 75-6)

      *02: Online Tools to Make Use of Democracy
      A wonderful interactive compendium of links, information, stuff you can use
      to study the situation where you live, and following the election results:


      "It should be considered a patriotic act to turn off the tv, or at least
      turn down the volume every time a campaign or political ad is broadcast.
      Instead voters should rely mostly on independant groups such as the League
      of Women Voters to obtain information about candidates."

      (from the "NOW with Bill Moyers" Discussion Boards at the address above)

      Take the "Freedom of Speech" Quiz:

      *03: New Pix from Filming the Documentary
      Here's the next 50 digital images shot by Pat Fitzgerald of the film crew
      while in the USA:


      *04: Humor: "Fool Me Once"

      *05: Pictures of VSDC's VegFest 2002
      The Vegetarian Society of DC is the oldest vegetarian group in the U.S. (75
      years!). Howard is a member and your editor is a life member. The
      following pix were shot by the editor at the 10/26/02 VSDC VegFest at
      American Univ. Over 300 people attended.


      Pix/links of Note:

      Howard with Vesanto Melina, R.D.

      Vesanto's website (and info about her book "Becoming Vegan"):

      Dawn Montcrief (FARMUSA)


      *06: New Factoids: Diets (High Protein)
      There are over 280 referenced factoids on Food Borne Disease,
      Vegetarianism, the Environment, Human Health, and Animals Rights posted for
      people to use.

      30 new factoids on Human Health have been added:

      Two from the new batch:

      "[On high protein low carbohydrate diets] people lose weight, at least in
      the short term. But this is absolutely the worst diet you could imagine
      for long-term obesity, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. If you
      wanted to find one diet to ruin your helath, you couldn't find one worse
      than Atkins. We have 18 million diabetics in this country, 50 million
      people with high blood pressure. They can have kidney problems, and high
      protein intake will bring them on faster. The diet is thrombogenic:
      meaning that fat will tend to form lipid particles in your blood after
      meals, which could lead to blood clots, meaning heart attack or stroke. We
      worry about this, because many of the people who love these diets are men
      aged 40 t 50, who like their meat. They may be 5 years from their first
      heart attack. This couldn't be worse for them. Did you know that for 50%
      of men who die from heart attacks, the fatal attack is their first symptom?
      They will never know what this diet is doing to them." (James Anderson,
      M.D., Prof. of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Univ. of Kentucky School of

      "You can lose weight in lots of ways that aren't healthy. You can take
      chemotherapy or get cancer or AIDS or be an alcoholic and lose weight...
      The problem with high animal protein diets is that even if you can lose
      weight, you're mortgaging your health in the process." (Dean Ornish, M.D.,
      Prof. of Medicine, Univ. of Calif.; Founder and President, Preventive
      Medicine Research Institute)

      ** American Dietary Assoc.:
      "Fad Diets: What you may be missing:"

      ** American Institute for Cancer Research:
      "Fad Diets vs. Dietary Guidelines"

      *07: Potatoes!
      Howard just plain loves potatoes, and it's not clear if he likes them more
      than beans (but he loves beans and potatoes together). Often, Howard will
      bake several potatoes at the same time so he can pull them outta the 'frig
      when immediately needed.


      "Like garlic, tomatoes and onions, the potato came from South America, as
      did its cousin, the sweet potato. Sir Walter Raleigh brought some potatoes
      from the Caribbean in 1586 and planted them on his property near Cork in
      Ireland. By 1650 the potato had become the staple food of Ireland and was
      on the menu all over most of Europe.

      In France, however, the potato did not catch on. No grand French chef nor
      ordinary French housewife would countenance a potato in their kitchens. The
      country had a chronic problem with feeding all its citizens in the 1770s:
      remember Marie Antoinette's advice to the starving peasants to eat cake if
      they didn't have bread?

      A Paris pharmacist, Antoine Parmentier, saw the potato as a solution to the
      recurring famine problem, if only he could get the French to eat the
      despised tuber. Displaying remarkable marketing skills for his time, he
      planted a field of potatoes, posted armed guards round it and put up
      posters forbidding any but specially qualified chefs to prepare potato
      dishes and any but selected gourmets to eat them. In no time all his
      potatoes had been stolen and they were being cooked and eaten as fast as
      they could be grown. When Marie Antoinette was seen wearing potato flowers
      in her hair, that set the final seal of approval on the potato.

      Potatoes are important to a healthy diet; in themselves they are not
      fattening - it's when they are mashed with butter or fried in fat that the
      calories creep in. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and iron and
      also contain thiamine, riboflavin and potassium. Most of the vitamins and
      minerals are stored in or just below the skin, so potatoes cooked in their
      jackets or very lightly peeled are best."


      *08: 200+ Veg'n Potato Recipes
      (142 recipes, over 100 are vegan):

      (8 vegan Indian potato recipes):

      ("Potato Power"... more nutrtiional & historical info on the "papa" & 8
      vegan recipes):

      (10 vegan potato recipes and a ton of vegan recipes in general):

      (vegan scalloped potatoes):

      (vegan potatoes au gratin):

      (40 vegan & vegetarian potato recipes):

      *09: Articles: Irradiation, Obesity

      WASHDC (Reuters) - "The USDA said on Monday it would begin allowing imports
      of fruits and vegetables treated by irradiation, a technology used to kill
      bacteria and lengthen shelf life.

      Irradiation, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization,
      exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly
      organisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella. It has been approved by
      U.S. regulators for use with raw chicken and beef as well as spices and
      dried seasonings.

      Some green groups and environmentalists fear using high-energy radiation in
      food products could have harmful side effects for consumers.

      "This new USDA rule will allow us to expand our patented SureBeam
      technology into the major agricultural markets around the world," said
      Larry Oberkfell, president of the San Diego, California-based company."


      DES MOINES (Reuters) - (excerpted): "The head of food security of the USDA
      on Thursday said consumers should be wary of organically grown foods. "We
      must remember that bacteria and parasites are also all-natural," Elsa
      Murano, under secretary for food safety, said at the World Food Prize
      symposium that draws hundreds of researchers and government officials from
      around the globe.

      "Foods that have fewer or no preservatives can pose a challenge to
      consumers if they don't know what all-natural implies and how these foods
      should be handled and prepared."

      "As a microbiologist, I know that preservatives are used in foods for a
      reason ... to preserve food against the growth of microorganisms," Murano
      said during a question-answer session.

      "Perhaps there's not the evidence to show that one (method of growing food)
      is safer than the other .... When you don't have those preservatives, you
      have to be aware of the fact that that's going to cost you something," she

      "That's what I think is the challenge for the food industry, especially
      those folks who produce organic foods and all-natural foods and so forth,
      to make sure they produce them and process them in such a way that it will
      not reduce the safety of those products," she said.

      The organic industry is the fastest growing US agricultural sector,
      expanding by 20% annually. Sales of organic foods are expected to reach
      $11 billion in 2003, more than double the amount 5 years ago, according to
      the Organic Trade Organization. "


      WASHDC (Reuters) - "The USDA said on Friday it plans to allow irradiated
      meat to be served to millions of children in U.S. schools by the end of the
      year. Some 27 million schoolchildren receive free or low-cost meals daily
      in the program.

      "It's time for the USDA to acknowledge the food safety benefits of this
      technology and begin purchasing irradiated ground beef products for the
      nation's school children," said J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American
      Meat Institute, an industry group.

      The USDA buys large amounts of ground beef, vegetables and other foods from
      American farmers for the school lunch program.

      Barry Sackin, VP for the American School Food Service Assoc., said the
      industry supports irradiation... "Our concerns are public relations,"
      Sackin said. "We want to make sure communities don't lose confidence in the
      food being given to the school lunch program."

      Some green groups and environmentalists fear using high-energy radiation in
      food products could have harmful side effects for consumers. Public
      Citizen, a liberal Washington-based consumer advocacy group, said in a
      report released this week that animals fed irradiated food have suffered
      dozens of health problems, including internal bleeding and immune system

      Other consumer advocacy groups say the use of irradiation will mean meat
      companies will not be as careful about removing fecal material because it
      will be sterilized during the procedure. "

      (full article:


      WASHDC: "In continued efforts to combat the growing problem of obesity in
      America and encourage more physical activity, Agric. Secretary Ann M.
      Veneman announced today $2.5 million in grants and cooperative agreements
      for research on obesity, eating patterns, food choices and food assistance

      "We have a growing problem with obesity and lack of exercise in this
      nation and this Administration continues to examine ways in which we can
      work together to combat these challenges," said Veneman. "The aim of this
      research is to provide consumers additional information about these
      important health and nutrition issues."

      (excerpted from:


      BOSTON (Reuters Health) - "Prevention, not treatment, will help contain the
      growing epidemic of obesity among US children, according to speakers who
      addressed the topic here Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics'
      National Conference.

      "The problem is we are a very crisis-oriented society," Dr. Robert Murray
      of Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said at a press briefing.
      "Medicine is built this way," he added. "We wait for high cholesterol to
      develop and then we treat it. We wait for diabetes to develop and then we
      develop a drug to treat it.

      "Setting up a treatment model for obese kids won't work," he continued.
      "The new numbers show that one in three kids are at risk for becoming
      overweight and one in six is overweight, so we are losing ground at a very
      rapid rate."

      "Estimates show that the obesity epidemic will cost Americans $260 billion
      for treatment by 2010. "

      *10: USDA (Food Safety) Elsa Murano's Background
      Statement by Dr. Elsa Murano Under Secretary For Food Safety, USDA

      "Americans enjoy the safest, most wholesome food in the world, and this
      Administration is fully committed to continued improvements to protect
      public health through an enhanced food safety system for meat, poultry, and
      egg products. nput will continue to help us as additional improvements are

      (full press release:

      "Murano's research involves the effects of environmental stressors on
      survival, growth and virulence of food-borne pathogens; intervention
      strategies to improve safety of animal products; characterization and
      isolation and identification of emerging food-borne pathogens."

      (full release:

      (full bio:

      *11: Irradiation Info Resources Online

      Public Citizen: A Report, Fact Sheets, updated articles in 2002, etc.

      Public Citizen: Exec. Summary & references to studies of note.


      Organicconsumers.Org: "Why Vegetarians should Care about Food Irradiation"

      Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: nice summary of issues some studies, but
      dated: 1990

      *12: Safety/Recall Alerts Website
      10/29/02: WASHPOST (Don Oldenburg, p. C10): "Our mission is to distribute
      recall and product-hazard information to consumers on a nationwide basis

      SafetyAlerts' Web site gets 10 million hits a month -- up from 2.5 million
      a year ago. Almost 250,000 people have registered on-site to receive its
      e-mailed recall notices that, on the average, are sent four out of five


      *13: Humor: Vegetarian Cuisine

      (This cartoon will "disappear" in a few wks.)

      *14: Howard's Schedule
      NOV. 05: CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS < Univ. of Illinois - E-mail: mjberry@...

      NOV. 11: OXFORD, MISSIPPI < Univ. of Miss., 7:30pm - Spitfire Tour!
      NOV. 19: ITHACA, NEW YORK < 2:55pm to 410pm - Cornell University- E-mail:
      NOV. 24: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS < "Turkey-Free Thanksgiving" - Chicago
      Vegetarian Society

      *15: Last Issue's Question Answered!

      FIRST: Bruce Friedrich, Vegan Campaign Director for People for the Ethical
      Treatment of Animals (PETA), who recently produced a 67-minute CD called:
      "Veganism in a Nutshell" for $5.

      "Veganism in a Nutshell lays out the ethical argument for veganism in a
      short and accessible manner. With powerful analysis of the cruelty, human
      misery, environmental degradation, and health problems associated with meat
      production and consumption, Bruce makes the case that a vegan diet is the
      only acceptable choice for ethical people."

      Excerpted from Susan Roghair, editor of Animal Rights Online in her widely
      read Newsletter: at http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/1395/

      Order a copy today:
      http://petacatalog.com/peta/product.asp?dept%5Fid=14&pf%5Fid=AC170&mscssid=. To
      order multiple copies, e-mail: customerservice@...

      SECOND: the infamous "PETA Elephant". During protests, some 200 ornate
      donkey and elephant statues are kept at American Univ. (Wash. DC)... next
      to where VSDC's VegFest took place.


      08/29/02 (WASHDC) (Reuter's - Christina Ling): "A weeping circus elephant
      will join a "Party Animals" public street art exhibition in the U.S.
      capital after a judge this week ordered organizers to honor the free speech
      rights of the sculpture's animal rights sponsors.

      PETA and Washington's Commission on the Arts and Humanities clashed over
      the anti-circus message of PETA's pachyderm, decked out in performance
      finery with a tear rolling down its cheek.

      In a play on the age-old circus announcement, the blanket on its back
      reads, "The Circus Is Coming, See SHACKLES, BULLHOOKS, LONELINESS, All
      Under The 'Big Top'."

      PETA, which alleges that circuses routinely mistreat and abuse the
      elephants and other animals in their care, plans to attach a shackle to the
      creature's leg to underscore its message once it is installed in a
      prominent location.

      "We know that circuses do everything they can do in order to keep the
      suffering of animals hidden and we were certainly determined not to let the
      arts commission do the same thing to our elephant," said PETA legal counsel
      Matthew Penzer."

      (excerpted from:

      PETA's website about Circuses:

      *16: Elephant Signs Petition

      BERLIN (Reuters) - "A baby elephant in Germany has signed a petition to
      protect wild elephants around the world, an environmental protection group

      Sayang, who escaped elephant poachers in Borneo three years ago, signed the
      petition Wednesday by holding a paintbrush dipped in paint with her trunk,
      said a spokesman for NABU, an environmental protection group based in
      Germany's former capital Bonn.

      Sayang signed along with the president of NABU. The group plans to give the
      petition to a German delegation attending a conference in Chile next month
      on international trade in endangered species.

      "NABU hopes this symbolic union of man and beast will raise awareness of
      unregulated ivory trade," the spokesman said.
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