Howdy! Welcome to the 75th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter!
In this issue we are delighted to have a special yearly message from Howard, while the Mad Cow Info Round-Up section is quite busy on many fronts. Reading onward, there's news of interest regarding Mark's book, "Heart Healthy Pizza," new studies about eating more colors & cancer, diet and heart disease, ancient curry, and 3 top notch responses to the recent well-publicized (and widely misinterpreted) research on the Mediterranean Diet.
There's an analysis about how GMOs are affecting independent research, how a food product with Salmonella is only recalled if someone gets sick, the latest Monsanto legal challenge, information about how over half the farms in the US are subject to "superweeds," and an excerpt from the upcoming book, "Foodopoly." Learn, too, about the 1st major study of online Puppy Mills, how singer Morrissey is pushing veganism every which way, animal rights in Africa, and why vegan actor James Cromwell was recently arrested. Also, don't miss "One Grain More" in the Vegan Digital Media Theater.
... as always, a tip of the hat to our new subscribers: y'all can browse/search through past issues at the Mad Cowboy Newsletter Archives at:
Have a Fantastic Spring!
Best regards, Mark MC editor/webmaster
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
00: Message from Howard
01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
02: Heart Healthy Pizza Cookbook News!
03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
04: Eat Your Colors, Diet & CVD, Old Curry, Med. Diet Controversy
05: Veggies & Cancer, Pfeiffer's Diet, Vegan Groceries, Go Vegan
06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
07: GMO Science Jeopardy, Superweeds, Foodopoly Book Excerpt
08: Puppy Mills Online, Morrissey Refuses, AR Africa, Cromwell Arrested
09: Quick Bytes
10: Closing Thoughts
*00: Message from Howard
At my age, the years seem to fly by at the speed of light. I just get comfortable writing 2012 and now it's 2013.
I'm amazed at how far we have come in understanding of a heathy diet compared to when I changed my diet in 1990. I relate to that time as the dark ages.
We have finally reached a point where policy-makers understand that we can not afford a health care future by consuming the Standard America Diet. They still don't realize that eating animal products is the root cause but they do know we need to change from what we have been doing.
When I see on national television advertisements recommending African lions become vegan, I know we have come a long way. When we now discuss a healthy diet, the public no longer turns a blind eye on eating a plant-based diet.
Groundbreaking work done by folks like Dr. McDougall, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., and a list too long to cover, we are now being taken seriously by policy-makers.
I don't want to mislead you that the battle is won but we are light years ahead of where we were when I first made the change. I'm sure if I had not made the change myself I would be nothing more than a name on a tomb stone.
I no longer travel and speak on the national and international circuit. I spend most of my time working to make my home community of Ellensburg, Washington, an even better place to live.
In closing, I want to thank the thousands of people who have assisted me over the twenty-five years I spent traveling and speaking. I'm sure I have had the greatest gift anyone could ever receive by knowing the best of the human population. My most profound thanks, Howard
Your friend, Howard
*01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
LAST ISSUE'S MAD COWBOY VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
"20 years ago, the average two slices of pizza had 500 calories. Today, the average two slices of pizza have how many calories?"
(a) 650 (b) 725 (c) 850 (d) 930 (e) "vegan or non-vegan?"
[Sadly, we had no winner! The correct answer is (c) 850 calories:
THIS ISSUE'S MAD COWBOY VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
"Dr. Dean Ornish's recommended total percentage of fat in your diet, daily, is:
(a) < 10% (b) < 20% (c) < 30% (d) 0 %
Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@...
with the word "contest" in
your subject line by NLT Jun. 15th, 2012. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS
(U.S. domestic only). It will not be sold nor given out to anyone but VegNews.
[Many thanks to Joe Connelly, Editor, VegNews, who has offered a FREE one-year
subscription to a winner chosen at random those submitting the correct answer to
each MC Newsletter's Contest. Our thanks to Joe, and you can learn more about
or e-mail: editor@...
or call 1.415.665.6397]
*02: Heart Healthy Pizza Book News
"The First Public Demonstration/Presentation of Making Plant-Based Pizzas. Nine 16" pizzas were made for 30 people by Mark Sutton and volunteers from the Vegetarian Society of DC (VSDC), in January 2013. Here's a link to the menu and to over 170 photos of the event:"
The Vegan Culinary Experience Magazine's "Thai" Issue, features Mark's "Pad Thai Pizza Pie" and "Heavenly Pineapple Pizza" Recipes among others from various vegan chefs. Here's a post about this edition, contents, and where to get the free PDF:
For St. Patrick's Day: Mark's "St. Patty's Day Pie Recipes" have been posted at:
*** "Heart Healthy Pizza" by Mark Sutton, is the 1st Vegan Pizza Cookbook, and contains over 100 plant-based recipes for making pizza. Through the imaginative use of grains (oats, quinoa, millet, rice, and barley) as well as legumes (such as chickpeas, black eyed peas, navy beans, dal) and various vegetables (artichokes, carrots, corn, etc.), the author has created some 60 unique "cheese-like" sauce recipes that range in taste texture from a delicate velvety sauce to a custard firmness. Most are gluten-free. Coupled with recipes for making pizza crusts (including gluten-free versions), several "bottom sauces" and total pizza concepts, this book will help anyone create the most nutritious and Heart Healthy Pizza possible.
*** at http://www.hearthealthypizza.com
- read the cookbook's Foreward (written by Howard Lyman), Introduction, & more
- purchase an autographed copy online of "Heart Healthy Pizza!"
*03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
"LEAFY GREENS, DAIRY TOP FOODBORNE ILLNESS CAUSES AT TURN OF 21ST CENTURY:" (01/30/13): "A review of eleven years of foodborne illness data has revealed that, between 1998 and 2008, leafy green vegetables and dairy sickened the greatest number of people, while poultry caused the most deaths. Government researchers identified 4,589 outbreaks linked to one known food source during this time period. These outbreaks caused a total of 120,321 illnesses, which were used for the analysis, published ahead of print Tuesday in Emerging Infectious Diseases. A full 46 percent of these illnesses were attributed to produce items, led by leafy greens, which alone accounted for 22 percent of illnesses. Dairy was the next leading source of sickness, linked to 14 percent of cases, followed by fruits and nuts...While poultry took a smaller share of the illness pie (10 percent), it was the leading cause of food related deaths during this ten-year period, accounting for 19 percent of the estimated 1,451 deaths that occurred over this time period. The organisms that caused the most poultry related deaths were Listeria monocytogenes (63 percent) and Salmonella (26 percent). Dairy was the leading cause of hospitalizations..."
"WHY WE CAN'T SEE INSIDE POULTRY PRODUCTION, AND WHAT MIGHT CHANGE IF WE COULD:" (01/30/13): "In the past months, there have been several troubling research reports, from different parts of the world, exploring aspects of the same problem: Multi-drug resistant bacteria are present in chicken, apparently because of the use of antibiotics in poultry production, and are passing to people who work with, prepare or eat chicken, at some risk to their health... So if this potential hazard has been identified over years, why isn't it being addressed? A powerful op-ed last week in Food Safety News suggests why: No transparency in poultry production, and therefore no leverage for finding points in the process where the potential hazards could be reduced. The piece, by Leah Garces of the nonprofit Compassion in World Farming, is very direct; it's titled "Why We Haven't Seen Inside a Broiler Chicken Factory Farm in a Decade." Here's her answer:
"Globally, the world raises and slaughters some 40 billion chickens for meat every year 9 billion of whom are right here in the U.S. We are the world's largest producer. More than 99 perccent of U.S. broiler chickens are raised in barren windowless enclosed long houses, houses that remain inaccessible to anyone outside the industry
A full 25,000 individual animals defecate in the same enclosed space for 45 days... It is a sea of chickens from wall to wall, sitting in their own feces, struggling to move, in large part because of their genetics. The modern broiler chicken is unnaturally large and has been bred to grow at a fast rate. This selective breeding produces as side effects serious welfare consequences including leg disorders: skeletal, developmental and degenerative diseases, heart and lung problems, breathing difficulty, and premature death. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture explains the unnaturally fast growth rate as follows: "If you grew as fast as a chicken, you'd weigh 349 pounds at age 2..."
[Edited from from the disturbing article with several useful imbedded links for additional information:
"ANTIBIOTICS AND ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA IN MEAT: NOT GETTING BETTER:" (02/09/13): "A few days ago, the Food and Drug Administration released two important documents related to antibiotic use in livestock raising, and what the results of that antibiotic use are. I'd say that they released them quietly, except, when it comes to this issue, every release seems to be quiet, never accompanied by the press releases or briefings that other divisions of the FDA use to publicize their news. The two documents are the 2011 Retail Meat Report from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, or NARMS, and the 2011 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals, which is known for short as ADUFA, after the 2008 Animal Drug User Fee Act that mandated the data be collected... their annual release is an important indicator for whether antibiotic use in meat production, and antibiotic resistance in meat, are trending up or down.
The news does not appear to be good... Based on data from the first ADUFA report containing the 2009 data, it has become common to say that animal-use antibiotics represent 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. that is, four times as much as human medicine does. If the Pew data is correct (it comes from IMS Health, a widely used pharma-industry analysis firm), then that math remains correct: 29.85 million is 3.87 times 7.7 million. So what is this antibiotic use producing, in 2011? The NARMS report released this week fills us in. Again, the news isn't good. A small sample, from the report highlights:
- Salmonella isolates from 44.9 percent of retail chicken samples were resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics
- Salmonella on "more than 27 percent" of retail chicken showed resistance to five or more classes of antibiotics
- Salmonella on 50.3 percent of ground turkey was resistant to three or more drug classes
- Some Salmonella on turkey was resistant to six drug classes.
It's worth noting that this continued antibiotic use, and continued and rising appearance of resistant bacteria on meat, is happening as the FDA has abandoned attempting to regulate livestock producers' use of antibiotics, and has switched to a voluntary approach..."
[Very edited from:
"FUTURE OF FOOD AT STAKE' AS INDIANA FARMER TAKES MONSANTO TO TOP COURT:" (02/10/13): "75 year-old Indiana soybean farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, is taking agriculture giant Monsanto to the US Supreme Court over one of the most "systemic crisis" in modern farming: who controls the rights to the seeds planted in the ground... Filed on Bowman's behalf by sustainable food and farming organizations, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save Our Seeds (SOS), the appeal challenges the multi-billion dollar corporation over their restrictive seed saving policies and the "agressive protection" of their soybean, known as Roundup Ready, which has been genetically engineered to resist certain herbicides. "Mr. Bowman's case represents a systemic crisis in U.S. agriculture," said CFS Executive Director, Andrew Kimbrell. "Through a patenting system that favors the rights of corporations over the rights of farmers and citizens, our food and farming system is being held hostage by a handful of companies. Nothing less than the future of food is at stake."
Farmers using Monsanto products are legally obligated to harvest only the resulting crop and not take-part in the prudent and age-old tradition of seed-saving, forcing them to purchase new Monsanto seeds each year... The brief, filed by CFS and SOS, asks the court to end the practice of allowing corporations to place conditions on the sale of its seed and to reject an "end-run around patent exhaustion" for regeneration. It continues: "The current intellectual property environment of transgenic crops has spurred the privatization and concentration of the world's seed supply. Market concentration has resulted in 10 multinational corporations holding approximately two-thirds (65%) of commercial seed for major crops, reducing choice and innovation, and increasing prices for the American farmer." The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments later this month."
"LEAN CUISINE FOOD RECALL: ALERT GIVES REASONS TO TAKE STEPS ON FOOD SAFETY:" (02/11/13): "Food safety is no laughing matter. Recently, Nestle's Lean Cuisine Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli, a food product produced in November 2012, was voluntarily recalled due to glass pieces found in the Lean Cuisine packaged dish. Nestle, committed to food safety, has given an apology and ask those that purchased the product with codes "2311587812" or "2312587812" to contact the company via website or phone number to discuss the food recall issue. This isn't the first time Lean Cuisine has dealt with food recalls. In 2011, red plastic was found in their recalled Spaghetti and Meatballs frozen package. But Lean Cuisine is not the only company that has had to deal with such alerts. Food alerts are becoming a common occurrence. While many shoppers are busy checking food package labels, it may be wise to check food safety websites as well. Food safety websites, like FoodSafety.gov, provide the consumer information on particular food items that are being recalled. According to FoodSafety.gov, there are crucial steps one must take in order to find relief in food recalls..."
"WHY ISN'T SALMONELLA A LEGAL ADULTERANT?:" (02/16/13): "Fact: Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne illness worldwide, with an estimated 1.4 million cases each year in the United States alone. This week, the CDC reported that 124 people in 12 states became ill with Salmonella and over 30 were hospitalized after being exposed to Foster Farms chicken between June of last year and January of this year... The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates poultry manufacturers and tests samples harmful bacteria. But it does not have a zero tolerance policy for Salmonella, unlike E. coli O157:H7, which is one of the deadliest food borne pathogens. Instead, the agency allows manufacturers to distribute raw poultry provided samples don't turn up more than a 10 percent rate of Salmonella contamination.
But there is a caveat: Food manufacturers are not allowed to make people sick. "Salmonella in chicken is legal except when you have an outbreak," said Emilio DeBess, state public health veterinarian. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) "Performance standard" (an odd term) for Salmonella contamination in young chickens is 7.5 percent, and the reality is that the contamination rate you will find in the store is likely even higher. Although many consumers know that chicken should be handled with care, most have no idea just how risky chicken can be. That is becauseas Lynne's story pointed outit's technically legal to sell chicken that is tainted with Salmonella... Perhaps it is time for FSIS to fulfill its public health mission and get antibiotic-resistant Salmonella out of the American chicken supply. The danger of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in the food supply is well-documented and has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and by USDA itself. FSIS own rules seem to require it:
(m) The term "adulterated" shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one or more of the following circumstances: (1) if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health... Seriously, if Salmonella is found on chicken in a plant or in the drumstick you bought at the store for a barbecue, the FSIS's position is that it is perfectly fine until people start getting sick..."
"NESTLE PULLS BEEF PASTA AFTER FINDING HORSEMEAT IN MEALS:" (02/18/13): "Nestle, the world's biggest food company, has removed beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain after finding traces of horse DNA. The discovery of horsemeat in products labelled as beef has spread across Europe since last month, prompting product withdrawals, consumer anger and government investigations into the continent's complex food-processing chains. Swiss-based Nestle, which just last week said its products had not been affected by the scandal, said its tests had found more than 1 percent horse DNA in two products. "We have informed the authorities accordingly," Nestle said in a statement on Monday. "There is no food safety issue..." Governments across Europe have stressed that horsemeat poses little or no health risk, although some carcasses have been found tainted with a painkiller banned for human consumption..."
"AS THE HORSEMEAT HYSTERIA SPREADS, E.U. OPENS A MAD-COW CAN OF WORMS:" (02/19/13): "Like humor, the key to successful politics is frequently timing. That may explain why a recent food-policy decision by E.U. officials is going over like a lead balloon. On Feb. 14, members of the E.U.'s executive body took a break from Europe's horsemeat-impersonating-beef scandal to reauthorize a type of animal feed that was banned in 1997 to battle mad-cow disease an illness that infected nearly 500,000 animals in Europe and killed around 200 people. Observers now grimly marvel at mad-cow-era precautions being rolled back at the very moment the horsemeat flap is raising new concerns about the safety of Europe's food industry... The new rules allow feed made of restricted parts of pigs and poultry to be used to feed fish starting June 1. Poultry and pig farmers may use feed made from each other's species as of 2014. The ban on feeding ruminants' PAP (i.e. of cattle, sheep, goats, etc.) or using them to produce such meal remains prohibited..."
[Very edited from:
"U.S. DESERVES TOP MAD COW RATING, HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY:" (02/20/13): "The United States is expected to get the top safety rating for mad cow disease in spring, under a recommendation from international livestock health experts that was greeted on Wednesday as a sure-fire boost to U.S. beef exports. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the recommended upgrade, to "negligible" from "controlled" risk, was proof that U.S. beef meets the highest safety standards in the world. A trade group, the U.S. Cattlemen's Association, said the move was "a big step forward towards enhancing our export opportunities."... Four cases of BSE have been reported in the United States since 2003. The most recent was April 24, 2012, in an elderly, lame dairy cow in southern California..." U.S. safeguards include a ban on using ruminant parts in cattle feed and keeping spinal cords, brains and nervous tissue, the items most at risk of infection, out of the food supply. USDA tests about 40,000 head a year for the disease."
"SMITHFIELD PACKING CO. RECALLS 38,000 POUNDS OF PORK SAUSAGE:" (02/21/13): "Smithfield Packing Co. is recalling about 38,000 pounds of pork sausage that may contain small pieces of plastic, likely from gloves. The Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service reports that the Virginia company recalled certain containers of a product called "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll." The sausage was produced on Jan. 11 and was distributed in Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. The problem was discovered after the company received two consumer complaints. There have been no reports of injury..."
"HORSEMEAT IN EUROPEAN BEEF SCANDAL AFFECTS BURGER KING, NESTLE; IS U.S. BEEF SAFE?" (02/22/13): "Three arrests were made last week in England in the investigation of meat sold in Europe labeled as beef but testing positive for DNA from horses. This unfolding meat-fraud scandal has rocked all of Europe and many Americans are questioning the safety of the U.S. beef supply. Meat from British horses was discovered in takeout burgers and kebabs on February 11, according to the Daily Mail. "The burgers were labeled as beef and the kebabs as lamb. The alarming twist suggests retired racehorses and ponies could have been sold as regular meat. This was the first time the UK was implicated in the food-fraud scandal which is sweeping over Europe. On Tuesday, a slaughterhouse and a meat firm in Yorkshire and West Wales were raided by police in the UK investigating alleged horsemeat mislabeling, the report says. Officials revealed that the manager of one of the facilities, Peter Boddy, 63, has a contract to kill racehorses badly hurt during the Grand National and also has a past record of selling "unfit" meat to the public...
The complexity of this scandal is mindboggling and is blamed by officials on the fact that so far there has not been an agency in the EU tracing the testing of meat as it passes from county to country in various forms... The crisis really gained worldwide attention when European food regulators recently uncovered horsemeat masquerading as beef at Burger King.., and in school meals, and hospitals across Europe and the UK, and resulted in multiple product recalls announced by major supermarket chains."
the average American consumes roughly 270 pounds of meat per year
There is, however, plenty of evidence that many Americans are inadvertently eating a side of deadly bacteria like salmonella or e. coli with their burgers. According to Center for Disease Control estimates, 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses every year. Is this a better reason to rethink eating meat than to worry about whether it is beef, horse or donkey?"
[Very edited from:
"IKEA RECALLS MEATBALLS AFTER DETECTION OF HORSE MEAT:" (02/25/13): "The furniture giant Ikea joined a growing list of brands that have been touched by Europe's food scandal on Monday and withdrew its signature Swedish meatballs from its markets and cafeterias across most of Europe after one batch was found to contain traces of horse meat. Ikea's decision which followed a recall by the Swiss food maker Nestlé last week demonstrated that even closely guarded brand names have found themselves vulnerable... "It started off as a local problem, then became national, then international," said Chris Elliott, the director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast. "At the last count, something like 19 countries were involved either in the supply chain or in uncovering tainted products..."
[Very edited from:
"FEEDING ANIMALS TO ANIMALS: A CALL FOR VIGILANCE AGAINST MAD COW DISEASE:" (02/27/13): "The World Animal Health Organisation (Office International des Epizooties, or OIE) recently recommended that the United States' risk level for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease" be lowered from "controlled" to "negligible." Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack celebrated the recommendation as an achievement for beef producers, and for the federal and state agencies responsible for monitoring BSE. The OIE's recommendation is based on a review of efforts to manage the risk of disease. A positive report card on such matters is commendable, but I challenge the agencies responsible for food safety to do better. As Drs. Love and Fry explain in a recent post, feeding animals to animals is a federally approved industry practice. Rendered animal carcasses, parts of animals (e.g. blood, bones, fat, and feathers), and animal excreta are commonly used as feed additives, primarily to cut costs. Some call this practice gross. Some call it recycling. Regardless, the practice can pose public health risks. Using products of animal origin in feed can "recycle" contaminants such as arsenic, dioxins, and heavy metals back into the food supply chain, increasing their concentrations in animal tissues, and raising exposure risks among consumers."
...To better protect against a similar scenario, the Consumers Union recently wrote a letter to the FDA, recommending additional measures to reduce the risk of prion transmission. The letter calls for expanded prohibitions on materials that can be fed to cattle, including bovine blood products and poultry litter, both of which may harbor infectious prions. Poultry litter contains spilled poultry food, which includes rendered cattle parts as ingredients, so in a roundabout way this amounts to feeding cattle to cattle. Before the agencies responsible for food safety rest on their laurels, I urge them to implement measures to better protect against BSE, vCJD, and other health harms associated with the practice of feeding animals to animals. That would be another achievement worth celebrating."
*04: Eat Your Colors, Diet & CVD, Old Curry, Med. Diet Controversy
"CAROTENOIDS IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES MAY LOWER BREAST CANCER RISK:" (12/10/12): "Micronutrients found in brightly colored produce could play a part in protecting you from cancer, a new review of studies suggests. Researchers from Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women who have higher levels of carotenoids circulating in their bloodstreams also seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, particularly estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer types. Specifically, the decreased breast cancer risk was tied to high blood levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as overall levels of total carotenoids, the researchers found. Their findings are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute...The findings are based on the analysis of eight studies, which included a total of 3,055 people with breast cancer and 3,956 controls. TIME pointed out that produce like carrots, spinach and kale are particularly high in carotenoids. This is certainly not the first time fruits and vegetables have been suggested to make a positive difference on breast cancer risk. Reuters reported on a 2008 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showing that breast cancer recurrence risk goes down by going above and beyond with eating produce.
"HEALTHY DIET PREVENTS REPEAT HEART ATTACKS:" (12/05/12): "A new study shows older people with established heart disease who ate the most heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts had a much lower risk of dying or having another heart attack or stroke than those who ate the unhealthiest diet. The study shows people who ate the most heart-healthy diet had a: 35% lower risk of heart or stroke-related death, 14% lower risk of heart attack, 28% lower risk of heart failure, 19% lower risk of stroke
"It doesn't matter what type of medication you take, if you follow a healthy diet you will get benefits," says researcher Mahshid Dehghan, PhD, research associate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. "Eating fruits and vegetables substantially reduces cardiovascular disease recurrence over and above medication alone..." The study followed 31,546 adults ages 55 and older in 14 countries who were enrolled in two separate clinical trials of blood pressure-lowering medications. All of the people had a history of heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, or diabetes with organ damage. All of them were considered at high risk for heart attack, stroke, or other heart-related complication... "Often people have old habits of eating certain ways and think, `what is the use of change?'" says Ginn, of the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. "But this study shows even changing at a later age can have an impact..."
"PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EATING CURRY FOR 4500 YEARS:" (01/30/13): Thanks to new research methods and a pile of (very old) dirty dishes, archaeologists have discovered the very ancient origins of a globally popular cuisine. Though the combination of flavors recognized as curry today is the result of centuries of cross-cultural trade between India, Southeast Asia and Europe, the dish's origins reach back farther than was previously thought. According to Andrew Lawler, at Slate, "the original curry predates Europeans' presence in India by about 4,000 years." The three basic ingredients of the spicy stew were ginger, garlic and turmeric, and, using a method called "starch grain analysis," archaeologists Arunima Kashyap and Steve Weber at the University of Washington at Vancouver were able to identify the residue of these ancient spices in both skeletons and pottery shards from excavations in India... The two researchers dated the remains of these spices to between 2500 and 2200 B.C. That, and the discovery of a "carbonized clove of garlic," Lawler writes, supports the theory that "curry is not only among the world's most popular dishes; it also may be the oldest continuously prepared cuisine on the planet..."
"PRIMARY PREVENTION OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE WITH A MEDITERRANEAN DIET:" (02/25/13): "...A total of 7447 persons were enrolled (age range, 55 to 80 years); 57% were women. The two Mediterranean-diet groups had good adherence to the intervention, according to self-reported intake and biomarker analyses. A primary end-point event occurred in 288 participants... Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events..."
[Edited from the widely reported study/results original write-up:
[This study and results were particularly offensive to those experts believing in a very low/no fat plant-based diet. Here's what the "big three" had to say:
Dr. Dean Ornish:
"Does a Mediterranean Diet Really Beat Low-Fat for Heart Health?:" An article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that a Mediterranean diet is much more effective than a "low-fat diet" in preventing cardiovascular disease. A careful reading of the study reveals that this is simply not true... The comparison (control) group did not follow a low-fat diet... In the "low-fat" group, total fat consumption decreased insignificantly, from 39 percent to 37 percent (Table S7, appendix). This doesn't even come close to the American Heart Association guidelines of a low-fat diet (<30 percent fat) or ours for reversing heart disease (<10 percent fat). So, they weren't comparing a Mediterranean diet to a low-fat diet, because the control group was not following a low-fat diet. And I'm not talking about a very low-fat diet that we found (with other nutritional and lifestyle changes) could reverse heart disease, but even a moderately low-fat diet..."
[Very edited from the much more detailed critique at:
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn:
Response to The New England Journal of Medicine article "Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet":" The New England Journal of Medicine article entitled Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet is misleading and inappropriately titled. It should read Promotion of Cardiovascular Disease with a /Mediterranean and Control Diet. All three dietary groups had almost equal facility promoting the growth and clinical appearance of cardiovascular disease in those who at study onset did not have this illness. The single exception was the control group which had a significantly higher stroke rate; however at baseline, they also appeared to have a greater BMI, waist circumference, hypertension, anti hypertensive agents and diuretics suggesting a cohort at greater risk for strokes..."
[Edit from the longer response at:
Dr. John McDougall: '"NEJM Study Promotes Olive Oil and Dismisses Low-fat Diet:" Your friends are reading today (February 26, 2013) The New England Journal of Medicine article about how adding olive oil and nuts to their usual diet will reduce their risk of heart attacks by 30 percent. This article has also told them that a low-fat diet fails to help (again). Stroke was the only problem where the tested Mediterranean diet made a real difference. The diet had no effect on heart attacks or death rates overall. The popularity of this message proves once again that "people love to hear good news about their bad habits." They are reassured that simply by adding more olive oil and nuts you will improve your health
cutting out the brie and beef stroganoff are secondary thoughts..."
[Very edited from Dr. McDougalls quite detailed and well-referenced response at:
*05: Veggies & Cancer, Pfeiffer's Diet, Vegan Groceries, Go Vegan
"VEGETARIAN DIET CUTS CANCER RISK - STUDY:" (02/17/13): "A new study recently released in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention suggests that eating a vegetarian diet can significantly lower the risk of cancer. Cancer is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and it is believed that dietary factors are responsible for at least 30 percent of all cancers in the West. Yessenia Tantamango-Bartley from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in Loma Linda, California and colleagues conducted the study and found vegetarians were 9 percent less likely to develop cancer, compared with non-vegetarians. The study of 2939 incidence cancer cases found the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract was 24 percent reduced among vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians. Vegan diets were even more protective against cancer, the study found. Those who followed a vegan diet were 16 percent less likely to develop all cancers and female vegan diet users were 34 percent less likely to develop female-specific cancers such as ovarian cancer an d breast cancer. compared to those who did not eat the diet... The study concluded "Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer."
"MICHELLE PFEIFFER CREDITS VEGAN DIET FOR AGELESS LOOKS:" (02/18/13): "At 54, actress Michelle Pfeiffer is still rocking the same flawless face and figure that initially made her famous more than three decades ago.
So what's her secret? Easy. She sticks to a vegan diet. Last June, Pfeiffer took the plunge into the vegan lifestyle after watching a program on CNN called "The Last Heart Attack." The show went in-depth to search for answers for heart attack prevention, and included interviews with former president Bill Clinton, whose health dramatically improved when he went vegan. Pfeiffer, a self-professed foodie, decided to give the diet a shot. She knew Clinton loved food, and had still managed to stick with the diet, so she figured there must be something to it. Now that the actress has been vegan for several months, she's experienced a host of health benefits firsthand, and can relate to exactly what kept Clinton on track. "I remember watching that program thinking, `Clinton is a smart man and there's true science behind this theory,'" she says. "So I cut out meats and dairy. After two months, my cholesterol shot down 83 points. That's enough proof to me that it works..." Another source that Pfeiffer found inspiring was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn`s book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure." She said that the evidence given in the book helped her stay on track..."
"ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN FOOD LIST:" (2013): "Grocery stores carry an array of great-tasting vegan options, including some items that you might not know are vegan. Many products, including fantastic faux franks; veggie burgers; chicken-free chicken patties; flavored soy, almond, and rice milks; nondairy ice creams; and other sensational snacks, are marketed to vegetarians and vegans. There's also an abundance of chips, dips, cookies, candies, frozen pies, soups, and other mouth-watering items by mainstream food manufacturers that are also vegan.*Take a stroll through your local grocery store, check some ingredients, and you'll see what we mean. You may even be surprised to find that a few of your favorite indulgences happen to be vegan! For example, did you know that Pepperidge Farm Turnovers, Murray Butter Cookies, and Cracker Jacks are all vegan?
Please note that this list is just for U.S.-based products, as ingredients can vary by region. Companies frequently change their formulations, so read labels prior to purchasing. We are constantly updating this list, so if you know of a vegan product that isn't currently listed or if you find a product here that isn't vegan, please contact PETA. Thank you, and happy munching!
Refrigerated and Frozen Foods
[For the complete list of products:
"SO YOU WANNA BE VEGAN? START HERE.:" (02/23/13): "Rooney Mara celebrated her new film, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, with a vegan dinner at the Sundance Film Festival. Other vegan A-listers such as Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain will be offered a vegan option at the upcoming Academy Awards. Vegan chefs have infiltrated reality TV with Cloe Coscarelli and Josh Rosen taking home top honors on Food Network's Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genius, respectively. Even fashion is getting game: the first all-vegan solo show debuted at New York's fall Fashion Week this year. But you don't have to go all the way to be a vegan star, says Kris Carr, author of the new book Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution... "I didn't want it to be about depravation. It's not about cleansing. It's a book about delicious vegan plant-based cuisine," says Carr.
...However much she strives for the Crazy Sexy approach to be a judgment-free zone, Carr is serious about not only a vegan but an entirely holistic, approach to living: "Honestly, self-care is not fluffyit's something we should take seriously. The more we take it seriously the more we get in return. It's amazing what happens when you start to feel better physically, you start to feel better emotionally, and the decisions you make from that place and the people you attract in your life, they improvesounds hokeybut life gets a lot better."
*06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
"What To Eat?" Ann Esselstyn, 36 min.
"Questions from the Public" Dr. Caldwell & Ann Esselstyn, 16 min.
"Vegan Tips:" FOX News, 5 min.
"More than 50% of Nation's Pets are Obese:" KCAL News, 2 min.
"One Grain More:" on cooking with food allergies ("Les Miserable" song parody extraordinaire):
"Does Coconut Oil Clog Arteries?" Dr. Michael Greger, 5 min.
"How Much Soy is Too Much?" Dr. Michael Greger, 2 min.
"Nathan Pritikin: A Casual Conversation with Dr. McDougall:" One of Dr. McDougall's key influences in his dietary approach. A rare video. 2 hrs.
"The VegCast:" (Interviews, music, news)
"Dr. Don" (Interviews):
"Food For Thought:" Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
"PODCASTS, BLOGS, VIDEOS, HEADLINES, AND MORE... an amazing daily updated compendium & archive:"
*07: GMO Science Jeopardy, Superweeds, Foodopoly Book Excerpt
"CORPORATE PUSH FOR GMO FOODS PUT INDEPENDENT SCIENCE IN JEOPARDY:" (12/07/12): "Science is considered science when it is independent, when it has integrity and when it speaks the truth about its search. It was the integrity, independence and sovereignty of science that drew me and propelled me to study physics. Today, independent science is threatened with extinction. While this is true in every field, it is the field of food and agriculture that I am most concerned about. At the heart of the food and agriculture debate are genetically modified organisms, also referred to as GMOs. The agrochemical industry's new avatar is as the GMO industry. According to the industry, GMOs are necessary to remove hunger and are safe.
But evidence from all independent scientists has established that GMOs do not contribute to food security. The UN-sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report written by 400 scientists after a research of three to four years concluded that there is no evidence that GMOs increase food security. The Union of Concerned scientists concluded in its report, "A Failure to Yield", that in the US, genetic engineering had not increased the yield. "The GMO Emperor Has No Clothes" a Global Citizens' report on the state of GMOs based on field research across the world also found that genetic engineering has not increased yields. Yet, the propaganda continues that GMOs are the only solution to hunger because GMOs increase yields... All independent research on safety indicates that GMOs have serious biosafety issues. This is why we have a UN biosafety protocol... Citizens of California had put up Proposition 37 in the recent elections for something as simple as the "Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food" by having a label on GMO foods. This is recognised as a citizen's right in Europe and now in India. But the California vote was defeated by industry spending big food industry players are paying big bucks to battle California's GMO labelling initiative. According to reports, they are spending as much as $1 million a day on false and misleading advertising.
If citizens don't have the right to know and scientists don't have the freedom to speak the truth, we are creating societies that are dangerous both in terms of loss of democratic freedom and in terms of risking biosafety. Independent scientists, along with the bees and biodiversity of our plants and seeds, could well become a species threatened with extinction if we do not stop the GMO drone.
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"NEARLY HALF OF ALL US FARMS NOW HAVE SUPERWEEDS: (12/07/12): "Last year's drought took a big bite out of the two most prodigious US crops, corn and soy. But it apparently didn't slow down the spread of weeds that have developed resistance to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), used on crops engineered by Monsanto to resist it. More than 70 percent of all the the corn, soy, and cotton grown in the US is now genetically modified to withstand glyphosate. Back in 2011, such weeds were already spreading fast. "Monsanto's 'Superweeds' Gallop Through Midwest," declared the headline of a post I wrote then... That pretty much describes the situation last year, according to a new report from the agribusiness research consultancy Stratus. Since the 2010 growing season, the group has been polling "thousands of US farmers" across 31 states about herbicide resistance. Here's what they found in the 2012 season:
Nearly half (49 percent) of all US farmers surveyed said they have glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farm in 2012, up from 34 percent of farmers in 2011...And the problem is getting more complicated. More and more farms have at least two resistant species on their farm. In 2010 that was just 12 percent of farms, but two short years later 27 percent had more than one... So industrial-scale corn and soy farmers will likely have to muddle along, responding in the same way that they have been for years, which is by upping their herbicide use in hopes of controlling the rogue weeds... It will also likely mean a jump in toxic herbicides entering streams, messing with frogs and polluting people's drinking water...
... But of course there's another way. In a 2012 study I'll never tire of citing, Iowa State University researchers found that if farmers simply diversified their crop rotations, which typically consist of corn one year and soy the next, year after year, to include a "small grain" crop (e.g. oats) as well as offseason cover crops, weeds (including Roundup-resistant ones) can be suppressed with dramatically less fertilizer usea factor of between 6 and 10 less. And much less herbicide means much less poison entering streams"potential aquatic toxicity was 200 times less in the longer rotations" than in the regular corn-soy regime, the study authors note. So, despite what the seed giants and the conventional weed specialists insist, there are other ways to respond to the accelerating scourge of "superweeds" than throwing moreand ever-more toxicchemicals at them.
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"'FOODOPOLY:' EXPOSING THE HANDFUL OF CORPORATIONS THAT CONTROL OUR FOOD SYSTEM FROM SEED TO DINNER PLATE:" (01/24/13): "... The food system is in a crisis because of the way that food is produced and the consolidation and organization of the industry itself. Solving it means we must move beyond the focus on consumer choice to examine the corporate, scientific, industrial, and political structures that support an unhealthy system. Combating this is going to take more than personal choice and voting with our forks -- it's going to take old-fashioned political activism. This book aims to show what the problem is and why we must do much more than create food hubs or find more opportunities for farmers to sell directly to consumers. We must address head-on the "foodopoly" -- the handful of corporations that control our food system from seeds to dinner plates.
While the rhetoric in our nation is all about competition and the free market, public policy is geared toward enabling a small cabal of companies to control every aspect of our food system. Today, twenty food corporations produce most of the food eaten by Americans, even organic brands. Four large chains, including Walmart, control more than half of all grocery store sales. One company dominates the organic grocery industry, and one distribution company has a stranglehold on getting organic products into communities around the country.
... According to the USDA, only 5 percent of the farms selling into the local food marketplace are large farms (with over $250,000 in annual sales), but these large farms provided 93 percent of the "local foods" in supermarkets and restaurants. Eighty-one percent of farms selling local food are small, with under $50,000 in annual sales, and 14 percent of farms selling local foods are medium-sized, with $50,000 to $250,000 in sales. The small and medium-sized farms sell nearly three quarters of the direct-to-consumer local foods (both CSAs and farmers' markets) but only 7 percent of the local foods in supermarkets and restaurants. Although the 5,300 large farms averaged $772,000 in local food sales, small farms sold only $7,800 and medium-sized farms sold only $70,000 local foods on average.
... Changing farm policy to provide that chance is key to preventing our nation's rural areas from becoming industrial sites and to truly remaking the food system for all Americans. We must address the major structural problems that have created the dysfunction -- from the failure to enforce antitrust laws and regulate genetically modified food to the manipulation of nutrition standards and the marketing of junk food to children. We need to move beyond stereotypes and simplistic solutions if we are to build a movement that is broad-based enough to drive policy changes.
Most people are several generations away from the experience of producing their own food. This leads to many misconceptions-from over-romanticizing its hard, backbreaking work to the dismissal of farmers as greedy, ignorant, and selfish "welfare queens." Understanding the difficult challenges they face is critical to developing the policy solutions necessary for saving family farms and moving into a sustainable future. We need to develop a rural economic development plan that enables farmers to make a living while at the same time providing healthy, affordable food choices for all Americans.
... It means organizing a movement to hold our policy makers accountable, so that food and farm policy is transformed and environmental, health, and safety laws are obeyed. It will require a massive grassroots mobilization to challenge the multinational corporations that profit from holding consumers and farmers hostage and, more important, to hold our elected officials accountable for the policies that are making us sick and fat. We must comprehend the complexity of the problem to advocate for the solutions. We cannot shop our way out of this mess. The local-food movement is uplifting and inspiring and represents positive steps in the right direction. But now it's time for us to marshal our forces and do more than vote with our forks. Changing our food system is a political act. We must build the political power to do so. It is a matter of survival."
[Very edited from the book's excerpt at:
*08: Puppy Mills Online, Morrissey Refuses, AR Africa, Cromwell Arrested
"ONLINE PUPPY MILLS: INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE REPORT EXPOSES MASSIVE INDUSTRY:" (12/27/13): "Hundreds of thousands of puppies that are raised in puppy mill conditions are advertised online each day, according to a report released by the nonprofit the International Fund for Animal Welfare Tuesday. Nine investigators from the animal rights group and 16 volunteers spent a full day in July tracking ads on six high-volume puppy sale websites -- Animaroo, DogsNow, NextDayPets, PuppyFind, PuppyTrader, and TerrificPets -- and three sites that sell puppies in addition to other goods -- Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, and Oodle. Investigators then spent two months analyzing the collected ads. In one day, more than 733,000 puppies were advertised for sale, with prices ranging from $1 to thousands of dollars each, according to the report. The investigators estimated that 62 percent of the nearly 10,000 ads from the six puppy sale websites were likely from puppy mills, commercial breeders that prioritize profit above the animals' welfare.
"The Internet is the Wild West of puppy mills. It's a 24-7 unmonitored, anonymous marketplace, the world's largest marketplace. It's very difficult to monitor and therefore easy for sellers to circumvent laws," Jeff Flocken, director of the IFAW office in Washington, told The Huffington Post... According to the nonprofit, this is the first investigation of this magnitude. Flocken said investigators were shocked to find out how many ads there were in one day.
And the problem is getting worse as the demand for dogs increases, according to IFAW. The number of dogs living in U.S. homes is at an all-time high at more than 78 million, according to the American Pet Products Association's 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey.
The most effective solution, the report says, is consumer awareness..."
[Very edited from the comprehensive article at:
"MORRISSEY, SINGER AND ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, CANCELS `JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE' PERFORMANCE DUE TO `DUCK DYNASTY' CAST MEMBERS APPEARANCE:" (02/26/13): "Morrissey refuses to appear on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' alongside 'Duck Dynasty' cast members who 'amount to animal serial killers.' The TV series "Duck Dynasty" is coming between Morrissey and Jimmy Kimmel. The singer and animal rights activist says he canceled his appearance Tuesday on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" because "Duck Dynasty" cast members will be on the talk show. Morrissey says he can't perform on a show with what he called people who "amount to animal serial killers." A&E's "Duck Dynasty" reality show follows a Louisiana family with a business selling duck calls and decoys..."
"CONCERN FOR ANIMAL WELFARE IS INCREASING IN AFRICA:" (02/11/13): "In Europe and the US little is known about the African animal welfare movement. In part this is because the movement there is smaller and younger than on other continents. But just as human rights should acknowledge no borders, so too should animal rights, and many people across all cultures and countries realize this. In the West, a frequent riposte to animal rights supporters is that there are more important issues, as if it were somehow not possible to simultaneously give to Oxfam while also not kicking a dog. A certain type of Westerner, when asked to boycott factory-farmed meat, will reply that they don't need to because we haven't yet solved all the problems in Africa. Of course, no-one ever bothers to ask the Africans what they have to say on the subject. I spoke to a Malawian animal welfare activist, Rozzie, to get her view on the treatment of animals in Africa.
- How big is the animal welfare movement in Malawi, and in Africa more generally? The animal welfare movement in Malawi is still quite small. The reason behind its size is that it has only been operating for a few years and hasn't had the chance yet to fully expand. Also, when it comes to donations or volunteering for the Lilongwe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA), there is a deficit. The concern in Malawi and in other African countries is more on human rights and thus national and international support tends to be focused on organizations that deal with this problem. However, the concern for animal welfare is increasing, but at a slow and steady pace...
- What are the biggest issues in the treatment of animals in Malawi? Two main issues: the majority of society is not taught how to treat animals [properly]. They exist as they have always done from the start as rat-catchers and crop protectors. Secondly, the lack of disposable income in society. People cannot afford to look after the animals they have. Some people can barely afford to feed themselves..."
"JAMES CROMWELL ARRESTED, ACTOR PROTESTING ANIMAL RIGHTS:" (02/08/13): "James Cromwell, the actor from "American Horror Story," has been arrested in Wisconsin after protesting animal testing at a university meeting on Thursday. The 73-year-old thespian allegedly disrupted a Board of Regents meeting at the University of Wisconsin over claims that the school tortures cats, according to TMZ. Cromwell and Jeremy Beckham, a PETA spokesperson, caused a disturbance during the meeting by shouting and holding signs that featured a cat believed to have come from the UW-Madison lab with metal implanted in its head, reported CBS-8. The animal rights activists were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, but released from jail by Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press... The school denies PETA's accusations that dozens of cats a year have been starved, deafened, and decapitated for brain research purposes."
*09: Quick Bytes
["Quick Bytes" will return next issue. Here's a link to our last issue where you can find the Quick Bytes Listings:
*10: Closing Thoughts
"Mark Sutton's Healthy Pizza is beyond innovative. When seeking to create a pizza that is outside the usual pizza box of high fat, full of dairy or meat, one is usually left to their own devices.
No more. Mark has created a book with guaranteed healthful sauces and toppings that can stake their claim in the 'whole foods, plant based healthy' world. And with endorsements by Caldwell Esselstyn, you know you can trust the contents to be heart healthy.
His sauce recipes also inspire versatile application. I made one of the sauces last night to put over a salad and it was perfect! Rice, nutritional yeast, and a few other elements made a robust and tasty sauce. Next is to tackle the crust recipes, which are not wanting. Nice work Mark!"
--- Lani Muelrath, author & plant-based dietician, "Fit Quickies:"
"The health benefits of plants foods know no limit... The more scientists look, the more impressive data they develop concerning the array of health benefits conferred by fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. It's pretty safe to say that science will never be able to delineate fully all the miraculous ways that the plants we ingest work to keep us alive and well.
Yet never will you read a story about chicken helping you prevent one disease or another. Not a single news item will appear anywhere about chuck steak or meatballs aiding any of your organs to function. Roast beef offers no benefit that any scientist can find (and don't think that the meat industry hasn't been paying them to look)... The only medical reports you will hear about animal foods concern their dangers... The bad news about animal foods never ends."
--- Howard Lyman (in "No More Bull!" pp. 40 - 41)