Green and Growing...

It’s Sunday. Time for a tomato update! Okay, this was last week:


And here's today:


Everyday there’s a new sprout!

Gassy Fitness Mishap

Sorry to lower the integrity of the blog, but I think this is funny. So bear with my sophomoric humor:

Go on, admit it.You laughed too!



Obese People Have Sick Fat Cells

Alright, obesity is bad—that's common knowledge—but new research in Diabetes claims that fat people actually have “sick” fat cells that make insulin-resistant proteins. Krisha McCoy of HealthDay News reports:

The fat cells we found in our obese patients were deficient in several areas," study author Guenther Boden, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Medicine and chief of endocrinology, said in Temple press release.

Boden said that the obese people's fat cells showed stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which helps cells synthesize proteins and monitor how they are folded. When the ER is stressed, Boden explained, it produces several proteins that ultimately lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, in turn, plays a major role in the development of obesity-related conditions.

The differences in the fat cells between obese and lean people may help explain the link between obesity and a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, Boden theorized.

Certainly follows in line with what we already know about obesity and diabetes. As Dr. Fuhrman points out, extra body fat increases risk of type-2 diabetes, which screws up insulin and can eventually cause pancreatic poop out!

People need to eat more mushrooms—they can stop obesity! Speaking of obesity, rocker Ted Nugent recently called obese people vulgar and displeasing to look at. Eep!  

Exercise Helps Stroke Survivors

From Yoga and Tai Chi to Zumba and beyond! Exercise is an important part of optimal health and researchers at Johns Hopkins University have determined that simply walking on a treadmill can help stroke survivors improve mobility. Will Dunham of Reuters reports:

Some of the treadmill walkers achieved major improvement despite coming into the study needing a wheelchair or walker to get around, and brain scans revealed positive brain changes following six months of such exercise, the researchers said.

"I think it's one of the better pieces of news in a while -- in a long while -- for the stroke survivor," Dr. Daniel Hanley, a neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore who helped lead the study, said in a telephone interview.

"Improvement can occur a long time -- meaning months and years -- after the stroke," added Hanley, whose findings were published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

Stroke survivors can be left with paralysis or loss of muscle movement. A stroke can impair a person's gait, reducing one's mobility and fitness and promoting chronic disability.

Stroke most commonly occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is stopped or greatly reduced, depriving it of oxygen.

The study involved 71 patients, average age 63, who had a stroke an average of about four years earlier. About half were selected to walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes three times a week for six months, while the rest did stretching exercises for the same amount of time instead of the treadmill.

Of course, if you’re eating a vegetable-based diet, you don’t really need to worry about stroke. Oh, and if you are an exercise nut, keeping a diary of your fitness progress can be very helpful—via That’sFit.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Kaffa Crossing

This is my fault, but Eating to Live on the Outside does not spend enough time investigating Ethiopian restaurants. Ethiopian cuisine is VERY veggie heavy. Making it a GREAT choice! Remember Mesob, it was kick ass. So, this week we’re going Ethiopian again.

Kaffa Crossing is REALLY cool. Tons of veggie fare with an ethnic twist. Let’s start with the breakfast. You might not recognize these dishes, but they look yummy. I’m digging the Ful, Ful Special, and FirFir. I know, weird names, but check out the ingredients: crushed fava beans, onions, jalapeno peppers, tomato, cumin, Ethiopian spices, and injera—a pancake-like bread made out of teff flour. Not bad if you ask me!

As for the appetizers, also cool! I like the Timatim Fitfit. It’s made with injera, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, and spics. The olive oil is a small concession. The Layered Tofu Wat is another good one; tofu sautéed in onions, garlic, red pepper, and injera. Not bad either. Lastly, the Injera Wraps look interesting. Their made with yellow split pea or spiced split lentil wrapped in injera. Split pea is usually a homerun for me.

Okay, onto the salad and soups. I’m cool with the Mediterranean Salad, the Kaffa Veggie Tuna Salad, the Hummus Platter, and the House Salad. Combined they include Romaine lettuce, olives, tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, sunflower seed paste, walnut, sprouts, lettuce, onion, hummus, roasted red peppers, eggplant, pita bread, and homemade dressing. Out of all this, I’m nixing the feta cheese. Everything else is cool—just limit the dressing.

The vegetarian section of the menu is LOADED. A lot of great stuff here! In fact, I like EVERY fish Kaffa Crossing serves up. My two favorites are the Tikel Gomen and the Ethiopian Vegetarian Combination. The Gomen is made with collard greens, onions, garlic, and spices. Now, the Ethiopian Vegetarian Combination includes yellow split peas, spiced split lentils, collard greens, string beans, carrots, and salad. Can you see why I like these two? The GREENS!

The other vegetarian dishes are worth a look too. Together the Shiro Wot, Misir Wot, Kik Aletcha Wot, Tikel Gomen, Tofu Wot, Okra Wot, and the Egglplant Wot are prepared with spicy ground chick peas, onions, Ethiopian spices, spiced lentils, yellow split peas, cabbage, carrots, ginger, tofu, garlic, okra, and tomatoes. Honestly, how can you argue with that stuff!

Now, if by some bizarre circumstance NONE of this pleases you. Kaffa Crossing allows you to create your own special veggie platter. You can pick from eggplant, cabbage, potato, carrots, okra, beets, tomato salad, lentil salad, and tofu. Again, where’s the problem here. I don’t see any! You’d have to be pretty skilled to screw this up—don’t you think?

Yeah Kaffa Crossing is cool beans—or should I say—cool split peas! One of these days I have to get up off my butt and actually try some Ethiopian cuisine—it’s long overdue. In the meantime, help me out. Check out Kaffa Crossing’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. As always, make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat and be merry! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 8.29.08

The plant will begin converting its body shop in November when the tooling and equipment specific to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator will be disassembled and transferred to Kentucky Truck Plant [...] in the interim, 1,000 employees will be transferred next door to Wayne Assembly Plant where a third crew will be added in January to accommodate increased production of the hot-selling Ford Focus."

Small Vehicles at Michigan Plant: Only in 2010
Retooling a manufacturing plant of that size isn't easy or quick, so the C-class vehicles will only start production in 2010. If Ford had been a bit faster to react and had make the change a few years ago, it would already have these vehicles now that demand is higher than supply in many areas.

  • Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean floats a TEXAS-SIZED island of plastic—indecomposable plastics containing the toxin Bisphenol A. For more, check out this video documentary on VBS.TV:
Before this trip, I was never all that crazy about the ocean. I’ve always appreciated the fact that it generates the majority of the world’s oxygen and keeps us nice and far from places like Britain, but in terms of any sort of awe or “respect” it just never happened. I would say I looked at it less as the primeval womb of all terrestrial life than as an excessive amount of water you sometimes have to fly over.

Part and parcel with this was my attitude toward the Pacific Garbage Patch, or as we willfully misidentified it for the duration of our journey, the elusive Garbage Island. All the journalism I’d read about the patch had carefully danced around physical descriptions of the trash, leading myself and the rest of the shooting crew to fanciful visions of a solid, Texas-size barge of discarded Coke bottles and sporting goods. The idea that people had managed to f**k up a part of the world that nobody even visits, much less inhabits, and on such a monumental scale struck me as interesting and, to be honest, slightly awesome-sounding, but at the end of the day the impact of the mess on the rest of the world failed to register. I mean, sure, sea birds choking to death on deflated balloons and sea turtles whose shells have been completely deformed by soda can rings—all this definitely sucks, but so do a lot of things, you know?

Both candidates are talking about energy, high prices and global warming, so it's important to look past the rhetoric and see what is at the heart of their plans," said Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club Political Director. "As this scorecard illustrates, the contrast in this election could not be starker. Barack Obama wants to give tax relief and $1,000 energy rebates to working families, while John McCain wants billions more in tax breaks for oil companies making more than $1,000 a second in profits."

Taking on Big Oil-The scorecard contrasts Obama’s pro-consumer plan for middle class tax relief and $1,000 emergency energy rebates paid for by taxing Big Oil’s billions in record profits with McCain’s plan for another $4 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil.

Investing in the Clean Energy Economy-Obama’s $150 billion plan for 5 million new clean energy jobs is contrasted with McCain’s unblemished record of opposition to pro-clean energy policies and refusal to show up and vote for clean energy incentives necessary to save 116,000 existing jobs and $19 billion in new investments and lay the foundation for the clean energy future that will rid us of our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels.

Fixing Global Warming-Barack Obama will do what scientists tell us is necessary and make polluters pay in order to give back hundreds of billions of dollars to consumers in order to bring energy costs back under control. Meanwhile, McCain has proposed an outdated plan that gives away hundreds of billions to polluters.

Cancer-Risk, Hotdogs of Doom...

This is fitting. Amidst the Maple Leaf deli meat killing spree The Cancer Project has released a TV commercial attacking hotdogs as a cancer-risk. See for yourself:


Finally, a gutsy ad! Hotdogs are not your friend. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman considers processed meats one of the WORST meat options—along with red meat. Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the PCRM and head of The Cancer Project, defends the commercial. Via CBS News:

Check the label of a name-brand hot dog, and chances are fat provides around 80 percent of total calories, more than double what's often advised. What's more, saturated fat and trans fat - the fats most strongly linked with artery-clogging - are common ingredients, in some cases providing at least half the fat content.

The hot dog council called the new ad an alarmist scare tactic, but the promoters, a group called The Cancer Project, defend their campaign.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, called the ad "a way to raise appropriate concern about a deadly concern." Barnard also heads The Cancer Project, an offshoot of his anti-meat advocacy group.

Hot dogs may be considered as American as apple pie, but Barnard said it's time to change that tradition.

"Children are born with no traditions whatsoever," he said. "You or I might think a hot dog, that just goes with baseball ... We can always change our traditions to be healthful."

The new ad is based on an analysis of five studies in adults by scientists working with cancer research groups not affiliated with Barnard's.

Their report last November said eating 50 grams a day of processed meats for several years increases colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. That equals about one hot dog a day or two deli slices of bologna or five slices of bacon.

There’s a hotdog council! I’d love to see their cholesterol numbers. Now, despite the wiener consortiums self-preservation exclamations, processed meats DON’T support health and DO increase cancer-risk, but don’t take my word for it. Remember this post: News from The Cancer Project.

Stop Obesity, Eat Mushrooms!

Well, unless you like beef raised on potato chips, you might want to consider this report. New research in Appetite—cool name for a journal—claims mushrooms can help combat obesity; as a substitute for beef. Stephen Daniells of AP-FoodTechnology explains:

The researchers recruited 54 men and women to take part in the study and randomly assigned them to receive either beef or mushroom lunch entrées over four days – lasagna, napoleon, sloppy Joe and chili. Subjects then switched entrées to consume the other ingredient (mushroom or beef) the following week in order to act as their own controls.

The energy content of meat and mushroom lunches was 783 kcal and 339 kcal, respectively, while the portion size was held constant.

Lead researcher Lawrence Cheskin from John Hopkins Weight Management Center and co-workers report that total daily energy and fat intakes were significantly lower in the mushroom condition than the meat, while the subjects did not rate the palatability of the foods differently. Also ratings of appetite, satiation and satiety did not differ between the groups.

“We found that overtly substituting ground white button mushrooms for lean ground beef in a single meal for four consecutive days significantly reduced daily energy and fat intake, while maintaining ratings of palatability, appetite, satiation and satiety,” wrote the researchers.

“The method of substituting one food for another within familiar recipes may be more appealing to many prospective dieters than making more dramatic or restrictive changes in dietary behaviour.

Mushrooms are freaking incredible! Dr. Fuhrman also insists they are a great substitute for meat and you should eat them everyday. The problem is, too many Americans HATE mushrooms—sad, because mushrooms are also potent cancer-fighters.

Oh, and shrooms might save us from climate change too!

Cancer, No One "Gets" It

A new survey has determined that people in rich countries and people living in poorer countries don’t really understand cancer. Robert Evans of Reuters reports:

The report, based on a survey sponsored by the International Union against Cancer (UICC) of nearly 30,000 people in 29 countries, was released at the start of a four-day World Cancer Congress in Geneva.

UICC President-elect David Hill of Australia said the survey showed there was a global need for "education programmes to encourage and support behavior change".

In high-income countries like Australia, Britain, Canada, Greece, Spain and the United States, the survey found, refusal to recognize that alcohol consumption increases the cancer risk ran at 42 percent of the population.

By contrast, in middle-income countries like China, Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Uruguay, only 26 percent questioned for the survey thought that drinking did not make contracting cancer more likely.

And in the two low-income countries included in the survey, Kenya and Nigeria, recognition of the alcohol danger ran highest, with only 15 percent of those questioned saying that it was not a cause of the disease.

In related news, throat cancer continues to rise in the United States—via Reuters.

Fat Camp for the Whole Family

Patrons of a “weight-loss camp” in North Carolina and New York are finding that parents and kids can lose weight TOGETHER. Paul Smith of the Associated Press reports:

At the Adirondack camp, visiting family members join campers in the mornings for a long walk and at every meal. The rest of the time, parents attend classes on cooking, exercise and how to shop for healthy food. Siblings can tag along with campers to watch the daily activities.

"That had a big impression on her," Kelsey Galer said of her sister's visit to camp. "She just got a taste of my new lifestyle. We had spent a lot of time together (before camp), but it was never time like that -- being active and eating healthy."

The results of a three-year Wellspring survey of campers suggests that family support is beneficial, according to Daniel Kirschenbaum, Wellspring clinical director. The campers who reported having strong family support or used the post-camp program did better at maintaining or continuing to lose weight than those without strong support.

At the Wellspring camp in Pinehurst, North Carolina, about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh, parents join children between the ages of 5 and 14 for sessions that include sports, personal training and a spa.

Therapy is part of both programs to help people understand why they overeat and how to manage stress. Parents learn how to motivate their children to be healthy instead of discouraging them or emphasizing bad body image.

No doubt, families should get healthy together. Heck, we just found out kids will eat veggies if their parents do. Why not get your friends in the mix too?

Green-News: Thursday 8.28.08

There are several organizations that support the sustainable reading movement. To ease your green mind about the books on your shelf right now, there are several organizations like EcoLibris, whose aim is to balance out the tree to book ratio. For every 2 books you volunteer, they plant one tree.

This online community of fellow readers is easy to join and creates a very simple solution to easing the environmental impact of reading. EcoLibris partners with book clubs, publishers, authors, and book stores.

There is a growing online book swapping community for people who want the real thing, and want to contribute to reforestation while stopping the waste cycle. BookMooch is an international online community for exchanging used books. It has more than 500,000 members who exchange books for free, using a simple points system—every time you send someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch.

  • Hope you like 3-eyed fish! British environmental agencies warn that nuclear waste containers are likely to fail—i.e. become FUBAR—before they can be sealed away underground. Geoffrey Lean of The Independent reports:
The unpublicised report is by the Environment Agency, which has to approve any proposals for getting rid of the waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years.

The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power.

It shows that many containers used to store the waste are made of second-rate materials, are handled carelessly, and are liable to corrode.

The report concludes: "It is cautious to assume a significant proportion will fail." It says computer models suggest up to 40 per cent of them could be at risk.

The coalition filed the charge in cooperation with German beekeepers who claim they lost thousands of hives after poisoning by the Bayer pesticide clothianidin in May.

Since 1991, Bayer has been producing the insecticide imidacloprid, which is one of the best selling insecticides in the world, often used as seed-dressing for maize, sunflower, and rape. Bayer exports imidacloprid to more than 120 countries and the substance is Bayer's best-selling pesticide.

Since patent protection for imidacloprid has expired in most countries, Bayer in 2003 brought a similarly functionning successor product, clothianidin, onto the market, the coalition alleges.

Both substances are systemic chemicals that work their way from the seed through the plant. The substances get into the pollen and the nectar and can damage beneficial insects such as bees.

California Quits Smoking, Saves $86 Billion

This is amazing. California’s large-scale efforts to curb smoking have saved the state $86 BILLION in healthcare costs. And the kicker is, they only invested $1.8 billion in the program. Here's more, via Reuters:

The benefits of the program accrued very quickly and are very large," Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said in a statement.

Unlike many programs which center on teens, the California program focuses its tobacco-control efforts on adults through an aggressive media campaign and changes in public policy, such as promoting smoke-free environments.

"When adults stop smoking, you see immediate benefits in heart disease, with impacts on cancer and lung diseases starting to appear a year or two later," said Glantz, whose findings appear in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.

According to the study, the program prevented the sale of 3.6 billion packs of cigarettes -- worth $9.2 billion to the tobacco industry -- between 1989 and 2004.

The report may help persuade states to step up funding for such large-scale efforts to counteract the tobacco industry's $13 billion annual spending on smoking-related advertising and promotions.

Pretty cool! Actually, anti-smoking efforts and bans are showing promise. New search in the American Journal of Public Health has determined that banning smoking in the home helps kids develop negative attitudes towards smoking and deters them from experimenting—from Reuters.

Oh, and no incense either! They just found that incense-burning is linked to lung cancers. Moral of the story, smoke plus lungs equals bad.

Rickets, Not Enough Vitamin D for Baby

Vitamin D is powerful. It helps a lot of things like diabetes, artery disease, cancer and good old fashioned death-risk. And now, Roni Caryn Rabin of The New York Times explores how lack-of-it impacts babies and rickets. Here’s a bit:

Once Aleanie started putting weight on her feet, her mother noticed that her legs were curving in a bow shape below the knees. Doctors diagnosed vitamin D-deficiency rickets, a softening of the bones that develops when children do not get enough vitamin D — a crucial ingredient for absorbing calcium and building bone, and the one critical hormone that breast milk often cannot provide enough of.

“I thought I was doing the best thing for her,” said Stephanie Remy-Marquez, of Hyde Park, Mass., after blood tests showed her daughter had no detectable vitamin D. X-ray images of the baby’s wrists and knees showed the edges of the bones and growth plates as blurry and fraying instead of crisp and sharp.

“Breast milk is supposed to be an entire meal, dessert and drinks included,” Ms. Remy-Marquez said. “I thought it was the ultimate cocktail.”

Aleanie’s case was unusual enough to be written up in the journal Clinical Pediatrics in May, but several similar reports have been published in recent years. Some experts fear that vitamin D deficiency, which can be asymptomatic, may be more common than pediatricians realize and that rickets — perceived to be a 19th-century scourge that was wiped out with the fortification of milk — may be going undetected.

Physicians have known for more than a century that exclusive breast-feeding may be associated with vitamin D deficiency and rickets, and that the condition is easily prevented and treated with inexpensive vitamin drops or cod liver oil. But doctors are reluctant to say anything that might discourage breast-feeding.

Now some researchers are also linking vitamin D deficiency with other chronic diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and even cancer, and there have been calls to include blood tests of vitamin D levels in routine checkups.

“I completely support breast-feeding, and I think breast milk is the perfect food, and the healthiest way to nourish an infant,” said Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children’s Hospital Boston and an author of several studies on vitamin D deficiency, including Aleanie’s case.

Excluding societal hangups, it’s hard to make a case against breastfeeding. Dr. Fuhrman is all about breastfeeding. Take kid’s allergies, breastfeeding helps! Not to mention breastfeeding also helps prevent ear infections and breast milk provides brain-building DHA.

Yeah, Don't Eat Deli Meat...

Canada says 12 people have died after eating listeria-contaminated meats from Maple Leaf Foods. So far there have been 26 confirmed cases of listeriosis and another 29 suspected cases. Reuters has the latest details:

Maple Leaf has said it's unlikely it will be able to determine how its meat was contaminated, explaining that the listeria bacterium is common and pervasive.

"It's very, very, very difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint a cause," Chief Financial Officer Michael Vels told analysts on Monday before the latest health announcement.

"I don't know how important that is to consumers. I think our perspective is what's more important is we let them know what's going on and we take swift and conservative action to safeguard their health," Vels said.

Maple Leaf is double-checking procedures at all of its 23 plants but has no reason to believe any other products are at risk of contamination, he said.

Reimbursing customers for returned products, cleaning the plant and other direct expenses will cost the company C$20 million before taxes, Vels said.

Maple Leaf Foods CEO and President, Michael McCain, offered this video apology on YouTube: Message from Maple Leaf Foods regarding Listeria Recall.

Now, let’s get down to business. Don’t eat cold cuts. They’re beyond gross. In fact, similar foods like sausage and hotdogs make Dr. Fuhrman’s list of the MOST unhealthy foods. Also, Dr. Fuhrman suggests NOT eating deli meat if you’re pregnant; so does The New York Times.

Seriously, Chocolate Cows

Here’s a NEW reason to avoid beef. As high fuel prices continue to cut into profits, farmers have resorted to feeding their cattle POTATO CHIPS and M&Ms—it’s cheap. Of course, no one knows the health implications of this junk food diet. You’ve got to see this, via The Wall Street Journal.

Green-News: Wednesday 8.27.08

While the concentration of drugs in drinking water tends to be low, some medications, such as hormones, are able to operate potently even at concentrations of one part per billion. To make matters worse, there is evidence that the chlorine commonly used to treat drinking water may make some pharmaceutical chemicals more toxic. Thus, the typical claim that "pharmaceuticals are only present in very low concentrations, and therefore could not be dangerous" holds no water (pardon the pun). Not only are some chemicals potentiated (made more toxic) by other chemicals in the water, but to date, there have been absolutely no studies looking at the increased danger posed by combinations of pharmaceuticals now being found.

In other words, nobody knows the level of risk that may be associated with the chemical cocktail of pharmaceuticals now being found in the water supply. No one can say with any degree of honesty that the drug contamination is safe, meaning that the real risks to human remain entirely unknown.

Biomass Turned Into Gasoline Cheaply
Developed in conjunction with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, Byogy’s claims its process can convert a wide range of biomass feedstocks directly into “Byolene”, a 95-octane gasoline substitute at a cost of $1.70-2.00 per gallon.

Wide Variety of Feedstocks
Byogy states that the process is designed to run on non-food feedstocks such as garbage, biosolids from wastewater treatment plants, lawn clippings, food waste, and livestock manure, in addition to non-food/feed crops grown for fuel purposes.

Initially, Byogy says it intends to use municipal waste in its first plant, which it hopes to have online with two years. By 2022 Byogy says it hopes Byolene can meet 2% of the nation’s transportation fuel demand, and hopes to build an additional 200 biorefineries to do so.

The SAB meeting will focus on "consultative advice" from the EPA's Environmental Engineering Committee to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) "on possible new approaches to measuring results of pollution prevention activities." The OPPT is responsible for oversight of programs falling under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Pollution Prevention Act. These acts evaluate chemical safety and while "promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream." Programs specifics can be found on the EPA website.

Given the EPA's already legendary foot-dragging on pollution standards, the need for public comment now is greater than ever.If you're in or near Washington, DC and would like to register to speak at the event please note the following: "In general individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at a public meeting will be limited to five minutes per speaker, with no more than one hour for all speakers. Interested parties should contact Ms. Kathleen White,
Designated Federal Officer, EPA Science Advisory Board at 202.343.9878 or via email at" The Federal Register notes that email contact is preferable.

Chemical Companies Say Organic Not More Nutritious

The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) has concluded that organic fruits and vegetables do NOT contain more nutrients cheaper non-organic produce. Wow, no conflict of interest there! The study appears in SCI’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Here’s report, No Evidence to Support Organic is Best, via SCI’s press office:

The first cultivation method consisted of growing the vegetables on soil which had a low input of nutrients using animal manure and no pesticides except for one organically approved product on kale only.

The second method involved applying a low input of nutrients using animal manure, combined with use of pesticides, as much as allowed by regulation.

Finally, the third method comprised a combination of a high input of nutrients through mineral fertilizers and pesticides as legally allowed.

The crops were grown on the same or similar soil on adjacent fields at the same time and so experienced the same weather conditions. All were harvested and treated at the same time. In the case of the organically grown vegetables, all were grown on established organic soil.

After harvest, results showed that there were no differences in the levels of major and trace contents in the fruit and vegetables grown using the three different methods.

Produce from the organically and conventionally grown crops were then fed to animals over a two year period and intake and excretion of various minerals and trace elements were measured. Once again, the results showed there was no difference in retention of the elements regardless of how the crops were grown.

This is awkward. Clearly, the CHEMICAL SOCIETY has some vested interests here—fogging the credibility of this work. Especially since previous studies have shown the opposite, that organic fruits and vegetables DO contain more nutrients.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman prefers organic—reduces pesticide exposure and tastes better—but other experts cite climate change as a GREAT reason to go organic. Here’s what the Soil Association had to say. Jessica Daly of CNN reports:

In 2006 the UK's Manchester Business School assessed the environmental impacts of food production and consumption and concluded that there isn't a clear cut answer to whether the environmental impact is greater on a trolley full of organic food compared to a trolley full of non-organic food.

Not so, was the response from the Soil Association. Do you believe organic food is more nutritional?

It countered that: "Overall, organic farming is better for tackling climate change than industrial agricultural methods. As well as lower average energy use, organic farming also avoids the very large nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer manufacture."

"Additionally, organic farming builds up soil carbon, removing it from the atmosphere. Organic farming also supports more local food marketing, reducing food miles."

While the jury might still be out about whether organic farming is, on the whole, better for the environment, there is little doubt that it's a booming industry which is starting to catch on in other parts of the world.

Take this research by The Society of Chemical Industry with a grain of salt, I’d put more stock in it if were conducted by a third party—although nowadays that’s getting harder and harder to find.

Even still, local organic farming is catching on, like these folks from Los Angeles and some Londoners too! Personally, I do my best to stay organic. I belong to a CSA, grow my own tomatoes and buy organic bananas. So, how organic are you?

Eat Your Veggies and Your Kids will Follow...

Guess what parents? New research by Saint Louis University lays it on the line—if you want your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, you better eat them too. Reuters reports:

The findings, reported in the journal Preventive Medicine, point to the importance of parents "modeling" a healthy diet for their preschoolers. They also suggest that educating parents on nutrition early on could help address the problem of childhood obesity, the researchers say.

About half of parents in the study were randomly assigned to receive home visits where they learned about nutrition and tactics for getting their children to eat fruits and vegetables. On average, these parents increased their fruit and vegetable intake, and in turn so did their children…

… In the end, parents in the High 5 group boosted their own fruit and vegetable intake, and children's increases correlated with their parents'.

The one exception was children who were already overweight, who generally did not grow fonder of fruits and vegetables.

"Overweight children," lead researcher Dr. Debra Haire-Joshu, of Saint Louis University School of Public Health in St. Louis said, "have already been exposed to salty, sweet foods and learned to like them. To keep a child from becoming overweight, parents need to expose them early to a variety of health foods and offer the foods many times.

Not exactly a new idea. Dr. Fuhrman insists healthy eating is fun for the whole family. Take me for example. My mom has always eaten a TON of veggies and it definitely helped me get hip to a vegetable-base diet. Thanks mom!

Now, parents can govern a lot more than their kid’s diet, bedtime and cell phone minutes. Just check out these reports on weight-loss and exercise.

Behind the Scenes at a CSA

Since we’re talking a lot about organic produce and farming today, check out this cool video I found. This lady tells us all about her community supported agriculture. Take a look:


I think it takes guts to be a small farmer nowadays, but clearly it can be done—turn a buck and eat great. Hard to beat that!

California Shuts Down Little Girl's Veggie Stand

Instead of selling lemonade, 11-year old Katie Lewis has been selling organic homegrown fruits and veggies from a roadside stand in Clayton, California. That was until municipal zoning laws shut her down. Martha Neil of the ABA Journal reports:

Two residents complained, he says, and "I find that for every person who calls you or writes a letter, there are 100 that feel the same."

Opinion is divided about the municipality's no-exceptions enforcement, according to the network. Some feel a rule is a rule. But others, including the girl's father, Mike Lewis, wonder why Clayton officials can't find a way to make an exception. (Officials say the family is welcome to make a formal application for a zoning variance.)

The veggie stand is much like the lemonade stand that many children traditionally have operated at some point in their lives, Mike Lewis says.

"But Mayor Gregory Manning said those, too, are illegal in Clayton, though officials typically don't pay much attention because they don't last more than a day or two," ABC reports.

Okay, I’m a law-abiding citizen, but give me a break! She’s a little girl, selling fruits and veggies. Who cares! Honestly, I find this far less offensive than parents hocking their kid’s fundraising chocolate bars.

Show Katie some support and leave Mayor Manning a voicemail: Clayton City Council.

Green-News: Tuesday 8.26.08

This house in Wales is one that he built for his family so they could all live greener lifestyles closer to nature. And it doesn't just look green on the outside -- it's eco-conscious through and through. Dale built the house completely on his own, with very little experience and just a few buddies to help out here and there. The foundation is made from rocks and mud sourced on site, the interior features skylights and natural branch rafters, the water runs via gravity from a nearby spring, solar panels provide lights at night, it has a compost toilet, and the refrigerator is cooled with air from underground.
The new biopesticide has active compounds that alert plant defenses to combat a range of diseases, including powdery mildew, gray mold and bacterial blight that affect fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. The product will be available this October for conventional growers, according to Marja Koivunen, Ph.D., director of research and development for Marrone Organic Innovations. A new formulation has also been developed for organic farmers and will be available in 2009.

In one of the presentations by Marrone Organic Innovations (MOI), the progress toward discovery of an "organic Roundup" — the Holy Grail of biopesticide research — an environmentally friendly and natural version of the world's most widely used herbicide was discussed.

Biopesticides are derived from plants, microbes, or other natural materials and are proven to be safer for humans and the environment. The active ingredient in one of the company's first products, GreenMatch EX, came from lemongrass oil, and microorganisms from around the world are studied in the search for novel and effective natural pesticides. Currently, the MOI R&D team is working on an organic rice herbicide based on an extract from a marine microorganism, as well as on insecticides and nematocides to kill insect pests and soil-inhabiting, parasitic roundworms that affect plants and animals.

This has nothing to do with political conventions, and everything to do with the wind and the future - a little bit about the tipping of the balance of power among lobbyists.

Vestas expects to employ 2,450 people in Colorado…

…The towers will be built in Pueblo - biggest such in the world. Blades and nacelles in Brighton CO. Blades in Windsor.

That's probably more people than work in "clean coal' combined, the world over: and they don't even have to get filthy. No support columns caving in on poor miners either. Nice. Who would have thought a Danish company would be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Swayze's Cancer, Puff-Puff Pass...

What the heck is Patrick Swayze doing? The dude is labeled a “cancer miracle” and he’s STILL smoking! Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth, surely he knows pancreatic cancer almost always kills.

NFL Players Association Executive Director and Hall of Fame Oakland Raider Gene Upshaw just lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, I bet he’d have some choice words for Swayze and his smoking—GEEZ!

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Candy Wars, Chocolaty Science...

Not to brag, but Followhealthlife is earning some chops. For example, I receive press releases ALL the time now. Like this email from Hershey's about new research involving dark chocolate and vascular health. Take a look:

I wanted to share some news that The Hershey Company just released today that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers. As you might know, dark chocolate has come to be recognized for its flavanol antioxidant benefits, but a new study, conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, has uncovered an important link to its vascular health benefits as well. The study, which used Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate, reported that dark chocolate has a positive impact on blood pressure and blood vessel function. The study's release comes on the heels of Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate, a rich dark chocolate featuring 60 percent cacao, earning renowned health and fitness expert Bob Greene's Best Life seal of approval – the first and only chocolate bar to earn that distinction.

The research appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Treatment and here’s Hershey’s official press release.

Now, originally I balked at this—don’t think promoting chocolate bars for health is a good idea—but then I saw this report. Research by Mars Inc. has determined that flavanols in cocoa may boost blood flow to the brain. Via Kelley Colihan of WebMD:

The ingredient is flavanols, which are nutrients found in cocoa. Flavanols are considered to act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories on cells. These chemicals can protect cells and tissue from damage, which in turn protects against heart disease and cancer.

The research and similar studies were funded by Mars Inc., the maker of Snickers and other foods….

….After one week, blood flow measures increased 8% in the group that got the flavanol-rich drinks. After two weeks that went up to a 10% increase.

When comparing participants drinking the high-flavanol cocoa to those who drank the low-flavanol cocoa, there was an increase in measured blood flow.

The researchers write that flavanols could have a "promising role" to treat brain conditions such as stroke and dementia.

Check out the study in Neuropychiatric Disease and Treatment. I think its interesting that two CANDY companies are talking about HEALTH, I wonder if they trying to convince us that sweets are ACTUALLY good for us—very funny, nice try!

Okay, as for flavanols. You don’t have to eat sugary M&Ms or KitKat bars to get them. Cocoa powder will do just fine and you can use it to make healthy recipes that include other super foods like spinach, walnuts and strawberries. See Banana Split Smoothie or Gerry’s Chocolate Pudding.

Health Points: Monday 8.24.08

In a population-based, case-control study, the researchers matched 1,001 men with prostate cancer diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 with 942 age-matched cancer-free controls from King County, Washington.

No overall association was observed between the risk of prostate cancer and the current or past use of statin treatment. Duration of statin use was also not associated with prostate cancer risk.

"We also found no evidence that use of a statin was associated with risk of developing more aggressive subtypes of prostate caner," Stanford said in an interview with Reuters Health. "Overall we found no support for the current hypothesis that statin use may reduce risk of prostate cancer."

However, the results do suggest a significant increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer associated with current statin use and with longer durations of use among obese men (defined as a body mass index of 30 greater).

A team led by Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida in Gainesville surveyed 1300 people, 245 of whom had a history of ear infections, and found that among the over-30s, those who had suffered from ear infections were twice as likely to be obese as those with no such history. A subsequent analysis of four US medical databases confirmed the link. Those who had suffered from ear infections also rated fattier foods as 18 per cent more pleasurable than the others.

Infections may damage the chorda tympani taste nerve, which is stimulated at the front of the tongue and passes through the middle ear to the brain, says Bartoshuk. She says that the nerve normally inhibits some of the creamy sensations of fatty foods, as part of a response that inhibits tactile sensations that would otherwise make us gag. But nerve damage would lower this inhibiting effect, making foods seem creamier and so more pleasurable.

The postures, breathing and meditation included in the yoga intervention were "aimed at one common effect, i.e. 'to develop mastery over modifications of the mind' ... through 'slowing down the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind,'" the researchers explain.

Women in the yoga group also listened to lectures on using yoga to manage stress and other yoga-related topics, while those in the control group heard lectures on diet, exercise, the physiology of menopause, and stress.

After eight weeks, women in the yoga group showed a significant reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, while the women in the control group did not, Dr. R. Chattha, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, and colleagues found.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit -- or they'll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.

Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who don't work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.

Alabama already charges workers who smoke -- and has seen some success in getting them to quit -- but now has turned its attention to a problem that plagues many in the Deep South: obesity.

The State Employees' Insurance Board this week approved a plan to charge state workers starting in January 2010 if they don't have free health screenings.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children devote no more than two hours per day to watching TV and playing video games.

Experts also encourage children to exercise regularly; some groups, including the AAP, recommend that boys move enough to take 13,000 steps each day, while girls should strive for 11,000. Another common recommendation is for children and teenagers to get at least one hour of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.

For the new study, researchers at Iowa State University in Ames looked at whether there were weight differences between children who met or did not meet recommendations for "screen time" and exercise.

They found that among 709 7- to 12-year-olds, those who did not meet either recommendation were three to four times more likely to be overweight than their peers who met both guidelines.

Both vaccines target the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus that usually causes no symptoms and is cleared by the immune system, but which can in very rare cases become chronic and cause cervical cancer.

The two vaccines, Gardasil by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline, target two strains of the virus that together cause an estimated 70 percent of cervical cancers. Gardasil also prevents infection with two other strains that cause some proportion of genital warts. Both vaccines have become quick best sellers since they were licensed two years ago in the United States and Europe, given to tens of millions of girls and women.

“Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug, editor of The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, wrote in an editorial in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.

According to the data, women's life expectancy saw a significant decline in 180 counties between 1983 and 1999. The cause for this precipitous drop? The folks at Women's Health attribute it to chronic diseases associated with obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Here is a quick look at the U.S. counties that have experienced the greatest drop (numbers measured in years of average decline in female life expectancy):

Pulaski County, VA - 5.8
Radford, VA - 5.8
Dolores County, CO - 3.3
Montezuma County, CO - 3.3
San Juan County, CO - 3.3.
East Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
St. Helena Parish, LA - 3.2
West Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
Callaway County, MO - 3.0
Danville, VA - 3.0

Ted Nugent has never been one to beat around the bush so why should he stop now. Honestly I respect the man for the way he is willing and quick to speak his mind, but sometimes he’s a bit too blunt about things. Old Uncle Ted was on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show on The Travel Channel where he was exploring the elements of Southwestern cuisine and stopped by Ted Nugents ranch in Texas. Anthony and Ted were speaking on many things to include Obesity. The Nuge’ said “Obesity is a manifestation of a cultural depravation in its most vulgar and displeasing-to-look-at form. And it’s suicide as a lifestyle.” Nugent also added “It all comes back to the horror, the soullessness of a trend in America that is the abandonment of parenting. Somebody’s got to go, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re way too fat.‘”

While I can understand what Ted is saying, Obesity is more than just an image issue. The last part of his statement is true that it may lead to certain and early death, but I think someone needs to give this guy a lesson in tact.

Green-News: Monday 8.25.08

Proper loading
Ensure your drier isn't overloaded. Air needs to circulate easily between the clothes in order for drying to be most effective.

Open a window when using the dryer. A closed up laundry gets very humid and that humid air just gets sucked into the drier; decreasing its effectiveness. If your drier has an exhaust leading to the outside; ensure that it's cleaned regularly.

Separate loads
Heavier items should be dried separately to light weight clothes.

Cool it
Many modern clothes driers have a cool-down cycle which allows the clothes to complete drying with the remaining heat in the dryer. If you live in a dry climate, a cool cycle can be extended.

The Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are all campaigning against palm oil. (You can find their arguments here and here and here and here.) Last week, RAN asked about 2,000 volunteers to sneak into food stores across the United States and attach stickers to products made with palm oil.

"Warning!," the stickers said. "May Contain Rainforest Destruction."

The targets of the RAN campaign are three global agricultural firms that grow or import palm oil: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM, Fortune 500), Cargill and Bunge (BG). The goal of last week's stunt was to get the attention of consumer-goods companies, who are being asked to look into their sourcing of palm oil.

"We're working our way down the food chain," explained Mike Brune, the executive director of RAN. "Most customers won't want rainforest destruction and climate change in every mouthful of cookies or crackers, so our plan is to start with the most prominent brands. Once we get some of the top brands on our side, we'll use the power of the pocketbook to convince the 'A,B,C's' (ADM, Bunge and Cargill) that destroying rainforests and increasing climate change isn't smart - for business or the planet."

In the worst cases, two samples of filleted fish sold as red snapper, caught mostly off the southeast United States and in the Caribbean, were instead the endangered Acadian redfish from the North Atlantic, according to the tests, revealed on Friday.

"We never expected these results. People should get what they pay for," Kate Stoeckle, 18, told Reuters of the project with Louisa Strauss, 17.

The two classmates from New York's Trinity school collected and sent off 60 fish samples to the University of Guelph in Canada. Of 56 samples that could be identified by a four-year-old DNA identification technique, 14 were mislabeled.

In all cases, the fish was labeled as a more costly type, apparently ruling out simple chance. It was the first known student use of DNA barcoding technology in a public market.

"We really like sushi and we'd take home fish samples and put them in alcohol," Stoeckle said of fish bought in shops and restaurants in Upper Manhattan.

Viva Tomato!

Tomato time! Here's my tomato last week:


Now, after some limb tying. Check out today:



And yesterday I plucked three luscious tomatoes:


This plant is unstoppable!

Work Your Abs, Yoga Style!

Yoga master Rodney Yee will help get your abdominals into tiptop shape. Take a look:

Don't forget to breathe and don’t worry if you fart, happens to everyone! Oh, and great news ladies. New research has determined that Yoga lessens menopause symptoms.


Water World...

It’s pretty amazing. Bad foods take A LOT of water to produce. Here are a few photos from The Guardian’s Water: The Hidden Cost of Your Food and Drink. Take a look:



(via The Guardian)

Actually, the U.K. is a big over-consumer of water. According to a new report the British go through gallons and gallons of “virtual” water. ENN explains:

While each person in the UK drinks, hoses, flushes and washes their way through around 150 litres of mains water a day, they consume about 30 times as much in “virtual” water embedded in food, clothes and other items — the equivalent of about 58 bathtubs full of water every day.

Launching the report, UK Water Footprint: the impact of the UK’s food and fibre consumption on global water resources, at World Water Week in Stockholm today, Stuart Orr, WWF-UK’s water footprint expert, said the UK was the sixth largest importer of water in the world.

“Only 38 per cent of the UK’s total water use comes from its own rivers, lakes and groundwater reserves,” he said. “The rest is taken from water bodies in many countries across the world to irrigate and process food and fibre crops that people in Britain subsequently consume.

Personally, I keep a brick in my toilet to help conserve water. Not to mention reduce my water bill! Oh, and be sure to check out these related links:

Be proud that you eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They don’t require as much water as foods like meat and cheese, and, some of plant foods are packed with H20.

Radiated Spinach and Lettuce

The FDA has had enough of all the E. coli scares, so they’ve decided to allow the radiation of spinach and lettuce. Susan Heavey of Reuters reports:

Since then, other outbreaks have affected a variety of products, most recently Salmonella contamination in hot peppers from Mexico that surfaced earlier this summer.

"In the aftermath of the recent outbreaks, FDA wanted to fast track an important tool to help industry improve the safety of fresh produce," Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) spokesman Brian Kennedy said.

But FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said the agency was making its decision now because it had finished reviewing all the necessary data.

Industry groups initially sought the agency's approval eight years ago to clear a wide variety of foods, including various meats and produce before amending their request to allow the agency to review certain foods first.

The FDA's review of the other foods is still ongoing.

Foods already approved for radiation treatment include meat, poultry, spices and molluscan shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams, according to the agency.

About 76 million cases of E.coli and other types of food poisoning occur each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients stricken with a food- borne illness experience a wide variety of symptoms that can include abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.

Unless this radiation can cause super human strength—or at the very least give me the ability to read minds—I’m pretty leery about it.

Hot and Cold Soups

Tomato Bean Barley Soup

7 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 cup water
1 cup dried barley
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped organic celery
3 medium carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes (no or low salt)
1 15-ounce can kidney beans (no or low sodium), drained
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 packed cups organic baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large soup pot, bring vegetable broth, water, and barley to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Meanwhile, heat oil and 1 tablespoon water in a pan. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, beans, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add vegetable/bean mixture to barley pot, stir in spinach and pepper and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Serves 6.

Hearty Ginger Lentil Soup

8 cups carrot juice
4 cups water
1 cup dried lentils (do not soak)
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
2 zucchini, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 bunches Swiss chard leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place cucumbers and fresh red bell peppers in a food processor. Pulse until chopped in small pieces. Add canned tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Pulse a couple of more times until finely chopped. Add tomato juice and rest of ingredients and pulse until well mixed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours for flavors to mingle. Before serving, garnish with cucumber slices, if desired. Serve chilled. Serves 7.


Eating to Live on the Outside: Java Green

Time for another episode of Eating to Live on the Outside! This week I'm off to Java Green. Not literally, just via the internet. Okay, Java Green is about fifty-fifty. Some of the stuff is good and some it not so good, but let's take a closer a look.

First up are the organic wraps. Here’s the problem. Many of them are made with faux-meats and cheese on the menu. Fake food doesn't float my boat. So I’d go with these instead. I like the Tofu & Avocado wrap and the Rice Wrap. Combined they're made with spinach, tomato, cucumber, onion, carrot, sesame soy dressing, Chili Java, organic rice, lettuce, and Smooth Java. Clearly, rice isn't exactly nutrient-dense. I can deal with it. But hey, the veggies are cool! Although I'm not sure about the Chili Java and Smooth Java, I'd talk to the wait staff about those first.

I’m skipping the rice rolls and going straight for the salads. Now these I can work with! I’m digging the Very Berry Salad, the Spinach Avocado Salad, the Sesame Soy Salad, Bi-Bim Bob, and the Kale Salad. Lots of good stuff here: mixed greens, berries, strawberries, grapes, fresh mozzarella, almonds, dried cranberries, berry vinaigrette, avocado, baby spinach, red onion, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, Romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrot, pepper, sesame soy dressing, tofu, rice, cabbage, sprouts, kale, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and sesame hot pepper sauce. Good stuff! Well, not totally. The mozzarella and rice are getting the axe and then I’d order the dressing on the side. Now it’s all good.

Alright, I’m passing on the soups. We all know that prepared soups are notoriously salty. Moving on, I see a few entrees I like. They’re not perfect and I wouldn’t order any of them over the salads, but maybe you’re feeling dangerous. Here they are. First, the Jobche Noodle; made with yam noodles, cabbage, carrot, onion, mushroom, spinach, and spicy tofu. The noodles worry me. Same goes for the Curry Noodle; includes buckwheat noodles, creamy curry sauce, carrot, potato, broccoli, edamame, and spicy tofu. Hopefully that cream sauce is dairy-free. And lastly, the Raw Garden Sandwich might work for you. They make it with tomato, cucumber, sprouts, radish, pickle, raw bread & garden patty, and a side salad. Actually, this one doesn’t sound too bad. What do you think?

The organic sandwiches might tickle your fancy. Granted, you’ll take a bread-hit, but maybe you think it’s worth it. Bread doesn’t scare me, mainly because I don’t eat it all that often. I’m cool with the Java California, BaToMo, Garden Burger, Vegan Burger, and the Grilled Tofu. They’re made with avocado, spinach, cheddar, Swiss, provolone, avo-spread, basil, tomato, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, pesto, balsamic vinaigrette, veggie patty, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, onion, soy cheese, garden dressing, grilled tofu, and mushrooms. Yup, I’m nixing the soy and regular cheese and keeping those dressing to a minimum.

Almost done, one more area left to explore—the sides. Now, if none of Java Green’s food struck your fancy so far or you just don’t feel like making any exceptions. Order a bunch of sides instead. If it were me, I’d get a plate of edamame beans, steamed vegetables, tofu, and a green salad. Love those soy beans!

Another one bites the dust. I think with a little effort Java Green works! Sure, you have to dodge the fake meats and cheeses and go easy on a few salad dressings, but overall Java Green is cool. But never mind what I say, I’m just a dopey blogger. It’s your turn. Check out Java Greens’ menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Until then, may the force be with you. Peace.

Green-News: Friday 8.22.08

  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hell-bent on renewable energy. In fact, he wants to power NYC with windmills. More from ENN:
Bloomberg said he is determined to keep the city's energy usage at or near its current level even as the population grows. But the city has to increase production of clean energy, he said.

"I believe that we've got to be willing to do what some other nations -- such as France -- have already done, and increase our capacity of safe and clean nuclear-generated power," he said.

Clean energy projects could also "draw power from the tides of the Hudson and East Rivers -- something we're already doing on a pilot basis," he said.

Bloomberg proposed increasing rooftop solar power production, "which we've estimated could meet nearly 20 percent of the city's need for electricity."

Companies may also "want to put windfarms atop our bridges and skyscrapers, or use the enormous potential of powerful off-shore winds miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, where turbines could generate roughly twice the energy that land-based windfarms can," he said.

Stamets is also experimenting with packaging materials infused with mycelium and tree seedlings, that could help regenerate old growth forests (though I can’t help but wonder about the dangers of shipping non-native species around the globe), and he has also been exploring the possibility of using fungi in the production of cellulosic ethanol (Matthew has delved a little into fungi and ethanol before). But, in our experience of talking about Stamets’ work, it’s usually the slides about mycopesticides that most often blow people’s minds – once you’ve seen a mushroom infesting a termite, and then sprouting from its head, you start to understand what Stamets means when he says that these are powerful organisms that we would do well to understand better.
While the practice carries serious health risks for many, those dangers are eclipsed by the social and economic gains for poor urban farmers and consumers who need affordable food, the study authors say.

Nearly 200 million farmers in China, India, Vietnam, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America harvest grains and vegetables from fields that use untreated human waste.

Ten percent of the world's population relies on such foods, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"There is a large potential for wastewater agriculture to both help and hurt great numbers of urban consumers," said Liqa Raschid-Sally, who led the study published by the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and released this week at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Michael Phelps for Frosted Flakes...

After setting an Olympic record with 8 gold medals, super swimmer Michael Phelps has agreed to appear on boxes of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes. Yeah, because processed cereals are healthy—GEEZ! The Associated Press reports:

Move over Tony the Tiger, here comes Olympic champion Michael Phelps.
The record-setting swimmer will soon be appearing on boxes of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes.
Kellogg Co. made the announcement Tuesday. The winner of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics will be featured on Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes boxes expected to be in stores by mid-September.
Battle Creek-based Kellogg says the images of Phelps that will be used will highlight some of the most memorable moments of the games.
The 23-year-old Phelps is a Baltimore native who has lived and trained in Ann Arbor in recent years as part of the University of Michigan-linked Club Wolverine.

Worrisome, because kids look up to Michael Phelps and boxed cereals are NOT healthy, they’re nutrient-deficient, and, often contain toxins called acrylamides. Then again, you can’t expect much from Phelps, he eats chocolate-chip pancakes and white bread—BIG DUMMY—and world record sprinter Usain Blot is no better, he's powered by chicken nuggets and yams!

Arsenic Linked to Diabetes

New research by Johns Hopkins University has determined that repeated exposure to small amounts of Arsenic found in drinking water is strongly associated with the development of type-2 diabetes. Andrew Stern of Reuters explains:

Dr. Ana Navas-Acien and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found a "relatively strong" association between commonly found levels of arsenic in urine and type 2 diabetes in a study of American adults.

"It seems there is may be no safe level of arsenic," Navas-Acien said in a telephone interview.

"Worldwide it's a huge problem," she said. "As water becomes a scarce resource, we need additional sources."

Arsenic raises the risk for cancers of the bladder, lung, kidney, skin and, possibly, the prostate, Navas-Acien said.

The 20 percent of nearly 800 study participants who had the most arsenic in their bodies, a tolerable 16.5 micrograms per liter of urine, had 3.6 times the risk of developing late-onset diabetes than those in the bottom 20 percent, who had 3 micrograms per liter.

Levels of arsenic were 26 percent higher in people with late-onset, or type 2, diabetes than those without the disease, the study found.

The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Now, this isn’t the only study linking toxins to diabetes. Pesticides and PCBs have also been associated with diabetes-risk.

Eat For Health: Eating Seeds and Nuts To Lose Weight

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

If you are significantly overweight and want to maximize your weight loss, you should limit your intake of seeds, nuts and avocados to one (one ounce) serving a day since they are calorie-rich. However, you should not exclude these healthy, high-fat foods completely from your diet. It may seem illogical to include such high fat foods in your diet (since fat is 9 calories a gram compared with 4 calories a gram for carbohydrates and protein) however epidemiological studies show an inverse relationship between seed and nut consumption and body weight. Interestingly, these studies show including some seeds and nuts in your diet actually aids in appetite suppression and weight loss. Well-controlled trials that looked to see if eating nuts and seeds resulted in weight gain, found the opposite—eating raw nuts and seeds promoted weight loss, not weight gain.1 Because seeds and nuts are rich in minerals and fiber and have a low glycemic index, they are favorable foods to include in a diet designed for diabetics and even the obese. Researchers noted that people eating one ounce of nuts five times a week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 27 percent.2

There is another important reason to include nuts and seeds in your diet as you lose weight and that is they prevent the formation of gallstones. Weight loss in general can increase one’s risk of gallstone formation and certainly that is a reasonable risk to take when one considers the ill health and life-threatening effects from significant body fat. It is important to note, as reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when over 80,000 women were followed for 20 years it was found that the regular consumption of nuts and seeds offered dramatic protection against gallstone formation. These findings have been duplicated in men too.3

The health properties of nuts and seeds notwithstanding, it is important that you do not overeat them. Don’t sit in front of the TV and eat an entire bag of nuts in an hour. Healthful eating means avoiding excessive calories and not eating for recreation. Besides being aware of the amount of seeds and nuts consumed, the only other modification that one needs to make to maximize weight loss in a plant-based diet is to limit the consumption of flour-containing baked goods and oils. Your carbohydrate consumption should come mostly from fresh fruit, squashes, carrots, peas and beans, not bread; and of course your fat consumption should come from seeds and nuts, not oils.

Continue Reading...

Exercise Inspiration, Team USA Basketball

Yup, I’ve had Olympic fever this month. Here’s the legend Marvin Gaye singing the U.S. national anthem while the current Dream Team shoots around. Enjoy:

Now, if that doesn’t inspire you to get active—what will!


Green-News: Thursday 8.21.08

  1. Congress must pass legislation that puts a price on carbon and establish a cap-and-trade system. The alternative is passing a carbon tax, Clinton says, but adds that he tried that route already and it didn’t work out too well.
  2. We need to renew and lengthen the tax credits for clean energy. The time frame needs to be longer than three years — more like 6 to 10 years. That is the only way to stimulate enough production of clean energy technologies.
  3. It’s important to figure out the federal government’s role in modernizing the electrical grid, including both efficiency and carrying capacity. The grid wastes a lot of energy moving power, given that the wind blows and the sun shines in places where a lot of people don’t live. Tax payers should also be able to split the cost of modernizing the grid with utilities.
If they weren't wasting energy via freezing rooms or water due to countless loads of laundry they were filling landfills with plastic keycards. Wait. What? How big of a footprint could those thin plastic keycards be leaving? How about 1,300 tons (TONS!) per year? That may not bigfootesque in the relative picture but it is still an alarming, and totally unnecessary, impact.

Here's why plastic keycards are unnecessary: we don't need them. Simple, isn't it? It turns out that Europe has been using wooden keycards for that past 10 years. Seems like someone could have told us (note to self: travel).

From Gadling: "This morning, Sustainable Cards, maker of the United States' first wooden hotel keycards, announced that 70,000 biodegradable wooden keycards will be used in Denver hotels during next week's Democratic National Convention."

It seems like a strange move, one step removed from attempts to tinker with ecosystem problems by introducing new predators or invasive species. But the coastal waters of the Earth already abound in old ships: Besides the famous goners like the Lusitania or the Gordon Lightfoot-immortalized Edmund Fitzgerald, it’s impossible to know just how many long-forgotten ships are decaying under the sea. In any case, divers have already identified 38 species of fish hanging around the Oriskany.
The Navy spent $20 million cleaning up the Oriskany before they sank it, but the city of Pensacola has recouped $4 million from tourism—recreational divers or war buffs who want to go down and see the ship. Perhaps other cities will start asking the Navy to sink a ship in their harbor so they have a new tourist attraction. However, once you’ve seen one retired Cold War relic inhabited by marine life, you’ve probably seen them all.
More importantly, from a should-we-or-shouldn’t-we-perspective, the Navy’s cleaning operation wasn’t totally complete. According to The New York Times, 700 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) remained aboard the Oriskany when it went down, thanks to an agreement the Navy struck with the EPA. The State of Florida is currently studying whether these toxic compounds are getting into the food chain, but considering Congress banned PCBs 30 years ago, we’re not exactly excited about the idea of having them sitting in the ocean.

Applegate Cancer-Free, Following Double Mastectomy

After testing positive for a gene mutation associated with breast cancer, actress Christina Applegate opted to have both her breasts removed. A drastic measure, but the now cancer-free star of "Samantha Who” is optimistic about her future. Via the Associated Press:

She'll undergo reconstructive surgery over the next eight months.

"I'm going to have cute boobs 'til I'm 90, so there's that," she joked in the interview, which aired Tuesday. "I'll have the best boobs in the nursing home. I'll be the envy of all the ladies around the bridge table…"

… Applegate's cancer was detected early through a doctor-ordered MRI. She said she's starting a program to help women at high risk for breast cancer to meet the costs of an MRI, which is not always covered by insurance.

The news of breast cancer initially shook her up, she said.

"I was so mad," she told "Good Morning America." "I was just shaking and -- and then also immediately, I had to go into ... 'take-care-of-business-mode,' which was ... I asked them, 'What do I do now? What -- what is it that I do? I get a doctor, I get a surgeon, I get an oncologist? What do I do?' "

The actress said she quickly made appointments, and also changed her diet to one consisting of fish, grains, beans and vegetables, avoiding processed foods.

Great job Christina! Dropping the processed foods is just what the doctor ordered. Diet is a HUGE factor in the development of all cancers, not just breast cancer. Not to mention exercise has also been shown to ward off cancer.

For more, check out: Christina Applegate's Breast Cancer Diagnosis.

Prosper and Live Long...

Jack Lalanne, the 93-year old fitness legend, says being happy is good for you. Dr. Fuhrman insists a healthy diet increases longevity. And now new research by the University of Southern Denmark claims being busy and independent will help you live longer. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:

The new study was led by Dr. Kaare Christensen of The Danish Aging Research Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. The team reported its findings in the Aug. 18-22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To gauge recent quality of life trends among the so-called "super-elderly", Christensen's team launched mental and physical health surveys in 1998 that focused on an initial group of almost 2,300 Danish men and women, all of whom had been born in 1905.

The researchers did not exclude anyone on the basis of prior health issues or cognitive status at the start of the study. In all, four surveys were conducted -- one approximately every two years-- and all tracked the same group of individuals as they aged from 92 to 100.

By the time of the last survey in 2005, just 166 of the participants were still alive. However, the study authors observed that among those super-elderly still alive at the time of each survey, the percentage that was still able to maintain a functionally independent lifestyle remained nearly constant.

Across surveys, those deemed to be mentally and physically "independent" -- able to perform basic tasks on their own, while remaining free of serious and disabling cognitive, sensory, or physical impairment -- declined only "very modestly" from 39 percent at age 92 to 33 percent by age 100, the researchers reported.

I know I always feel more lively and vibrant when I have a MILLION things to do! This research goes right in line with the recent poll of 100 U.S. centenarians; 81% of them recommend maintaining a sense of independence. Also, check out author John Robbins’ video on living healthy at 100.

United States: Fat, Getting Fatter

In July the CDC reported that states like Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana continue to lead the nation in obesity. And now people are beginning to think that all the public initiatives to curb obesity are missing the mark. More from Dan Childs of ABC News:

The discouraging trends, reported in the fifth annual "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America, 2008" report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), reveal that obesity rates rose in 37 states in the past year, while no state registered a decrease in obesity.

Worse, in 24 states the uptick continued a trend seen from the previous year. Obesity rates rose for a third consecutive year in a total of 19 states.

"Our analysis found that on the state and community levels, overall we are not treating the obesity epidemic with the urgent response it deserves," said Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH, during a Tuesday morning press conference…

… The new numbers suggest the continuation of a steady trend toward obesity that has been seen over the past several decades. In 1980, the report notes, the national average of obese adults was a mere 15 percent. Today, according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention, about a third of adults are obese.

With the increase in obesity has come a spike in the diseases associated with excess weight. According to the report, rates of type 2 diabetes -- a disease typically associated with obesity -- grew in 26 states last year.

Levi said the spike in such diseases carries a financial burden as well.

"Obesity is not just about health; it has a real impact on our country's economy as well," he said.

Maybe it’s falling on deaf ears, but obesity has been shown to increase cancer, diabetes, and death-risk. And the socio-economic impact is no joke either. Imagine being barred from a nightclub because you’re too fat—via Diet-Blog.

Miracles over Medicine?

I’m not religious. So I have a hard time wrapping my head around this, but according to a new survey in the Archives of Surgery, many Americans think God plays a BIGGER part in saving lives than doctors. Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press explains:

More than half of randomly surveyed adults - 57 percent - said God's intervention could save a family member even if physicians declared treatment would be futile. And nearly three-quarters said patients have a right to demand such treatment.

When asked to imagine their own relatives being gravely ill or injured, nearly 20 percent of doctors and other medical workers said God could reverse a hopeless outcome.

"Sensitivity to this belief will promote development of a trusting relationship" with patients and their families, according to researchers. That trust, they said, is needed to help doctors explain objective, overwhelming scientific evidence showing that continued treatment would be worthless.

Pat Loder, a Milford, Mich., woman whose two young children were killed in a 1991 car crash, said she clung to a belief that God would intervene when things looked hopeless.

"When you're a parent and you're standing over the body of your child who you think is dying ... you have to have that" belief, Loder said.

Admittedly, I’m an atheist, but the power of hope and positive thinking is undeniable. Although, it gets a little kooky when you start seeing deities in tree sap or Howard Stern in a piece of toast! But, you can combine the best of both worlds when your name is “Jesus H. Cox, M.D.”


Green-News: Wednesday 8.20.08

It's a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20m hectares across the developing world, especially in Asian countries like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well," said IWMI researcher Liqa Raschid-Sally.

"Nor is it limited to the countries and cities with the lowest GDP. It is prevalent in many mid-income countries as well", she said.

The report, launched today at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, found the practice "widespread and practically inevitable".

"As long as developing countries lack suitable transport to deliver large quantities of perishable produce to urban areas, urban agriculture will remain important. In the face of water scarcity generally and a lack of access to clean water, urban farmers will have no alternative except to use … polluted water", write the authors.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are about 28,000 deaths each year linked to unsafe products, including toys, in the United States. More than 33 million people were injured last year by consumer products.

The bill also bans a chemical called phthalates that is widely used to make plastic products softer and more flexible.

And the legislation bolsters the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which took the brunt of criticism last year over the massive recalls and the government’s failure to monitor toy imports before they reach store shelves.

The bill would double the agency’s budget, to $136 million by 2014, and give it new authority to oversee testing procedures and to penalize violators.

The state increased recycling by four percent to reach 72 percent recovery, an all-time high.

The state says this means more than 680 million containers were recycled from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. State law requires that if more than 70 percent of containers are recycled there would be an increase in the container recycling fee (this cover costs of collection and sorting), but the director of health decided to waive the fee increase (it’s currently one cent per container).

Hawaii is one of 11 states to offer a beverage container deposit, meaning consumers pay a fee (in this case six cents) when purchasing containers and get a refund when the containers are recycled.

Try Some Dried Mango

The other day Dr. Fuhrman’s wife, Lisa, handed me a bunch of dried fruits from Jaffe Bros. There were all sorts of things: strawberries, bananas, cantaloupes, currants and dried mango. I’ve never had dried mango before.

So, I took this package home with me:


And they were delicious! But, never—EVER—eat too many in one sitting because I PROMISE you, you'll need shoehorn to dislodge something from somewhere and a plunger to unclog something from somewhere else—OOF! All that fiber.

Speaking of dried fruit, a new study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, has determined that dried organic fruit offers no EXTRA nutrients—via Jess Halliday of FoodNavigator.

Dieting, Some Calories Don't Count...

In the history of weight-loss and dieting, people have tried some nutty things, like ingesting tape worms, swallowing expanding gelatin pills or the Atkins Diet. And now, Ali Hale of Diet-Blog, offers up the secret guide to making any food calorie-free. Here’s a bit:

"There are no calories in food belonging to someone else"

This includes anything...

  • Taken from your partner's plate in a restaurant
  • Made for you by your mom
  • Stolen from a communal fridge

The unwritten "rules" say that whoever owns the food should get the calories from it ... regardless of who eats it.

"There are no calories in free food"

This includes anything...

  • Eaten at a buffet or pot-luck
  • Packaged with a magazine
  • Given away as a sample (see also "There are no calories in small pieces of food")

Free food is too good an opportunity to miss. And if it doesn't cost you a dollar, it shouldn't cost you any calories either.

Be sure to read the entire post. It’s pretty funny! Although, in reality, counting calories is a pretty silly strategy: The Problem with Weight Watchers and other Calorie Counting Diets.

Train like a SEAL

No, not the kind that goes, “Arf, arf!” But if training like a Spartan wasn’t for you. Consider the U.S. Navy SEAL workout. Looks pretty tough, here are the requirements. Via Julie’s Health Club:

The top SEALs can meet the "competitive" requirements.

  • 500 yd. swim – Standard: 12 minutes, 30 seconds. Competitive: 10 minutes
  • Push-ups – Standard: 42 in two minutes. Competitive: 80 in two minutes
  • Sit-ups - Standard: 50 in two minutes. Competitive: 80 in two minutes
  • Pull-ups – Standard: 6. Competitive: 11 (no time limits)
  • 1.5 mile run – Standard: 11 minutes. Competitive: 10 minutes

The swimming looks tough. I’m not much of a swimmer—not like 8 Olympic gold medal-winning champion Michael Phelps! Now, if you’re a horrible waterman like me, check out these swimming tips from That’sFit.


Green-News: Tuesday 8.19.08

L.A.'s future depends on our citizens to adopt an ethic of conservation," Villaraigosa said.

The anti-drought initiative has coincided with efforts by Villaraigosa to keep his top appointee at the DWP, Commission President Nick Patsaouras, from quitting his post. Perhaps the utility's most aggressive watchdog on spending issues, Patsaouras sent a resignation e-mail Monday, but the mayor refused to accept it.

Villaraigosa said his appointee had repeatedly talked about leaving the volunteer post and about being "overworked." Patsaouras serves on a panel overseeing construction of the new $454-million police headquarters.

"He's talked to me about resigning more than a few times. Each time, I get him to realize that we need him," Villaraigosa said.

Patsaouras would not discuss his conversation with the mayor but sent a brief text message to The Times saying he would stay put "to fulfill the mayor's vision."

  • Monsanto, a monumentally lucrative and extremely dubious mega-corporation, is seeing more and more of its dirty laundry being aired out for public viewing. Check out this post and video via Green Living Tips:
Additionally, what I am increasingly becoming aware of is just how much control agri-business and the biotech industry has over governments. It's not only a heavy outside influence from lobbying, but inside as well. For example, Donald Rumsfeld was an ex CEO of a Monsanto subsidiary; and there's many others law makers who previously were associated with biotech companies. The importance of that and the ramifications become clear in the video below.

This may all sound a little tinfoil hat I guess, but when you think about it - control the food, control the water ... you control the world.

Rather than rattle on about the topic with my own half-baked thoughts (I'm still reeling from all the information), I present this documentary to you for consideration - Controlling Our Food. This isn't a 10 minute YouTube presentation - it goes for nearly two hours; so you'll need to set aside a bit of time - but please take the time to do so as it's worth it.

A resident of Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, the original Nils Olav was made an honorary member of the King's Guard in 1972 after being picked out as the guard's mascot by lieutenant Nils Egelien. The guards adopted him because they often toured the zoo during their visits to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an annual military music festival, according to zoo spokeswoman Maxine Finlay.

The king penguin was named after Egelien and Norway's then-King Olav V. When the penguin died — Finlay said no one at the zoo knew exactly when — he was replaced by a second penguin, who inherited Nils Olav's name and rank.

The current Nils Olav, the third penguin to serve as the guards' mascot, was promoted from honorable regimental sergeant major to honorary colonel-in-chief in 2005, Finlay said.

The Urban Gardening Sprawl...

I’m not the only urbanite growing his own organic produce. More and more people are making good use of the free space around their homes, like these L.A. residents who transformed a seedy cinder-block wall into a cascade of strawberries, tomatoes, herbs, and vegetables. Cara Mia DiMassa of The Los Angeles Times reports:

The first time they tried planting vegetables, in a couple of wooden bins on the rooftop of their building, their novice status meant that plants weren't watered and cared for properly.

"Everything died," said Chris Owens, the group's de facto leader.

The second time, things went better. Members of the group paid special attention to the sprouts they planted, watering and pruning with care. And under their vigilant tending, corn stalks pushed upward. Watermelons appeared on vines.

Many residents were surprised by the way gardening united them, in an area where it sometimes seems best to mind your own business and keep to yourself.

"It brings us together as a group, kind of like therapy, to see something growing and flourishing," Jannie Burrows said.

"We're trying to feed our bodies with better nutrients," Lance Shaw said. "But more than anything, we like getting together."

The modest initial success led the Rainbow group to the nonprofit Urban Farming, which helped the group install the green wall last week as part of its Food Chain project. Urban Farming also erected "edible" walls at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, the Miguel Contreras Learning Center and the Weingart Center.

The Food Chain project, said Urban Farming founder Taja Sevelle, enables residents in some of the city's poorest areas to grow food in underused spaces at a time when food prices are soaring. The walls, she said, "get people to think outside the box. You can plant food in so many different places."

And Londoners are becoming expert backyard farmers too—via National Geographic News. Now, in case you can’t grow your own fruits and veggies. Christine McKinney of Eight Right, Stay Well shares a great shopping tip, Produce: The Dirtiest and the Cleanest. Actually, Christine’s list is very similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s chart of the least and most contaminated produce.

Red Bull, Real Bad!

Energy drinks. Catchy names, exaggerated claims. They’re bad news, especially for kids, not to mention teenagers, and now an Australian study claims Red Bull increases stroke-risk—as little as one can! Reuters reports:

One hour after they drank Red Bull, (their blood systems) were no longer normal. They were abnormal like we would expect in a patient with cardiovascular disease," Scott Willoughby, lead researcher from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, told the Australian newspaper.

Red Bull Australia spokeswoman Linda Rychter said the report would be assessed by the company's head office in Austria.

"The study does not show effects which would go beyond that of drinking a cup of coffee. Therefore, the reported results were to be expected and lie within the normal physiological range," Rychter told Reuters.

Willoughby and his team tested the cardiovascular systems of 30 young adults one hour before and one hour after consuming one 250ml can of sugar-free Red Bull.

The results showed "normal people develop symptoms normally associated with cardiovascular disease" after consuming the drink, created in the 1980s by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz based on a similar Thai energy drink.

Red Bull is banned in Norway, Uruguay and Denmark because of health risks listed on its cans, but the company last year sold 3.5 billion cans in 143 countries. One can contains 80 mg of caffeine, around the same as a normal cup of brewed coffee.

The only way I’d drink Red Bull is if it ACTUALLY gave you wings. Now, the bad news isn’t over yet. That’sFit passes along some research in General Dentistry, suggesting energy drinks damage teeth and gums. So, you want energy? Eat some fruit!

Diabetes-Risk: Heart Disease, Obesity, PCBs...

Last month the Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute linked pesticides with diabetes-risk and now a study in Diabetes Care has determined high exposure to PCBs may be tied to diabetes too. Reuters explains:

Dr. Yueliang Leon Guo, from the National Taiwan University in Taipei, and colleagues examined the incidence of type 2 diabetes among 378 Taiwanese "oil disease" victims and 370 of their neighbors who had not been poisoned.

They found that women who had been exposed to the PCB-laced oil were twice as likely as other women to develop type 2 diabetes over 24 years. And women who had been most severely affected by the PCB exposure had a more than five-times higher diabetes risk.

There were no similar risks seen in men, however.

Other studies have found that people with diabetes tend to have relatively higher levels of organic pollutants, such as PCBs, in their blood. In comments to Reuters Health, Guo said that since "everyone" has detectable PCB levels in his or her body, it's possible that exposure to such pollutants has helped feed the widespread rise in diabetes in recent decades.

"The public health implication of these findings can be huge," Guo added, "considering the burden of diabetes and its multiple long-term complications."

And another study in Diabetes Care demonstrates that the incidence of heart disease increases right along with diabetes and obesity—via Reuters. Try avoiding it all together! Dr. Fuhrman’s prescription, try healthy dosages of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Gonzo Still Doesn't Want the Beef

Ugh! As an Oakland Raiders fan this PAINS me to blog about. Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end and monster “neo-vegan” Tony Gonzalez is quick to remind his teammates about the dangers of beef. More from Michael Silver of Michael Silver’s Game Face:

An exaggeration? If so it's only a slight stretch. Of all the NFL stars who could've saved a man from choking, he may have been the only one who'd be quite so grossed out by the food he managed to dislodge. Just ask Gonzalez's teammates, who've grown so accustomed to his neo-vegan diet and the accompanying lectures that they sometimes shy away from him during meals.

"Eating with Tony is a great way to ruin your appetite," veteran quarterback Damon Huard said last Saturday from the team's training camp. "You'll be biting into a piece of meat, and he'll say, 'You know that cow was probably corn-fed. And because of that, they had to give it antibiotics, and that probably gave it ulcers. I don't even want to think about what might be in there.' By then you're pretty much ready to clear your plate."

An hour later, as he sat in the cafeteria at the team's University of Wisconsin-River Falls headquarters, Gonzalez expanded upon the carefully crafted dietary approach that has fueled his second decade of excellence. A year-and-a-half after swearing off most dairy products and meat, the 6-foot-5, 251-pounder is laying waste to the stereotype of the scrawny, wimpy herbivore.

Coming off a stellar campaign that included 99 receptions for 1,172 yards (leaving him 179 yards behind Shannon Sharpe for the NFL's all time lead among tight ends) and earned him a ninth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation, the 32-year-old Gonzalez insists he's at his physical peak, with no sign of a decline.

Tony's commitment is strong. He recently saved a man from choking on hunk of filet mignon, but I still hope I don’t end up drafting him for fantasy football team. Oh! And check out Salim Stoudamire of Atlanta Hawks, he’s another veggie-pro—via TrueHoop.

Green-News: Monday 8.18.08

Dead zones occur when excess nutrients—usually nitrogen and phosphorus—from agriculture or the burning of fossil fuels seep into the water system and fertilize blooms of algae along the coast.

As the microscopic plants die and sink to the ocean floor, they feed bacteria, which consume dissolved oxygen from surrounding waters. This limits oxygen availability for bottom-dwelling organisms and the fish that eat them…

…The second largest dead zone surrounds the mouth of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite decades of efforts to clean up U.S. rivers and lakes, high nitrogen levels are currently combining with strong water flow to make that dead zone larger than it has ever been.

Trying to Fight Air Pollution
Only 4 months ago, we wrote about how big cars were the stars at the Beijing Auto Show. But now that air pollution is in the news more than ever because of the olympics, it seems like the Chinese government has had second thoughts: It decided to reduce taxes on small cars, and increase them on big vehicles. And they're not taking half-measures. The tax on some big vehicles can be as high as 40%.

China's Tax Scale is Based on Engine Size
Starting on September 1st, passenger vehicles with engines bigger than 4 liters will see their tax doubled to 40% from 20%. Engines with displacement from 2 liters to 4 liters will be taxed 25%, up from the current 15%, and cars with engines at or smaller than 1 liter would drop to 1% from the current 3%.

They're participating in a nationwide consumer boycott of Kellogg's Co. instigated by the Organic Consumers Association. By boycotting the world's largest cereal company, they hope to pressure Kellogg's into rejecting the use of sugar from genetically engineered (GE) sugar beets and to spark widespread market rejection in products ranging from cereal to baby food to candy.

As you may know, Roundup Ready sugar beets are genetically altered to resist Monsanto's toxic weed killer, Roundup, and its active ingredient, glyphosate. But here's the scary truth about these beets:

When the USDA first approved GE sugar beets for commercial planting in 1998, the EPA also increased the maximum allowable residues of glyphosate on sugar beet roots from just .02 parts per million to 10ppm. That's a staggering 5,000 percent increase of allowable toxins on beet roots. And, it's little surprise that EPA made this policy change at the request of Monsanto.

Over 20 Tomatoes!

It’s time to check in with my tomato plant. You remember last week:

It just keeps growing! Here’s today:

There are more than 20 tomatoes on that plant—heck yeah!

Snarling Phytonutrient Pugs...

These ravenous pug dogs love devouring corn and melon—as only pugs can—its fantastic! Take a look:

Actually, that’s pretty much how I eat corn and watermelon.

Runners Live Longer

Sweet! Running alone, I do about 16 miles a week. Not to mention another 8 miles on the elliptical machine. New research by Stanford University has determined that running helps people live longer and healthier. Reuters reports:

A study published on Monday shows middle-aged members of a runner's club were half as likely to die over a 20-year period as people who did not run.

Running reduced the risk not only of heart disease, but of cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, researchers at Stanford University in California found.

"At 19 years, 15 percent of runners had died compared with 34 percent of controls," Dr. Eliza Chakravarty and colleagues wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Any type of vigorous exercise will likely do the trick, said Stanford's Dr. James Fries, who worked on the study.

"Both common sense and background science support the idea that there is nothing magical about running per se," Fries said in a telephone interview. "It is the regular physical vigorous activity that is important."

The team surveyed 284 members of a nationwide running club and 156 similar, healthy people as controls. They all came from the university's faculty and staff and had similar social and economic backgrounds, and all were 50 or older.

Running is really awesome! It gives me a fantastic rush. Now, if you live near NYC, try running in Central Park. They say it’s great. Actually, just get out there an exercise, the benefits are infinite. In fact, many cancer patients are becoming avid gym rats—via The New York Times.

Hydro Fruits...

When it’s hot out, there’s nothing better than some fresh juicy fruit. Max Shrem of Slashfood passes along a list of 8 fruits and vegetables that are LOADED with H20. Did your favorite make the list? Take a look:

Drinking water is not the only way you can refuel your body during the summer. Many fruits and vegetables can help you meet 20 percent of your daily fluid needs.
  • Watermelons
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits

You know, there have actually been days where I’ve eaten all 8 of these! Especially tomatoes, in addition to my heavenly tomato, check out these heirloom tomatoes I got from my CSA. They’re monsters:

Not only are they giant and ugly as sin, but they also taste great! And as Dr. Fuhrman points out, tomatoes are a super food: Ten Super Foods to Use in Your Recipes and Menus.

Getting on the Internet for Health Advice

Susannah Fox of The Health Care Blog posts these interesting stats about people going online to seek out health information. Makes you wonder if this availability of information will change the healthcare paradigm. Take a look:

Ten percent of internet users say they searched for health information "yesterday," which in a tracking survey like this one yields a picture of the "typical day" online. Health has moved up in the "typical day" list (from 7 percent in 2006 to the current 10 percent of internet users), but for most people the average day includes lots of emails (60 percent of internet users), general searches (49 percent), and news reading (39 percent) if they are online at all (30 percent of internet users are offline on a typical day).
  • 68% of online men look online for health info
  • 81% of online women
  • 76% of white internet users
  • 65% of African-American internet users
  • 71% of English-speaking Hispanic internet users (new health data on the whole Latino population is coming out August 13 from the Pew Hispanic Center)
  • 68% of 18-29 year-old internet users
  • 78% of 30-49s
  • 76% of 50-64s
  • 71% of internet users age 65+ (but remember, only one-third of seniors go online at all)

The internet is a great tool, but you’ve got to be careful. There is a lot of garbage floating around, like Weston Price and Atkins. But there is good stuff too! Like this great video on heart disease from The Adventist Chip Association—thanks Annette!

Eating to Live on the Outside: Mixt Greens

Time for another round of Eating to Live on the Outside and this week we’ve got a good one. Mixt Greens is very similar to Eating to Live on the Outside favorites: Just Salads, Salad Works, and Salad Creations—that’s some great company to be in!

Mixt Greens serves of plenty of fruits and veggies and some awesome salads. Take the Dagwood for example; mixed greens, roasted red peppers, roasted zucchini, roasted portabella mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, garlic croutons, and lemon herb vinaigrette. Okay, the “roasted” worries me because of acrylamides, but I don’t eat a lot of roasted food, so I can deal with it. As for the cheese and croutons—yeah, bye!

The other salads I like include fish or chicken. I’d definitely ditch the chicken and in this case I’d nix the fish too because its tuna and tuna can carry a hefty pollution risk. So, besides the fish the Cowboy Salad, the Maui Salad, and the Fusion Salad are prepared with romaine hearts, roasted red peppers, black beans, sharp cheddar, red onion, blue cheese dressing, chipotle honey drizzle, butter lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, mango, cucumber, red onion, mango citrus vinaigrette, macadamia nuts, mixed greens, pea shoots, fresh herbs, edamame, cucumber, soba noodles, and sesame soy vinaigrette. We’ve got some good stuff and some bad stuff. The cheese, cheesy dressings, and noodles are gone! Other than that, these are pretty cool.

As usual, the salads are your best bet, but if you were feeling adventurous and willing to take a lavish bread concession, you might consider a sandwich. I see one I like. The Farmer is made with burrata cheese, grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers, roasted portabella mushrooms, fresh basil, aioli, balsamic reduction, and herb bread. This is easy! The cheese is going bye-bye. I can deal with the bread and the oil—again, not stuff I eat all the time. If the Farmer doesn’t do it for you, you can throw any of Mixt Greens’ salads on bread too.

Now, here’s where it gets fun and this is why I really think Mixt Greens is very workable. They actually encourage you to make your own salad—hard to beat that! If you’re making it, how could you possibly make it not up to snuff?

Mixt Greens offers plenty of fantastic things to choose from, like baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, sesame seeds, golden raisins, mango, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, tofu, and black beans—and there’s plenty more!

Alright, if I had to make a salad it would look something like this: baby spinach, romaine lettuce, sesame seeds, edamame beans, roasted zucchini, roasted yellow beets, roasted red peppers, roasted portabella mushrooms, red onion, and I’d go with some fat-free honey mustard vinaigrette on the side. So, how’d I do? Would you eat my creation or are you vomiting on your keyboard?

Yeah, I’ll say it again. Mixt Greens is good to go. I think a diet-conscious Eat to Liver would love the place. I mean come on. It’s hard to argue about a place with the word GREENS in its name. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. That’s why I need you to check out Mixt Greens’ menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Then, make a comment or send an email to Until you do, eat wisely! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 8.15.08

Under the settlement of a lawsuit brought by anti-pesticide groups and salmon fishermen, NOAA Fisheries has issued a draft biological opinion that found the way chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion get into salmon streams at levels high enough to kill salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The chemicals interfere with salmon's sense of smell, making it harder for them to avoid predators, find food, and even find their native spawning streams.

Banned from many household uses, tens of millions of pounds of the chemicals are still used throughout the range of Pacific salmon on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, forage crops, cotton, fence posts and livestock to control mosquitoes, flies, termites, boll weevils and other pests, according to NOAA Fisheries.

Jim Lecky, head of the office of protected resources for NOAA Fisheries Service, said his team has until a court-imposed deadline of Oct. 31 to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to find new ways to safely use the chemicals.

  • E. coli good for making you sick and possibly good for making “renewable petroleum.” Silicon Valley is figuring it all out. Chris Ayres of The Times Online explains:
What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.

LS9 has already convinced one oil industry veteran of its plan: Bob Walsh, 50, who now serves as the firm’s president after a 26-year career at Shell, most recently running European supply operations in London. “How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to grow a multi-billion-dollar company?” he asks. It is a bold statement from a man who works in a glorified cubicle in a San Francisco industrial estate for a company that describes itself as being “prerevenue”.

Inside LS9’s cluttered laboratory – funded by $20 million of start-up capital from investors including Vinod Khosla, the Indian-American entrepreneur who co-founded Sun Micro-systems – Mr Pal explains that LS9’s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. “Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.”

Designed by noted architect Helmut Jahn and developed by New York-based Time Equities Inc., the building will incorporate environmentally sustainable technologies including a green roof, efficient water fixtures and plumbing, automatic blinds and energy control. Further, the 65-story building will be clad in energy-efficient glass that maximizes use of natural light and filters UV rays. All waste from demolition will be recycled and construction materials will be "sustainable" and "rapidly renewable," according to the developer.

"50 West Street is marked by sustainable design, advanced technology, landmark architecture, and commitment to the community," said Phillip Gesue, director of acquisitions and development for Time Equities.

The eco-tower will contain 240 residential units and 150 hotel and retail units, as well as 2,500 square feet of meeting space.

No Veggies for America's Athletes

Ironically, many of America’s superstar athletes eat like crap—call me naïve, but I always thought healthy diet and fitness go hand in hand—apparently not. Miami Heat and 2008 U.S. Olympic team shooting guard Dwayne Wade DOESN’T eat vegetables! Via Michael Lee of Heavy Medal:

"We got a spread of different stuff. You've got fish. You've got Chicken. You've got steak. A lot of different stuff," Dwyane Wade said. "Chef Lovie. He's great."

Wade was then asked why the players came to the other end of the globe to eat at Tony Roma's, California Pizza Kitchen and McDonald's.

"You got to stay with what you know," Wade said. "I don't eat seafood. I don't eat vegetables. I don't eat none of that stuff, so I got to really stick with what I know."

What, no vegetables? How does Wade get his nutrients?

"I don't know. I don't eat vegetables," he said.

So, far all the little kids out there looking for a reason not to eat their spinach and broccoli, you have a role model in Wade. An Olympian, NBA all-star and Finals MVP doesn't eat his vegetables. Dreams really can come true.

Carmelo Anthony said that before he leaves China, he will attempt to eat some actual Chinese food. But his teammates are trying to play it safe.

Ugh! No wonder why D-Wade is injury-prone. Sadly, it gets worse. U.S. super swimmer Michael Phelps consumes 12,000 calories a day; including stuff like cheese, white bread, mayonnaise, coffee, chocolate-chip pancakes, pasta and fried eggs—via The New York Post. Sheesh!

Tips, Keeping Kids Healthy...

I don’t have kids—I imagine someday I’ll trick a woman into it—but if I did have a couple little ones. I’d want to keep them fit and healthy. Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit passes along four good suggestions:

  1. Eat right. If you eat right, your kids are likely to follow suit. That means five servings of fruits and veggies each day, whole grains instead of refined products, and a limited number of red meats and processed foods.
  2. Move. Inspire your kids to get 60 minutes of vigorous exercise most days of the week by engaging in your own fitness pursuits. Discuss the value of being active with your kids too.
  3. Avoid smoking. Don't smoke, don't hang out around smoke, and chat with your youngsters about the dangers of smoking.
  4. Practice skin smarts. Protect your own skin from the sun, and slather your kids too. And teach them this American Cancer Society jingle: Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap sunglasses around your eyes.

Not bad. Actually Dr. Fuhrman has his own tips for raising healthy kids, check out: The Secrets to Getting Your Children to Eat Healthfully.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetable...

Dr. Clare Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis, is dismayed that people STILL aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. Take a look:

Yup, this is quite the debacle. Remember this post: Will America Ever Eat Better?

CDC: 140,000 Bad Reactions to Antibiotics

Research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that bad reactions to antibiotics result in 140,000 trips to the emergency room each year. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:

The findings offer another reason for doctors to limit their use of the drugs, which are overused in the United States, the team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"This number is an important reminder for physicians and patients that antibiotics can have serious side effects and should only be taken when necessary," said the CDC's Dr. Daniel Budnitz, who led the study.

For the first report ever done on adverse reactions to antibiotics in the United States, the researchers used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project, a sample of 63 U.S. hospitals, between 2004 and 2006.

They found more than 6,600 emergency visits were due to an adverse reaction to an antibiotic. They used formulas to extrapolate this to the whole country and estimated that 142,000 such emergency visits are made every year.

"Systemic antibiotics (pills or injections as opposed to creams) were implicated in 19.3 percent of all emergency department visits for drug-related adverse events," they wrote in the September 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

It hasn’t been a good stretch of weeks for antibiotics. Take this post for example: Doctors Should Go Easy on Antibiotics...

Green-News: Thursday 8.14.08

"What we should be talking about is food security not food production - that is what matters and that is what people will not understand.

"And if they think also that somehow it's all going to work because they are going to have one form of clever genetic engineering after another then again count me out, because that will be guaranteed to cause the biggest disaster environmentally of all time."

Charles said relying on gigantic corporations for the mass production of food would threaten future food supplies. And he said small farmers would be the victims.

"If they think this is the way to go we will end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness then you count me out. I think it will be an absolute disaster."

"There are costs to adapting to climate change ... By planning now, we can reduce our exposure to weather-related events," the mayor told reporters.

A task force charged with safeguarding all of the city's roads, bridges, tunnels, mass transit, water and sewer lines, and power and telecommunications systems will begin with an inventory. It will then forecast and report on the local impact of climate change and devise safeguards, he said.

"In order to manage any problem, first you have to measure it," Bloomberg said, recalling a lesson he learned while working on Wall Street. "In God we trust; everybody else has to bring data."

His latest effort is one of the 127 green initiatives launched last year in his PlaNYC program.

Unspoilt Amazonian rainforests covering an area almost as large as Texas have been provisionally earmarked for oil and gas exploration.

A new report reveals that the area has been divided into 180 "blocks" designated for exploration by governments of countries that own the land on the western fringe of the Amazon. Their intention is to lease the blocks to oil and gas companies for exploration and extraction, taking a cut of any revenues as a royalty. About 35 oil companies are vying for the contracts.

However, most of the blocks overlap with huge areas of rainforest that would become vulnerable to illegal hunting and logging once breached by roads to service exploration activities.

Moron Takes a Burger Bath

Yuck! I feel ashamed mentioning this on the blog. Apparently some jackass decided it was a clever idea to take a bubble bath in a giant Burger King sink. More from Fox News:

The video, which was posted on by an employee calling himself “Mr. Unstable,” shows the teen taking a nude bubble bath in a large stainless steel sink as other employees and a store manager looked on, reported.

The video eventually made it to health officials, who were not amused.

"My first thought was ‘Oh my God," Greene County Health Commissioner Mark McDonnell told WDTN.

All of the employees involved were fired. Burger King’s corporate office released the following statement:

“Burger King Corp. was just notified of this incident and is cooperating fully with the health department. We have sanitized the sink and have disposed of all other kitchen tools and utensils that were used during the incident. We have also taken appropriate corrective action on the employees that were involved in this video. Additionally, the remaining staff at this restaurant is being retrained in health and sanitation procedures.”

Another reason NEVER to eat at Burger King, they hire idiots like this. If you feel like lowering your IQ, here’s the video: Burger King employee takes bath in Kitchen Sink. Warning, it is insanely stupid. Oh, and they fired the moron.

Weston Price, Take Your Pseudo-Science Elsewhere

Dr. Fuhrman addresses another wave of Weston Price silliness. A follow up to Weston A. Price Foundation, Stupid Traditions.

Informed people know that they should disregard any comment about a person who lived a long life, who ate bacon, smoked cigarettes, drank whiskey, snorted cocaine, etc. There is a bell-shaped curve of life-spans of people who eat a poor diet or have poor health habits. Some of these people with risky habits live longer and some shorter, genetics and other factors play a role. A plant-based, high-nutrient diet, or nutritional excellence as I call it, attempts to take the people who might fall in the bottom half of that bell curve and give them a high quality long life too. We have to look at long-lived populations and people who are already diseased and see what it takes to induce reversal to discuss real dietary excellence. And, these Weston Price enthusiasts that are attracted here, whenever their poor science is discussed, bring up more bad science (like irrelevant rat studies fed saturated fats or processed oils and vitamins) add nothing of interest to support those looking to protect themselves with nutritional excellence.

I’ve discussed this topic on Followhealthlife numerous times, but I want people to be clear about nutritional excellence and what constitutes a disease-protective diet. Sometimes commenters, adding their opinion make things less clear. Please do not comment if you have not thoroughly read through the Diet Myths category.

Gerry is not a scientist, physician, or nutritionist. He is here to foster discussion and promote awareness of nutritional excellence, sometimes I don’t like his non-scientific comments, but Followhealthlife is for entertainment too and if a person did go back and read all of my earlier comments on Onlyourhealth. He wouldn’t have to constantly reiterate my same points.

Unlike Gerry, who is just my blogger and writer, I have diligently spent my entire adult life studying almost every scientific study ever written on human nutrition and carefully going over the data. My 6 books have over 3,000 medical references. I document almost every statement I make, and when you do that, it takes much longer to write. Besides the thousands of readers of my books and this blog, I have also tested my dietary guideline with over 10,000 patients and achieved dramatic disease reversals of diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, headaches, fibromyalgia and heart disease. The true test of nutritional excellence marries the preponderance of evidence from scientific studies, and distilling it down into a lifestyle and dietary advice that works. I am not posting more references here now. That won’t change the views of these people, who already ignore them.

People often view their nutritional viewpoints like a religion. They have a viewpoint and they attempt to defend it to the death, sometimes their own death. Nevertheless, the Weston Price Foundation promotes out-dated and bad science. If you review the data they attempt to promote their views with it is insulting to any real person interested in the science surrounding an issue. They take scientific-sounding positions about soy, meat, daily, butter, children’s feeding practice and much more and they distort the science, present a one-sided view and confuse the decision making. They and their followers promote a range of irresponsible and potentially dangerous ideas, including:

  • Butter and butter oil are “super foods” that contain the “X factor” discovered by Weston Price.
  • Glandular organ extracts from animals promote the health and healing of the corresponding human organs.
  • Poached brains of animals should be added to other ground meats for better nutrition.
  • Raw cow’s milk and meat broth should be fed to newborns who don’t breast-feed, rather than infant formula.
  • Regular ingestion of clay (Azomite Mineral Powder) has detoxifying effects because the clay particles remove pathogens from the body.
  • There are benefits to feeding sea salt to infants and babies.
  • Fruits and vegetables should be limited in children’s diets.

People should not be going to the Weston Price Foundation looking for nutritional guidance. They are not true scientists and neither are their defenders who spew negative and insulting comments here on Followhealthlife. A true scientist tests a theory without a pre-determined agenda and collects, not just the facts favorable to their position, but all the facts. Let’s just outline the argument to reset this discussion, so people can see what the issues are here:

  1. The American diet promotes a premature death. Cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia are the result of nutritional stupidity. Nutritional science has advanced to the point where we can be protected from these common killers. Most adult Americans already have the early (or late) stages of atherosclerosis and the early stages of cancer already, present in their body. It is not sufficient to give them moderately effective advice, derived from short-lived native populations. They need advice that can be counted on to reverse the disease that is present (from the American diet) and prevent a premature death. That is what nutritional excellence is all about and what it is what it is capable of. We can also use science to live longer and healthier than ever before in human history. High micronutrient and high phytochemical eating is life-saving.
  2. My nutritional protocols predictable reverse heart disease and atherosclerosis. The dietary guidelines when applied by patients with advanced blockages in their coronary arteries result in the blockages being removed. This is documented not just by symptoms resolving and stress tests, but by coronary CT scans and MR angiograms. Furthermore, my nutritional protocols have enabled hundreds of patients to make dramatic recoveries from autoimmune diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, headaches, digestive disturbance and more. The results are supported not just by my experience but by the scientific studies that support the protocols and other doctors who have published similar results and benefits in their patients. High micronutrient eating also removes food-cravings and is the most effective weight-loss strategy.
  3. Vitamins and minerals are only a fraction of the micronutrients, needed by humans, as a primate we have requirements for a huge array of protective phytochemicals to achieve cellular normalcy, maximize longevity, and protect against disease. The American diet is now about 60% junk food; 30% animal products; 8% fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds; and 2% whole grains. To get micronutrients to a high, truly protective levels a much higher percentage of natural plants foods are needed. That means more vegetables, beans, berries and seeds, not more meat, butter and milk. Animal products contain almost no anti-oxidants and no phytochemicals.
  4. However both sides agree that this high percentage of junk food (white flour, sweeteners and oils) are not health promoting; except for misguided people promote olive oil as a health food and coconut oil as a health food too. This is a disgrace! All oil is processed food with 120 calories per tablespoon and little micronutrient content. There has never been a study that showed adding more coconut oil or olive oil to a diet resulted in significant health benefits. You could show benefit replacing more dangerous oils, but that is still has nothing to do with nutritional excellence and promoting disease reversal. There are hundreds of studies that remove butter and other saturated fats from the diet and instead use olive oil there is some benefit, but the science is overwhelming and not debatable—that when you use whole raw, high fat plant foods, such as raw seeds and nuts (not the extracted oils) you dramatically reduce sudden cardiac death, heart disease, and all cause mortality. That’s why I do not advocate a “low-fat diet.” Rather I advocate a diet where oils and animal products are reduced as a percent of dietary intake in favor of raw seeds and raw nuts, such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, pistachio nuts and flax. I recommend replacing most of the oil in one’s diet with raw seeds and nuts. I share great tasting salad dressings, dips and smoothies using these foods in place of oil. By the way, the average American eats over 2,000 calories from oil a week, resulting in lots of extra body fat, but no significant micronutrients or anticancer lignans to show for it.
  5. I teach that the 30-35% of intake from Animal products in the American diet is already too high. The Atkins’ followers and the Weston Price crowd think this number is not high enough and recommend a diet with unlimited amounts of animal products encouraging people to think animal products are health foods that should be consumed without limitations. Any way you slice it; that is bad science. The Okinowans eat less than 10 percent of calories from animal products, mostly fish and loads of vegetables. However, we still could improve on what they do!

Atkins and Weston Price devotees are just wrong; promoting bad science is a serious matter, it encourages disease and hurts people. If someone wants to post any well-done human study that shows disease reversal or improved longevity statistics from increasing the percent of animal product intake from 30% and reducing natural plant food like vegetables in favor of meat, please do so. But, this is just too silly to even contemplate. Our diet is deficient in vegetables, not meat. Neither do I present a vegan of vegetarian diet as the best diet or the only option. However, I am very clear that animal products should be reduced to a lower percentage of total dietary intake, and I set the goal around 10% of calories and I modify that up or down based on individual needs and disease risks. The idea that some body types will survive longer or be thinner or healthier on a meat-based, diet richer in animal fats, is also false and has no scientific support.

In summary, Weston Price, Atkins, low-carb or other such supporters if you want to post modern, human studies for me to comment on do so. But otherwise take your nonsense elsewhere, where people are easily fooled by your pseudo-science.

Exercise: Biking for Health and Gold

British cyclist Nicole Cooke began biking at age 11, racing her father—a former competitive cyclist—twice a day during her seven-mile trip to and from school and now she’s a 2008 Olympic gold medalist. The Telegraph reports:

The young Miss Cooke and her father, himself a former competitive cyclist, shunned the bus to dash from their home in the village of Wick, in the rolling hills of the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales, to Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend, where Tony Cooke taught physics.

The unusual training quickly paid off and Miss Cooke, now 25, publicly announced her life's ambition, and her talent, after winning the Welsh cyclo-cross championship in 1994.

She beat everyone in her age group - including the boys - then promptly announced in a live television interview: "I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics."

Miss Cooke was given her first bike for Christmas when she was six-years-old.

Mr Cooke said: "It was a little blue bike with stabilisers and she got very angry with the stabilisers straight away and demanded we take them off.

"Since then we've brought her a bike for most birthdays and for every Christmas.

"She had a passion for riding straight away and we all went on tandem bike-ride holidays together.

"She was always competing at school and knew this is what she wanted to do as a career.

"I used to go out cycling with her but eventually she sacked me.

Wow! That’s a tough chick. Sounds like my kind of girl. Kudos to Cooke on her win! Clearly, cycling is a great workout, but it can also save you a ton on fuel. In fact, one college student is using bike rides to help her last all summer on just ONE tank of gas—via The Huffington Post.

An Eye on Heart Disease...

New research claims that the health of your eyes may tell a lot about your risk of cardiovascular disease. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:

People with a type of eye damage known as retinopathy were more likely to die of heart disease over the next 12 years than those without it, according to the team at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne in Australia and the National University of Singapore.

They studied the retinal photographs of 3,000 people, most of whom had diabetes. Such snapshots are often taken to see if the diabetes has begun to damage the eyes. Then they checked records for deaths.

Over 12 years, 353 participants (11.9 percent) had incident coronary heart disease-related deaths," the researchers reported in the journal Heart.

People with retinopathy were nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease as people without it, said the team, led by the University of Sydney's Gerald Liew.

Retinopathy raised the risk of heart disease as much as diabetes did, they found. Diabetes is a well known risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in most industrialized nations and many developing ones.

More reason to eat a heart-healthy diet. For more on retinopathy, check out its Wikipedia link: Retinopathy.

Obesity DOESN'T Harm the Heart?

Here’s an odd article. New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests being obese may not elevate heart risks. The Associated Press investigates:

The results also show that stereotypes about body size can be misleading and that even "less voluptuous" people can have risk factors commonly associated with obesity, said study author MaryFran Sowers, a University of Michigan obesity researcher.

"We're really talking about taking a look with a very different lens" at weight and health risks, Sowers said.

In the study, about 51 percent of overweight adults, or roughly 36 million people nationwide, had mostly normal levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood fats called triglycerides and blood sugar.

Almost one-third of obese adults, or nearly 20 million people, also were in this healthy range, meaning that none or only one of those measures was abnormal.

Yet about a fourth of adults in the recommended-weight range had unhealthy levels of at least two of these measures. That means 16 million of them are at risk for heart problems.

It's no secret that thin people can develop heart-related problems and that fat people often do not. But that millions defy the stereotypes will come as a surprise to many people, Sowers said.

Not sure we want to float this kind of information out there. Americans are already fat enough. And according to this report, obesity and clumsiness could go hand in hand—via Reuters.

Green-News: Wednesday 8.13.08

Yao explained how he’ll take on this enormously important task, “So I will work with young people across the world and try to inspire them to plant trees, use energy efficient light bulbs, harvest rain water and to become environmental champions in their own communities.”
He’s got billions of eyes on him as he competes for the Chinese basketball team, and he recently had the coveted honor to act as their flag carrier in the Olympic opening ceremonies. He uses this opportunity in the spotlight to ask for help in his task, “As the world celebrates the Beijing Olympic Games, I would also like to call upon the organizers of all major sports events in the world to make sure they use public transport facilities, build proper waste management systems and use greener forms for energy.”
Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic. As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year.
'It is a neck-and-neck race between 2007 and this year over the issue of ice loss,' said Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. 'We thought Arctic ice cover might recover after last year's unprecedented melting - and indeed the picture didn't look too bad last month. Cover was significantly below normal, but at least it was up on last year.
But the Beaufort Sea storms triggered steep ice losses and it now looks as if it will be a very close call indeed whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for ice cover over the Arctic. We will only find out when the cover reaches its minimum in mid-September.'
Elephant seals swimming under Antarctic ice and fitted with special sensors are providing scientists with crucial data on ice formation, ocean currents and climate change, a study released on Tuesday said.
The seals swimming under winter sea ice have overcome a "blind-spot" for scientists by allowing them to calculate how fast sea ice forms during winter.
Sea ice reflects sunlight back into space, so less sea ice means more energy is absorbed by the earth, causing more warming.
"They have made it possible for us to observe large areas of the ocean under the sea ice in winter for the first time," said co-author Steve Rintoul from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

Dr. Fuhrman Talks Weight-Loss with Mike and Juliet


This morning Dr. Fuhrman joined The Morning Show’s Mike and Juliet to discuss America’s ever-expanding weight problem. He was joined by three women who each lost over 100lbs; one through diet and exercise and the others with the gastric bypass and the lap band.

The cool part is all three of these ladies learned the importance of healthy nutrition and living. If fact, one of them now owns a gym and is a full time fitness trainer and another is sexy, sultry burlesque dancer. Talk about a turn around!

Here’s the transcript of Dr. Fuhrman’s interview:

Juliet: Obesity is a major-major problem in this country. We’ve been hearing this. We do segments about this all the time. It’s getting worse.

Dr. Fuhrman: Well we do in live a toxic food environment today. Right now we’ve passed the mark, where 61% of the American diet is now processed food and junk food. 51% of American’s die of heart attacks and strokes and if you manage to live long enough half of us become demented in our later life. This is all because of our toxic food environment. Our brains and our bodies don’t take in the nutrients we need—THE MICRONUTRIENTS—to sustain good health into our later years.

Mike: Half of us are going to die of a stroke or a heart attack unless we do something about it.

Dr. Fuhrman: And they are unnecessary deaths! You can make the decisions right now not to have it happen to you and that’s the message here.

Mike: The processed food you talk about is that kind of addictive food too?

Dr. Fuhrman: That’s exactly the point, the reason why people fail at diets is because they don’t recognize that food has physical addictive properties and the physical addictions are intertwined with the emotional addictions.

Juliet: Are there just some people that cannot function or cannot have any success with a diet?

Dr. Fuhrman: You know why they don’t succeed, because they feel shakiness, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, pain, muscle spasm, if they don’t constantly put food in their mouth they feel sick. We have to treat it like an addiction. Once we fuel their body with high-nutrient foods, they can actually get rid of these food addictions and make success in the weight-loss arena. I could fill this audience with people who lost between 50 and 300 pounds, who did it naturally, who did it with NUTRITIONAL EXCELLENCE, because they studied, they gained the knowledge and learned about food addictions and to remove their food addiction behavior, but if they are not willing to put up with a little discomfort—like coming off cigarettes or coming off ten cups of coffee a day—you’ll feel lousy for a few weeks. People fail on diets because it’s like telling them to eat less food or eat healthy, is telling them to breathe less oxygen. They’re just too uncomfortable, they can do it for a while, but the majority of people put the weight back on.

Mike: If the majority of us put it back on, they haven’t, why haven’t they put it back on do you think?

Dr. Fuhrman: That’s exactly point, because even the lap-band or gastric bypass, is just a tool to help you deal with addictive behaviors for a period of time, but you’ve got still to get the knowledge to learn how eat right, how to exercise.

Juliet: Can you still gain weight on the lap-band?

Dr. Fuhrman: People can trick their lap-band and trick their gastric bypass. These women didn’t just do the surgery. They combined it with learning about nutrition.

Awesome! Now, in case you missed this morning’s segment, the video is up on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet’s website. Enjoy it, don't be like me. Taking notes, recording, transcribing and blogging while watching!

Eating Beans Keeps You Slim...

And, they help you make wonderful music! But seriously, That’sFit passes along some info on beans’ fiber-full powers. Here’s a snippet:

Beans. The more you eat, the ... less you weigh. That's what science says, that bean-eaters weigh less on average than non-bean-eaters. About 6.6 pounds less, to be exact.

RealAge expert John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, says it makes sense that beans have the power to knock off a few pounds. They are full of fiber, full of protein, and low in fat. This means they'll keep you fuller longer and will make only a small dent in your calorie intake.

Dr. Fuhrman considers beans—also called legumes—are serious health foods. Check it out:

A large recent study examined the eating habits of 32,000 adults for six years and then watched the incidence of cancer for these subjects over the next six years. Those who avoided red meat but at white meat regularly had a more than 300 percent increase in colon cancer incidence.1 The same study showed that eating beans, peas, or lentils, at least twice a week was associated with a 50 percent lower risk than never eating these foods. Beans, in general, not just soy, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.2

And not only are beans packed with fiber, but they’re also loaded with protein. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

Eating more plant protein is the key to increasing our micronutrient intake. It is interesting to note that foods such as peas, green vegetables, and beans have lots of protein—even more protein per calorie than meat. But what is generally considered is that foods that are rich in plant protein are generally the foods that are richest in nutrients and phytochemicals. By eating more of these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods, we get plenty of protein, and our bodies get flooded with protective micronutrients simultaneously. Animal protein does not contain antioxidants and phytochemical; plant protein does. Plus, animal protein is married to saturated fat. Excesses of saturated fat are not favorable to good health.

Although, not everyone is excited about beans—like this little girl. Take a look:

Now, for more on beans and healthy bodyweight, don’t forget about this post: Beans and Obesity Prevention.

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Health Points: Tuesday

With 23 percent of British children now considered overweight or obese, parents have increasing difficulty judging whether their own child is too heavy and most consider their overweight children normal, Ivan Lewis, the British health minister, warned. The letters home are designed as an early wake-up call, aimed at helping kids avoid later health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

Starting next month, about 1.2 million British kindergartners and children in their last year of primary school will be weighed and notes about their weight mailed home, school and health officials said.

To avoid stigma, all parents—not just those of the overweight—will get an assessment of their child. And to avoid offense, the letters will avoid the use of "obese" or "fat," substituting instead "overweight" or "very overweight."
The recall is of beef prepared for shipment to retailers but not yet cut up in supermarket sized portions.

The recall is "Class 1," meaning there is a "reasonable probability" that eating the beef "will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death," the USDA said. It is the most dangerous level of the three classes of recall.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the beef was sent to processing establishments and retail stores across the United States and had been produced June 17, June 24 and July 8.

The recall is of primal and subprimal cuts that are larger sections of cows, such as chuck and rib, that can be cut down for individual or family-sized packaging. It also is of "boxed beef" or carcasses that have been partially disassembled for shipping.
There is little dispute that bisphenol A can disrupt the hormonal system, but scientists differ on whether the very low amounts found in food and beverage containers can be harmful.

The National Toxicology Program, a partnership of federal health agencies, said in a recent draft report that there is "some concern" that the chemical can cause changes in behavior and the brain, and that it may reduce survival and birth weight in fetuses. The conclusion was based on animal studies.

However, the Food and Drug Administration's associate commissioner for science, Dr. Norris Alderson, told Congress in June that there was no reason for consumers to stop using products that contain the chemical.

Despite the uncertainty, consumer concern has prompted some governments and retailers to act.
A report from Brigham Young University shows only 36 percent of babies are breast-fed through six months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding through the first year.

The data are based on a weighted sample of more than 60,000 children, collected from national immunization surveys compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the data are focused on childhood immunization rates, questions also were asked about breast-feeding, giving the researchers a representative sample of nursing patterns in the United States.

The researchers found that children who were most likely to be breast-fed for more than six months typically had mothers with higher levels of education and income. Married women and those who lived in Western states were also more likely to breast-feed. Hispanic women and women born in other countries were also more likely to breast-feed.

Returning to work, being a smoker or living in the Northeast decreased the likelihood of long-term breast-feeding. Notably, low-income women who participated in the subsidized Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food, milk and formula to mothers and young children, were also more likely to stop breast-feeding sooner.
Wright is not an exotic dancer in a strip club. She's a 38-year-old mother of two from Atlanta, Georgia, looking to get in a decent workout.

"It works the abs, oh my goodness, muscles I didn't even know I had," Wright chuckled.

On this night, Wright is among more than a dozen women of all shapes and sizes -- no men allowed -- attending a beginner class at PoleLaTeaz, an Atlanta dance studio owned by Angela Edwards.

"We get preachers' wives, teachers, nurses, accountants, lawyers, anyone between the age of 18 and 70," Edwards said. "It's not get to wear fun clothes, listen to good music...and release your inner sexpot."

If online listings across the country are an indication, the popularity of pole dancing is spreading across the country from Southern California to Chicago to the Bible Belt.
Researchers say those strong feelings pro and con show in themselves that it will take a large study to see what, if anything, stretching really accomplishes. If stretching were remarkably effective, athletes would notice its effects right away and everyone would agree on when to stretch and what stretching does.

The study in Norway was the inspiration of Dr. Andy Oxman, a senior scientist at the Norwegian Knowledge Center for the Health Services. He had just completed what he calls a public clinical trial. It was a sort of reality show on public television that asked whether the nutritional supplement Valerian helped with insomnia; 405 people signed up to receive Valerian or a placebo and reported on their sleep by logging onto a Web site. Some participants insisted that because they slept so well they were taking Valerian. Or they said they knew they had taken the placebo because their sleep didn’t improve.

Then, the results were announced on the TV show and published: Valerian had little or no effect on sleep. Some who maintained they had the supplement actually had the placebo and vice versa.
Yet many people are not getting enough vitamin D, which the skin makes naturally when exposed to sunlight. A nationwide survey found that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women in the United States were not getting enough of this vital nutrient.

"The importance of vitamin D may be underappreciated," said lead author Dr. Michal Melamed, a clinical fellow at Johns Hopkins University. "There are studies that link low vitamin D levels to the development of heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, hypertension and different cancers," she said.

The report was published in the Aug. 11 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Melamed's team collected data on more than 13,000 men and women who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Levels of vitamin D were collected in 1988 and 1994, and the participants were followed through 2000.
Nebraska Beef, an Omaha meat packer, has been linked to two separate outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in the past two months. The first triggered a ground beef recall by Kroger's supermarkets. The second outbreak kicked off a ground beef recall by Dorothy Lane Market, a small chain in Ohio. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider these two separate outbreaks because they involve two genetically distinct strains of O157:H7.

Whole Foods initiated the recall after Massachusetts health officials investigating a cluster of E. coli illnesses discovered all seven victims had bought meat at Whole Foods. The chain pulled ground beef from some of its stores on Wednesday. The Nebraska Beef recall was announced late Friday night.

My colleague Ylan Mui and I have gotten some comments from people who noted that the natural food chain is telling folks no contaminated Whole Foods meat has been found yet and we reported that in our story on Sunday. But before anyone is lulled into some false sense of security, there is other microbiological evidence linking Whole Foods to the outbreak.

200 Calories Set to Music...

Look at how much MORE food you get from 200 calories of fruits and veggies, than 200 calories of bacon, bagels, hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries and other junk. Take a look:

Actually, they got it from WiseGeek. Here’s a post about it: Food Face-Off.

Green-News: Tuesday 8.12.08

I think reducing our carbon footprint is at the forefront of our minds and there are some smaller-scale, realistic steps we can take to help the economy/environment and our health.

I love the idea of trying to eat locally as much as possible. Also, I think many of us could benefit from cutting back on the junk - with the energy cost adding extra incentive. (Cheetos: bad for your arteries AND your planet).

As for eschewing meat... I think I'll just change to fluorescent light bulbs. But seriously, the unrelenting omnivore can be more environmentally friendly by eating locally raised meat, meat with less packaging or simply by cutting back a little.

I think having the awareness that our dietary choices affect our economy and our planet in addition to our own personal health is crucial. If everybody made small changes, we can collectively make a big difference.
There has been some controversy over waterless urinals, notable opponents including the plumber’s union of Philadelphia. However, joint research by Falcon Waterfree Technologies and UCLA, as well as research by other independent bodies, suggests environmental, economical and health benefits beyond saving water include improved hygiene compared to manual flush urinals (although these are uncommon in Japan as most flush urinals use automatic sensors), lower maintenance costs and energy savings leading to reductions in CO2 output.

Waterless urinals generally look and function much like a regular flush urinal and connect to the standard plumbing system. The notable difference is in the use of specially-designed cartridges containing oil-based liquids designed to filter urine and trap odors. As urine is composed of around 96% water and is free of bacteria and viruses, the urine simply passes through the filter and joins the normal waste stream. The filters are recyclable and the liquids are not considered to be harmful to the environment.
Sellafield is home to a nuclear waster processing plant. The waterways are full of weapons-grade plutonium as well as Cobalt-60 which is a known carcinogen. It's not only the local birds that are infected. Norway, 500 miles away, has reported finding radiation levels in their lobsters, shrimps and mussels. Liquid discharges of technetium-99 have increased fifty times over from Shellafield since 1994.

Local authorities have tried scaring the birds away for the toxic ponds with loud noises and they've even tried shooting them but the gulls continue to visit the ponds. It must be the radioactive, 14-eyed fish that keep them coming back for more.

Dr. Fuhrman on the "Morning Show with Mike and Juliet"

Turn on FOX tomorrow morning Tuesday, August 12th at 9am EDT. Dr. Fuhrman will be joining Mike and Juliet to talk about weight-loss. Spread the word and tell your friends!

UPDATE: Here's Dr. Fuhrman's appearance: Dr. Fuhrman Talks Weight-Loss with Mike and Juliet.



2008 Olympics: Michael Phelps Smashes Record!

If you’re looking for some fitness inspiration, check out U.S. super swimmer Michael Phelps and his recent record breaking performance at the Beijing Olympics via SportsTrick. Here's the Associated Press report:

I’m jealous. Without water-wings, I can barely float.

Blood Pressure, Salt's Not Your Friend...

Salt, unless you have an icy driveway, it won’t do you much good. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding salt—for A LOT of reasons—and now a new study by the Harvard Medial School further exposes the link between salt and high blood pressure. Ed Edelson of HealthDay News reports:
The study, which included researchers at the University of Cambridge, looked at one possible genetic factor that might make people more or less vulnerable to the effects of salt intake on blood pressure -- variants of a gene for angiotensinogen, a molecule that can raise blood pressure by tightening arteries.

But the study of more than 11,000 European men and women found no relationship between variant forms of the gene and the effect of salt on blood pressure. The people who took in and excreted more salt had higher blood pressure, regardless of genetics, according to the report in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"It is a carefully done study that strongly confirms the relationship between salt and hypertension [high blood pressure]," said Dr. Mordecai P. Blaustein, a professor of physiology and medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who has done research on the mechanism by which too much salt causes high blood pressure.

"The power of this study is that it includes a very large cohort," said Blaustein, who is also director of the Maryland Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease. "Also, they directly measured salt excretion."

Dr. Paul R. Conlin, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal, added: "The study clearly showed that people who had elevated salt intake were the ones who had high blood pressure. That was independent of the genotype for this specific gene."
Obviously, this is a good reason NOT to consume salty foods, but salt is a tricky thing. If you eat or buy food not produced by your own hands, it’s hard to avoid. I’ll be honest with you, being my own salt-arbiter is probably the biggest challenge I still face as a diet conscious individual.

Heart Disease, Doctors Failing Patients...

Perhaps the understatement of the century! Research from Outcomes, Inc., a Birmingham Alabama-based research firm, have determined that doctors often come up short when it comes to heart disease-prevention. Via Reuters Health:
Lead researcher Dr. Hamidreza Doroodchi and colleagues sent a survey on cardiovascular disease management to a random sample of 12,000 U.S. family physicians and general internists. A total of 888 completed the survey, which contained "case vignettes" for managing adults deemed to be at low or high risk of heart disease.

The study found that in the hypothetical case of a low-risk 45-year-old woman, only 28 percent of family doctors and 37 percent of internists made the "guideline-based preventive choice" of prescribing no aspirin or other antiplatelet therapy -- drugs that help prevent blood clots by keeping platelet blood cells from clumping together. The majority indicated that they would prescribe a daily aspirin for such a patient to reduce the risk of heart attack.

When asked whether they would start drug therapy to combat abnormal cholesterol levels, 51 percent of doctors said they would not do so in this low-risk patient -- which is in accordance with guidelines. On the other hand, 41 percent said they would prescribe a statin.

When it came to basic lifestyle advice, which is appropriate for low- and high-risk patients alike, doctors often fell short.

For example, while experts recommend that all adults limit their intake of artery-clogging trans fats, over one-third of doctors in the survey failed to recommend this measure for the low-risk 45-year-old woman.
A lot of it probably has to do with ignorance or the unwillingness to defy conventional medical thinking. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
For most people, illness means putting their fate in the hands of doctors and complying with their recommendations — recommendations that typically involve taking drugs for the rest of their lives while they watch their health gradually deteriorate. People are completely unaware that most illnesses are self-induced and can be reversed with aggressive nutritional methods.

Both patients and physicians act as though everyone’s medical problems are genetic, or assumed to be the normal consequence of aging. They believe that chronic illness is just what we all must expect. Unfortunately, the medical-pharmaceutical business has encouraged people to believe that health problems are hereditary and that we need to swallow poisons to defeat our genes. This is almost always untrue. We all have genetic weaknesses, but those weaknesses never get a chance to express themselves until we abuse our body with many, many years of mistreatment. Never forget, 99 percent of your genes are programmed to keep you healthy. The problem is that we never let them do their job.
I find that the problem gets even more out of whack when the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are they themselves overweight or unhealthy. Makes you think that the whole system is mucked up—I wanted to use another word here.

Calories on L.A. Menus Too?

Last month New York City restaurants began mandatory posting of calorie-content on menus and now it seems Los Angeles is pondering the same move. Jennifer Martinez of Reuters reports:
Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Antonovich will present a proposed ordinance to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors next week that would force fast-food chains and restaurants to display the number of calories alongside the price of items on their menus.

The proposed law is intended to decrease obesity among adults and children in America's second-largest city.

While Los Angeles has a reputation as a mecca of diet and exercise crazes, the county's Department of Public Health says residents are less fit than many realize.

The percentage of obese adults in Los Angeles County increased 46 percent over eight years, to 20.9 percent in 2005 from 14.3 percent in 1997, according to the department.

"The menu should be as informative of what its effect is on one's waistline as it is on their pocketbooks," Yaroslavsky said. "Not ingesting 800 calories in a meal makes a huge difference to one's health and quality of life."
I’m not a calorie-counter, but giving people as much information about their food as possible doesn’t really have a downside—right?

Green-News: Monday 8.11.08

The military has set a goal that 25 percent of its energy should come from renewable sources by 2025 and aims to create machines and methods to help Main Street America reach similar targets, said Alan Shaffer, a retired Air Force officer who leads the Pentagon's research and engineering arm.

"It's only the Department of Defense that is big enough and has the federal mandate for the necessary scope of development" of new energy technologies and products, said Shaffer.

While the military marches on a greener path in which "every soldier is a steward of the environment" -- in Shaffer's words -- the federal government faces widespread criticism for failing to take significant action to slow climate change.

On the same day Shaffer arrived in California last week to tour military bases that test energy efficiency and renewable power, California announced plans to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for "wantonly" ignoring its duty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
In some countries, such as the USA, for instance, most of the plastic bags given away by grocery stores and others are made not from oil but natural gas, and the USA has ample supply of natural gas within its own borders – so no costly imports. Other countries are not so lucky.

In addition it has to be said that that only applies if the bags are actually produced in the USA and not, as will be more likely the case, in places such as China (or India). The source of the ethylene from which the polyethylene is then constructed we do not know.

Whatever the source, the fact remains that Plastic Bags Are Bad For The Environment

Most of what you have read about plastic bags is true. Plastic bags kill wildlife, cause pollution, clog landfills and indirectly raise the price of food at the grocery store. There are also, aside from those made from PLAs, that is to say those that are made from a plastic made from corn starch and lactic acids and such, no biodegradable plastic bags about. That is a fallacy and absolute greenwashing. Ordinary polyethylene shopping bags do NOT biodegrade; they photodegrade. That is to say they break down into ever smaller and smaller particles of plastic in the environment, all the while releasing harmful substances into the soil and water.
Chinese imports have had a bad year in the news, making headlines for contaminated pet food, toxic toys, and recently, certified organic ginger contaminated with levels of a pesticide called aldicarb that can cause nausea, headaches and blurred vision even at low levels. The ginger, sold under the 365 label at Whole Foods Market, contained a level of aldicarb not even permissible for conventional ginger, let alone organics. Whole Foods immediately pulled the product from its shelves.

Ronnie Cummins, the national director of the Organic Consumers Association, emphasizes that most organic farmers "play by the rules." They believe in organic principles and thereby comply with organic standards. Unfortunately, Congress' pitifully inadequate funding for enforcement, including for organic imports from countries like China, "guarantees it'll be easy for unscrupulous players to cheat, and that's obviously what's going on here."

Farms that produce USDA-certified organic food are not personally inspected by anyone from the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). As a small and underfunded agency within the USDA (it has fewer than a dozen employees), NOP relies on what it calls Accredited Certifying Agencies -- ACAs -- to do the legwork. The ACAs take responsibility for ensuring that any farm or processor bearing the organic label meets the strict requirements for certification.

More Green Tomatoes

Let’s see how my tomato is doing. This was last week:

Get a load of today:

Of course they’re all going to ripen at once!

Broccoli May Undo Cell Damage...

Researchers at the University of Warwick have determined that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, helps produce enzymes that protect blood vessels. This is especially good news for diabetics. BBC News reports:
People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes; both are linked to damaged blood vessels.

The Warwick team, whose work is reported in the journal Diabetes, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which are associated with diabetes.

They recorded a 73% reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

Hyperglycaemia can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells.

The researchers also found that sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.
Like we need another reason to eat broccoli! In fact, I’ve had some steamed broccoli three days in a row. Now, if you’re interested. The study appears in Diabetes: Activation of NF-E2-related factor-2 reverses biochemical dysfunction

Americans Want Health Care Fixed!

No doubt it’ll be the subject of much debate in the upcoming presidential election, but as it stands right now 80% of Americans want the U.S. healthcare system overhauled. Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters reports:
Access to care, better coordination between different health providers and better flow of health information were among their chief complaints, the Harris Interactive poll found -- just as another poll found that health insurance costs have doubled for Americans since 1996.

"It's clear that our health care system isn't giving Americans the health care they need and deserve," said Karen Davis, president of the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which commissioned the survey.

Both major presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, have pledged to address problems with the U.S. health system. About 47 million Americans do not have insurance.

In the poll, which surveyed a random sample of 1,004 U.S. adults in May, 32 percent agreed the system needed complete rebuilding, while 50 percent thought it required fundamental change.

These views were similar regardless of income and insurance status, with 81 percent of those who were insured for the prior year and 89 percent who were uninsured during the prior year calling for either fundamental change or complete rebuilding.
Personally, this will be a MAJOR determining factor for deciding who I vote for. If not, I’ll be penciling in Gilligan and the Skipper on my ballot again.

The "Crazy Eights" Workout

Okay, if training like a Spartan didn’t do it for you. Check out the Crazy Eight's Workout:

This might come in handy if you’re traveling or away from the gym.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Real Food Daily

Last week we had a good time at Trio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but this week—via the worldwide web—Eating to Live on the Outside heads to Real Food Daily in California. Now, does it stack up? Could an Eat to Liver eat there? Only one way to find out!

At the top of Real Food Daily’s menu are their juice and beverages. As far as these go, I could go for some orange juice or a glass of rice milk, but generally I stick with water. Onto the small plates, the edamame beans are great, but I’d ask them to hold the salt.

I also like the Hummus & Pita. Sure, the toasted pita chips aren’t exactly nutrient-dense, but the chickpea dip, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery and leafy greens are fantastic! The Spring Rolls look good too. The rice paper is clearly a concession, but check this stuff out: Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, daikon, red pepper, mint, cilantro, scallion, and a raw mango sauce. It’s hard to argue with all that. Actually, I love red cabbage!

Okay, I’m going to skip the breads and spreads and move onto better fare—like the salads! My top three are the House Salad, the Farm Chop, and the Yin Yang. Together they’re made with A LOT of good stuff: seasonal greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, dressing, seasonal vegetables, avocado, cabbages, Romaine lettuce, edamame, cilantro, sesame seeds, peanuts, and a peanut dressing. Good easy on the dressing and you’re set!

Since the specials will change, I’m bypassing that section of the menu and going to the main courses. It’s a little iffy. Honestly, I only see one I like—the others include too much faux-meat products for my liking. So, I’m sticking with the Stir It Up; julienne vegetables, gingery garlic sauce, brown rice, soba noodles, and daily greens. I know. It’s probably fried and most likely salty. I like the salads better, but maybe this works for you.

The sandwiches and wraps look interesting. Check out the Ciao Bella. It’s made with Portabella mushroom, onions, red peppers, lettuce, tomato, pesto spread, and hemp bread. Not bad. The hemp bread sounds interesting. The Tofu Wrap is pretty neat; grilled tofu, squash, onions, sun-dried tomato pesto, lettuce, tomato, and spinach tortilla. The tortilla is a tiny no-no, but I can deal with it. Now, the Living Wrap looks REALLY good. They make it with red pepper sunflower spread, cucumbers, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, salad greens, citrus herb dressing, and collards—collard greens are great!

Alright, so far I think Real Food Daily is a nice stop for an Eat to Liver, but if you don’t like any of these. Just do our little trick, order a bunch of sides. I could go for any number of these: millet, quinoa, beans of the day, black beans, veggies of the day, daily greens, sea vegetables, and tossed salad greens. Next to the salads this is probably your best bet.

So what do you think? Does Real Food Daily make the cut? I think it does, but then again, I’m not expert. I need your help. Check out Real Food Daily’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. You can always make a comment or send an email to Until then, happy eating! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 8.08.08

  • Apparently, you can make rubber from dandelions and experts believe that using the pesky weed this way will not only save billions of dollars and will be better for the environment. Eric Bland of Discovery News reports:
Scientists from Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) recently received a $3 million grant to design and build a processing plant that would turn sticky white dandelion root sap into quality rubber for less money than current methods, say the scientists.

"No matter how much chemistry we've applied, we still haven't been able to find an artificial substitute for natural rubber," said William Ravlin, a researcher involved in the project. "We're still harvesting [rubber] the same way they did 1,000 years ago; by cutting into the tree and letting the sap drip into containers. It's not a very efficient system."

Efficiency, according to the Ohio scientists, would be Midwestern farmers in air-conditioned tractors harvesting acres of yellow dandelions with the same machines used to pull tulip bulbs.
High in sugar content, the project team estimates that varieties of Agave tequilana weber can yield up to 2,000 gallons of distilled ethanol per acre per year and from 12,000-18,000 gallons per acre per year if their cellulose is included, some 14 dry tons of feedstock per acre every year.

These figures far outshine the plants that are dominating ethanol and biofuels' R&D and investment today, not only in terms of potential ethanol yield per acre, but also in terms of energy balance (the ratio of energy in the product to the energy input to produce it), as well as actual and prospective planted acreage.

Corn ethanol, for example, has an energy balance ratio of 1.3 and produces approximately 300-400 gallons of ethanol per acre. Soybean biodiesel, with an energy balance of 2.5, typically can yield 60 gallons of biodiesel per acre while an acre of sugar cane can produce 600-800 gallons of ethanol with an energy balance of 8.0. An acre of poplar trees can yield more than 1,500 gallons of cellulosic ethanol with an energy balance of 12.0, according to a National Geographic study published in October 2007.
The decision comes as more retailers, saying they are responding to consumer demand, are selling dairy products from cows not treated with the artificial hormone.

Wal-Mart, Kroger and Publix are among the retailers that now sell house-brand milk from untreated cows. Almost all of the fresh milk sold by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk bottler, also comes from cows that were not treated with the artificial hormone, a spokeswoman said.

Monsanto officials said the decision was not related to the retail trend and that business for the artificial hormone, sold under the brand name Posilac, remained brisk. Monsanto, which is based in St. Louis and is the only commercial manufacturer of the hormone, declined to provide sales numbers.

Selling Posilac “will allow Monsanto to focus on the growth of its core seeds and traits business while ensuring that loyal dairy farmers continue to receive the value of Posilac in their operations,” Carl Casale, Monsanto’s executive vice president for strategy and operations, said in a statement.

"Diet" Truth

Diet-Blog passes on The Real Diet Story. Take a look:

Right on the money! “Diets” flop long term. Dr. Fuhrman tells us why:
Unfortunately, most weight-loss plans either don’t work or offer only minor, usually temporary, benefits. There are plenty of “rules and counting” diets, diet drugs, high-protein programs, canned shakes, and other fads that might enable you to lose some weight for a period of time. The problem is that you can’t stay on these programs forever.
And yet the fad diet industry continues to make millions.

What we're Eating, Then and Now

The New York Times offers up this great graphic showing America’s food habits over time. More from Bill Marsh:

Wow, it’s hard to believe that our vegetable consumption is actually up. Could have fooled me! Click here for the full graphic.

McBurger Pizza, America We Got Problems...

You know, you try to be optimistic. You hope people will start eating better, but then you find something like this and that notion is shot to hell. Via And I Am Not Lying:

Makes you wonder, how big of a death wish must a person have to concoct that monstrosity. I can actually feel my chest tightening!

Talking About Exercise...

In the study, 2367 12-year-old Australian school children underwent eye examinations and completed questionnaires about their daily activities.

The lowest rates of myopia were associated with the highest rates of outdoor activity, irrespective of how much near work, such as reading, the children did.

The children with the worst eyesight did lots of near work and spent very little time outside. Interestingly, the study found no benefit from playing sports indoors.

"The crucial factor was being outdoors. Time spent outdoors, as a protective factor, now appears to be the strongest environmental factor that has yet been documented,” Kathryn Rose of the University of Sydney in Australia said.
The researchers, led by Dr. Gopal K. Singh of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, report the findings in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Past studies, the researchers note, have shown that immigrants to the U.S. often have certain "health advantages" over natives that tend to fade as they become more assimilated: traditional diets are replaced by fast food, leisure time is increasingly devoted to TV and computers.

The reverse seems to be true when it comes to physical activity. Research has suggested that immigrant adults tend to exercise more as they become more acculturated.

A similar pattern emerged in the current study. Singh's team found that rates of inactivity were highest among children who were foreign- born or had two foreign-born parents (18 percent and 15 percent, respectively); but children with one foreign-born parent were similar to children whose parents were both born in the U.S. (between 10 percent and 11 percent were inactive).
Their analysis of survey data from 1,932 adults who answered questions about colon cancer risk found that only 15 percent said they used physical activity as a way of reducing their colon cancer risk. The findings were published in the August issue of Patient Education and Counseling.

Several factors may contribute to this lack of knowledge about the link between exercise and colon cancer risk.

"Patients may not be learning this information from their health-care providers and information regarding colon cancer prevention is not as well publicized as it could be," study co-author Elliott Coups said in a new release from the Center for the Advancement of Health.

Doctors may find it easier to tell patients about the general health benefits of exercise, rather than specifically referring to colon cancer, even if a patient has a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors for the disease.

Antibiotics, Without a Prescription

Reuters reports that Britain will allow the sale of over-the-counter oral antibiotics. Anyone older than 16 will be able to buy the azithromycin pill. From the article:
It is designed for use by people who have tested positive for the sexually transmitted infection and have no symptoms. The drug will also be available on an over-the-counter (OTC) basis for their sexual partners.

Up to 70 percent of people who have chlamydia exhibit no symptoms but risk serious long-term health complications, including infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

"Today's move means that symptom-free people diagnosed with chlamydia and their partner will be able to get convenient effective treatment from their local pharmacy," said June Raine, MHRA director of vigilance and risk management of medicines.

The British government has taken a lead in Europe in encouraging self-medication, as a way to increase patient choice and cut state healthcare bills.

The country already allows OTC sales of cholesterol-lowering and migraine drugs, as well as antibiotic eyedrops.

"The MHRA is keen to support the availability of more medicines over-the-counter, where it is safe to do so, and we wish to move on to new areas such as prevention and chronic disease management," Raine said in a statement.
Now, we’ve all read the reports about antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses. Wouldn’t over-the-counter antibiotics exacerbate the situation? More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Drug companies are a big part of this problem. They promote the use of their products through widespread advertising and the practice of giving free samples of the more potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics to doctors. The more widely these newer (and often ten times more expensive) antibiotics are used, the greater the chances that the bacteria will develop resistance. Many patients don't think a doctor is doing his job if he doesn't prescribe antibiotics or other medication. If he doesn't prescribe the medication they want, some patients actually will look for another doctor who will. Most doctors perpetuate this problem because they give in to the pressure to prescribe antibiotics. They like to appear that they are offering an important and necessary service by writing prescriptions.
What’s especially troubling is less than a month ago British doctors were urged to cutback on how many antibiotics they prescribe—weird?

Green-News: Thursday 8.07.08

Advertisers who violate the law face fines from $250 for a first offense to $1,000 for repeat violators.

The “lawn litter” legislation was sponsored by State Senator Frank Padavan and Assemblyman Mark S. Weprin, both of Queens, where complaints about “lawn litter” have been particularly acute.

The property owner’s sign must be at least five inches tall and seven inches wide, and display the following language in legible letters at least one inch in size: “Do Not Place Unsolicited Advertising Materials On This Property.”
AT A SPANKING new lingerie factory in Thulhiriya, a short drive from Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, senior managers wear T-shirts. This is not because MAS Holdings, the country's biggest apparel company, which recently opened the factory, is a dress-down sort of a firm. It is because the factory has no air-conditioning. Instead it uses evaporative cooling, which leaves the workplace around four degrees hotter than air-conditioning would—but uses much less energy.

The factory has many energy-saving features. Its carefully designed windows provide enough natural light for workers stitching bras. Its turf roofs provide a cooling shade. Overall it uses 40% less energy than an ordinary factory of the same size. And the electricity it uses is from renewable sources: 90% from a hydro-power plant and 10% from on-site solar panels. MAS reckons it has built the world's first carbon-neutral clothes factory.

It was built at the instigation of Britain's biggest clothier, Marks & Spencer (M&S), which contributed £200,000 ($400,000) towards the cost of the solar panels and design. The "green" underwear that MAS is now making at the factory for M&S will reach British high streets in June, and will cost no more than existing garments.
While gas prices are retreating somewhat now, people need to understand that the recent hikes were a tap on the shoulder; a perhaps final hint that we need to alter our lifestyles dramatically. Nature has a funny way of working - all things must be kept in balance and sometimes it will deliver a direct slap in the face, other times via other mediums.

The point is that all things are connected in Nature and for us to believe we have tamed it is a massive mistake. Whether through political unrest, peak oil or environmental disaster; the days of cheap fossil fuel are certainly numbered and that's probably a good thing as otherwise we'd just choke on our own hyperconsumption.

In that aspect, we're very much like children. Give a small child a bag of candy and tell them they can only have one piece a day, but it's up to them to control their consumption - and watch what happens :). Nature is the parent, and like any good parent, it will monitor and discipline us - harshly if we don't get the hint.

Christina Applegate's Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Christina Applegate’s diagnosis of breast cancer at age 36, brings to our awareness the question, why now, after so many millions spent on cancer research, do so many women still get and die of breast cancer? This diagnosis in such a young celebrity will incite a new media frenzy for more donations for cancer research. Cancer research means more testing for new drugs. I doubt any significant reduction in cancer deaths will result as long as we ignore causation and still expect to discover new poisons to defeat cancer. Deaths from breast cancer have increased throughout the last century and modern medical care has done little to halt this trend.

Imagine if that money was instead spent on educating the public about the environmental and nutritional causes of cancer. We could slash breast cancer rates by 70 to 90 percent if the money that went to cancer research (almost exclusively drug research) instead went to fund a huge publicity campaign to beat cancer at its roots. How many people know, childhood diets are the main cause of adult cancers? I have studied this subject for years, read thousands of studies and wrote a book about it called Disease-Proof Your Child. However, I learned not many people care about this subject. Knowledge about real cancer prevention is not politically correct and the spread of this message is unlikely to happen as the social, economic and political climate in the modern world revolves around promotion of processed foods and dairy products as the center of childhood nutritional practices. It is blasphemy to produce scientific studies that expose our present day feeding practices as cancer-causing. This message is not what people want to hear, they want a magic pill. Information about cancer causation does not fly in the media.

Flip around the dial, listen to the discussions about cancer in the media and read the articles. Do any of them bring up diet as the cause of cancer? Do the television personalities discuss that over 60 percent of food consumed in America is junk food? That’s right, we have crossed over the 60 percent line, white flour, (pasta, bagels, crackers) sweeteners, oils, chips, processed cereals, soft drinks and other junk foods are the vast majority of what we eat. Add cheese and other dairy foods, full of hormones and saturated fat, and you have a simple formula to create the cancer explosion we have seen in the modern world over the last 75 years. Put low micronutrient, high glycemic carbohydrates together with lots of cheese in your child’s mouth and boom, watch the cancer-creating experiment unfold (it usually takes about 40 years).

Now, while articles tussle with the argument of whether breast MRI’s or mammograms are more appropriate as an early detection tool, those in the know realize that there is no such thing as early detection and all cancers diagnosed with radiographic techniques must be large enough to be visualized with the human eye, so they have been there more than 10 years already.

When Christina Applegate’s publicist reports “it was not serious and caught in the early stage” we know that is not factual. Present medical science has no way of determining whether cells have spread outside the breast. A stage zero cancer means that it less than 2 centimeters and no cancer was found in the lymph nodes, however that still does not tell us that it was caught before cancer cells have spread. Most invasive breast cancers have seeded the body with cells by the time a mammogram or MRI can detect it. Negative lymph nodes on a biopsy does not tell us the cancer is still localized to the breast because a small number of cells are for practical purposes invisible.

There are both aggressive and non-aggressive breast cancers. It was not announced which type Ms. Applegate has, but the more aggressive breast cancers are more common in young women. They spread out from the breast at an earlier stage.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer that spreads locally and there is no significant advantage to early detection because these cancers are not generally life threatening and can be detected later when they are larger with a good prognosis. Hopefully Christina has this type. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is an example of breast cancer that is more aggressive.

Genetics plays a minor role, not the major role. Dietary practices have been identified by scientific studies as the primary cause of breast cancers. The countries with the highest incidence of cancers of the breast are in North America, Western Europe and Australia, while in contrast, the occurrence is lowest in Southeast Asia.1 For example, when compared to the United States, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand have only one-twentieth the amount of breast cancer in the 50-75 age bracket. Breast and Prostate cancer are the most prevalent cancers in America.

Diets lower in animal products (especially cheese) and higher in unrefined plant foods account for these dramatic differences. When people from a low risk country migrate to the United States, their cancer rate increases considerably and the cancer rate in their offspring jumps up to match other Americans. This demonstrates that the lower incidence of these cancers is not due to a lower genetic susceptibility in Asians, but rather due to the exposure to Western dietary practices.2 Plant-derived micronutrients reduce toxic stress and arm the body’s defenses against cancer.

The growing body, with its dividing cells, is at greater risk when exposed to all types of negative and toxic influences. In adults, our valuable genetic material (DNA) is wound up in a tight ball, like the rubber bands on the inside of a golf ball. When we are young and cells are replicating and growing, the DNA unwinds, exposing more of its surface. This makes it more susceptible to damage from toxic exposure. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, infants and toddlers have a ten times greater cancer risk than adults when exposed to gene-damaging chemicals.3 In a similar manner, an unhealthy diet can do substantially more damage to a young body than an adult one. The fact is, the earlier in life, the greater the potential for damage.

The idea that eating an anti-cancer diet in our childhood is more important in determining cancer risk than waiting to eat healthy as an adult, has been tested in animals by Dr. Jerald Silverman of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Ohio State with a grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research. He chose to study a strain of mice very susceptible to breast cancer. He put one group on a diet low in fat their entire lives and with the other group he switched them from a high fat diet to a healthier low fat one at different times; some before puberty, some at puberty and some after puberty. The study showed the same thing we see in human studies; those mice fed the high fat diet early in life had more cancer and more of the cancer spread to the lung, and the earlier the change to the healthier lower fat diet the better the mice fared.

The things we are exposed to earlier in life are crucial to our later health. If a nuclear power plant exploded nearby, dousing us all in heavy radiation, it would not cause a significant increase in cancer occurrence for at least 30 years. For example, the excess risk for breast, prostate and colon cancer among atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continues to be observed today, and persists throughout the lifetime of the survivors. The largest grouping of the radiation-related cancer deaths for these common cancers occurred in the period from 1986 to 1990, forty to forty five years after exposure.4

Recent studies have also found fruit eating during childhood had powerful effects to protect against cancer in later life. A 60-year study of 4,999 participants found those who consumed more fruit in their childhood (highest quartile) were 38 percent less likely to develop cancer of all types as adults.5 There is much more here and the science is fascinating. I could go on and on with hundreds of more studies, telling this story, of food and other factors initiating cancer, but the point is—we already know enough about how to beat breast cancer. We can implement good science to win the war on cancer. We can do it now. We must eat right.

For adults at risk or who already have cancer, nutritional excellence is a critical intervention one can use to reduce risk and significantly increase the chance of survival.

Eat a high-nutrient, vegetable-based diet as described in my books, Eat To Live and Eat For Health. Green vegetables are the most powerful anti-breast cancer food. Take note that a vegetarian diet does not show protection against breast cancer as much as a diet rich in green vegetables, berries, and seeds. It is the phytochemical nutrient density and diversity of the diet that offers the most dramatic protection against cancer, not merely the avoidance of meat or fat.

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Obama Wants More Fruits and Veggies

Nikki Benoit, Outreach Coordinator for Florida Voices for Animals, had the opportunity to talk with Senator Barack Obama about U.S. agriculture and diet. Here’s a bit of their dialogue via Take a look:
I stated how the UN’s reporting that animal agriculture contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than all of transportation. I mentioned that over 10 billion land animals are funneled through egregious conditions in factory farms and that it requires an obscene amount of water and resources to maintain them [70% of all our grain goes through them]. I reiterated that our health epidemic is only compounded by our environmental crises and resource depletion, and what, as the leader of the most amazing nation, would he do about this [again, this is all a blur...I believe the media picked this up, too - I hope it made more sense at the time.]

His response included an admission that our infrastructure needs fixing, and that subsidies need to be taken away from large scale animal ag, helping small family farms. He acknowledged that our health care crises needs to incorporate preventative measures, including more fresh vegetables and fruit. He also said schools need more of these items versus pre-packaged food and meat products. And of course, he pointed the finger at China and India and that their new diet [which is mimicking ours] needs to be changed. is touting this as “Obama’s vegan movement.” I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s cool to hear a presidential nominee urging people to eat more plant foods and less animal products—anyone know McCain’s position on this?

Protecting Your Prostate

In what some are calling a surprise move, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends not screening for prostate cancer in men age 75 years or older. Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times reports:
Screening is typically performed with a blood test measuring prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels. Widespread PSA testing has led to high rates of detection. Last year, more than 218,000 men learned they had the disease.

Yet various studies suggest the disease is “overdiagnosed” — that is, detected at a point when the disease most likely would not affect life expectancy — in 29 percent to 44 percent of cases. Prostate cancer often progresses very slowly, and a large number of these cancers discovered through screening will probably never cause symptoms during the patient’s lifetime, particularly for men in their 70s and 80s. At the same time, aggressive treatment of prostate cancer can greatly reduce a patient’s quality of life, resulting in complications like impotency and incontinence.

Past task force guidelines noted there was no benefit to prostate cancer screening in men with less than 10 years left to live. Since it can be difficult to assess life expectancy, it was an informal recommendation that had limited impact on screening practices. The new guidelines take a more definitive stand, however, stating that the age of 75 is clearly the point at which screening is no longer appropriate.
In our bilk-the-patient system of modern medicine, nixing this money-maker will certainly hit doctors and hospitals in the bottom-line. Now, there’s more you can do—eat your way to a healthy prostate. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer…

…Fresh fruits are an important component of the natural diet of all primates. Humans and other primates have color vision and the ability to appreciate sweets. We are designed this way so that we can recognize ripe fruits and be attracted to them. We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical for our survival, but sugar and candy manufacturers also know that bright colors and sweet tastes are instinctually attractive. They have used that knowledge to their advantage. Remember, your instinctual reaction is designed to lead you to fruit—not sugary, processed foods. Fruit is an indispensable requirement to maintain a high level of health. Fruit consumption has been shown to offer the strongest protection against certain cancers, especially oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer1…

…Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.2 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
Okay guys, think about it. What would you rather do? Eat your fruits and veggies or get stuck with a needle in a place where no needle should ever be—eek!
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New Obesity Research...

The infants were considered overweight if they had a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th weight-for-height percentile on 2 or more measurements taken at least 3 months part. This means that 85 percent of children their age and gender have a lower BMI, which is a measure of weight in relation to height.

In the first study, the researchers found that infants between the 85th and 94th weight-for-height percentiles actually had fewer hospital admissions and repeat admissions than normal-weight infants. However, higher than expected admission rates were seen in the most overweight infants (95th or higher percentile).

In the second study, overweight infants were more likely than their normal-weight peers to have developmental delays and snoring. There was also evidence that asthma and other breathing problems were more common in overweight infants.
According to the researchers, patients who were overweight or obese were less likely to die during follow up compared to their normal-weight peers. Being overweight or obese "remained protective" against death in a "risk-adjusted" analysis.

Heart failure patients who had a normal weight or who were underweight had the highest death rates. "It remains unknown, however, if higher body fat levels are actually the cause of better outcomes in patients with heart failure," the researchers note in the American Heart Journal.

"We believe there is a need for prospective studies to confirm these findings and elucidate potential mechanisms" for the potentially protective effect of increased body weight on heart failure, Oreopoulos and colleagues conclude.
The study, conducted by Dr. Erin J. Maher, from Casey Family Programs in Seattle, and colleagues, involved nearly 16,000 first-time kindergartners who had or had not been enrolled in childcare, defined as spending at least 10 hours per week in care not provided by a parent.

Childcare was subdivided into four types: 1) paid or unpaid care by a relative, friend, or neighbor, held at least occasionally at the child's home; 2) paid care by a non-relative family outside the child's home; 3) Head Start; and 4) care at daycare center, nursery school, preschool, or pre-kindergarten. Children were considered to be obese if their weight was in the 95th or higher percentile for height.

Overall, kids in childcare were more likely to obese than children not in childcare. Of the various childcare types, care by a relative, friend, or neighbor was most strongly linked to obesity. Compared with other racial groups, white children were less likely and Latino children more likely to be obese.

Train like a Spartan!

Whoa! This is hardcore, the Spartan 300 Challenge. Via CrossFit:

Yup, I’m thinking about trying it!

Green-News: Wednesday 8.06.08

Economists now say that one-third of China's carbon dioxide emissions are pumped into the atmosphere in order to manufacture exported goods – many of them "advanced" electronics goods destined for developed countries.

"Export goods emissions" account for 1.7 billion tonnes of China's carbon dioxide. That represents 6% of total global emissions – the equivalent of Germany, France and the UK's combined emissions.

Discussing the scale of China's emissions has been a hot topic since it was forecast that they could surpass US emissions as the world's leader in 2007. Some say that has now happened.

A large share of these emissions – up to 25% – has been blamed on China's ever-growing export market, but this has not been quantified until now.
Tax breaks for the oil and gas industry included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 increase from around $1.3 billion in 2000 to some $3.6 billion in 2008, and they’re set to grow further, to some $3.8 billion by 2010, according to the Joint Committee on "Taxation Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures for Fiscal Years 2007-2011," FoE points out in its analysis (pdf). The list of oil and gas industry tax breaks is a long one. At an estimated cost of $5.9 billion over five years, the oil and gas depletion allowance allows oil companies to deduct 15% of their sales revenues to reflect the declining value of their investment. The problem is that the accounting methodology does not accurately reflect companies’ assets actual loss in value over time, and they often wind up deducting more than the value of their original investment, according to the report’s authors. Congress has passed H.R. 4520, the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," which included provisions added that changed the classification of oil and natural gas production to that of a manufactured good.

"This enabled them to claim billions of dollars in new tax deductions, effectively lowering their tax rate," according to the report.

Initial estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that it would cost the federal government some $3.5 billion over the next five years. On the other hand, efforts to change this, as was included in "The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008," could raise more than $5.1 billion in revenue. Deductions for intangible drilling costs — cost of wages, supplies and site preparation, royalty payments, foreign royalty, and income tax payments will add another $6.5 billion to the lost government revenue total over the next five years.
One reason for the rampant waste is that many people aren't sure how long they can safely keep fruits and vegetables. If your fruit has gone bad, however, you'll generally know -- if not from telltale dark spots, then by smelling or squeezing it.

Knowing how to pick and store your produce can help extend shelf life so it doesn't get to the point where you have to throw it out. The best methods vary depending on the fruit or vegetable, but a few rules of thumb generally apply across the board.

The first step is to immediately inspect your goods once you get home and pluck out any spoiled specimens.

"It really is true that one bad apple can make the entire bunch go bad," said James Parker, who's in charge of buying produce for Whole Foods Markets.

That's especially true for soft fruits such as peaches and nectarines. And the higher the sugar content, the more likely a fruit is to spoil faster.

An Organic Garden at the White House...

Eat the View, a movement to plant healthy, edible landscapes in high-impact, high visibility places, wants the White House to plant an organic food garden. Via Bethany Sanders of That’sFit:
We planted our first vegetable garden this past spring and enjoyed it so much that we just spent the weekend doubling its size for next year. With a very small financial investment and a little bit of physical labor, we've been able to contribute fresh, healthy, organic foods to our menu and teach our kids some lessons about food production as well.

Rising food costs, food safety concerns, and an increased awareness about environmental issues have lead to an increase in backyard gardening. And some food activists are hoping to encourage that trend by putting an organic garden on one of the most well-known lawns in Amercia ... The White House.
Sounds like a great idea, the ultimate lead by example! The White House used to farm in the past. Check out this photo on

Although I imagine the scarecrow would be equipped with spy cameras, machine guns, and night vision.

Gardasil's Adverse Effects...

Merck marketed Gardasil as a wonder drug, but more and more articles are blasting the HPV vaccine, like this one by Medscape’s Allison Gandey. She reports on Gardasil’s foreboding side effects. Take a look:
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as of June 30, 2008, more than 9700 adverse events have been reported since the vaccine was approved 2 years ago. Of these, 94% were classified as nonserious events and 6% as severe.

Serious Adverse Events
  • Nervous system disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and headache
  • Thromboembolic events
  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue problems
  • Lymphatic system disorders
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • General disorders and administration site conditions
  • Immune system problems, including hypersensitivity reactions, bronchospasm, and urticaria
Most Commonly Reported Events
  • Fainting
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
Again, this is a tough pill to swallow. For starters, adverse reactions to Gardasil have been shown to kill and—we’ve talked about it numerous times—Gardasil is only effective against 4 of the 100 strains of HPV. Quite the risk for what, 4% protection!

Living with Lupus, Really?

You don’t read a lot of lupus. I guess its one of those diseases that lacks a colored ribbon and a celebrity spokes person, but for many people lupus is a life-altering condition. More from Judy Fortin of CNN:
Amy Harned, who lives in Webster, Massachusetts, is among the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from the autoimmune disorder. Lupus causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. When Harned's lupus was first diagnosed, she said she "was really terrified, but gradually I got more information." She realized with proper treatment she could lead a somewhat normal life…

"…The prognosis for lupus today is very good," Lisa Fitzgerald, a Boston, Massachusetts-based rheumatologist, said. "The survival rate is really over 90 percent in five to 10 years of having the disease. In the 1950s it was probably 50 percent."

Part of the reason for the improved success has to do with better treatment in managing the condition. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen offer relief to some patients.

Other lupus sufferers might be prescribed an antimalarial drug called hydroxychloroquine.

"It's a quinine derivative. It's quite safe," Fitzgerald said. "It can make a big difference for patients who have mild disease."

Fitzgerald added she also prescribes corticosteroids "to squelch flareups." While they work well, she cautioned they do have side effects.
Wow! A life time of prescribed drugs—now that sounds like modern medicine! But what if there was another way? A healthier way to live your life without lupus, Dr. Fuhrman talks about it:
For the last 20 years, multiple studies have been published in medical journals documenting the effectiveness of high vegetable diets on autoimmune illnesses.1 These have been largely ignored by the medical profession and most doctors still deny the effectiveness of nutrition on autoimmune and inflammatory conditions; a high-nutrient eating-style is most effective in aiding people suffering with these conditions.
And here’s a little more from Dr. Fuhrman:
An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first.
You got to wonder, why something as simple and noninvasive as changing diet isn’t always tried first. Oh wait! It doesn’t make money.
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Back Extensions for the Soul

Okay, the handstand pushups were pretty brutal. So instead give these back extensions a try. Have a look:

I love doing back exercises and twists and all that stuff! Here’s one of my favorite Yoga poses, wheel pose. Via

Yup, I can actually do it. Not perfect yet, but I’m getting there. Can any of you do it too?

A Day's Worth of Calories in Kids' Meals

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has determined that many fast food kids’ meals contain enough calories of an entire day. Nanci Hellmich of USA TODAY reports:
Overall, the findings reveal that 93% of the kids' meals at McDonald's and Wendy's contain more than 430 calories, the average number of calories that children ages 4 to 8 should get at a single meal. The comparable numbers are 92% at Burger King; 89% at Dairy Queen; 69% at Arby's; 60% at Denny's. The latter's kids' meals don't include drinks.

On the healthful side, about 67% of the kids' meals at Subway have fewer than 430 calories.

"When you go to most chain restaurants, ordering off the kids' menu is a nightmare," says Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the mother of a 10-year-old daughter.

"Right now kids' meals are almost all unhealthy meals when they should be almost all healthy meals," she says "At the very least, restaurants should list calories on the menu so that parents can navigate through this minefield of calories and fat to find the healthy options."
Let that be a lesson to you if you actually believe fast food giants are concerned about kids’ dietary needs. For more, here’s the CSPI analysis: Obesity on the Kids’ Menus at Top Chains.

Green-News: Tuesday 8.05.08

If we don’t, echo scientists, life on this planet will change as we know it. With the emerging economy of China, the eastern superpower is now producing more greenhouse gases than America.

For every coal plant America shuts down, China opens 20 more. In light of some of our imminent problems, Andrew Simms from the New Economics Foundation wrote an eye-opening opinion piece on the Guardian on the New Green Deal, a UK plan-of-action released last month to counteract climate change.

Simms, the policy director and head of the climate change program at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) –– a “think and do tank” –– says it’s now time to scream “FIRE!” We have 100 months (about 8 years) he warns to make radical changes to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Eight state and local jurisdictions filed similar notices today, formally declaring their intent to sue the EPA for unreasonable delay. The filers included the states of California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, the City of New York, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The coalition filed petitions to the EPA in October and December 2007, requesting that it determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from marine vessels and aircraft endanger public health and welfare, and if so, to issue regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from these sources. The coalition asked for a response within 180 days but none was received during that period.
The explosion of jellyfish populations, scientists say, reflects a combination of severe overfishing of natural predators, like tuna, sharks and swordfish; rising sea temperatures caused in part by global warming; and pollution that has depleted oxygen levels in coastal shallows.

These problems are pronounced in the Mediterranean, a sea bounded by more than a dozen countries that rely on it for business and pleasure. Left unchecked in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, these problems could make the swarms of jellyfish menacing coastlines a grim vision of seas to come.

"The problem on the beach is a social problem," said Dr. Gili, who talks with admiration of the "beauty" of the globular jellyfish. "We need to take care of it for our tourism industry. But the big problem is not on the beach. It's what's happening in the seas."

Working the Core...

Sit ups and crunches aren’t the only way you can exercise your core. This dude shows off some cool moves. Take a look:

Well, aside from the nauseating music. They look good, very Yoga-like too.

Eat For Health: The Stubborn Habits

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Modern foods are designed to seduce your taste buds. You have been manipulated by profit motivated food manufacturers. We all have. The artificially concentrated flavors that the processed food industry uses to stimulate the brain’s pleasure center are designed to increase and retain sales. Tragically, the result is that they lead people’s taste buds astray. Artificial, intense flavors cause us to enjoy natural flavors less. Our taste buds become desensitized, and the more we succumb to the heightened, artificial flavors, the less appealing natural, whole foods become. Salt also desensitizes our taste buds, but the extra sweeteners and artificial flavors combined with the flavor enhancing qualities of salt are all addictive.

Fortunately, by practicing this eating-style, your taste buds are bouncing back. However, it might take more time to reset your receptors to appreciate the more subtle flavors of whole, unprocessed foods. Hang in there, and keep up your healthy eating! It’s the only way for this to happen, and it always does. It might take longer than six weeks, but your taste and flavor sensitivity will improve tremendously over time.

Realizing your impediments and gaining knowledge about great health are tremendous first steps, but they are only 50 percent of the overall solution. You must put into practice and repeat your new beneficial behaviors over and over until they become part of you. Repetition will make these positive actions feel more and more natural. It is not enough simply to know what to do. You need to practice preparing recipes, eating super-healthy meals, noticing the changes, and affirming yourself, until eating for health naturally satisfies you.

Developing a burning desire for optimal health will help you in the process of re-sensitizing your taste buds. Stay with the program and your taste buds will actually line up with your desire, your behaviors will line up with your beliefs, you will cease to crave flavor enhancers and highly seasoned food, and you will transform into a person who actually prefers to eat healthfully. As you learn more recipes, you will be able to substitute similar, healthy foods for those old, unhealthy options. For example, my healthy sorbets and ice creams are the perfect substitute for your craving of cold sweets.

It is not easy to develop new habits, and there is no such thing as a quick shortcut to developing new skills and expertise. When you do something over and over, it creates a pathway in the brain that makes it easier and more comfortable to repeat again. That is one reason why it is so hard to change bad habits. However, if you are motivated to persevere and keep trying, the change becomes considerably easier. The more you make healthful meals and the more days you link together eating healthful foods, the more your brain will naturally prefer to eat that way. Of course, feeling better and losing weight is a great motivator, but through this process, your taste for a different way of eating can be established. It has been shown that a new food needs to be eaten about 15 times for it to become a preferred food. Keep in mind that the more days you eat healthfully, the more you will lose your addiction to unhealthful, stimulating substances, and, with time, you will look forward to, and prefer, a healthy diet. Don’t give up. The only failure is to stop trying.

Watermelon Goodness

Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit passes along 4 reason to eat watermelon. Have a look:
  • Watermelon juice beat out tomato juice on the lycopene front in a recent study. Research suggests that lycopene may be a cancer killer.
  • A compound in watermelon can help with your skin's healing and regenerative processes.
  • Watermelon is practically calorie-free. It contains less than 50 calories per cup which makes it a grand way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
  • Eating watermelon is a great way to hydrate. There's 141 grams of water per each cubed cup.
Watermelon rocks, especially on a hot summer day. Give this recipe a try:
Watermelon Ices
5 cups seedless watermelon
1/2 cup raisins
Blend watermelon and raisins in a blender, food processor, or VitaMix until they form a creamy liquid. Pour into paper cups and freeze for one hour only. Remove partially frozen treat from the freezer. Blend again, spoon the mixture back into the cups, and place back in the freezer until served.
That reminds me, I have a hunk of watermelon in the fridge!

Green-News: Monday 8.04.08

In what Greenpeace is calling a major victory for the oceans, Amsterdam based supermarket owner Royal Ahold, which owns U.S. supermarkets Stop & Shop and Giant Food, announced that they are suspending sales of three overfished "red list" species: shark, orange roughy and the oh-so-delicious Chilean seabass.

Last month Greenpeace issued a report on how we're emptying the seas, and included a challenge to the top 20 U.S. supermarkets to change the way they purchase and sell seafood. Royal Ahold was rated number two on that report, in terms of their purchasing practices, although this move will improve their score considerably.

The list was interesting. All of the supermarkets, even #1 Whole Foods, totally fail in terms of sustainable seafood. Surprisingly, Wal-Mart way outscored feel good Trader Joe's. In fact, Costco and Winn-Dixie were also better! But it's splitting hairs because they all sell fish on the red list. Bad!
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign have just staged the largest known field trial for Miscanthus, a giant perennial grass. Their results indicate that using Miscanthus as an ethanol feedstock could significantly boost biofuel production in the U.S. while greatly reducing the acreage devoted to them.

Offsetting 20% of gas use with 9.3% of agricultural land
According to Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences at UIUC, it would be possible to produce enough cellulosic ethanol with 9.3% of agricultural land to offset a fifth of our current gasoline consumption. By comparison, it would take 25% of current cropland to produce an equivalent amount of corn-based ethanol. Similar field trials conducted for switchgrass were disappointing: producing roughly the same amount of ethanol per acre as corn -- a result that glaringly contradicts the results I cited above.

A longer growing season and superior photosynthetic efficiency contribute to Miscanthus' high yield

The two principal reasons why Miscanthus yields more ethanol per acre than corn, Long explains, are that it makes green leaves 6 weeks earlier in the growing season and keeps them until late October. Corn leaves typically wither by the end of August. While it shares a similar growing season, switchgrass is much less efficient at photosynthesis; Miscanthus has a conversion efficiency of around 1% (1% of sunlight gets turned into biomass).
The main slogan of the program is: "Organic farming: Good for nature, good for you." However, even with that slogan the commission insists it is not claiming any health benefits for organics but rather supporting the growth of the organic sector. It’s an interesting concept that a government agency might try and support two different approaches to providing the same product in one sector — conventional and organic produce. Is there a conflict of interest here when these two products are competing for the same consumer monies?

The commission also has an established program supporting farmers who want to change from conventional to organic farming methods. And with projections such as those from The UK Soil Association - a 10% growth for sales of organic products this year, which it says is four to five times higher than for the general food market in a good year — it would seem to make good business sense for farmers to switch over.

Another Green Sunday...

Last week’s ripe tomatoes were great! But let’s check back with my heavenly tomato. Okay, this was last week:

And here’s today:

With two reddish ones on the vine and a freshly picked one in my kitchen, all I can say is—AWESOME!

Some Powerful Pushups

If you thought 100 regular pushups was tough, trying doing 35 handstand pushups. My arms hurt just watching it! Have a look:

Yeah, I kept thinking he was going to fall too.

Health Grades, McDonald's gets a B!

Chick-fil-A an A, Dominos a C+, and Burger King a C, but Chipotle a D? Shenanigans, shenanigans! I’m calling shenanigans. Now, before I continue this rant, check out all the rankings via Eat This, Not That:
A: Chick-fil-A
A-: Subway
B+: Boston Market
B: McDonald’s
C+: Dominos
C: Burger King
D: Chipotle
F: Applebee’s, IHOP, Olive Garden, Outback, Red Lobster, T.G.I. Friday’s
Okay, I agree with an A- for Subway—in a pinch a Veggie Delight on wheat is cool—but Chipotle should be no less than a B and everything else gets a big fat F! These pictures make it pretty clear why—YUCK—take a look:


Boston Market



Burger King

Yeah, that garbage looks healthy—please! To quote my Jewish friend, this is a fakakta list, that’s a Yiddish word meaning dirty, full of crap, or screwed-up. All of which apply here. My goodness!

Jack Lalanne Says Be Happy!

Fitness legend and almost-centenarian Jack Lalanne urges us to be happy and enjoy all the wonderful things we have. Take a look:

Great advice! Goes right along with yesterday’s post about living to 100: How Centenarians Do It.

Eat For Health: Eating To Gain Weight

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

If you are slim or desirous of gaining weight, a larger amount of seeds, nuts and avocado is appropriate. The amount you should consume is based on your body weight, how much fat you have on your body, and how much you exercise. A pregnant or nursing woman should consume about two ounces of seeds and nuts a day, even if overweight, and may consume more than that if slim. A competitive athlete may require 4 – 6 ounces of raw seeds and nuts a day, in addition to an avocado. In other words, some of us have a higher requirement for these higher-protein, higher-fat foods, and others need less. We do not need as much fat in our diet when we have extra fat on our body that needs to be utilized for energy, but if we are thin (and especially if your physical activity level is high) we may have a substantially higher requirement for fat and calories. So even though we need to consume a significant amount of the lower calorie, very high micronutrient foods, some of these higher calorie foods are also important to fuel our caloric needs.

I provide nutritional counseling to world class and professional athletes to maximize their performance and to increase their resistance to infection. One key feature of the eating-style I recommend to them is that most of their protein and fat needs are met by consuming seeds, nuts, legumes and avocados instead of more animal products. I am not suggesting that these highly active individuals eat a low-fat diet; rather it is a diet with lots of healthy, whole-food fats from seeds, nuts and avocados. A diet with fifteen percent of calories from fat could be appropriate for an overweight person with heart disease, but a slim, healthy person may find 30 percent of calories from fat is more appropriate to their needs. A highly active teenager or athlete may function best on a diet that is 40 percent of calories from fat or more.

Most healthy, normal weight individuals who exercise moderately and are in good shape can eat 3 – 4 ounces of seeds and nuts a day. That will bring their fat intake up to about 30 percent of total calories. Believing fat is the villain is wrong. Eating a bread, potato, and pasta-based diet is not as healthful as a diet higher in fat, where the extra calories (and extra fat and protein) come from seeds and nuts. Eating more beans and whole grains can also be helpful for a person who wants to gain weight. Do not be tempted to eat more animal products to gain weight and don’t get sucked in by the myth that you need more animal products to build muscle.

Keep in mind that eating to maintain extra fat stores on your body, because you or others think you look better heavier, is never healthful. A healthy person is slim and muscular. If you think you are too thin and desire more weight on your frame, the right way to achieve that is from working out in the gym, not in the kitchen. The muscular demands on your body will then increase your appetite, hunger will occur more frequently, and your caloric intake will increase proportional to the increased muscular demand. If you want to gain weight, try to make your thighs, shoulders and chest a little bigger, with more exercise. Don’t expand your waistline by over-exercising your knife and fork

Power Lunch!

Creamy Fruit and Berry Smoothie
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup vanilla soy or almond milk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 banana
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender. Serves 2.

Portobello Red Pepper Sandwich
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
4 (4 inch) whole wheat pitas
2 cups large arugula leaves
2 medium drained roasted red bell peppers, from jar,
seeded and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

3/4 cup raw tahini (pureed sesame seeds)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1 large pitted medjool date, chopped or 2 deglet noor
1 small clove garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange mushrooms and onions on baking sheet and roast until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make tahini spread by blending all spread ingredients together. When mushrooms/onions are done, split pitas in half horizontally and warm slightly. Spread generous amount of tahini spread on top half of split pita. Place 1/2 cup arugula on bottom half and then, 1 mushroom cap (pat dry with paper towels to absorb liquid), sliced onion and roasted red pepper. Serves 4.

Baked Potato Fries
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or sweet potatoes
4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or 2 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons onion powder
no salt herb seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel potatoes if not organic and cut into strips. Mix remaining ingredients and toss with potatoes. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until lightly golden and tender. Serves 4.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Trio

It’s Friday, time for Eating to Live on the Outside and this week I’m taking a digital trip to Trio, an Asian-inspired restaurant in downtown Philadelphia. At first inspection, it looks iffy, but there are a handful of dishes that might work for Eat to Liver. Let’s take a look.

As for the soups and appetizers, I can roll with the Portabellas in Coconut Milk and the Vegetable Spring Rolls. The portabella soup is made with portabella mushrooms, light coconut broth, lime juice, and galangal. Apparently galangal is similar to ginger—via Wikipedia. Now, the spring rolls are prepared with shiitake mushrooms, glass noodles, and cabbage. I’d probably opt for the soup over the spring rolls. Although, I recently found out glass noodles are made from beans, so I’m intrigued.

Moving on to the salads, I’m digging the Trio House Salad and the Salad Kak. For starters, the house salad includes a spring mix, Asian pears, candied walnuts, and light soy balsamic vinaigrette. The candied walnuts make me a little nervous but I can deal with it and obviously I’m ordering the vinaigrette on the side. The Salad Kak is a strange name, but a decent option. Trio makes it with Romaine lettuce, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced hard boiled egg, and peanut dressing. I like it, except I’m nixing the egg and going easy on the peanut dressing.

Alright, the entrees are next. They’re tough. I only see one I’d consider eating. The Crispy Tofu with Julienne Ginger; tofu, mushrooms, sweet onions, steamed Jasmine rice, and julienne ginger. Crispy worries me. There’s a good chance that tofu is fried. So, I wouldn’t order it—check with the wait staff first—I like tofu, but frying anything ruins it.

Now, you might be tempted by the Baked Atlantic Salmon. Salmon is a safe—right? Yes and no. Certain varieties of salmon are good choices like wild Alaskan salmon because they’re low in pollutants and chemical contaminants. Sadly, Atlantic salmon isn’t. In fact, the Environmental Defense Fund classifies it as an Eco-Worst; citing elevated levels of PCBs. So, I’d pass on this entrée.

Overall I’d say Trio is okay, not great but not horrible. My go-to choice would be the Trio House Salad without the egg, but what would you pick? You know the drill. Check out Trio’s menu and tell me how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat well! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 8.01.08

The move has left scientists, industry groups, and public advocates surprised and confused about how to carry on their work without this free information. The canceled program was the only one to make freely available to the public nationwide data on the amount of pesticides and fertilizers applied to U.S. farms. In May, USDA announced that it had published the last of its Agricultural Chemical Usage reports, which are based on detailed surveys of farmers’ chemical use, collected since 1990 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In an unusual alliance, industry and environmental groups are lobbying USDA and Congress to restore the program, which costs $8 million out of an annual NASS budget of $160 million.

The program had many users and supporters in academia, industry, environmental and community groups, and government agencies. “The industry and the people who do dietary risk assessments in companies could not be more upset by this,” says Leonard Gianessi, director of the Crop Protection Research Institute at the CropLife Foundation, a nonprofit research center funded largely by CropLife America and other industry groups.
Starting Friday, the building's AC will be set at 77°F instead of its usual 72°F on workdays and the switched off on the weekends. To mitigate the expected heat -- not that 77°F is exactly sweltering -- members are encouraged to wear their national dress, suit jackets optional.

The pilot program is called Cool U.N. and it probably won't be very popular since the building is notoriously drafty and uncomfortable. Despite the fact that it was designed by a coalition of the world's top architects, the building is apparently an energy sinkhole. That's why the UN's environmental gurus have come up with the initiative -- it's also why the building is set to be renovated next year.
Over the past seven years, the Environmental Protection Agency has redefined its mission from fighting pollution to serving as a guardian angel for big business, energy companies and land developers. On every front, from undercutting state efforts to ignoring greenhouse gas emissions to opening public lands for exploitation, the agency charged with protecting the environment has sided against environmental protection.

Not surprisingly, the agency's political appointees would like to keep the many dedicated civil service employees from sharing that bad news with the press, Congress and the agency's internal investigators. An e-mail sent to managers of the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance by division chief of staff Robbi Farrell admonishes them to forward all inquiries from the EPA inspector general, the congressional Government Accountability Office or journalists to a designated senior staffer. According to the e-mail, "Please do not respond to questions or make any statements."