buzzwords

As humans, you’ve got to admit that we are easily trained to behave in a certain manner. It’s not surprising that BigFood has learned that our brains respond to buzzwords instead of fact. We’re busy. Who has the time to try and decipher those ever-more-confusing nutritional labels and read the fine print on the ingredient list? It seems less and less of us do.

The study, How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health, examined the degree to which consumers link marketing terms on food packaging with good health. It found that consumers tend to view food products labeled with health-related euphemisms as healthier than those without them. read more

carb-loaded

Yes another movie trailer for your viewing pleasure. This one is a three minute sneak peek from the Carb-Loaded documentary which is currently in post-production. Maybe with enough information out there illustrating how bad the USDA-“recommended” diet is for us, the general public will begin to take notice? One of the people behind the film:

  • …was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2010. Once he learned how common diabetes had become he knew what his next big film project had to be about.
  • read more

    The Big Fat Surprise

    2014-06-09 17.51.11

    • This book lays out the scientific case for why our bodies are healthiest on a diet with ample amounts of fat and why this regime necessarily includes meats, eggs, butter, and other animal foods high in saturated fat.

    I loved this book. It is full of research, citations, personal interviews, etc. detailing the facts surrounding how our diet content has been swayed and manipulated for the last 50 years.

    From the perspective of a scientist, the recounting deeply disturbed me. It embarrassed me because the way data was fudged, squelched, buried, and ignored is not how the science I was involved with was accomplished or undertaken.

    This said, I’ve worked in academia…within the ivory towers with all of the control freaks and over-sized egos. I, unfortunately, can easily see and believe how this travesty took place. read more

    Grain Brain

    2014-06-09 17.50.27I’m paleo; it’s no secret. Because of this, reading Dr. David Perlmutters’s book, Grain Brain, was an easy sell. We’re not big carb eaters, and I don’t consume any type of sugar except for the occasional taste of dark chocolate. I also carry HLA-DQ2 and anti-gliadin antibodies; I’m, obviously, gluten-free.

    The amount of information contained in this book is simply astounding. The listing of scientific citations is most impressive, and it definitely served to activate my inner-geek. Of all the quotes, however, I think I like this one the best: read more

    edible education

    An absolutely brilliant article by Alice Waters, The Fate of Our Nation Rests on School Lunches.

    • The idea of school lunch as an egalitarian mechanism to nourish our nation’s potential has long been discarded and devalued. We are faced with an enormous crisis of health, education and inequality.
    • We need to have the courage and conviction to establish a nutritious, sustainable, free school-lunch program for all.

    Her video, above, speaks volumes with the young expressions being the most compelling feature. These kids are having a great time learning about food, where it comes from, how to prepare it, and how it sustains them. This is change we NEED.

    extra credit:
    What’s in It?: The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School
    Former USDA Child Nutrition Director Resigns in Protest from School Nutrition Association
    Michelle Obama Pledges To ‘Fight Until The Bitter End’ For Lunch Standards
    Paul Ryan’s heartless idiocy: How to defeat GOP’s school lunch politics read more

    fatty liver

    This morning’s NY Times contains a very disturbing article: Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity.

    Medical professionals have been predicting this problem as they watched our collective waistlines balloon. The problem we speak of is “fatty liver”:

    • Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers. But in this case the damage is done not by alcohol, but by poor diet and excess weight.

    The article contains quotes from several afflicted people:

    • With no drugs to offer him, Gavin’s doctor warned that the only way to reverse his fatty liver was to exercise and change his diet. “They told me to stay away from sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables,” Gavin (13 years-old) said. “But it’s hard.”

    Now, one can be unsympathetic to “it’s hard,” but for a 13-year old boy who probably isn’t in control of what is put on the table, you can see the dilemma. He eats what is put in front of him whether it be at home or at school. read more

    school lunches

    The struggle continues as the House Committee votes to allow schools to opt out of the nutritional program mandated by the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Somehow we’re not surprised by this action. How much money do you think changed hands for those votes?

    It seems, however, that things are just about to get interesting.

    • The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, including school meals, a full year before those programs need to be reauthorized.
    • Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., supports the healthier meal rules, and her decision to hold the hearing a year early seems to be a reaction to the House proposal. read more

    GMOs

    Where to begin? Big Food tells us that genetically-modified organisms are the same as those which are not, or food products which contain GMOs are no different than those that do not contain GMOs.

    Without diving directly into the middle of the argument, let me just say that I’d rather my food did not contain GMOs. A recent NY Times article, Information not on the label talks more about the issue but also tries to assist people in avoiding GMOs.
    • Shoppers who want to know whether they’re purchasing genetically engineered foods do have a few options.
    • For starters, there is a good chance that any product with soybeans, corn, sugar beets (often used for sweetening) and canola (or canola oil) has G.M.O.s., since genetically modified versions of these crops are so widely planted in the United States.
    • On the other hand, certified organic produce carrying the green and white circular “U.S.D.A. organic” seal cannot be genetically modified, and organic livestock must be fed only organic ingredients. But processed foods with multiple ingredients can be labeled organic if at least 95 percent of the content is organic.
    • And a growing number of food producers that don’t use genetically modified ingredients in their products are seeking certification by the Non-G.M.O. Project. They carry a “Non-G.M.O.” label with a logo of a red butterfly on a blade of grass. read more

    fat

    The news is out, but how many people will be able to change their habits after a lifetime of avoiding saturated fat like that found in butter and meat?

    Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link makes you wonder about everything you’ve ever been taught about nutrition and eating in a “healthy” manner.
    • The analysis, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine by an international group led by a team at the UK’s University of Cambridge, included 72 separate studies on heart risk and intake of fatty acids.
    • They found no evidence to support guidelines that say people should restrict saturated fat consumption to lower their risk of developing heart disease. read more

    gospel

    In my humble opinion, the nutritional gospel we’ve been fed is a load of crap. From the USDA food pyramid or now, my plate, to The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease, we’ve been fed a lie all of these years to line the pockets of a few (Big Food, lobbyists, etc) at the expense of the many—that would be us, people, the general public. Fortunately, more and more information is coming to light in books like The Big Fat Surprise and movies like Fed Up:

    • For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David, and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever. read more