Currently Browsing: Health

Digest – News: Smithfield’s flu, organic for the masses, Vilsack reserves judgment

They're not confining everything, apparently: MSM's all over the swine flu (SJ Merc) and U.S. hog prices are tanking (Reuters), but few are talking about its possible origins - flies and manure from the CAFO facilities of a Mexican subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. What would we do without Tom Philpott?...

Digest – Blogs, features and snacks: Pesticide perversions, subsidy love, the anti-Pollan

Small-town physician sees effects of Big Ag: an Indiana neonatologist finds that birth defects, including spina bifida, cleft pallet and lip, down syndrome, urogenital abnormalities, and club foot (among others) are more likely to occur in pregnancies that begin between April and July — the time period when...

‘Killer’ movie tells who to charge for the large

"Killer at Large," a new documentary DVD, is a veritable banquet of obesity information, serving up copious facts and personal tales about the American obesity epidemic that threatens to shorten the life span of the current generation of young people. Alas, the movie provides only a dollop of solutions...

Digest – News: Plastics make kids fat, North Star stars in food safety, peanut payout

Chemical reaction: A long term study by Mount Sinai Medical Center on children in East Harlem links exposure to a class of chemicals called phthalates — found in products that list "fragrance" as an ingredient, and in soft plastics — with childhood obesity. The study found that the heaviest children had the...

Straight to the superbug supersource: Q&A with Maryn McKenna about MRSA in people — and pigs

Everyone's up in arms about historian James McWilliams' New York Times op-ed last week, misleadingly headlined "Free-Range Trichinosis," about how a study found more pathogens in pastured pigs than factory ones. Many bloggers have taken McWilliams to task for omitting the industry funding source for the...

Review: Real Food For Healthy Kids cookbook

I talk a lot of smack about sustainable food. About the unexpected pleasures of farmer’s markets, about voting with one’s fork, about "local economies" this and "food miles" that. But here’s my dirty little secret: it wasn’t that long ago that I fed my daughter a steady diet of chicken nuggets, mac and...

What the health?: A review of “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life”

In the past year or so, the local college has started a Wellness Series of lectures designed to discuss various health topics designed to appeal to all members of the community. Unable to attend any of last year's, I thought I might try to catch at least one this time around, so recently I dragged a friend...

Snapshot of the American diet

I find this juxtaposition of establishments at the Bayfair Mall in San Leandro, California, a good illustration of the "nutritionism" philosophy that is the foundation of many Americans' culinary consciousness. Grab some chicken wings for an appetizer and a cheese-steak sandwich for the main course, but as...

Digest – features and opinion: Bisphenol A back-room dealings, CAFOs on land and sea

The FDA's ass is GRAS: Great investigative piece about the controversy over bisphenol A, the chemical used to line baby bottles and canned food, among hundreds of other uses. Is it a scientific dispute? Not really, it's mainly "a battle to protect a multibillion-dollar market from regulation. In the United...

Digest – News & opinion: Antibiotics freakout, Gupta as Doc-in-Chief, duelling op-ed duos

Side of spinach, hold the tetracycline: Researchers at the University of Minnesota find that when crops are fertilized with manure from animals routinely fed antibiotics (a common practice in CAFOs to help them survive their living conditions), the antibiotics are absorbed into the crops. This is an old...

For healthy food and soil, we need affordable health care for farmers

By Steph Larsen When we talk about local food, it means more than just proximity to a farm. We associate supporting "local food" with supporting specific values — such as family ownership, local control, small scale, environmental stewardship, community, and ecological diversity. These values are what...

Digest – Blogs: Fat tax, healthy kids, and everyone has something to say about Vilsack

Glass half full (hopefully of rBGH-free, organic, grassfed, family-farmed milk): Obama ran a rural campaign based on an agenda that included many policies that we can support — like regulating CAFOs — and the job of the cabinet is to implement to president's agenda.  Our job is to stay on their asses until...

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