Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cattle into Cannibals. The Real Issue with the Recent Case of Mad Cow Disease

By now, you are probably aware that a case of Mad Cow Disease was confirmed yesterday. The cow in question was discovered in California, and already it has set off a chain reaction of government pundits and food experts rushing in to say there isn’t a problem.

Well, yes and no. There have only been four cases of Mad Cow Disease ever found in the United States. However, what gets glossed over is how a common practice in conventional cattle management can contribute to the spread of this nasty disease. It’s one of the ugly truths that Big Dairy doesn’t want you to know about. If you’re squeamish, you may not want to read what I’m about to tell you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

School Lunch Burger, Now With 26 Ingredients

Check out this school lunch “super-burger” with 26 ingredients!

For those who thought Pink Slime was the only problem with school lunch burgers, this burger served in Fairfax County, VA schools is chock-full of synthetic vitamins, preservative and artificial flavors.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maine Towns Fight Back Against Big Government by Declaring Food Sovereignty

Last year, 120 citizens from the town of Sedgwick, Maine banned together and voted unanimously to pass a food sovereignty law.

Citing America’s Declaration of Independence and the Maine Constitution, the ordinance proposed that “Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” These would include raw milk and other dairy products and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.  The law further stated that “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, the state and federal government should stay out of their business.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

I recently came across this article in the Industry Science Journal, and it served as a great reminder of just how much work we have to do as parents and as a society to ensure a healthy future for our kids. 

In a 2010 report titled Healthy People 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set a goal of reducing obesity among children and teens from about 17% to 14.6%. The problem is that according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the current trend is headed in the wrong direction, and would put 21% of children and teens in the obese category by 2020.

The researchers’ proposed solution? Children and teens need to eliminate an average of 64 excess calories per day through either a decrease in calorie intake or an increase in physically activity, or both.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Egg Factory Filth and Cruelty

For those who are familiar with the unscrupulous practices of factory farming, this article won’t come as a shock, but perhaps it will serve as yet another wake-up call for regulators, food distributors, retailers and American families, who frequently turn a blind eye to the inhumane animal living conditions and potentially dangerous foods being turned out by Big Poultry.

Lest people think that this is a small or isolated case, I must point out that Kreider Farms is home to close to seven million egg-laying hens.  Seven million! And let’s not forget about last year’s incident involving Sparboa Farms, the country’s fifth largest egg producer, where conditions were so bad that the FDA had to issue a company-wide warning citing "serious" and "significant violations" at five different locations, including at least 13 violations of the federal egg rule meant to prevent dangerous salmonella outbreaks.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

FDA passes antibiotic guidelines that will do absolutely nothing

Well, well, well, it turns out that pumping livestock full of antibiotics is bad for us. Readers of this blog are well aware of this fact, and most of us have been for over a decade. You know it’s become a big problem when the FDA steps in and admits that maybe we’ve gone to far.

A quick review. Crowded, inhumane living conditions that are the norm in conventional feedlots have lead to the poor health of livestock. In order to combat that sickness, antibiotics are added to feed and water, providing a constant source of antibiotics. This problem with the overuse of antibiotics is that germs become resistant to these antibiotics, so when we need them, they don’t work. How prevalent are antibiotics in our food supply? The article notes that an estimated 80% of antibiotics are used on animal farms.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is There A Natural Resource Shortage On The Horizon?

Many of you have heard me talk about the fact that the average grocery store in the United States has just 72 hours of inventory, and how in our fast paced urban and suburban lifestyles, we often take our food supply and our way of life for granted, as if they will always be there.  Well according to a renowned Australian research scientist and a group of researchers at MIT, we may need to rethink those assumptions.

I don’t like to sound like an alarmist, and I’m not one who is easily swayed by every researcher or economist that claims that the sky is falling.  But I do believe that there may come a day in America, and perhaps around the developed world, when food and natural resources are no longer in abundant supply.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everything You Need to Know About the U.S. Farm Bill

I link, you decide.

Every five years, the United States Congress writes a new U.S. Farm Bill. This important piece of legislation appropriates huge sums of money in a variety of ways.

Instead of telling you what I think, I would like as many of you as possible to dive into the website above, and educate yourself about the U.S. Farm Bill as it stands today. I believe that we can only change that which we are educated about. This bill goes a long way towards determining the scope and shape of agriculture in the United States. If there are things you object to, or things you support, I would like you to educate yourself and then contact your local and state representatives to Congress and let them know.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Arsenic. Banned Antibiotics. Tylenol. Benadryl. Caffeine. That’s the list of things that are being fed to your chickens. Seriously.

Wednesday, the New York Times ran this excellent editorial regarding Arsenic in conventionally raised chicken. The article sites a study that you can read about here. While the first link leads with the fact that 9 out of 10 conventionally raised broiler chickens had evidence of arsenic in their feathers, that might not be the most disturbing part.

Evidence showed that the chickens were also fed Tylenol, Benadryl, caffeine and even Prozac. More concerning is the fact that the farmers raising these chickens had, in many cases, no idea they what they were feeding their chickens!  You read that right. It turns out that mass-producers of chicken feed have a “proprietary” formula that doesn’t mention the drug/chemical cocktail contained in the feed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who Really Owns Organic?

For someone who’s worked in and followed the Natural Products Industry for as many years as I have, this article does not come as a surprise. In fact, this trend of multi-national food giants buying up small health brands has been growing rapidly over the last decade, as consumers have increasingly sought out healthier food choices for their families.
I urge you to take a good hard look at the chart in this article (click here to view in full size) and you will quickly realize that the “healthy” food brands that you know and love are actually owned by the who’s who of Big Food.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

America Says No To Pink Slime

recently spotted butcher shop sign
In recent weeks, I’ve been closely following and blogging about the pink slime saga. Well now there’s a new twist to the story.

Let me start by saying that I’m never happy to hear of hard-working men and women losing their jobs.  My thoughts and prayers are with their families for employment and financial stability.