June 2, 2013 in Vegan/Vegetarian
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese authorities were slaughtering birds at a poultry market in the financial hub Shanghai as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six on Friday, spreading concern overseas and sparking a sell-off on Hong Kong's share market.
State news agency Xinhua said the Huhuai market for live birds in Shanghai had been shut down and birds were being culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market.
October 14, 2012 in Vegan/Vegetarian
Dieting today may still positively affect your health years from now. That’s what a recent study conducted by Ben Gurion University and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel, has shown.
Even if some weight has been regained, the benefits of diets like the Mediterranean or low-carb diet can last years.
The study was a follow-up of a study conducted six years ago over 24 months where Mediterranean, low-carb and low-fat diets were introduced to a group of 322 moderately obese people. “Our follow up subsequent data shows lasting, positive effects of Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets six years later,” says Dr. Dan Schwarzfuchs from the Nuclear Research Center.
Although some participants regained part of the weight they had lost, the research shows that many of the health benefits remained. “Data from trials comparing the effectiveness of weight-loss diets are frequently limited to the intervention period,” explained Dr. Iris Shay, a researcher at BGU. “The results after four years suggests that the lipid profile (lower cholesterol, triglycerides and arteriosclerosis) improved over the long term, regardless of partial regain,” says Rachel Golan, another BGU researcher.
LOS ANGELES -- Peering into the microscope, Alan Barton thought the baby oysters looked normal, except for one thing: They were dead.
Slide after slide, the results were the same. The entire batch of 100 million larvae at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery had perished.
It took several years for the Oregon oyster breeder and a team of scientists to find the culprit: a radical change in ocean acidity.
The acid levels rose so high that the larvae could not form their protective shells, according to a study published this year. The free-swimming baby oysters would struggle for days, then fall exhausted to the floor of the tank.
"There's no debating it," said Barton, who manages Whiskey Creek, which supplies three-quarters of the oyster seed to independent shellfish farms from Washington to California. "We're changing the chemistry of the oceans."
Fashionistas around the globe were in for a treat when Tim Gunn released his third book, Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet. Animals were in for a treat, too, when Tim devoted nearly half his chapter "Coats and Jackets" to explaining "why fur belongs in the dustbin of history." He discussed how, during his tenure at Liz Claiborne, Inc., he agreed to meet with PETA Vice President Dan Mathews to discuss the possibility of the 46 Liz brands, which include Juicy Couture and Kate Spade, going fur-free. "[O]ver time," Tim remembered, "I became convinced that fur was unnecessary and even immoral." Liz Claiborne is completely fur-free, thanks to Tim, as is Project Runway. And if Tim has his way, the rest of the fashion industry won't be far behind.
While Tim strutted his animal-friendly stuff during the opening number at the Emmys, Carrie Ann Inaba was using the occasion to speak up for animals, too, tweeting at her Dancing With the Stars fans, "And even though it's a big day for all of us in Hollywood, let's not forget the animals… Help animals in need!!" She then posted a link to a video about why everyone should adopt, never buy.
Elsewhere on Twitter, Wisconsin native Kristin Bauer was appalled by the University of Wisconsin–Madison's cruel cat laboratories, Kat Graham had a colorful way to describe being vegan, and Sam Simon cracked us up:
Candace Parker wasn't at the Emmys, but she still scooped up an award. The fur foe snagged the Player of the Month Award for the WNBA's Western Conference, and we're sure that animals would agree that it couldn't have gone to a nicer person.
Maybe Candace felt as "damn good" about her honor as Dax Shepherd said his vegan diet makes him feel.
The Boss must be feeling pretty good, too. Bruce Springsteen just turned 63, and he is still rocking, thanks to his primarily vegetarian diet and his passion for exercise.
Vegan Russell Simmons is always doing something rocking for animals. After an African safari in which he got to see animals in the wild, he spoke out against circuses and zoos, writing on his Global Grind website: "These magnificent animals I encountered on the safari aren't riding on bicycles or jumping through rings of fire like kids see them do at the horribly cruel circuses where they are routinely beaten and neglected. These great beasts were tending to their young, running free and just being left alone to live their lives."
Carrie Underwood might not have the same musical tastes as Russell, but the two are singing the same tune when it comes to animal rights. The country songbird posted a picture of a chipmunk she took to her veterinarian after her dog tried to eat the little animal. Dale, as she called the chipmunk, was fine and was happily released back into nature.
Al Roker made another dog grateful recently when he adopted a 10-week-old puppy named Pepper from an animal shelter. PETA helped the Roker family welcome their newest member with some fun toys and treats.
To keep up with what your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
September 23, 2012 in Vegan/Vegetarian
While it is much better than the fascisms of the Right and the Left, one of the big drawbacks of corporate democracy is that the people are often outgunned. Large corporations account for half of the national economy and pay more for lobbyists to write and pass laws in Congress favorable to themselves than they do in Federal taxes. The way in which the Congressional committees that are supposed to watch certain industries actually become beholden to them is called ‘legislative capture.’
For this reason, I don’t entirely trust the US government any more to look out for our health. We are increasingly exposed to thousands of chemicals that haven’t really been tested (plastics are full of them). We’re not even given the courtesy of knowing which foods are genetically modified so we can make a market choice for the natural ones.
Here are the top ten disturbing news stories about our food that have come across my screen in recent days, and which inspire a certain amount of alarm in me.
1. Sugary, i.e. non-diet soft drinks make you fat, especially if you are genetically at greater risk of being fat. According to a study about to appear in the New England Journal of Medicine, teens who had genes that disposed them to put on weight easily were twice as likely to be obese if they drank a lot of soda pop. Pre-modern human beings who lived in conditions of food scarcity probably tried to bulk up when they saw a drought becoming prolonged, and there would have been a survival advantage to being able to put on weight quickly when you were trying. So likely those teens’ bodies thought all the sugar they were being fed was a sign of famine coming, and obliged by storing a lot of fat to get through it. For a certain percentage of the population, extra calories are actually subject to a multiplier effect inside their own bodies. (It can even happen to Lady Gaga.)
Soft drinks have like 160- 180 calories per can and nobody can afford all that in their diet even once daily.
In other words, not only is Mayor Bloomberg’s policy of banning supersized soft drinks in New York justified, actually people should just never drink sugary soft drinks.
2. Here’s the kicker. It isn’t just the sugar that puts some people at risk of obesity. It is bisphenol A or BPA, a chemical used to coat the aluminum cans in which soft drinks come (as well as soup and other cans) so as to prevent them from rusting. A recent study in JAMA found that the one fourth of the thousands of children and adolescents in their study that had the most BPA in their urine were twice as likely to be obese as those in the one fourth that had the least BPA. So I guess if they were drinking sugary sodas out of cans, they were really doomed to be obese. BPA has been implicated in other studies in “diabetes, cardiovascular disease, reproductive disorders, and obesity in adults.”
Think you can get away from BPA by avoiding cans and going to plastic bottles instead? Think again. It is widely used in the making of clear plastics, and there is evidence that it seeps into us from them.
When exactly will the US government have enough evidence to ban BPA? When we’re all 400 pounds?
3. The Consumer Union has found concerning levels of arsenic in American-grown rice. Apparently much rice in the US is grown in the Southwest and West on land that used to be used for cotton, on which arsenic-laden pesticides were used for decades. Arsenic can cause cancer. Me, I never like to hear the phrases “arsenic” and “in your food” in the same sentence.
4. Over-use of antibiotics may be making us fat. There is now scientific evidence that the antibiotics activate bacteria that are good at turning carbohydrates into fat. That is, the Atkins and Manhattan diets may work mainly because a lot of people’s gut microbe population had already been messed with by the antibiotics. People are always trying to get antibiotics for their children with viruses, which can’t anyway be treated that way. Ironically, they may not only be giving them medicine inappropriate to their malady but may be priming them for diabetes and heart disease later in life.
5. Speaking of antibiotics, 150 scientists and physicians are calling for the end of non-medical antibiotics being routinely administered to livestock All that is happening is that we are evolving bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics, and are already killing 100,000 Americans a year that way (more than die of AIDS). This baneful practice, they warn, has to stop.
6. Genetically modified corn, treated with the pesticide Roundup, were found by a French team of scientists to cause more frequent and more rapidly growing tumors in rats than ordinary corn. The study has been criticized and it is based on a small N. But, I’ll tell you what. Let us decide. Could we please have the genetically modified vegetables marked as such, Congress? I know we ordinary folk don’t pay you the way the corporations pay you, but you are supposed to be representing us lab rats too.
7. The global collapse of bee colonies, a severe threat to the world food supply, according to three new studies, is likely being in some part caused by a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. France and Germany have already banned them. But Corporatocracy America has not. Are there other factors involved in the great bee die-off? Sure, but why not remove a major factor when we can? Oh, and by the way, see 4 above, because another cause may be genetically modified plants that have absorbed pesticides into their genetic structure.
8. It is not just what corporations put in our food. It is also how they produce it that endangers us. Industrialized, often state-subsidized fishing is rapidly depleting world fish stocks. I’ve heard David Suzuki worry that half of all marine species could be extinct in 50 years at this rate, between overfishing and ocean acidification (caused by all the extra carbon we are pumping into the air at the Koch brothers’ behest).
9. Blooms and dead zones in coastal waters from the run-off from corporate farming of massive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer are threatening the health of our seas.
10. 40% of US corn production goes to making ethanol, and at a time of drought and high food prices, this policy is indefensible. The US has to relax the laws mandating ethanol. Although ethanol claims to be carbon-neutral because the corn takes carbon dioxide out of the air when it is growing, processing it into ethanol releases a lot of greenhouse gases. Moreover the policy of burning it in cars is apparently on the verge of causing malnutrition.
August 20, 2012 in Vegan/Vegetarian
Watch how the unprecedented vegan trend in Israel reaches prime-time television, due to Gary Yourofsky's speech, with an extensive 10 minute news item on Israel's most watched network. This was the main story on the weekend edition of Channel 2 news (July 14th, 2012).
August 20, 2012 in Vegan/Vegetarian
Since the early 1990s, Dubai’s population has grown by more than 200 percent. The emirate's rapid expansion, its fast-paced lifestyle and its embrace of Western consumer habits have created a natural market for convenience food. Shopping malls are stuffed with food courts, and a sharp increase in obesity has now become a national concern.
“Obesity is a big problem in this part of the world,” says Waffa Al-Bassum, clinical dietician and diabetes educator at the Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group. “It’s an issue that’s been going on for a while, and people need to understand that obesity is a disease and it needs to be treated as such.”
In Florida, the state’s residents and its visitors enjoy eating and catching seafood. In fact, Floridians eat twice as much seafood as the average American. At the same time, Florida has a long history of uncovering and addressing seafood fraud, specifically the substitution of one species of fish for another less desirable or less expensive species.
Oceana recently investigated seafood mislabeling in South Florida as part of a campaign to Stop Seafood Fraud. The results were disturbing. Nearly a third of the seafood tested was mislabeled in some way, leaving consumers with little ability to know what they are eating or feeding their families, and even less ability to make informed choices that promote sustainable fishing practices, or even protect their health.Report >