Ethics and livestock feed, being vegan may not be the answer

Tuesday, 14 September, 2010

Guardian writer George Monbiot discusses his decision to abandon veganism, which he originally embraced in 2002:

In the Guardian in 2002 I discussed the sharp rise in the number of the world’s livestock, and the connection between their consumption of grain and human malnutrition. After reviewing the figures, I concluded that veganism “is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world’s most urgent social justice issue”. I still believe that the diversion of ever wider tracts of arable land from feeding people to feeding livestock is iniquitous and grotesque. So does the book I’m about to discuss. I no longer believe that the only ethical response is to stop eating meat

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Your vote is important to your… diet

Monday, 16 November, 2009

It may be possible to deduce a person’s political ideology – or voting intentions – by looking at the sort of meals they eat.

Although there are plenty of food-related differences that skew by political ideology, there’s still plenty of common ground for the dinner table. So there’s no need to let a little political disagreement get in the way of a great shared meal.

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Photos of tasty food may lessen the temptation to indulge

Thursday, 20 August, 2009

Looking at photos of foods you find delicious, or tempting, may help to quell the urge to actually eat such food, especially if you are trying to loose a little weight.

To test out this theory, Kroese and her colleagues asked 54 female students to look at a picture of either a slice of chocolate cake or a flower under the guise of a memory test. The researchers then questioned the students about any plans to eat more healthily and offered them a choice between a chocolate or oatmeal cookie. Women shown the cake picture gave a higher priority to their healthy eating intentions than their counterparts shown the flower. They were also significantly more likely to pick the oatmeal cookie – which earlier tests showed was generally perceived as the healthier option.

To test the idea, use this photo of some cup cakes and see how you go.

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Green tea and red wine: to your good health

Tuesday, 8 July, 2008

Yesterday I learned why green tea was a health kick (well it had better be, I’ve been drinking it for over ten years), and today the news just got better… red wine has now joined the list of healthy beverages… in strict moderation of course.

The idea that red wine is actually good for your health is irresistible to the average tippler. But it appears to be true. In particular, red wines are rich in polyphenols, a group of powerful antioxidants that are thought to protect against cancer and heart disease by destroying molecules that would otherwise damage cells. How the polyphenols in wine exercise their beneficial effects, though, has been mysterious. That is because they do not seem to travel in any quantity from the stomach into the bloodstream.

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Chocolate: good for you and your genes

Wednesday, 25 June, 2008

Diet and lifestyle can override disease provoking genes, and even improve brain function, says Dr. Dean Ornish in a TED video presentation.

For instance, he says, when you live healthier, eat better, exercise, and love more, your brain cells actually increase. And new findings show that a healthier lifestyle can turn off disease-provoking genes and turn on the good ones.

Chocolate lovers will be delighted to learn, that in moderation of course, chocolate can lead to a longer, healthier, life.

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The Food Pyramid turns 16

Tuesday, 29 April, 2008

It’s been 16 years since the The Food Pyramid was unveiled, with the aim of helping Americans, and others, make healthy dietary choices.

In 1992, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture created the food pyramid. It recommended the number of servings of each food group a person should eat daily to stay healthy. The food groups in the pyramid include: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat, and fats and oils. Today, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. In 2005, the government, recognizing a potential health crisis, issued new, tougher guidelines on how to get – and stay – healthy and fit.

An updated pyramid was issued in 2005, but it seems the healthy eating message is still not getting through, and poor diet is partly to blame for a decline in life expectancy in some regions of the US.

Majid Ezzati and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston studied mortality rates in all US counties between 1961 and 1999. They found that the inequality between counties’ rates had been narrowing until the 1980s, when the trend reversed and the gap began to widen again. Although average life expectancy in the US rose steadily over all four decades, the researchers found that it declined significantly in 11 counties for men and 180 for women. Such trends signal a healthcare failure, say the authors.

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What restaurants don’t want you to know about their food

Thursday, 10 April, 2008

16 things restaurants don’t want you to know about their food

Like that it is sometimes little more than a step up from that of fast food outlets. And when it comes to revealing the nutritional content of servings, some restaurants, such as Hooters, have a coy way of avoiding the issue…

Although chains such as Chili’s and Uno Chicago Grill divulge the thousands of calories in their chicken wings, Hooters blames its nutritional-disclosure negligence on its expansive menu, which contains about 25 entrees: “Because of the millions of combinations available and our desire to frequently give you new menu options, it is impossible to provide accurate nutritional data,” responded a PR representative.

<snob mode>I’m not exactly sure I’d actually classify too many of the 16 dining establishments listed in the Men’s Health article as “restaurants”, they all look like fast food outlets to me.</snob mode>

Via clusterflock.

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