Thursday, May 29, 2008

WIC-Michigan- No Organic for you!

Two colleagues have sent me this "blogger fodder." This will make you cringe. Apparently Michigan is going to prepetuate the idea that organics are only for the wealthy. They are specifically stating in their informative documents that NO ORGANIC is allowed for any of the foods the Woman, Infant and Children(WIC) will be purchasing and eating. I understand the idea of penny pushing, but we need to start thinking about long term ramifications. Children are most at risk to pesticide exposure. Michigan should be using its resource to gain more access to CSA's and farmers....especailly the organic ones. Here is the article by the great, Tom Phillpot. Make sure you check out the information brochure in PDF form.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

25 People Who Changed Food in America: Food and Cooking

Some would say this list in inconclusive, but interesting none-the-less. I would have liked to see Alice Waters, Marion Nestle, and maybe even Rachael Ray! Good to see Frances Moore Lappe on the list. Her daughter Anna is very proud.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008's not for dinner anymore!

Yesterday, in the Austin American Statesman, I read an article about a research scientist at A&M(a strong Ag school) called Aggie Finds Healthy Fatty Acids in Brisket.

I was appalled to see a biased school touting more reasons to consume beef. I wrote a letter to the editor.


As a Registered Dietitian working in the field of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, I am appalled and concerned of the implication of this story. In the midst of energy, food, and global warming crises, finding more reasons to eat beef is dangerous and irresponsible at best.
Americans have started the trend of eating meat at every meal and the movement has now spread to China and India. We are growing more corn to feed cows and cars, than to nourish starving humans in order to supplement our overly extravagant and calorie dense habits. People need to realize that eating lower on the food chain (grains, fruits and vegetables) is the answer to better health and to our food and energy crisis.
If you are going to eat beef, make sure it is certified organic and grass fed. Raising cattle on pasture, improves animal health, and reduces antibiotic usage, and lessens environmental damage. If you are concerned about human nutrition, Greener Pastures, a scientific literature review has shown that grass-fed beef is higher in “good fats,” lower in “bad fats,” beta carotene and Vitamin E.

The grass-fed concept is a step toward environmental stewardship: it doesn’t rely on petroleum-guzzling corn fields, it helps sustain the ecosystem and clean water, and it forces us to eat mindful and in season. Even still, beef should only be eaten once a week, if at all.

Ashley Colpaart, RD LD

Along the same lines, Amanda gave me a link that is super neat, where you can score your diet on its environmentalism. Enjoy!

The Reality of Hunger

There is desensitation to deaths, car bombs and other violence implicated by war, will hunger be the next desensitation for the public?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is it better to eat locally or differently?

How hamburgers are made by Kyle Starks at Threadless:

Thank to Amanda for sending me this interesting Science Friday interview with Christopher Weber, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon.

Weber found that you reduce more non-energy emissions(methane and nitric oxide) from eating less red meat and dairy products than you do if you ate a completely local diet.

That's good news for Texans that may get sick of summer squash and watermelon in August.

I was also surprised to hear that whether a cow eats grain or grass, they still burp the same amount of methane...I thought that feeding the cows something they were not suppose to be eating (grain) was contributing to the methane gas.

Either way...seems like vegetarians have the most guilt free and carbon neutral diet of 'em all.

Here is the link to listen

Unhealthiest Drink in America!

Apparently there has been an internet buzz from Yahoo about the worst drinks in America. I would like to highlight the number one, which is the equivalent of eating 12 Krsipy Kreme donuts or 60 slices of bacon!
Congratulation to Baskin Robbins for their number 1 heart stopper:
Baskin Robbin’s Large Heath Bar Shake (32 oz)
2,310 calories
266 g sugar
108 g fat (64 g saturated)
73: The number of ingredients that go into this milkshake.
66: The number of teaspoons of sugar this drink contains.
11: The number of Heath Bars you would have to eat to equal the number of calories found in one Baskin Robbins Large Heath Bar Shake.
8-12: The average number of minutes it takes to consume this drink.
240: The number of minutes you’d need to spend on a treadmill burning it off, running at a moderate pace.

Most people would order one of these puppies in cahoots with a cheese burger and fries!
Oh and the ingredients list is quite entertaining. I like how "reduced-fat milk" is the first ingredient! What a releif!
Ingredients: reduced fat milk, heath bar crunch ice cream (cream, nonfat milk, caramel ribbon (corn syrup, sweetened condensed whole milk (milk, sugar), water, high fructose corn syrup, butter (cream, salt), propylene glycol, sodium alginate, salt, natural and artificial vanilla flavors, potassium sorbate (preservative), soy lecithin, annatto color, sodium bicarbonate, propyl paraben (preservative)) , heath® bar candy pieces [milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), salt, and vanillin (an artificial flavoring)), sugar, palm oil, dairy butter (milk), almonds, salt, artificial flavoring, and soy lecithin], sugar, corn syrup, toffee base (sweetened condensed whole milk, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, natural flavor, disodium phosphate, and salt), whey powder, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80), fudge topping (corn syrup, sugar, water, hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, cocoa (treated with alkali), modified corn starch, salt, sodium bicarbonate, disodium phosphate, potassium sorbate (a preservative), natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin), jamoca ice cream (cream, nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, jamoca extract (coffee extract, sugar, potassium sorbate and methyl paraben (as preservatives)) whey, caramel color, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, polysorbate 80, carob bean gum, guar gum), caramel praline topping (corn syrup, sweetened condensed whole mil, water, sugar, modified food starch, butter, salt, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavor, sodium citrate, xanthan gum, lecithin, potassium sorbate and propyl paraben as preservatives), hershey’s® heath® milk chocolate english toffee (milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], salt, and vanillin [an artificial flavoring]), sugar, palm oil, dairy butter (milk), almonds, salt, artificial flavoring, and soy lecithin), whipped cream (whipped cream (cream, milk, sugar, dextrose, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor, mono & diglycerides, carrageenan, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e), to protect flavor, propellant: nitrous oxide).
For some more of the highlighted winners see:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the Epicurean connection

I am excited to roll out the first entry in my online blog, the Epicurean Ideal: A blog about food and food systems.
Some would argue the connection between Epicurean philosophy and the connection with the food system. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space. It is obvious our connection to our food supply, and it to us. This blog is designed to discuss significant issue relating to the nutrition and the food system. From seed to plate, to metabolism into energy, back to the environment and everywhere in between.

"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life."