government

“Meat is healthy” says meat industry.

TLDR: Meat industry tells governments to change scientific research paper findings from meat is unfit for human consumption to eat meat regularly – because the industry would die otherwise.

Good morning! How have you been? I have been splendid! Well, in truth I’ve been wondering where on earth the juicing part of my juicer went, wondering how the waitress cross cook got vegan mixed up with please put beef mince and cheese on my pizza, indefinitely borrowing a spare juicer part from some friends (oh how I love my friends right now *drinks fresh orange juice for the first time in over a month*),  and wondering why God is so cruel as to give watermelon an off season.

These thoughts were put aside as a full scale hunt (google search) was made for intelligent nutrition youtube channels. It took a minute to find a list that wasn’t purely about celebrities and how to lose weight – mostly lose weight. Then I found nutrition.org.

Hosted by Dr. Michael Gregor, the channel takes on scientific research and journal entries relating or relevant to health, nutrition and the food industry. The video that got my attention was titled The Funding Effect. The video makes use of several published research papers that discuss the correlation of scientific paper results and the desired result of the person or corporation funding said paper.

What the video found was that a research paper into the meat industry found animal to be unsuitable for human consumption. This did not go down well with the animal consumption (meat, dairy, eggs) industry. If people were advised by their government not to eat any meat, eggs or dairy, then they would do so. The industry pressured the government to change the wording. The government met them half way: eat less meat, eggs and dairy. This was still not good enough. If people are advised to eat less, they will want to know why. The meat/animal consumption industry believes so strongly that if you knew what meat and egg and dairy is really doing to your health you would not eat that. Their industry would go out of business you would be that adverse to it. Therefor the wording must advise the population to eat meat, eggs and dairy on a regular basis for a healthy diet. Otherwise the economy, the animal industry argues, will suffer.

Of course in reality the agriculture and other industries would absorb the economic effect and employees of the animal industry would have found jobs quickly in agriculture and other positively affected industries.

Some would still say that human health should not be placed before corporate profit and the industry should still survive because the economy, and to them I say ok, then go brush your teeth with radium in an asbestos house with lead pipes. No?

Suggestion@Google: If you’re really not going to stop posting ridiculous lose weight adverts everywhere at least have the decency to link us some sexy flowery muumuus as well.

Suggestion@science: If you’re going to allow corporations to fund scientific research then insist all contributing corporations be identified on the paper in an easily accessible, easy to read fashion.
Ultimately, research papers such as this will always have money involved, because even if an industry doesn’t pay for the research, they can pay or lobby the government to keep research from the public. Never-the-less, I’d still like to know if my research was brought to me by a person or company with a vested interest in the research findings.

Stay profitable compadres,

Summer Tay.

*If you’re interested in learning more on the funding effect then here is a link to a free paper of Sheldon Krimskys work similar to that mentioned in the video linked above. The one mentioned would cost $30 and as much as I like you, I don’t spend $30 and break a (albeit terrible) law for you like you.

*fun fact: according to scientific studies, soft drink coca cola is good for you and has 0 negative health affects, yay! …

Day 76: Die You Car Hitting Piece Of (A Blog Piece About Vegan Aged Care Options And My Car)

Cooking (real animal) chicken at 6-8am in the morning is one of the most grossest things I have ever had to do in my life. The smell. It gets into your clothes. It gets on your hands. It gets in your nose. Why am i cooking real, animal chicken at 6am in the frickin morning? Because I get paid a tiny minimum wage to that’s why, and I need to get a massive dint out of the back of my car (and afford groceries and rent and things).

Every meal that is made is made this meat and/or dairy and often egg. I feel bad for the people I’m cooking for. Looking at the menu I cook, and remembering the menu my Nana had when she was in aged care, I have noticed that they both have essentially the same menu, right down to the rice pudding. If you’re ever wondering of a home is a good place for your mum/grammy/dad/grampy, don’t bother stressing the food that much because they’ll all be the same. Maybe do a check to see how many staff they have on the floor though, and how easy they are to find, because that is where the money seems to make the difference.

Wonder if any homes are vegan… it appears not 😦 Though vegetarian is on the rise. So much so the government have factored this trend into their aged care menu assessment. It’s a start. Hopefully when I’m 80something all this vegan stuff will leave me looking 30ish like it does other long term vegans and I won’t need a home. But if I do, I hope they have viable vegan options by then. There are none right now. Anywhere in Australia anyways.

To anyone looking for a bounty to cash in, find the douchebag who crashed into my car. The reward: My love. Because I’m broke. And because I’m awesome, you know you want my love 😛

To the few good police who actually tried to help, I thank you.

Summer Tay.

P.S. The story behind the car? Someone – and I suspect they were as high as a kite, that got stuck to a space ship and got sent into space – hit the car next to me and left a dint the size of my pinky finger and hit mine with a dint the size of the grand canyon. The cars were parked. There were cctv cameras in the area. The bit that tickles me is my mum was in the car, and she was very tempted to stay in it, what with the air con and the InSaNeLy hot weather outside and all. But she decided last second she was hopping out and joining me for a blender check at Good Guys. We were 10 minutes, give or take 5. And in that 5-15 minutes, some… “person”, left that dint on my car.  Cost to fix: $610. My excess: $500. I don’t even have $500 spare. Not for this.

But none of this is the best bit. Wanna know the best? Ok, I’ll tell you the best bit. According to the police, this is not a crime. They are not willing to inspect the video footage which would have been available at the time I called it in (immediately). The footage would have by now been dleted accoridng to the shopping centre management.  Infact this is so legal, the police won’t even look at the cctv footage of the scene or investigate. Not unless the insurance company asks them to. Guess if I wanted some police love I should have been born a corporation.
Alos should mention, the cctv footage is deleted after 3 days. Only police (not mere civilians such as myself) can request it’s continued existence, and they did not. It’s gone now.

F’ the po-lice. But not literally. Because they suck.

Day 58: Fortified Foods Versus Nutrient Supplementation (and the longest comment response in history)

The questions to be addressed today are:
1. To fortify foods, or to not fortify foods?
2. Fortified foods Versus Supplements?
3. What is fortification of foods anyways?

Fortified foods are foods that have vitamins and minerals added to them that are not normally present otherwise, for example vitamin B12 in coke. Similar to this is enriched foods, where foods are given an amount of a vitamin or mineral already present in the food. This is done to restore vitamin and mineral levels of a food after it has been processed/altered in any way. An example of this is vitamin C enriched orange juice.

Are fortified foods healthy?

If a food is unhealthy pre-fortification, then it is still unhealthy post fortification. The added nutrients may or may not make a difference to the bodies nutrient levels depending on several variables.

Variable 1: The ‘carrier’ or original item (lets say, coke) carrying the nutrient (VitB12) is not a food item that works in conjunction with VitB12 therefor the effect on your bodies level of this vitamin after drinking it is likely minimal none. However, in a carrier that has some nutritional value, fortification can be successful, for example dairy. Not the healthiest option, but if you gorge enough on it you’ll get some calcium. Fortify dairy with Vitamin D and the calcium will be absorbed faster and more effectively. Though it still doesn’t beat getting it from natural sources.
So in other words part of the effectiveness of the fortification depends on the fortified item – does it have a ‘supportive’ relationship or an ‘I’ll tolerate you’ relationship with the nutritional addition?
Another way to look at it: red Bull advertises it includes Vitamin B12 – a much sought after vitamin by many people, but especially vegans. Should we start drinking red bull as a daily health tonic for nutritional sustenance? I think not.

Variable 2: The fortifying nutrient – which version is being used? Consider Vitamin B12; Methylcobalamin is the healthier and less used version of Vitamin B12, versus Cyancobalamin, the more common yet less effective source. Hydroxocobalamin also exists, but doesn’t appear to get used much if ever. Packaging of fortified foods will often tell you the vitamin added but not the specific type thereof, and this difference can make all the difference in effectiveness of the product as a carrier.

 

So does this mean fortified foods are bad? No… not exactly.

Fortification has had positive effects. One of the first instances of this dates back to the World Wars and fortifying bread with commonly deficient nutrients and was regarded as highly successful. A more recent, Australian-Aboriginal example would be the addition of iron, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin to bread in the Bourke region (New South Wales). The fortification was successful in helping the people in the area improve their levels of those specific nutrients. The process was stopped after it was given media attention and a subsequent negative backlash, the latter being displeasing to the bakery owner who consented to fortifying his bread. According to the article, the critics gave what appear to be generalistic conjecture that did not do the study justice. Feel free to view the article for yourself here https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2006/184/12/repeating-history-objections-fortification-bread-and-alcohol-iron-filings-folic.

Governments world-wide have been looking to safely fortify different foods effectively to combat issues that have affected their regions of the globe. Considering what the critics mentioned in the article (risks including potential overdose on certain nutrients), and the implications and morality of fortifying foods, I personally feel it is important to keep a good eye on just what the government is doing in that area. For example fluoride in our drinking water. But I will save that for another post, on a day where I feel like a good, strong, anti-government (and also informative) rant.

Fortifying foods can be an amazing and beneficial thing when done right, but it can be dangerous when done incorrectly. Regulations for packaging and supplying sufficient information to consumers about the version of the nutrient involved I feel should be put in place. Following/in conjunction with this, more research and public accessible (and easy as pie to find) information should be available on the different ways of fortifying different foods, as well as the effectiveness of each items providing fortified nutrients. If each product were forced to prove via independent study that their nutrient fortified product actually increased a persons health and nutrient benefits there-of before being allowed to advertise it on their product, that would be great. Also, any unhealthy product which has been proven effectively fortified, should be obligated to have a disclaimer or similar reminding people that their product is not recommended as a main source of that nutrient and will not be sufficient in providing all of that nutrients needs, and is still a junk food. At least that’s my opinion.

Basically what I’m saying is that if an unhealthy product claims to have health benefits due to fortification, ignore it. Feel free to drink fortified with VitB12 diet coke of course if that is what you want, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s doing your body any good – it’s still is and will always be coke.

Now for the fun-cooker: provided the product/carrier is a healthy item, and the correct version of the nutrient has been added in a way that is safe and effective for the human body, then which is the better option for nutrient intake; Fortified foods, or supplements?

I’m going to go with, why be mutually exclusive? Each has their good and bad points.

Fortified pluses

  • The nutrient is compatible with the carrier food, there for is more readily absorbed by the body and more effectively.
  • You will not have to create a meal to eat with the nutrient, the nutrient is already in the meal.
  • On a grand scale, it is more effective in solving a deficiency problem of an entire section of people (like solving an iron deficiency of an entire country for example)

Fortified negatives

  • The packaging does not say which version of the nutrient being used
  • The product does not promise effectiveness of the nutrient, just the promise that the product itself has it in there.
  • Higher risk of overloading on the nutrient. The product does not have to specify the amount of the nutrient.
  • On a grand scale, can be used for unethical purposes. (fluoride, water, another time, another post).

My personal recommendation: If you have a specific deficiency, particularly if it has gotten quite bad, or if you simply could do with an extra hit of a particular nutrient then yes, fortified foods would be a great choice. Unfortunately it is a good idea to do research into the particular fortified product/s you wish to buy in order to ensure you get ones that will be effective and not have negative side effects or overload you on the nutrient.

In terms of it becoming a trend: provided the people maintain a vigilant eye on the government as they do it I think it is a great idea and would like to see more of it. Except for the fluoride in the water. We have not paid enough attention to that. But again, another time, another post, another rant.

As for supplements,

Positives:

  • You can monitor exactly how much of each supplement you are taking (how many grams).
  • More likely to notice if you haven’t kept up with a particular vitamin or mineral.
  • They are more highly regulated for safety and effectiveness.
  • More research is currently available to know what you’re getting yourself into and the potential side effects (whilst side effects of fortifying are still in theory and conjecture phase).

Negatives:

  • You could overdo your intake on them. Calcium and heart issues are a trending world concern currently.
  • You will have to eat something, otherwise it won’t work (or at least not very well), and you’ll feel ill.
  • They tend to come in round bottles that are easy to knock on the floor which then roll far, far away from you and you have to go chase them around the dining and living areas then bend over all embarrassed because everyone heard them hit the tiles and someone jokingly yells out “see, this is why we can’t have nice things!”.

Supplements are still fantastic, and for now I would personally advise for these to be used for general nutritional health assistance.

Well this was a very long blog. I have tried to minimise it as much as possible. I hope this has been enlightening and informative for you. If anyone knows more about fortified foods or have other examples (good or bad) of this, whether from the process used to the ethicalness of any part of the subject or anything in between, feel free to add any time. This topic is definitely by far under-researched and very interesting. The depth in health, global issues, global community and the ethics of all this. I look forward (I think) to seeing where this goes.

One thing I’d like to mention before signing off, other countries seemed hesitant to fortify raw foods, and as yet I haven;t come across proof that they have yet – except for Australia. Mushrooms have been fortified with vitamin D since Sept. 2010. This happened. I see no mention of this at the grocery store, and feel like it ought to be mentioned next to the price or something before purchasing. Is there a non-fortified version out there and can I buy that as easily? Is it really wise to, in a sense, force people to eat fortified foods? I hope it’s a good thing because I love my mushies.

Anywho, apologies again for the length of this blog. Thank you to the person who got me onto this topic, I hope this helps your own research on the subject/s.

To finally giving my hands and your eyes a break,

Summer Tay.

P.S. For further fortification study (particularly but not exclusively for the USA) try here: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/CAT87209052/PDF

Day 48: Sizzlers and Sexy Sharks

Something weird happened today. It started with my friends telling me off about my vegan diet, telling me I am not doing it properly and need to start counting carbs and eating more legumes and things, and of course to also start eating meat and dairy, for my health. I got frustrated and left for the day and when I came back, 2 x 8 patties in a box were in the freezer. Just for me. I’m so confused! And happy! Today was a weird day.

For the kazillionth time (maybe overstating the amount of times just a squidgeon) this month I went out for lunch. Yet another birthday to celebrate with foods of restaurant quality. Todays restaurant: Sizzler. Massive salad with sundried tomato and some weird herb mix that constituted 1/4 of the green leafy portion of the salad along with the usual salady ingredients. It was good, I strongly recommend using sundried tomato in your salads. Potato “skins”. I will learn how to make these one day then hide thr recipe in my vault. My vault that I shall buy the moment I come up with a recipe that makes potato the way Sizzler makes potato. Here the recipe shall reside so that noone will learn that i know how for if they ever knew, I’d never know peace again. Tomato and basil pasta sauce was good, but I sispect the pasta isn’t that vegan and won’t be eating it again. That and it tasted like crap. The soups looked good, but by the time I was done wioth everything I didn’t have the room in my tummy to ask if the soup – or the apple crumble – was vegan. But if the apple crumble is then I am mixing it with their cocoa mix-in and having choc-apple crumble. mMMmm, their pumpkin soup looked so good.

All in all I currently approve of Sizzler.

On a completely different but previously mentioned note, I would like to remind everyone that there is a short time left before the final decision is made in regards to the future of the reef. Non-renewable energy companies and their corporate, lobbyist and government friends want to dredge the Great Barrier Reef from Abbot Point, then dump what they dredge into other sections of the reef. The process will kill the reef and everything in it as well as the tourism around it. The impact on the safety of resident sin the area is yet to be determined, but I assume a massive reef has existed from the tip to almost the end of upper Australia (also known as Queensland) for a reason. Tidal waves perhaps?

If anyone would like to see this official World Heritage area continue to be protected from the coal industry and those who would seek to profit from dredging (read: removing from existance) this beautiful place, or would like to get to visit it yourselves, or simply if anyone would like to shut me up on the topic, please sign the petition to save the Great Barrier Reef.

Link: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/great-barrier-reef–3/thank-the-reef-authority/protect-the-great-barrier-reef#.Ut4bK3gGbis.facebook

Under the petition it shows the number of signatures still needed to make the reef safe: 637 currently. Lets see if together we can make that number 0 😀

To everyone that has already signed it from previous posts about this issue, thank you so much, it means a lot to me. To everyone who hasn’t, hint hint, nudge nudge, yes yes? Pretty please with sugar on top? I’ll love you? I’ll be your best friend?? I’ll give you candy? Please sign my link.

To giving out all my love and candy nom noms to all my new bestie peeps,

Summer Tay.

ImageI found this. I couldn’t resist. :D!

But really, this what you’ll be saving. Who wouldn’t want to save this:
ImageThe decision will be made Friday.