Pamm Larry rocks. Seriously. This woman got the ball rolling for the initiative that resulted in one of highest-profile ballot measures in the country in the 2012 election cycle.
If you were unconscious during late 2012, Proposition 37 sought to mandate labels identifying those processed/packaged foods that contained genetically engineered ingredients. It didn’t pass, rather famously, but it took the population at large – and not just in California – from “What’s a GMO?” to awareness very, very quickly. (And it didn’t lose by much, when it comes down to it, considering the vast amounts of cash spent by the opposition.) Continue reading →
Well might you ask.
But lately, it’s felt like there are ninjas all around what I’ll term loosely “real food,” and in particular our individual ability – even our individual rights – to acquire it. And they seem to be coming from all over. Their names don’t come out of a martial arts movie, though. Their handles are filled with letters, like FDA, USDA, CDC, CDFA, DATCP, and so many more. Continue reading →
Saw this intriguing tidbit on Kelly the Kitchen Kop‘s blog, and had to head on over to the National Institutes of Health to check it out.
Yup, it’s true. A distinguished team of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health explored the relationship between exposure to high levels of fluoride and childhood neurological development, and found that high exposure to fluoride depressed IQ. Continue reading →
“What?” you say, in shock and amazement that any government agency might try to fudge the numbers to support a foregone conclusion. “Surely not! Surely, in its wisdom and scientific approach to all things related to our health and safety, surely they have our very best interests at heart.”
Dear and gentle reader, I hate to break it to you, but while there are well-meaning people in regulatory agencies, there are also those who would – shall I say it delicately – attempt to persuade us of something less than true by demonstrating something known as “bias”.
On Tuesday of this week, 21 February, the taxpayer-funded agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), released a report with the plain-vanilla title, “Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006.” How it’s being trumpeted all over the news media is much sexier; a typical title (like this one from The Washington Times) reads “Feds: Fresh milk 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized dairy.” Continue reading →
Here’s the scenario: A mother in North Carolina packed a lunch for her pre-schooler and dropped her off at school. The mother was unaware that the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, chips and juice would be inspected by the school to see if the lunch met USDA guidelines – mandated for all pre-kindergarten programs. Of course, she found out about the inspection when her daughter came home with the uneaten lunch and a bill for $1.25, the cost of the approved cafeteria lunch that was provided her to replace the “nutritionally unbalanced” sack lunch. Read the original article here. Continue reading →
I’m thinking about the inevitability of bugs. Specifically, the ones that populate us humans. And about how people seem determined to paint all bugs with one brush – the “bad bug” brush.
I got thinking about this again after reading one of a number of articles about the possibility of a man in Massachusetts having been infected with brucellosis from drinking raw milk from a local farm. Brucellosis is a disease that has not been seen pretty much anywhere for decades, so it was exceedingly odd to have a possible case show up out of nowhere. But there were several stories about it, along with the usual reminders of “you see what can happen if you drink unpasteurized milk!” (This morning the news quietly came out that it wasn’t brucellosis after all, and that the milk was clean. I say “quietly” because there was only one brief article about it in Food Poison Journal – no mention from all the other sources.)
What I thought particularly revealing about the original article, and why it inspired this post, was its title: “I’ll Take Some Bacteria With my Raw Milk.” Continue reading →
I think it’s worth taking a fresh look at the issue of mercury contaminating some of the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) we process in this country, because it reflects on so many different threads running through our collective consciousness.
Here’s the article; it draws its content from a study by the very respectable Environmental Working Group in 2008. Their research scientists found that just about 45 percent of the foods containing HFCS that they sampled were contaminated with mercury. Continue reading →
Like many people, I’ve been concerned about consuming mercury in fish.
So I was fascinated to run across this report from Vital Choice providing some interesting clarification on the issue (it was originally posted a little over a year ago). As a born-again media skeptic, I’ve noted all too often that when the simplest (and usually most alarming) part of a health issue is presented, a new “common sense guideline” is born. Mercury in fish would seem to be a case in point. Pregnant women are encouraged to limit their consumption of many kinds of fish; and, in particular, tuna.
Here’s the overview: Continue reading →
Scanning through my inbox this morning, I found a Food Safety News article of the author’s “naughty and nice” list for 2011. Given the mandate of the publication, it’s not too surprising that the list contains people who, in the author’s opinion, deserve mention – good or bad – concerning their support of the safety of our food supply, or their negative impact on it.
Just goes to show, I guess, how looking through the narrow lens of one topic can skew the results. Here’s the glowing review of “Mike” Taylor:
Mike Taylor, deputy Food and Drug Administration commissioner for food, is this administration’s go-to guy for information on the FDA’s implementation of the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Continue reading →