Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Food Matters

Last night I watched the documentary "Food Matters".

The information was interesting. A lot of what they talked about nearly everyone already knows, "you are what you eat". The experts in the film claim that eating well not only is a preventative measure, but also a healing measure for existing conditions. Some of the claims I take with a grain of salt, such as using intravenous vitamin C as a cancer treatment.

They do advocate for vegetarian diets; but they don't condemn eating some meat (real meat, not hotdogs and cold cuts). It is true that most people do need to eat far more vegetables, but I also believe meat (real meat from pastured livestock or hunted game) is part of a healthy diet.

The film also touched on how ingrained drugs are into modern medicine. They were sure to state that they weren't against drugs for immediate life-saving intervention or for pain relief; but they urged the use of dietary changes and vitamins for chronic diseases. The reason being, which makes sense, is that drugs treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

As far as entertainment and attention-getting value, I think they could have presented the information in a less repetitive manner. Pretty much the entire film was going back and forth between several different people that provided commentary and experiences on the subject of diet and natural healing.

Overall, I'd rate this documentary 3½ / 5 stars. It's worth watching.

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Animal Rights" Wrongs Animals (and People)

You can't talk food without eventually coming across "animal rights" activists that will tell you to go read PETA's website and you're an evil person if you don't fall into their militant belief system.

Even many everyday people, when it comes to the topic of animal abuse, will often say "I believe in animal rights, but..."

And that brings up a huge problem: many people fall into one of the next 3 categories
  • Don't know what "animal rights" is really about
  • Don't know the difference between "animal rights" and "animal welfare"
  • Have been spoon-fed false or twisted information by groups such as PETA and HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) - from information on nutrition to farming/ranching to hunting

• • •

So first, we need to differentiate between "animal rights" and "animal welfare":

Animal Rights  - Example groups: PETA, HSUS
  • animals should not be 'used' for any reason: food, clothing, service, even companionship
  • humans should not interact with non-human animals
  • extinction of domestic animals

Animal Welfare - Example groups: ASPCA, local animal shelters and rescue groups 
  • treat animals humanely
  • do not abuse or neglect animals
  • co-exist with animals
  • if animals are to be used for food or clothing they should be raised in humane conditions and killed as quickly and painlessly as possible

The vast majority of people actually support "animal welfare" and would be appalled by "animal rights".

• • •

  • against pet ownership
  • against training pets, against crating dogs (anyone familiar with dog training or psychology knows both of those are beneficial things for the pets)
  • against no-kill shelters (they want all animal shelters to be "kill shelters")
  • against the use of police dogs 
  • against the use of drug & bomb sniffing dogs in airports
  • against the use of service dogs
  • against dog shows, horse shows, etc.
  • against the use of animals for food, even if the animal is unharmed such as the harvesting of honey, eggs, and milk
  • against the use of animals for clothing, even if the animal is unharmed such as wool
  • against hunting, even if necessary for population control
  • against zoos, no matter how well the animals are kept
  • against March of Dimes
  • against World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • in favor of breed-specific legislation (BSL) - banning certain breeds of dogs, which many times there isn't even a grandfather-clause, so pet owners are faced with the choice to either move or abandon their pet
  • in favor of people feeding their pet carnivores (dogs & cats) a vegetarian/vegan diet
  • supports Animal Liberation Front (ALF) - the group that burns down labs, puts bombs on researchers' doorsteps, and is considered by the FBI to be a domestic terrorist organization - and has given them over $70,000

PETA kills an overwhelming majority of the animals they take-in:

Year Received† Transferred Adopted Killed
2010 2,345 63 44 1.86% 2,200 93.8%
2009 2,366 31 8 0.34% 2,301 97.3%
2008 2,216 34 7 0.32% 2,124 95.8%
2007 1,997 35 17 0.85% 1,815 90.9%
2006 3,061 46 12 0.39% 2,981 97.4%
2005 2,165 69 146 6.74% 1,946 89.9%
2004 2,655 1 361 13.60% 2,278 85.8%
2003 2,224 1 312 14.03% 1,911 85.9%
2002 2,680 2 382 14.25% 2,298 85.7%
2001 2,685 14 703 26.18% 1,944 72.4%
2000 2,681 28 624 23.27% 2,029 75.7%
1999 1,805 91 386 21.39% 1,328 73.6%
1998* 943 125 133 14.10% 685 72.6%
Total 29,823 540 3,135 10.56% 25,840 85.9%
* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† Other than spay/neuter animals

PETA targets children and adolescents. They even go so far as giving comics to kids saying that their mom or dad will kill the family pet!

  • is less open about their extremism, but it exists nonetheless
  • does not run a single animal shelter
  • is not affiliated with any local animal shelters

HSUS took donations for hurricane Katrina animals long after they had pulled out of the area. The groups that were really doing the work were underfunded and overworked, while HSUS stood back and took the credit.

• • •

Quotes from animal rights groups:

"The cat, like the dog, must disappear... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist."
- John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of A Changing Ethic (Washington, DC: (PETA))

"Animal trainers, hunters, fishermen, cattlemen, grocers, and indeed all non-vegetarians are the moral equivalent of cannibals, slave-owners, and death-camp guards."
- Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA

"...all other than human animals would be free of human interference, and dogs and cats would be part of the ecological scheme."
- PETA's Statement on Companion Animals

"He [Rodney Coronado of ALF] did something [firebombed a research facility at Michigan State University] that put him in prison for three-and-a-half years and I think that if we hadn’t provided him with a good legal defense he wouldn’t be back out doing productive things in the community again - like the good person that he is. "
- Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

"I don't want to see another dog or cat born"
- Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP HSUS

"One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."
- Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP HSUS

"The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration."
- Michael W. Fox, Scientific Director and former Vice President HSUS

"My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture."
- John P. Goodwin, HSUS employee

"We are not especially 'interested in' animals. Neither of us had ever been inordinately fond of dogs, cats, or horses in the way that many people are. We didn't 'love' animals."
- Peter Singer, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd ed.

• • •

Please support animal welfare groups, not animal rights groups. And please research any group you are considering donating to.

Animal Rights is detrimental to both animals and humans!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Sample: Nordic Naturals Fish Oil

I'm a big fan of fish oil for everyone. I take it, my husband Chris takes it, even our dogs take it.

The standard American diet is woefully lacking in Omega-3s. Our heavy consumption of grain, eating grain-fed meat (pastured livestock and wild game has significantly higher levels of Omega-3), and lack of fish & seafood in our diet are all contributing factors to our lack of Omega-3s. The ideal ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is 1:1 or 1:2, but the average ratio Americans have is between 1:10 to 1:30. Way out of whack, even on the low end!

Some of the benefits of fish oil and proper Omega ratios:
  • increase HDL
  • lower triglycerides
  • reduce risk of heart attack
  • reduce risk for some forms of cancer
  • reduce risk for some autoimmune diseases
  • reduce risk for developing diabetes
  • anti-inflammatory
  • helps with weight regulation 
  • helps fight depression
  • cell protection and anti-aging
  • brain development in babies

The brand of fish oil Chris and I take is "Nordic Naturals". And you can get a free sample!

1. Go to http://www.nordicnaturals.com/

2. Click on the "Free Sample" button at the bottom of the page. (See below for button location, I circled it and added a big red arrow.)

3. Receive goodies in the mail!

Fish oil for humans
Fish oil for pets
Omega-3 drink mix
Reference card "Mercury Levels in Fish"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck

First things first, because I think people may jump to conclusions or get falsely excited: No, I'm not pregnant. Nor am I actively trying to become pregnant. I read this book because I enjoyed Nina Planck's first book "Real Food", and this is the only other book she's written.

I found "Real Food for Mother and Baby" a very interesting read. There's a lot of cross-over of the principals from her first book, as one would expect, but she focus more on fertility, pregnancy, and baby's first foods.

Nina's principals are not overly technical. As she describes it: one part science, one part tradition, and a dash of common-sense. She shares her own experiences of the birth of her child not going as planned (she wanted a natural home birth, but ended up having a c-section), and her challenges, victories, and defeats as her baby grew from infant to toddler.

In the chapters about fertility, she talk about traditional foods fed to newly married woman and/or pregnant woman, and examines the nutrients within such foods that make them such good sources of vitality while preparing for and during pregnancy. It's quite interesting that even though these foods become tradition far before we humans know about vitamins or even macro-nutrients (protein, fat, and carbs), they had exactly what the women needed to prepare their bodies and properly grow their babies. These foods were nutrient-rich animal-based foods: seafood, organ meats, milk, eggs, etc.; and were never the less nutrient dense grains like wheat or barley.

The chapters on pregnancy and breastfeeding cover a lot of similar information, but good information nonetheless. In addition to overall healthy eating and eating real foods, Nina is very focused on the importance of fats both during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Especially fats from fish, DHA & EPA. She also looks at Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios between various countries and diets. The results from the USA were amazing, in a bad way.

When it comes to baby's first foods, which should come after baby has been exclusively breast-fed for 6 months, Nina is an advocate of feeding baby the same things you eat, with slight exception. Instead of weaning babies onto cereal, she advocates weaning babies straight onto meat, vegetables, and fruit. She doesn't believe in introducing grain until later, which is contradictory to all the "baby cereals" you see in the store, and when grain is introduced it should ideally be sprouted grain. I agree with her, humans don't even have a need grain, we cannot even digest it unless it's ground or cooked, and it's not a nutrient-dense food.

Overall, I found this book informative even if it did have a lot of cross-over from her first book. I'll definitely hang on to it in case I ever do have children of my own.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Welcome to Kansas City, Trader Joe's!

Trader Joe's opened yesterday in Kansas City, so I went to check it out today. It was like Walmart on Black Friday! The lines where wrapping around the back of the store, we stood in line about 45 minutes to check out!

Trader Joe's - 2nd Day Open - Very Crowded!

Two Buck Chuck

I can definately see myself shopping here on a regular basis. It's about a 30-45 minute drive from our house, but I think we'll head there at least once a month! Prices are great, and they carry stuff I can't get at most regular grocery stores, such as kefir and raw milk cheese. And the roasted seaweed snacks are addictive! I've had them before from Whole Foods Paycheck, where they cost $3-4 if I remember correctly, but at Trader Joe's they are only 99 cents, so I don't feel guilty about eating 1/2 the package in one sitting!

Today's Goodies!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horrible Product: Soda + Jello

Every so often I walk down the scary "interior aisles" at the grocery store. I try to avoid those, except for things like olive oil and rice; I stick to the perimeter where there's actually REAL FOOD and not food-like substances.

Anyway, my fiance husband (I'm still getting used to that!) got his wisdom teeth taken out today, so I was on a mission to find food that doesn't require chewing. I went to the gelatin section, and what did I see?  "Add soda" Jello! As if Americans don't drink enough soda pop, now you can eat your soda pop too!

And people wonder why we have such a problem with obesity in this country...

Remember, "Just say 'NO!' to faux food!"