Yesterday, December 31, 2009, our community outreach team tried to deliver a deluxe collection of fruits, vegetables, and other vegetarian foods to Rush Limbaugh, the leading conservative radio commentator, who had been hospitalized at Queens Medical Center in Hawaii with chest pain. The fruit basket was ordered by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRN).
Caitlin Rose made some great comments on my post about the dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands. She brought up several excellent points, the first being that the Faroese Islanders said: "… most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables.”
It was great to see a mainstream news service promoting the consumption of organic foods today (Monday, January 4, 2010). The Honolulu Advertiser carried an article by the McClatchy-Tribune News Service extolling the virtues of organic foods.
CaitlinRose made another great comment to Danish dolphin slaughter part 2, and she concluded it with a variation on a well known one liner: "To update an age-old saying: there are many ways to skin a cat, but none of them are good for the cat."
I was disappointed to read that Molly Katzen, the famous vegetarian cookbook author of vegetarian bibles: The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, has put out a new cookbook with recipes for beef!
Lavagirl really took exception to my blog about how to skin a cat, and laid into me, no holds bared, stating amongst other things that:
"Coming from a medical family - my father is a surgeon - I would argue with the extremist view the author purports.
Calling dissection "horrific" and "unbelievable" is easy to say from your armchair when you're not faced with some life threatening surgery coming up."
"Has the author ever had surgery? I would rather have a medical student train on a cat so s/he is better prepared to carve up MY body."
A Honolulu Advertiser article today (Wednesday, January 6, 2010) states, "Hawaiian Electric Co. said it has signed a contract for biodiesel produced from animal waste fat and cooking oil to power its new $137 million generating plant at Campbell Industrial Park."
I reported in my December 14, 2009 blog on a recent study predicting that the effects of increasing obesity in the US are forecast to outweigh any benefits from continued reductions in smoking rates over the next decade. Now WebMD reports on this , saying that from 1993 to 2008, the proportion of smokers among U.S. adults declined by 18.5% while the proportion of obese adults increased 85%. Researchers say smoking had a bigger impact on deaths while obesity had a bigger effect on illness.
A major new study on the effectiveness of Gingko Biloba in reducing cognitive loss for seniors showed it was not effective. The January 6, 2010 online edition of the natural foods merchandiser  reported the results of the study published in the Journal of American Medicine. As with many mainstream studies, this appears to be aimed at finding alternative therapies ineffective.
Island Dairy on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island, is giving their cows waterbeds! Apparently, cows who sleep on waterbeds give 10 – 20% more milk. And they also intend to play nice music to the cows while milking them, which will also result in more milk. Owner Bahman Sadeghi explains it this way: "Happy, healthy cows produce more milk."
Honolulu Advertiser today (January 11, 2010) had a story about some moon rocks that turned up during an inventory of the governor's office collection of gifts. What is interesting is that the rocks were called "priceless", and valued at around $10 million. They have a picture of one, it looks like a piece of lava from the Big Island, and is encased in resin.
Seventh Generation have a new ad for their environmentally safe cleaning products.
See their YouTube Channel
A few weeks ago there’s was another E coli outbreak, this time in beef treated with ammonia (it is treated with ammonia in an attempt to kill bacteria).  Anhydrous ammonia is the same chemical commonly found in floor cleaners, and can comprise up to 15% of many fast-food burgers, and in the ground beef that goes to the U.S. school lunch program.
Down to Earth offered a very successful, well attended, and as always free vegetarian nutrition seminar last Saturday at our Honolulu Lifestyle Center. Our community outreach team, headed by Saradha, offered a great cooking class, Carmela from our Honolulu store wellness department, gave a very informative presentation on nutrition, and I gave a presentation on why Down to Earth is ALL VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural. The reasons are very simple; health, the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals. I explained these reasons in depth with many facts to support them.
There is a growing trend to use cows as a solution for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Cow dung, or manure, is being used to provide electricity in Kansas, where cows outnumber people two to one.  In a demonstration project, manure from a cattle feedlot will be used to power 30 nearby homes. Over the course of a year, just one cow's manure contains the same amount of energy found in 140 gallons of gasoline. The manure can be turned into gasoline, or in other farmland states, chicken and turkey droppings are being directly burned in coal-fired plants.
Caitlin Rose, my guest blogger, has sent me another thoughtful blog post based on the movie Avatar. Avatar is set to become the biggest grossing movie of all time, so it must be pretty good (I have not seen it). Caitlin's blog post follows:
Ok, so what exactly is a "dentist's chair" and why would it be banned? Good question. Does it mean that a way to ensure good oral hygiene has been found that avoids visits to the dentist? We wish. No, the "dentist's chair" that has been banned by the British government is something else.
In current news Reuters  reports that, "Some 390 tons of ground beef produced by a California meat packer, some of it nearly two years ago, is being recalled for fear of potentially deadly E. coli bacterium tainting." In early December I received an email from a food industry trade organization about another ground beef recall in California. In that case a California firm recalled ground beef products due to a possible Salmonella contamination.
This is an interesting one, our General Manager forwarded me an email announcing the launch of a new product, fish oil in a vegetarian capsule "making it ideal for fish eating vegetarians (pesco-vegetarians)". First I knew that fish were vegetables!