Growing up, my parents instilled in me a healthy skepticism of conventional medicine. They treated our illnesses with natural remedies, rest and nutritious food. Hospitals were good for fixing broken bones, but not much else. I rebelled from much of what my parents taught me, and might have rebelled from their antiestablishment view of medicine, if it hadn’t been for a defining moment in my education.
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.
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!
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.
On December 11, 2009 I blogged to share the great news, and to congratulate Tasty Bite, a delicious Indian, Thai and Pan-Asian ready to eat packaged food company, on their recent decision to discontinue the only flavor they had in their product line with animal products in it – a product that contained fish sauce. I mistakenly identified the discontinued product as containing beef, when in fact it actually contained fish sauce, not beef. I apologize for the error and any misunderstandings or wrong impressions it may have caused regarding this excellent company.
On September 1st, 2009, I blogged about a New York City advertising campaign about "pouring on the fat", that likened drinking soda to drinking fat (i.e. body fat), that had a graphic and rather gross poster. A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a television commercial that was also run in the same campaign. Now this is really gross! It is not recommended viewing for the faint of heart, but please take a look anyway. After watching this if you drink soda you will likely drink less, and if you don't drink soda you can feel real good about that choice.
We are real excited as Tasty Bite, a delicious Indian, Thai and Pan-Asian ready to eat packaged food company recently discontinued the only flavor they had with animal products in it – a product that contained fish sauce. We suggested they consider dropping it, they thought about it, and came back to us telling us that they had decided to drop it. Wow, great decision. They told us they and their team feel really good about this. No wonder Tasty Bite made the list of best companies to work for in India.
There has been a debate for many years about whether organic foods are healthier and more nutritious than non organic foods (i.e. foods sprayed with poison). Last month a UK study found that there was no evidence of nutritional superiority of organics. This month there is a French study that shows that there are nutritional benefits to organic.
The following if from Natural Foods Merchandiser's blog: Store-bought vegetables are not as good for you as they were 40-50 years ago. According to the USDA, fruits and vegetables were packed with far more nutrients back then than they are now. Experts attribute the nutritional drop to hybrid breeding of crops, designed more for size and color and ability to survive transport, than nutritional value.
An August 23, 2009 LA Times article is an interesting read on the push to tax junk food. Apparently what really helped people give up smoking was to tax tobacco product so much that smokers started to finally just give it up in increasing numbers; and the increased taxes are supposed to go towards health care system costs. I don't like to advocate increased taxes, but this is one type of tax that may help, especially if the taxes do actually go directly to funding the health care system. The article raises various issues in implementing such a tax regime.