We’re as sick of mad cow as you are (just feed them grass and keep them clean!), but we promised to find out who was behind the crazy study to breed mad-cow-free cows. Ladies and gents, we present Hematech. This outfit uses cows to research and develop all sorts of human disease antibodies. In a bizarre example of how this corporate world works, Hematech is owned by none other than Kirin Brewing Company. As in, the beer.
Drop in later for Mark and Russ’s chat on core fitness, today’s Smart Fuel, and the weekly roundup!
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
You won’t want to miss today’s health news, Apples – the world of health just got more interesting! There’s plenty of fascinating controversy in the works…
1) Big Puff Ain’t Happy
Which makes the gang here at Mark’s Daily Apple absolutely…elated!
After hanging out for years in cigar-smoke-filled rooms (okay, maybe not), a bipartisan bill that would allow the government to step in when Big Puff hurts people may finally make it to the presidential desk. Even tobacco-growing states have put their support behind the bill, which would stop the tobacco industry from marketing to children, making misleading claims about “low-tar” and “light” tobacco products, and adding harmful chemicals. Lawmakers tried to get a similar bill passed back in 2004, but you can guess what happened there. We’ll keep you posted on this bill’s progress.
Stick around the orchard, kids, because next Tuesday’s 10 will feature ways to quit smoking. If you’re curious and just. can’t. wait. till then, head on over to Ririan Project in the meantime for ways to quit the sticks.
Photo courtesy Audrey Jacometti.
2) What’s Best for Your Little Guppy?
A big study says mothers ought to consume fish during pregnancy to optimize baby’s development (all those beneficial fats in fish are excellent for fetal brain development). But Uncle Sam says the opposite, citing concerns about mercury’s impact on ‘nates.
In fact, there’s a growing movement questioning the relationship between mercury and autism (you no doubt remember the news from last week that rates of autism have skyrocketed from virtually…well, none…before 1940, to 1 in 150 kids today). We’ll bring you more news as it develops. In the meantime, the wise thing for expecting moms to do: supplement with purified fish oil, or choose cold-water fish – it’s far safer than warm-water fishes, which are more likely to be contaminated with metals and pollutants.
Thanks to Tiffany Johnson for the photo!
3) The Dumbest Idea, Possibly Ever
Scientists are trying to create cows that can’t get mad cow. Here’s an idea: clean up the poop and stop feeding cows – cud-chewing ruminants – animal protein! This is a real-world example of digging a hole to put in a ladder to wash the basement windows. Who’s paying these genii? We’re gonna find out.
Web It Out:
The Health Ranger rides again. Er, writes. This time, a disturbingly logical argument for eating cow brains (the entire point of the article ultimately advocates avoiding the consumption of flesh). Whether you’re for vegetarianism, love steak, or have settled on some place in between, this is the kind of highly provocative and interesting writing that is important to read if you’re someone who wants to think, not follow. Think you can trust mainstream health wisdom? Think again.
Mark is totally comfortable with animal protein, provided it’s organic, lean and unprocessed (check out his new page on vegetarians way up yonder). But we think it’s important for everyone to arrive at their own health decisions only after careful research and consideration. Although a lot of mainstream health experts genuinely believe you are incapable of arriving at your own smart health decisions, our answer to that is: oh yeah, and whose idea was it to breed mad-cow-resistant cows instead of simply feeding a vegetarian species vegetarian feed?
Also, health information shouldn’t be boring or stale, so it’s our goal to annoy the heck out of purveyors of the status quo – down to every last mainstream milksop. Face it, bees are annoying.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Or should that be…health is the new blog? And have you noticed the constant “this is the new that” slogans everybody likes to come up with? (Just Google: sugar is the new trans fat, brown is the new black, adults are the new kids.) How about a new turn of phrase device? Like…”couplets are the new turn of phrase device”. Oh, wait, that’s just the new thing again. Nevermind.
Here’s your piping hot batch of health news!
1) No More Wining
All the benefits of wine, none of the headache-inducing tannins and brain toxins. Just make sure you pick 100% real juice, and don’t drink too much of it (because…yes…sugar is the new trans fat). Or just eat grapes. The beneficial antioxidants everyone is in a big stomp about (like resveratrol) are found in the skins of the grapes.
2) Unexpected Mad Cow News
Here is some unexpected mad cow news. We’ll keep you posted as research develops. You might want to consider going organic in the meantime.
3) Will it make a difference?
Faster Death Agency Food and Drug Administration has come under furious scrutiny over all manner of corruption and shenanigans (Vioxx, politicizing Plan B, Prempro and numerous other drug scandals). A recent independent investigation found that the FDA errs – big surprise here – on the side of approval even when new drugs have not had extensive testing. Essentially, the FDA gives drug companies a hall pass. In so many words, the FDA says “Hey, Big Pharma, you’re gonna make sure your product is safe, right? Cool. Sally, did you find my iPod yet? I have to make my private jet to Telluride in, like, 30 minutes!”
The actual wording is convoluted legalese, but that’s pretty much what it boils down to.
In light of the fact that a post at the FDA is a cushy chill-out job for stressed former Pharma execs, this news fills us with hope. We’ll keep an eye on whether or not it actually makes a difference. Check the press release (link below), and you’ll see that the official spin is maddeningly glib: the FDA is changing because it’s simply time to update processes in light of new scientific methods. Gosh, is that it? How fun. Translation: the FDA is changing because, oops, we need to stop approving needless deaths by instituting standards that have already been around for two hundred years.
In the meantime, be careful about trying new drugs or multiple prescriptions without first doing a little research – and always get a second or third opinion (fortunately, real research is now easy to find at places like Pubmed, Vitasearch and even the FDA’s own website).
And let’s just remember, the FDA is the fine organization that brings us this inflamed nubbin:
New York has taken steps to ban trans fat. So we knew L.A. would catch up sooner or later. It just needed time to come up with a subtle little “Um, we’re already so much healthier than NYC!” jab, and here it is:
“I haven’t received one call from a restaurant saying it doesn’t want to make a change. I get more phone calls a day from restaurants that say they’ve never used it.”
We don’t care, as long as more cities jump out of the fryer, too.
The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it’s aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with Cocoa Puffs Milk ‘n Cereal Bars.
But, Fuming Fuji, you ask, isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?
The Fuming Fuji says no!
The claim: Cocoa Puffs Milk ‘n Cereal Bars are a great way to make sure your youngsters get breakfast, even on the go!
The catch: Tiny tots are better off skipping breakfast than eating this crunch block of evil. This “breakfast” is only a candy bar. Also, it is ugly, and one should not feed ugly food to children.
The comeback: Isn’t that discriminatory? Besides, Fuming Fuji, the box says “the nutrition of a bowl of cereal with milk“! Milk, Fuji! Milk!
The conclusion: The Fuji does not need you to shout. If you want to call gummified frosting “milk”, that is not the problem of the Fuji. It is hard to make milk even more unhealthy, but Cocoa Puffs has triumphed.
The catchphrase: Do not feed these petrified sugar sandwiches to your child! Maybe that neighbor kid, though.
Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji. Mostly.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:
1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!
Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!
Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.
2) We’re Going Down, Down…
Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.
3) Good Switch, Starbucks
First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.
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