Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
1) Then what does a microwave do to food?
You can sterilize your sponges by tossing them in the microwave for two minutes. Details here. Oh, make sure the sponge is wet.
This handy trick kills all germs, spores, and is also useful for eliciting befuddled looks from your guests. Be casual about it, now.
2) The Worst Food on Planet Earth
The EPA won’t allow disgusting leftover grease sludge to be disposed of in drains (mostly because the stuff is too thick to even make it down the drain). Unfortunately, the FDA is not so vigilant. Here’s what happens to this grease. And why you’ll never eat another chip as long as you live.
3) Vitamins Versus Drugs…Again
Pfizer had to scrap plans to release cholesterol drug torcetrapib (wow, that sounds like a real blast) because it was killing people. Oops. As it turns out, doctors are beginning to prescribe good old vitamins – niacin in particular – for cholesterol concerns. Why? For one thing, they work. For another, vitamins don’t kill people.
Though vitamins aren’t regulated by the FDA (making it important to buy from a quality source), consider: just what is regulation? Drugs that are “regulated” sicken and kill millions every year, right under our noses. This isn’t “secret” information, either; the records are there for all to see.
Big Pharma spends a lot of money sending press releases to media outlets attempting to scare people into thinking vitamins are dangerous. This is funny, because niacin doesn’t make people have heart attacks or go blind or die. We’re just sayin’.
4) How to Quit Coffee
Addicted to caffeine? This is an excellent guide to getting over the java jones. Like alcohol, we think caffeine in moderation can be just fine. But if you are interested in cutting back or cutting out caffeine altogether, check out the clickativity.
5) Does this mean they’ll stop turning it into food?
Yet another use for corn. If it can be made into plastic, and fuel, and clothing, should we really be eating it anymore?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
This is a low-fat blog post, Apples. Here’s the daily roundup:
1) Hypothetically, Of Course!
Answers to the Top 10 Embarrassing Health Questions. Hey, we know, it’s for your friend.
2) Go On, Get Fresh!
We’ve talked before about big cities like Chicago and New York hopping in the anti-trans-fat fryer. Massachusetts will be the first entire state to do so (of course it’s Massachusetts). And Starbucks recently volunteered outright. McDonald’s hasn’t been able to perfect their beloved heart attack sticks (a.k.a. french fries), but they keep trying to get rid of trans fat, by golly.
Unfortunately, our investigative vigilantes over at Mercola’s blog inform us that food companies are finding a sneaky way around this whole trans fat ruckus. They’re just switching the deadly trans fat for another, equally terrible fat. Doing so allows them to get away with saying “0 grams trans fat” on food labels.
You know, there are days when we want to think highly of our fellow food-manufacturing humans. And then we remember – oh yeah, we’re bees! We don’t have to think good thoughts about these greedy “it’s just the free market” milquetoasts! You don’t, either.
Selling. Deadly. Food. Is. Wrong.
End of story. Spread the word, Apples.
Here are some facts about why trans fat (a.k.a. Frankenfat) is so important to avoid. Thanks, Beacon!
3) Thanks for Smoking. No, Seriously.
In a grand gesture of love and thanks for customer loyalty, Harvard finds that
death merchants tobacco makers have steadily increased nicotine levels in cigarettes since 1998. Harvard even took a second look after the death merchants industry whined about it, and still came up with pretty convincing proof. Gravity is more controversial. Thanks to the Urban Hermit for this news.
And around the web:
Also on the table:
Export junk food to poor countries. Export subsequent obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Solution? According to the New England Journal of Medicineyness, we need to…export drugs to cure it all!
How about we save everyone, rich and poor alike, by demanding an end to the mass production of Frankenfoods? Does guacamole really need 27 ingredients plus three layers of packaging that no one but a two-year-old with a case of the mad molars can get into?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Oh yeah, because they’d be unwashed, spoiled rotten and absolutely refuse to participate in any recipe.
2) Um, gross.
Thanks again, FDA. You guys continue to inspire. Who needs strict slaughterhouse standards when you can just spray your meat clean?
3) Skinny Fat
It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Skinny can still be fat. This study reveals that being thin but having a high percentage of body fat causes inflammation and all the problems that go with it. It’s actually better to be a little bigger, but really fit, than it is to be stick-thin but as strong as a noodle. There’s an actual medical term for it: “normal-weight obese”. Check out the article for all the details, and check out tomorrow’s Tuesday 10 for ways to get super-fit in no time.
We’re bothered, disturbed, and just generally in a big hot fuss over the ethical and health implications of using chickens to manufacture drugs. Doesn’t anyone stop and ask: wait, are we supposed to be doing this? Why don’t we just prevent health problems before they start and let the chickens stick to their own egg-laying pursuits? When you’re living in a world where people are so unhealthy even the chickens have to get involved, it’s time to change. Besides, the whole “Which Came First?” chicken-or-the-egg riddle was so fun. Chicken-or-the-pill, on the other hand, is just stupid.
Apples, as you know, this is a pro-fat health site – pro-fat meaning we recommend eating beneficial fats, of course, not getting fat. There are a lot of issues to consider when it comes to fat – heart disease, inflammation, arthritis, obesity and prevention, to name a few – and I’m going to weigh in (I know, I know) on some of the latest findings.
Increasingly, the medical community is focusing on the interrelatedness of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. These prevalent health problems have a common component – inflammation – and mounting evidence suggests that a wide range of lifestyle habits aimed at preventing inflammation is clearly the better avenue for public health. Soaring health care costs, unequal distribution of nutritious food, Americans’ sedentary lifestyle, grievous drug side effects, and inaccurate food and health information are all factors in a health crisis that I believe has hit critical mass – it’s time for a smarter solution.
Case in point: arthritis costs alone are over $120 billion dollars every year and growing. Just a few years ago, we were spending about $80 billion. By 2010, about 50 million people will suffer from arthritis. In my opinion, this is utterly unacceptable. Arthritis can occur for many reasons – I myself manage osteoarthritis from years of professional sports competition. Excessive levels of stress like hardcore athletic training or lack of any physical exercise are common culprits. Though there is a genetic predisposition to arthritis in some folks, the majority of people suffer from arthritis to a much greater extent than they need to, given the availability of easy prevention options (that are a lot cheaper and less painful than drugs, surgery and daily suffering). Personally, I’m rarely bothered by my arthritis because I maintain a good exercise routine, I don’t eat junk, and I am ruthless about preventing inflammation.
How to prevent inflammation:
- Douse yourself in antioxidants
- Consume “good” fats with reckless abandon
- Limit both physical and emotional stress
- Absolutely avoid anything that contributes to oxidation: smoking, excessive drinking, lack of activity, processed and prepared food, trans fat, and sugar
Add Another Test to the List
There have been several new heart disease markers identified this month (and a few thrown out as doctors realize basic prevention is worth a lot more). A Japanese study found interesting results for a specific set of women with particular heart conditions; and this study will help doctors determine how people who already have heart disease can avoid a second incident. In the same vein (there I go again), a few studies released this month are too fraught with questions and conflicts of interest to be of much insight (though no doubt Big Pharma will still bandy them about).
Look, heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women. And it goes beyond that – those suffering from heart problems also tend to suffer from other big health problems like diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. These health problems are often complicit because they are either caused or exacerbated by your old enemy, inflammation. That’s why I think it’s critical that the health community shift the focus from statins, surgeries and stents to prevention, prevention, prevention. There are so many reasons why: soaring costs, debt, quality of life, current inequalities in care along socioeconomic and racial lines, and simply, common sense. Our government may be indebted to Big Pharma and the lobbyists; no matter. We can solve our health problems ourselves – Uncle Sam will get the message. Which brings me to:
The National Healthcare Quality Report finds that, based upon 40-odd “core quality measures”, health care has improved by 3.1%. All right – I guess that’s supposed to be impressive. But here’s what caught my eye:
“However, the use of proven prevention strategies is lagging behind other gains…”
2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Health care is in crisis, and until it gets straightened out (and I applaud the recent efforts of politicians and states to fix the mess), how do we get prevention information to hit home? Information isn’t in short supply; some of it (a lot of it) is inaccurate, but sites like yours truly here and some of the great folks linked at right want to help. How do we spread the news that prevention is easier, and safer, and better than you think?
I’m not quite sure why the Navy thinks a goat is a compelling image when it comes to avoiding desserts, but it’s better than Labelman.
Apples: Any of you who are interested in insider perspectives on our general health care crisis should check out Health Care Renewal, a fierce anti-corruption blog with several medical smarties who contribute regularly. Also features links to various other medical and scientific blogs worth serious salt that you might not catch on Technorati (and definitely not on the nightly news).
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