Month: April 2007
Morning, Apples! Our editor, Sara, pointed out a few great blog conversations going on in regards to fast food restaurants making – or rather, not making – nutrition information available (and subsequently gave herself an assignment!). We all had a lot of fun just now coming up with some not-so-pretty comparisons for this and future Sisson Spoofs. (I blogged about the problem with making nutritional information available in fast food restaurants here.)
After checking out today’s Spoof, I encourage you to join the blogosphere conversation by heading over to the Calorie Lab News and Brian’s Lose Weight With Me blogs. Speak up! I know you’ve got opinions!
The issue at hand: nutritional information inclusion on fast food restaurant menus. I suggest the following visual comparison format so the patrons of America might get a more accurate picture of what they’re about to consume. When everything in the restaurant is high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium, what good does publishing the numbers do? Because if you knew that…
A Big Mac sandwich (540 Calories, 29 grams of fat)
(Jim Frazier Photo)
Was really like 60 deep fried pork rinds…
…then you might think twice.
(Click here for McDonald’s nutrition information.)
Remember when I blogged about KFC’s kick-the-bucket in a previous Spoof? You’ll be glad the Bees are such blog surfin’ fanatics, because this post from Jeff Kay at the Diet Blog is a can’t-miss. Scoot!
Next week’s comparison: What are you really getting when you bite into those avocado egg rolls from the Cheesecake Factory?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
All the news, none of the trans fat! There’s plenty of controversy brewing in health today, and we’d love to hear your viewpoints!
Angst or Antidepressants?
A study from JAMA reports that antidepressants are perfectly safe for teens – something that will no doubt fire ongoing controversy, in light of the FDA’s own warnings about antidepressants for teens. Many countries ban antidepressant prescriptions for children due to significant health and safety concerns. What’s interesting is that antidepressants do appear to help teens deal with anxiety, but when it comes to depression, there’s no statistical significance over placebos.
“In the studies involving depression, 61 percent of patients improved while on antidepressants. But 50 percent of depressed patients taking dummy pills also improved.” – Boston.com
Dicey subject. What are your thoughts, Apples?
This is Emagic’s Flickr Photo
Spice Up Your Efforts Against Diabetes
Cinnamon may be good for those with both types of diabetes! Here’s the clickativity.
This is Bitzi’s Flickr Photo
The FDA Debate Continues
We make no secret of our disappointment with the FDA as an institution ostensibly created to protect public health. From hiring, firing and publishing practices that look like a Pharma pajama party, to misguided approvals processes, to this latest news, we think our tax dollars deserve better. Don’t miss the click – it’s a worthy read, Apples.
See you tomorrow!
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Using an RSS Feeder:
As Google puts it, an RSS feeder is “like an inbox for your favorite sites”. An RSS (don’t worry about what RSS means – it’s unimportant geek-speak) feeder pulls content from each of your favorite blogs and puts them into a convenient and easy to view format. If you don’t already have an RSS feeder you can get one here or here. Add Mark’s Daily Apple to your feeder and receive our latest posts automatically. You won’t even have to type in our web address to get the latest in health and nutrition news!
I will be retiring Aaron’s Additions until a new round of healthy tools and quality blogs pop up. (In the last year alone 28,000 health blogs were created, but only a very small percentage had any staying power!) Instead I will be focusing on bringing you Aaron’s Awards – congratulating the food industry for their latest obesity-inducing shenanigans.
Reader Sheila asked me a great question recently: is there really any safe meat to eat these days? Beef and pork? Raised in cramped factories and fattened as quickly as possible, the happiness of the animal is nonexistent and the health of the meat is seriously in question. These animals are fed hormones, antibiotics, and an unnatural high-sugar grain diet that reduces beneficial fatty acids in the meat and causes illness in the animal (hence the need for drugs). Red meat and the “other” white meat (come on, it’s red) aren’t exactly the boon of health we low-carbers would like them to be. Sheila wondered about the rumors of dangerous parasites and germs in pork. Because of the modern factory system, pork really doesn’t have any greater health danger than beef. However, just because things like listeria have been reduced since the days of Upton Sinclair, doesn’t make meat healthy. The sheer production level of meat is so high that it draws greedily on natural resources like oil, water, and land (and it’s a major contributor to rainforest deforestation). It’s no wonder many people are turning to vegetarianism. Either that, or it’s the fact that a typical burger patty is literally a composite of hundreds of cows, and processed meats are made of stripped spinal meat, which is turning so many people off of meat. This always turns my stomach, and although I do espouse responsible meat-eating (more on that in a moment), I’d sooner go hungry than eat a single meal that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of animals. To me, it’s cruel and vulgar, and yet, a burger is the most popular food item in America. Sad. How about chicken and turkey? Fowl is raised in much the same manner as beef and pork. Modern chicken is far more fatty than the chicken your grandparents ate. You even have to be careful with free-range products. The only thing that “ranges” with many of these free-range products is the degree of accuracy in the term. In some states, the “free range” is still a pen, albeit with some sunlight. My idea of healthy protein is not tens of thousands of chickens crammed into a sunless room smelling of chemicals and covered in filth, and I’m sure it’s not yours either, yet this is the reality. But fish is healthy, right? Again, it’s not a pretty picture. Our oceans’ fisheries are in jeopardy. In fact, an entire section of California’s coast has been banned because the fish populations are close to being wiped out. This sort of thing is going on in many places. This isn’t fun news, but the facts remain. Our way of life is causing serious problems. Couple overfishing with the gross levels of pollutants in many waterways – particularly southern waters – and fish isn’t necessarily your best bet. Farmed fish is problematic because it can interfere with wild fish habitats, and farmed fish are often overcrowded to the point of cannibalism. And there’s … Continue reading “Is There Any Safe Meat?”
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
They’re for real. Read on.
FDA Officially Jumps the Shark
The FDA is attacking your freedom. That’s no hyperbole, and it’s not just because we take issue with Labelman. Evidently, the FDA figures they’ve done such a bang-up job regulating drugs safely and effectively, why not extend their sticky fingers responsibilities to other profitable public health modalities? Read this, or this or this to find out what’s going on. Hint: any vitamin, herb or alternative therapy may soon be regulated as “medicine”.
Admittedly, this sounds great – we all know there are plenty of fake diet pills and far too many snake oil supplement hucksters out there. However, think about how this move also significantly reduces your freedom.
Bringing natural therapies under the jurisdiction of the FDA has all sorts of implications:
– Will natural therapies be turned into Big Pharma profit projects? How does one patent an herb, anyway?
– What about people who have no access to a doctor or health insurance? Or seniors who are on limited budgets?
– Why should the FDA be given any further control when its existing credibility and capability are already legitimately in question?
Read about it. And then, if you have a moment, do something about it here.
UPDATE 5/2/07: Mark has reigned us in. His experience in the supplement industry and a double-check analysis reveals: “no dice”. Apparently this is really an old issue that’s been dredged up again. Visit this link for a good perspective.
Chocolate is better than kissing, according to all the latest reports. Scientists say the sweet treat really, really does make you feel better than a tasty kissing session. Hmm. (Not buying it!)
This is Eszter’s Flickr Photo
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Oh, that term: “cured meat”. What is being cured, exactly? (Other than curing meat of any health benefit?) Read on and learn, Apples.
A few months ago, Mark recommended herbs as a vegetable you might want to reconsider (these naturally medicinal veggies are excellent in salads or cooked with vegetables and meats). Herbs are vegetables? Yes, they are! Mom’s Organic House tells you why you ought to give herbs a chance. If you are interested in organic living, be sure to subscribe to Mom’s RSS feed…if you’re a web hipster, that is. We love that this blog is so big on being responsible. Your health is yours!
What’s your favorite way to herb out? We’d love to hear about your favorite herbs and how you use them in recipes.
This is LollyKnit’s Flickr Photo
Best Explanation of Fructose Ever
That pretty much sums it up. Here’s the clickativity.
This is dhammza’s Flickr Photo
Cured Meats and Lung Disease
Remember the big nitrites scare? New evidence confirms the danger of cured meats like sausage, hot dogs, chip meats, bacon and ham. Worst of all: bacon bits! A few of us Bees are vegetarians or “fishatarians”, while Mark firmly espouses responsible meat-eating (keeps things interesting around here).
Whatever your particular persuasion, cured meats don’t belong in anyone’s diet. (We know, we know, bacon is yummy.) Cured meats aren’t fresh, they usually aren’t very lean, and they’re full of all kinds of chemicals, salt, sugar, and dyes. If you want to get protein the carnivorous way, please remember that you’ll do yourself and the environment major favors by choosing organic, grass-fed and free-range products. This is your body, sugar snap! The cure for cured meats: statistics like these.
This is Gailf548’s Flickr Photo
Big, Bad Pharma
Bad Science’s Ben Goldacre examines the Big Pharma study-skewing controversy. In a nutshell: yes, they skew; but so does everybody. (Wait, is that supposed to make us feel good?) The article is excellent, so if you care about the future of drugs in medicine, or just really have a problem with Big Pharma, be sure to read it. In particular, we want to highlight the excellent idea for removing publication bias (the biggest problem, bar none, with the whole pharmacological picnic). Goldacre suggests that all trials, no matter the perceived utility, be reported in a public database of some sort. In other words, trials should be recorded from the start, not simply because they’re deemed worth publishing in hindsight. It’s one of those “uh, duh!” ideas that is so smart, so obvious, and so sensible, we are left to conclude that absence of said database = world has gone mad. (Check out Mark’s article on Big Pharma.)