Catch the Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

No, not that kind of buzz. Sheesh!

Between us, Sisson’s still pretty steamed about the whole health care crisis, so we sent him on a hike. We hope you’re about to go do something fun and active, too (it’s the weekend, for goodness’ sake!). But catch the latest buzz before you go, Apples…

1) Render Magazine Is Probably Gonna Be Bummed about This One

This is the last mention of Render, easily the most disturbing industry magazine ever. It’s nothing personal; we know everyone has to put food on the table somehow and they’re just doin’ their jobs. But still

The ongoing Mad Cow concerns have prompted the government to consider banning certain cattle matter from being used in drugs, medical supplies and vaccines. (We asked ourselves the same thing: meat is allowed to be in my medicine?)

Things like brains, skulls, eyes, and spinal cords are of concern – especially spinal cords, which tend to be where Mad Cow hangs out. So are materials from “downer” cows (if a cow can’t walk, should we be consuming it?), tallow, and a lot of really disgusting things you don’t want to read about. But, you can by clicking here.

For what it’s worth, things like “mechanically separated beef” are not just in drugs. This sort of meat is what goes into hot dogs, taquitos, and kids’ school lunches. We’re not saying you have to join PETA or anything, but we do advocate sticking to fresh, organic groceries to avoid these sorts of excuses for food.


2) Apple Updates

Happy birthday to junior Apple Annie, who always has a fascinating and humorous health anecdote! Congrats to fellow Apple Sarah for improving her digestive health and skin by getting more beneficial fats in her diet. A high-five to new Apple Joel for healthfully building five pounds of muscle last month – we know you can reach your goal of 5 more for the new year. And thanks to all the rest of you for participating in the DCMF giveaway contest! (Visit the Forum to learn more.) You’ve sent in some great responses and we’ll be announcing the winner in Monday’s email health tip. If you’d like a free email health tip that includes handy links, giveaways and other updates, just mosey over to the Forum and register as an Apple (it takes about 30 seconds).

3) Important News for Those Who Love Their Little Rugrats

It’s all over the news: cough syrup isn’t safe for kidlets. It’s not really so good for you, either. Boost your immunity this winter by getting lots of veggies in your diet, exercising several times a week, and getting proper rest. Wash those hands like a maniac, too! (Just don’t get all Howard Hughes on us.) We don’t like colds anymore than you do, but bear in mind that sometimes a little infection is just the body’s way of building immunity and getting stronger. Unless it’s really serious, try to avoid taking drugs to cover up symptoms.

4) Lean Is in the Eye of the Marketer

The FDA has sure been busy this month. It was just announced that food marketers makers will be allowed to use the word “lean” on products meeting certain nutritional guidelines. “Meals-on-the-go” can claim to be lean if they contain less than 8 grams of fat.

This is ridiculous. It is. Peanut butter isn’t “lean”, but it’s a lot better for you than a pizza roll, which is full of sodium, cholesterol, sugar and chemicals. Olive oil isn’t “lean” and neither are eggs.

The word “lean” is a really powerful adjective to hand over to food makers. It’s one of those vague words that implies goodness but is so imprecise it doesn’t really mean anything at all – and it definitely means different things to different people. Which is exactly what we would want if we were food pushers.

“Lean” used to be for seafood and meat but the FDA wants to be flexible because so many Americans eat convenience foods now. Way to look out for our health, guys. Thanks. Maybe since so many Americans don’t like to wear seat belts, we should just stop putting them in cars. And that whole filtering the water thing? Why bother, since so many people prefer Coke?

This is another clear indicator that the FDA is about two decades behind the latest nutrition science. Fat is not necessarily bad; in fact, as we’ve been mentioning to the point of annoyance this week, fat is often good. “Lean” foods are going to be the “Low Fat” foods of the 1990s – a big sugary cash yak for the same food manufacturers who managed to convince us that things like fat-free cookies and low-fat dressings were “healthy”. Look where that got us. Excuse us while we hyperventilate. We’ll be back on Monday.

Potential new “lean” food…

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