Mad Cow Again

The second case of Mad Cow disease in the US was confirmed last week.

What's interesting is that the USDA covered up this last case for seven months. It seems that the original test on the cow that died had mixed results (one positive and one negative) and that conclusive re-testing didn't take place until just a few weeks ago. Seven months is a long time in my opinion and an indicator that the inspection system isn't working.

Could it be pressure from outside sources to make sure beef exports continue and previous bans due to the first Mad Cow confirmation from countries like Japan and Taiwan were reversed?

Would it surprise you to know that currently the US only tests 1 in 90 cows? Back in 2003 it was 1 in 1,700. Japan tests every cow, European countries test 1 in 4.

I predict this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the manner in which meat is processed in the US, there is little chance of getting clean, disease-free, healthy (as nature intended it to be) meat on regular basis - in my opinion.

For example, did you know that the leftover pieces of a slaughtered cow is ground up and fed back to other cows? Well, it was the case until 1997 when they banned this practice. But they still feed cow remains to chickens and pigs. Dead chicken scraps are fed to cows, dead cow scraps are fed to chickens, dead pig scraps are fed to cows. And all the bacteria, disease, manure that's around gets ground up and fed back into feed as well. This just circulates germs, bacteria and disease. It also makes the strains of viruses more resistant to antibiotics. It's crazy! (but efficient) What happened to letting cows feed on grass?

Now let's take hamburgers for example. Did you know that one hamburger can contain hundreds or even thousands of animals? Dr. Robert Tauxe, Chief of food-borne and diarrheal diseases branch of the CDC in a PBS Frontline interview in 2002 disclosed this strange fact. Years ago, when you got a pound of ground beef, it was usually from one or two cows. Not anymore thanks to efficiency in the meat industry.

And if that isn't interesting enough, it's been estimated that as much as 78% of ground beef contains bacteria spread by fecal matter. This is from a study by the USDA and quoted in many books and articles on the subject.

Cows stand around in manure every day. Have you ever visited a dairy or meat processing plant? In my area of the world outside of Phoenix, Arizona there are dozens of dairies. I drive by them almost daily and live within 5-10 minutes of many. One thing you'll notice (or can't miss) when you drive by is the incredible stench (my daughter usually plugs her nose and points it out - if I hadn't noticed!). The cows are all crowded together, covered in mud and manure eating hay and feed. They don't move around much and never see grass. Next door a farm is being sprayed with pestisides and heavy, diesel trucks are moving dirt as a highway is being built around the corner. Am I getting an appetite for a burger and glass of milk after seeing this?

Some of the material above was inspired by Morgan Spurlock's new book "Don't Eat This Book". Haven't finished it yet, but half-way through, I highly recommend it.

Read the whole mad cow article at Yahoo News.
Read the USDA Mad Cow coverup article at the Organic Consumers Asoociation.

I'm glad I'm a vegan :)

Mark
http://vegandiet.blogspot.com

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Vegan/Raw Benefit #27

Posted on October 21st, 2005 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Vegan/Raw Benefit #27

There are numerous benefits to a vegan/raw diet, most being health related.

But here's a benefit I hadn't considered or noticed until I had been eating raw for 3 months.

Garbage!

Or lack of garbage, that is. I've noticed that my household generates less than 1/3 of the normal amount we used to before eating raw. Since very few whole, raw foods are packaged, you're saving a great deal of packaging waste.

There's even less to recycle since I choose to use my own canvas bags for grocery shopping. If you're a Whole Foods shopper, you may have noticed their new "green bags". They're a steal at under $2 and now will save at least 175 paper bags a year.

Yes, eating raw is eco-friendly too. Just another benefit!

Keep it raw...some,

Mark
The Vegan Raw Diet

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What We’re Eating Today – 10/14

Posted on October 15th, 2005 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on What We’re Eating Today – 10/14

This light, but satisfying Gazpacho soup is delicious!

What you'll need:
(makes 1 serving, adjust if necessary)

  • 2 tblsp extra virgin, cold pressed organic olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tblsp raw honey (optional)
  • 2 tblsps lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh basil to taste
  • 1/2 avocado (cubed)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (cubed)
  • 2 stalks of celery (cubed)
  • chopped parsley
  • 1/4 yellow or red onion (chopped)

Make organic produce your first choice whenever possible.

How to make it:

First, blend the oil, lemon juice, sea salt, tomatoes, garlic and basil. Add small amount of water if necessary and blend until smooth.

Pour the soup into a bowl and add chopped vegetables.

Mix all ingredients and top with chopped parsely.

If you like a little spice, add a dash of cayenne pepper... wow!

This is a wonderful soup to start your evening meal, or make several servings for a full meal. Easy to make, satisfying and delicious!

Enjoy and all good things,

Mark
The Vegan Raw Diet Posted by Picasa

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Urgent: Organic Standards At Risk!

Posted on October 14th, 2005 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Urgent: Organic Standards At Risk!

I've always recommended organic produce. Not only is organic produce grown without chemicals, it also has more nutrients, is good for our environment and just plain tastes better.

Well now, the "organic" foods standard is at risk of being lowered by a "sneak attack", a combination of large corporations, agri-business interest groups (lobbyists) and our government. Below is the background of this threat directly from the Organic Consumers Association. Please take a moment and take action to help maintain the highest standards for organic farming as possible. If the standards are lowered organic integrity will be comprimised and consumers will lose faith in organic foods. Our health, the health of all Americans are at stake. Thank you!

After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards.

Now, large corporations, such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods--aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the Organic Trade Association, are moving to lower organic standards by allowing Bush appointees in the USDA National Organic Program to approve a broad list of synthetic ingredients and processing aids that would be allowed in organic production. Even worse these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms. is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will have near total control over what can go into organic foods and products. (Send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here)

During the next week, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Congress is being lobbied by industry to vote on a rider in the House/Senate Conference Committee to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that could take away control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?).

For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of Congress not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act: OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards Board resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most members of Congress seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices. (Send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here)

In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time Washington insiders tell us that the "fix is already in." So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your Congressional Representatives and Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. We also desperately need funds to head off this attack in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity.

Call the Capital Switchboard here: 202-224-3121, and tell your Congresspersons not to support any ammendments to the ag appropriations bill that would lower organic standards. You can send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here: www.organicconsumers.org/rd-ofpa.htm

Read more about the status and what's at stake at the Organic Consumers Association web site.

To your best health!

Mark
Vegan Raw - The Ultimate Diet For Weight Loss, Health and Life

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Tip For Greens

Posted on October 12th, 2005 in food,greens,local produce,recipes by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Tip For Greens

We all know the benefits of eating greens, although sometime it's challenging to get enough to meet your nutritional needs. Most people don't consume enough greens, even those on vegan or raw diets.

Well here are a few ways to get your fill.

First, try a delicious green smoothie!

A great combination of vitamins and minerals along with the important fiber that's missing in juicing. Try to mix 60% ripe fruit with 40% fresh, dark greens. They are easy to digest and assimilate and actually start absorbing into your body while still in your mouth. They're also easy to make and quick to clean up.

Here's how: combine some fresh fruit like pears, apples, or mangos with some dark leafy greens like romaine lettuce, parsely or kale in a blender. Add a little water and blend.

Try these combinations:

Strawberry-banana-romaine
1-cup strawberries
2 bananas
½ bunch romaine
Water

Apple-kale-lemon
4 apples
½ lemon juice
4-5 leaves of kale
Water

Pear-Spinach
(my favorite)
6 peaches
2 handfuls of spinach leaves
Water

Adjust amount of fruit and vegetables as necessary. These recipes inspired by Victoria Boutenko and Frederic Patenaude.

Second, try some "green lemonade".
Green Lemonade
Here's how:

You'll need a juicer for this one. Juice a 1/2 head of romaine lettuce, 2 celery stalks, 1 apple, 5 leaves of kale and 1 whole lemon. The apple and lemon add a sweet zing and make this a delicious and easy way to get your greens.

Inspired by Natalia Rose, author of The Raw Food Detox Diet.

After consuming these daily for a few weeks, I noticed increased cravings for more fresh, green foods and eliminated any past unhealthy cravings. This continues today after many months and is an incredible feeling.

Enjoy your life-giving greens!

All the best for your health,

Mark

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