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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Raw Food Potlucks: Helpful or Harmful?

Posted on May 23rd, 2007 in food,potluck,raw by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 2 Comments »

Are raw food potlucks helpful?

One of the first things I learned about when getting interested in raw foods was the raw food potlucks. They were recommended to me to learn more about the lifestyle, meet other raw foodists and learn new recipes.

After a few months I did learn those things; met others at all points of their journey to better health, learned new recipes, resources and lifestyle ideas.

Over the years, I made an important distinction. Long term raw foodists don't normally eat the foods brought to a raw food potluck.

Why?

I've determined that raw food potlucks are most beneficial to those new to the lifestyle, those looking to make a change for their health, making new friends or those curious and wanting to learn more.

Long term raw foodists can be helpful to those that are new and provide guidance, although do not normally eat much at the potlucks. Since many who attend are new, they create dishes that are high in fat, lack proper food combining principles or are gourmet style recipes (all of course are great once in a while). For those experienced in raw foods, this type of meal is affectionately called "combo mambo" since the food combining is not the best and there are all sorts of foods mixed together when you try a little of this and that.

I noticed after about a year that eating at potlucks was no longer pleasurable. It often brought indigestion, gas and uncomfortable feelings. You see, as you progress in eating raw foods, you start to prefer simpler meals and normally combine foods naturally. Eating a combination of different foods that are normally high in fat (nuts, pates, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc) and normally more than just a bite can easily upset a digestive system that has been already cleaned and prefers simpler foods.

In fact, as I now bring simpler dishes, interestingly enough, they are not as popular as the more 'gourmet' meals I once brought. Most seem to enjoy the fancier foods that resemble cooked food dishes - just with raw ingredients.

So are potlucks helpful?

Absolutely!

First, they are a great support network for those interested in learning more about better health, raw foods and recipes. Second, as you learn and become more experienced, you can be helpful to others just starting out and looking for answers. Many long term 100% raw fooders I notice don't eat much at the potlucks and spend most of the time sharing with others. I've learned to do the same, and often eat prior to attending and bring a simpler meal for others to enjoy.

You also make new friends and can build long term relationships with like-minded individuals in your area... which can be very helpful when making changes like this in your life.

You can learn more about the potlucks in your area by visiting: http://www.livingnutrition.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodnetwork.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/directories/dir_rawpotlucks.html

To your best health!

Mark

The Raw Lifestyle In Pictures

Posted on May 19th, 2007 in photos,raw,raw diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on The Raw Lifestyle In Pictures

Here are some pictures of living a raw lifestyle... enjoy!

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