Posts made in February, 2012

Good riddance, pig McCrates

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 | 0 comments

Good riddance, pig McCrates

McDonald’s just announced that they’re asking all suppliers to plan to phase out gestation crates, starting in June. Now, let’s face it, despite the popular (and somewhat disturbing) McRib, which seems to come and go from the restaurant’s menus in line with commodity pig prices, McD’s is not known for its pork products the way it’s known for its beef burgers and chicken-like McNuggets. It goes through a lot of bacon and sausage in it ┬ábreakfast products, however (as much as one percent of the U.S. pork supply), and its main supplier, Smithfield Farms (not...

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On food and love

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 | 0 comments

On food and love

In the 1920s, an advertising campaign of the struggling U.S. avocado industry proclaimed indignantly, “There is absolutely NO conclusive evidence that avocados are an aphrodisiac!” Sales skyrocketed. Obviously we don’t need evidence to feed the human love affair with aphrodisiacs. Admittedly, the U.S. avocado industry didn’t invent that tale entirely: the Aztecs had said the same thing five centuries before. The Nahuatl term for the avocado tree, on which the fruits dangle in suggestive pairs, is the “ahuacahuatl,” or testicle tree. Aztec custom went so...

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Small farmers, Monsanto, and recent trends in transgenic crops

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 | 1 comment

Small farmers, Monsanto, and recent trends in transgenic crops

Manhattan seems an odd place for a protest by North America’s small farmers. But they were up in arms earlier this week, silently protesting in Foley Square that they’re unable to keep genetically modified, or “transgenic,” crops from their fields. The big issue is pollen drift from other farms. Wind carries pollen from crops like alfalfa, corn, and grass into neighboring fields, where it fertilizes the next generation of seed with the modified genes. Organic farmers and small farmers who don’t trust transgenic seed (which has been linked to herbicide resistance...

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Sugar cravings

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 | 0 comments

Sugar cravings

On Thursday, the journal Nature published a brief comment about sugar by three faculty from UC San Francisco, who argue that sugar should be regulated by governments worldwide and severely limited in the foods we eat. They’re not crazy. There’s increasing evidence linking sugar consumption to diseases that we always thought were related to fat consumption–diabetes, hypertension, lipid problems, cardiovascular disease, and fatty liver disease, all components of what we now call “metabolic syndrome.” We’ve recently begun to understand that sugar may be even...

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High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 | 0 comments

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Disclaimer: I lifted all this straight from Wikipedia. I thought it was actually a really great scientific summary of what the heck we’ve been eating all these years, and I expect my scientist brother to tell me if any of it is wrong. I especially appreciate how much effort we put into turning the syrup into fructose, considering how harmful we now know that it is… HFCS was first introduced by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957. They were, however, unsuccessful in making it viable for mass production.┬áThe industrial production process and creation was made by Dr. Y....

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