Food

Failure of fast food ban on South L.A.

The Doug Sellman’s and Boyd Swinburn’s of this world want sugar taxes, bans on fast food and labelling of what they call “unhealthy” products.

The main problem, apart from their control freak nature, is that they don’t work in combatting obesity.

The evidence is there for all to see.

The national discourse about health and obesity has never been a particularly cordial conversation.

In 2008, it hit a tendentious peak when a ban on new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles brought the term “food apartheid” to the table. The ordinance, which was implemented in a part of the city that is both disproportionately poor and obese, came as a response to the idea that there are two different systems for accessing food in Los Angeles, one with more limited options in an economically depressed part of the city that is predominantly black and Latino, and the other with more variety in more affluent neighborhoods.

Ban this, block that…no bottle stores near schools, stop fast food joints opening up…never is there a though about personal choice in the matter. Sugar taxes and bans and plain packaging will work they tell us.

Yeah, nah.

[T]he South Los Angeles ban was unprecedented in that it was the first to connect a policy to the obesity epidemic. The ordinance didn’t shutter existing restaurants, but it did block construction of new stand-alone fast-food restaurants in an area with 700,000 residents. (That’s a population that, if separated from the rest of Los Angeles, would still make one of the U.S.’s 20 largest cities.) The effort also dovetailed with an initiative to encourage supermarkets and stores with presumably healthier fare to move in.

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It’s ok, eating red meat is good for you

The wowsers out there won’t like this new study that shows that contrary to their demands, eating red meat is actually good for you.

If I wanted to cherry-pick studies myself, I might point you to this 2013 study that used the same Nhanes data to conclude that meat consumption is not associated with mortality at all.

Let’s avoid cherry-picking, though. A 2013 meta-analysis of meat-diet studies, including those above, found that people in the highest consumption group of all red meat had a 29 percent relative increase in all-cause mortality compared with those in the lowest consumption group. But most of this was driven by processed red meats, like bacon, sausage or salami.

Epidemiologic evidence can take us only so far. As I’ve written before, those types of studies can be flawed. Nothing illustrates this better than aclassic 2012 systematic review that pretty much showed that everything we eat is associated with both higher and lower rates of cancer.

We really do need randomized controlled trials to answer these questions. They do exist, but with respect to effects on lipid levels such as cholesteroland triglycerides. A meta-analysis examining eight trials found that beef versus poultry and fish consumption didn’t change cholesterol or triglyceride levels significantly.    Read more »

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Told ya, now they are coming for your food

I have always said that health campaigners will move on from tobacco and start coming after whatever they want to control next.

Be it fast food, or sugar or fat they want to apply the same tactics of control to those products like they have for tobacco.

Less than two years ago I gave a speech to the Food and Grocery Council and told them that if they didn’t back the fight against plain packing in tobacco then they were going to be next.

Many of them scoffed at me…I’ll bet they wish they’d listened now.

Aaron Shultz, an Australian health campaigner, is calling for plain packaging featuring health warnings for junk food. He has posted a picture on Facebook of what he believes the packaging could look like – dropping the branding in favour of a picture reminding people of the price they could pay for a junk food habit.

Shultz is a health campaigner, who runs an organisation called Game Changer. It has a broader aim: to halt the promotion of alcohol, junk food and gambling through sport. He argues that by associating sport with these unhealthy brands, it normalises junk food, and contributes to the growing obesity problem in Australia.    Read more »

Food Nutters Aotearoa

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This coming weekend in Wellington a bunch of food activists nutters will gather at Te Papa.

And the reason? A “controversial conference” to “address all aspects of food security, production and safety to help inform future policy around food production”.

That’s code for anti-GMO, anti-corporate, alternative health and we know best.

It will be a wet dream for the Green Taliban, particularly MP Steffan Browning – who is still trying to redeem himself after signing a petition wanting the WHO to use homeopathic remedies to fight Ebola.

Browning is so excited he’s even spending taxpayer funds to escort them to the Parliamentary Library on Thursday night.   Read more »

Perhaps Gareth Morgan can give them some advice

Gareth Morgan has all sorts of advice lately, but perhaps he might like to take his motorbike on a trip to Vietnam to give them some assistance with a little culinary problem they are having.

VICE News reports:

Just after midnight on Tuesday, police in Hanoi detained a truck smuggling three tons of live cats into Vietnam. The driver, a 30-year-old man named Hoang Van Hieu, admitted that the ill-begotten cats were bound for restaurants in the country, where cat meat is, in fact, a delicacy, especially in the provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, not far from Hanoi.

“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Sky News quoted Dong Da district deputy chief of police Cao Van Loc as saying. “The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the [Chinese] border area of Quang Ninh province. All of the cats were from China.”

With an average adult weight of about ten pounds for a healthy domestic feline, three tons means we’re talking hundreds of cats. The animals, crammed on top of one another in bamboo cages, were just the latest haul in a small cat-trafficking market that sources from nearby China, Laos, and Thailand to satiate Vietnam’s appetite for kitty flesh.    Read more »

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NZ Junk food manufacturers in for tough 2015

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Companies making ‘junk food’ look as though they’re in for a tough year.

If it wasn’t the Aussie council seeking to ban chips, chocolate and sugary drinks from parks, it is now UK ‘experts’ calling for a ban on junk food adverts.

The usual health experts suspects are calling for bans on junk food TV ads, saying they shouldn’t be aired before 9pm in the hope that parents will stop getting pressured by their kids wanting ‘unhealthy food and sugary drinks’.

The British Heart Foundation is saying ‘seven in ten parents with children aged four to 16 have been pestered by their children to buy junk food they have seen advertised on TV.’    Read more »

Why is it that Labour parties seem to have dud ideas?

Labour is dead set useless, they focus on retard policies and treat voters like their policies.

In the UK it isn’t much different, hell, they even share policies with New Zealand Labour.

Ed Milliband is proving to be just a savvy with the voters as David Cunliffe.

Junk food adverts aimed at children face being banned before the watershed, under proposals announced by Labour today.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said too many children were ‘exposed to adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt’ – particularly during popular Saturday night shows like the X Factor.

The proposal was contained in a raft of public health measures announced today aiming to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic.

Yeah because the nanny state is always a vote winner.

Mr Burnham said Labour would impose ‘a time watershed for advertising of products high in sugar, fat and/or salt’ if measures cannot not be agreed with regulators to dramatically cut the number of junk food adverts aimed at children.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt took to Twitter to condemn the proposals.

He said that “banning and legislation not always the answer” and that “backing families to make better choices brings lasting change”.

But Mr Burnham accused the Government of being ‘too close to powerful vested interests’ to stand up for children.

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Face of the day

Patron of Shakti Helen Clark

Patron of Shakti
Helen Clark

Today’s face of the day is Helen Clark who is the Patron of Shakti. I may not share Helen Clark’s politics but I share her support of Shakti. More people need to know of its existence.

A woman close to my family came to New Zealand from Syria many years ago to an arranged marriage. She had never met her groom and neither had her family. She arrived in New Zealand unaware that she had rights and there were people who would protect her. If Shakti had been around then and if she had been aware of it she would have been able to escape instead of being trapped by the fact that she could not speak English and knew no one. Shakti are specially for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin.

I did not know of Shakti’s existence until I watched an Australian show called Four Corners about Forced marriage. One of the stories was about a group of sisters rescued from forced marriage in New Zealand by their school’s guidance counselor and Shakti. Their story will move you.

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Turning plastic into food? Can’t come soon enough

Some would joke most food is already plastic, but sarcasm aside, this research could be the start of a great and cheap source of fuel to make plastics edible.

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Two Austrian designers have teamed up with Utrecht University to develop an incubator dubbed the ‘Fungi Mutarium.’ It cultivates plastic-digesting fungi, which is edible.

Researchers at Yale University in 2012 discovered a rare variety of mushroom that could break down polyurethane, a type of plastic. What followed was a wave of research exploring how fungi can degrade plastic without retaining any of its toxicity. Read more »

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You have Jesus to thank for your Christmas Ham

Christmas Ham

Christmas Ham

You may have noticed that Muslims can only eat meat that is Halal

In Arabic, the word halal means permitted or lawful. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines gathered from the Qu’ran, Muslim followers cannot consume the following:

  • pork or pork by products
  • animals that were dead prior to slaughtering
  • animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah
  • blood and blood by products
  • alcohol
  • carnivorous animals
  • birds of prey
  • land animals without external ears

These prohibited foods and ingredients are called haram , meaning forbidden in Arabic.

-quora.com

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