Food

How long before the public health busybodies demand this here?

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Political correctness has gone seriously wrong and now David Cameron’s government has shows just how stupid they can sometimes be.

They have just authorised teachers to become food stasi, with the right to inspect kids lunch boxes, and confiscate food they deem unhealthy.

This totally overrides parental responsibility, I can’t imagine what they will try next?

Teachers can lawfully “confiscate, keep or destroy” unhealthy snacks in children’s school lunch boxes, a Government minister has said.

Lord Nash, an education minister, said that the child in question and a second member of staff should be present during the search. Parents must also be warned that the searches might take place.

The peer was answering question in the House of Lords about the powers that “teachers in the state sector have to inspect children’s lunch boxes and to confiscate items that they deem unsuitable”.

Lord Nash said it was up to school governors “whether to ban certain products to promote healthy eating.  Read more »

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The Green taliban stops hugging trees turns to criminals instead

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The Green taliban are usually out hugging trees, or rare snails, or lonely breeding pairs of frogs.

But now they have turned to hugging crims, demanding that they be better fed in prison.

The Corrections Department has been urged to give prisoners healthier food and more servings because it would help them behave better and do more physical activity.

But the departments heads say they have no plan to improve the prison menu or cut off inmates’ access to junkfood.

In a select committee at Parliament this morning, Green Party corrections spokesman David Clendon asked officials whether the budget for feeding prisoners would be raised.   Read more »

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Another from the science wasn’t really settled after all files

For years we have been told the science is settled…in climate change. In every other scientific discipline the science is constantly changing. But for climate change we are told the science is settled.

it is also ironic because the warmists who insist that also refuse to accept other science out there like genetic modification, despite that being settled too.

Another area where we are constantly told the science is settled and we should listen to people, especially if they are trying to ban something or prevent us from using it because they know best is in the food industry.

For years we have been told that salt is bad for us (it isn’t, doctors use saline solution after all), butter is bad, eggs are bad, sugar is bad…everything is bad for us and must be controlled, managed and more importantly taxed.

Except it was all wrong…the science wasn’t settled.

For decades they have been blacklisted as foods to avoid, the cause of deadly thickening of the arteries, heart disease and strokes.

But the science which warned us off eating eggs – along with other high-cholesterol foods such as butter, shellfish, bacon and liver – could have been flawed, a key report in the US has found.

Foods high in cholesterol have been branded a danger to human health since the 1970s – a warning that has long divided the medical establishment.    Read more »

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#Nannystate back-pedals after threatening dairies

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What a fiasco. Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s (ARPHS) Dr Julia Peters is now back-pedaling faster than a duck on heat.

Yesterday Julia Peters was front and centre blaming dairies for the obesity problem in Auckland and said they shouldn’t be allowed to sell unhealthy foods.

What a difference 24 hours can make.

Following a backlash from near on everyone, Julia Peters had to go back on air trying to defend her calls. But did she?

No. Instead she’s now saying

She says the dairy idea was one of many in the ARHPS paper, and has been overblown.

“We’re not looking at a ban on dairies – in fact, that’s not even in the paper.

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Troughers hate supermarkets – Because they won’t work with them

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Another post from the so-called ‘Public Health Expert’ blog by the troughers at the University of Otago, this time called “the allure of a Virtual Supermarket for public health nutrition research’.

Academics have never had much luck working with people in the real world, so instead they’ve gone and created a virtual supermarket  to ensure they don’t actually have to to speak to anyone.

Maybe the best place to start answering this question is the original reason as why we built the Virtual Supermarket: to test food pricing strategies. Most people will have heard of this public health intervention in the form of fat tax, sugar tax, soft drink tax or similar policy. The idea behind these taxes is simple and goes back to one of the fundamentals of economic theory – if you increase the price of a good, demand will decrease and vice versa. So, if we want people to eat less unhealthy foods, we increase the price, “problem solved”.

If only it was that simple.

Apart from any practical concerns, the effectiveness of food taxes is highly uncertain. The biggest issue being so-called cross price elasticity effects. Let me explain – if you increase the price of sugary drinks, we expect people will buy less sugary drinks. But, maybe, people like their sugary drinks so much that they keep buying them, leaving them with less money to spend on other foods (no money left for broccoli!). The same applies to subsidies. If you make fruit and vegetables cheaper, people might buy more of them. But, chances are, they spend the money they saved from the cheap produce on other (unhealthier) products (I can have chocolate after I eat my broccoli).

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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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