Do you think natural foods are superior to a product that doesn’t carry the label? Well not so fast. I’m all about you knowing the story behind labels. As long you are informed you can make better decisions. Problem is the different labels out there can make your head spin. As for the word “natural”, well I went to a Natural Cooking School. We tried to use “whole” ingredients, meaning ingredients that aren’t manipulated to be something they aren’t. One definition I found is: “Natural foods are foods that are minimally processed. Natural foods do not include ingredients such as refined sugars, refined flours, milled grains, hydrogenated oils, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings.” Problem is at my school we pretty much stuck to that definition, but in in the real world “natural” products aren’t really regulated. It’s really a slippery slope. This article from the LA Times spells it out pretty well: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-natural11-2009jul11,0,6783490.story
There’s another story out this week on calorie restriction and whether it prolongs life. First let me say that this was a study on monkeys and I am totally against using monkeys for research. The monkeys are usually (almost always) mistreated and live their lives in cages. So #1 it’s a humane issue. #2 if the monkeys are not treated well how can the study really be all that accurate? I mean doesn’t their pain factor into the results? And #3 why can’t humans be the test subjects? There are a whole lot of people who practice things like calorie restriction and I would think they would volunteer to be part of the study. So why, why, why can’t people be used? Anyway I digress. For the purposes of this story I will respect these results, but I hope this is one of the last studies involving these smart creatures. As for the latest study published in the journal Science it reportedly shows that calorie restriction can indeed increase the life span. This article questions though whether they are happier? A scientist involved in the study says he can’t say because some monkeys are crabby and some aren’t. Uh of course they are crabby when they are being held in cages (sorry I couldn’t resist pointing that out again). As for my thoughts on calorie restriction I can tell you without a doubt I wouldn’t be happier. Food is one of the great joys in life. For a woman to restrict herself to something like 1000 calories a day means you really can’t enjoy your food. I also can tell you without a doubt that if I only consume 1000 calories a day I don’t have enough energy to make it through the day. I’ve tried to diet by cutting down on my calories and I can’t do it. I believe in portion control and a small amount of exercise. When I hear 1000 calories a day I just think anorexia. I can’t help it. I’ve had friends who have suffered from anorexia, bulimia and everything in between and I just think anything around 1000 calories or under screams eating disorder. So here’s an article on the study. Make your own conclusions, but I hope in the end you will still enjoy food, glorious food: http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/50361087.html
I also found this good blog on calorie restriction: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/reviews/blog/2009/07/post_135.html
If you know anything about me you are probably not surprised to hear that I’m not a fan of bullfighting. Friday the famous bullfights claimed the life of a human being (not to mention the bulls that die during the fights). There’s an outcry about someone actually dying, but come on isn’t it kind of expected. What is a little surprising is the debate going on between actor Ricky Gervais and the bullfighting community. Ricky is against bullfighting for animal reasons, yet he still eats meat. I have to admit I wish people that supported animal causes did lay off the meat, it would just take away the hypocrisy of the issue. With that said though baby steps are good too. I have the same problem with Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore. As big of an environmentalist both are you’d think they would be meat-free, but reportedly they both still eat some sort of animal flesh (whether it’s fish or meat). Anyway in fairness to both sides of the argument I’m going to share two stories on the Ricky Gervais issue. The first is from rickygervais.com. His blog is long and rambling so instead of having you search for his statement here it is:
“Some food critic said I was a hypocrite for not understanding why people like to see a bull speared to death, when I’m clearly not a vegan and eat hamburgers at midnight.
I think there is a difference between animals being humanely killed for meat and animals being tortured to death for fun.
It’s the “enjoying it” part I don’t understand.
Wouldn’t it be weird if non-vegans went down to abattoirs in their hundreds and cheered as the animals were slaughtered? Would that be a sport?
I’ve heard some equally silly arguments about our very own fox hunting. (Although at one point in his article he tried to make my hatred of bullfighting look like xenophobia.)
“It’s a tradition.” “Foxes need to be culled.” So loads of inbreds on horses might as well enjoy it right?
I have had several pets put down over the years when they were in pain with no quality of life. It was the right thing to do and yet on every occasion I cried. What a wuss. Next time, I will invite the food critic round and he can have a good old wank as the needle goes in. It’s only an animal, it was going to die anyway, may as well have a laugh. It may even become a tradition, and you can never end those.
I wonder what other wonderful traditions he loves. His favourite is probably the one where they cut the tendons on the back of the bull’s neck so they can’t lift their head and so it looks like they’re constantly in “charge pose”. More fun for the crowd. I’m getting hard just thinking about it.
He also made loads of other assumptions about me and got quite personal but by then he was basically showing that he just doesn’t like me. At one point he went off on one, assuming that because I don’t like that particular “foreign” tradition that I probably hated all foreign traditions. So does he agree with all foreign traditions? Does he like that lovely foreign tradition of holding down teenage girls and cutting off their clitorises? That’s a cracker isn’t it.
Anyway… Went to The Ivy tonight with Ben Stiller. I had a Caesar salad followed by fish and chips (I haven’t eaten red meat for ages by the way), and chocolate pudding for afters. It was lovely.
(Could I get £150 pounds for this review do you think?) ”
So that’s Ricky Gervais’ blog on the matter. Here’s the flipside. A blogger who says he is indeed hypocritcal. What do you think?: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/giles_coren/article6632871.ece
Move over Dunkin Donuts, there’s a new “hole” food to munch on. Many Dunkin Donuts in NYC are closing and turning into Tim Hortons. It’s a Canadian restaurant that’s finally trying to find success in the nation’s biggest city. I have to say it has caught my eye when I’ve been traveling thru Canada, but I haven’t tried it yet so I’m excited. I am not a fan of Dunkin Donuts at all, so I figure Tim Horton’s has to be better right? I’m totally a Krispy Kreme gal so I’m hoping they are similar. Here’s the sweet story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/nyregion/10doughnut.html
The sour move of the day goes to red meat. This proves meat belongs on cows bodies, not on plates. We’ve heard all along red meat is bad for you, well here’s some news to back it up: http://www.healthnews.com/blogs/melanie-grimes/nutrition-diet/red-meat-increases-risk-heart-disease-cancer-macular-degeneration-3397.h