Archive for the ‘ food ’ Category

If your kid is fat, it’s not McDonald’s fault. It’s YOURS


Good idea? Yes?

Actually, no. McDonald’s and other fast food joints have been around since the 1950s, fat and salt quite a bit longer. And guess what? Back then kids by and large weren’t obese. Not in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even arguably the 80s. If your kid is fat, it’s not McDonald’s fault, nor Pizza Hut’s, nor KFC’s. It’s YOUR fault.

If you choose to work more so you can afford that new computer, mobile phone, Gucci bag, flatscreen TV, and holiday to Paris all the meanwhile having no time to feed your kid properly, then that’s your choice. Fine. However that does not give you or Big Government the right to bugger up my trip down to McDonald’s to grab a burger.

As for ruining a day out with the kids giving them a treat at McDonald’s like that warning label would, I am so sick of this creeping nannystatism that we see on pretty much a daily basis. And that’s what that label is – nannystatism.

Everybody knows that McDonald’s does not constitute a proper meal, nor does it substitute a home-cooked meal. I’m sorry, but if you need a warning label on a Big Mac to tell you, “hey, go easy”, then obviously you are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool and should either a) not breed or b) even better, kill yourself as you are clearly making no positive contribution to the human race – a negative one in fact.

It’s 2012. Everybody knows things like cigarettes can harm your health, and junk food too. But enough with all these pretentious warning labels, and their subsequent taxes. First it was on cigarettes, and now buzz killingtons are floating the idea like in the picture here replete with a “fat tax” to go along with it. Governments around the world have realised that enough people are stuck on stupid, and in some cases are now even taxing the air (carbon tax) to the sound of applause.

It’s ridiculous. The government should NOT be there to hold your hand and give you hand outs. Take responsibility for your own life, and quit pushing for all this nannystatism that is encroaching on mine!

UPDATE

Via Phil Jourdan in comments: “[R]esponsibility is the new 4 letter word.”

Indeed. Found this on Facebook, same place I found that original pic.

The death of a 407-pound woman after being denied boarding on three flights was “preventable,” according to an attorney for the woman’s husband, who plans to pursue legal action against three airlines.

My comment on Facebook then, and the same comment now.

407 pounds and that’s with only one leg. And they needed a sky crane. We all know what killed Vilma. Similar to what I was getting at in a post earlier, enough of this crap that stuff like this is someone else’s fault. It was her fault.

In fact, these airlines are private businesses and they have every right to refuse on board anyone they damn well please. A sky crane. Good grief. That all three airlines did what they could is testament to how much people do try to help others, even when those others can’t help themselves. A perfectly decent line must be drawn far before someone like Vilma is anywhere near crossing it. Heck, if I’ve had a few drinks, I can’t get on board. What next? Greenpeace sues because Qantas couldn’t accommodate a blue whale???

Gillard’s first carbon tax carcass


And she’s going to sick the ACCC onto him, too, with their potential $1.1 million fines.

JULIA Gillard’s carbon tax has claimed its first job with the resignation of the Brumby’s bakery chain manager who advised franchisees to “let the carbon tax take the blame” for price rises.

Brumby’s managing director Deane Priest tendered his resignation yesterday after drawing the ire of the federal government and sparking an investigation by the consumer watchdog.

Hell hath no fury and all that.

Beware the wounded beast. Have uglier politics ever been witnessed in Australia?

Brain food


Omega3? Ginseng? Multivitamins?

Yes, all that.

And also beer.

Cheers.

Remember how global warming was supposed to be killing bees?


Those who don’t know about the “global warming is killing bees” story should be envied, and the rest of us should be somewhat relieved.

Kyle Becker aka RogueOperator:

The parable here is too rich to resist. The set-up is that we have corporations selling high fructose corn syrup, basically a government-subsidized product, to honey producers. The latter, not knowing that a deadly toxin lurks in the saccharine mix, are literally feeding their bees poison. After prolonged exposure, the bees become infested with parasites, and die.

Central planning, scientific ignorance, and unthinking drones infested by parasites. Is this not the ultimate microcosm of what is going on in the United States?

PS Will Big Sugar use this in their on-going court case against Big Corn?

Oh, FFS. ANY red meat is bad now?!


The perils of having among one’s peers a significant number of Arts graduates? The following crap was posted all over my facebook news feed today:

A new Harvard study suggests that eating any amount—and any kind of red meat, significantly increases the risk of premature death.

You're going down, cow!

Well. Shut the door. It’s a HARVARD study. See you in the next life, McDonald’s. It was fun while it lasted, Sizzler’s. At least I got to try some kangaroo once.

Ninemsn diligently picked up on it, too (and if you check google around the time of posting, so did others).

Eating a portion of processed red meat daily can boost a person’s risk of dying young by up to 20 per cent, says a long-running US study of more than 120,000 people.

Woah! Not just Harvard but a whopping 120,000 people tested by Harvard.

I might as well go fire bomb the butcher’s shop right now. He’s not just killing Daisy, he’s killing ME!

But as I commented on FB, “Well, that’s your choice … but before flying in the face of millions of years of evolution as an omnivore species – a trait that played no small part in giving us dominion over the planet – it might be wise to first check any counter arguments to such an alarming claim.”

Wait. What? CHECK it? This is Harvard. It was in the media. Surely a ninemsn journo would try and bring us a balanced report, right? If there was any checking to be done, it would have been done already.

No, just more of the same… in the same article.

A separate study, also led by Hu but published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that men who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily faced a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease than men who did not.

Just put a warning label on everything I say! That way we’ll be safe, saved from ourselves, and will live forever.

Wait. Where was I? Ah, yes. CHECKING.*

How did the researchers test the dangers of meat? Through a survey and questionnaire. This wasn’t some deep and complex lab work.

As for the ability to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between red meat and mortality? Those claims are impossible. Always remember Research 101: Correlation does not equal causation.

WHAAAAA????

A frickin’ survey? A frickin’ questionaire?

That’s it?!?!

And on top of that, the test group were ALL doctors and nurses.

I agree with the assertion made in that last link. I love them, but they don’t always work the most convenient hours (exercise, sleep, access to quality food or crappy hospital food?) and thus might not have the healthiest bodies. And besides, doctors and nurses are hardly representative of the entire population.

And as for the drinks? Sigh, everybody knows downing too much Coke isn’t good, but again, was that survey done using extensive lab testing, scientific rigour?

No.

Just another stupid survey.

_________________________________________________________________

*And note livestrong.com, the folks who checked the Harvard survey, are partners with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. If red meat’s good enough to help Lance win seven Tours de France, then it’s good enough for anyone.

Or what? My next steak is gonna…? You know…

UPDATE

Someone called Molly on FB, a FB acquaintance of my FB acquaintance, says it well.

I don’t claim to know the answer, but James B. is onto something with that last comment. If you look at the design of the study, it was observationally based and not an experiment. The participants were asked to report how often, on average, they consumed certain meat products over the course *of the previous year*. I can barely remember what I ate yesterday. Some questions were asked of participants every four years. They also changed/refined the categories of process/unprocessed meats over the course of the study and included ground beef as “unprocessed.” Anyone who’s read about the preponderance of Pink Slime in the last couple of weeks will wonder about that designation.

The self-reports revealed that the people who ate read meat were also a group who exercised less, smoked more, and drank more. Should we conclude that red meat makes you a lazy, smoking, alcoholic? Probably not. The conclusion is that it’s not clear whether the increased mortality rates were due to red meat or an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

And she was kind enough to link to another site, Mark’s Daily Apple, that takes a look at the Harvard study.

But if you’ve been hanging around the nutrition world for very long, you’ve probably realized by now that health according to the media and health according to reality are two very different things—and even scientific studies can be misrepresented by the researchers who conduct them. Is our latest “killer meat” scare a convincing reason to ditch red meat? Is it time to put a trigger lock on your lethal grass-fed beef when the young’uns are around? Or is there more to this story than meats the eye? (Sorry, I had to.)

Observations vs. Experiments

Before we even dig into what this study found, let’s address an important caveat that the media—and even the researchers, unless they were terribly misquoted—seem to be confused about. What we’ve got here is a garden-variety observational study, not an actual experiment where people change something specific they’re doing and thus make it possible to determine cause and effect.

That link goes into quite some detail.

UPDATE II

Kinda related (not really) but inquiring minds still deserve to know: facebook at its best.

Via JM

Pink slime “beef” is gross but you probably won’t die (or knew you were eating it)


That said, wouldn’t almost everyone be happier if we just fed it to the dogs and chooks?

Mmm. Gimme some o’ that pink slime goodness. Pink slime “beef” is what you get when you process what could never before be processed. Think about that. Only in the last 20 years have we been able to eat a part/s of the cow that for the last million years wasn’t or couldn’t be eaten.

Science WIN or Give Me The Bucket; I’ll leave that up to you.

They add the stuff to beef mince, hamburger patties… you get it.

Pink slime has gained a bit of media attention over in the States lately – and it gained mine because the new FTA with South Korea (my home away from home) allows US ground beef to be sold here – because the USDA is increasing the amount of pink slime it will purchase to put in kids’ school cafeteria lunches.

In fact, 70% of all US mince has been estimated to contain pink slime, and processors can get away with flogging product that contains up to 15% of the goop.

Nasty words like “ammonia” and “look” have been used when describing the preparation process, and reports have surfaced that it isn’t as safe as our “regular” beef.

Details here and here.

Knock yourself out.

But the point I’m making in this post isn’t about kids’ lunches or whatever, but rather that almost every American and a number of Koreans have probably eaten beef containing this slurry.

Probably a number of times.

For years.

And whilst we may be reading gross reports about the stuff in food, we aren’t reading any pink slime epidemic stories.

Still, at a saving of three lousy cents a pound, or 6c per kilo, for fucks sake, just get it out of our food chain and give it to Fido.

PS No, it’s not in Australia, Europe, nor McDonald’s, Burger King (Hungry Jack’s) or Taco Bell.

Discussion needed on foreign state-owned farm ownership, but perhaps avoid the “hyperbowl”


So the MP With Australia’s Best Interests at Heart, none other than independent Tony Windsor, has thrown his authentic Akubra into the ring and said his two cents about the issue of Chinese state-owned firms buying up Australia’s farms.

“We shouldn’t debate about stopping foreign investment – no one is going to do that – but should foreign governments have freehold ownership over our land?

It’s something we should debate and look at the distinction between state-owned buyers and others.

And a cursory google search finds all sorts of alarming press about the Chinese government investing in and buying huge swathes of our farmland, including the notable ABC special report provocatively entitled, “Selling the Farm to China”.

Foreign interests including state-owned companies from China and the Middle East are increasingly looking to Australia to secure their food production by purchasing key agricultural assets.

The sale of agricultural land is exempt under Foreign Investment Review Board regulations and the FIRB’s attention is usually triggered only by the sale of companies whose assets exceed a $231 million threshold.

And many are right to be concerned about state-run Chinese firms cashing in on Australia’s farms, but is Liberal senator Bill Heffernan (concerned, in the report above) not playing perhaps a bit of politics here?

It would be wise to keep this in a little perspective. Even when investing as little as $1, state-owned enterprises (SOE) have to have approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Why’s that important? Because most of the investments from China come from SOEs, so that $231 million threshold doesn’t apply, and nor does the exemption for agricultural land.

And this:

ABS released some land ownership data based on a survey of 11,000 agricultural businesses recently and the study found 89pc of the surveyed agricultural land was entirely Australian owned, while 92pc was majority Australian owned.

So not that much land is full or part foreign owned, and most of that has been approved by the FIRB because at least in China’s case, those investments are from the Chinese state so you can’t really go around attacking China on this one.

For sure, we don’t really know exactly how much farmland Chinese SOEs own, and that’s something that should definitely be rectified, but you can be rest assured it’s not that much, most likely nowhere near proportional to the panic generated over it.

If people still want to get worked up, be at some sections of our media, notably one that doesn’t mind the odd bit of exaggeration when it comes to their rural reporting.

Most of us were suckered in to that one for a while.

Let’s hope we’ve learned and don’t get suckered into this one, too.

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