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There is just so much news every day that is relevant to the natural foods movement, that it’s impossible to keep up, unless I throw a few together. First, it shouldn’t be news that the natural foods movement is even notable. It should be the way it is. One of my podcast favorites, I believe one of the women on Balanced Bites, recounted feeling stupid for asking Australians about whether a beef source was grass fed. They looked at her like an alien. To an Australian, that’s like saying “did this chicken have feathers?” Is there any other way?

Unfortunately, yes there is. But we’ve allowed the redefinition of normal or standard to become so twisted, that suddenly, methods of food production that worked for centuries, are now considered a fad. Not long ago, the idea that we call petrochemical based fertilizers and toxic pesticides conventional farming would be a foreign concept.

Which brings me to my first news item, and the way that at least one major news outlet covered it.

Mediterranean Diet Beats Low-Fat

med diet

Can you hear that faint sound? It’s Dean Ornish imploding.

Yes, the tide may be turning against the tired old dogma that conflates all types of fats and declares them all bad. And yes, Dean Ornish had a reaction. Now I am not a primary researcher, but I have come to trust people who studied this without dogmatic bias. If you want to hear another doctor deconstruct the ideological driven problems with Dr. Ornish, take some time with the Caveman Doctor. Don’t let the clever name fool you, Colin Champ is no joke.

But let’s talk more mainstream coverage. Podcasts are still the underground radio of this decade, and HuffPo may be big, but still web based.

The Today Show on NBC covered the story with their medical news correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Morning shows are the worst example of the and-now-this! reduction of news in America. We demand short segments, so just reduce it all to what my tiny attention span can take in. I think you could do a drinking game based on how often a morning show guest analyst says bottom line….. 

I wasn’t surprised to hear the usual anti red-meat message thrown in with the report on the study, but hey, baby steps. They’re talking about fat without gasping in horror. This is progress. 

But two other things stood out for me.

1. The control group ate a regular diet. What does this mean? How is it defined? Can we say what it is? Isn’t it even somewhat racist or nationalist to call our dysfunction the regular way? Let’s start calling the S.A.D. out for what it is. And this is what Americans think is normal regular food.

junk-food

2. When laying out the medical changes, Dr. Snyderman is effusive on how this turned around so many people, significantly. But Savannah Guthrie’s reaction is telling. She says “but we are not saying diet should replace those drugs, if you are already on those cholesterol reducing drugs.” And Dr. Snyderman quickly agrees, presumably so that neither they, nor the NBC network get sued by big pharma or their wholly owned subsidiary known as the AMA, for daring to propose that anything could replace their wonderful and necessary drugs.

But hey, it’s something.

OK, before I beat this horse so dead it ends up served in IKEA meatballs…. what? Too soon?

Louisiana Throws Out Hundreds Of Pounds of Donated Venison

Just, wow. I mean…. yeah. I am truly speechless on this. It speaks for itself. This story made rounds through some pretty right-leaning press before going viral on facebook. The link is to a local CBS affiliate in Houston.

What can really be said about this that isn’t stating the obvious?

So, moving right along……

Buffet-Heinz Deal Sends Urgent Warning to Food Industry To Cut Costs

This bodes well. Just as the NY Times releases that great magazine article on the inside workings of the addiction promoters within industrial food, I thought there was some hope.

At least we saw this coming. Well, at least those of us who heed the wisdom of Rush Hour 2. Follow the rich white man.

They already re-engineer everything to squeeze hudrenths of a cent per unit margin increases. What does increased cost-saving mean to consumers of big food’s products?

Even lower quality crap than there already is.

Heck, they might get so desperate as to make diet chocolate milk. And, we’re back to yesterday.

Clarification on the Labeling of Milk From Yesterday’s Petition

The post on the petition to add aspartame to milk has been the biggest hit on my blog, and I see  the story itself gaining coverage in more and more outlets. That is good. But we need to be clear about one thing, especially before submitting comments. I still haven’t written mine. A friend of mine who knows how to read the vocabulary in the petition pointed something out to me that does change the way one ought ot react to the petition, but in my mind does not change the fundamental problem with it.

The request to amend the Standard of Identity is what we need to define. The easiest way to understand it is a difference between the front label and the back label. So far, it does not appear that granting this petition will exempt the petitioners from the same labeling laws everything else is subject to. You still have to list ingredients. I am still cautious and vigilant about that, because the doublespeak that has leaked into ingredient lists is still potentially deceptive. The phrases natural flavors and artificial flavors are allowed. It may be in the works to try to use the unfortunate status of G.A.S. generally accepted as safe, to not specifically name the synthetic sweeteners. I believe this is a very real threat down the road, not very far.

On what basis? Look what happened with the GMO labeling. Prop 37 was defeated in California due to tons of money poured into propaganda by the GMO producers. And in the dairy industry, there was a fight over whether a producer who did not add bovine growth hormone was allowed to label it as such. Does anyone remember that? This is the amazing hypocrisy of the agri business model. They cried like toddlers. You can’t let them say they don’t use hormones, because it will make people think our stuff is bad because we do. And the FDA says you can’t prove it’s bad, so make them say it!  I am paraphrasing of course.

So whether or not there will be a move to allow ingredient labels to substitute safe sweetener for aspartame, is pure speculation and conjecture here. I don’t want people sending in comments to defeat a petition based on speculation.

What we do have is a front of label problem, and that’s still worth fighting.

The essence of the petition, is that they don’t want to call it something that they don’t think kids will want. So let us alter this milk in a really unnatural way, but still call it milk. Right now we can’t do that legally, and if we call it what it is, then we can’t push it on schoolchildren. So change the rules and let us name it something that kids will want to buy.

So, yeah….. we still have a major problem here.

We won’t let our kids sit in a car for 30 seconds without assuming they’ll be abducted, we bathe them in hand sanitizer all winter so their immune systems get no practice, we helicopter them all the way to college interviews…. but we’re going to let agri-business market synthetic sweeteners directly to them while we aren’t looking?

Oh yeah, that makes sense.

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