Animal Welfare: Prop 12?


In 2018, Californians overwhelmingly voted Prop 12 into law.

Proposition 12 would impose new minimum requirements on farmers to provide more space for egg‐laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. It would ban the sale of meat and eggs from animals confined in ways that do not meet those requirements.

On October, 4, Mercy for Animals released a groundbreaking undercover investigation exposing the heart breaking conditions pregnant pigs suffer at factory farms, and how the meat industry is seeking to silence those voters by challenging the law before the Supreme Court of the United States.

“ Footage from the investigation showed:
Days-old piglets who survived the acts of cruelty had their testicles and tails cut off without pain relief; their mothers helpless to do anything but watch. Some babies were stolen from their mothers just a few weeks after birth and the mama pigs immediately forced back into restrictive crates to continue the cycle of cruelty.

The footage also showed baby pigs violently smashed against the ground and were brutally struck, stabbed with sharp objects and thrown bloody and wounded and left to suffer. One day, more than 100 piglets were discovered dead.”

Please visit to take action.
Compassionate Living, Winter 2023

“The love for all creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” Charles Darwin.

Crime and Nourishment?

“Poor nutrition can impact on concentration and learning and may result in episodes of violent or aggressive behavior. In prisons, a bad diet also contribute to increased rates of poor mental and physical health compared with the general population.”

A hypothesis: Could violence and crime be caused in some measure by nutritional deficiencies in general (a.k.a. The Standard American Diet – SAD? )

C. Bernard Gesch, Sean M.Hammond, Sarah E. Hampson, Anita Eves and Martin J. Crowder. Influence of supplementary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids on the antisocial behavior of young adult prisoners: A Randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Very interesting paper discussing the link between increased crime and diet. Click the above citation.

The Obesity Pandemic: A ReBlog

The Obesity/Diabesity Pandemic

Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of  type 2 diabetes mellitus, so much so that the epidemic is often called diabesity. It has been described as one of the most important crises that has invaded our public health system.

Global Statistics,  Source: Lancet

  • Since 1980, the number of adults with diabetes worldwide has quadrupled from 108 million to 422 million in 2014.
  • Diabetes is fast becoming a major problem in low and middle-income countries.
  • From 1980 to 2014, the prevalence of diabetes more than doubles for men in India and China.
  • Half of adults worldwide with diabetes in 2014 lived in five countries: China, India, USA, Brazil and Indonesia.

So what are some solutions?  

The standard American diet is in much need of an overhaul and our national food systems need to change if we wish to reverse or at least slow down this trend. Many say that it would take the same determination as the campaigns to change behaviors that were utilized during the campaigns against smoking. .

Prevention awareness should be first on the front lines of treating the people with prediabetes that can often be reversible using lifestyle modifications. There are already some prevention models in the community; however, these should be expanded so that they become more easily accessible to more people. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) uses intensive behavioral therapy to help people lose a little bit of weight (typically 5-10%). When this program is followed, the number of people progressing to have diabetes comes down by more than half. In people over 60, the reduction was 70%.

Nutrition education should be incorporated into the school system in the early years to help young children understand the importance of knowing where our food comes from and why nutritious foods are the best choice. They can be taught about balanced eating, calories, reading labels and grocery shopping. Nutrition education can also be offered at the middle and high schools levels by returning to a revamped and modernized home economics course in the curriculum. 

A lingering problem has existed for many primary care physicians for many years in that they say they were never adequately prepared in nutrition principles in medical schools. In a survey of family physicians (2009), two thirds said that dealing with extremely obese patients is “frustrating “and one-half said treatments are often ineffective. This is reflected by a lack off obesity training.

Shockingly, another survey in 2010 of 140 doctors revealed that nearly one-third were not even familiar with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) prediabetes guidelines. Only 6 percent were able to identify all 11 risk factors and on average, the doctors could only identify just eight of the warning signs. Only 17 percent knew the correct laboratory values for blood glucose and only 11 percent said they would refer a patient to a behavioral weight loss program..

There should be an increased access to professional treatments. Medical professionals not trained in obesity management should refer their patients to outside providers such as dietitians, exercise trainers, behavior therapists, psychologists, or a new concept of health coaches. These providers should be trained, certified, and credentialed to protect the public from unscrupulous treatments and to provide quality care. Reimbursement of qualified health professionals needs to be enhanced to keep. Otherwise patient volume high and they lessen out-of-pocket expenses.

We have become a nation of non-cooks and prefer to have our meals prepared by someone else. Encourage home cooking and home kit meals to help to counter using fast foods and packaged highly processed meals loaded with calories, fat, sugar and salt.

Educate the public on food labeling including ingredient lists. Beware of food companies that promote products with a “health halo” meaning exaggerated claims are made that appear to make unhealthy foods seem healthy because of an added nutrient or ingredient. Corporations also mislead consumers with their labeling so they include four different types of sugar to keep sugar from being listed as the first ingredient. This is misleading to the consumer when attempting to make wise food choices.

Stop corporate-government partnerships and diminish lobbying.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is funded by myriad food companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s. The dairy industry has a long history of influencing the food pyramid and Dietary Guidelines. A good example is the placing of a glass of milk on the MyPlate Logo.

Another health organization guilty of taking in millions from food companies is the American Heart Association. They offer a “Heart – Check logo for a price: $5, 490 to $7,500 that is renewable for another fee annually. The product has to be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to gain this “honor.” However, some products such as Boar’s Head processed meats have the logo and still may still contain high levels of sodium. If the AHA were sincere in their efforts to help consumers choose healthier foods to rein in obesity/diabetes, they would realize that research has shown that a 1.8 oz. daily serving of processed meat raised the risk of diabetes by 19 percent and heart disease by 42 percent. Most current dietary recommendations emphasize a reduction in processed meats (my emphasis).

There is bad news on rising obesity rates – read about them HERE.

It will take a concerted effort from government, politics, industry, communities, and consumers and the perpetrators of our obesigenic culture to begin to change this trend.

Hail to the Caesar Salad

Hail to the Caesar Salad!! Adapted from Jeffrey C. Pommerville Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology, Eighth Edition.

For history buffs, the first Caesar salad is reported to have evolved on July 4, 1924, in the mind of Caesar Cardini, the proprietor of a restaurant (Caesar’s Restaurant) in Tijuana, Mexico. Cardini was desparate for a fill-in during a paraticular busy day, so he threw together some Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic oil and raw eggs. ‘’

“Over the years the reputations of the salad and its inventor grew. The highlight of the preparation of the salad was at table side. However, a problem had existed for years – the raw eggs. They are used for adding creaminess to the dressing. Raw eggs had contributed to many sauces, e.g. Hollandaise Sauce without a problem and eating raw eggs had been considered to contribute protein to muscle bound young men. However, the problem became serious when eggs were omitted from the recipes due to reports of Salmonella infections that were traced to them and nothing else contributed to that wonderful quality of creaminess.”

The problem became a debate among Caesar salad connoisseurs – many felt that a Caesar salad is not really truly up to par unless the raw egg was present.

Now we have the choice of using pasteurized raw eggs that involves heating eggs in hot water or a microwave oven, then maintaining them at 134 degrees F in a hot air oven for one hour. This procedure has been shown to disable the Salmonella. Better yet is to use commercially produced pasteurized eggs, however, they are often hard to find and should be found in those eggs that meet the standards for egg pasteurization by the FDA. Until then you cannot find it safe to test the cookie dough, have eggs over easy or enjoy Caesar Salad the way it was meant to be.”

Is the Impossible impossible?

Good Saturday morning! Axios’ Erica Pandey is your host — reach her at Brevity™ count: 971 words … 4 minutes. Edited by TuAnh Dam.
🍔 1 big thing: Fake meat fad combusts
Illustration of a burger patty on a flat top grill with grill marks in the shape of the Western hemisphere
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Customers and investors alike are sticking a fork in fake meat.Why it matters: Plant-based meat was sold as a healthier, sustainable high-protein substitute for real meat. But after years of hype, the tide is turning against the first generation of plant-based protein makers, Axios Pro Climate Deals reporter Megan Hernbroth writes.🍽️ The big picture: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat captured headlines — and plenty of legitimate interest from consumers — with their plant-based “hamburgers.”Both companies’ plant-based burgers were a hit — the “meat” looked and tasted similar enough to beef that many diners couldn’t notice the difference.The meats were so popular that fast food giant Burger King noticed and added an Impossible Whopper to its menu.📉 But now, sales are collapsing.Impossible Foods plans to lay off roughly 20% of its workforce amid falling sales, per a Bloomberg report.Beyond Meat also cut roughly 20% of its workers, and lost several executives, amid its own stock slump.What’s happening: “Some say the slowdown in sales is a product of food inflation, as consumers trade pricier plant-based meat for less-expensive animal meat. But others wonder if the companies have simply reached the maximum number of consumers willing to try or repeatedly purchase faux burgers and sausages,” The New York Times’ Julie Creswell notes.🔮 What we’re watching: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat use a process called high-moisture extrusion, which effectively pre-cooks the protein prior to sale.The technique works well with ground meat that doesn’t require a uniform texture or a single cut of meat.A new set of startups is working on developing new techniques to create more types of plant-based proteins to replace large cuts of meat and fish.Share this story.

Restricted eating and gene expression

The authors of a study found that 70 percent of mouse genes respond to time-restricted eating.

Satchidananda Panda, PhD – Salk Institute for Biological Studies

“By changing the timing of food, we were able to change the gene expression not just in the gut or in the liver, but also in thousands of genes in the brain,” the authors say.

Nearly 40 percent of genes in the adrenal gland, hypothalamus, and pancreas were affected by time-restricted eating. These organs are important for hormonal regulation. Hormones coordinate functions in different parts of the body and brain, and hormonal imbalance is implicated in many diseases from diabetes to stress disorders. The results offer guidance to how time-restricted eating may help manage these diseases.

Interestingly, not all sections of the digestive tract were affected equally. While genes involved in the upper two portions of the small intestine — the duodenum and jejunum — were activated by time-restricted eating, the ileum, at the lower end of the small intestine, was not. This finding could open a new line of research to study how jobs with shiftwork, which disrupts our 24-hour biological clock (called the circadian rhythm) impact digestive diseases and cancers. Previous research by Panda’s team showed that time-restricted eating improved the health of firefighters, who are typically shift workers.

The researchers also found that time-restricted eating aligned the circadian rhythms of multiple organs of the body.

“Circadian rhythms are everywhere in every cell,” says Panda. “We found that time-restricted eating synchronized the circadian rhythms to have two major waves: one during fasting, and another just after eating. We suspect this allows the body to coordinate different processes.”

Next, Panda’s team will take a closer look at the effects of time-restricted eating on specific conditions or systems implicated in the study, such as atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries that is often a precursor to heart disease and stroke, as well as chronic kidney disease.

Other authors include Shaunak Deota, Terry Lin, April Williams, Hiep Le, Hugo Calligaro, Ramesh Ramasamy, and Ling Huang of Salk; and Amandine Chaix of the University of Utah.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants CA258221, DK115214, CA014195, and AG065993) and the Wu-Tsai Human Performance Alliance.

The Blue Zone Way to Healthy Diets

Micronutrient Needs of Older Adults

Source: Smolin and Grosvenor. Nutrition: Science and Applications, Third Addition

Changes in digestion, absorption, and metabolism affect micronutrient status and may contribute to the development of some of the disorders that are common in older adults.    

This may be a concern especially for the B vitamins, and vitamin D, iron, and zinc.

B vitamins 

The only B vitamins for which recommendations differ between older adults and younger adults are vitamins B6 and B12. The  RDA for B6 is greater to maintain levels while the RDA for vitamin B12 is not increased, but is a nutrient of concern because of both reduced absorption and low dietary intakes among some groups like vegans. Also as we age, many people develop a condition called atrophic gastritis from a lack of acid in the stomach necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. Eating fortified foods or taking a supplement under the guidance of a physician are the best way to counter this situation. 

Folate is another B vitamin of concern. Low folate along with inadequate levels of B6 and B12 may result in an elevated homocysteine level which increases the risks of cardiovascular disease. The fortification in grain products began in 1998 has increased the intake of this vitamin, however, when folate is consumed in excess, it can mask signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency and go untreated. Again, consuming any vitamin is unnecessary in excess and should be supervised by your primary care doctor or a trained dietitian.

 Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is necessary for adequate absorption of calcium which is also a concern in elderly people.  Intake is often low and synthesis  in the skin is reduced due to limited exposure of sunlight and because the capacity to synthesize vitamin D in the skin decreases with age. 


The iron needs in women decline sharply at menopause when blood loss has ceased.The iron needs of men do not change., Nonetheless, iron-deficiency anemia is common in the elderly often due to chronic blood loss from disease and medications and poor absorption due to low stomach acid and antacid use. 


The RDA for zinc has not changed in older adults, but low energy intakes as well as absorption, stress,  trauma, muscle wasting  and OTC medications can all contribute  to poor zinc status. The consequences can  contribute to malnutrition by reducing food intake, Reduction in immune function and wound healing increases the risk of infection, which can also impair  nutritional status.

Food Guidelines: The Blue Zones Way

Fast Food and Dementia ?

 Is Eating Fast Food a Dementia Risk? 

The health risks of eating ultraprocessed foods —including sausages and burgers as well as pizza and ice cream — are well documented. They have been shown to raise the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cancer among other chronic ailments. ( 

In a new study, researchers followed more than 10,000 Brazilians with an average age of 51 for more than 10 years. They found that people who consumed more than 20% of their daily calories from ultra processed foods had a 28% faster cognitive decline compared with those whose intake was less than 20%.  Unfortunately, that 20% is not a high threshold: just 400 calories out of the 2000 calorie diet. And most Americans are well over that, getting on average a whopping 58% of their calories from ultraprocessed foods.

 “The sample size is substantial and the followup extensive,” says Dr. David Katz, a nutrition specialist who was not involved in the study. While short of proof, this is robust enough that we should conclude ultraprocessed foods are probably bad for our brains,” 

Source: The Week. December 23, 2022, Volume 22, Issue 110.

Is Processed Food “Junk Food?”

Plant based diets are increasingly becoming the new trend in nutrition these days.  Plant based diets are also currently thought of as being environmentally friendly with increased attention paid to animal welfare, lower levels of greenhouse gases, land degradation and less water use that are also thought as having a myriad of health benefits. However, some foods are what many people call “junk” foods or ultra—processed foods and not considered “products of nature”.

“All foods according to some standards or sold in supermarkets would be classified as “processed.” The USDA defines a processed food as one that has undergone any changes to its natural state, e.g. cutting or washing. The NOVA classification assigns a group to food products based on how much processing they have been through: Group 1 – Unprocessed or minimally processed foods Group 2 – Processed culinary ingredients Group 3 – Processed foods Group 4 might include ultra-processed foods.” The Institute of Food Technologists includes additional processing terms like storing, filtering, fermenting, extracting, concentrating, microwaving, and packaging.”

“Ultra- processed foods,” contain minimal whole foods, are high in calories, added sugar, salt and fats. They offer little nutritional value” and have been processed with a list of additives that are difficult to pronounce and would not be recognized as food by our ancestors. The NOVA classification often used to determine the extent of industrial processes as mentioned above may include the following:

  • Commercially produced breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Pre-packaged snacks 
  • Flavored dairy drinks
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Energy bars
  • Instant soups , noodles, and desserts
  • Convenience foods

A study in 2019 followed 105,159 adults for 5 years. They reported that even a 10% increase in the consumption of ultra–processed foods was associated with a negative health outcome like higher risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. (Associations do not reflect causes). The associations found showed that some vegans and vegetarians often have lower levels of iron, vitamin B 12, calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fats.

Plant-based diets still may have a health advantage. This can occur if the diet in question also provides the needed nutrients for nutritional health such as adequate fruits and vegetables, non- starchy vegetables, eggs, plant protein, seafood and whole grains (fiber) on a regular basis. However, on the other hand, the bottom line is that a bag of potato chips although plant based, provides few nutrients and should be limited on a healthier plant based diet.

Helpful Hints:

  • Be sure to read nutrition labels to become aware of the calories, added sugars, salt saturated fats, trans fats and other essential nutrients in one serving.
  • Monitor fiber and carbohydrate portions. Be sure to check the fiber content of many cereal products.
  • Focus on proteins, meat substitutions -peas, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, and seafood. 
  • If possible, anyone beginning a new eating pattern should consult a dietitian or physician with nutrition knowledge.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods in general, especially ultra-processed.

As Michael Pollan says in his book, In Defense of Food. “Because most of what we’re consuming today is not food, and how we’re consuming it…in the car, in front of the TV — is not really eating. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances” – no longer the products of nature but of food science.”

Source: Medical News Today.