Archive for October, 2011

The Bazaar Truth

October 29, 2011

Harpers Bazaar Magazine published by Hearst Magazines is a leading women’s fashion magazine. Since being thin is fashionable and compatible with the clothing that they advertise they often feature articles under the heading Bazaar Diet. The article in the November 2011 issue titled “Eat your Way Thin” included many foods to avoid. Foods to eat included: “Organic free range chicken, turkey, and eggs and grass fed beef, bison and lamb. For quality protein avoid mass produced meats. Factory farmed animals are kept in close quarters and fed things they aren’t supposed to eat like corn, soy and hormones. This fattens them up quickly but also makes them sick so they are given antibiotics. When you eat the meat you ingest what they eat” Wendy Schmid the author of the article got most of it right except that the “free range label does not preclude confinement production. A better term is pasture raised for chicken as well as beef and other red meat. She apparently is not aware of recently published long term epidemiology studies by Harvard University and the World Cancer Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research which concludes that many cancers, heart disease, obesity and diabetes are caused by over-consumption of factory farmed beef, pork and processed meat. She is apparently unaware of record oxygen dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay in 2011 caused by nutrient contamination of all Rivers East of the Rockies mostly from corn production and Factory-Farm manure. It is encouraging to see a major publication begin to understand the truth about our failed Industrial Food Production System.



October 25, 2011

I was watching the World Series the other night. The camera was focused on the crowd of 50,000 people. Everyone appeared to be eating either a hamburger, a ball park hot dog, a sausage sandwich or a Philly cheese steak. Everyone had a large  corn based sugary beverage as well. My thought process in watching this chopping and sipping was; how many ecosystems are being destroyed? How many arteries are being clogged? How many cancerous tumors are being developed? How many animals were abused? How much fertilizer is required to fulfill the pleasure of these fans? I guess friends and relatives are right when they say. “Don’t spoil my pleasure by exposing me to the truth”. Finding the right eating lifestyle, while not easy, is the only way to save this planet and our collective health.

Last night in watching the World Series again the intermissions featured a cancer fundraising campaign showing ex-ballplayers all standing up 2 cancer including the Philly cheesesteak king and cancer survivor Jon Kruk. If they read the World Cancer study they would know that eating beef, pork and processed meat is the major cause of many tumors.  Grilling meat produces 2 known carcinogens. All these people need to do in order to stand up to 2 cancer is avoid ball-park food. Major League Baseball along with other big stadium sporting events are a major cause of our environmental and health disaster.

Scientists Disagree on Solutions

October 11, 2011

There is no disagreement among scientists that the following 3 issues are of vital importance. However, there is significant disagreement on solutions.

  1. Americans are statistically among the unhealthiest in the world with epidemics of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and out of control health care cost.
  2. In 2011 we experienced record oxygen dead zones and sediment intrusion in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. These Watersheds representing over half of the Nations land area are facing ecological collapse.
  3. Excess greenhouse gases mostly coming from food animal production threatens global warming, and tidal level increases with unknown ramifications.

Recently as posted earlier, we had an e-mail debate between leading agronomists, and environmental scientists and a leading nutritionist. The agronomists and environmentalists proposed various solutions including increasing the uptake efficiency of corn, reduced fertilizer application rates, cover crops and etc. The lead nutritionist at Harvard University proposed significant dietary changes. Reducing consumption of grain based red meat and reducing corn based sugar would solve all three Issues. He suggested a healthier Italian diet, which would cut grain production and fertilizer application in half. Vaclav Smil writing about the glut of world nitrogen in his book “Enriching the Earth” published in 2004 reached the same conclusion. He suggested that a healthier Mediterranean diet would solve the world glut of nitrogen. The USDA “my plate” initiative as modified by the Harvard School of Public Health website is a big step in this direction. Will Americans modify their diets or will major restrictive dietary regulation be required as recently instituted in Denmark? Doing nothing is not an option.

Possible Good News for the Chesapeake Bay?

October 4, 2011

Environmentalist including those at The University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, The Chesapeake Bay Program, and The Chesapeake Bay Foundation all expressed enthusiasm for a USDA $850,000 grant to install experimental Combustion and or Gasification systems to treat chicken manure on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in an article published in the Star Democrat on October 4. The grant is administered by The Fish and Wildlife Foundation who will decide where to install the systems in the next few months.

This is an important development for Bay restoration since chicken manure is second only to fertilizer application as a source of Eastern Shore nutrient pollution. According to USGS chicken manure is 35% of nitrogen pollution, while CBF states that it is 26% of Phosphorous pollution. This grant comes in a year when record oxygen dead zones were recorded in The Chesapeake Bay. These technologies produce not only needed green energy but also biochar a soil supplement that can improve soil tilth and reduce erosion. March of 2011 also saw record sediment intrusion into the Chesapeake Bay.