Category : Food/Water Integrity

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Consumers Devouring Nutrient-Spiked Foods, Drinks

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer – Thu Aug 20, 2009


MILWAUKEE – From heart-friendly margarines to sugary cereals that strengthen bones, once-demonized foods are being spiked with nutrients to give them a healthier glow — and consumers are biting, even on some that are little more than dressed-up junk food.

A report released Thursday finds that even in a weak economy, people will pay a premium for products seen as preventing a health problem or providing a good alternative to sodas and empty-calorie snacks. The report is from research firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

These products include winners and sinners: juices that supply kids with needed calcium, but also candy disguised as granola bars with just a smidgeon of much-ballyhooed nutrients.

The industry calls these products “nutraceuticals” or “functional foods.” Critics say they could lead people to consume too much of certain nutrients, plus too many calories and fats.

New Gov’t Study Shows Mercury In Fish Widespread

Thanks to Frank Herd for this tip.

Article by DINA CAPPIELLO – August 19, 2009

Mercury Fish

(AP) WASHINGTON — A federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday found the toxic substance in every fish tested at nearly 300 streams across the country, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.

The study by the U.S. Geological Survey is the most comprehensive look to date at mercury in the nation’s streams. From 1998 to 2005, scientists collected and tested more than a thousand fish from 291 streams nationwide. While all fish had traces of mercury contamination, only about a quarter had levels exceeding what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people eating average amounts of fish.

“This science sends a clear message that our country must continue to confront pollution, restore our nation’s waterways, and protect the public from potential health dangers,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Mercury can damage the nervous system and cause learning disabilities in developing fetuses and young children. The main source of mercury to most of the streams tested, according to the researchers, is emissions from coal-fired power plants. The mercury released from smokestacks rains down into waterways, where natural processes convert it into methylmercury — a form that allows the toxin to wind its way up the food chain into fish.

Robert Thurman: The Sacred Cows in the Health Care Debate

By Alison Rose Levy via The Integrative Health Outlook

Sacred Cow

Studies show that over half of all Americans are interested in promoting wellness and preventing disease. But some people are terrified that the food Nazis will come running after them and force feed them spinach.

In a series of upcoming blogs I’ll be speaking with thought leaders in integrative medicine and allied fields about the cultural divide on health care. For this blog, I spoke with Columbia University, Professor Robert Thurman, the leading U.S. scholar of Buddhism with a background in Tibetan Medicine.

Alison Rose Levy: Americans have poorer health outcomes than any other developed nation. That must be coming from how we approach health care. What are the blindspots that prevent us from recognizing and getting the health care we need?

Robert Thurman: It’s not a matter of fixing this or that institution or changing how we pay for health insurance. It requires a social movement. In Tibetan medicine and most other world medicines, when someone is unwell, they first look at lifestyle and diet because those two things are the major poisoning and major healing of people.

FDA Approves Spraying Meat with Viruses