Stephanie here…

Remember this sort of lesson in our college ecology classes:

Hold that thought. Enter other contaminants that are often called pharmaceuticals.

A recent lawsuit filing has me chewing on this lesson and organic foods, i.e. poultry, and how imperative it is to use it instead of conventional. A group of Arkansas farmers are suing some large chicken producing companies and a large pharma company over the chicken litter that they have provided. These farmers have been getting high arsenic numbers in the rice they produce and they are convinced that it’s due to medications that the chickens are taking that is passing through to the litter that they then place on their rice crops.

From the article in Arkansas Business:

The suit says that chicken litter, which contains chicken waste, is used by rice farmers as fertilizer. This litter winds up contaminating the soil and, ultimately, the rice crop, according to the suit.
The poultry growers “knew that excessive arsenic in chicken litter used as fertilizer on many rice farms in Arkansas would contaminate the entire U.S. rice crop and infiltrate the general U.S. rice supply, and that public news about such arsenic contamination would result in devastating financial losses to U.S. and Arkansas rice producers …,” the suit says.

Remember the study out of Stanford recently claiming that veggies grown organically are no better for you than the conventional ones. Once again, this reminds me of how they were missing the boat. What concerns me is what organics do NOT have. I’ll have my veggies and meats and poultry without a side of weird science, thank you.

If you missed the Stanford study and it’s fall out. Here are some interesting thoughts on it:
Huffington Post sounds off.
LA Times editorial
And of course, Mark Sisson has something to say regarding this.

Wishing I had space for chickens like Angie has!

Stephanie here…

Just a quick post to say, do not miss this article. The skinny is that a herd of cattle have mysteriously died while grazing on a GM bermuda grass pasture. Conclusions are not formal yet, as investigations are currently being carried out. This will be an interesting story to follow. The grass was apparently synthesizing large portions of cyanide. VERY ODD. You can bet I’ll be reading up on this in the weeks to come. I’ll try to link to follow-up stories, too.

Eat Real Food, people!

Ok, after being on vacation for a while, I was surprised to only find one more informative article on this issue. This article reports that “Other farms quickly began testing their fields and while no other cattle deaths have been reported at least several farmers found toxic cyanide in their Tifton 85 grass.”

Stephanie here…

Last spring, I wrote an post entitled: You Aren’t Throwing Those Out, Are You? at my old blogdom. I’m reprinting it here:

Beet Greens! That’s what I’m asking about. Don’t throw out those beautiful greens at the top of your beets. Look at this beautiful dish:

These are so easy to put together. Grab your cast iron skillet and get going.

Sauteed Beet Greens with Onions
1 T Olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or whatever your favorite is. More »

Stephanie here…

Yes, Sugar Can Make You Dumb was really the headline. The story starts:

“Eating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower”.

The gist of the story is that in a study released yesterday, two groups of rats were given water laced with HFCS for two weeks. Before starting the sugarfest, they were run through mazes and results taken for their success. Then, one group was given DHA and flaxseed oil and the other was not. Later, they were tested in the mazes again, and Voila… the ones with the Omegas did better. SO, the reporter took this piece of science and made the conclusion “Sugar Can Make You Dumb” for their smashing headline. Hmmm… did the Omegas have anything to do with it?

Look, I’m no great fan of sugar, but, really, is that the story here? Just a quick commentary here on why we must read thoughtfully and with the thinker fully engaged. Another issue I had with this “health” article was that there was NO link at all to the original study. This is another red flag for me personally.

Do you like to read health articles? Do these sorts of things bug you in media?

The other day I was reading some paleo related articles and ran across one called “Why is Wheat Bad for You?”. Since Cavegirls Kate and Stephanie and I were just talking about whether we thought wheat was bad for everyone or if it is just one of the foods to be wary of if you have unexplained illness, I decided to send this link to them to get their thoughts.

http://www.kriskris.com/why-is-wheat-bad-for-you/

Stephanie didn’t disappoint! Here is her in-depth analysis.

I think he makes some good points but draws a shaky conclusion or two.

He says:It is common knowledge that gluten can lead to a disease called Celiac Disease. This has been known for a while, but it is now believed that a large part of the population may be “sensitive” to Gluten.

This is characterized by the immune system “attacking” the peptides that gluten forms when it is broken down in the digestive tract (1). (this cites a pilot study done of six people… not at all conclusive)

Controlled trials in otherwise healthy people show that it can damage the intestinal lining, cause bloating, pain, stool inconsistency and tiredness (23) (citation two is from a 34 patient study from which they concluded 

“Non-celiac gluten intolerance” may exist… MORE convincing for me. Citation 3 is again a relatively small group and they hit them with the high end of gluten – 40g- celiac.com says avg diet has 10-40g of gluten, but the results are also worth more looking.)

What this means is that wheat is probably unhealthy for most people, not just those who have diagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

That last “probably” is a leap. I’d have to see a BIG ole study to make that conclusion myself. He’s made a global assumption based on a total of under 60 people. Not a really good representation of a global population of over 7 billion

  • Glycemic load is an indicator I pay loads of attention to, but dates, too are Whopping high on the GI. For example, the citation he gives in the article shows that dates are the worst per serving of this group of foods. Dates were 42 Glycemic load, Kraft Mac and cheese next at 32, then a white bagel at 25… I think…just from a quick glance. Honestly, this isn’t very helpful to his case. I, however, know that I have to be careful with items high on the Glycemic Index, so that’s why as much as I love dates, I gotta be careful with them.
  • Next paragraph he says: Given how common unnatural cravings are to wheat (and sugar) containing products, the idea seems plausible to me.

Cravings… being such a subjective experience… hard to quantify. I agree with this premise,I’m just not sure how useful it is in this case for argument’s sake.

  • The paragraph on lipids is more convincing, but my beef with that study is: Thirty-six overweight men aged 50–75 y were randomly assigned to consume daily for 12 wk either oat or wheat cereal providing 14 g dietary fiber/d … Um…what else were they eating? This is that “bodies aren’t a closed system” problem in dietary science. The most effective of these sorts of studies was done recently by Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, whose group PAID their test subjects to live at the test facility and fed them everything they ate during this time. THAT is control.

So, what do you think about this article? And do you think Wheat is bad for everyone or is it something to be aware of if you’re having some unexplained health issues? Can some people thrive while including wheat in their diet? Chime in!

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