When news broke last week of an unearthed smattering of parchment containing obese President William Howard Taft’s daily diet regimen, Mary Hartley, RD was the first person I thought of. Our resident nutrition expert with the fiery attitude would surely have a wicked take on Big Billy’s nutrition, and she didn’t disappoint.
When asked if diet and nutrition had changed a great deal since Taft’s presidency 100 years ago, she replied, “Not much. And it pisses me off!”
Now why would Mary be pissed off at Taft’s diet? First, I’ll break down exactly what he was eating.
Breakfast: gluten biscuits and lean meat
Lunch: lean meat, butterless veggies, and unsweetened fruit
Dinner: plain salad, lean meat or fish, more flavorless fruits and veggies, and one more dusty gluten biscuit
We’ve got to start somewhere and why not start in Vermont? Start labeling GMOs, that is. A new federal bill, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know-Act, was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The bill mandates the labeling of GMOs and this one might actually pass in Vermont.
RT.com reported on this issue as the bill passed through the state house last week. The report stated that more than 90 percent of Americans want GMO products labeled. Senator Boxer presented these numbers. RT.com also followed that up by reminding us that right now the Food and Drug Administration still does not consider a GMO to be “materially” different. This means the products cannot be tasted, smelled, or identified. Because of this, the FDA does not require labeling. More than 60 countries in Europe require such labeling; maybe soon, this will change in the United States. (more…)
Abortion, being the divisive and highly emotional issue that it is, unfortunately makes people jump quickly to conclusions, and in some cases snap decisions. A perfect example of how emotions make us leap before we look occurred when in early 2012, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey hastily proposed a bill that would ban food “which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients.”
Shortey decided to take action after he reportedly heard news through the pro life group Children of God for Life that Pepsi and others were partnering with a company called Synomyx that was using stem cells in researching taste substitutes for sugar. The Internet, and it appears the senator from Oklahoma, got caught up in this to the point where people started believing that fetal tissue was actually ending up in the foods we eat.
While Shortey played damage control by saying he didn’t think human fetuses were in our foods, it’s hard to dispute what he hurriedly tried to pass into law.
Stem Cells for Taste Testing?
Senomyx has isolated receptors on cells that detect taste, then added them to HEK293 cells, the stem cell line in question. The company can then test countless additives to see which get the desired taste response much more quickly and efficiently than using people in studies. (more…)
It’s been a little over three years since Michelle Obama began her ambitious Let’s Move initiative; the official anniversary was February 9. The goal is nothing short of eradicating childhood obesity “within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.” With those lofty goals, what’s been accomplished so far?
The first lady announced yesterday a nationwide tour to celebrate the anniversary of Let’s Move and answer that very question. “The tour will showcase progress and announce new ways the country is coming together around the health of our children,” said the release on WhiteHouse.gov. “The national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, and even declined in some cities and states.”
We took a look for ourselves. (more…)
Some parents in California are really disrupting the Om with their protest of yoga in school.
Today The Associated Press reported that parents in the Encinitas, California school system were upset about the free yoga classes being offered in the schools. They cited a fear of indoctrinating children into eastern religion as the reason for their protest.
The children in the San Diego County schools have been offered the opportunity to attend Asthanga yoga classes as a result of a grant given to the school. The $533,000, three-year grant was gifted to the school by the Jois Foundation, a non-profit that promotes and teaches Asthanga yoga.
The superintendent of the schools is Tim Baird. He has stated that the district has removed any religious aspects from the classes and that he simply wants children to gain the physical benefit from yoga. They are being taught traditional breathing techniques and poses. He also has stated that he thinks students need an opportunity to relax and relieve stress and he feels yoga is a good fit for that.
The parents who have protested have retorted that they believe the religious content is still being pushed and that their taxes are going to pay for children to be taught Hinduism. (more…)