Category: Rants (page 1 of 4)

Is the Dairy Industry Running Scared?

The word “milk” is taking a bit of a beating and the dairy industry wants it only used for animal milk.

There is continuing debate over the use of this word which I find quite fascinating.  Now the dictionary does define milk as being:

an opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young.

which, plainly obvious a cashew nut is not.

However, with the movement growing away from animal milk and towards plant-based milks, I think we’re getting to a point where the definition may have to be reduced to – a white liquid rich in fat and protein – and leave it at that.

It appears that those who want to keep the word only to mammals are calling any plant-based milk “imitation”.  They argue:

that plant-based milk products are nutritionally inferior substitutes for cow milk and therefore must be identified as “imitation” product.

Now I would vehemently disagree with that and argue that, in fact, plant-based milk is superior as it does not have the protein casein in it, the plant-based milk has a much better quality calcium and no animals are harmed in the milking!

Even the FDA have been asked to make a ruling.  Silly part is, that I believe soymilk and almond milk are excused from this debate and can continue to use the term.

I can’t imagine anyone confusing Rice Milk with Cow’s milk …. but hey, stranger things have happened.

Source: FDA Law Blog

Ciao
Fee



Do You Have To Eat Meat To Get Good Iron?

It’s a myth that many believe … that you have to have meat in order to get good amounts of iron.

Here in New Zealand, we have  Olympic athletes who advertise on our  T.V. for the meat industry, touting Beef and Lamb being rich in protein and iron.  Kind of saying – eat this and you’ll be an athlete like me.

Sadly I have some news that hopefully will dispel this crazy myth that meat iron is good for us.

Yes, we need iron.  In simply language we need it for healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around our body.

Meat iron is called heme iron and it differs considerably from plant iron … and here’s why.

Iron is regulated by the intestines.  So when we don’t have enough, the intestines will increase the absorption of iron into the blood.  When we have too much iron, the reverse happens – the intestines decrease the iron.

But, here’s where it gets interesting.  You see, it does NOT work for heme iron.  The intestines can only regulate plant iron!!!!

Heme iron also is a pro-oxidant.  That means it can generate cancer-causing free radicals.  Quite honestly you don’t really want to have heme iron in your body at all, plus, how many meat eaters do you know who are really into their antioxidants?  Check out my post on Antioxidants

So if you are relying on meat for iron, or your doctor has told you that it is the best source, understand that because the intestines can’t regulate it …. too little will lead to anemia, but, too much (which the average meat eater has), you run the risk of cancer and heart disease.

iron in meat

BUT – I haven’t finished yet!!!!!  This next bit is really interesting.

I have it on very good authority that the meat industry is looking at ways to have additives that will

“suppress the toxic effects of heme iron”

This reminds me of the Tobacco Industry who knew back in the 1920s & 30s that cigarettes caused cancer, but nothing was done until 1969 when finally the public were made aware of the dangers.
So does this action from the meat industry sound familiar???

I leave you to ponder on that, and I’d love you to leave a comment.

Ciao
Fee



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Clean Water Plans for New Zealand?

Last week the Minister for the Environment put forward the Clean Water Plans for New Zealand.

What a joke that was!

The plan is to have 90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040.  That’s gone up by 10 years.  From my understanding it was going to be cleaning them up by 2030, but now, again, the goal posts have been shifted.
Well, Massey University freshwater ecologist Mike Joy says the Government is “trying to pull a swifty” with its new swimmable waterways plan.

You see it’s all about how much E-coli (and other stuff) is in the water.  This is how I understand it:

540 E.coli/100mls of water gives the swimmer a 1 in 20 chance of getting sick.  However,  the Ministry of Health recommendation is 260 E.coli/100mls of water and that’s what it used to be.  That would equate to 1 in 1000 chance of getting sick.

Big damn difference – again, shifting the goal posts.

read: Unswimmable Lagoon Now Swimmable

The problem is that the Government wants to intensify the dairy industry, meaning, more cows per herd and more dairy farms.  Although I have no idea why – with the downturn of dairy and the rise of plant milks, dairy is definitely on the way out (albeit slowly).

cows in river

The only good thing they announced was that all farmed waterways were to be fenced …. however, yes, there’s a ‘BUT’ to this. – doesn’t have to be done till 2040!!!!  How much damage can be done till then????
Besides with cows in paddocks, they’re still weeing and poohing and that eventually gets into the water table.

And one last thing he said?  Don’t go swimming if there’s been a decent amount of rain.  Instead of cleaning the water…..

“a big rainfall event that brings all the crap in.” – Nick Smith

If you want to find out more, head over to Stuff News “The New Swimmable Fresh Water Target”

If you’re interested to hear the Podcast interview with Dr Michael Joy (in two parts):
Episode One
Episode Two

What’s the water like in your neck of the woods?

Ciao
Fee



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Trying To Get More People Drinking Milk

The dairy industry never ceases to amaze me how they come up with ideas to get more people drinking milk

This is one such example

I was in the supermarket yesterday and was checking out the cow milk section, (well I was actually looking to see if they stocked fresh almond milk yet … which, no, they don’t). I thought I’d have a look at all the different cow milks on offer and then I spied this one.


I actually laughed out loud. I think the couple standing next to me thought I was crackers, but I couldn’t help it.
I just find it so amusing that there is a cow milk that is designed especially for the lactose intolerant people out there …. just in case they are getting their calcium and protein from – I kid you not – PLANTS.

Take a look at the label – it also says “trim” that means they’ve taken most of the fat out as well.

So here’s a bit of info you may not know:
If you eat animal protein the body produces metabolic acidosis and the body uses calcium to fight it off.
For some reason, the less fat there is in milk, the more acidosis is formed and the more calcium is needed usually drawing it from the bones.

Dairy companies are messing around with the milk so much it is not true milk ….. here in N.Z. the large companies actually strip the milk down to milk powder and then reconstitute it into the different types.  I can’t speak for other countries, but if you know how the milk is produced, please let us know in the comments below.

Ciao
Fee



Harbourmaster Uses Council Boat To Free Orca – Stood Down

A Coromandel (N.Z.) Harbourmaster has been stood down because he used a Council boat to go and free an Orca.

A breeding female orca was trapped in a cray pot line for 16 hours – Yup 16 HOURS!!!! and the DOC (Department of Conservation) peeps were “too busy” to go and free her.  So, in the end the Harbourmaster along with a volunteer who had training in Dolphin and Whale rescue went out to her aid.

She was being held up by other members of her pod – if that’s not distress I don’t know what is!

Read More Here

They did get her free and she swam away.

But now the Waikato Regional Council is “checking whether any regulations were breached or operational procedures not followed during the rescue” and the Harbourmaster has been stood down.

This is P.C. gone afoul – as usual.  Who gives a toss if regulations have been breached – the Harbourmaster knew what he was doing, didn’t put anyone at risk and saved the Orca.  He should be commended not reprimanded!

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Ciao
Fee



Stop With The Big Corp Bullying! Save The Bees

We really do have to save the bees.  And I’m over the big corp bullying.

It came to my attention yesterday that the chemical corporation, Bayer (Bayer is the German version of Monsanto … more about this corp below), is suing Europe!  The European Commision to be exact. – Because –

Back in 2013 scientific studies concluded that the pesticides with Neonicotinoids in them definitely killed bees.  So the E.U. banned three pesticides.  Now, Bayer want to be overturn that decision so they can start selling this stuff again.

I do find it rather ironic that this is coming now when Bayer is about to acquire Monsanto, the other big chemical giant.  If this happens, then Bayer will have world dominance over the seed production.

Stick with me here ……

Bayer produces seeds which have Neonicotinoids over them.  Now that means, once they are planted this chemical spreads throughout the plant and kills any insect that happens to come along to have a wee snack …. including bees which are there for the pollen.

big corp bullying

The plants are also unable to re-generate meaning that the farmer must get new seeds each planting time (my understanding is that is under the GMO part of seed raising) – I am actually going somewhere here.

  1. So Bayer takes over Monsanto.
  2. Bayer produces seeds that kills bees.
  3. Bayer produces GMO plants that can’t re-generate.

My little brain equates that to ….

Bayer wants total world domination of the food supply.

Do you agree?  Would love to see your views in the comments below.

Either way, it would be excellent if you would take a minute to sign the petition just click:

SAVE THE BEES

save the bees

Thanks

Ciao
Fee




Stop The Food Waste!

France has done it again, this time the supermarkets have been told to stop food waste.

It is now illegal for French supermarkets to throw out good food in a bid to stop the huge food waste that goes on.

It’s not the first time France has come up with environmental and social laws.

Last year the French govt came out with a law that all new buildings in commercial zones must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels. How amazing is that?

The beauty of green roofs is that they have an isolating effect, help to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the building in winter and cool it off in the summer.  Not only the good stuff like that but it also gives birds a place to nest!

Now the French Government have made a new law.  Supermarkets are not longer allowed to throw away good food.  The supermarkets must now donate their unsold food to charities.

See, grassroots campaigns can win, because that’s how this all started. French shoppers, anti-poverty campaigners and those opposed to food waste all came together to get this bill passed in their parliament.

Why doesn’t that happen here?  Are we too apathetic?  Do we just not care?  or is it a case of the majority of us are simply trying to get through each day making enough to pay the bills, buy food and trying to better our lives?

Of course, for France, the campaigners want to take this idea even further, past the supermarkets and into the restaurants, bakeries and even school and company canteens.

Poor little NZ – we’re way behind the 8 ball, gosh we can’t even ban the plastic bag and just get deeper into the mire and muck and further away from the clean and green.

Will anything change for us?  I certainly hope so, and quickly!

Ciao
Fee




Are Free Range Eggs Ethical?

I’ve spoken about the egg industry before, but it’s time to ask again are free range eggs ethical and this time I’m going to re-visit this topic and look at it from a slightly different angle.

Let’s start at the beginning – and, no, I’m not getting into the argument of which comes first – the chicken or the egg nor about battery eggs verses free range eggs.

Have you ever wondered where the Hatcheries get the eggs from?  You see the Hatcheries are big business.  This is where the eggs are incubated and hatched.  The chickens are then sold to the egg farmers, be they caged or free range.

Try as I might, the information about the “parents” (where these fertilized eggs actually come from), is very scarce, especially in N.Z. – Which makes it even more worrying.  Just the mere fact that there appears to be no data available creates a feeling of mistrust.  In fact even SAFE said it is a very secretive industry and virtually impossible to find out anything – very suspect.

I did find out that we do import breeding birds from both the Netherlands and U.S.A.  They do this in order to keep the flock healthy …. no in-breeding.

I also discovered that there are not that many breeding bird farms around the world as it’s quite a scientific operation.  These farms do genetic tests and selection based on progeny testing to ensure they have excellent breeders.

In Australia, the fertilized eggs are imported, so it appears that there are no “parent” birds there.

So looking at the U.S.A. parent bird situation (N.Z. does tend to mimic the USA practices).  Again information is scarce but what I did discover was pretty abysmal.
On average the “parent” birds are housed in sheds.  They have about 1.88-2 square feet per bird and  quite often the ratio is one rooster for every 9-11 hens.  In saying that, I also discovered that generally the roosters are not actually put with the hens, instead the sperm is removed and artificially injected into the females.

But wait, there’s more.  Many of these birds are beak-trimmed and de-spurred, the roosters can even have their combs cut off and de-toed … all this to prevent aggression and usually done without anaesthesia.

On to some facts:

  • Birds are fed once a day.
  • Their eggs are collected three times a day to go to hatcheries.
  • Usually at the end of their first laying cycle they are sent to slaughter.
  • Roosters can survive slightly longer than 18 months, but then slaughtered.

Now I can understand why this industry is so tightly shut.  They do not want any light shone on them and are probably quite happy that there is more angst around caged egg producing hens.

But this must be a huge industry.  Just to put it into perspective how many layer hens per year is required for the egg industry (including free-range):

  • N.Z. = over 3 million.
  • Australia = around 11 million.
  • Britain = 29 million.
  • USA = 302 million.

So the number of fertilized eggs would have to be at least double these numbers just to be on the safe side because of the male chicks.

If you are eating eggs, be they free-range or other, please try to reduce the number.  Try committing to two or three days a week going completely animal free in all your food choices.  It’s not that difficult to do once you get into swing of it – and there’s always plenty of help if you need it.  Please spare a thought for those mummy birds.

Ciao
Fee

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News Is Just a Fleeting Moment

woman thinking
This is a serious post this time … it is a post that I hope you will think about.

The reason I’m writing is that I had a very stark reminder of how fleeting news items can be.  And how bizarre our perception of what is important and what is not.

Now I like my Facebook – can’t speak for anyone else, but I like mine.  I have very few friends compared to most, but my friends post good stuff about what they’re doing, or something they’ve come across that they have laughed at/cried over/thought about etc.

All my “friends” I know personally – I have actually spoken to them in real life and that’s why I enjoy my Facebook.  I also have “liked” a number of pages that cover my interests.

Yes, Facebook is changing, and there’s more sponsored posts, but that’s o.k. – hey, I have a business on Facebook and do some of those myself, so I’m cool with it.

Unfortunately, sometimes the “you may like these” posts that pop up in a group, aren’t exactly synced.

Take a close look at this this – can you see what’s wrong with it?

bizarre facebook newsfeed

I had watched a video for Whittaker’s chocolate … yes, I love Whittaker’s ’cause they have yummy vegan chocs.  And when I finished the video this came up.

Do you see what is wrong here?

The horror of the war in Syria is outted by the two chocolate videos.  Which leads me to my heading  – News is just a fleeting moment.

Because it doesn’t affect us, because it is something that is happening on the other side of the world, because the people are not “like us”, because we here in this isolated island country have absolutely no idea what these mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are experiencing – we go for the chocolate.

We go for the chocolate because it’s “known”, we go for the chocolate because it’s “sweet”, we go for the chocolate because it can’t hurt us and it is safe.

This little boy has been labeled the “pin-up” for the Syrian war.  I remember another little Syrian boy about a year ago who was rescued off the Greek island of Lesbos – he became the “pin-up”.

News is just a fleeting moment.

I know there is nothing we can do, but please take time to appreciate what you do have.

Ciao
Fee



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Health of the Oceans.

under the oceanI sincerely hope you read this. This is positive and gives me hope for the future.

I happen to see a heading on the Internet the other day –  “5 reasons it might be OK to be optimistic about our oceans” and, because I usually end up shaking my head and swearing at the ninnies who continue to pollute and destroy our planet, this title made me click through and read the article.

Now it’s early days, but it looks like the oceans just may come back from the brink of destruction where they were heading.  Of course, we really do have to do something about the plastic.  Which segues nicely into what I’d like to say about plastic

There was no plastic when I was growing up.  Of course plastic had already been invented.  The original in 1907 being Bakelite made from combining formaldehyde and phenol.  But plastic as we know it today wasn’t around in such mass – e.g. plastic bags, plastic wrap, bottles, storage and all the disposables e.g. cups, utensils etc that are such common place.

Now I’m really not THAT old – didn’t you know that the 60s are the new 40s – (yes I’ve taken 20 years off instead of 10 … sue me!)

The Great Pacific Garbage PatchSo the pollution of the plastics in the ocean started in the 1970’s and still continues today.  You only need to look at The Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is a soupy collection of marine debris – yup, mostly plastics.  These garbage patches (which are elsewhere besides the Pacific) are almost like floating islands.  So if we could only clean these up, which, I might add, there are some amazing inventions out there that need to get the funding and get put in place and all will be good.

But, getting back to the article.  Countries have actually taken the ocean’s health on board and are doing something about it.  It appears that 13% of oceans saw a decrease in human impact between 2008 and 2013 …. and … Ocean health improved 1% in the last year.  Apparently there was an International Agreement in 2010 that challenged countries to protect 10% or their land and 10% of their oceans.

Just look at what Obama did – In 2014 he created 490,000 square miles of protected ocean around US islands in the Pacific then in 2015 David Cameron ( the British PM back then) created the largest contiguous ocean reserve around the UK’s Pitcairn Islands in the southern Pacific — 322,000 square miles of ocean safe from seafloor mining and commercial fishing.

Then, go figure, N.Z. created a sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands spanning 620,000 sq km.  Obviously Simon Bridges had nothing to do with it seeing as how he allowed mining in the dolphin sanctuary!

But, all this leads me to think, maybe there’s a world “I can do better” going on – even Mozambique has gone up a 8 points in the Ocean Health Index – a point scoring system.

If you want to read the full article the truck on over to:  Ideas.ted.com

It certainly brightened my day.

Ciao
Fee




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