30 Eylül 2012 Pazar

Commentary on Caveman Cuisine

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From Drover's Cattle Network.  Our friends in the meat industry...

"Contemporary diets—at least in western countries—are characterized by widespread meat eating. Worldwide, a significant majority of people make animal foods the central part of their daily diets.
Of course, the veggie believer line is that a carnivorous diet is unnatural, outdated, inappropriate for us post-modern citizens. They love to point out that if not for the existence of “factory farming”—which they loathe—we would have neither the availability (nor the affordability, though that’s rarely discussed) of meat and dairy products to support even a fraction of the consumption levels that are typical in most westernized countries.

(Not to take a detour here, but interestingly, consumption levels of meat, poultry and dairy have become a prominent focus of the activist community. Used to be, the pro-vegetarian advocates simply preached the gospel of no meat, no milk, no animal foods at all. However, with Meatless Mondays and arguments over the carbon footprint of livestock production, the issue is now framed as let’s reduce—not remove—the presence of animal products from people’s shopping lists and their menu choices).

While anthropologists are clear in discussing the eons-long history of humans as carnivores, dietary critics try to twist the evidence to suggest that even though early evidence of eating animal flesh correlates with tool-making and cognitive abilities related to hunting skills, the conclusion is a negative one: Meat eating triggers violent behavior, i.e., the killing of animals to provide for one’s subsistence.

New evidence on meat’s primacy
New research belies that theory, however, and reinforces not only that hunting was a unique and essential developmental activity but reinterprets the consequences of ancestral humans’ preoccupation with consuming meat.

According to Prof. Henry Bunn, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, the origins of human hunting and meat-eating date back not hundreds of thousands of years, as previously determined, but two million years ago. That’s news in itself, at least if you’re interested in the complexity of human origins.

In the past, many scientists had assumed that the small-brained, ape-like people from that long ago only ate meat from animals that died of natural causes or from scavenged carcasses left behind by lions, leopards and other carnivores.

But in a recent presentation during the annual meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution, Bunn argued that our aboriginal ancestors, though primitive and puny, were quite capable of ambushing large herbivores—even carefully selecting certain animals for slaughter. The appearance of that skill so early in our evolutionary past has key implications for the development of human intellect, he argued.
“We compared the type of prey killed by lions and leopards today with the type of prey selected by humans in those days,” Bunn was quoted in a story in UK’s The Guardian newspaper. “This has shown that men and women could not have been taking kill from other animals or eating those that had died of natural causes. They were selecting and killing what they wanted.”

In his study, Bunn and his colleagues analyzed at a butchery site in Tanzania. The carcasses of wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles were brought there by ancient Homo habilis more than 1.8 million years ago. The meat was then stripped from the animals’ bones and eaten.

Most scientists agree that our larger brains evolved to help early humans cooperate with each other, followed by the development of language and other skills that helped us construct complex societies.
“I don’t disagree with that scenario,” Bunn told conference attendees. “But it has led us to downplay the hunting abilities of our earliest ancestors. People have dismissed them as mere scavengers, and I don’t think that looks right anymore.”

Bunn said he believes that early humans probably sat in trees and waited until herds of antelopes or gazelles passed below, then speared them at point-blank range. Their success had profound implications: Provided with a dense, protein-rich source of energy, our ancestors no longer needed to invest internal resources on huge digestive tracts required to process vegetation and fruit. Early humans’ energy-rich food source was instead diverted to fuel the growth of brain size and capability, which led to that interesting historical development we call civilization.  It’s not a stretch to say that hunting and meat-eating, far from being an ugly chapter in human history, is in fact the main reason we’re who we are today.

Digest that one, vegetarians."

How Rising Food Prices are Impacting the World

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From the Christian Science Monitor.  This article is 6 pages long, so here's the Cliff's Notes version. It amounts to a very long, global version of the Ant and the Grasshopper tale.  If people stocked up when times were good, the suffering wouldn't be so bad today...as the tale goes.  This works on a global scale, and not just a local one.

In an era where you have not only linked food systems, but linked currencies as well, it's like dominoes.  When the first one falls, they all fall eventually.

"Our story begins near Prairie City, Iowa, in the fields of Gordon Wassenaar, who has been coaxing food out of some of the world's richest earth for 57 years. Normally, Mr. Wassenaar is able to harvest about 200 bushels of corn per acre from his land – bin-bursting crops that are sent off to feed people in places as disparate as Michigan and Malawi.

Not this year.

As he walks the 1,500 acres that he farms, Wassenaar occasionally pauses to finger a stalk and peel back the husk, revealing corn that is shriveled and stunted. He figures that the headstrong drought of 2012 will cost him about 40 percent of his harvest."


"The effects are being exacerbated by churlish weather in other parts of the world – notably in the big wheat-producing areas of Russia, Ukraine, and other countries that hug the Black Sea, where a more moderate drought has hit, as well as in Australia, the globe's No. 2 wheat exporter, where below-average rainfall is expected to reduce the November harvest by more than 10 percent.

As the impact of the droughts works through the global food system, an urgent question looms: How hard are people being squeezed – and will it lead to possible social unrest?"


"From Russia, to Panama, to the Philippines, almost everywhere really, governments did precisely the wrong thing. They panicked, rushing into grain markets to stockpile supplies or banning exports. Speculators poured in after them, like lions harassing a herd of antelope, raising prices even further beyond the rational laws of supply and demand."


"Nations around the world have learned some valuable lessons since 2008. More of them have been stocking their larders and preparing for a new global reality driven by increasingly erratic weather and growing demand."


"Long gone are the days when the world's population was subject solely to the whims of local crops and climate. The green revolution of the 20th century, which generated spectacular increases in grain yields, and the advent of cheap shipping created a global food market that's transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

But it also means that a bad year for farmers in the United States or Russia or Australia can ripple out quickly and become a disastrous year for consumers in Egypt or Indonesia."


"John Burkel, a farmer in Badger, Minn., is already taking action. He's canceled an order for 12,000 young turkeys. He says taking on a larger flock doesn't make sense economically unless he can raise selling prices. And he repeats an enduring lament of ranchers and poultry farmers who believe they're at a disadvantage without any government protection.

"They have insurance," he says of crop growers. "The livestock guys – we're the ones that gotta feed these animals."


"Two years ago, Guatemalans could buy five tortillas for a quetzal (about 13 cents). Today, a quetzal only buys three tortillas, on average, and other food prices have been surging as well. The government estimates that it costs about 85 quetzales ($10.70) a day to feed a family of four, far more than the minimum daily wage of most people here.

And Guatemala and many of its neighbors in Central and South America are linked to US agricultural production and policy more tightly than ever. "These are countries that are net food importers and overwhelmingly dependent on products coming from the United States," says Fernando Soto Baquero, the senior policy officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Latin America office."


"If the drought were the only factor driving prices, Guatemala and similar governments might have been able to blunt the effects. In theory, they could have bought corn to stockpile when supplies were abundant and prices were cheap, and then released some of the reserves this year, in a time of need.

But they haven't been able to do that because prices were inflated even before the drought struck. That's in part because of something else that happened in 2005: the passage of a law requiring ethanol, made from corn and other grains, to be added in ever increasing amounts to commercial gasoline. Under current law, the US wants to inject 36 billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel supply by 2022.

This year, roughly 40 percent of the US corn crop will go toward the production of ethanol, about 15 percent of the global corn supply. A recent study by researchers at Iowa State University found that the expansion of ethanol production accounted for 36 percent of the increase in the price of corn from 2006 to 2009."


"While rising grain prices have hit many poorer countries across the globe, much of Asia has escaped the bulk of the food crisis – because of shrewd planning. Countries like Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and China have used rice reserves – stored up since the last commodity spike four years ago – to curb speculators and head off a price bubble. While wheat, corn, and soybeans have seen price jumps of about 20 percent over the summer, rice has been fairly stable – cushioning the impact for Asian consumers at the grocery store.

"What we learned back in 2008, when we had the blowout in rice prices, was that we could prick that speculative bubble, that hoarding bubble across the system," says Peter Timmer, a professor emeritus of agricultural economics and development at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. "Suddenly, we discovered that the Japanese had 1.5 tons that they were just sitting on, and when it became clear that that could be put into the market, it just stopped [the speculation] dead ... it became clear that just having some kind of reserves to draw on in times of panic can stop the panic itself."


"Soy processed into tofu and tempeh (a fermented soy-based cake) is a basic protein for most of Indonesia's 240 million people. And prices have soared, particularly as speculators have poured into the market late in the summer. About 84 percent of Indonesia's soybeans are imported, almost all from the US."


"Indonesia is now rich enough that they can screw up the management of the food economy in a way that they couldn't afford to years ago," says Timmer."


"The (Indonesian) government is also seeking to revive the role of the Bureau of Logistics (Bulog), a government agency tasked with managing food prices that was a hive of corruption and mismanagement under Mr. Suharto. Most of its functions were phased out in the past decade in favor of market-oriented policies.

In early September, the government announced that Bulog would build 28 new food warehouses, and President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono has been pushing for the agency to regain its control over the prices of rice, sugar, soybeans, and corn.

While that's alarmed international economists who view price controls as doomed to failure and prone to creating market distortion, it's a signal of how urgently Indonesia, like other countries, is looking for answers to the new era of punishing food prices."


"One region analysts will be watching particularly closely for any signs of new upheaval is the Middle East. A recent study by the New England Complex Systems Institute, a Cambridge, Mass.-based think tank, concluded that food prices are a key indicator of political unrest in the region – as evidenced by the Arab Spring, which was triggered in part by widespread frustration over escalating food costs. The authors worry that continuing upward pressures on foodstuffs will unleash a new round of unrest."


"In more prosperous countries, high grain prices pose risks of a different sort. China, for instance, is home to 1 billion people but just 10 percent of the world's arable land.

Food imports there have surged in recent years. In the first half of 2012, Chinese grain imports grew by 40 percent, to 41 million metric tons. Though the vast majority of China's food is still produced at home, the recent jump in demand adds to the growing competition for global grain supplies and makes Beijing more vulnerable to price shocks.

That has raised concerns among outside analysts that it could lead to an increase in inflation in China, forcing Beijing to further cut economic growth, a move that would ripple around the world. So far Chinese inflation is well under control, with consumer prices rising by just 1.8 percent in July, even as economic growth hummed along at 7 to 8 percent. But there are signs of concern. Farmers in China have dramatically thinned their herds of pigs, the source of the country's most popular meat, as the cost of fattening the animals has surged."


Remember these?
"Back in Iowa, in Wassenaar's flint-dry fields, the farmer is lamenting the fickleness of the weather. He hasn't suffered as much as the tofu producer in Indonesia or the tortilla vendor in Guatemala. But he nonetheless thinks there is a better way to offset the impact of natural disasters on American farmers. He wonders if the US should set up its own strategic grain reserve."

One thing people can do to circumvent this is to GET OFF THE STARCH-BASED BANDWAGON!  Go back to feeding our animals the old-fashioned way, as well as going back to eating the old-fashioned way.  End this inter-dependence once and for all, because the weight of the world is just too heavy for a fortunate few to lift any more.  Besides, the sun is doing it's best to ensure there will soon be no more fortunate few.

New School Lunch Guidelines Leave Kids Hungering for More...and Who Could Blame Them at 850 Calories?

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From the Times Herald-Record (NY).  This is what happens when you limit both fat and calories--some of these kids are ATHLETES!!

"Middletown High School senior Lina Perez is one hungry athlete these days. Her school lunch used to carry her through, but those days are over. "By the time practice rolls in, I'm hungry."
Starch, more starch, sugar, canned veggies, and 4 chicken nuggets!

It is not just Perez or even just Middletown where student stomachs are rumbling with hunger. Across the mid-Hudson — across the country — students are finding lunches under new federal calorie guidelines leave them wanting more. There is even a YouTube video of students in Kansas feigning collapse at the lack of food.
At the root of the hunger pangs is first lady Michelle Obama's child obesity-busting lunch initiative known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  

Parents, nutrition experts, educators, administrators and politicians are choosing sides over the law, which has limited the calorie count of high school lunches to 850, a substantial portion of the federally recommended daily total for high schoolers, 2,000.
"My frustration is the fact that in talking to the kids and even the parents are calling us because the kids are coming home hungry," said Middletown Superintendent Ken Eastwood. "They may have fruits, vegetables that'll fill them up, but it doesn't ... stick to them. So within an hour, they're hungry again."
Starch, fructose, unidentifiable veggies, and CHOCOLATE milk?  Oh, but there's a miniscule sample of meat in there!

Athletes said to face difficulty
While the legislation also sets new lunch portions for younger students, it's the big kids who seem to have the hardest time adjusting.  They're limited to a little more than 2 ounces of protein and just over 2 ounces of carbs, but they can have unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables.
While nutritional standards for school lunches have existed for decades, they had not been strictly enforced until the new federal law took effect at the start of the school year.  Before, if hungry children wanted an extra slice of cheese or an extra meatball, all they had to do was ask, said Eileen Goodman, Middletown's director of food services.
Those days are gone; thus, there are complaints from students and others.
So where's the meat?  Oh, you  mean those 4 little raviolis are it?

"It's not (enough) food that will get them through a football practice," said Goodman. "It's especially difficult with athletes because you know that they can eat three times what you're giving them. Cookie-cutter lunches for everyone don't cut it."

More than 73 percent of Middletown students get free or reduced-price lunches; of them, Eastwood estimated half to three-quarters depend on school food for their daily nutrition and might not get adequate food at home. There are about 1,450 high school students in Middletown's school lunch program.
New breakfast standards ahead
School districts have been phasing in the new standards since the law was passed in 2010. Whole milk has been replaced with low-fat and nonfat milk. More whole grain breads and pastas are being offered, while many empty-calorie snacks and sugary drinks are gone.
At Kingston High, the new portions have also met with some resistance.  "They don't really want to eat their vegetables, because they'd rather have two slices of pizza," said Ed Carelli, Kingston's director of food services. "It's the older kids. The little kids are fine."
Starch, sugar, and overcooked broccoli--YUM!

Carelli explained that hungry students receiving free or reduced-price lunches have been known to get back in line for seconds on entrees, which are not discounted.
Some Republican lawmakers, upset over the portions, are calling for the law to be repealed.

The Obama administration championed healthier school lunches in response to findings that one-third of America's children and teens are either overweight or obese.
"The amount of food on a kid's plate is not much different than in years past — it is simply healthier," said U. S. Department of Argiculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. He encouraged students who want additional calories to have more servings of fruit, vegetables and low-fat milk.
Spokesmen for the USDA explained that the agency is also working with specific schools that are in need of "greater flexibility." Those options include afternoon snacks or dinner programs.  Not only do the regulations appear to be here to stay, but new standards will be put in place next year for the breakfast program.
Goodman, who recently spoke to the Middletown school board about the standards, asked for time to talk with students to provide them with food for thought.  "There's a need for nutritional education to get the kids to understand and get the parents to understand at this point," she said.
...and they wonder where childhood obesity comes from...

So instead of having more protein and/or fat to hold over their hunger, they're encouraged to load up on the SUBSIDIZED foods--the non-fat dairy and the hunger-inducing starches.  Now that we know the dairy cows are being fed gummy worms and junk food to replace grain feed, exactly how nutritious is that milk NOW?  It's just as full of sugar as the pasta and bread! Is it any wonder the kids are still hungry after lunch?  School is jamming them full of sugar!  Do any of the pictured meals look like something to carry a growing teenager athlete through the day?  They don't eat this at home, so why expect them to eat it at school?

Deaths From Heart Disease Drop in Europe

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From HealthDay News.  It's probably all that butter and bacon they're consuming.  They'll tell you it's Big Pharma remedies.

"Heart disease deaths in Europe and the European Union are dipping but underlying factors may cause heart disease to increase in the near future, according to a new report.

Even back in 1998 the numbers were dropping!

Heart disease now causes 4 million deaths per year in Europe, down from 4.3 million in 2008, which represents a decrease from 48 percent to 47 percent of all deaths in Europe. Within the European Union, heart disease now causes 1.8 million deaths per year, down from 2 million in 2008, which represents a decrease from 42 percent to 40 percent of all deaths, new research shows.

Heart disease hits women especially hard and is the main cause of death for women in each of the 27 European Union countries, and is the leading cause of death for men in all the European Union countries except France, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.

Worldwide numbers are dropping too!

Death rates from heart disease vary widely among European nations. For example, the number of men who die from heart disease ranges from 60 percent in Bulgaria to 25 percent in France, while the number of women who die from heart disease ranges from 70 percent in Bulgaria to 30 percent in France and the Netherlands, the investigators found.

The report was released by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Heart Network to mark World Heart Day on Sept. 29.

"The drop in [cardiovascular disease] mortality across Europe is due to a range of factors, not just a single initiative. For example, over the last few years we have taken steps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and to highlight the dangers of smoking. These measures have helped enormously, but at the same time many lifestyle-linked changes, such as increasing obesity and diabetes, will make it harder for us to stand still," ESC president Panos Vardas said in a society news release.

While the report offers good news, it needs to be viewed with caution, the news release indicated.
"Fewer lives are being lost to cardiovascular disease than in 2008. At the same time, the scale of the problem is enormous. [Cardiovascular disease] is still responsible for 4 million European deaths per year. This is a real human tragedy and a significant economic burden. We anticipate this burden will continue to increase in the coming years due to aging populations and unhealthy lifestyles," Vardas said."

The European Heart Network has a downloadable copy of the statistics they came up with, as well as the joint Society of Cardiology numbers not available directly without pay.

Here's our numbers in the U.S.:

Chock it up to Big Pharma or Big Bacon?  You choose!

Dietary Protein 101: What Is It, and Why We Need It

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From Gnolls.org and the Paleo Rodeo.

"Different schools of nutrition argue endlessly about protein. Vegans swear it destroys our kidneys and we’re eating far too much. Strength athletes and leangains devotees can’t get enough. The government claims 56 grams/day is more than enough for anyone—yet even the most conservative and fat-friendly paleo templates recommend closer to 90 grams. Paleo eaters and omnivores enjoy pointing out that animal protein is “complete”, unlike most grain and vegetable proteins, while vegetarians and vegans swear by “protein combining”. And just about everyone gets confused when acronyms like BV, NPU, and PDCAAS enter the picture.

Wench's note:  56 grams/day, according to CW, was supposed to be the number we could consume before signs of kidney disease start appearing--but this was only measured for MUSCLE meat, which triples its protein when cooked, and does not account for organ meats With the exception of duck and goose parts, every other animal's organ meats are much lower in protein, both raw and cooked, than muscle--lamb (both organs and muscle) being the absolute lowest, as per the USDA nutrition database.

This also determined the serving size--3 oz. of cooked muscle meat twice daily can come to (or close to) the 56 grams of protein, depending on the meat and how it was cooked.

If you consume enough water (through food or drink) to dilute your protein, kidney disease risks fall--this is how we Paleos/Primals can get away with consuming higher amounts of protein without compromising our kidneys.  Dehydration is the biggest enemy of kidneys.  See here for more info.

What Is Protein, Anyway?

Talking about “protein” is like talking about “buildings”. Just as “building” can mean a single-family home, a chemical factory, a mud-and-straw hut, a skyscraper, or the Taj Mahal, “protein” can mean anything from tiny di- and tri-peptides containing perhaps a few dozen atoms, to the giant linked chains of keratin that make up our hair and fingernails.

As such, it turns out that “protein” is a term so broad as to be nearly useless when applied to nutrition. When we’re asking the question “How much protein should we eat?” what we’re really asking is “Which amino acids do we require, what relative proportions to we require them in, and to what degree are the foods containing them digestible, bioavailable, and not otherwise poisonous or disruptive to our metabolism when ingested?”
If that sentence wasn’t immediately comprehensible to you, fear not—the purpose of this article is to explain it!

What is Protein Made Of?

Proteins are molecules made up of amino acids stuck together by peptide bonds.
Amino acids are so named because they contain both an amine group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH). In the renderings below, we can see the carboxyl groups (the two red balls with one white ball attached) and the amine groups (the blue ball with two white balls attached). The alpha carbon, to which they’re both attached, is colored black. Here are a few examples:

Click here to see the 2D and 3D structure of all 21 standard amino acids.

A peptide bond occurs when the carboxyl from one amino acid bonds covalently to the amine of another—releasing a molecule of water in the process. Result: we can make just about any shape and size of protein we want by stringing together the right amino acids in a single-file chain, carboxyl to amine.
Strictly speaking, all the biologically important amino acids are alpha-amino acids, in which the amine and the carboxyl are both attached to the first carbon atom. The term “amino acid” usually refers only to the alpha-amino acids.

What Can Proteins Do?

It turns out that proteins are extremely versatile molecules. They are the basic machinery of all cells: DNA is, quite literally, just instructions for building proteins out of amino acids. They catalyze chemical reactions (“enzymes”), they signal metabolic and immune events (e.g. insulin, leptin, growth hormone, antibodies), they transport oxygen (hemoglobin and myoglobin), and they’re structural components of everything from the cytoskeleton and mitochondria of every cell to our tendons, ligaments, hair, nails, and connective tissue. Even the parts of a cell which are made from other molecules, such as phospholipids and polysaccharides, are ‘built’ by their interaction with proteins!
The average human cell is approximately 65% water, 20% protein, 12% lipid (fat), 1% RNA and DNA, and 2% “other” by mass. (Freitas 1998)

Why Do We Need To Eat Protein?

Of the 21 amino acids coded for by the DNA of multicellular organisms, adult humans can only synthesize 12 of them. The other nine must be consumed in the diet, so we call them essential amino acids.




* = conditionally essential – see below
It’s actually far more complicated than “essential” or “non-essential”. Some amino acids can be converted to each other, but not created from scratch. Some amino acids can be synthesized, but not rapidly enough to meet all our metabolic needs. And children can’t synthesize some of the amino acids that adults can.

Further reading:
J. Nutr. July 1, 2000 vol. 130 no. 7 1835S-1840S
Dispensable and Indispensable Amino Acids for Humans

Peter J. Reeds
Result: humans have a non-negotiable requirement for dietary amino acids in order to sustain the basic processes of life.

Why Do We Need To Eat Protein Every Day?

Some nutrients, like vitamin B12, are stored within the body and released when needed—so though we must consume a certain amount on average, we don’t have to do so every day in order to keep ourselves healthy. 

Unfortunately, we have no way to store amino acids. We have a tremendous capacity to store fat in fat cells, and a very limited capacity to store glucose (as glycogen in our muscles and liver)—but we must either use amino acids to synthesize proteins, burn them for energy, convert them to glucose, or (very rarely, and if all else fails) excrete them.

Therefore, humans have a daily requirement for each one of the amino acids necessary to life, in the quantities required by whatever proteins the trillions of cells in our bodies are making (minus our ability to synthesize some of them).

Vegans substitute leafy greens for dairy

Why “Complete Protein” Is Important

Imagine a factory that assembles cars. Let’s say you have 400 wheels and tires in inventory, 200 headlights, 100 chassis, 100 engines…but only ten steering wheels. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got almost enough parts to build 100 cars: ten steering wheels means you can build ten cars. Whichever part you have the fewest of limits how many cars you can build.

Our bodies have the same problem when building proteins. For instance, lysine is an essential amino acid—so if we haven’t consumed any lysine, we can’t build any proteins that contain lysine, no matter how many of the other amino acids are available. This leaves us with two options:
  • Don’t build that protein. This is not usually a viable option, as it results in signals not reaching the intended recipient, damaged cells and tissues not being repaired, pathogens not being attacked…in other words, the failure of basic metabolic processes. 
  • Disassemble existing tissues in order to get the amino acid(s) we need. This is known as catabolysis or ‘going catabolic’, and is what actually occurs. Muscles are the first tissues to be catabolized, as becoming slightly weaker is usually less harmful than impairing the function of other organs.

Our Summary (so far)

  • Proteins form the basic machinery of all cells.
  • Proteins are made out of amino acids.
  • Amino acids are not interchangeable: to synthesize a protein, each one of its constituent amino acids must be available.
  • Many amino acids are essential—we cannot synthesize them, and therefore must ingest them as part of our diet. Many others are conditionally essential, and cannot be synthesized or converted at the rate we require them.
  • Since we have no way to store amino acids for later use, our bodies have a daily requirement for them.
  • Therefore, we must ingest each amino acid, roughly in the proportion we require it, every day.


Our biological needs are for specific amino acids in specific proportions, but “protein” can mean any combination of one or more amino acids. Therefore, the amount of “protein” in food is, by itself, a nearly meaningless number."

When people combine grains, beans, nuts, and dairy/greens, they get a heck of a lot of starch and sugar along with their protein, and the quantity of food they must consume to get the proper amount of protein from these foods is large to say the least!  From an economic standpoint, both meat-eater and vegan spend about the same amount of money to fulfill their protein needs, but the meat is a more efficient way of getting it--less actual tissue consumed for adequate protein, and less food consumed as a result.  Definitely no starches, and not much sugar consumed along the way!  They need to eat lots of food just to quell the sugar-and-starch-induced hunger emanating from lack of protein and fat.

Don't even get me started on vegetable fats here!

6 oz. cooked muscle meat daily (CW standards), about 2 lbs. of organ meat daily, or a pickup truck bed full of grains, beans/legumes, dairy or leafy greens, and nuts daily--which would YOU choose to eat?

BONUS:  Here's some recent medical research involving kidneys and low-carb/high-fat diets.

29 Eylül 2012 Cumartesi

3 Of 4 Venture Capital Backed Start-Ups Fail

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From The Wall Street Journal, "The Venture Capital Secret: 3 Out of 4 Start-Ups Fail" by Deborah Gage:
... now there is evidence that venture-backed start-ups fail at far higher numbers than the rate the industry usually cites.

About three-quarters of venture-backed firms in the U.S. don't return investors' capital, according to recent research by Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.
There are also different definitions of failure. If failure means liquidating all assets, with investors losing all their money, an estimated 30% to 40% of high potential U.S. start-ups fail, he says. If failure is defined as failing to see the projected return on investment—say, a specific revenue growth rate or date to break even on cash flow—then more than 95% of start-ups fail, based on Mr. Ghosh's research.

Failure often is harder on entrepreneurs who lose money that they've borrowed on credit cards or from friends and relatives than it is on those who raised venture capital.
Overall, nonventure-backed companies fail more often than venture-backed companies in the first four years of existence, typically because they don't have the capital to keep going if the business model doesn't work, Harvard's Mr. Ghosh says. Venture-backed companies tend to fail following their fourth years—after investors stop injecting more capital, he says.

Of all companies, about 60% of start-ups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes U.S. entrepreneurship. Both studies counted only incorporated companies with employees. And companies that didn't survive might have closed their doors for reasons other than failure, for example, getting acquired or the founders moving on to new projects. Languishing businesses were counted as survivors.

30 To 40 Percent Of Obese People Have Same Mortality Risk As People Of Normal Weight

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From "Obese Can Be Metabolically Healthy and In Good Shape" on ScienceBlog:
"Obesity is associated with a large number of chronic diseases as heart diseases or cancer. However, there is a group of obese people that do not suffer the metabolic complications associated with obesity", the author of the study, Prof. Francisco B.Ortega, explains.
Prof. Ortega et al. observed in their study that between 30-40% of obese patients were metabolically healthy. "We made two findings: firstly, metabolically-healthy obese people exhibited better cardiorespiratory fitness –or aerobic fitness-. Secondly, this subgroup has a lower mortality risk rate for heart disease or cancer than other obese people, and has the same mortality risk than people of normal weight."

Incentives And Tax Credits To Buy Hybrid And Electric Cars Does Not Reduce Gasoline Use Or Greenhouse Gas Emissions: CBO Report

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Federal tax credits and incentives to buy electric and hybrid cars and trucks do not reduce gasoline use and automotive greenhouse gas emissions due to the interplay between the incentives and the existing US government's mandated automobile manufacturers Corporate Average Fuel Economy [Cafe] standards for new vehicles.

CAFE standards require auto manufacturers to achieve an average level of fuel economy. Incentives that increase the sales of hybrid and electric vehicles, which have above average fuel economy, allow automobile and truck manufacturers to sell more vehicles that have below mandated average fuel economy, while still meeting the required US government's average fuel economy mandates. As car manufacturers sell more above average fuel economy hybrids and electric vehicles, they sell more below average fuel economy vehicles. The result is that the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions for the total vehicle sales remains the same with and without the incentives that increase the sale of hybrids and electric vehicles.

From CBO, "Effects of Federal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Electric Vehicles" September 2012:
Comparing the Tax Credits with Other Recent Subsidy Programs in the Transportation Sector
CBO compared the effects of the current tax credits in reducing gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions with the effects of three other recent subsidy programs aimed at the transportation sector: federal tax credits for the purchase of traditional hybrid vehicles, which were in effect until 2011; federal tax credits, most of which have expired, for companies that blended biofuels with petroleum fuels; and the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, which made payments to people who traded in eligible lower-fuel-economy vehicles for higher-fuel-economy vehicles. Like the current credits for electric vehicles, the credits for traditional hybrids did not reduce gasoline use or greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, because sales of those high-fuel-economy vehicles allowed vehicle manufacturers to sell more low-fuel-economy vehicles and still comply with CAFE standards. By contrast, the other two programs did reduce total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions in the short term. The biofuel credits lowered the emissions of vehicles already purchased, and “Cash for Clunkers” raised the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles in operation (by reducing the number of less fuel-efficient older vehicles in favor of those with higher fuel economy). [Emphasis added.]

Official Statistics Overstate US Poverty Rate By 3-4 Times: US Poverty Rate Is 4-5 Percent And Not 15 Percent:

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From Bloomberg, "Poverty, Inequality Aren’t as Bad as You Think" by the Editors:
Poverty isn’t as high as the U.S. government says it is. The reason is that federal programs, supported by Democrats and Republicans alike, have dramatically reduced poverty and, by extension, income inequality.

To understand why, let’s look at what the numbers don’t show. The Census Bureau doesn’t count safety-net benefits, including food stamps, housing aid, school lunches and other noncash transfers. Adding the cash value of food stamps alone would lower the poverty population by 3.9 million people. Census data also overcompensate for inflation by ignoring discount prices at big-box outlets such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where many low-income families shop. The figures don’t even factor in Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Most Overlooked

But tax credits are the most overlooked numbers of all. One, the Earned Income Tax Credit, is refundable, meaning that some low-income breadwinners get a check from the Internal Revenue Service even if their earnings are so small that they owe no income tax. Counting that tax credit would decrease the number of people living in poverty by another 5.7 million.

The Census Bureau defines a family of four with income less than $23,021 as impoverished. But a better portrait of poverty in America would count all government benefits and tax credits, raising many households’ income considerably. An even truer picture of deprivation would measure consumption (how much a household spends on rent, autos, food and other items) rather than income (how much a household admits to bringing home in earnings). Incomes are unreliable because people are reluctant to reveal how much they make. They are less reticent when asked if they have television sets, cars and air conditioning, or if they eat out and go to movies.

When adjusted for these flaws, the level of poverty is much lower, says a new paper by economists Bruce D. Meyer at the University of Chicago and James X. Sullivan at the University of Notre Dame. Instead of 15 percent, it is only 4 percent to 5 percent. And instead of being higher than it was in 1980, poverty has declined by two-thirds.[Emphasis added.
Meyer and Sullivan in their paper state:
Official poverty statistics suggest that poverty has increased over the past forty years. This claim is inconsistent with our results which show substantial improvements in income based poverty over the past forty years and even larger improvements in consumption based poverty, especially in the last decade. These poverty results are corroborated by other indicators of well-being for those with low income such as increases in car ownership and evidence of improved living conditions including larger living units that are more likely to have air conditioning and other features. While the deficiencies in the official poverty measure have been the subject of much previous research, most poverty scholars still rely on the official measure as the definitive measure of trends in poverty and draw important conclusions based upon it.
Also, see the Brookings article, "Poverty Has Fallen Much More than Previously Thought: Consumption a Better Measure than Income; We are Winning the War on Poverty, New Research Asserts."

Casey Mulligan's New Book, The Redistribution Recession, Says The Government's Response To Those Hurt By The Recession, Deepened The Recession

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University of Chicago Economics Professor Casey B Mulligan's has a new, forthcoming book about the recent recession, The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy.Mulligan cites economic evidence and analyses for his conclusion that the government's response to the recession of extending and creating benefit programs to help those hurt by the slowing economy, unintentionally deepened the recession and increased its severity.

From Amazon's description of Casey B Mulligan's forthcoming book:
Redistribution, or subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor, unemployed, and financially distressed, have changed in many ways since the onset of the recent financial crisis. The unemployed, for instance, can collect benefits longer and can receive bonuses, health subsidies, and tax deductions, and millions more people have became eligible for food stamps.

Economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that while many of these changes were intended to help people endure economic events and boost the economy, they had the unintended consequence of deepening-if not causing-the recession. By dulling incentives for people to maintain their own living standards, redistribution created employment losses according to age, skill, and family composition. Mulligan explains how elevated tax rates and binding minimum-wage laws reduced labor usage, consumption, and investment, and how they increased labor productivity. He points to entire industries that slashed payrolls while experiencing little or no decline in production or revenue, documenting the disconnect between employment and production that occurred during the recession. The book provides an authoritative, comprehensive economic analysis of the marginal tax rates implicit in public and private sector subsidy programs, and uses quantitative measures of incentives to work and their changes over time since 2007 to illustrate production and employment patterns. It reveals the startling amount of work incentives eroded by the labyrinth of new and existing social safety net program rules, and, using prior results from labor economics and public finance, estimates that the labor market contracted two to three times more than it would have if redistribution policies had remained constant.

In The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy,Casey B. Mulligan offers hard evidence to contradict the notion that work incentives suddenly stop mattering during a recession or when interest rates approach zero, and offers groundbreaking interpretations and precise explanations of the interplay between unemployment and financial markets.

28 Eylül 2012 Cuma

How To Go About Grilling Get The Perfect Result

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Kobe beef comes in a number of forms and one of them is Kobe steaks. Kobe steaks come in the form of New York strip steak and can be purchased online. Buying New York strip steak online is easy, as you just need a few simple steps and you will have your Kobe streaks at your doorstep in no time. It is much easier than going to the grocery store, where you probably won’t be able to get Kobe New York strip steak online to begin with. Once you have bought your New York strip steak online, the next step is to grill it. Having the perfect grilled meat takes some skill and expertise; and these easy tips will guide you along the grilling process to ensure that the final product is the best it can be.

The first step is to check the freshness of your Kobe steaks. Most good online meat suppliers should be able to deliver fresh meat at your doorstep, although getting meat that is not completely fresh due to faulty packaging or bad transportation is not unheard of. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the meat is fresh before you proceed to the grill.

The next step to grilling the best New York strip steak is to get it out of the refrigerator and on to the grill immediately. Although many people tend to grill meat that is at room temperature, you will actually get a better result if you start grilling the meat straight out of the fridge. When you buy New York strip streak online, the Kobe steak should come refrigerated and can be thrown straight on the grill.

After you have your Kobe steak on the grill, you need to have the right temperature for grilling. You need to have a balanced temperature so that the meat is cooked evenly throughout. Medium heat is best for grilling New York strip steak because if the temperature is too high, the outside of the meat will get charred and the inside will not be well cooked.

It is also highly advised that you remove the excess fat from the New York strip steak bought online as this can cause the grill to flare up during the grilling process; and this will cook the meat unevenly. You should also refrain from using a fork to flip the meat over during grilling as this will make a way for the succulent juices to pour out of the meat. You also need to pay close attention to the temperature and adjust it when necessary to get an evenly cooked steak.

Why You Need To Buy Prime Beef Online

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The ideal prime beef starts with wonderful cattle. Sometimes, people go to their local butcher shop or meat outlet and wonder about the kind of meat available, but the best place to buy prime beef is to go online. It is impossible to match the assortment of prime steaks online that is completely assured. Online outlets provide you with additional quality options and they also guarantee you that the beef comes fresh, straight to your doorstep. They frequently offer delicious recipes that help make the best out of the meat.

You should begin looking on the Internet with keywords such as "online steak gifts" and "prime steaks online". Check the various deals offered by different companies as well as the assurances that come with the purchase. Make price comparisons, including the shipping rates, but ensure that you also compare the quality of the beef provided by the various online merchants. The bargain steak available at your local outlet is perhaps less costly than that offered online for one reason or the other. It is probably because it is not of good quality or is not fresh enough for it to be expensively priced.

Some of the best beef in terms of flavor is ideal for a barbeque. The best thing you can do is to ensure that the cuts are marinated before cooking the meat. In addition, do not remove the fatty section until you finish cooking the meat.

When you have made up your mind about the quantity of beef that you want, you need to order the steak. If you want to grill it, you will have to consider the different cuts of suitable steak.

Lots of food supply websites provide gift vouchers for selected steaks, as well as occasional gift offers. You can check the steak choices that come in various packagings. This will allow you to have a rough idea of the quality of the meat that you would want to order, or the best combinations to buy. Also, bear in mind that because meat is a food item, you often will not be required to pay any tax.

Some online companies provide various offers including free shopping packages, but with a preset minimum amount of purchase. It is also important to consider the size of your freezer when buying beef online, as you will want to buy the right amount.

Reasons Why T-bone Steak Is Special

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Choosing to purchase steaks online is a smart move. This kind of meat is cut according to standards that meet the requirements of consumers. You should search for the best place to buy quality beef at a reasonable price.

Purchase T-bone steak online, and have it shipped within a short period of time to your door.

The T-bone steak is a genuine steak lover's choice. Weighing about 370 grams, it includes the sirloin and fillet to make a complete meal. To put it in other words, it is the ideal meal size for a man. Its fat marbling as well as its texture gives it a superb flavor. It remains moist when being cooked. You can even consider a type of sauce in order to boost its magnificent flavor.

For special events like weddings, get togethers, vacations and any other parties, a great dish should have great ingredients. Cooking T-bone steak either at the hotel or at home will certainly confirm the real delicacy that it is.

For many, the T-bone steak is very special. The reason for this is because of its tenderness. While the price of the beef in this category is quite high, the meat is really worth it.

It is important during the broiling or grilling of beef to allow it to cook for a controlled amount of time. Before you purchase T-bone steak, make sure that you understand how to cook it. Most experienced chefs will confirm with you that this kind of dish should be cooked medium rare or rare. Allowing it to remain on the heat for a long period of time will lessen the tenderness of the meat and this would amount to damaging the features that enables it to be special - the tenderness of the meat’s texture.

If you are planning to purchase the steaks at a market, cautiously evaluate the marbled tissues that show that the beef is of great quality. This will ensure that you are not cheated into entering a bad deal.

Preparing this kind of dish does not always involve any sort of marinade, but certain ingredients will be necessary for the preparation of a marinade, if required.

You should also consider the best wine to serve with your T-bone steak. It is recommended you consider Spanish and French wines, because they have a great taste. Normally a single glass should be sufficient to enhance the flavor of a steak.

How to Buy Kobe Steaks

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Known to be a delicacy worldwide, Kobe beef is recognized for its magnificent flavor and tenderness. Valid Kobe beef is obtained from a particular breed of Japanese cattle known as Wagyu. The cow is grazed, fed and maintained in suitable environments to enhance the quality of its meat.

While Kobe steaks are expensively priced, you should consider ordering them as they make a great meal for all steak lovers.

Another thing that makes Kobe steaks different from other related types of beef is the manner in which the cows are maintained. While Wagyu ranchers have often tried to safeguard their business secrets, information has always leaked about their atypical approach to rearing this cattle breed. These approaches comprise of feeding the cattle alcoholic beverages to boost their appetite. This ensures that the cows remain fat at all times throughout the year; and this increases the comprehensive quantity of fat marbling that characterizes Kobe steaks.

The other atypical technique that is supposedly used to care for the cows is massaging their skin with wine made from rice in order to enhance the softness of the skin. This practice is said to release stress, enabling the cows to grow fatter. As a result, the meat becomes tenderer.

For beginners, the USDA prime steaks online will allow you to find detailed information on available steaks. You also need to know how you can find Kobe steaks online. You can have Kobe steak imported to your country, if you are not able to travel to Japan. On the other hand, there are the so-called Kobe-style products offered in the U.S., so you can choose this alternative if the price of Kobe beef is too high for you.

Kobe steaks can also be found at local specialty outlets, so you can try searching there first. Some retailers may even order this steak for you.

Never compromise on the quality of meat because of cost. Kobe steaks are valued because of their high quality, so expect to part with a considerable amount of money. You can decide to purchase smaller steaks in order to reduce the amount of money that you have to pay. If you have made up your mind to go for Kobe steaks, make sure they are listed at the top of the prime steaks online sites. Your choice should be the best meat available on the market today.

Quick Guide for Buying T-bone Steak Online

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It is exceedingly easy andconvenient to purchase steaks online.Imagine buying your T-bone steak online right from your home and having itdelivered to your doorstep. It only gets better. You not only get the steakdelivered to your doorstep, but the steak comes with cooking instructions aswell, ensuring you make the most out of your steak to satisfy your taste buds.Buying steak does not get much easier than that. So how do you purchase steaksonline?

The first step to buying a T-bone steak online for your upcoming barbecueis to simply perform a quick search on any search engine. Look through theresults and find dealers carrying exactly what you are looking for. There aresome things to take into consideration. First, you want to ensure thelegitimacy of your dealer. You can simply look at the reviews and customertestimonials to learn more about the various dealers. If the reviews andtestimonials are positive, then chances are you have found your meat dealer. 
Before you purchase steaks online,you also want to make sure that there is a guarantee for fresh meat. Look athow the meat is packaged, as well as their methods of transportation. Secondly,in the unlikely event that there is a problem with the quality of meat youordered, you need to be assured of a refund. All this information should beavailable on the dealer’s website. 
It is always a good idea to shoparound and look at different dealers before settling on one. Before you buyyour T-bone steak online, compare the meat prices of different dealers, as wellas shipping costs and other extra charges. This will protect you fromoverpaying for your purchase and will ensure that you get the best value foryour money. 
Be careful to ensure that the meatis delivered when you are at home. This is because the meat can go bad if leftoutside, even when it is frozen or well-packaged. You can also call the numberprovided on the website if you have any additional questions about how topurchase steaks online or for any desired clarifications. 
Shopping for T-bone steak online ischeap and convenient. You can prepare for your upcoming barbecue without evenleaving the house. Pick a dealer offering great discounts or freebies, such asrecipes, cooking tips or instructions. Once you make your purchase, you can besure that it will be delivered to your doorstep right when you need it.

27 Eylül 2012 Perşembe

Special Announcement For Coffee Lovers

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Do you remember McDonald's coffee in the 1970's? It was served in mugs made just for McDonald's by Fire King, as shown at left. That mug was the best thing about their coffee back then, which tasted like hot black battery acid,
McDonald's coffee has come a long way since then, I am happy to say. I prefer the java at McDonald's over most of the local competition and that includes Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, and when I'm on the road and looking for a quick coffee fix, I automatically start scanning for the Golden Arches.
McDonald's would also like you to know about the awesomeness of their coffee. That's why the Mickey Dees in the Connecticut and Western Massachusetts are sponsoring a couple of very cool coffee-related events this coming week - and you're invited.
First of all, on Monday morning, September 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM McDonald's is hosting a Virtual Coffee Tasting Event. You can follow along at this link: Livestream.com/VermontLive. You can also participate by following @McD_CTWMA with the hashtag #McDCoffeeChat.
The live virtual coffee tasting event will feature Nell Newman, president of Newman’s Own Organics along with Northampton MA McDonald’s Owner/Operator Wayne LeBrun and Green Mountain Coffee experts. It will cover the history of Newman’s Own Organics coffee with McDonald’s in New England; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Green Mountain roasting plant in Vermont; and the roasting process and taste of Newman’s Own Organics McDonald’s blend
But that's not all.
From September 23 to 29, 2012, participating McDonald's will be giving away free small-sized Newman's Own Organics coffee - because they know that their coffee is so good that once you try it you'll be back for more.
Sometime on Monday after the Virtual Coffee Tasting Event, I'll put up a blog post passing along some of the highlights, and I'll also hold a contest - I'll have three McDonald's punch cards good for free small coffee at McDonald's for a year to give away to three lucky readers. (Details will be in Monday's post.)
Disclosure: Because McDonald's wanted me to fully participate in the tasting, they sent me a free Keurig coffee maker and a box of Newman's Own Organics Coffee K-Cups. They are also providing me with the free small coffee punch cards to give away.


Fall Magazine Overview

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Standing in the checkout line at Stop & Shop yesterday, I took a look at the magazines:

Bon Appetit - Grown-up Comfort Food Comes Home For Fall

Better Homes & Gardens Good & Fresh - Comfort Food Favorites Made Healthy!

Woman's Day - Fall Comfort Food

Everyday with Rahael Ray - It's Comfort Food Season

Obviously, Autumn is for comfort food. (As opposed to summer, which is for discomfort foods like poison ivy salads and sour little green berries that give you the shits.)