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Fri, 24 Jan 2020
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Cow

Why the world needs livestock whether or not consumers choose to eat red meat

Montana Ranch cows

Montana Ranch
What this article is about: 1. Why the world needs livestock. 2. What is Holistic Management. 3. How grazing animals are perhaps more important to climate change than eliminating fossil fuels.

What this article is not about: Debate over consumer preferences on animal protein versus lab or cell-based protein. Nor is it about, vegan versus carnivore. I support free markets and consumer preferences and we all should have the option to buy food of our choice.

Our planet is experiencing climate change and increasing population at an accelerated rate. That statement is not an opinion, it's just science and math. As such, we need to leverage science to do with precision and safety what nature has been doing recklessly since the beginning of mankind. We also need to embrace capitalism as our planet's greatest problem-solving mechanism to accelerate increasing investment in agriculture. Investment needs to be thoughtful and focused on addressing known and quantifiable poorly or unmet market needs with detailed value propositions. A value proposition simply means what a product or service does better than the next best alternative. For example, Walmart's is "Everyday Low Prices" and Whole Foods's is "America's Healthiest Grocery Store". A value proposition needs to deliver either a risk mitigation, cost reduction or an increase in profitable revenue to grow sales or attract investment.

Comment: The short-sighted climate vegans simply have no concept of the damage that would be done were all pastured animal farming eliminated. Their solution would bring on a climate catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen. Yet they promote a cowless future as the solution to a non-problem and call for its immediate implementation. There's nothing more dangerous than an ideologue dictating policy.

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Donut

Why we eat too much: the new science of appetite (and what it tells us about losing weight)

donuts
© E+/Rouzes
These treats are bad for you... but so is starving yourself.


Obesity is on the rise, and our approach to weight loss isn't working. Dr Andrew Jenkinson explains why it's time for a rethink


Dr Andrew Jenkinson was once as prejudiced as most people are about obesity. He thought those who tipped the scales at 20st but carried on eating regardless, often bingeing on calorific foods, were irresponsible and lacked will power. Indeed when a patient once walked into his bariatric clinic carrying a plastic bag full of sausage rolls, crisps and snacks, he told the man to take some responsibility for himself and go on a diet, he tells me a little sheepishly.

Today he thinks differently. His understanding of the science of hunger and weight means he appreciates being obese isn't the lifestyle choice he once thought it was.

Comment: Most of the advice given in this article, and presumably in Dr Jenkinson's book, is reasonable. But the doctor seems to pull back at the point that most would start to see real benefit - entering ketosis. It's a moderate approach, which may serve some people just fine. But one has to wonder if being a proponent bariatric surgery, a drastic and highly invasive 'solution' to the obesity problem, has tainted his perspective in some ways.

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Bullseye

The truth about 'Game Changers' documentary

game changers movie poster
In recent weeks, I have been asked many times if I have seen 'Game Changers' and what I thought about it. Apparently, this film is regarded as convincing by many people. I watched it so that I can give my honest appraisal.

Having spent several years researching the science of our dietary needs and our evolution, I can state categorically that it is impossible for a vegan diet to be superior to an omnivore diet or, indeed, an entirely carnivorous diet. I can make this statement because we are not herbivores. This is the only indisputable fact that anyone needs to remember when wondering if veganism is for them. If you are a member of the human race, veganism cannot be your optimum diet: it is lacking in too many essential nutrients.

My book is called Stop Feeding Us Lies for a very good reason. We are constantly bombarded with myths, misinformation, fake news and downright lies. You just have to watch a political debate to know that. 'Game Changers' is just another big lie. It is part of a large and well-coordinated attack on our traditional foods by vested interests. Those vested interests are food manufacturing companies that stand to make a fortune if they persuade enough people to stop eating the animal foods our ancestors have been eating for a million years and switch to fake foods made in their laboratories.

Comment: See also:


Cow

Propaganda push: Channel 4's less meaty deal with plant-based firm

channel 4
Channel 4 has secured a seven-figure equity deal with a Yorkshire-based company that sells meat-free products.

The Meatless Farm Co, a plant-based company based in Leeds, struck the deal through the broadcaster's Commercial Growth Fund, an initiative that was set up in 2015.

The fund offers high growth potential companies not currently advertising on television, the opportunity to build their business through advertising on Channel 4 marketing platforms - by exchanging equity stakes or striking revenue share arrangements.

Comment: See also:


Rose

Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say

Honey bee
Paul Kernaleguen says regenerative agriculture has brought bees back to his farm.

"With the flowering species [of plants] we have now, you definitely see more," he said.

He's referring to the mixture of plants in his fields, near Birch Hills, Sask. Along with his partner, Erin Dancey, he now grows flowers like red clover, phacelia and sunflowers, along with barley, oats and peas they grow to feed their dairy cattle.

Dancey and Kernaleguen manage their fields with regenerative agriculture. They said the practice has brought greater profits, efficiency and a higher bee population.

Wine n Glass

So why aren't we talking about it? Alcohol is killing more people than the opioid epidemic

beer
In recent years, we have been hearing a lot about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The Center for Disease Control reported that over 47,000 people died in the United States alone from an opiate overdose in 2017, that is almost 5 times the amount of deaths caused by opiates in 1999. This is important, and yes it is good this is getting the attention that it deserves. However, in the same year, an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol related causes — Did anyone hear about that?

Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the first is tobacco and the second is poor diet and minimal physical activity. Given this, why aren't we talking about it? And why don't we see warning labels on alcoholic beverages? Why are we promoting such a harmful substance? We certainly don't see huge billboards with people in bikinis popping oxycontin or injecting heroin, because we are well aware that these substances are addictive and can cause harm, so again, why are we openly promoting alcohol? Especially to young people?

Is It Because It's Legal?

Is it possible that alcohol related deaths do not garner as much of a cause for concern because it is legal, easily available and socially acceptable? Most likely. Alcohol sales reached $253.8 billion in the US in 2018 — this might also have something to do with it.

Ladybug

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Healthy soil

Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health.
One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn't necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

When I embarked on a six-month trip to visit farms around the world to research my forthcoming book, "Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life," the innovative farmers I met showed me that regenerative farming practices can restore the world's agricultural soils. In both the developed and developing worlds, these farmers rapidly rebuilt the fertility of their degraded soil, which then allowed them to maintain high yields using far less fertilizer and fewer pesticides.

Their experiences, and the results that I saw on their farms in North and South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ghana and Costa Rica, offer compelling evidence that the key to sustaining highly productive agriculture lies in rebuilding healthy, fertile soil. This journey also led me to question three pillars of conventional wisdom about today's industrialized agrochemical agriculture: that it feeds the world, is a more efficient way to produce food and will be necessary to feed the future.

Comment: See also:


Red Flag

Big Pharma empire behind opioid epidemic now profiting from overdose cure

Nyxoid
Mundipharma is owned by the billionaire Sackler family, which also owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.

An affiliate of the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company that brought us OxyContin, the blockbuster painkiller blamed for propelling opiate addiction to epidemic proportions, is now seeking to cash in by selling the cure to overdosing on the same drug.

While Purdue Pharma, the major pharma firm owned by the notorious Sackler family, is engulfed in a tidal wave of negative public opinion and lawsuits across the United States, its overseas affiliate Mundipharma has quietly expanded across the globe in a bid to monopolize the market for treating opioid overdoses, the Associated Press reports.

Brain

What happens to the brain when you diffuse essential oils

essential oil

Nature itself is the Best Physician. - Hippocrates
Many are diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. In 2013, a medical expenditure survey determined that 1 in 6 Americans take psychiatric medication on a daily basis. Consequently, 90,000 adults and countless children visit the emergency room yearly for side-effects of these medications including, increased depressive or anxious symptoms, brain fog, confusion, heart palpitations, dizziness, muscle spasms, seizures, tics, and psychosis.

Despite these side-effects and the many black box warnings including death by suicide, many continue using them. It is about time we start addressing root causes of these emotional issues such as poor diet, trauma, leaky gut syndrome, toxicity, and nutritional deficiencies. It is also important that everyone recognize the power of plant medicine. Here we take a look at the healing benefits of essential oils.

Comment: Odor and the brain: What the nose knows


Doberman

Your personality determines how you experience pain - and it's the same with your pet

Dog with cone
Would you brush off a serious injury as "just a scratch"? Perhaps you're the opposite and a stubbed toe is unbearable. Anyone who follows sports will be used to seeing rugby players spending 90 minutes pretending they're unhurt while the footballer writhes in apparent agony (though that usually happens in the penalty area, strangely enough). People often find it difficult to understand others who are more or less stoic than themselves - but personality often has a great deal to do with why some people are better at tolerating pain than others.

The first thing to understand about pain is that it's an emotional response. The signal that the body has been damaged is sent to the brain via the nervous system. There, the brain interprets those signals and creates the unpleasant emotional experience of pain. This modifies your behaviour, protecting you from the present threat, and it also helps you learn from the experience so that you avoid it in future.

Personality reflects individual differences in how people respond emotionally and behaviourally to their environment. People who are more extroverted tend to be louder and more likely to share their thoughts and experiences with others. Little wonder that these people tend to express their pain very clearly, too, often by telling others the gory details or making a very clear physical demonstration like an exaggerated limp. It's important to extroverts that people recognise and acknowledge their suffering, while someone who's more introverted might prefer to suffer in silence and avoid seeking help from others.

Even though extroversion has a great deal to do with how people communicate their suffering, it has very little to do with how people actually feel about pain. That has more to do with neuroticism, which reflects how emotionally stable people are. Since pain is an emotional response, it makes sense that people who score highly for neuroticism experience pain more severely. They protect the injury more carefully and may "catastrophise" their prognosis and struggle to imagine a time when the pain will be resolved.