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Wed, 31 Aug 2016
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Bacon n Eggs

Yes, eating pastured meat really is more humane than vegetarianism

© Nom Nom Paleo
Bacon Love
There are a lot of people who believe that it's not "humane" to eat meat. I get it. On the surface, it can seem that the most humane thing to do is to not eat meat. Avoiding meat can also appear to be the best for sustainability and the "cleanest" way to eat. I understand that having compassion for animals seems at odds with eating them. This is why I don't support factory-raised meat.

There are some important environmental reasons why we need herbivores.

Recently, I wrote a piece explaining how grazing animals are beneficial for the soil. Their chomping on grass stimulates new growth, their hooves, urine and manure work critical microbes into the land, increasing the biodiversity of life underground, which helps in the carbon sequestration process. I explained how most of the studies showing how much water it takes to make a burger are actually looking at green water (includes rain) and not blue water (water used for drinking by the cattle). When you look at this study, which uses the blue water methodology, "typical" beef production has a similar water footprint to rice, avocados, walnuts and sugar. I also explained that when you look at the amount of land not suitable for crops, and only usable as pasture, that cattle and other herbivores don't need to compete with vegetables for space. Here's a great graph explaining the environmental impact of grass-fed beef.

There is another recent study from Tufts University explaining how a vegan diet is not the most sustainable from a land use perspective. Cropping all of the usable land in order to produce vegetables is simply not an efficient use of space. The study looked at land usage, and again, when we consider that much of the earth's land surface is not suitable for vegetable production, it's clear that including animal protein in the human diet is efficient from a land use perspective. What the study didn't consider is pasture-based herbivores as the primary source of protein. It considered "typical" meat intake. Factory-raised meat chickens, which have seen an increase of nearly 400% of global animal protein intake, eat grain. If we swap out chicken meat for grass-fed and finished beef, then the equation would look much different.

Comment: Veganism/Vegetarianism is, quite simply, more destructive to the environment than eating pastured meat, and is neither a natural diet for humans, nor for the integration of humanity into the natural system of the planet as a whole. Agriculture was quite possibly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of humanity.

For more information: Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, goes into more depth on the topic in the video below:




Health

The ancient practice of cupping is back but does it work for pain relief?

© AP
There has been a great deal of media buzz about the purple dots on Michael Phelps' back and shoulders at the Rio Olympics. The Canadian broadcaster CBC focussed on it both on their web page and on Mark Tewksbury's commentary on TV. Both provided interesting discussions, but both concluded that there is no evidence or that "Some experts are skeptical of the treatments effectiveness."

Though there may be little evidence specifically of muscle recovery, there is plenty of evidence of benefit for the type of musculoskeletal pain that athletes can experience.

Comment:




Life Preserver

Wearing blue-blocking glasses can improve your sleep and protect your body's internal rhythm

You may remember the blue-blocking sunglasses that were popular in the U.S. in the 1980s. The glasses, with their amber-colored lenses, had a bit of a cult following and were perhaps best known for how clear they made regular objects appear.

They were promoted by Joel Sugarman who is actually a friend of mine and regular reader of this newsletter.

However, many are not aware that these glasses were originally designed for the NASA space program. Astronauts need powerful eye protection in outer space, where ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are incredibly strong.

A sunglass manufacturer developed a special design that blocked not only the UV rays but also blue rays.1 The glasses had the desirable "side effect" of making objects appear sharper, but the real benefits of blocking blue light are only beginning to be understood.

Far beyond the benefits to your visual clarity, blocking blue light serves an important biological purpose, helping to regulate your internal clock to control sleep patterns and other body functions. Quite simply, avoiding blue light at night is crucial to protecting your health.

Why Exposure to Artificial Blue Light Needs to Be Avoided

Exposure to artificial light is one of the largest often-overlooked health risks of living in the 21st century. Your early ancestors had no such worries, as their day started and ended with the rise and fall of the sun, which synchronized perfectly with their circadian rhythm.

Today, your body is still attuned to this internal clock. In the morning, bright, blue-light-rich sunlight signals to your body that it's time to wake up. At night, as the sun sets, darkness should signal to your body that it's time to sleep.

The problem is that most people living in developed countries no longer go to sleep when the sun sets.

Comment: See also:


SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: Minding your mouth and natural ways to keep your teeth

© Julio Cortez / AP
Dr. Wayne Aldredge, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, demonstrates how dental floss should be used in Holmdel, N.J.
Have you ever wondered if our modern methods of oral hygiene and dental care are causing us more harm than good? Despite all the advancements in dental technology our collective teeth are actually worse off than they were before the agricultural revolution. In this Health and Wellness Show we discuss the topics of flossing, mercury amalgams, fluoride, root canals and more. We also share natural means and DIY methods to obtain a healthy mouth and keep your grill in tip-top shape.

Running Time: 01:18:53

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Rose

Simple scratch and sniff test can be used to predict Alzheimer's Disease

Introduction:

The ability to correctly identify odors may prove to be a more functional approach to identifying people at risk for early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Currently, physicians have to rely on expensive medical imaging (CT, MRI, or PET scans) to look for changes in the brain that are characteristic of AD. However, one of the problems with brain imaging beyond their cost is that it simply like taking a picture of the brain. Although sometimes these pictures provide valuable information, they do not evaluate the actual function of the brain.

Research has suggested that simple smell tests evaluating a person's ability to identify odors may prove to be a practical screening tool for AD and age-related mental decline. Now a new study from Columbia University researchers has shown that a simple, inexpensive scratch and sniff test was shown to be better than an MRI measurement in predicting the early stages of AD.

No Entry

No surprise: Infertility-causing chemicals found in humans are also found in dogs

The same chemicals that disrupt sperm quality in humans are also being discovered in a range of commercially available dog foods--including brands specifically marketed for puppies. Sperm quality in dogs has fallen rapidly over the past three decades, a trend which could help explain the purported decline in human fertility.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham believe that the study could help explain the reported significant decline in human semen quality.

The work, published in Scientific Reports, highlights a potential link to environmental contaminants, after they were able to demonstrate that chemicals found in the sperm and testes of adult dogs-- and in some commercially available pet foods -- had a detrimental effect on sperm function at the concentrations detected.

Comment: More on phthalates and PCBs:


Health

Why you don't want to be Vitamin E deficient

Vitamin E is an important fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps combat damaging free radicals. It also plays a role in the making of red blood cells and helps your body use vitamin K, the latter of which is important for heart health.1

Unfortunately, estimates suggest about 6 billion people worldwide are deficient in this basic micronutrient.

According to a recent review presented at the World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, more than 90 percent of Americans fail to reach the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E.2

An earlier review3 published in 2012 found that over 75 percent of Americans and Britons failed to meet minimum RDA levels for vitamin E. The RDA for people over the age of 14 is 15 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E per day, but most Americans get only half that amount.4

Health

Is your urine Roundup ready? The majority of tests come back positive

According to urine tests taken in the European Union rather recently, 48 members of the EU Parliament volunteered to have their urine tested and ALL tests came back positive! [1]

According to the article titled "We are pissed off" [1],
The Biocheck lab in Leipzig that carried out the 'Elisa test' concluded: "All participants excreted glyphosate by urine. This means that glyphosate could be also a health problem of EU-parliament members." [....}

On average, the MEPs had 1.7 micrograms/litre of glyphosate in their urine, 17 times higher than the European drinking water norm (0.1 microgram/litre). This means that everyone we tested was way above the limit for residues of pesticides in drinking water.

Additionally, No less than 99.6% of all citizens who took part in this survey had higher residue levels. This means that virtually all citizens are contaminated with glyphosate. [....]

Comment:


Sun

Sunlight avoidance correlates with a global rise in cancers


Fearful beachgoers in China are trading their suncreen and hats for facekinis.
A causative link between the sun and cancer does not exist and never has. The cancer and sunscreen industries have made it their mission to convince the world that sunlight is a primary cause of skin cancer, when in fact it has been shown to prevent it and many other forms of cancer.

It is a common sight these days to come across girls riding their two-wheelers and scooties, all covered up to avoid the sun's rays on their person. They even wrap a stole around their faces, such that not an inch of their face is seen, and wear gloves to keep the sun away from their skin.

Experts say that despite living in a tropical climate, it is unfortunate that many don't expose themselves to the sun to get the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamin D.

Comment: More on the benefits of sunlight and Vitamin D:


Health

Men are significantly weaker than they were 30 years ago, says new study

© Serge/Getty Images
Think you'd beat your dad in an arm wrestling competition when he was your age? Bad news: he'd probably kick your ass.

Men today are weaker than they were 30 years ago, research in the Journal of Hand Therapy found.

In the study, men aged 20-34 have lower grip and pinch strength - which measures how strong your hand and upper extremities are - than the same aged guys did three decades ago.

In fact, the average grip strength for men ages 25-29 is nearly 12 kilograms lower today than it was before.

Your grip may not seem super important unless you're a competitive arm wrestler, but it actually serves as a good proxy of your overall strength.

Comment: Hand-Grip Strength Associated With Poor Survival