Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pink bollworms beat Monsanto

Evolution beats Monsanto
Monsanto has revealed that a common insect pest has developed resistance to its flagship genetically modified (GM) product in India. The agricultural biotechnology leader says it "detected unusual survival" of pink bollworms that fed on cotton containing the Cry1Ac gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which codes for a protein that's toxic to many insect pests. In a statement to Science, Monsanto claims that the finding from western India "is the first case of field-relevant resistance to Cry1Ac products, anywhere in the world."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Disgusting GMO trout

I don't even know what to say about this. I'll just let the photo speak for itself.
While the fish aren't going to win any beauty contests, the genetically engineered rainbow trout could hold some appeal at market, because they each provide 15 to 20 percent more flesh than standard tout, researchers say.

Monster Trout
The transgenic trout incorporate genes modeled on myostatin-inhibiting proteins found in powerfully built Belgian blue cattle, a beef breed noted for its "double muscled" appearance.
Belgian Blue

Article in National Geographic

Does biotech make you worried?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Are the leaders of Japan complete idiots? So it seems.

I normally like to stay civil when I post, but this really pisses me off.
The latest two-week long meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) saw bureaucrats sweep aside expert advice on how to save the bluefin tuna.
The bluefin tuna is close to extinction.

Years of research by marine and fisheries experts have concluded that the bluefin tuna's days are numbered, and unless there is an immediate ban it will become extinct in the very near future.
Some experts fear its population in the Atlantic has already fallen below sustainable levels.
A bluefin tuna can go for as much as $175.000 for one fish in Japan. So it is a matter of status to be able to afford to eat the bluefin tuna.

A vote was taken at CITES to put a temporary ban on bluefin tuna to help it recover. Sounds reasonable, don't you think?
Leading opposition to the ban was Japan, where most of the world catch is consumed in sushi restaurants.
Japan argued that a ban would be unfair, but the science supporting reasoned analysis was pushed to one side by politics, amid claims that Japan was trading promises of donor aid to developing countries in exchange for votes.
Unfair in what way? Unfair to those who simply can not live without eating the bluefin? Unbelievable.
Japan prevailed and the bluefin tuna may be doomed.
Good job, Japan! How much tuna do you think you will eat when there is no tuna?

BBC News article on the subject: How bureaucrats decided not to save the bluefin tuna.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

Comic courtesy of Savage Chickens

Genetic mutation happens for a reason, evolution. What is the reason for companies changing DNA?

Do scientist really know the longterm effects, on an ecosystem, when altering a plants or an animals DNA?
The director of UK’s prestigious Rowett Research Institute has stated: “The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don’t think we fully understand the dimensions of what we’re getting into.”
We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another."  -Professor Richard Lewontin, professor of genetics, Harvard University.

Not very comforting if you ask me. What do you think?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A novel idea

Here is a novel idea for all foodies out there. There is veganism, vegetarianism, fruiterianism, low carb, paleo, Atkins, Ornish, South Beach, Zone,  LEARN, Mediterranean and God knows what. Despite having different ideas on what to eat and how to eat it, we all have one thing in common:

We all care about what we put in our body.

We all want to eat fresh, natural, high quality food.

When a nation is attacked by a common foe, the people of that nation join ranks to survive. Survival of the whole becomes more important than the individual beliefs.

Food lovers, also known as humans, are under attack. You might not know it, but we are. The common foe is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

The effects of GMO are devastating.

  1. Brazil are deforesting Earth's lungs; the rain forest, to plant GMO soy.
  2. Monsanto, the worlds biggest biotech company, owns around 90% of all the soybean seeds in the USA, their goal being monopoly. All of that seed is Roundup resistant, a toxic pesticide, which kills everything living when applied. Roundup is a Monsanto product.
  3. They also own the larger part of the US corn production.
  4. In India Monsanto's products and business methods have led to thousands of Indian farmers committing suicide.
  5. There are studies showing kidney and liver failure in rat populations fed Monsanto's GMO corn. In experiments animals are fed large quantities of the corn. So the effects are visible much faster than among humans. Does the Monsanto corn have the same effect on humans? We don't know. Yet the same governments put in office by the people, approve these products for human consumption. Despite not knowing the effects.
  6. Monsanto has offices in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech , Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, South , Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United , United , Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. So far...
  7. BASF is the European equivalent of Monsanto. The recently had their GMO potato Amflora approved for production in the EC. The potato is not to be used for food production nor fodder, but it is a starting point for giants like Monsanto and BASF to gain acceptance for their products.
  8. BASF writes the following on their website: "Seed treatment is a business area with growth potential: Genetically modified crops are playing an increasingly important role worldwide."
  9. When a company like BASF or Monsanto develop a GMO they patent the product. If i.e. a Monsanto soybean spreads, intentionally or unintentionally, to a neighboring farmer, Monsanto can sue the farmer for patent infringement.
  10. Farmers buying Monsanto product are not allowed to save seed for next years production. They have to buy new seed. If they save seed they can be sued for breach of contract. In effect the farmers are made dependent on Monsanto's product.
  11. Monsanto's latest venture is to patent pigs.
  12. Their agenda? Control food, control everything.

Is this a common enemy, food lovers can join ranks against? You tell me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Proven: Vitamin D Prevents the Flu -- Throw Out Your Tamiflu

Well, technically we only "prove" things in math and logic, when we assume our premises. But the most recent study on vitamin D and the flu, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, gets as close to proving anything as we can get in nutritional and medical science."

The Daily Lipid:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Please stop GMO in Europe

We say no to Monsanto, and change our mind 12 years later?

New York Times: E.U. Approves First Modified Crop for Planting in 12 Years

The European Union today approved the first new genetically modified (GM) crop for domestic growing in more than a decade, ending what has been a long stalemate over a backlog of GM crops awaiting cultivation approval. 
The decision by the European Commission, the E.U.'s executive arm, will allow farmers to grow Amflora potatoes, a controversial GM crop developed by the German chemical giant BASF. The potatoes can be used solely for industrial or animal feed purposes, the bloc said. 
The potatoes, engineered to produce high levels of starch for use in paper production or textiles, are the first crop to be approved for farming since a strain of Monsanto's insect-resistant corn 12 years ago. That decision set off a storm of protest from European countries, some of which, like Austria and Germany, have invoked science-based protection clauses to prevent the corn's growth (Greenwire, Oct. 21, 2009).


Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals
In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto's GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health
Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others [4]. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity.


Please sign the petition to STOP GMO in Europe once and for all.

GM Food: get the facts first

The EC has just allowed GM crops into Europe, ignoring the concerns of the public. I've signed a petition for independent research and a moratorium on GM crop development. With 1 million citizens' signatures, we can make an official legal request to the European Commission. Sign below and let's get to 1 million:



Dear friends,

The European Commission has just approved growing genetically modified crops in the European Union for the first time in 12 years!

Caving to the GM lobby, the commission has ignored 60% of Europeans who feel we have to get the facts first before growing foods that could pose a threat to our health and environment.
A new initiative allows 1 million EU citizens to make official legal requests of the European Commission. Let's build a million voices for a ban on GM foods until the research is done; they will be delivered to the President Barroso of the European Commission. Sign the petition and forward this email to friends and family:  

Consumers, public health, environmental and farmers groups have long rallied against a few international GM companies having such significant influence over European agriculture. Concerns about growing GM crops include: contamination of organic crops and the environment; their impact on climate due to the excessive need for pesticides; the destruction of biodiversity and local agriculture; and the effects of GM food on public health.

EU member states have voiced strong opposition to last week's decision to authorise BASF's potato and Monsanto's maize -- Italy and Austria are opposed, and France said it would ask for further scientific research.

There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops. And it is the GM industry, pursuing profits not public well being, that is funding the science and driving the regulatory environment. That is why European citizens are calling for more independent research, testing and precaution before crops are unleashed onto our land.

Now, the "European Citizens' Initiative" gives 1 million EU citizens the opportunity to submit policy proposals to the European Commission and offers us a unique chance to drown out lobbyists' influence.
Let's raise 1 million voices to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical and scientific body to research and determine the strong regulation of GM crops. Sign the petition now and then forward it widely:

With determination,

Alice, Benjamin, Ricken, Luis, Graziela and the entire Avaaz team.

More information:

Last Eurobameter Survey 2008 'Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment', page 66:

The Independent, Fury as Brussels authorises GM potatoes:

Reuters, France blasts GM crop approvals by EU agency:

New Report: GMOs Causing Massive Pesticide Pollution:

Summary of the International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, including critics of GMOs use in agriculture:
If there ever was a time when you could make a difference, this is it.
Please sign petition here:

Signed when posting this: 269,356

Update 2010 March 25th: Total signatures 300,925
Update 2010 March 26th: Total signatures 315,553
Update 2010 March 30th: Total signatures 342,852

Help us get to 1,000,000

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making ends meet

Not the kind of foods I would recommend, but still an amazing mother. She feeds a family of 6 with 4 dollars a week.

Interview with an ex-vegan

I discovered I was deficient in a multitude of different nutrients that are readily available in animal products. (b12, zinc, iron, magnesium, vit D, Retinol Vit A). I also found out I had hypothyroidism, and when I did some research I found the link between raw cruciferous vegetables and soy blocking thyroid function.  Protein and pre-formed Vitamin A from animal products are critical for thyroid health.  When you have a slow thyroid you cannot convert beta carotene into Retinol Vitamin A, the form you need for healthy thyroid function.
Entire interview.

Oh, and one more thing:  Why do vegans eat fake meat? You don't see carnivores eat fake vegetables. Honest question.

Women from a Male Perspective

I have a friend. Her name is Helene. She has four children and she is single. Two of them are now adults, and two around ten or so. Helene has been one of my heroes for a long time. Being a single mother of four is something almost unimaginable for a man. To succeed in bringing up four children alone is an admirable feat. Her children are great. Some parents can't even manage one child. And they are twice as many.

I know another mother. Her name is Heather. She has three children. Her life has been hell to say the least. But her children are fine and she has struggled like an beast to make ends meet and to raise her children well. She is another of my heroes.

I listened to a radio show a while ago. Four mothers were talking. One said:
"The mother is always the dumpster. She always stays. The children know a mother never abandons. Fathers are away so much the children are grateful for what little they get from him. The father must not be pressured, questioned or intimidated. If he is, he might leave for goodThen maybe he abandons the kids forever. The mother's reward for her loyalty, kindness and love is - she gets to be the garbage can. "
We live in a so-called equal country. An equal country where women still face discrimination daily. Equal pay for equal work is probably not even worth mentioning. Nor that typical "female professions" are lower paid than typical "male professions".

When you go shopping together, it does not matter if it's the woman who starts off the negotiations with the salesman. The salesman sooner or later turns to the man to conclude the sale. I have personally experienced this multiple times and every time I shake my head: Don't look at me, talk to her.

Women give birth. They have their period. When they give birth, they get stretch marks. They go through menopause. Men shave. Poor men.

In the United States, a single mother over thirty is as attractive on the relation market, as that moldy thing in the back of the fridge you know you should throw away, but you think is too disgusting to touch, so you wait a little longer to toss it.

On the coast of West Africa, there is an indigenous tribe ruled by women. Their language has no word for war. That says everything needing to be said about women. And men.

Men are not really worthy of women's love. Men rape, murder and pillage. Women love, educate and nurture.

Women deserve all our respect. I love women. Because they exist and because they tolerate us men. Thank you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nature is fantastic

Another speech by renowned chef Dan Barber. This time about foie gras, fat liver from duck or goose, which is considered to be an exquisite delicacy. The controversy of foie gras is gavage, or force feeding the animal. However, Barber's speech show that, if we cooperate with nature instead of try to overcome it, nature rewards us.
-Why don't you sell the foie gras to world class chefs?
-They don't deserve my foie gras.
-What do you think of conventional foie gras?
-An insult to history.
Great and inspirational stuff.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Now THAT is sustainable!

Amazing speech by Dan BarberHow I fell in Love with a Fish.

Barber speaks of a fish farm off the coast of Spain:

  • Which does not feed their fish
  • The fish feeds a population of 600 000 birds
  • The farm acts as a huge water purifier

På svenska

Kör en svensk blogg här:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Judge sides with Monsanto on beet ban

A federal judge denied a request by organic seed growers and conservation and food safety groups seeking a temporary ban on Monsanto Co.’s genetically engineered beets.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eating Low Carb makes you stupid

There is a diet in Sweden callled the ISO-diet. It is basically a diet which divides protein, fat and carbohydrates into equal parts.

At the homepage of the ISO-diet, the founder Fredrik Paulun with a Masters in Nutrition, compares six different diets. He claims the following about low carb:
"Ketone bodies are formed in the body when on a low carbohydrate diet. Ketones are acidic and makes the environment in the body more acidic, which increases the risk for brittle-bone disease, inflammation, constipation and pain. The brain also doesn´t function as well, with a lower carbohydrate intake and you lose interest in exercise. Simply put, it makes you stupid."
Link for those who read Swedish:

NOTE: This is not satire, even though it might make a few people laugh. 

Also note that his claims are pure fabrication except for the constipation part which could be a transitional side effect of switching to a low carb diet.

The ISO-diet is Paulun´s baby - one of his businesses. Let´s all wish him best of luck with his business and his business methods. When a business owner has so little faith in his own method he relies on slandering the competition, well, that´s all that needs to be said of the owner and the method.

Quote of the Day

Our health depots require far more careful eating than that! It requires that you eat food not based on refined food with nutrient lacking carbohydrates. Food which humans have consumed for a very long time. Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, fruit, oils and other food which doesn´t get any room on your plate after the flour-mafia has occupied your entire meal with sticky pasta.
- Jonas Colting, Ultraman World Champion

Are you scared of fat?

Saw this video today. Love this dietitians fear of fat. Dietitians in Sweden are the same. Still live in a world were fat is the demise of mankind. People cut down on fat, yet obesity is going up. Time to wake up and smell the coffee?

According to this woman you should not eat: meat, fat, sugar, white flour and pasta or "anything that spikes your blood sugar." So what should you eat?

Love that woman at 2:28.

"Is it possible to eat healthy when you live a life on the go? Please don´t tell me to pack snacks or my own lunch, because I know that´s not gonna happen."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Monsanto Monstrosity

Choose the next part among the thumbnails at the end.

And finally som good news:

Oatmeal healthy? If you like high blood sugar.

Oatmeal = Tons of carbs (52% carbs)
Tons of carbs = Raised blood sugar
High blood sugar = Insulin production
Insulin = Prevents fat burn
Insulin = Instrumental in fat storage
Insulin = Falling blood sugar
Falling blood sugar = Hunger
Hunger = Eat more
Eat more = Overeating
Overeating = Obesity

Simply put. ;)

I meet a lot of people eating oatmeal believing it is healthy. I am from Sweden and we have a long, long tradition of oatmeal.

The grain industry has been sponsoring Swedish athletes for a very long time.

Apparently, kids who get into sports get a brochure, from sponsored by one of the biggest grain producers, AXA in Sweden, loaded with propaganda about how athletes must eat a lot of carbohydrates. If nothing else the AXA executives can afford new Beamers.

Fortunately there are more and more athletes breaking away from traditional diets. One of the main reasons being, that top athletes get sick a lot. Björn Ferry, who won a gold in Vancouver, is on a low carb diet. No oatmeal whatsoever for him.

Dr William Davis at The Heart Scan Blog writes:
I now no longer recommend any oat product due to its blood sugar-increasing effects.

The Açaí MLM scheme

Read a critical breakdown of the wonders of antioxidants, which I have heard to boredom by now, at Alan Aragon´s blog. Apparently regular cheap red wine has more antioxidant capacity than the Açaí juices.
Acai has become a household name, due in part to best-selling author Dr. Nicholas Perricone proclaiming it to be the #1 superfood.
And here are the study results Aragon references to:
Each of the 6 tests was equally factored into determining overall antioxidant potency. Here’s how the beverages ranked:
  1. Pomegranate juice
  2. Red wine
  3. Concord grape juice
  4. Blueberry juice
  5. Blackberry juice
  6. Acai juice
  7. Cranberry juice
  8. Orange juice
  9. Iced tea (green, black, & white tea collectively)
  10. Apple juice
So - from now on please don´t try and get me aboard on the Açaí MLM schemes. Selling a product which cost 40 dollars for two weeks consumption is a tall order for most normal folks, and now there is actually research showing it is a tall order to convince someone Açaí at $40 is better for you than Blueberry Juice at $3 or red wine at $2.

Full article at Alan Aragon's blog.

More about Pomegranate juice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is happiness?

Happiness my style is:

  1. Waking up 6 in the morning fresh as a daisy after being used to wake up around 11 dead tired.
  2. To be able to run for 8 minutes after having a record of 2 minutes.
  3. When your special one texts "<3".
  4. When your long friend decides to try that whacky diet of yours.
  5. Sun in your face a Sunday morning.
  6. The promise of a trout in my favorite river.
  7. Losing 20 lbs in 6 weeks without dieting.
  8. Eating everything you wanted to eat, but never could because it was too fat.
  9. Seeing people protest against old and false dogma.
  10. Not having to smoke again, ever again.
  11. When you realize your self esteem is at an all time high.
  12. When you realize your life has changed in a direction better than ever before.
Help me out here. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Many of the antimicrobials given to livestock are important in human medicine

Approximately 13.5 million pounds of antimicrobials prohibited in the European Union are used in agriculture for nontherapeutic purposes every year by U.S. livestock producers.

The European Union has prohibited nontherapeutic agricultural use of antimicrobials that are important in human medicine, such as penicillins, tetracyclines, and streptogramins. Total U.S. agricultural use of these banned antimicrobials is enormous.

They ain´t getting my money

- Did you vote for the new clean air bill?
- Sure.
- How did you vote?
- I voted for it.
- What? I voted against it.
- Why?
- Taxes, man. They ain´t getting my money.
- We live in a town which has had the worst air in America for a couple of years now.
- I don´t care.
- You have kids don´t you?
- So?
- Your kid´s health isn´t worth 7 dollars a year for two years?
- But...

Rushes off bright red faced.

Leg of lamb - heaven on a plate

Today´s dinner was absolutely delicious.

Rosemary and garlic marinated leg of lamb, cooked on the bone in foil, so no goodness escaped. The juice was the base of a sauce made of heavy cream, philadelphia cheese, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. A side of green salad and fresh spinach.

Heaven on a plate. The lamb was so moist it melted in the mouth.

Did I tell you I am on a diet? A diet of natural food and heavenly goodness every day. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food in America. A retrospect.

When I grew up I was very active, soccer and high jumping being my favorite sports. My proudest moment was being the best 13 year old in the Donald Duck Swedish Nationals or Kalle Anka as he is called in Sweden. I was a tall, lean teenager. When I moved to Gothenburg in 8th grade I started dancing and taking karate lessons as well. The years when I danced and did karate at the same time was probably the most fit years of my life. I felt good, I looked good and the world was my oyster.

I lead a very active life in my late teens and my early twenties. But things took a turn for the worse at one point in my life and I stopped being as active. A lot of bad eating habits combined with poor self esteem put me at 227 lbs (103 kg) when I was 25. I had been around 180 since my early teens. I am 6 foot 2, by the way.

I had a monster of an unintentional weight loss one summer when I lost around around 44 lbs (20 kg) in 2 months. By that time I was an avid fly fisherman, so I lost all that weight from eating wild brown trout every day. And living in a tent in the woods for two months at my favorite river in northern Sweden.

But all that lost weight came creeping back slowly but surely and by the time I was heading to America in 2001 I was weighing around 209 lbs (95kg), which was an overweight of about 22 lbs (10kg) for me.

I went to Utah, (No jokes about Utah, please. Its painful enough to live there) to study. My years in school were great, albeit with some strange educational rules forcing me to take classes like Statistics 101 and Human Development Across the Lifespan (which basically was a class on how to become a good mother.) The reason a lot of students took that class was it covered three requirements. 3 credits and 3 requirements. Strange but true.

I remember going to the supermarket for the very first time. Smith's on 400 East. I had never seen a supermarket that size before. You better not forget something from aisle 2 because it is a long way back from aisle 19. The first thing that struck me was that vegetables were so expensive. And the bread available was far from what I was used to. I ate dark or sourdough bread, so the hordes of wheat and sugary bread in the bread aisle was just not for me.

I was used to fruit juice, I didn't know any better back then, but couldn't find any juices without added sugar. I asked an employee and he confirmed they didn't carry non sweetened juices. I looked for mineral water, but real mineral water, like Perrier was a bit pricey for me, and sodas has never been part of my regular diet so I skipped that all together.

Back home I always had yogurt for breakfast. Yogurt is a bit of religion in Sweden. In the US I did find "low fat" or "fat free" yogurts like Dannon, but they all had a lot of sugar added. And the ingredients were shady to say the least:
Dannon Activia Strawberry yogurt
Cultured grade a reduced fat milk, strawberry, fructose syrup, sugar, contains less than 1% of fructose, whey protein contentrate, corn starch, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, natural flavor, carmine (for color), sodium citrate, malic acid 
(Contents are normally written in upper case, but I converted it to lower case to make it easier to read. Graphic designers know ALL UPPERCASE WRITING IS HARD TO READ. Is this intentional by the companies? Of course it is.)
First of all, anything with reduced fat is compensated with sugar or artificial sweeteners. If you remove fat from milk and add nothing to compensate the milk will  be tasteless. Ingredients are listed proportionally, most of the ingredient, first to last. In the above example, the least of total content is malic acid and reduced fat milk the most.

Natural flavor is a tricky one. The flavors and aromas are so concentrated they seem like a small part of the ingredients, but it only takes a very small amount to achieve the desired result. Think of it as perfume, the most concentrated one. Big Food does this to save on real flavor, in the above case strawberries.

A very recent study about fructose claims fructose could be a reason behind child diabetes. MD Robert Lustig's, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology lecture about sugar and fructose is excellent for anyone interested. If you know of additional studies showing dangers of HFCS, please post them in the comments or mail them to me. For more information on high fructose corn syrup and corn in general, do watch the movies Food Inc. and King Corn.

Let's move on to the confusing nutrition facts. Illustrated by the below comparison of US and European nutrition facts. I have used Wonderbread to illustrate the differences.

Now, if all products where based on 28 gram portions it would be easy to compare products, but of course they aren't. A few examples:

  • 113 grams - Dannon: Activia Strawberry Yogurt
  • 177 ml - CapriSun: Fruit Dive 6 Oz Pouch 100% Juice
  • 12 oz - Tropicana: Pure Premium - Some Pulp Orange Juice
  • 84 grams - Tyson: Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast
  • 28 grams - Wonder Classic White Bread

Below are the nutrition facts of Swedish whole milk.

Click the image for larger version

Now let's assume you want to buy bread for breakfast. You find three kinds of bread which are to your liking:
  • Portion size: 28 grams - Wonder Classic White Bread
  • Portion size: 38 grams - Thomas': Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Breakfast
  • Portion size: 85 grams - Western Bagel: Original Recipe Blueberry Bagels
Now you want to find out which one is more healthy. Based on the information available in the nutrition facts, how do you figure out which has the least i.e. calories? Unless you have a calculator with you or you are a savant with mad math skills, you can't. I used an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the facts I used in the illustrations.

My point? All food in Europe is marked the same, per 100 grams. No matter if it is a liquid or solid food. So when you compare two products you compare per 100 grams, not by portion size.

The politicians in EU are however trying to make Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) standardized in Europe. Big Food are having a blast of course. An example was OLW Chips, a Swedish brand of potato chips. One of their chips packages said the chips had 135 calories based on a portion size of 25 grams. 25 grams is about 13 pieces of chips. Do you know anyone who eats 13 chips and then says:

Thanks, I'm good. 

Me neither. The Swedish FDA approved OLW's portion size. However if you eat the whole thing, 300 grams of heart attack artery clogging goodness, you consume about 1500 calories. 135 vs 1500. No wonder Big Food hearts GDA.

Since nutrition facts have been like this for a long time, people have gotten used to them and have accepted them. Why does the FDA allow this?

Some time ago the FDA changed the limits on how much trans fat a product could contain in order to use the words "Trans Fat Free" on the packaging. Big Food of course was annoyed by this, but they are ingenious, so they found a solution very quickly. Change the portion size to a smaller one. Trans fat fell below the limit with the new portion size and voilà - it's legally Trans Fat Free, without changing the actual trans fat content of the product.

Ok, I got way off topic there. Back to my retrospect of American Food. As you can tell, the culture shock was severe. I tried eating healthy, but it was hard. And once school was seriously under way late nights in the studios became more and more common. Late nights mean hunger, means food, means available food, means vending machines. My sweet Jesus, I ate a lot of junk food during those late nights. Coke, candy, chocolate bars, burritos heated in the disgusting microwave used by everyone and not cleaned since before America put a man on the moon, hamburgers, Powerade, cookies, pop tarts, pies, chips, pizza and tons of the watery crap called coffee. The coffee did have a very vague flavor of the real thing and it did wake me up, so I suppose it had caffeine in it and got the required job done...

I have no idea how much sugar I consumed the first few years, but after 2 years I had gained 37 lbs (17 kg) and had become officially obese. By that time I had pretty much given up. I didn't really care how much I weighed anymore. Given it is socially accepted in Utah to be obese, nobody else really cared either. Strange thing is I didn't gain more as far as I recall. Maybe part of it was I starved myself long periods of time. I simply didn't eat.

Recalling the vending machine food, I don't really want to know how much sugar I consumed. Out of sight out of mind.

My staple food was Domino's, Burger King, a local Mexican joint, which was infamous for all food poisonings, Chili's, an Indian place, Subway and occasionally the local diner for a "regular" warm dinner. I never cooked at home anymore. Not that I really ever had.

I recall visiting home during those years. My friends were kind enough not to say anything, but I could tell. Their eyes said:
"Peter , what on earth have you done with yourself?"
I  had no answer for them. I knew. There was nothing to say. No excuses. I had officially become a fat guy.

Looking back at it today, I could have eaten low carb in America and stayed in shape. I eat what a lot of Americans eat for breakfast i.e. Bacon and eggs, sans the bread.

Unfortunately I wasn't aware of low carb then. Upon returning to Sweden I fought with my weight until last Christmas. Then I decided to change my habits. And it sure has paid dividends. Reading contents and nutrition facts requires some practice, but boy is it worth it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

So you think you're a night person

Since I changed my diet I´ve been having a harder and harder time to maintain my self image of being a night person. I think one thing - my body another. I am losing the battle. Last night I fell asleep at ten.

The time is 6.58 a.m. I woke up about half an hour ago. The sun is barely rising. I would not get up at half past six on a Saturday earlier, even if I got paid. Now I am starting to like it. Everything is quiet and peaceful.

Within a not too distant future the ice will be gone and the snow will only be a memory. The time to dig out my equipment will have arrived. The best time to fool a silver bullet is sunrise and sundown. A silver bullet is a sea trout. If you never had spring sea trout, you are missing out. A delicacy.

Sean Croxton of speaks a lot of sleep and hormones. Below I´ve posted a video of his about sleep, stress and cortisol. Your body produces cortisol naturally in the morning. It´s to get us started and wake us up.

In the evening melatonin is produced. It´s to make you sleepy and to put the body in sleep mode. The best way to stay awake in the evening is to drink caffeine or eat carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar levels. You force the body to stay awake when you do that. Of course, it´s not healthy to counteract your natural need to sleep. It didn't matter if I slept 5, 8 or 10 hours before. I would wake up tired no matter when I got up or how long I slept. Since I changed my diet I sleep less and wake up energized. Energized in a way I haven't felt in a very long time. It's a wonderful feeling. I feel 20 years younger.

Have a great weekend everyone. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Truffle oil? No such thing.

I am reading a book called "The Secret Chef" (Den hemlige kocken) by Mats-Eric Nilsson.The book has not yet been translated into English.

What we think is balsamic vinegar, in fact is, ordinary wine vinegar blended with grape juice and brown caramel color. That would be Aceto balsamico di Modena. The real deal is called Aceto balsamico Tradizionale delicious and very expensive.

Truffle Oil, a popular oil added to a lot of dishes in many homes, is not truffle oil. You can not produce truffle oil at all. The only thing that would happen if you put truffles in oil is they would eventually rot. This is because the truffle does not contain essential oils which can be extracted. Thus, it is impossible to produce truffle oil. Truffle oil is an oil with chemically produced aromas which mimic the taste and smell of truffles.

Zeta, a major oil manufacturer writes on their product page: 

"Olive oil flavored with truffle aroma. Like all the best truffle oils it gets its flavor from thoroughly tested aromas. The white truffle aromas are volatile and difficult to resolve in oil."
In plain English? Chemists made flavors which taste and smell like truffles, but is everything but truffles.

The Secret Chef is an incredible eye opener. Japanese researchers have found a way to extract vanillin (one of the ingredients of real vanilla, but far what gives vanilla its characteristic flavor) from cow dung. The cow dung vanillin is supposed to go into production sometime this year. It will probably not be used for food production since you have to state the source of origin with food, but it will be used for perfumes and skincare products.

Smoked ham of lesser quality is not smoked at all.  It has never been near smoke. It gets its smokey taste from smoke aroma. The world leader in smoke aromas is Red Arrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bayer sold HIV contaminated medicine in Spain, France and Japan

Not related to diets, I know, but I still think this is important so here goes.

Bayer corporation is an offspring of IG Farben, the company responsible for human genetics testing in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. High coporate officers of IG Farben were indicted during the Nurnberg trials and convicted. They were however released before their sentence was complete and some of them returned to corporate positions within the German business world.

Link to New York Times article.

Carbs and exercise Part II

It is well known that adaptation to a fat-rich carbohydrate-poor diet results in lower resting muscle glycogen content and a higher rate of fat oxidation during exercise when compared with a carbohydrate-rich diet.The net effect of such an adaptation could potentially be a sparing of muscle glycogen, and because muscle glycogen storage is coupled to endurance performance, it is possible that adaptation to a high-fat diet potentially could enhance endurance performance.
Conclusion: Low carb diets result in higher fat burn (fat oxidation) compared to High carb diet, when exercising.
Link to publication.

Myths exposed: Training does not require carbohydrates

Just read a study where a carb diet and a high fat diet was compared in relation to endurance in exercise. Quote from the study:
Exercise time to exhaustion during HIE was not significantly different between trials: nor were the rates of muscle glycogen utilization during HIE different between trials, although starting muscle glycogen content was lower [...] after the HIGH-FAT diet. Despite a lower muscle glycogen content at the onset of MIE [...], exercise time to exhaustion during subsequent MIE was significantly longer after the HIGH-FAT diet [...].

In plain English? The difference in time from start to exhaustion is not significant, despite the glycogen storage being lower in the high fat group.

Conclusion? The body needing carbs for training is a myth.

Codex Alimentarius explained

The rest of the lecture can be found here:

About Ian Crane:

An ex-oilfield executive, Ian now lectures and writes on the geo-political webs that are being spun; with particular focus on US Hegemony and the NWO agenda for control of global resources. Since 2007 Ian has focused his efforts on raising public awareness of the pernicious attack on the global population in the name of corporate globalisation and harmonisation; with particular focus on the excesses of Codex Alimentarius. Ian is an independent researcher; he is completely self-funded. The views expressed in his talks and DVD's are based entirely upon his personal knowledge and research. Prior to his retirement from the corporate arena, Ian enjoyed a career of 25 years in telecommunications and international oilfield services, a career that provided the opportunity to live & work in the U.K., Continental Europe, the Middle East & Houston, Texas. 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Codex Alimentarius - why?

I found out about Codex Alimentarius today. Had never heard of it before. To be honest it scares me. Few things do, but Codex does. I emailed my national Codex representative asking how the EU can allow this. Let´s see if I get an answer.

Free food at McDonalds

Ok, I don´t recommend anyone to do this, nor do I think McDonalds actually serve anything which could be called food. But this is perty funny. :)

Sugar the Bitter Truth, the short version

Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness, summarizes Professor Lustig´s lecture on sugar.