Tag Archives: agribusiness

There will be a (vegan) revolution in the new year … and … 3 so-easy veggie pasta dishes by Chef Joey

By Heather Moore

It’s time for a vegan revolution!

I mean … resolution. Each new year, countless people resolve to lose weight and eat healthfully, but many find themselves no thinner—or healthier—in July than they were in January. Perhaps this year, everyone should put some stock in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) new position paper on vegetarian and vegan eating and resolve to ditch meat, eggs and dairy foods.

The updated AND paper, which was published in December, confirms that wholesome vegan foods “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” It specifically points out that people who eat plant-based meals are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

According to the authors, people who go vegan reduce their risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 62 percent, of being hospitalized for a heart attack by 33 percent, of suffering from heart disease by 29 percent and of succumbing to any form of cancer by 18 percent. Men can reduce their chance of developing prostate cancer by 35 percent just by eating vegan.

And in case you weren’t listening the first time they said it, the AND reiterated its assertion that a vegan lifestyle is suitable—even beneficial—for everyone, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, children, adults, athletes and your third cousin, twice removed.

And that’s not to mention anyone who professes to care about animals or the environment.

The report even includes information on the environmental aspects of eating vegan. Susan Levin, one of the report’s authors, acknowledges that the AND’s expertise is in nutrition but says that it’s impossible to ignore the evidence proving that plant-based foods are better for the planet. Research has shown that if everyone ate a plant-based diet, it would cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent and save 8 million human lives by 2050.

Going vegan spares countless animals, too, so it’s the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. And not to sound like a teenager, but everyone is doing it. According to a Harris Interactive study, there are nearly 4 million adult vegans in the U.S. alone (and even more vegetarians). More and more companies now offer plant-based options in order to meet the growing demand. Ben & Jerry’s, for example, introduced four vegan ice cream flavors in 2016, and Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s and Best Foods, recently introduced its own nondairy mayo spread—after previously suing another company that makes vegan mayonnaise for alleged false advertising, because it argued at the time that mayonnaise must contain eggs.

In late 2016, Tyson Foods, Inc.—the largest U.S. meat company by sales—invested in Beyond Meat, a company that makes vegan meats. It was a smart move: The vegan-meat market is projected to reach $5.2 billion globally by 2020.

So, yeah, I guess a vegan revolution is taking place—an innovative one at that. A few months ago, a meat-free gastropub opened in Miami, and the city is getting a vegan butcher in early 2017. It won’t even be the nation’s first—The Herbivorous Butcher opened in Minneapolis in January 2016. A popular Mexican restaurant in Dallas made news when it switched to serving all-vegan fare, and North Dakota recently got its first vegan restaurant.

Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. If you want to turn over a new leaf, resolve to go vegan in 2017. And if you need help—and extra inspiration—check out Jackie Day’s new book, The Vegan Way. It includes 21 days’ worth of tips and encouragement that will help you be a happy, healthy vegan.

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“recipes,” photos and cutlines by Chef Joey

Three vegetarian pasta dishes

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Butter and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Tomatoes and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Butter, mushrooms and sage on gluten-free noodles

Memo to the FDA: Label ‘unhealthy’ foods

By Heather Moore

Should we all pitch in and buy the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a dictionary? Apparently, the agency is looking for the modern definition of “healthy.” It seems to have no idea what the term means — or should mean — and it’s planning to ask the public for input.

Here’s my suggestion: Forget about “healthy” labels on food packaging. More people will pay attention if the government plasters “unhealthy” labels on packages of meat, eggs and dairy products.

There’s no doubt that federal officials need to catch up with current ideas about what’s healthy — and what’s not. For example, the government still allows “pink slime” — bright pink ammonia-treated meat — to be used as filler in ground beef and permits schools to count pizza as a vegetable if it contains at least two tablespoonfuls of tomato paste. When it isn’t trying to determine whether vegan mayo counts as mayo without the inclusion of artery-clogging eggs, it’s making nutty demands about snack labels. Last year, the FDA warned a manufacturer of fruit-and-nut bars to stop using the term “healthy” on its packaging because the heart-healthy fats in nuts don’t meet the current labeling criteria. While that warning was recently rescinded, the fiasco reportedly prompted the FDA to review its antiquated “healthy” labels.

Here’s why meat, eggs and dairy products should never receive the stamp of approval: Animal-based foods contain cholesterol and saturated fat, which can build up inside the coronary arteries, putting a person at risk for a heart attack. Meat and other animal-based foods can also cause cancer, diabetes, strokes and other life-threatening illnesses.

A new study by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona shows that you can increase your life expectancy by about four years — and probably enhance your quality of life, too — by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones. Researchers analyzed six studies involving more than 1.5 million people and, among other conclusions, determined that processed meat significantly increases the risk of mortality and that people who eat little to no meat may be up to 50 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who eat a lot of meat. Other studies suggest that people who eat plant-based foods live up to 10 years longer than meat-eaters and that vegans are less likely to suffer from debilitating diseases.

In March, the Netherlands began officially advising people to eat significantly less meat — no more than two servings per week — and instead to eat plant-based foods, including beans and nuts. The United Kingdom also recently encouraged its residents to replace several servings of animal protein with healthy vegan foods.

Isn’t it time the U.S. did the same?

In 2012, the government began putting nutrition labels on certain types of raw meat so that shoppers could see how many calories — and how much fat, cholesterol and sodium — are in chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops and other types of meat. It was a good start, but labels proclaiming, “Warning: Consumption of this product can cause heart disease, cancer and other diseases that can lead to premature death,” would be much more effective.

I’ll settle for “unhealthy,” though. It’s concise and easy to understand. And while I won’t hold my breath waiting for the government to require labels reminding shoppers that each package of meat contains the decaying flesh of a dead, dismembered animal, that would make a difference, too.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for government labels in order to make healthy, humane choices. We can just do it ourselves. If you care about your health—as well as animals and the environment — just choose wholesome vegan foods. Nowadays, no one needs a dictionary to know what “vegan” means – not even the FDA.

Great NYT column!

WE NEED LAWS THAT WILL ENSURE MASS AND US FARM ANIMALS ARE HOUSED/TREATED HUMANELY!   – R.T.

Animal Cruelty or the Price of Dinner?

By Nicholas Kristof

THIS month a man in Orlando, Fla., dangled a dog by the scruff of its neck over a second-floor balcony, threatening to drop it 12 feet to the ground.

Onlookers intervened and tried to rescue the dog. Someone posted a video of the dangling dog on Facebook, and the clip went viral. Galvanized by public outrage, the police combed the area and on Tuesday announced that a 23-year-old man named Ransom May II had been arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals. The arrest made news nationwide.

Meanwhile, in the United States this year, almost nine billion chickens will be dangled upside down on conveyor belts and slaughtered; when the process doesn’t work properly, the birds are scalded alive.

Hmm. So scaring one dog stirs more reaction than far worse treatment of billions of chickens.

Look, I don’t believe in reincarnation. But if I’m wrong, let’s hope you and I are fated to come back as puppies and not as chickens.

CLICK HERE to read the entire column!

12 Reasons You May Never Want To Eat Turkey Again

Let’s REFORM AMERICAN FACTORY FARMS!  No more hormones, no more cramming and beating,  no more standing in filth, no more beak and claw removal WITHOUT ANESTHESIA!

When you don’t eat meat you don’t buy into the horrific suffering of cows, turkeys, chickens, calves, pigs, lambs on America’s factory farms!

Agribusiness is just that – a business.

YOU CAN  WORK WITH OUR POLITICIANS TO CHANGE THE BUSINESS! Please demand more oversight, demand LAWS that ensure a MODICUM OF HUMANITY IN A SYSTEM THAT LITERALLY DRIVES ANIMALS INSANE, A SYSTEM OF UNENDING PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN for animals.

God’s creatures, every one of them!

– Rosalie Tirella

From PETA.ORG:

Reason #2

Turkeys love to be patted! (To see the 11 other reasons. CLICK HERE!)

Many turkeys, even those who have known great cruelty at human hands, will happily sit for hours having their feathers stroked.

Loving Beatrice, a former factory farm turkey rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, is a huge snugglebug despite having been mutilated by humans as a baby. And Clove the turkey hen (pictured below) loves to cuddle with her rescuers at Animal Placesanctuary.

Clover the turkey vegan thanksgiving

 

The big turkey-“gobbling” (up) holidays are here! Save a bird! Save your waistline and heart! Go veggie this holiday season!


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Paul McCartney became a vegan after he met the lovely Linda Eastman. They married, gave birth to WINGS, children and not a few veggie cookbooks! Their daughter Stella is an internationally feted fashion designer. Every piece of clothing, every shoe, sandal, purse she designs is 100% vegan – no animals killed to make her fashion.

Paul has been collaborating with PETA for years.  Learn from the cutest Beatle!

Want to speak out for turkeys, like Paul? PETA says: “Wear this “Eat No Turkey” T-shirt while you go vegan this holiday season.” (to order your T-shirt, click on blue text!)

– R.  Tirella

FROM PETA.ORG (click on blue text for more info!):

Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and, of course, food! This Thanksgiving, Paul McCartney is urging you to say “no, thanks” to turkey and “yes” to a delicious, cruelty-free holiday meal.

Paul is no stranger to the world of meat-free meals—his powerful narration of PETA’s “Glass Walls” video illustrates his notion that “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

Like chickens, the 300 million turkeys raised and killed for their flesh every year in the United States have no federal legal protection.

More than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving alone, and more than 22 million die at Christmas.

Speak out for turkeys this Thanksgiving and Christmas!

(And definitely don’t eat them! – R.T.)

Study: yes, meat will kill you

By Paula Moore

Red meat in the morning, diners take warning. Red meat at night — nope, that’ll kill ya, too.

As if anyone needed another reason to eat their veggies, here’s one: According to a new Harvard School of Public Health study, eating red meat increases your risk of early death. OK, here’s one more: Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, recently warned that antibiotic resistance could bring about “the end of modern medicine as we know it.” In other words, if the hamburgers don’t kill you, the superbugs spawned on factory farms will.

Unless you want to eat yourself into an early grave, maybe it’s time to go vegan.

After analyzing nearly 30 years of data collected from 121,000 participants, the Harvard researchers found that people who regularly eat red meat are significantly more likely to die prematurely from multiple causes, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The saturated fat in beef, pork and lamb; the nitrites found in processed meats; and the carcinogens that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures all make red meat a health hazard.

How bad is it? According to the Harvard study, eating just one serving of unprocessed red meat (such as hamburger or roast beef) per day increases your risk of early death by 13 percent. One serving is about the size of a deck of cards. Hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats are especially dangerous. One daily serving of processed red meat increases your risk of premature death by 20 percent.

Chicken and fish aren’t so hot, either, so simply replacing red meat with other animal foods isn’t the answer. Even at its leanest—white meat, no skin—chicken gets nearly one-quarter of its calories from fat, much of it the bad kind (saturated). Many types of fish are surprisingly high in saturated fat as well. Fifty-five percent of the calories in salmon come from fat; for swordfish, that figure is 30 percent. In both cases, about 25 percent of the fat is saturated.

In an editorial accompanying the Harvard study, Dr. Dean Ornish (the man who persuaded Bill Clinton to go vegan) reminds us that what’s bad for our health is also bad for the planet. Raising animals for food is a leading contributor to climate change and wastes precious resources. Almost half of the world’s population is malnourished, yet 40 percent of the world’s grain is fed to livestock, not to people.

And remember those superbugs mentioned earlier? Farmed animals are fed a steady diet of drugs—including 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S.—to fatten them up and keep them alive in unsanitary, stressful conditions that would otherwise kill them. As a result, factory farms are breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So how can we keep from slowly killing ourselves and Mother Earth every time we sit down to dinner? According to the Harvard researchers, eating plant-based foods such as nuts, beans and whole grains instead of red meat can significantly lower our risk of dying young. Replace one serving of red meat with one serving of whole grains, for example, and the risk drops 14 percent.

“Plant-based foods are rich in phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, and other substances that are protective,” explains Dr. Ornish. “In other words, what we include in our diet is as important as what we exclude, so substituting healthier foods for red meat provides a double benefit to our health.”

Eating vegan foods also reduces your carbon footprint. To feel better, live longer and help protect the planet, trading in your burgers for black beans would be a good place to start.

Just got a nice note from Worcester School Committee member Tracy Novick …

By Rosalie Tirella

… She thanked me for the support I gave to her get-the-pink-slime-out-of-our-school-meat lunches crusade.

As you all know, we have taken ol’ Tracy to the wood shed for her not-so-smart (some would say brutal) crusade to fire WPSchools Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone, Worcester’s first female African American superintendent. Dr. Boone cares about kids and knows her stuff.

But I digress … .

I want to say: When it comes to animals/factory farming/vegetarianism (and inner-city kids’ health), anyone who comes out in favor of the animals/kids, gets a thumbs up from us.

We have written (for a decade) about the brutal living conditions of cows, chickens, all “farm animals” often literally stacked in huge, concrete, sunlight deprived, fresh-air deprived, warehouses. Torture chambers – not farms.

The insanity must stop.

If WPS committee member Tracy Novick makes it her mission to create MEATLESS MONDAY’s in our public schools, reduces the amount of meat WPSchools students are eating, works to get our school buyers to work with organic farms where animals are allowed to roam freely in meadows, etc, before they meet their Maker, then she has our support.

If Novick can bring in vegetarian dishes – or at least get city leaders to see meat as a garnish, as opposed to a main dish – then she can run for President of the USA and we will give her free ads until she wins.

This issue is so dear to my heart!

So I say: Good job, Tracy Novick!

************** AND HERE ARE SOME GREAT STORIES ON ANIMALS  ….

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/us/death-and-disarray-at-americas-racetracks.html?_r=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/isle-royale-gray-wolves_n_1352568.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/17/aqueduct-horse-track-deaths-cuomo-letter-luck-hbo_n_1353724.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/alec-baldwin-peta-ad-elephant_n_1353790.html

Are we supporting violence in God’s name?

By Bruce Friedrich

In his new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, Pope Benedict XVI boldly and rightly condemns violence that is carried out in God’s name. Yet even devout Christians try to excuse themselves of their role in the horrific violence that is carried out against some of God’s most vulnerable creatures—the animals we raise and kill for food—by claiming that God has given us permission to do whatever we want to them.

God’s granting to humans “dominion” over animals in Genesis 1:26 is often falsely cited as divine approval for torturing animals for the table. Most theologians recognize that the word translated as “dominion” is more accurately translated as “stewardship” and that the meaning of this text is that humans are supposed to be stewards and guardians, protecting and respecting the beings with whom we share the gift of creation.

But all the questions (or excuses) that are put forth in favor of eating animals don’t address the fundamental fact that eating God’s creatures causes needless violence and suffering and is inextricably linked to their abuse. If you are eating meat, you’re paying others to deny God’s animals their own natures and to abuse them. Even the very few organic and small farms abuse animals in ways that would be illegal if done to dogs or cats.

Pope Benedict XVI stated in an interview that the question of animal treatment is a crucial one for the faithful. By any measure, what happens to farmed animals today is anti-Christian. As His Holiness explained, “Hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds.” Similar abuse occurs in all the farmed-animal industries. This “degrading of living creatures,” explains His Holiness, contradicts “the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.” Father John Dear, a Jesuit Priest from New Mexico, takes our responsibility to animals a step further, stating, “For the simple reasons that all animals are creatures beloved by God and that God created them with a capacity for pain and suffering, we should adopt a vegetarian diet.”

It doesn’t take much reflection to see that the Pope and Father Dear are right: God created humans and other animals out of flesh, blood and bone. We share the same five physiological senses and the ability to feel pain. God designed us this way. God designed pigs to root around in the soil for food and play with one another. God designed chickens to make nests, lay eggs, raise their chicks and establish communities (the “pecking order”).

Yet agribusiness today denies animals the fulfillment of their most fundamental needs. Agricultural scientists “play God” by manipulating animals to grow so quickly that their hearts, lungs and limbs can’t keep up, often causing heart attacks, lung failure or crippling leg deformities within weeks of birth. Chickens are crammed into cages by the hundreds of thousands, each with less space in which to live than a standard sheet of paper. During pregnancy, pigs are stuffed into tiny metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around. Forget rooting in the soil or laying their eggs in nests—these animals can barely move. The one natural thing they do get to experience is agony, and lots of it.

Scripture is full of calls for the faithful to be merciful, and Jesus’ message is one of love and compassion, yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about the industries that produce the farmed animals who are turned into meat. Christians have a choice: When we sit down to eat, we can support misery and violence or we can make choices that support mercy and compassion. The decision should be an easy one for us.


Bruce Friedrich is a vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.