Good article, and nice primer on food...
“Each package consisted of the meat from at least four different cows, and sometimes from as many as eight,” says microbiologist Mansour Samadpour, whose IEH Laboratories did the analysis.
Cargill’s contaminated patties were made by grinding beef trimmings from at least three sources: the giant slaughterhouse Greater Omaha Packing, a facility in Texas that slaughters older dairy cows and bulls, and a slaughterhouse in Uruguay where USDA inspectors later found improper testing for E. coli.
The trimmings were combined with a meat mash made by a South Dakota plant. The facility warms fatty meat scraps, centrifuges away much of the fat, and treats what’s left with ammonia to kill E. coli, according to a New York Times investigation last fall.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t require companies to test their foods—or the raw materials that go into them—for E. coli O157:H7. And Cargill, like many other meat processors, didn’t test the trimmings or mash before mixing them together.
That explains why the company and the USDA never figured out how the E. coli got into the frozen patties. In the weeks leading up to the outbreak, USDA inspectors did find unsanitary conditions in the Cargill plant, according to the Times. They reported seeing large numbers of patties on the floor, grinders encrusted with old bits of meat, and a worker who routinely dumped inedible meat on the floor close to a production line.
Full Article... http://www.cspinet.org/nah/articles/cautio...
Echoes of Vietnam in Afghanistan
Robert Fox, Guardian
The summary sacking of General David McKiernan as the American commander in Afghanistan after only 11 months is a sure sign that things are not going well there – for the US or anyone else except the Taliban. Simon Tisdall points out that there are questions surrounding the decision; some would say it is a sign of panic in Washington about the impasse now developing in America's longest war since Vietnam.
It has certainly not encouraged McKiernan's peers in the military, who liked and even respected the man and his skills. Only last month McKiernan was nominated as the only soldier in Time Magazine's Top 100 most influential people for 2009. Ironically he was written up by General Wes Clark, the former Nato commander and Democrat presidential hopeful, who was also booted out after political altercations in Washington, though in his case it was the tangle over Kosovo that brought him down...
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ci...
Also some interesting observations below the article from readers.
...My Dad had an autographed picture of Ray-gun in his home office, and Nathan Bedford Forrest was over our fireplace. Yep, that Nathan...KKK. That was my home growing up.
I, at a young age, saw the errors in my Dad's ways. I didn't give up on him. I educated him. Like many fathers, everytime he hit me with some beligerent non-sense, I answered with a real world response. At some point, the right wing light dimmed in his head, and the light of reason flickered bright. Eventually, after a long self-reflecting process, he changed who he was. The Confederate bullshit was taken off of our walls. He started to actually pay attention.
Why do I say this? It's just that I always want to point out that people can change. Some change for the worse, i.e., see Joseph Lieberman. But some change for the better.
I'm proud of my Dad. He is proof that people can change. Since 1988, he has voted straight-line Democrat in every election. He "GETS" it. This is the same guy who thought Wallace was our salvation in 1968.
Nobody can ever tell me, or convince me, that some people can't change. I've lived it. I know they can.
Never Give up. Never lose hope. Hope is a precious commodity.
Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?
The obligations of law and equity reach only to mankind, but kindness and benevolence should be extended to the creatures of every species, and these will flow from the breast of a true man, is streams that issue from the living fountain.
Man makes use of flesh not out of want and necessity, seeing that he has the liberty to make his choice of herbs and fruits, the plenty of which is inexhaustible; but out of luxury, and being cloyed with necessaries, he seeks after impure and inconvenient diet, purchased by the slaughter of living beasts; by showing himself more cruel than the most savage of wild beasts .... were it only to learn benevolence to human kind, we should be merciful to other creatures.
... we eat not lions and wolves by way of revenge, but we let those go and catch the harmless and tame sort, such as have neither stings nor teeth to bite with, and slay them.
... But if you will contend that yourself were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet, or axe - as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do. But if thou hadst rather stay until what thou eatest is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against Nature eat an animate thing?
Why do you belie the earth, as if it were unable to feed and nourish you? Does it not shame you to mingle murder and blood with her beneficent fruits? Other carnivora you call savage and ferocious - lions and tigers and serpents - while yourselves come behind them in no species of barbarity. And yet for them murder is the only means of sustenance! Whereas to you it is superfluous luxury and crime!
But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
Plutarch - 46 AD - 120 AD
... 10 NGO workers and volunteers have been arrested and kept on remand for over 3 weeks. They remain on remand although there are no concrete charges against them. NGO offices, which are not suspects in the police investigations were also raided and emptied, leaving the organisations paralysed. In protest at this random attack on social activism, one of the detainees has now been on hunger strike for 24 days."
And from the Austrian newspaper Die Presse:
"In no uncertain terms Dr Petrovic from the Austrian Green Party once more voices her outrage at the events of the last three weeks concerning the imprisoned animal protectionists.
"Historical comparisons point clearly to the fact that the Animal Rights Movement is obviously so successful that all imaginable obstacles and foul play are being called upon in order that the powers that be and their profitable businesses based on animal suffering can win a bit more time“."
...Last seen in 1952. Our government it now looking to put them on the extinct list. These are the kind of things that put a knot in my stomach...
The last confirmed sighting of a wild Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 in the waters between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Service confirmed last Friday that the species is now extinct.
Full article... http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...
This site offers some free items which we all can use. Scroll down, and get 10 free cards to use at restaurants that offer veggie choices. Just leave the card with your bill. It thanks the manager for offering vegan choices, and encourages them to offer more. You can also purchase additional cards if you want. Also, you can get a free bumper sticker and free "Egg Carton Flyers".
Check it out... http://www.cok.net/market/
...For those unaware, Michael Vick, QB of Atlanta Falcons, has been involved in a dog raising/fighting racket.
Dr. Z, a sportswriter, posted this beautiful passage from Henry Beston's The Outermost House:
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.
Remote from universal nature,
And living by complicated artifice,
Man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge
And sees thereby a feather magnified
And the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness,
For their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.
And therein we err, and greatly err,
For the animal shall not be measured by man.
In a world older and more complete than ours
They move finished and complete,
Gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained,
Living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren,
They are not underlings,
They are other nations,
Caught with ourselves in the net of life and time,
Of the splendour and travail of the earth.
...lots of great things to give to those who may be on the edge of coming over to the other side...
Check out tomorrow's activities.... http://www.meatout.org/home.htm
...some funny thoughts we've all heard. This site hits them all....
28. The lunch you bring to work becomes the topic of conversation...EVERY DAY!
29. Others feel driven to point out that vegetables are alive too!
30. Others feel driven to point it out every time they eat animal products in front of you.
31. You have to restrain yourself every time you hear "I couldn't do it" as the closing argument on every discussion of the merits of veganism.
32. People are insulted if you won't eat their food when visiting them, and think you're a hassle if you tell them what to cook for you.
33. Waiters will not be happy to see you.
34. People will never believe in their hearts (no matter how often you tell them) that you eat this way all the time, even at home. (After all, you can't live without meat, can you?)
38. People assume you despise football. (Okay, so a football's not vegan, but I love the sport and I'm in favor of the NFL switching to synthetic footballs.)
39. Chances of the NFL switching to synthetic footballs are slim indeed.
40. Some vegans hate my fake leather (although I don't object to all the fake pain required to produce it).
41. People assume you'll be offended by every little thing.
42. People assume I must be for anarchy -- and that they know what all my political ideas are.
63. Your best friend decides that your food choices are ALL ABOUT HER, and announces that you've made it "too hard to eat with you".
64. Someone you work with ACTUALLY SAYS (and, no, I'm not kidding), "You can't be vegetarian and healthy." And while you're trying to get over the shock of this statement, he adds, "Vegetarians eat too many vegetables." (I had no idea there was such a thing.)
65. You are tired of hearing people say, "Vegetarians can't possibly get enough to eat," because then you have to assure them that your Weight Watchers leader would be happy to tell them that we manage to do just fine.
66. People assume that being vegetarian means you don't do anything unhealthy, like eat chocolate or drink, so when you do those things, they act all shocked. (But nobody's shocked when your meat eating friend smokes...Hmmmm...)
67. People you eat out with get exasperated when you try to determine what exactly is in the food you are ordering. (If it were an allergy, it would be fine, but since it's a choice, it's weird.)
68. When you have the gall to ask if people coming to a potluck at your house could leave the meat at their homes since you haven't had meat in your home in over a year, they actually make fun of you. Even though you promised to supply a very yummy pasta dish that they would all love. (Yes, actually made fun. How rude.)
69. You are tired of your vegetarian lifestyle being the big topic of conversation at EVERY business dinner you ever attend.
70. When the client you are working for hears you are vegetarian, he says,"Oh, what about your husband. Is he normal?"
71. When the neighbor found out you were vegetarian after inviting you to a barbecue, he now thinks it's funny to announce to you every time he's cooking some sort of steak, roast, lamb, or ribs for his family.
72. Your grandmother, after hearing you are a vegetarian, (1) tries to sneak some lamb into your food, because she knows that if you just tasted it, you'd realize meat was okay, (2) sends you her heirloom mink coat because she wants to convince you that using animals for our own purposes is okay, (3) decides that because you buy only cosmetics not tested on animals that you hold monkeys in higher regard than humans. (Don't ask me. It's all Grandma Logic (TM), which I have never understood.)
73. People just don't understand that caring for animals doesn't mean you think they're more important than humans, just that they are AS important.
I'm sure we all could add a thousand more.
...some more information on studies being conducted concerning Mad Cow disease and dairy products...
"From a consumer standpoint, milk and milk products were regarded as safe up till now. But this situation could change, since a team of scientists from the biotechnology firm Alicon AG, headquartered at Schlieren in Canton Zurich, has managed for the first time to detect prion proteins in the milk of human beings, cows, sheep, and goats. Using Alicon's new technology, prion proteins were even found in homogenized and pasteurized milk on supermarket shelves, as reported recently in the international science journal Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE)."
Full article... http://www.nutritionhorizon.com/newsmaker_...
Good article in Ode. It raises the issue of organic food, and it's future. The article discusses how it can have a positive ecological and economic impact, along with the obvious of producing good foods.
"Sambazon is part of a new wave of entrepreneurial companies seeking to promote ecological restoration and economic justice as an integral part of their business—a concept known as “market-driven conservation.” Together these firms—which also include Guayakí (maté drinks), Manitoba Harvest (hemp foods), Adina World Beat Beverages (fruit drinks), Jungle Products (oils from tropical plants) and others—hope to push the natural-foods industry “beyond organic.” Rather than simply rejecting dubious practices like chemical pesticides and genetic modification, they are seeking to create products that actually make a positive contribution to the environment and local communities as part of how they are harvested and manufactured...."
The Times of India
The Sydney Morning Herald
The St. Petersburg Times
Independent Media Center
Research and Organizations
National Priorities Project
Berkeley Digital Library
Kidon Media Link
The Resource Alliance
Bretton Woods Project
The Transnational Institute
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Ecology, Food and Living
Montserrat Centre Hills Project
No Sweat - Union Made
Vegetarians in Paradise
Cyber Help for Organic Farmers
Toronto Vegetarian Association
Centre for Science and Environment
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