Sunday, December 26, 2010


Bessie the cow?
She can retire now.

By E.J. Gauthier
Untruth Intolerant Blogger

In a few days, it'll be the second decade in the 21st century, and it's also time for a new look at the dairy area of our diets. The best thing to do is avoid all dairy.

But what about milk? Well, unlike last decade, they've now perfected the miracle of almond milk, which is at least one bright spot. But first, here's a partial list of the bad stuff about old fashioned milk:

1. Milk doesn't reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses' Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50%.

2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with the lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

3. Calcium isn't as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.

4. Calcium may raise the cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man's risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50%. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body's level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) - a known cancer promoter.

5. Ironically, calcium supplements have benefits that dairy doesn't. Calcium supplements, but not calcium in dairy products, may sometimes actually reduce the risk of colon cancer.

6. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world's population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products - that old problem known as lactose intolerance. Over 80% of African-Americans have it. A smart person should see this not as an unusual ailment, but an early warning system for all people of the world. The canary in the coal mine - near the cow barn - if you will.

* * *

Whew! Thank goodness I never followed that old Dairy Association suggestion about "drinking 8 glasses of milk per day"! (Usually the only "milk" I drank regularly was whatever scant bit of it made it into ice cream.)

But what about soy, rice and almond milk alternatives?

Actually, soy milk earned its good reputation many years ago, however recently farmers have wrecked it with the junk they pour on crops nowadays. So that eliminates all soy products.

And rice milk tastes terrible, like old mothballs.

So that leaves almond milk as the clear winner, since nobody has figured out how to screw up almonds yet.

For those who want to get a taste even closer to old fashioned milk, then the almond milk vanilla flavor is the best. (Not to be confused with regular vanilla-flavored milk, or vanilla ice cream, etc.)

Therefore I currently use the Blue Diamond Almond Vanilla brand. It ain't cheap, but it's certainly much better than dealing with the negative consequences of other milk alternatives and standard milk.

So bottoms up, milk nuts - and here's hoping they never run out of almond nuts!

* * *

For further info on giving Bessie a long-deserved break,
check out the good folks over at Not Milk .com


Jack said on March 9, 2011 9:19 AM...

"Chances are the calcium supplement you are taking now is a rock source of calcium. The label will say "calcium carbonate", which is nothing more than limestone. AlgaeCal Plus contains an organic, plant-sourced calcium form derived from a unique South American marine algae called Algas Calcareas™."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The new food safety bill at least changes the FDA's mission
from reacting to food-borne illness to preventing tainted food.

By Thomas Hart
Personal Money
Market Blog

The food safety bill finally passed through the lame-duck Congress like a kidney stone Tuesday.

An earlier parliamentary glitch in the Senate and partisan bickering in the House of Representatives put the bill’s future in doubt. But common sense prevailed, and now the Food and Drug Administration has new powers to protect the nation from food-borne illness.

The Food Safety Modernization Act

A food safety bill that gives the FDA sweeping authority to determine and enforce domestic and imported food safety standards is headed for President Obama’s desk. The Food Safety Modernization Act overhauls U.S. food safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression.

The food safety bill was supported by business and industry groups of every political stripe. Food safety groups lobbied for the legislation for two years. A stronger version of the bill passed the House more than a year ago with strong backing from both parties.

How a bill becomes a law today

Three weeks ago, the food safety bill passed in the Senate. However, leaders in the House discovered that the Senate added fees on importers, farmers and food processors involved in food recalls. Such a provision violates the U.S. Constitution’s Origination Clause.

The Origination Clause requires that any tax increases must originate in the House. To keep the bill alive, the House put it in the omnibus spending bill, which failed in the Senate last week. But Republicans and Democrats shocked everyone Sunday by removing the offending tax language and passing the food safety bill with no advance notice.

Preventing food borne illness

The food safety bill changes the FDA from an agency reacting to outbreaks of food borne illness to one that prevents them from happening. The new law gives the FDA authority to enforce recalls of tainted food, instead of waiting for manufacturers to initiate them voluntarily.

It also increases the budget for food inspections and gives the FDA authority to set standards for growing and harvesting produce. Food processing plants will have 18 months to comply with provisions requiring them to develop detailed plans for preventing food contamination.

(Sources: Washington Post, New York Times,

First posted 12/21/10
Copyright © 2010 Thomas Hart
Original headline:
Congress Manages To Pass Food Safety Bill Despite Itself