Have we figured out what is causing honeybee colony collapse disorder?

Wed, Oct 13, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Have we figured out what is causing honeybee colony collapse disorder?

The New York Times recently reported on a new discovery in understanding the devastating phenomenon of bee colony collapse disorder (CCD).  Apparently a cocktail of a rare fungus and a virus have been teaming up to decimate bee populations. Image credit: emrank, flickr

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Why the SOLE Food Movement is Failing

Tue, Oct 12, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Why the SOLE Food Movement is Failing

A friend of mine sent me an article from a publication called Zocalo that reviews American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters, and Fields by Rowan Jacobsen. I'm not going to review this title (you can read the one from the Zocalo here) nor am I going to pick on Jacobsen. I'm sure his book is an interesting take on terroir foods as he calls them, picking up where Pollan's Botany of Desire left off. What I am going to do is explain why I think this book represents another step backwards in gaining wider acceptance of SOLE foods.

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Vitamin B3 Niacin (Niaspan) beats Zetia as Heart Medication

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Vitamin B3 Niacin (Niaspan) beats Zetia as Heart Medication

I know this information is already about a year out of date but I thought it might be worth republishing (as I just ran into this article and study this last weekend.) At the 2009 meeting of the American Heart Association, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that niacin (vitamin B3) treatments worked better than the Merck prescription drug Zetia at reducing the size of arterial blockages in the neck.

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Obesity Rates in America Continue to Rise, Adenovirus May Play Role

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Obesity Rates in America Continue to Rise, Adenovirus May Play Role

The latest examination of obesity rates by the CDC comes to some sobering conclusions about the state of public health in America. Their findings show a block of states, mostly concentrated in the South, now have obesity rates over 30%. Back in 1990, no states were over 20%, making the run-up in the last 20 years remarkable.

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Neurophotonics Coming to a Human Being Near You

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Neurophotonics Coming to a Human Being Near You

Researchers at SMU are working with DARPA (the US hyper-advanced military research group that initially developed the internet) to create an artificial fiber optic signaling system that will directly interface with your body's central nervous system. This technology, called neurophotonics, would allow bidirectional communication to and from the brain, giving amputees with prosthetic arms and legs the ability to feel heat, cold and pain in those artificial extremities.

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Food Safety Legislation S.510 Stalled by One Senator

Fri, Sep 17, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Food Safety Legislation S.510 Stalled by One Senator

Ezra Klein's excellent blog on the Washington Post website highlights a Politico story today about the status of the long awaited food safety legislation (s.510). It is currently being held up by one senator, Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma. Here is the latest:

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Winds of Change: Antibiotics in Livestock

Thu, Sep 16, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Winds of Change: Antibiotics in Livestock

The New York Times has a really good piece on the coming rules regarding the amount of antibiotics that can be given to confinement livestock. Now, after decades of debate, the Food and Drug Administration appears poised to issue its strongest guidelines on animal antibiotics yet, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk [...]

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Entering the Genetic Age: Enviropig and GMO animals

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Entering the Genetic Age: Enviropig and GMO animals

The October 2010 edition of Popular Science landed in my mailbox today with a brief overview of the genetically modified Enviropig.  I would give you a direct link but, for some reason, Popular Science does not publish its magazine articles online.  It’s not that big of a deal because the article isn’t even good enough to [...]

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Corn Sugar: HFCS by a different name?

Tue, Sep 14, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Corn Sugar: HFCS by a different name?

There was an article in the Cleveland daily today about The Corn Refiners Association, the lobbying arm of corn agribusiness, petitioning the FDA to rename high fructose corn syrup, 'Corn Sugar'.

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Nutrition Wonderland moving towards v2.0

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 | By: John Serrao

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Over the next couple months, I will be rolling out a new version of Nutrition Wonderland.  This update is substantial and will significantly effect this site – for the better I hope.  I have taken into account everyone’s suggestions on how to improve what I started here and think I have come up with an [...]

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Having trouble cutting down your salt intake? May be your genes.

Sun, Jun 27, 2010 | By: Christie Wilcox

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Having trouble cutting down your salt intake? May be your genes.

Americans eat two to three times the recommended amount of salt every day. Part of the problem may lie not in our foods, but in our genes.

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 | By: Christie Wilcox

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

It turns out birds aren't bird brains when it comes to what they eat. A number of species of birds have been shown to choose foods that contain higher levels of healthy things like protein and antioxidants and lower levels of not-so-healthy things like heavy metals and pesticides. Since they're such finicky eaters, scientists figured to let them choose between conventionally and organically grown food, and see which they deemed better for them. The vote was unanimous: birds prefer non-organic.

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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Thu, May 13, 2010 | By: Christie Wilcox

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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don't really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you'll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body's insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest.

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When Cutting Calories Doesn’t Cut It

Wed, Apr 28, 2010 | By: Christie Wilcox

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When Cutting Calories Doesn’t Cut It

New research out of the Oregon Health and Science University may explain the discrepancy between the theory and reality of dieting. They found that, at least in some of our closest relatives, cutting calories isn't enough to lose weight because the body compensates for the reduced intake by lowering activity levels. Image credit: iamchenelle, flickr

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

Wed, Apr 21, 2010 | By: Christie Wilcox

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

Why is it so hard for us to eat a healthy diet? It would appear to be the easiest solution in the world. Just choose wisely at the grocery store and - Poof! - you can feel better, lose weight, and look fantastic. Of course, we all know that eating healthy is never as easy as it sounds. So what is in the way of making good food choices?

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18. February 2009

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Mailbag: Clare Island Organic Salmon Omega-3s

Mailbag: Clare Island Organic Salmon Omega-3s

My local grocery store carries the Clare Island Organic Salmon from Ireland brand. I've learned from you and others that the level of omega 3 in wild vs farm raised salmon is largely based on the diet fed the fish. I'd like to know if the organic fish raised by this company are fed a diet that results in a higher level of omega 3s? Specifically, how does the level of omega 3s in this fish compare to that of wild caught Alaskan salmon?

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15. January 2009

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Book Review: The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD

Book Review: The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD

Dr. Ravnskov, a founding member of the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, takes many positions against cholesterol and goes even further in his book, "The Cholesterol Myths" published by NewTrends Publishing. One part detective mystery, one part conspiracy theory, Ravnskov tears through piles of medical studies digging towards the "truth." His thesis is rather simple: cholesterol does not cause heart disease. We put emphasis on the word cause for good reason: Ravnskov's entire argument hangs on tearing apart the correlation-versus-causation dichotomy. For the most part, he succeeds but at a cost to his text.

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