Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Up Close and Personal with Mystery Meat

I check on a daily basis for health and nutrition news. They issue a lot of stories about government induced health mistakes, i.e. antibiotic overloads, tainted prescription drugs, etc. I have learned so much from their website including the dangers of BPA in plastics and canned foods, what microwaves do to your food, and the stunning finding that the antibiotic-resistant "Super Staph" can actually be cured with plant derivatives. Pretty cool.

One article that I have always loved of theirs is the "Mystery Meat MacroPhotography" piece. The Health Ranger, the site's leading writer, used his macro lens to photograph different types of processed meat that he picked up at his local Wal Mart (crazy that now EVERYONE has a local Wal Mart). He took the photos in his own kitchen without altering them at all, except for adjusting their brightness in Photoshop.

The results are sickening. White globs of fat sticking out from processed salami, chunks of other things floating around. He even mentions how red or colored all of the meat is despite it being dead. It should appear gray, but thanks to sodium nitrites and nitrates (more information about those here), the meat's red color is pumped up with nasty additives. For example, the image pictured above is of a Jimmy Dean sausage link. "Here's a 1x cross-section photo of a Jimmy Dean pork sausage. To get this photo, I simply sliced one of the sausages with a common knife, then pointed the camera at one end," writes the author, who mentions having to frequently wash his hands during this photo tour due to the stench of dead processed meat infiltrating his house. He also includes the ingredients, which are listed as follows:

Contains 2% or less of:
Corn syrup
Sodium lactate
Monosodium glutamate
Citric acid
Beef collagen casings.

Mmm. Perhaps they should have included "big white blobs of fat" in there. We all know fat adds flavor, but who would want to eat pork fat? You're eating the fat off of a dead carcass basically. Gross.

The funny part is, if you looked at a piece of spinach with a macro lens, all you'd see is the intricate design of nature up close, which is fascinating and beautiful. Whole grain bread under a macro lens? Delicious.

Perhaps whatever I eat from now on I will imagine under a macro lens. I'd love to do this with hamburgers from fast food chains. To see the entire piece, click here. What would you like to photograph close up? Add your comments!

Photo and quote courtesy of

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Echinacea: My new Best Friend. My Cold's worst enemy.

Yesterday I felt crummy all day. Blaming it on allergies, I took an antihistamine. Three hours later, I still felt crummy (sore throat), so I decided to chock it up and say maybe I have finally caught a bug.

I stopped by Whole Foods on the way home and picked up some liquid Echinacea. Since, I have taken 4 doses (40 drops in some hot water). I took two last night and two this morning, and I already feel better! My applause to Echinacea! Oh how I love you!

Who knows if it made a difference, if it's the placebo effect, or if it's my law of attraction thinking telling myself that I feel great. All I know is that this stuff worked for me, so I wanted to share with you!

A little info about why I bought the liquid supplement as opposed to the capsules: Liquid supplements are always better and more easily absorbed by your system. If you are taking something for fast action, like my echinacea binge to boost my immune system to "Ahnold" levels, a liquid supplement is always the best option. Daily vitamins and supplements can be in capsule form if you wish because they usually are a little bit cheaper. But overall, liquid is seemingly more effective.

I wanted to promote the echinacea I bought because I love it so much. Gaia Herbs Organic Echinacea Supreme: Ultimate Support for Healthy Immune Function.

Most importantly, does anyone else have any supplement cures that they want to share? Please do in comments!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What the f**k?!

The Daily Green, supposedly a "green" site, posted an article today about how delicious Fried Chicken was, especially the kind from KFC. Gross! This immediately threw me off because

a) eating and advocating eating meat is like Treehugger having Hummers for company cars, and

b) KFC is the WORST for animal cruelty. They have an entire campaign against them at

Their abuse of chickens (stomping on them, throwing them into walls, beating with wrenches) was my first glimpse into vegetarianism years ago. Now, Tree Hugger says that they have the best fried chicken? What the f**k?

In light of this terribly hypocritical move by Treehugger, I visited and found a video to share with you about why you'd want to be a vegetarian. PETA usually does some pretty overwhelming videos, but this one is toned down a notch and sensical. Watch it. And let me know what you think.

Follow the YouTube link to see it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My 4th of July Weekend

Consisted of over-indulgence after over-indulgence (aka lots of tortilla chips and beer). I traveled down to San Diego and made my way back up to Los Angeles over the weekend - with numerous stops in Orange County. I saw my friend Kina Grannis play at the Kaleidoscope. She is truly breathtaking to see live and I highly recommend you check out her music here.

As for my food choices, I strayed from my vegan habits at the show Saturday night. There was a make-your-own frozen yogurt shop with my favorite flavors (chocolate and peanut butter) so I "split" a cup with my boyfriend. Needless to say, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and am still feeling nasty, two whole days later. I hadn't eaten dairy in about three weeks, so that was a dumb idea. It's good to know how dairy makes me feel now (as I may have lost the majority of my lactase enzymes over my dairy-free week) so I can avoid it at all costs without thinking, "eh...maybe it won't make me feel bad".

I got harassed at my family BBQ by my sister's boyfriend for being a veg (he's a 5 star chef), but other than that everybody was supportive (or not un-supportive). My Dad had read my blog and bought me vegan veggie burgers (made by Yves and really tasty) for me to enjoy while everyone else chomped down on ground beef. Isn't that sweet (the thoughtful Dad, not the chomping on ground beef part).

I picked up some sub-lingual B-12 and some milk thistle (for liver health), as well. It's good to know I'm getting my supplements sorted out. Trying to stay as pure and natural today as possible - apples, oatmeal, hummus, salad, etc. to avoid any further complications. And, I took a bunch of pictures with my Holga over the weekend so I'll post those soon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Healthy, Affordable, and Quick Vegan Meals!

Healthy, Affordable, and Quick Vegan Meals!

For all of us vegetarians and vegans or people just looking for a healthy quick-fix meal. These are perfect to bring to work or use at home for a quick but nutritional and tasty vegan meal. Vegan cooking isn't always the easiet, but with these it always is! Enjoy. And let me know how you like!

See more of my Healthy, Affordable, and Quick Vegan Meals! list at ThisNext.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ground Beef Recall in the Midwestern U.S.! Happy Monday Folks!

Last Tuesday, officials linked outbreaks of E Coli in Michigan and Ohio together and said they were most likely due to contaminated ground beef. Kroger grocery stores then voluntarily recalled all ground beef products sold in their Michigan and Ohio stores because it had been linked to the outbreak.

Due to the outbreak, 15 people have become ill in Michigan and 17 people in Ohio have been infected. Kroger advises shoppers to check their ground beef products for sell-by dates of May 21 through June 8, and return them to Kroger stores for a full refund. Questions? Call Kroger at 800-632-6900.

In April, a big recall out of Texas was placed on cases of "BEEF WHOLE HEAD". The tonsils weren't removed from the beef heads, and the tonsils are where the infective mad cow disease agent lurks. I don't know which is grosser: "BEEF WHOLE HEAD", mad cow disease, or E. Coli.

So basically, Midwestern meat eaters have some bad news this morning. I hope everyone recovers safely and the outbreak is contained. And hopefully, more people will start questioning their beef consumption.


Read the full article here.

P.S. Like the picture?

Friday, June 27, 2008

No Ice in the North Pole This Summer?!

The Independent reports - there is a very feasible and more than 50/50 chance that there will be no ice at the North Pole this summer for the first time in human history. Read the article here.

An iceless North Pole "would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet," writes Science Editor Steven Connor.

This article is freaking me out, and it shows us just how drastic of a problem global warming really is. I've seen videos of polar ice cap waterfalls because they're melting so fast, but for some reason this is really hitting home harder than ever before.

The part that scares me the most is, "Inuit natives living near Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland are also reporting that the sea ice there is starting to break up much earlier than normal and that they have seen wide cracks appearing in the ice where it normally remains stable." When natives are noticing that the arctic is changing, I know its for real.

And, seriousness understood, where is Santa gonna go?

For more, read here.