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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eating Meat and Dairy more harmful to the environment than all of those cars on the road..

Just flipping through National Geographic's Green Guide and had to share this:

"The United Nations reports that meat and dairy production account for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions- that's more than transportation! The best way to reduce global warming is to adopt a plant based diet. In addition to our recycling and energy-saving efforts, we can make choices at every meal that protect our planet, save farm animals and wildlife, and improve our health."

The ad is sponsored by FARM - check them out at

Just another reason to tell people why you're a vegetarian and to congratulate yourself. I have been so worried about my carbon footprint since I can remember and little did I know that my chicken dinners were a major contributor. Share this info with your friends!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back in LalaLand

I'm back from my trip to Florida, which means less eating out, which makes it easier for me to stay true to my vegan/veg life. It's hard going out to italian and ordering "eggplant parmigiana with no cheese" without looking like a psycho. I really do notice a big difference in my digestion since I stopped eating dairy, though. I did have a few bites of cheese over the week but stayed away from dairy overall, and I feel a lot lighter. I somehow always knew my stomach didn't agree with my milk addiction, albeit organic, and taking the step to cut it out as much as possible has proved positive. Not for weight loss, but health reasons. I re-read today in Skinny Bitch that by the age of four years old, humans lose 90-95% of their lactase enzymes (the ones necessary to digest lactose in dairy) in their stomachs. Which means we are supposed to consume milk as a baby, but the enzymes then die off for a reason - we aren't supposed to eat dairy anymore!

Anywho - let me know what u think.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who Knew Boca Burgers have Cheddar Cheese in them?

After reading Skinny Bitch while here on vacation in Ponte Vedra, I decidedly can't eat dairy or eggs for the next couple of days. I have decided to go on a non-dairy stint just because the arguments against dairy are convincing and proliferate. First, it's super un-natural to drink another animal's breastmilk. And second, it's laden with hormones and pesticides.

So, Ryan's parents were making burgers for dinner. We volunteered to ride our bikes to the local market for some veggie burgers for me to enjoy and substitute with. I immediately opted for the Boca burger, because it performs well on the grill. Skinny Bitch highly emphasized reading the ingredient list on every singly product you are thinking about eating (something I already do) so I made sure to check it. Lo and behold - Boca burgers have cheddar cheese as their 3rd ingredient. Gross! They don't even mention on the packaging that cheese is included in your soy protein patty.

Anywho - a warning to any vegans out there. Boca burgers are a no-no. I'm sure they make vegan varieties, however. I ended up opting for Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers, which I absolutely love because you recognize EVERY ingredient on the box. No processed soy or anything. They do get a little flimsy on the skillet, however, so I recommend BBQing or toaster grilling them.

Lesson learned - read ingredients. The only other major thing I want to share is read Skinny Bitch. For any guy, girl, pet, etc. The book is laden with important nutrition information and tells you everything that certain foods do to your body. Far from a diet book or trend, Skinny Bitch is all about losing your ass through good nutrition. Vegans, vegetarians, and people thinking about overcoming animal product-cravings will love it. It's a quick and fun read. I don't normally plug things this heavily, so you know I really respect it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hamburgers Usin' Up All of Our Water!

Everytime I shower, wash my car, or run my dishwasher, I conciously feel bad about the water I'm wasting. Little did I know that eating meat wastes way more water than my 15 minute shower. Once I add up all of the water it takes to grow food for the animals, water their fields, and keep them hydrated, I learn that eating a pound of meat is like throwing 441 gallons of water down the street. That would take a while...

"The meat industry is a major cause of fresh water depletion. According to Ed Ayres, of the World Watch Institute, "Pass up one hamburger, and you’ll save as much water as you save by taking 40 showers with a low-flow nozzle." []

One hamburger requires that much water!? Had I known earlier, I would have always opted for the veggie burger at in'n'out. It's not just hamburgers though. It's those meaty sandwiches and chicken salads that are using up all of our water, too. Here's to opting out of meat and doing my part to prevent the daunting water crisis.

Imagine how much water would be saved if we ALL went vegetarian. Food for thought next time you're craving animal.

Photo Source:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What's Lurking in Your Turkey Sandwich?

There are dangerous carcinogens lurking in the majority of deli meats. Unless you buy organic or all natural deli meat, your sandwiches most likely contain one of two (or both) ingredients labeled "sodium nitrite" and "sodium nitrate".

What are sodium nitrites and nitrates?
They are preservatives used in processed meats (deli meat, hot dogs, SPAM, bacon) to retain coloring. They are also reported to inhibit the growth of botulism, to some degree.

Why I choose not to eat them:
Once in your stomach, these preservatives react with your stomach chemicals to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in lab testing after being consumed in large quantities by animals. Once produced in the body, nitrosamines produce the growth of cancers, particularly colorectal and pancreatic cancer. So, they're proven carcinogens.

Recent research:
A study conducted at the University of Hawaii followed 200,000 men and women for seven years to track health differences between those who ate meat and those who did not. The results? A frightening 67% increased risk of pancreatic cancer was found among those who consumed meat. Mike Adams, a nutritionist, cites the widespread use of sodium nitrites in processed meat as the cause of the increased cancer risk. He writes, "This is clearly not due to macronutrient differences. This is the kind of risk increase you only see with ingredient toxicity. Something in these processed meats is poisoning people, and the evidence points straight to sodium nitrite."

Children and pregnant or nursing women are warned to stay away from this preservative, so I stay away too. If it's not good for a newborn baby, it can't be that good for me.

How do I avoid nitrites and nitrates?
Processed meats like deli meat, hot dogs, SPAM, bologna, ham, and breakfast meats usually have sodium nitrite or nitrate in them. An often overlooked culprit is pepperoni. Most sandwich shops and restaurants use nitrite-laden meat, so avoid ordering meat on a sandwich. If you or someone you know must eat meat, there are nitrate and nitrite-free meats available. Any meat that is labeled all-natural, preservative free, or organic shouldn't have this dangerous compound in them (Ralphs sells a couple types of all natural lunch meats), but always check the labels yourself to be sure. I personally just stay away from all meat. It's much easier.

A refreshing cucumber sandwich with freshly cracked pepper and dijon mustard just sounds so much better to me than hunting for and spending extra bucks on non-cancer causing meat for lunch.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Bacon bacon bacon

Ok. It's literally things like these that I just never knew about. That's why I didn't care if I splurged on some bacon every once in a while. I think if everyone knew the tortuous conditions that animals are raised in for slaughter, they'd resist the bacon, as well.
These are gestation crates. They are where sows (female pigs) are kept during pregnancy.
Via Wikipedia: "A gestation crate, also known as a sow stall, is a 7 ft by 2 ft[2] metal enclosure in which a female breeding pig (sow) may be confined during pregnancy, and in effect for most of her adult life.[3]
Between 60 and 70 percent of sows are confined in crates during pregnancy in the United States,
[4] each pregnancy lasting four months, with an average of 2.5 litters every year.[5] Sows, who can weigh 600 lbs,[6] spend most of their three or four years of adult life in crates,[6] giving birth to between five and eight litters. As the sows grow larger, they no longer fit in the crates, and must sleep on their chests, unable to turn, until they are slaughtered.[7] The crates are usually placed side by side in rows of 20 sows per row and 100 rows per shed, the floors of the crates slatted to allow excrement to fall into a pit below."
These have been banned in Florida and Arizona. They will be on the ballot to be banned in California in the November 2008 election, if you want to vote on it.
If I had known that my bacon was lineaged from pigs kept in feces-ridden gestation crates where they couldn't even turn around, I wouldn't have ever eaten it. It's like eating bad karma. How the hell did these conditions ever become normal? And why didn't I know about it until today?

Why I'm here

I started being a vegetarian a couple months ago after reading Happy Yoga by Steve Ross. Basically, all of the information on what was in today's meat (toxins, antibiotics, hormones, etc) really grossed me out.

What I've learned so far is really how gross mass-produced and slaughtered meat is, whether its beef, lamb, poultry, or pig.

So I started this blog to share information and resources for similar-minded people. I'm not a fist-pounding vegetarian who's going to get down on anyone ordering a hamburger. I just chose to do this for myself, and want to share with others who are interested.