Foodies for Dean
Sunday, November 30, 2003
November 23 post re Texas Man doing Lean for Dean---we humbly apologise--the Leaner Person, aka Torrey, is a woman.
Debate Grows Over Biotech Food
Efforts to Ease Famine in Africa Hurt by U.S., European Dispute
Read this long report in today's Washington Post: copy and paste this address: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21850-2003Nov29.html
The final paragraphs from the article are:
Indeed, people across Zambia appear determined to turn the country's agriculture around and show the world they can feed themselves -- without biotech crops. A can-do spirit has taken hold even in places like Munyama, where villagers are experimenting with irrigation and winter crops.
Environmental groups have argued that donors like the United States could easily supply non-biotech food relief to countries wary of gene-altered crops. But there's strong political resistance in the United States to letting anti-biotech forces score a symbolic victory.
American biotech advocates have asked why Zambia would let people starve to serve a tendentious objection to modern technology. But in interviews, several Zambian leaders turned that question around, asking whether in another crisis the United States would be willing to let Zambians starve to make a point.
"We have had to tell people, 'The outside world has no responsibility for our failures,' " Sikatana said. " 'They will not feed us -- we must feed ourselves with what we grow.' "
MAINE LOBSTER STORY: INDUSTRY OR LOBSTERS THEMSELVES---WHICH ARE MORE ENDANGERED?
Today's Washington Post describes the boom in lobster population, while on land, Maine real estate prices are driving out the industry.
Copy and paste to read the entire article--http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21631-2003Nov29.html
Here are a few paragraphs from the article:
The future of the Maine lobsterman is wrapped inside the answer to that question. To spend even a few days along this pine-covered coast is to realize that the lobsterman's habitat is more endangered than that of the lobster. Housing prices have exploded, as the East Coast's wealth-laden seek shorefront properties, tearing down lobster cottages and replacing them with mansions.
A new five-bedroom "country gem" in Damariscotta, two hours north of Portland, is on the market for $689,000. A remote two-bedroom "schoolhouse," seven miles from the nearest town, sells at $299,000.
For now, outsize and lucrative lobster harvests have allowed the lobstermen to retain a toehold on the coast, but just barely. Far to the north, on Deer Island, a state planning map shows the island interior owned by lobstermen, and the coastline ringed by the homes of summer residents. In Friendship, a picturesque and tightknit village that tumbles down a hill toward a crystalline bay, most waterfront homeowners are lobstermen -- for now.
Diane Cason guides her skiff across Friendship Harbor, a detective hard on the trail of mystery. The 43-year-old marine biologist worked as professor and a waitress before founding the Lobster Conservancy here seven years ago. She lives alone on a roadless island in a solar-powered cottage and dives into the 40-degree waters to explore the lobster's habitat.
Her research and knowledge of local lore help her challenge conventional wisdom. Two years ago, scientists predicted a precipitous decline in the lobster harvest. She dissented. She and the lobstermen were finding a population explosion of young lobsters. "I've tagged the little buggers for years," she said. "The number of baby lobsters settling to the bottom was off the charts."
She was right -- the lobster boom continued. Now she wants to figure out what has caused that boom and what the future holds. Cason and other scientists point to three factors, each suggestive of an ecosystem out of balance.
• The precipitous decline of sea bass and cod, both of which feast on lobsters, has left the crustaceans with few natural predators. That's why lobstermen now find lobsters not just along rock reefs but on the flat and unprotected bay bottoms.
• Ocean temperatures have warmed in the Gulf of Maine, probably as a result of global warming. Lobsters, whose body temperature is the same as that of the surrounding water, typically grow slowly, taking eight years to reach legal size. Now warm water is speeding their growth. (Lobsters can reach 100 years of age and 50 pounds in size.)
• Lobstermen are baiting their traps with more fish meat than in the past. As many lobsters climb in and out of traps without getting snared, they are assured of a steady stream of high-quality dinners.
Eventually, however, these same conditions that have proved so favorable for Maine's lobsters could put them at risk. Warmer waters in southern New England already have attracted semitropical fish, which are aggressive about stalking lobsters. "There are dramatically more predators in southern New England," said Wahle of the Bigelow labs. "You look underwater there, and lobsters are all holed up in their shelters."
Warm water, too, may carry more pathogens and could account for the disfiguring shell disease found on lobsters in southern New England. The cold waters of the Gulf of Maine, in this view, act as a shield for lobsters.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT
An article in USA Today is a good introduction to this foodie driven international organization:
Copy and paste these in your address lines, for more about the Slow Food movement:
FASTING AND FEASTING: A FIRST HAND REPORT ON RAMADAN FROM AN IRAQI BLOG
Now that our big feast of Thanksgiving is over, here's more on Islam's fasting and feasting holy month of Ramadan. This is from a blog called "Baghdad Burning." We stumbled across it when researching the date palm for a new exhibit we are planning on the subject. Copy and paste this address to read the entire report:
"The fasting works like this: at the break of dawn, we simply stop eating and drinking. This lasts through the whole day until ‘al maghrib’ or dusk. Fasting is considered one of the ‘arkan’ of Islam, which means it is required of all Muslims. There are certain exceptions- people who are ill aren’t required to fast during Ramadhan, and people who are traveling. If the fasting affects a person’s health in any way (i.e. if the person is diabetic, or pregnant, etc.), they are excused from fasting.
Of course, the ‘moral fasting’ comes with the physical fasting. In other words, a person can break their fast without using food. Gossiping, fighting, lying, cheating, angry words and more have to be avoided during Ramadhan, otherwise your fast, or ‘siyam’ is considered useless. Prayer and Quran reading are also stepped-up during the whole of the month because it is believed to be a ‘blessed month’.
Someone might ask, but why fast? What is the point of denying yourself food and drink for over half a day? Fasting is supposed to teach tolerance, patience, and hunger. Yes, hunger. The average person forgets what it’s like to be hungry… and I don’t mean the, wow-I-could-really-use-a-burger-and-some-fries type of hunger. I mean the hunger you feel when you haven’t had anything to eat or drink for over 12 hours and your stomach feels ready to cave in and your head feels like exploding because you didn’t get that zap of caffeine you need to function.
The point of being hungry is to help you appreciate food more. It helps you realize that food and water shouldn’t be taken for granted, especially when there are people who feel like this every day regardless of it being a holy month or otherwise. Many doctors also believe fasting is healthy, as it often lowers blood pressure and keeps people from smoking or drinking. I currently have an uncle who swears he's going to give up smoking this Ramadhan (like he gave it up last Ramadhan- and the one before).
We begin preparing for the ‘futtoor’, or the meal with which we break our fast, over an hour before its time. Traditionally, most people break their fast on a date, and then proceed to whatever is on the menu. Often, people begin the meal with some sort of soup because it warms the stomach without shocking it after all those hours without food. The most popular Ramadhan soup is lentil soup, or ‘addess’. It is a pale, yellow soup that is both light and flavorful. There are dozens of different ways to make it, but I enjoy it with a squeeze of lime and ‘khubz’.
After the soup, comes a whole procession of often traditional foods… maybe I should post the recipes. There’s so much food because the ‘futtoor’ is more of a daily celebration than it is an ordinary meal. During previous years, we would spend almost every day breaking our fast with various family or friends. This year is different because the security situation doesn’t allow for traipsing around Baghdad or other provinces on a daily basis. It’s also not the same because, under normal circumstances, our ‘futtoor’ gatherings often last well into the night, sometimes past 12 am, before the group breaks up to go home. "
Thursday, November 27, 2003
The first multicultural "thanksgiving" in what became the US was actually in the Southwest, near El Paso in Nuevo Mexico. It was held on April 30, 1598.
Copy and paste address below to read more about the Hispanic "Dia de Gracias" thanksgiving 50 years before the Pilgrims.
IS THERE A THANKSGIVING SCROOGE LOOSE IN THE NATION'S MEDIA?
Why spoil the one holiday devoted to bounty...with endless reports today on obesity and diet?
These reports need to be regularly aired and published. But, please give us a break today.
Sorry, then, (we're doing it too) for the previous post on the nation's blubber belt, our fattest (and fittest) cities.
BLUBBER BELT REPORT: MENS FITNESS MAGAZINE LISTS FATTEST AND FITTEST CITIES
FAT CITIES FIT CITIES
1 Houston, TX (fattest) Honolulu, HI (fittest)
2 Chicago, IL Seattle, WA
3 Detroit, MI San Francisco
4 Philadelphia, PA Colorado Springs, CO
5 St. Louis, MO San Diego, CA
6 Cleveland, OH Portland, OR
7 Atlanta, GA Denver, CO
8 Columbus, OH Virginia Beach, VA
9 Dallas, TX Tucson, AZ
10 Charlotte, NC Sacramento, CA
11 New Orleans, LA Minneapolis, MN
12 Indianapolis, IN Boston, MA
13 San Antonio, TX Austin, TX
14 Phoenix, AZ Omaha, NE
15 New York, NY Oakland, CA
16 Fort Worth, TX Wichita, KS
17 El Paso, TX Albuquerque, NM
18 Las Vegas, NV Jacksonville, FL
19 Mesa, AZ San Jose, CA
20 Baltimore, MD Long Beach, CA
21 Milwaukee, WI Memphis, TN
22 Kansas City, MO Los Angeles, CA
23 Oklahoma, OK Nashville-Davidson, TN
24 Miami, FL Fresno, CA
25 Washington, DC Tulsa, OK
Copy and paste the following address for fascinating details about the fat and fit story for each city:
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
THANKSGIVING OPEN THREAD: What's on your plate and in your thoughts?
We are certainly thankful for Howard Dean and all who are so creatively working with him to take back our country. We are grateful for the new friends we have met online and off in the Dean movement.
We are definitely having lots of parsnips. Standing in line at the supermarket, we answered questions about this unfamiliar root vegetable and Howard Dean.
We are happy to report people were more familiar and excited about Dr. Dean than parsnips.
Monday, November 24, 2003
L.A. FOR DEAN COLLECTS AND DISTRIBUTES FOOD
Kudos to Dean organizers nationwide who are collecting donations for local foodbanks as they gather for Dean events. DC did the same. As did ABQ 4 DEAN here in New Mexico. Any other examples?
Sunday, November 23, 2003
LEAN FOR DEAN UPDATE: TEXAS MAN TAKES IT OFF FOR DEAN
As posted on Blog for America.
Five reasons to make your bat donation through Lean for Dean!:
5) Ate no fast food during a 500-mile road trip -- carried trail mix instead.
4) Went to a movie tonight (Dean visibility, of course) and ate zero candy, popcorn, or soft drinks. Drank water and then crunched on my ice.
3) Turned down an invitation to have KFC with friends yesterday.
2) I really wanted a Coke on my way home from the Dallas Grassroots Summit yesterday, but I had water.
1) At the firm Thanksgiving luncheon Friday, I had none of the approximately ten different desserts.
Click my name and show me and my bat some love!
Posted by Torrey in Texas at November 23, 2003 11:13 PM
DEAN'S GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN, FOODIE PERSPECTIVE
The grasses including rice, wheat, oats, and so on, are typified by their near-the-surface horizontal roots. Dense, and widely branching roots. Grasses evolved perfectly to meet the needs of grazing animals--grasses can be cropped low but not entirely killed off by munching animals. New growth just keeps popping up. And the branched roots hold one another up against the onslaught of wind, drought, and so on.
"Grassroots" are indeed the strength, unity and breadth of the Dean campaign thus far.
Saturday, November 22, 2003
Food-Borne Illness From Produce on the Rise
By MARIAN BURROS
Published: November 23, 2003 NY Times
To consumers who took nutritionists' advice seriously and began eating more fruits and vegetables, word that fresh green onions could carry the hepatitis virus came as a shock.
Yet the recent outbreaks of hepatitis A linked to contaminated scallions imported from Mexico, which have killed three people and sickened hundreds, are only the latest examples in a sharp rise of food-borne illness from fruits and vegetables. In 2000, the last year for which information is complete, there were almost as many reported cases of food poisoning from produce as there were from beef, poultry, fish and eggs combined, according to an advocacy group's compilation of government data.
"It's a huge problem and not one easy to solve," said Dr. Glen Morris, chairman of the department of epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a former Agriculture Department official. "Produce is emerging as an important cause of food-borne illness in this country."
Scientists and some government officials say illnesses have risen sharply because people are eating more fresh produce and want it year-round, leading to an increase in imports from countries with less stringent sanitary standards.
Copy this into your address line to read the rest of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/23/national/23FOOD.html?hp=&pagewanted=all&position=
Friday, November 21, 2003
LET THEM EAT MUSHY PEAS--DUBYA'S PUB LUNCH WITH TONY, FOLLOWING SUMPTUOUS CHOW WITH THE QUEEN
From today's NYTimes Online, by Terence Neilan:
"Today, by stark contrast, it was a typically northeast England pub lunch: cream of leek and potato soup, fish and chips with mushy peas, followed by lemon cream broulée for dessert. "
Guess "cream broulee" is bizarre English translation of "creme brulee."
(Don't seem to be able to insert accents while in this program mode, sorry.)
Thursday, November 20, 2003
BEEF PRICES SOAR; CATTLE SLAUGHTERED EARLIER , FEWER PRIME CUTS, ETC
Peter T Kilborn writes in The New York Times, November 16, that the unique combo of Midwest drought, mad cow disease in Canada, and shifts in preferences, have combined to shoot up the price of beef. Ranchers are taking advantage of the rise to sell now. One reason for higher demand? High protein diets.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
WITH AGRICULTURE AMERICA'S LARGEST EMPLOYER, AND THE COUNTRY'S AGRIBUSINESS SO CONCENTRATED, AGROTERRORISM IS A MAJOR CONCERN--
SEN. COLLINS: AMERICA’S AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY IS VULNERABLE TO TERRORIST ATTACK
Federal Government Making Progress, But Gaps in Response Remain
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) today said that while the federal government is making progress in its efforts to protect America’s vast food and agriculture industry from terrorist attack, gaps in oversight, prevention and response remain, and interagency coordination is lacking.
Read complete release at:http://www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/index.cfm?Fuseaction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=583&Month=11&Year=2003&Affiliation=C
The committee hearing was aired on C-Span today and may be repeated. Check C-Span.org for listings.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
YOUR SUGGESTIONS WELCOME RE DEAN "FOOD" PLATFORM
Let us know what food issues you think the Dean campaign should address.
Write us at email@example.com if you would like to join the Blog and begin posting your concerns. You will be issued an invitation once we receive your email.
As per Janet's recent post, Dean supports labeling of GMO products. He is also concerned about GMO seed entering non GMO fields. And thus far I believe he has said he thinks GMO foods do not pose a health risk to people. This is a complex issue that we all need to consider.
ONE MAN'S CONCERN RE JOE TRIPPI, PEPSI AND ASPARTAME
(Received via NM for Dean Yahoo Group)
Hello Joe Trippi, I am very concerned that a number of items on
the Net confirm that you use Diet Pepsi. The sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet,
Equal) is 11% methanol, which converts to cumulative toxic products of
formaldehyde that gradually damage every tissue. Donald Rumsfeld was the
CEO of G.D. Searle Pharmaceuticals after 1977, responsible for manipulating
the FDA into approving aspartame in July 1981, against the vote of its own
Scientific Board of Inquiry. I suggest you make this a major issue in the Dean
In mutual service, Rich Murray
Pls note: My colleague here in Foodie Country says he will never post such a long entry (see Green Onion)on the blog again. Thank you.
Monday, November 17, 2003
FDA ISSUES GREEN ONION ADVISORY
Source of Hepatitis A Carrier Tough to Pin Down
Probe Widens in Largest US Hepatitis A Outbreak
The current number of people affected by the now deadly outbreak now stands at 510, but health officials warn that number could climb even higher as the week progresses
The FDA is advising consumers to either avoid eating raw or slightly cooked green onions altogether -- or make sure to cook them thoroughly
Nov 17, 2003 3:46 pm US/Eastern
Pittsburgh (KDKA/AP) With green onions suspected as the source of the Hepatitis A outbreak in Beaver County, the FDA is issuing an advisory for people who eat them at home or while dining out.
Green onions, or scallions, have been linked to another hepatitis A scare that sickened over 300 people in Georgia and Tennessee in September.
While the outbreaks in Georgia and Tennessee are believed to have stemmed from green onions, Richard Quartarone, a spokesman for the Georgia Division of Public Health, says investigators don't know how the virus got there. Quartarone says both cases also involved different strains of the virus. "It's possible they're connected. It could have been a grower or a contaminated water source," he said. "Was there a sewer break at the time the onions were picked? Or was it people picking and bunching them?"
Though the state health department still hasn't pinpointed how the virus found its way into the Chi-Chi's in the Beaver Valley Mall -- killing three people and sickening over 500, the restaurant has pulled green onions, from all of its 100 locations as a precaution.
Some other area restaurants -- including Taco Bell and Mad Ex -- are also following suit, skinning scallions from the menu until further notice.
But the FDA warns -- that the potential risk isn't limited to restaurants.
Over the weekend, the FDA issued an alert, advising consumers to either eliminate using raw or slightly cooked green onions altogether -- or make sure to cook scallions or foods containing them thoroughly.
The FDA said it will monitor the safety of green onions and will take further actions if necessary.
Meanwhile, consumers who have recently eaten raw or lightly cooked green onions don't need to take any measures, but should monitor their health. Anyone experiencing symptoms that could be hepatitis A should consult their health care providers immediately
The current number of people affected by the now deadly outbreak now stands at 510 -- but health officials warn that number could climb even higher as the week progresses.
HOW DID WE MISS THIS? PUMPKIN DROPPING: THE CONTEST AND SCIENCE
Better late than never, we point you to this NPR report on Ball State University's annual "Great Pumpkin Drop."
And here's BSU's Technology Education web page about the pumpkin drop.
"NANCE IN NM' WINS STEAK FRY RECIPE AWARD
Deaniac Nance Crow of Albuquerque just won the coveted Steak Fry Recipe Contest created by Dean supporters in Iowa. Below is her entry, as she submitted it to Linda Thielman. ( It is neither steak, nor fried.)
"Since the good Governor hates waste, Â this recipe might appeal to
Two summers past, a fabulous Â backyard fruit crop was ruined by the
worst Â hailstorm in years. I didn't have the heart to throw out the
batteredÂ Â nectarines that still clung Â to the trees. Miraculously,
Each one looked like Rocky after the fight; they Â weren't the fruit
to put in a lunch box or offer to guests. But a sale on salmon and
a little risk taking yielded, pun intended:
Salmon in Stoned Fruit
For each pound of Â salmon:
1 cup cubed nectarines
2 TBL. Tamari
2 TBL. crystallized Â ginger
1. Soak ginger in soy sauce Â until softened. If necessary, add a
tablespoon or more water.
2. Place fruit, Tamari and ginger in Â the blender and blend until
3. Cover salmon with mixture and Â refrigerate overnight.
4. In aluminum foil or a covered pan, Â grill on low heat until done,Â
about 25 minutes for a 5# fillet on our Â grill.
My son, even! and all who ate this asked for the recipe.
Nectarines need not be battered by hail for this to Â work!"
Sunday, November 16, 2003
MORE BIG TOPICS FOR FOODIES TO CHEW ON
America's Great Big Challenge
Super-Size Caskets, Arena Extra-Wides -- Business Adjusts To the Growth Spurt
By Margaret Webb Pressler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 16, 2003; Page F01
Pity Debora Senytka, a design engineer in General Motors' human/vehicle integration department. Her challenge: to create normal-looking vehicles that can accommodate the expanding derrieres of the expanding American without giving up the cup holders and consoles, the built-in DVD screens and air bags that U.S. drivers have come to expect in their vehicles.
Up until five years ago, Senytka says, America's growing obesity "was never considered," but now she calls it "a very real situation." The problem is finding the space to fit a wider passenger "because there's so much more going into a vehicle than there was 10 years ago."
GM isn't the only automaker facing this challenge, nor is the automotive industry the only type of business feeling America's weight problem.
Companies of all kinds are adjusting their designs, measurements, marketing, menus and training in an effort to find ways to prevent, accommodate -- even profit from -- growing waistlines. In fact, as obesity has become an inescapable factor in U.S. culture, it has also become a major force in American business.
But obesity's place in the culture has not been easy for many businesses to deal with. While some embrace it, others are scared of it, and some companies just won't talk about it. That is the typical reaction of American business to any "momentous sea change in the public," said Bobby J. Calder, a marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
For rest of article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43836-2003Nov15.html
"FATLAND: HOW AMERICANS BECAME THE FATTEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD" BY GREG CRITSER; BOOK REVIEW
courtesy of www.davidscooking.com
Greg Critser’s Fatland examines the obesity epidemic in America. What obesity epidemic, you ask? This one:
“About 61 percent of Americans are overweight—overweight enough to begin experiencing health problems as a direct result of that weight. About 20 percent of us are obese—so fat that our lives are likely be cut short by excess fat. More than 5 million Americans now meet the definition of morbid obesity” .
The definition of “morbid obesity”? Being more than 100 pounds overweight.
Critser dates the expanding American wasteline to the early 1970s and agricultural policies of then-Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz (who, serving the same post in the Ford Administration, proved himself a racist boor and was drummed out of office). Staples of the “Butzian Revolution” like High Fructose Corn Syrup and palm oil led to the proliferation of processed foods, turning contemporary America into a Calorie-Dense Environment.
Critser lucidly details the cultural consequences of Over Nutrition, deploying a copious amount of (well-documented) facts and statistics and carefully explaining their significance. In spite of his weighty subject matter (groan!), Critser’s prose feels light and deft.
According to Critser, “the price of abundance is restraint” a message likely lost on “the wishful-thinking, reality-denying, boundary-hating world of modern America.” (91-92).
Fatland contains seven chapters:
1. Up Up Up! (Or, Where the Calories Came From), outlines changes in the economics of food production since the early 1970s (the aforementioned “Butzian Revolution”), especially the rise of High Fructose Corn Syrup (which is far cheaper than cane sugar and acts as a preservative as well) and palm oil (also known as “tree lard” and chemically closer to beef tallow than vegetable oil), whose properties (both HFCS and palm oil have “appealing mouth feel” and they’re very stable, giving products a long shelf life) led to their widespread use in inexpensive processed foods. This cheap food, in turn, drives the economics of super-sizing, the topic of the next chapter.
2. Supersize Me (Who Got the Calories into Our Bellies)
One of the biggest contributors to overweight is our loss of control of portion size. Nowhere is this more true than in restaurants, especially fast food restaurants.
“A serving of McDonald’s French fries had ballooned from 200 calories (1960) to 320 calories (late 1970s) to 450 calories (mid-1990s) to 540 calories (late 1990s) to the present 610 calories. In fact, everything on the menu had exploded in size. What was once a 590 calorie McDonald’s meal [is] now . . . 1550 calories” (28).
Increasing portion size to increase sales is a sound business practice, because the cost of food itself it cheap compared to other costs of operating a fast food outlet.
3. World Without Boundaries (Who Let the Calories In)
The explosive growth of snack foods. The publication of bad parenting advice, recommending that children make their own food decisions. Fast food in schools: whereas the school cafeteria must meet USDA nutritional standards for portion size, the Pizza Hut cart does not. “Pouring contracts” between soda companies and schools. The enormous volume of soda consumed. The fact that the sin of gluttony has of late “somehow gotten a good name.” All contribute to the obesity epidemic. We’ve experience a loss of nutrient control:
“Nutrient control means simply that – the degree to which one exercises control over what goes into one’s food. Fast food and convenience food by their very nature preclude such control; to put it the way a French intellectual might, a Big Mac is a caloric fait accompli. So is a Swanson’s TV dinner or any boil-in-the-bag fettucine Alfredo. To be convenient—to be stable and have a long shelf-life, or to retain good ‘mouthfeel’ after an hour under the fast-food lamp—food [has] to contain larger and more condensed amounts of fats and sugars.” (33)
4. Why the Calories Stayed on Our Bodies
This chapter examines the other side of the caloric equation: why we don’t burn more of what we consume. Cristner traces the decline in physical activity in America, due to the elimination or reduction of physical education in schools and the growth in popularity of couch potato activities like TV, videos, video games, computers, &c.
5. What Fat Is, What Fat Isn’t
The identity politics of fat, surprisingly, turn out to be relatively straightforward: though obesity occurs increasingly in the middle and upper classes, it is worse by far among the lower and working classes. Race and gender also play a role, but in Cristner’s view, class is clearly primary.
6. What the Extra Calories Do to You
In addition to diabetes, the physical maladies associated with obesity include coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke, orthopedic problems like arthritis, slipped hips, bowed legs. Respiratory diseases. And the “premature deaths of 280,000 Americans every year, the figure the American Medical Association now reflects the number of obesity-related mortalities” 
“Numb limbs, darkened skin, painful gallstones, hair sprouting from embarrassing places, fading vision—such is the lot of the obese diabetic.” 
Then there are the economic costs: $100 billion annually for the care and treatment of diabetics alone, “the majority of new cases being a direct result of excess weight. That boils down to one in every ten dollars devoted to health care. In terms of federal resources, diabetes alone commands one in every four Medicare dollars.” 
7. What Can Be Done
--Restrict or eliminate advertising that targets children
--Get fast food out of the schools, and end pouring contracts with soda companies
--Expand mandatory physical education requirements in schools
--Since the previous two actions will require funding, institute a “fat tax” on unhealthy food
Another thing you can do: read this book, then pass it along to a friend. This is an important book, and along with Fast Food Nation and The Hungry Gene, helps us understand how we became the fattest people in the world.
DEAN'S POSITION ON GM FOODS DISCUSSED
Hi Foodies4Dean! I just joined to keep up with Dean's food-related policies, and have devoted lots of time and energy to Dean's campaign here in NYC. But I recently read his position on genetically modified food and was somewhat disappointed to see his position that GM foods are safe. Like Dean, I too am a scientist (working on my medical training), and have seen how many scientists oversimplify GM issues. More rigorous scientific reports- by esteemed societies including the National Academy of Sciences- concluded that questions remain regarding the safety of introducing such organisms into our environment, let alone our bodies. And Dean's position didn't speak to the potential danger such crops pose to non-GM crops (via genetic spread, transforming wild-type seeds).
Thankfully, he fully supports GM-labels on any GM-containing product, which someday could mean labeling all foods, since such crops often cross-pollinate non-GM seed and there is no way to control unintended spread. I'm hoping that mandatory labeling, as Dean has proposed (and the EU recently ratified) will effectively force agribusiness to voluntarily halt GM crop production altogether, out of concern over lost revenue! -Janet
ANOTHER ISSUE FOODIES FOR DEAN INTENDS TO FOLLOW IS BACK IN THE HEADLINES:
500 Sickened in Outbreak of Hepatitis Tied to Food
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 16, 2003
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 15 — The number of people infected in a hepatitis A outbreak linked to a western Pennsylvania restaurant has exceeded 500 and is likely to continue rising for another week, state Health Department officials said Saturday.
Three people infected with the virus have died, and thousands have lined up for inoculations since the outbreak was reported in early November among people who ate at a Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant.
A Chi-Chi's executive said the company had adopted "extraordinary measures" companywide, including sickness logs for employees and asking workers to sign "wellness statements" asserting they are not ill, in an effort to prevent similar outbreaks elsewhere.
As of Saturday, 510 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in the outbreak, said Richard McGarvey, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Health Department.
He said more infections were expected because people who contract hepatitis A typically do not exhibit its early flu-like symptoms for 30 days.
The state started offering antibody inoculations Nov. 5 to anyone who ate at the restaurant after Oct. 22. The antibody reduces the risk of hepatitis A developing, but it must be given within two weeks of exposure. People exposed before Oct. 22 could still start showing symptoms through next weekend. In severe cases, the virus can lead to liver failure.
Health officials expect the number of new infections to level off after Nov. 22 and eventually stop, Mr. McGarvey said.
About 8,500 people have received the shots because of the outbreak linked to a Chi-Chi's at the Beaver Valley Mall, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
All 60 employees of that restaurant will remain under medical supervision until each has been cleared, said Bill Zavertnik, chief operating officer of Chi-Chi's, which is based in Louisville, Ky. The Beaver Valley branch is closed until Jan. 2.
Eleven employees who tested positive for hepatitis A remain under medical care and the rest were given antibodies, Mr. Zavertnik said.
Health investigators said they still did not know the source of the virus. They are looking at foods, including green onions, that are difficult to clean and have been linked to smaller outbreaks in other states.
Chi-Chi's has removed green onions from all of its restaurants as a precaution, Mr. Zavertnik said.
Saturday, November 15, 2003
FAVORITE HEADLINE--SERIOUS TOPIC:
Let's Hope The Butt Stops Here
Cutting down on childhood obesity
By DAVID BJERKLIE
Everyone talks about it, but now pediatricians say they are determined to do something about it — the epidemic of childhood obesity, that is. In a no-nonsense policy statement devoted to the growing problem, the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for its members to go beyond their routine tracking of height and weight. Pediatricians are being urged to identify children most at risk for obesity (taking into account birth weight, family history, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors), then carefully track their body mass index — a ratio of weight to height — and... Click here to purchase the full article:
DESPERATE MEASURES: AS A LAST RESORT, OBESE TEENS ARE HAVING THEIR STOMACHS STAPLED
Report in Nov. 17, 2003 Time Magazine presents the pros and cons of this controversial surgery, previously offered to deserate adults. A year ago, Ashlee Townsend, then 14, was running out of options. At 5 ft. 4 in., she weighed 330 lbs. and had developed Type 2 diabetes — a potentially life-threatening illness that usually doesn't occur before middle age. Ashlee had tried all sorts of diets, but none of them seemed to work. By third grade, she had so much difficulty walking that she started missing a lot of school. Then she underwent an operation that reduced her stomach from the size of a football to the size of an egg. In the 12 months since, she has lost 77 lbs.--in addition to the 40 lbs. she lost while preparing for surgery — and her diabetes is in remission. "The most amazing thing," says Ashlee, "is that I can see my feet when I walk."
It concludes with this quote from Dr. Diana Farmer, chief of pediatric surgery at U of CA San Francisco Children's Hospital: "Look kids are not dropping dead at age 19 from obesity. " The article concludes " there is still time, Farmer and others insist, to work on losing weight the old-fashioned way through diet and exercise. Then if folks are still obese when they reach adulthood, at least they are better prepared to decide whether to undergo such radical surgery."
For the record, the surgical procedure is explained in the article, here's a part: Gastric bypass works by radically altering the size and shape of the stomach and shortening the length of the small intestine so that the body can no longer take in normal amounts of food. First, surgeons "staple" the stomach with surgical tools so that it can't hold more than about an ounce of food. Eat more than five or six bites, and you will feel a sense of nausea. Then the doctors rearrange the small intestine, the organ that actually absorbs nutrients, so that about a third of it can no longer function normally. Patients must take supplements for the rest of their life to avoid serious nutritional deficiencies. The procedure can, in theory, be reversed, though doing so would require complex surgery and the lost weight would probably be regained.
NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon", is a foodie-story-filled favorite program of ours, despite its lack of coverage of the Dean movement. (why is NPR so luke warm about reporting on at least the Dean activism/blog sideshows, which are so entertaining?)
Click on the link to listen to Weekend Edition food stories, for just one show, from a week ago that included the West Bank olive harvest; how Wisconsin is dealing with being the number 2 dairy state (after CA); how Jackie Robinson's son runs a Tanzania coffee co-op; McD's founder Ray Kroc's wife's bequest; and a musical bite of Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger in Paradise."
DEAN BIRTHDAY MENUS WANTED!
Just for fun, Foodie wants to post a roundup review of dishes served at today's Dean BDay events around the country and the world. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 14, 2003
"FOODIE" DEAN GOES WHERE NO OTHER CANDIDATE, OR STAFFER, HAS GONE BEFORE....
ORDERING MENUDO FOR BREAKFAST
Dean staffer Kate O'Connor posted this item on Gov. Dean's August 17, 2003 visit to Tucson, AZ on the campaign's official blog (August 18, 2003): "Okay, now for the obligatory food story (I think this is a good one). Prior to the rally the Gov., Cong. Grijalva and some of his supporters had breakfast at a local restaurant. Everything on the menu was in Spanish. As most of you know, the Gov. speaks a little Spanish, so he knew what everything was on the menu - expect for one thing. Being the daring person that he is (and doing the opposite of what most other people would do!), the Gov. ordered the item he didn't know. The dish the Gov. ordered was called a Meneudo. Everyone at the breakfast was impressed with the Gov's choice because they figured he knew what it was. He had the room laughing when he fessed up that he had no idea what he had ordered. Do any of you know what's in a Meneudo?"
For the record, "menudo" is a hearty, spicey soup made with tripe (cow stomach linings), calf's feet, green chiles, hominy (corn grits), and seasonings. It is usually garnished with lime wedges, bowls of chopped chiles, onion and hot tortillas. Menudo is believed to be a successful hangover cure, and is popularly served in Mexico on New Year's morning.
Wow, Dr. Dean is definitely a "foodie."
THE WAY TO A PERSON'S VOTE IS THROUGH HIS OR HER STOMACH
Dean for America is just one of the campaigns using food as a political organizing tool, according to a George Washington University site devoted to the study of political campaigns. This section is called "The Food Corner."
Foodies for Dean is mentioned in the report. Check it out.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Today, I just signed up as a Foodies blogger. As a native of the Illinois cornfields, I'm concerned about the proliferation of genetically engineered grain.
TRANS FAT LABELING BY JANUARY 2006 PUSHES CHANGE
The FDA requirement that processed food manufacturers list the trans fat, aka partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, content of their products right on the label is causing some manufacturers to rethink ingredients, others to find ways to minimize the trans fats in their offerings. Judith Weinraub, in a continuing series, reports in the Washington Post that the path to compliance is riddled with ruts. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25545-2003Nov11.html
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
FOODIE ANGELS CROP UP IN PORTLAND, TOO
Teri Mills, National Nurse, and Shava, provided food baskets for the Gov and crew in Portland. Thank you from Foodies for Dean nationwide! We look forward to hearing more such nurturing with food stories from the campaign trail.
THERE'S A FOODIE ANGEL IN BURLINGTON!
Her handle is Lunch Lady on the Blog but her real name is Carol M. Davis, and every Monday and Wednesday she brings lunch to 15 -20 people at Dean HQ.
As she puts it, "My contribution ( is) to all those unpaid
volunteers and as an aide to productivity. Monday's offering was
pork chops (about 30. ) I have brought huge pots of meatballs and
rolls for sandwiches, roasters full of boneless chicken, trays of
My thanks? About once a week one of the computer guys sticks his
head out and says, "We love you!" Having worked on campaigns in my
youth, I figured this would be appreciated.
The first time I brought food I think they thought I was trying to
poison them. Now, since they survived , they look forward to it. It costs me the equivalent of a dinner out for
each meal, so I eat out less and they produce more. Seems like a
good trade-off to me!
And probably next week I'll do a turkey for them..."
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
SCHOOL LUNCH REFORM: IT'S MORE THAN JUST IDENTIFYING "MYSTERY MEAT"
We are trying to cover this important topic and get some dialogue going to provide links with school lunch reform activists and the Dean campaign. Here are the first of some articles on the subject.
What do you think? What's going on in your schools? Join this blog conversation or any other topics posted here. To join, see instructions in the upper left.
Monday, November 10, 2003
A new foodie here, from Albuquerque. I found out I was a Foodie (subspecies: vegan) after hearing Meredith's description of a Foodie Friday night as someone who is constantly thinking about what the next meal is. If you've been to my website, www.geocities.com/kathyflake, you know that food is one of my passions. Politics is another, so Foodies for Dean is a natural home for me. I hope to post often in the future, including the recipe for vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie that got me two offers of marriage Friday night.
Oh, and I do salt first, even if I've made the food, so I'm an equal opportunity offender. Anyone tried any of the new gourmet salts? My next food excursion, I'm thinking.
DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF "McJOB" AS "LOW PAYING AND DEAD END WORK" HAS McDONALDS FURIOUS
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, added 10,000 new definitions including the one for "McJob." Read more about it in http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=462245 among other media coverage.
And join in the discussion by registering with our blog. See instructions above.
RESTAURANT CHAINS AD IMAGES DON'T BRING ADDED SALES, BLAME MESSENGERS
An article in today's NY Times describes the fast food industry blaming poor sales, Wall Street discontent and other problems on their ad agencies.
Read the article--- http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/10/business/media/10adco.html?8hpib
Post your comments on our blog. See instructions above.
Today's Washington Post piece by Rob Stein explores the debate among agencies, insurance companies, scientists, etc., as to whether obesity should be declared a "disease." This move might provide insurance coverage for weight problems. Opponents feel making obesity a disease would be a drain on already limited resources for other conditions. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A20220-2003Nov9?l
ABUNDANT CORN RESPONSIBLE IN PART FOR OBESITY TREND IN U.S.
Michael Pollan's piece in the NYTimes Magazine, October 12, 2003, "The (Agri) Cultural Contradicitons of Obesity," spotlights the extra calories added to Happy Meals, soft drinks, and processed foods. Source? Cheap corn, a glut on the American and world market, as farmers continue to be subsidized to grow in excess a crop that provides us with vatsful of high-fructose corn syrup, cheap feed for cattle and chickens, and binding agents, for all those little hunks of deep-fried chicken. Farm policies initiated during FDR's era worked to keep famers solvent, and over production in check. Policies of the past 40 years have encouraged and maintained overproduction of corn. Pollan notes that the proliferation of snacks and processed high calorie foods parallels the U.S. "cheap food farm policy."
Sunday, November 09, 2003
FOODIE EXHORTS FELLOW FOODIES TO JOIN THE BLOG
Thanks to Sarah and Julia for posting on the blog. Please join them and us in making this an active community blog on food subjects. We are working on setting up a website which will make all this easier, with features similar to the Dean official blogs.
Hello from NapaSlowFoodie for Dean! Also a Free Ranger. I've been looking for some of those home-on-the-range (not-the-feedlot) cattle, found a few around here. Do you know about Napa Free Range Beef? www.napafreerangebeef.com You can order online. The jerky is GREAT!
THE TEA THAT IS "IN THE HARBOR" IS STILL AVAILABLE TODAY
The tea tossed into Boston Harbor in 1773 was a product of Davison & Newman, established in 1650. Irreverent Foodies can order this product on-line at http://www.britishtea.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi/hzpi/u/HzSt0112130m15171113100U0n0m14160m1417141011/hazel.cgi?action=SERVE&item=bostontea.htm
The rebel new Americans who turned their backs on tea in the 18th c. embraced loosestrife tea as an alternative. They also began drinking more coffee.
Saturday, November 08, 2003
NUTRITIOUS DISH FOR AN UPCOMING DEAN POTLUCK
Lentil Shepherd's Pie.
1/4 cup per person green lentils. Other beans and legumes work, too.
Chopped onions and garlic
Spices - salt, pepper, 'steak seasoning', any of your favorite spices mixes, can be hot if you want.
Saute onions, add spices. Add to lentils. This is layer 1.
Corn - cook frozen corn as per directions. For canned corn, rinse in a colander to get rid of all that salt. Other vegetables - peas, beans, work well, too.
Mashed potatoes - boil potatoes (I like to leave the skins on). Mash, add milk and/or butter, salt, pepper.
Put the lentil mixture on the bottom of a deep dish pan. Pat into place. Put corn on top. Pat down. Put mashed potatoes on top. Pat down.
Cook at 350 for 1/2 hour or until golden brown on top.
ALBUQUERQUE FOR DEAN ORGANIZING EVENT FEATURED SUBLIME SPINACH AND MUSHROOM DISH
Okay, okay, we passionately told our Dean stories, shared Dean for New Mexico ideas, whooped after a pep talk from Zephyr, chortled over the humorous antics of assorted Deaniacs in the group, watched closely as Page in Albuquerque considered joining the pilgrimage to Iowa, but we also........ate. Nance brought butternut squash soup, Kathy, a peanut noodle dish, Foodie, a creamy cauliflower dish, and Janelle, the headlined enchilada dish, based on a recipe in Cooking Light. ( Apologies to foods not credited/noted. We ate them all, with pleasure.)
FREE RANGER DEFINED
Powerful, healthy, thinking person who eats free ranging critters, chickens, for example. This probably also includes free swimming fish, not farmed salmon or catfish, extremely hard to find cattle, and, who knows, ants? ( Chocolate covered?)
Spiders, too, have free range here at Foodie Manor, but we are not inclined to harvest them.
Free Rangers also eat veggies, presumably, maybe squash and pumpkin that have escaped the vegetable garden and traveled to the compost pile...
THIS NEWS JUST IN: ZEPHYR SALTS FIRST!
Yes, Fellow Foodies, the exalted, balmy Zephyr and her two man crew, David and Ryan, graced Foodie's home last night, then sat down to a full breakfast this morning. Red and green, this being NM, were duly offered for the Huevos Rancheros, the spuds were served up a la Suisse as rosti, the sweet was a mile high cinnamon pullapart from our own magnificent Sunflower Market. (Foodie bakes not--or rarely.)
After a flurry of silliness in re napkins, Zephyr, a self-proclaimed Free Ranger--explanation forthcoming in a new post--noted that she salts first, always. Hmmm. Is this rude? Or, is this in fact, utterly polite? Ryan explained---If you salt first, admitting to a thing for salt that is totally personal, rather than tasting and then salting, you place the salt onus on yourself--my little excess.
But, if you taste and then salt, you are telling the cook that his/her food falls short. Foodies out there are welcome to weigh in.
Anyway, Z,D and R were busy as bees while here, blogging, up and downloading, posting, phoning, arranging, rearranging, yacking with the faithful who drifted in and out, and then speeding off to Santa Fe, armed with a large container of biscochitos, NM state cookie, and a bag of Foodie's favorite cureall, Gin-Gins, from The Ginger People. Excellent guests. Come again!
Friday, November 07, 2003
AP INTERVIEWS FOODIE FOR PIECE ON "INTERESTING GROUPS" INVOLVED IN THE DEM CAMPAIGNS
Just chatted with a journalist in DC about Foodies for Dean and she wondered how many people are checking it out. Presumably the Blogger people have those figs but Foodie has no idea. Remember--you can join in on Foodies for Dean by emailing us:email@example.com. Then we will send you an official invite.
FOODIE REMINDS NEW MEXICANS TO "FEED" THE ROADRUNNER
New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, has a wretched record on hunger issues. But Roadrunner Food Bank is working hard to combat hunger in NM. Roadrunner has kicked off its annual food drive and invites everyone to donate healthy canned goods, packaged rice, lentils, and so on, to its effort. It's easy--supermarkets, health clubs and other venues are providing clearly marked bins all over the state available for your donations. ( Sports and Wellness at Paseo is offering members who donate food or money to Roadrunner a FREE three day pass, incidentally.)
Foodie enjoys having fun with food, but hunger is no laughing matter. Here in NM, 10% of the hungry are seniors over 60, and a whopping 37% are children.
A Dean America will place hunger issues firmly on its domestic agenda.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
UNION ENDORSEMENT FOR DEAN DELAY CAUSES FOODIE TO REQUIRE THAI SOUP
Frazzled by the tension of waiting for the endorsement expected today from the SEIU, Foodie repaired to the best Thai restaurant in ABQ--Thai Kitchen/Teriaki Queen on Coors on the Westside. Soothing coconut milk soup, crisp veggie eggrolls and eggplant wallowing in green curry and peppers did the trick. Foodie reports a Nirvana like calm has descended. Meanwhile, Dr D is probably munching on a stale donut somewhere, poor fellow.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
FOODIES FOR DEAN CO-FOODIE CELEBRATES HER BIRTHDAY AND SALUTES THE GOOD DOCTOR'S UPCOMING BD.
In one of Albuquerque's newest Vietnamese restaurants, Cafe DaLat, I lunched today on crispy catfish in ginger sauce, fish soup, veggie eggrolls and that bizarre yet sublime drink, Vietnamese coffee. ( All shared with my son, who chose the Vietnamese veggie crepe, plus a stir fry on crispy noodles.)
The fish was indeed crisp, and fresh--I assume there are vats behind the scenes filled with doomed fish swimming in cramped quarters---the eggrolls were light and eminently dippable in the just slightly piquant sauce.
I saluted Dr D on his upcoming day, the 17th, with my thick, sweet, murky coffee, and wondered what my fellow Nov 4th celebrant, Walter Cronkite, was eating at that exact moment. Who knows?
Posted by Mere
Monday, November 03, 2003
COMPETITIVE EATING ATTRACTS THOSE WITH TALENT FOR SPEED, AND VOLUME INTAKE...
The International Federation of Competitive Eating wants you! (But do you want them?) The group has 3000 members and oversees 150 events. If hot dogs are your passion, this could be your ticket to fame and fortune, as it appears the hot dog spurred this new craze. (Full story by Chris Ballard, NYTimes Magazine, August 31, 2003.)
GUANGZHOU, CHINA, WILD ANIMAL MARKETS FILLED UP AGAIN WITH RATS, CATS, BATS...IS SARS APT TO RETURN?
SARS watchers are concerned that the virus could flare up again with wild animal markets back in business after Beijing recently lifted a ban on them.
People willing, and eager, to eat anything make these markets financially successful. ( Full story by David Lynch, USA Today, October 29, 2003)
Sunday, November 02, 2003
MORE U.S. FAMILIES HUNGRY OR TOO POOR TO EAT, STUDY SAYS
"Despite the nation's stuggle with obesity, the Ag Dept. says, more and more American families are hungry or unsure whether they can afford to buy food. About 12 million families last year worried that they did not have enough money for food, and 32 % of them experienced someone's going hungry at one time or another.
Nearly 3.8 million families were hungry to the point that someone in the household skipped meals because the family could not afford them. That is 8.6 % more than in 2001, " reported the AP, Nov. 2, 2003.
Saturday, November 01, 2003
U.S. EATING HABITS, AND EUROPEANS, ARE SPREADING VISIBLY
According to NYTimes report Oct 31, 2003, Europeans are more and more adopting American fast and fatty food habits.
London's venerable Harrods Department store now features Krispy Kreme donuts.
Stats given: Obese rates:
Men Britain 21% USA 27%
Women Britain 23.5% USA 34%
JUST SAY NO---DOC HALTS HALLOWEEN CANDY INHALATION AT TWO PIECES
According to Kate O'Connor, traveling with Dr. Dean on Halloween in NH, Dean ate just two pieces of candy...even though the campaign van was filled with goodies.
See the official Blog for America for further details.
How did foodies out there handle Halloween?