Friday Links: Tainted Honey, Pizza As Vegetable, and The Flu
Hello! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday (for those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving). My girlfriend and I spent another Thanksgiving away from home in Kentucky. Last year, I was living in San Diego and she came out for us and some friends to have a big meal and a lot of wine. This year, we’re helping on a farm down in Macon, GA. I smoked a turkey, made a great CranApple-Sage Stuffing, and played with the horses.
Here are some great posts and news articles from around the web to check out while you’re recovering from yesterday.
Hey There, Honey
Real Food Forager – What’s In Your Honey?
For instance, traces of GM pollen have been found in honey.
Dishonest honey distributors buy the cheap stuff from China where it may be contaminated with antibiotics and heavy metals or it may not even be honey at all — it may be high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners.
This is one part of the honey news from the past week or two. And now for part two.
Speaking of Honey, Buy From Sources You Trust
I could quote a ton of this article, so your best bet is to just go read it, but I’ll show you some highlights:
Chinese honeymakers are laundering their products through other Asian nations, including India, Vietnam and Malaysia, in order to smuggle it into the U.S. The scheme is being aided by American importers and lax enforcement by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA):
What’s wrong with honey from China? For one thing, it may contain lead
Further, FSN reports, Chinese honey may contain tiny amounts of an antibiotic known as chloramphenicol, which was used in the early 2000s to thwart a bacterial epidemic that was killing tens of millions of bees.
Another favorite con among Chinese brokers was to mix sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery, barley malt sweetener or other additives with a bit of actual honey. In recent years, many shippers have eliminated the honey completely and just use thickened, colored, natural or chemical sweeteners labeled as honey.
So going back to that first article, buy your honey from people you know and trust. Local honey is better in general for people with allergies because it has the pollen from your surrounding area in it.
Like Grandma Said: “Don’t Forget To Eat Your…Pizza?”
Did you all see the good news? Pizza is still a vegetable! I’m calling Dominos, post haste!
The Obama administration wanted to make school lunches more healthful, cutting back on the endless procession of potatoes, corn, refined flour, and sodium. One such provision was that a mere two tablespoons of tomato paste — the quantity required to blanket a slice of pizza — not be considered a “vegetable.”
No, said Congress. Two tablespoons of tomato paste is a vegetable, and a slice of pizza serves as its conveniently filling transportation device. The U.S.D.A. had slyly suggested that a brimming half-cup of tomato paste might work, an amount even a lunch line pizzaloo would find excessive. The idea was to cut back on the pizza, but Congress didn’t blink.
Now, I don’t want to get into the Democrats vs. Republicans thing here, because frankly, I don’t think it accomplishes anything or is actually indicative of what’s going on. The bottom line is that while I don’t have a whole lot of love for the USDA, I’d at least give them the benefit of the doubt to make decisions on what kids eat over Congress. Congress is deciding things based on who’s greasing their palms. Why do we trust these people to make important decisions when they can’t even figure out what a vegetable? No wonder we’re going bankrupt.
The Flu Shot
The ads are cranking up again to sell flu shots. They’ll tell you how irresponsible it is not to get one. Remind you of how much having the flu sucks (which it does, can’t argue that). You’re endangering the people around you. They’ll make you feel like it’s the responsible thing to do.
For me, the best protection is having a strong immune system, which comes from eating real food; exercising enough, but not too much; getting plenty of sleep, and not loading my body up with toxins. I don’t get a flu shot and I also don’t get the flu. If I do end up getting the flu, well, it sucks, but it’ll go away in a day or two. Your call, but I won’t be getting stuck.
While you’re considering whether or not to get the flu vaccine, take into account the ingredients. This year, the FDA has approved 6 vaccines: Afluria, Fluvarix, FluLaval, Fluvirin, Fluzone (plus Fluzone High-Dose & Fluzone Intradermal), and FluMist (nasal spray).
While the ingredients differ, 3 of the 6 have formaldehyde and 4 of the 6 have thimerosal (mercury). For me, letting my immune system do the work is better than injecting those and other unknown ingredients. Here’s a complete list of the ingredients for this year’s vaccines.
Oh yeah, and if you’re overweight, the vaccine might not work. (Of course, they still want you to get one so they can collect your $20-30, I mean, so that you’re still somewhat protected.) And as with all years, they might not have selected the right strains for the vaccine and it might not work anyway!
Did you see any other good articles this week? Will you be getting (or have you gotten) a flu vaccine?