Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Monday, August 18, 2014

Robin Williams on Alcoholics

Monday, August 11, 2014

Organic not pure

'Organic' Isn't Clean and It Isn't Toxin-Free
JUN 6, 2014

By James Greiff

Buying organic food is an exercise in personal virtue: You pay more to consume food that's healthier for you and less damaging to the environment because it's grown without artificial or toxic chemicals.

This powerful perception, based more on belief than facts, goes a long way toward explaining why demand for organic products has grown so much. Organic sales have more than tripled in the past decade, to more than $30 billion a year, while sales of conventional food products have dawdled along at an annual growth rate of about 2 percent.

There's just one huge problem: 
Neither of the main assumptions driving the growth of organic farming are grounded in science. In fact, there is evidence that organic farms produce as much, or more, pollution than conventional farms and that organic products might actually contain more toxins than other foods.

Like all farms, those that grow organic products rely on fertilizer. Often, organic farmers use animal manure rather than chemicals derived from petroleum or minerals.

In one study of greenhouses in Israel, the use of manure led to much more nitrogen leaching into groundwater compared with use of conventional fertilization. Nitrogen contamination, the study noted, is one of the main reasons for closing drinking-water wells. And by the way, nitrogen from all sorts of farming is one of the main pollutants behind algae blooms, fish kills and dead zones in bodies of water from local farm ponds to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

A broader study of 12 different farm products in California found that in seven cases, those using conventional methods had lower greenhouse-gas emissions. A big reason for the difference? Conventional farming tends to be more efficient than organic farming, meaning fewer inputs are needed to generate the same amount of food.

That hits on a critical issue for organic farming, as noted in a 2012analysis of more than 100 studies of farming methods across Europe: Getting the same unit production from organic farming tended to lead to "higher ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions." And while organic farming tends to use less energy, it also leads to "higher land use, eutrophication potential" -- that's the dead zones mentioned above -- "and acidification potential per product unit."

The main author of the study, Hanna Tuomisto, a professor at Oxford University, said:

Many people think that organic farming has intrinsically lower environmental impacts than conventional farming but the literature tells us this is not the case. 

Whilst some organic farming practices do have less environmental impact than conventional ones, the published evidence suggests that others are actually worse for some aspects of the environment.

People need to realize that an "organic" label is not a straightforward guarantee of the most environmentally-friendly product.

Organic animal production also can cause problems. Unlike conventional farms, organic farms usually let animals wander around. No surprise that animals then do their business wherever nature calls. Rain, in turn, washes waste into local streams and rivers. Think of that next time you see free-range something on the menu. By comparison, conventional farms can (although they don't always) confine waste to covered areas. This prevents exposure to rain that causes polluted runoff.

As for health benefits, the evidence suggests there's no distinguishable difference in nutritional value between organics and other food. Some types of organic production, notably the use of manure concentrations, actually lead to higher levels of toxins in food. One study in Belgium found that organically cultivated winter wheat had higher levels of lead and cadmium than conventionally grown wheat. The levels were below tolerable limits, and processing could have removed some of the contaminants.

So are you worried now? You shouldn't be. Buy what you like to eat whether it's organic or not -- unless you're watching your food budget, in which case the choice is clear.

Texas Tick Causes Meat Allergy

A tick bite can make you allergic to red meat

An adult female deer tick (L), dog tick and Lone Star tick are shown in the palm of a hand.  GETTY IMAGES

A bug can turn you into a vegetarian, or at least make you swear off red meat. 

Doctors across the nation are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick.

This bizarre problem was only discovered a few years ago but is growing as the ticks spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts of the United States.

In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has landed people in the hospital with severe allergic reactions.

Few patients seem aware of the risk, and even doctors are slow to recognize it.
 As one allergist who has seen 200 cases on New York's Long Island said, "Why would someone think they're allergic to meat when they've been eating it their whole life?"
The culprit is the Lone Star tick, named for Texas, a state famous for meaty barbecues. The tick is now found throughout the South and the eastern half of the United States.

Researchers think some other types of ticks also might cause meat allergies; cases have been reported in Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Japan and Korea.

Here's how it happens: 
The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat - beef, pork, venison, rabbit - and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.
But a tick bite triggers an immune system response
, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.
At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, "I see two to three new cases every week," said Dr. Scott Commins, who with a colleague, Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills, published the first paper tying the tick to the illness in 2011.
Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines to ease itching, and more severe ones with epinephrine. Some people with the allergy now carry epinephrine shots in case they are stricken again.

Doctors don't know if the allergy is permanent.
 Some patients show signs of declining antibodies over time, although those with severe reactions are understandably reluctant to risk eating meat again. Even poultry products such as turkey sausage sometimes contain meat byproducts and can trigger the allergy.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Luuk Simons - "Lifestyle management"

Uploaded on Apr 6, 2011

A long term health enthousiast and thinker.

That's Luuk Simons. Luuk's mission is to empower people to be as healthy as they can be and to help them age successfully, based on life sciences findings.

Luuk will talk about the lessons from successful aging research and lifestyle medicine for our personal well-being. On the other hand he discusses how the doubling of our health care costs in the coming decade, to 16.000,- Eur per working Dutch person, will become unsustainable. Luuk shares an inspiring vision with us on how he believes employer-driven lifestyle programs can significantly improve our health and bend the cost curve.

Whale Shark

Catch of the Day: Whale Shark

A fisherman transports a dead whale shark after it was caught in fishermen's net, in Yangzhi county, Fujian province, August 1, 2014. REUTERS-Stringer

A fisherman transports a dead whale shark after it was caught in fishermen's net, in Yangzhi county, Fujian province, August 1, 2014. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

In Recovery for Orthorexia

The Blonde Vegan — now The Balanced Blonde — tells the News about her battle with orthorexia
Jordan Younger opens up about the eating disorder that consumed her life. ‘I just didn't want food to control me anymore,’ she said about choosing recovery.

BY MEREDITH ENGEL NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014,

Healthy and happy: Younger is now in recovery for orthorexia.

What started as a passion for health quickly spiraled out of control for popular health blogger Jordan Younger, founder of The Blonde Vegan.

Younger had a buzzy blog and 70,000 Instagram followers who looked to her for vegan recipes and health motivation. Since 2013, the 5-foot-4 23-year-old was making waves in the wellness realm. But as her success picked up, so did some dangerous eating habits.

On June 23, Younger admitted on her blog that she suffers from orthorexia, an eating disorder defined by an obsession with eating healthy, not losing weight. Her site crashed immediately.

"It escalated into something very unhealthy from something that began in a very healthy, mindful way," said the New York City-based Younger, who at her lowest point weighed 105 pounds.


Younger, who also teaches yoga, began a vegan diet in November 2012. She quickly lost 15 pounds and was happy with how she felt on it.

"In the beginning, I was very, very into it and doing a lot of research to make sure I was doing it correctly, so if anyone said, 'Do you think you're experiencing any health problems?' I would always say no and get really offended because I truly believed I was doing it in the best way possible," she said.

But soon the restrictions started adding up — for months, she only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes, and in specific combinations (for example, only three foods on a plate at once, eating fruit without any other food to combat digestive issues). She also lived on juice cleanses that lasted 10 days at a time.
TYNAN DANIELSYounger called her change from The Blonde Vegan to The Balanced Blonde 'another step in my recovery.'

Her thoughts became obsessive. "I would go to sleep thinking about food and wake up thinking about food," she said. "Food was consuming my mind in a way that I was really not used to."

Meanwhile, she became envious of her roommate, who "has a very healthy relationship with food" and could often be caught digging into a Chipotle burrito or a burger.

"I'd be over here with my Vitamix and measuring cups, in pain because of all the stress that surrounded eating," Younger said.


Two tipping points ultimately followed. One was when Younger stopped menstruating, though she didn't want to accept that her diet was to blame. A friend suggested she get vitamin B12 shots or start eating fish to kick-start her cycle. Begrudgingly, she bought a piece of wild salmon, ate it alone so no one would see her do it, and got her period two days later. But she wasn't entirely sold on the idea that her lifestyle was harming her, and thought maybe she'd start incorporating fish into her diet once every couple of months.

The second tipping point was when a friend came to visit. Younger's meal-planning went out the window when the juice bar she frequented didn't have the drink she had wanted.

"It sent me into such a state of panic that scared me — I physically couldn't make a decision," she said. Younger and her friend ended up walking a mile out of their way so that Younger could get that coveted juice. But from then on, a light bulb went on.
TYNAN DANIELSThe 23-year-old yoga teacher said she was tired of food controlling her life.

"I just didn't want food to control me anymore," she said. "I saw the people around me who I loved very much just able to enjoy their food in a way that I wasn't doing anymore."

A conversation with a friend led Younger to believe that she was suffering from orthorexia, and she confronted her mom about the issue. Younger's mother was relieved: Her parents were planning to sit her down and discuss what they had been noticing for months.

From then on, it's been all about recovery. Younger started seeing an eating disorders therapist and a nutritionist. She is slowly introducing fish, eggs and chicken back into her diet, though she still has trouble accepting that she's doing so.

"My mom thinks I might feel this way forever and I hope she's not right," she said. "I am so determined to get this back on track."

When she told her followers about her condition, she was met with a lot of praise — and lot of backlash. She received death threats and hateful messages in the thousands. But it didn't slow her down. This week, she changed her brand name to The Balanced Blonde, a name that encapsulates her new lifestyle.

"This was a huge step for me and I think another step in my recovery, just from shedding that label and limitations," she said. "Several months ago I thought I could never change my diet, so becoming The Balanced Blonde is like stepping into a whole new realm of possibility."

Sugar bad for your brain