Corn fed cows, corn syrup, and the end of civilization


COMMENTS ARE VERY WELCOME BELOW !
Ater a discussion with my sister about health concerns over corn syrup in food and grass vs. corn fed beef I followed up a bit on the Corn Syrup and Corn Fed Cow Continuum ….:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588

I’d consider this source (the Mayo Clinic dietician) to be “very authoritative” and when I find these sources I don’t need to look much farther because they keep up on the research and have little reason to distort things.    There are exceptions to this and you need to be careful not to trust authorities when they are advising on things they are NOT authoritative about..but…

To me it suggests something I routinely find to be the case on these issues:   They are of minor rather than major concern, but many bright people choose (for reasons I do not understand) to *focus* on a narrow aspect of the overall health (or other scientifically defined) issues.

There’s a lot online about Grass fed beef that suggests it is healthier than corn fed.   Unfortunately the papers tended to look at grass fed meat composition rather than the long terms effects of that composition on human health, so for me this probably falls into the category of a small enough difference that I’d prioritize this far, far below what I’d argue are the big three: exercise, total caloric intake, and fat to calorie ratio.    I also understand that a daily multi-vitamin is good idea and would suggest that is likely enough to make a difference that we should take one.

The gist of my argument is simple and I’d suggest pretty obvious to an open mind:   If you care about your health you should spend most of your health-related thinking working to balance exercise, total caloric intake, and fat to calorie ratio such that your BMI stays below 25, a well established health milestone.   Secondarily, you should generally take a multi-vitamin.

Lastly, at the risk of sounding kooky because this type of thing normally falls into the kooky thinking realm, I think you can make a case that most of us should probably be taking resveratrol, an antioxidant that was shown to provide simply extraordinary life extension benefits in mice.   Although I normally think this kind of thing is goofy the early results for this substance are so compelling it’s foolish to ignore it (for the same reason it is foolish to *pay attention to* the largely bogus claims of most vitamin and nutrition therapies).

There may be some other compelling science I’m not familiar with but my point is that fretting over trivial things like trace chemicals in food, organic food issues, and even non-trivial but small issues like corn beef being fattier and corn syrup are *probably*, though not certainly, a waste of health thinking time because these factors are *swamped out* by the big three listed above:
(exercise, total caloric intake, fat to calorie ratio), and vitamin supplements.

Also note that I’m excluding cases where somebody has a deficiency or a disease that should affect their diet.   For example lactose intolerant folks should obviously not eat cheese or drink milk unless they take enzymes to help digest it.   Normally those are healthy foods but they are …. ugly foods for some people.

Also I’d note another obvious item – biology plays a big role in health that remains very poorly understood.   A poster gal for horrible diet and no exercise will often thrive for many years and will often outlive a LOT of joggers with great BMI and diets.  A poster perfect diet and exercise routine will affect your biology but I’d guess won’t trump it.    Hmmm – this would be interesting to review as identical twin study.   If I’m right, you’ll find identical twins will tend to die close to the same age regardless of their lifestyle.  It seems you could use twin studies to tease out the biology vs lifestyle factors.

143 Million Pounds of Beef Recalled…from your stomach.


Could somebody help me understand why the latest beef recall isn’t stupid?   This is terrifying millions of parents despite the fact that there is almost certainly close to zero health risk here according to the FDA.  Oh, also there is the challenge of the fact that most of this beef has already been eaten by you and me.  Excuse me while I barf it up for the FDA?

The FDA notes:
We do not feel this product presents a health risk of any significance

Oh, that clears things up for me.  Rules require the recall of perfectly safe beef- enough to  feed the entire country for days and valued at close to 100 million dollars -because..ummm ….huh?

This is yet another case of absurd bureacracy driven by absurd irrational concerns of absurd people.   Mad Cow?   Still *zero* deaths.   Stop worrying about this crap!   There are millions dying all over the place from *real* hazards like malaria, malnutrition, no seat belts, gun proliferation, and wars.  Those are legitimate concerns.  Bad beef is not. 

Caveat:  The company that this came from appears to be in violation of many rules.  Close them down if that’s wise – I don’t have enough detail to know.   But the recall appears to be rule based spitefulness rather than reason.   My tax dollars, squandered again, costing more people their beef and more future cows their precious cow lives. 

You know, if they recall any french fries I’m moving to Canada.