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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Keepin’ It Real (with Real Food) …October 24 is Food Day

English: Loma Linda University Vegetarian Food...

English: Loma Linda University Vegetarian Food Pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

[Reblog] 

 

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
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Wednesday, October 24 is Food Day. Join in this second annual national event where thousands of businesses, coalitions and other participants are holding Food Day celebrations to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food. 

 

Food Day, Food Pyramid Killing Us, diet, nutrition, USDA, agriculture, corn, grocery, government

 

Created by the Center for Science in the Public InterestFood Day has become a movement to increase awareness of the usual unhealthy American diet which is leading to our top three causes of death and other forms of morbidity.

 

Our nation’s food system is not focused on promoting health, but maintaining agribusiness and food production as cheaply as possible. Fellow blogger, Ellice Campbell of Enlightened Lotus Wellness, just published a worthwhile post, Corn And It’s Stranglehold on the Food Industry. Also, have a look at The Trouble With Corn Subsidies. About 75% of all grocery store food products contain some form of corn (not the sweet kind that we enjoy during the summer) and high fructose corn syrup. This is creating a sugar addiction among our children and is one factor contributing to increased diagnoses of diabetes in adults and children, not to mention obesity. I find this to be an outrage.

 

What we put into our bodies is 100% up to us! Just because cheap and processed foods are available everywhere we look, does not mean we must succumb to eating them. As one of my blog readers previously commented, “Eat what you want–no one is forcing you not to.” Every time we eat and every thing we eat is completely our choice. I feel this is too fundamental to even blog about, but as a nation, we are clearly not making the best choices.

 

Of course this has implications beyond personal diet and disease. According to CSPI, only minor amounts of Farm Bill funding support organic and sustainable farms, while the unhealthiest farm producers reap the major funds. We have allowed our government to carry on this way for decades. Food production methods are harmful to workers, animals and the environment.

 

How will you celebrate Food Day? Click the link for inspiration, activities, recipes and a zip code map to see what is offered in your area. Or, take a page from their school curriculum, eat real around your dinner table and discuss healthy eating and where your food comes from.

 

Eat Real, y’all. Practice mindful eating and the world will be better off. Really.

 

Related articles

 

 

 

 

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E. coli in the countryside: whose problem is it anyway?

From the 25 August 2011 Science Daily article

Reducing the risks of catching E. coli O157 in the countryside is everyone’s problem. That means we should all take responsibility — individual residents and visitors, as well as farmers and government — according to experts…

Read the article

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Poultry Farms That Go Organic Have Significantly Fewer Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Antibiotic resistance

Image via Wikipedia

From the 14 August 2011 Health News Today article

Antibiotic use in conventional animal food production in the United States has created public health concern because it has been shown to contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can potentially spread to humans. A new study, led by Dr. Amy R. Sapkota of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, provides data demonstrating that poultry farms that have transitioned from conventional to organic practices and ceased using antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant enterococci bacteria. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives (online August 10, 2011), is the first to demonstrate lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria on newly organic farms in the United States and suggests that removing antibiotic use from large-scale U.S. poultry farms can result in immediate and significant reductions in antibiotic resistance for some bacteria. …

 

Read the entire news article

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Hygiene Habit Review Time & How to be Safe Around Animals

two girls holding puppies

With the weather getting warmer (at least here in America’s Midwest), more people will be spending more time outside.
This might be a good time to review good hygiene habits.

Here are some great places to start.

    • Nail hygiene is important for gardeners and anyone planning to get down and dirty with Mother Nature.
      The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some nail hygiene advice including
      • Avoid cutting cuticles, as they act as barriers to prevent infection.
      • Never rip or bite a hangnail. Instead, clip it with a clean, sanitized nail trimmer.
    • Going swimming in a neighborhood or other area pool? Take steps to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses
      • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
      • Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
      • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
    • Keep your body as clean as possible. The CDC has a great interactive human body diagram with links to preventative advice.
      Click here for additional tips on facial cleanliness.
    • Planning on being around animals at the zoo, at a farm, or at someone’s house or campsite?
      Check out Proper Hygiene Around Animals with parenting tips (many useful for adults also!) that discourage these activities around animals
      • Eating or drinking
      • The use of strollers, toys, pacifiers, baby bottles, or spill-proof cups
      • Hand-to-mouth behaviors, such as thumb-sucking and nail-biting
      • Sitting or playing on the ground
      • Feeding the animals, unless the contact is controlled with barriers
      • Any contact with animals if an individual has open wounds
      • Contact with any animal waste

Related Resources

The figure is a poster to be exhibited at animal petting zoos that provides basic instructions to visitors for avoiding illnesses while coming in contact with animals.

Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011 (National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV))

While not aimed to the general public, it does include some good tips, as

Animal Areas

  • Do not allow food and beverages in animal areas.
  • Do not allow toys, pacifiers, spill-proof cups, baby bottles, strollers or similar items in animal areas.
  • Prohibit smoking and other tobacco product use in animal areas.
  • Supervise children closely to discourage hand-to-mouth activities (e.g., nail-biting and thumb-sucking), contact with manure, and contact with soiled bedding. Children should not be allowed to sit or play on the ground in animal areas. If hands become soiled, supervise hand washing immediately.
  • Ensure that regular animal feed and water are not accessible to the public.
  • Allow the public to feed animals only if contact with animals is controlled (e.g., with barriers).
  • Do not provide animal feed in containers that can be eaten by humans (e.g., ice cream cones) to decrease the risk for children eating food that has come into contact with animals.

Natural Unseen Hazards Blog - news about natural unseen hazards that may place outdoor enthusiasts at risk

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Farm Environment, Cats Help Kids Avoid Skin Disease & Related Article (Growing Up on Farm Strengthens Immune System)

Farm Environment, Cats Help Kids Avoid Skin Disease

HealthDay news image

European researchers report rural living less likely to lead to atopic dermatitis for infants

Childhood exposure to germs in the environment strengthens their immune system, according to current scientific evidence. (See  Immune System (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immuneSystem/Pages/immunity.aspx) by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID])

Now it seems that the environment not only confers immunity through not only interacting with a child’s immune system after birth, but before birth.

Excerpts from a recent Health Day news article by Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) — The children of mothers who were around farm animals and cats during pregnancy are less likely to develop atopic dermatitis in their first two years of life, new European research shows.

Atopic dermatitis (also called atopic eczema) is a chronic and painful inflammation of the skin that frequently occurs in childhood. The condition affects up to 20 percent of children in industrialized countries and is one of the most common childhood skin diseases….

….Along with the first finding, the researchers also identified two genes associated with a child’s reduced risk of developing atopic dermatitis in the first two years of life.

The findings support the theory that a gene-environment interaction with a child’s developing immune system influences the development of atopic dermatitis, said the researchers.

The study appears in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.***
[The abstract of the article may be found here]

Previous research has found that allergies are less likely in children who grow up on farms and whose mothers lived on farms during their pregnancy.

SOURCE: Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, news release, Dec. 2, 2010

Click here for suggestions on how to get the full text of the article

 

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Growing Up On A Farm Directly Affects Regulation Of The Immune System

From the 9 February 2012 Medical News Today article

Immunological diseases, such as eczemaand asthma, are on the increase in westernised society and represent a major challenge for 21st century medicine. A new study has shown, for the first time, that growing up on a farm directly affects the regulation of the immune system and causes a reduction in the immunological responses to food proteins. …

…Dr Marie Lewis, Research Associate in Infection and Immunity at the School of Veterinary Sciences, who led the research, said: “Many large-scale epidemiological studies have suggested that growing up on a farm is linked to a reduced likelihood of developing allergic disease. However, until now, it has not been possible to demonstrate direct cause and effect: does the farm environment actively protect against allergies, or are allergy-prone families unlikely to live on farms?” ,,,

 


December 12, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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