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Archive for the ‘videos’ Category

New Dr. Esselstyn Studies

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

A couple new articles by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, are making their rounds in the vegan community.

And who can blame us for wanting to share them? :) These are exciting results indeed, once again showing reversal of cardiovascular disease with a low-fat plant-based diet, this time in a larger sample size than in previous studies.

For those more inclined to spend time with a video lecture, the following talk by Dr. Esselstyn at the 2012 annual Health Conference sponsored by NW VEG and the Portland Adventist Hospital Association is well worth the hour plus. His presentations always snap me back into low-fat adherence!

Good news: The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann and Jane Esselstyn, the good doctor’s wife and daughter, is now available for pre-order!

Note: If you use one of the book links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I’d recommend these potentially life-saving resources.

Is Carrageenan Safe?

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Recently, I wrote White Wave, the makers of Silk soymilk to ask if they would reconsider the use of carrageenan in their products as the safety of regular consumption seems still an unknown. What follows is their response, to which I’ve added links to the various studies they referenced.

For the most part, I tend to err on the side of caution, in this case preferring soymilk made without this additive. Better yet, should time allow, I like to make my own, which tends to be almost as creamy as those manufactured with this thickener, and certainly creamier than those without.

Thank you for your recent email to Silk®. We appreciate your interest in our products.

Carrageenan is a naturally occurring thickener derived from red seaweed. It is also known as chondrus extract or Irish moss. There are two different types of carrageenan, food-grade and degraded. Silk® Soymilk uses only food-grade carrageenan as a natural thickening agent. It is used in many other food products such as cottage and cream cheeses, pie fillings, chocolate products, ice cream and salad dressings, among others. Degraded carrageenan is never used as a food ingredient.

Recently there has been some negative press on the safety of carrageenan. An article published in 2001 by Joanne Tobacman, a researcher at the University of Iowa, claimed that carrageenan may cause lesions or cancer in the gastro intestinal tract (Tobacman: Env. Health Per., Vol. 109, No. 10, Oct 2001). However, the Tobacman study was performed using only degraded carrageenan, not food-grade carrageenan, an entirely different substance.

Many consumers express concern that stomach acid could turn food-grade carrageenan into degraded carrageenan during the digestion process. However numerous studies on the digestion of food-grade carrageenan have shown that “it is either not degraded, not degraded to the same molecular weight, or not degraded in the same way” as the degraded form, and that the limited degradation that has been detected, has had “no effect on the gut wall”
(Carrageenan & furcellaran, WHO Food Additives Series 19, Sept., 2003).

The safety of food-grade carrageenan was substantiated at a joint meeting of the FAO/WHO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in June 2001. JECFA recommended an Acceptable Daily Intake of “not specified”, the most favorable ADI a food additive can receive. The JECFA review was based on extensive safety studies of food-grade carrageenan, including evaluation of such matters as degradation and carcinogenicity.

Additionally, a review paper by Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D and Dr. Nobuyuki Ito, adopted by the JEFCA in their deliberations, evaluated and rebutted the evidence of claims of carcinogenity. The paper states, “In long term bioassays, carrageenan has not been found to be carcinogenic, and there is no credible evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect or a tumor-promoting effect on the colon in rodents.” Drs. Cohen and Ito are well-known and respected cancer researchers.

A review of existing scientific literature indicates that food-grade carrageenan is safe for all food uses. It is neither toxic nor carcinogenic. Silk products contain only the highest quality food-grade carrageenan available. We will continue to use only natural and safe ingredients in all of our products.

Our Silk® Almondmilk products are the only products right now that we manufactured without the use of carrageenan.

We hope this information is helpful.

Here’s Dr. Michael Greger’s brief take on the subject:

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out the way So Delicious handled the controversy. While they too are of the opinion that undegraded carrageenan “has been proven to be safe through rigorous studies,” they nevertheless are listening to their customers and have set about reworking their coconut milk over the last two years to exclude carrageenan. The new formula will start appearing on shelves in early 2014, and they have further pledged that “from now on, every new product we release will be carrageenan-free.”
(http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/blog/just-what-is-carrageenan/)

A Small Tweak For The New Year

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

As you flip the calendar on another year, perhaps you’re embarking on some of the standard New Year’s resolutions, e.g., weight loss, fitness, etc.. Of course, all noble pursuits. Here’s another you might consider that will take no more effort than being mindful of your posture. Not the straight-backed kind, though that’s a good idea too, but rather your body language in general and power positions in particular.

It turns out just two minutes holding such a pose can increase your testosterone and lower your cortisol levels, making you feel more confident and less stressed, more comfortable. In this TED talk, Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, shares these findings and recommends sneaking in those two minutes prior to evaluative situations like an interview, a review at work, public speaking, etc..

I hope you enjoy the talk, as I did, and that you have a very Happy New Year! :)

Vegan Debate

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Last week, I caught this great live debate on veganism. The online viewership was so large that buffering issues were a problem. The good news is, it was recorded!

What I really liked about this debate was its formality, in that it followed standard rules of discourse and didn’t devolve into a shouting match. It also seemed each side had plenty of time to make their points and counterpoints.

The audience was polled before and after the discussion to determine whether they were for or against the motion “Don’t Eat Anything With A Face.” The pre-debate results were 24% for, 51% against, and 25% undecided. (See below for the after.)


Don’t Eat Anything With A Face (Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates)

Panelists Arguing For The Motion:

Panelists Arguing Against The Motion:

  • Chris Masterjohn – Nutritional Sciences Researcher and Blogger at The Daily Lipid (where he has since started a series of posts reflecting on the debate)
  • Joel Salatin – Farmer & Author

Post-debate Poll Results: 45% for, 43% against, and 12% undecided. Bravo! A pretty impressive change of heart. :)

For more information, including links to research papers, detailed biographies, and audio downloads, click the link under the video.

I also wanted to point out there is analysis by Animal Visuals debunking the claim of the panelists on the Against side that fewer animals would be killed by humans consuming grass-fed cattle than a vegan diet supplied via mechanized crop harvesting.


My Cookbook:

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