Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hu Kitchen

Sounds cool:
"The food revolution is taking too long.

"The jury is in on the shortcomings of the Western diet and the benefits of pre-industrial food; reams have been written about the pressing need to change the way we eat. The moment is ripe. People are hungry to get started, yet no one is doing much about it. The space is still dominated by the same two players. On one side, there are the cynical profiteers of the food industry who have hijacked words like "healthy" and "natural" so they can stick them on the labels of their latest lab creations. On the other side, there are the rigid, alienating food fascists who insist that everything we eat should taste as unpleasant as possible. That doesn’t work for us. We have a different idea - unequivocally delicious food that also happens to be unprocessed and good for you. Is that even possible?

"You bet your ass it is. Hu Kitchen is the first ultra-high quality restaurant and market 100% committed to making this dream a reality. We’re a haven for all things human - not just a place to grab food but a destination, a trusted partner in the shared goal of reclaiming what it means to eat and live deliciously. At Hu, every mouthful has been vetted to meet the highest standards, crafted and honed from the synthesis of everything we’ve learned about the benefits of pre-industrial diets. But the results of our self-experimentation and research will be behind the scenes. We are going to give you something awesome to eat, and then we’re going to blow your mind when you look at the ingredients.

"And that’s where we stand. No compromise. No sacrifice.

"We make food for humans and, frankly, we think it’s about time someone did. It isn’t as glamorous as a pill or a fad diet. It probably won’t sell books. We’re OK with that. We’re not here to make a quick buck in the same tired food space. We’re not here to be just another shelf in the megastore of “healthy” food products. We’re here to start a revolution."
P.S. So I went there last night with the members of John Durant's Paleo Meetup Group. Jordan Brown, the owner, offered delicious complementary appetizers, and they had a bar w/ happy hour pricing.

Unfortunately for this post, I found the complementary appetizers delicious enough that I didn't eat anything else on the menu, although I did have a hard cider from the bar. (A brand of which I'd never heard and can't remember the name. You'll have to go there and try them yourself.) The appetizers as I recall were a chicken-liver pâté cooked in bacon grease and served on their vegetable-based bread (the restaurant is entirely gluten-free). Jordan he and his sister went through 100 iterations to get the bread recipe right. Time well spent. Did I mention they were delicious?

Jordan and his sister own the place, and he's entirely paleo, and very gung-ho paleo. The place looked terrific, and was very busy.

If you're in the neighborhood, they deliver. No, their delivery folks are not barefoot. ;)

I'm looking forward to going back and trying more of the food. If this is the future of healthy eating, we're in luck! (They're not attempting to be strictly paleo, by the way. They're pretty much all paleo, but you'll notice that a lot of the dishes are of a more vegan/vegetarian bent. They're trying to appeal to all people interested in eating in a more healthy way, which I think is a smart way to run their business.)

Confusing Food Labels

I guess it's not just me: FDA’s research on food labels: any help?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is The Tide Turning On Sugar?

"Any defence of sugar is pure confection."

"The evidence shows that sugar, not fat, is the enemy"
The point not made in this article, but which needs to be made, is this: The evidence shows that the "experts" blew it, and demonized all fats because the fat that they used in their research (Crisco, a synthetic vegetable-based saturated trans-fat) was harmful.

By jumping the gun before they had enough research, they've had a huge negative impact on all of our health. A low-fat, high-carb diet is a recipe for disaster, as the "experts" are now realizing.
"There is universal scientific consensus that trans fats found in fast food and processed foods such as biscuits, crisps and frozen pizza are detrimental to health and may even increase the short-term risk of a heart attack."
That's nice, but...
"The British Medical Association has rightly called for a reduction of trans fats, salt and sugar in pre-prepared foods."
Salt? There's no good evidence that salt is bad for you, the evidence is the reverse.

The wise course to take is not to follow dietary advice from "experts" who jump the gun on what science knows about human nutrition. Eat what healthy populations have traditionally been eating. Eat what your great grand-parents ate, if they were healthy.

Especially don't follow the dietary advice of the average doctor.

"Prof David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, says that all calories are not created equal. "It's extremely naive of the public and the medical profession to imagine that a calorie of bread, a calorie of meat and a calorie of alcohol are all dealt in the same way by the amazingly complex systems of the body. The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits."
What was "naive of the public" was to trust the scientific and medical communities to tell us what to eat. It's rich that Prof. Haslam uses the passive voice, "The assumption has been made..." It wasn't "the public" that made this assumption, we've been told by the medical community to avoid fat for decades. It's only recently that this tune has begun to change.

Unfortunately "blame the patient" is far too common in medicine. Pity the profession won't own up to its share of the blame.

Via the Diet Doctor.

P.S. If you want to understand the medical mindset on obesity, this essay by Prof. Haslam ("A long look at obesity") is illustrative:
"There is a common presumption, particularly among those currently engaged in determining our approach to the issues of nutrition and obesity, that our ancestors must have been supreme specimens with healthy lifestyles. Even with their primitive understanding of nutrition, our neolithic forebears somehow made the “right choices”, thriving on a wholesome diet of nuts, seeds, and fruits with the occasional piece of meat. And what is more, their rare intake of animal protein could only have been obtained through vigorous exercise, which they would, of course, indulge in religiously every day.

"Interestingly, the historical evidence suggests a quite different story. Those inclined to drift into nostalgic reverie over the conjectured idyll of stone age man, are less inclined to consider not only the lack of solid evidence for the palaeolithic diet, but the implications of the visual clues left to posterity by mankind's earliest artists long before settled agriculture emerged....

"...What we may conclude from the past is that the potential to become obese is certainly not new, but the development of obesity on the scale of a global population pandemic certainly is."
The "historical evidence" Haslam uses to dismiss the paleolithic diet are sculptures. The evidence from modern hunter gatherers, and the skeletons of our paleolithic ancestors, indicates that if these statues represent a rare case, as Haslam finally concedes.

Needless to say, I find the paleolithic diet approach far more compelling.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"How American Dietitians Sold Out to Coca Cola and Pepsi"

"...In return for money and influence Big Food is allowed to, for example, produce educational material and accredited education for the dietitians of America."
Read the whole thing.

Many "experts" care more about their well-being than about yours. Keep that in mind, always.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Vegan Visits A Cattle Feedlot

A mildly amusing post, that's pretty interesting, with a suprising conclusion:
"However, if I did eat meat, my visit to Magnum would have made me feel great about eating non-organic, non-grass-fed beef. Seriously. I can’t imagine the quality of meat would be substantially better with organic and grass-fed. Nor can I imagine the living conditions would be substantially better for the cattle."
I was surprised, and glad to hear. I don't think eating grass-fed, organic cattle is the key to a healthy diet. It's sort of like the cherry on top, if you can afford it.

I buy most of my meat from a farm whose cattle enjoy better surroundings than I do. (I've visited the farm, and travel past it on a regular basis, not to check up on it, but because it's in a scenic area.)

It tastes better, and I think that reflects my body's perception of better nutrition, but if I eat out feedlot cattle is something I wouldn't hesitate to eat.

So it was nice to see that the feedlot was not hell on earth. :)

It's always struck me that gullibility and a lack of critical facuties are crucial to become a vegan. The author reinforces these stereotypes, Sadly.
"...It’s also important to know that if we continue to eat 200+ pounds of meat per person per year in the U.S., grass-fed isn’t really an option. There’s not enough land."
I covered that last year, in "Grass-Fed Cattle vs. Grain-Fed Cattle"

Grass-fed cattle are better for the land, produce more food per acre (raising grain is wasteful, a point vegans don't like to make), and produce less "externalities": pollution.

..."A dairy cow living year-round in the great outdoors may leave a markedly smaller ecological hoofprint than her more sheltered sisters."
So that point's not good... And also ignores the fact that most of the dairy farms in New England have reverted to forest. We're not short of land.

"However, there doesn’t seem to be a relationship between feed and harmful E. coli contamination. Indeed, studies reveal no difference in E. coli O157:H7 prevalence or numbers between cattle fed grain vs. grass. And there are no studies that show superiority for one system vs. the other."
Well, this was surprising. I'd read quite a bit about how grain-feeding animals induced harmful E. coli growth! And one of the big concerns from eating feedlot beef is contamination from harmful E. coli strains.

Two seconds on Google proved the author wrong:
"Forage Feeding to Reduce Preharvest Escherichia coli Populations in Cattle, a Review (PDF)

"...Feedlot and high-producing dairy cattle are fed large grain rations in order to increase feed efficiency. When cattle are fed large grain rations, some starch escapes ruminal microbial degradation and passes to the hindgut where it is fermented. EHEC are capable of fermenting sugars released from starch breakdown in the colon, and populations of E. coli have been shown to be higher in grain fed cattle, and this has been correlated with E. coli O157:H7 shedding in barley fed cattle. When cattle were abruptly switched from a high grain (corn) diet to a forage diet, generic E. coli populations declined 1000-fold within 5 d, and the ability of the fecal generic E. coli population to survive an acid shock similar to the human gastric stomach decreased.
This is important because if the bacteria can't survive your stomach, they can't infect you. "Shedding" is a euphemism for exiting the cattle in poop when the cattle is being butchered, and making it into the meat you eat.
"Other researchers have shown that a switch from grain to hay caused a smaller decrease in E. coli populations, but did not observe the same effect on gastric shock survivability. In a study that used cattle naturally infected with E. coli O157:H7, fewer cattle shed E. coli O157:H7 when switched from a feedlot ration to a forage-based diet compared with cattle continuously fed a feedlot ration. Results indicate that switching cattle from grain to forage could potentially reduce EHEC populations in cattle prior to slaughter; however the economic impact of this needs to be examined...."
So much for that, then. My paleo sources are correct, the vegan is wrong.

Makes me feel better when he writes:
"Now, to be clear, we don’t require meat in our diet."
He's wrong about that as well.

I posted a link to a taste test of grass-fed versus grain-finished beef years ago. Grass-fed is hands-down much tastier. If the vegan author of this story would like to find out himself, I'd be happy to conduct the taste test.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Ultramarathon Runner Timothy Olson Thrives On A Low-Carb Diet"

The LLVLC Show (Episode 642): Ultramarathon Runner Timothy Olson Thrives On A Low-Carb Diet « Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb Blog

This is an interview that I've been waiting for!  Maybe Jimmy will get to interview Lindsey Vonn one of these days...

Here's iRunFar's account of how he won Western States, setting the course record, and here's his description of what he was doing during another race:
"I was not putting down tons of calories (about 200 ph the first half of the race and 100 ph to the finish), but i could tell that my body was burning fat and the fuel i was using really efficiently. You can put in a ton of calories, but will your stomach accept them and use them properly? The low carb (mostly paleo) diet i prefer and Vespa (amino acid supplement) really helps my body use the calories (First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot) and not have excess sloshing around causing chaos."