The Stanford Report – Much To Do Over Nothing

So I learned of the Stanford report in the NY Times claiming organic food is no healthier than conventional, from a friend who forwarded it to me after her father (a doctor) sent it to her.  She wanted to know what I thought given my advocacy for children and families eating organic.  I didn’t get too worked up but said the study actually says pesticides were found at higher levels than conventional, and acknowledged most people if feeding children would err on the side of caution.

The fact that the nutritional value is the same is not surprising or new.  An apple is an apple.  There would be the same nutrients and vitamins.  However the difference, and I think importance, is the levels of pesticides and chemicals.  Thus an apple with pesticide is different than one without. It seems more of a food safety issue than a nutritional one.

I made a sarcastic remark to my  friend’s father  (not an organic advocate) that trusting the FDA in terms of pesticide safety levels would be like going back to days of the FDA saying smoking wasn’t bad for you and colleges passed them out in dorms (that’s when my mom smoked).  Now ironically one of the scientists in the study is being criticized for conducting studies for tobacco companies 35 years ago.  Ironic?  Coincidence?  Also I found it interesting that a day after I read the Stanford study there was a new EPA ban on an apple pesticide, azinphos-methyl (AZM), also known as Guthion.  So we are learning and hopefully moving ahead.  I wish the study had been about something more current and relevant to the pesticide and GMO issue rather than nutrition.  Today there was a good rebuttal in the LA Times about the controversy and where some stand – notable are Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan.  The fact that there’s a petition by to discredit the Stanford study seems silly and unjust.  The findings are the findings whether you agree or think they should’ve been done differently.  I like many of’s petitions, but I’m not signing this one.






Zuckerberg’s New Deal – If You Don’t Kill It, Don’t Eat It

First, let me tell you I am not a Facebook fan.  Just too much info for me.  I provide enough here.  You don’t want to know more and I don’t want to read more.  Anyways….


I am a fan of Mark Zuckerberg’s new eating program and that is to take responsibility for your food and know where it comes from.  Here’s what he said

“This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have  to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat  meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being  thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the  only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. So far, this has been a  good experience. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learned a lot about  sustainable farming and raising of animals.

“I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house.  A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really  didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just  seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to  eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what  they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.”

Read more:  Zuckerberg eating meat he kills | San Francisco Business Times

This isn’t new, but it is brave.  Shows like “Kill It, Cook It, Eat It” show gueling tests of raising, killing and eating animals.  Some can do it, while others can’t.  Michael Pollen researched and wrote about the various ways animals are raised and killed for your dinner table in the Omnivore’s Dilemma.  He too killed his own meal.  But Mark Zuckerberg is commiting himself to eating only meat from animals he personally kills for an entire year.  It’s an interesting choice and responsibility and I’m sure one where most would quickly become vegetarian.

Coincidentally here’s the conversation my daughter and I had when she was being tucked in last night:

“I don’t want to eat animals.”  she said.

“That’s fine.  It shouldn’t be too hard for you.  We’re eating more vegetarian and vegan meals like Aunt Christy, and if you don’t want to eat meat when we’re having it, that’s fine.  But you also need to know what you won’t be able to eat”, I said.

“Like what?  I already don’t eat chicken and steak.  And I only like vegan hot dogs,” she proclaimed.

“What about bacon?” I asked.

“Bacon comes from an animal?  Which one?” she asked.

I answered, “A pig”.

She started laughing in disbelief.  Then said “Turkey bacon comes from a pig?!”

I then laughed and said, “Turkey bacon comes from a turkey.  But bacon you like in a restaurant comes from a pig.”

“Oh, ” she said.

The conversation ended there.  She doesn’t have bacon often, but she does like it.  Not sure what will happen next.  We had chicken left-overs and grilled veggies turned into burritos tonight for dinner.  She skipped meat and went bean, veggies and cheese only.  I’ll keep you posted on her eating habits.

And I’m sure Mr. Zuckerman will too.

(Funny it was a pig that got both my daughter and Zuckerman thinking…but in opposite directions)


Pesticides Link to ADHD

Thought this was of interest for those who need more cause to buy organic.  While there are links of ADHD in children to heredity and exposure to tobacco and lead, there is also evidence that exposure to high levels of pesticides commonly found on berries, celery and other produce could raise the odd for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Read the article here.