It has been a crazy week around these parts. I got to enjoy an absolutely beautiful day yesterday by playing 18 on at Fox Ridge, one of the best courses in Maine. It was even better because I played with a member, which cut down my cost, and I had a gift card, so it only cost me $5!
Though after playing some excellent golf last week, I was hacking my way around the greens and couldn’t putt to save my life! Regardless it was great to get out and enjoy a little sunshine, as that will most likely be my last time out this year.
Anywho, I’ve got some interesting stuff for you today.
1. One of my classmates sent me a link to this article on NPR radio. It was all about how a judge laid the smack down on the sugar beet industry, no longer allowing them to plant genetically modified crops because of problems with cross-pollination with non-GMO and organic crops.
The genetically modified Roundup Ready (seriously what commodity crop does Monsanto not have their hands in?) beets are very similar to the Roundup Ready soybeans and corn that dominate the American Midwest landscape.
This is a huge problem because non-GMO and organic crops get sued for patent infringement if cross-pollination occurs, even though it is through no fault of their own. There just happens to be some Roundup Ready crop nearby, wind blows the pollen to the “other” crops, and that farmer gets sued by one of the biggest companies in the food production industry for “patent infringement.”
That and the fact that Monsanto owns all of these Roundup Ready seeds, so farmers can no longer save seeds from one year and replant them the next, which is how farming has been down for centuries, probably millenia. That is now illegal. This monopoly (Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans make up 90% of the market) has caused farmer’s to lose their fundamental right to choose the crop of their choice.
This ruling could be a big step in improving our current food production methods, so check it out.
2. Many smart people dismiss the potential health implications from artificial sweetener intake, and I think this is a mistake. Now others take it too far and if you even consider their consumption you are playing with fire and ruining your health.
The fact of the matter is there is considerable research and mountains of anecdotal evidence, claiming that artificial sweeteners do cause plenty of health problems. In fact here is a study done on 59,000 Danish women showing that artificial sweetener intake (aspartame, from diet soda) increased risk of pre-term delivery. Just one diet soda per day increased their risk by 38%, while 4 diet sodas increased their risk by 78%!
There is also some very alarming research done in rats (here and here) which showed that consumption of aspartame within the accepted daily limits caused a tremendous increase in incidences of cancer. They also showed that exposing rats to aspartame while in the womb increased their risk of cancer even more.
Not too mention some research has shown a significant association between artificial sweetener consumption and weight gain!
And that is just for aspartame. There is also research on the negative health effects of Splenda, which I have blogged about before.
So like I said, is some minimal and random consumption going to be a problem? Probably not. But artificial sweeteners are packed into more and more things these days, even ketchup, that you might be surprised by your intake. It is definitely something to keep in mind.
3. For those of you who don’t consume much pasta as there are not many great sources or you are just trying to keep your carb intake down, here is a solid alternative – spaghetti squash. While my wife is not a fan, many people swear by it.
1 cup only has 40 calories, 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber as well as 120mg of omega-3′s. Just some food for thought for you low-carbers!
Well that does it for me today, have a great weekend everyone!
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