Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Truth About: Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution TV Show

“In order to make meaningful dietary changes, people need to be educated. They need to be given accurate information. When people are given the accurate information, they can make an educated decision, and many will be inspired to make significant dietary changes, excited about the prospect of excellent health.”

Clearly there are some positive aspects to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Certainly he is bringing attention to the deplorable school food situation in this country.
He also genuinely wants to improve the health of our country’s children. He aims to teach people how to cook for themselves. Jamie Oliver’s passion for healthy eating is admirable, but his recommendations on healthy eating are not scientifically sound. ‘Made from scratch’ does not mean ‘health-promoting' and the missed opportunity for significant change is enormous.
The science of nutrition unfortunately is not common knowledge. In order to make meaningful dietary changes, people need to be educated. They need to be given accurate information, not a diluted version designed to keep them in their comfort zone to avoid making them uncomfortable. When people are given the accurate information, they can make an educated decision, and many will be inspired to make significant dietary changes, excited about the prospect of excellent health. 
Others will never be convinced or at least not until their lives are in immediate danger. Unfortunately moderate dietary changes do not remove food addictions, prevent overeating and do little to nothing to lower rates of heart disease and cancer. There is both an opportunity and a responsibility when you have a public voice advocating a healthful diet to really advocate something that is healthy. Large changes do not have to happen overnight, but with the right information, people will know what their eventual goals are and overall many more people could be positively affected.
Similar to the U.S. government’s recommendation to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, Jamie’s recommendations are simply not enough to prevent or reverse disease or to result in significant weight loss. This information misleads people into thinking that the first step is actually the whole journey. So many people think they already eat healthy diets when they don’t – and it is in part because half measures and baby steps are portrayed as the real thing.
It is not enough to simply switch from very harmful foods to freshly prepared and somewhat less harmful foods. Moderate changes most often don’t even bring moderate benefits, they bring no benefits. Complacency in moderate changes will not prevent heart attacks and cancers and people will continue to suffer and die needlessly. If people do not want to eat healthfully, that is their right, but let’s make it clear, Jamie is well-intentioned, but he is not teaching anything close to a health-supporting diet.  

To your health, Joel Fuhrman, MD

Pamela Anderson

Get your attention? Ha!

Ms Anderson and I are on the same side of the fence on a certain issue: animal rights. I was pleased as punch to listen to her views on Larry King.
When asked if places like Sea World should be shut down, Ms Anderson answered “yes, they should.”

I completely agree. I know there are many people who feel this same way- that animal exploitation for human gain/entertainment is wrong and should come to an end.

If you were a killer whale, where would you be happiest?
In the wild of course.
If you were a monkey- in the rainforest. A fish- in the sea. A bird, free to fly.
Where are animals naturally intended to live?
They are intended to live free.

I remember reading a true story several years ago about a depressed, trained dolphin that had been at Sea World for many years. It committed suicide by laying on the bottom of its pool. The dolphin’s trainer was so despondent, he quit working at Sea World and has since become an “anti-Sea World crusader.”
My view on zoos is the same. I feel that mankind does not have the right to cage animals. Caged animals are unhappy.

The phrase “man shall have dominion over the earth” was disputed on an Earthsave listserve I belonged to. “Dominion” in this case is largely misinterpreted. It does not mean we have “control” over animals.
It means “to take care of them.”
Ie: California governor Arnold is showing dominion over CA coast life by changing his mind on off-shore drilling. He is taking care of them.
People love their pets, and take very good care of them.

It is those pet owners who do not take care of their pets that I take issue with.
I am a magician. I used to produce a poodle, rabbit, and dove in my show.
I had to cram them in boxes and bags to hide them in the illusions.
Although children loved to see the animals magically produced, if I had it to do over again, I would not have used any animals in my shows.
It was wrong.

Near Brainerd, MN at a show at Craguns Resort, an animal advocate came up to me after the show and asked me nicely if I could possibly substitute a different trick for the rabbit trick- to not use an animal. I answered that the audience, especially children love to see live animals.
Now as I think back to that, she was right. I was wrong.
I don’t think it’s right to exploit animals in any way.

Reader Comments

Comment: “What about the people who don’t eat healthy, smoke and drink, and live to a ripe old age?”

My response: Good question. There are exceptions, whether it’s their genetic make-up, strong immune system, luck? My comment is, if they would’ve had a healthier lifestyle all along, maybe they would have lived even longer and been in better shape health-wise during the last part of their lives. What disease eventually ended their lives that was diet/lifestyle related? How much pain did they have to endure at the end because of an unhealthy lifestyle? How many pills did they have to take because they were unhealthy? I prefer to have better odds/increased chance for longevity by living the healthiest lifestyle possible: healthy food, healthy drink, regular exercise.

Comment re The Truth About: the Gay Issue: “When someone states it is “the truth“, they are not allowing for any debate.”

My response: I agree. I am certainly open to any debate from anyone on this issue. This is an issue I feel very strongly about. In my opinion, in my heart, I believe I am right. I would bet my life on it. It is right as rain to be homosexual. A good person is a good person, period, regardless of sexual orientation.
Comment from a different reader on the same issue: “It is refreshing to read a post that stresses tolerance. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I encourage others who think it is wrong to be gay to change their hearts, to get rid of your unnecessary hatred and prejudice. You’ll be happier for it.”

The purpose of this blog is to share information on health, environmental issues, social issues, gardening, astronomy, the sky is the limit! If you would like to write any kind of entry and have it included on this blog, please send.

Otherwise, thanks for reading!

Great Gravy Batman!

This is a gravy that really adds a nice touch to a healthy meal with starch as the foundation. Pour over any kind of potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, steamed vegetables, etc. A little Nature’s Balance (a non-dairy substitute) melted first on the potatoes, etc. adds a nice taste too (especially for meals with no gravy). Take it easy on the Nature’s Balance because it is pure fat, close to zero nutrients- unhealthy, but is a much better choice than butter or margarine.

Mushroom Gravy

Makes about 2 ½ cups

1 cup mushrooms any kind, sliced thin ( I like to use the white, button mushrooms.)
1 ¾ cup water (plus ½ cup water to first cook the mushrooms)
1/3- 1/2 cup flour (any healthy whole grain flour: wheat, quinoa, millet, kamut, spelt, others?)
1-3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce (Tamari is salty so I use a little more than 1 Tbsp- add to taste. Remember the more salt and sugar you take out of your diet the more healthy/sensitive your taste buds!)
1-2 tsp vegetable broth powder or 1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes- if using these, dissolve/mash in a little water before adding.
First place the ½ cup water in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir with a wire whisk until the sauce is well mixed and there are no lumps.
Stir constantly over medium heat until very hot. Reduce heat and cook on the lowest setting until the gravy thickens. Cooking time will depend on how much flour you use. The more flour the quicker it will thicken.
Stir occasionally while simmering. You can use the gravy as is, or take half of it and put in a blender, then combine. Makes for more dishes, but has a nice consistency.
I am going to try using other veggies rather than the mushrooms- maybe just red bell peppers, or red bell peppers and mushrooms. Time to go into the lab.
Store unused gravy in the frig in an airtight container for another meal!

I haven’t tried all the types of flours yet. Possibly some types will be more lumpy than others? Whole wheat works very well for this recipe. If the gluten free flours (quinoa and millet) get lumpy, try “super whisking” them/put the entire mixture in a small blender.