Stossel Food Bunk II ~ Just Some Notes on Other Guests

Just some notes on the non-Taubes/Attia portions of John Stossel's Food Bunk program.  I managed to catch and tape a rerun of it and watched in the background the other day. It still may be rerun (or watch online?) for anyone interested on FNC or FBC. It was on food freedom, government regulations, laws/bans and all that. 

It began with Joel Salatin v. Felix Ortiz a NYC Councilman responsible for transfat ban, posting calorie counts, etc. Salatin came off rather well here in my opinion. Stossel shows video of a raid on a food coop. Scary. Ortiz was challenged on juices -- if you limit soda sizes, how about juice? His answer was more like "I ate my orange today" which disturbs me in spite of my recent defense of OJ.  So many of the politicians and folks like Lustig and Diet Doc Eenfeldt are all in for banning and regulating and taxing their pet dietary peeves.  They believe butter cannot be fattening, so Denmark's misguided butter tax was foolhardy, but tend to support idiotic things like Nanny Bloomie's cup size limits.  In this regard, kudos to Salatin!  I've had some less than favorable reactions to his notions of supermarket addiction.  Unlike some, he comes off unhypocritical here -- I'm sure to say he's no fan of junk food would be an understatement, but he focused on the overarching unintended consequences of many of these regs/taxes supported by Ortiz.  

Next up Pam Peeke author of Hunger Fix. Sugar, fatty, salty foods are addictive!  But wait!!  She (her own words) has been Stosselized about regulation, while still insisting certain foods are addictive. Should government have a role, NO! Well, not entirely, government can have a role in educating people. Food detox programs?? On the topic of food deserts where poor can't get fresh food, she blasts that myth.   Good on her.  Hmmm ... I'm in on the education, but what's the deal, with that?  Education in schools about the addictive nature of junk foods along side the Just Say No education on drugs?  Interesting to ponder if you believe in this.

On to the topic of "pink slime" that folks in this community jumped all over media reports of.   In all honesty I haven't looked into this but the guy he had on, Don Gainor, debunking this sounded rather cogent to me. Feel free to comment if I'm off base here!  He speaks of a process that saves the lives of cows because they get more meat from the cow.  Sounds like something the animal rights people can at least stay out of the way of if not favor.  I mean the beef industry is here to stay, so wouldn't it be better to involve fewer animals?  And the purists out there?  Well, just don't buy it?  There are many ways to know your ground beef.  Meanwhile apparently the company went out of business from the bad publicity and backlash from what was portrayed as shock journalism on the topic.  What say you?

Next up, Taubes (and more Attia)


Puddleg said…
How on earth do you save the life of cows by washing the fat out of their meat? Isn't that the diametric opposite of nose-to-tail eating, which is the way to reduce numbers of animals consumed (and incidentally numbers of animals allowed to live in the first place) while increasing the benefits of omnivorous nutrition.
Regarding the pink slime mechanically recovered meat, I understand a major U.S. television news channel is being sued for something close to a billion dollars by a large meat processing company for loss of sales due to negative reporting. My worry would be that investigative journalists would not have a voice in any future circumstances involving cause for concern vis-a-vis big corporation food production. Should the news channel lose the case in court It might be easier for editors to sit on reports that show the food industry in a bad light.
Unknown said…
Heh. Well, then Stossel can do some shows selectively debunking the impact of sensationalism in journalism, you know, so long as it is a target of authoritarian bullying and thus, worthy of such defence. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if that never happens or that all this freedom broo-hah-hah by some of these individuals turns out to be nothing more than a convenient appeal to the confused emotions of the cynical bracket of the public for their own agendas. Man, leave sensationalism be! The metaphysically epic market forces will work out this renegade element of speech, even if a few businesses go down in the process.
CarbSane said…
Been done before with Oprah and the beef industry.

Not quite sure the answer. People deserve to know what's in their foods and the risks, but when they are operating on the up-and-up, in a way whatever level of protection, they deserve as much as the consumer. Hope that makes sense.

Took a few minutes to look into this further. I think this is the lawsuit, and here are their facts: those same values here:

I gotta say, I'm always a bit conflicted when you have "naturally occurring" compounds -- true about ammonium hydroxide -- added to foods or used in processes. Then again, how about citric acid folks? It is in many things.

Labels should say that it includes this product just like they say poultry is brined and injected and such. But I think I come down on the side of the manufacturer on this one.

George, the guest was describing how they get more meat off the bones in this process = more meat per animal.

Whether we like it or not, a lot of scrap from our meat industry is fat, and there aren't a lot of people eating tallow. I myself use 80% these days, and it still can make for greazy stuff if I use it in chili or sauce -- lots of draining.
Sandy Daigler said…
I have such mixed feelings about food freedom. Yes, a person should have the freedom to eat whatever they damn well please. But when I was heavy, most often freedom to eat really meant compulsion to eat. We get bombarded with all this incredibly seductive food marketing for stuff that is so bad for us and we have the illusion that we are eating it because we WANT to, as opposed to HAVE to.
Unknown said…
"Free to do as we tell you." - Bill Hicks

I'm more of a behaviourist, so I don't view freedom as some fundamental or tangible element to stress about outside the context of basic human dignity, quality of life and personal freedom of conscience. No one's free -- we're always being manipulated, even from birth, which is why it's better to support critical thinking from both a personal and academic standpoint. It's clearly daft and naive to assume that government is the ONLY force trying to control people, just as it is equally warped to think that it is outright protecting people from such manipulation. They are all institutions and depending on how the people, as public and consumers, hold them accountable, determines how far they can go with their respective agendas.

Unknown said…
"Not quite sure the answer. People deserve to know what's in their foods and the risks, but when they are operating on the up-and-up, in a way whatever level of protection, they deserve as much as the consumer. Hope that makes sense." - Evelyn

On a practical, realistic level, I am not too confident in this outlook due to my own biases and slants. However, I can understand and somewhat agree with the essence of your contention. In an ideal scenario, honest consumers and honest businesses are equal parties engaged in trade, and both of them should be protected. However, in the complex sphere of modern day affairs, this relationship is far too muddled for me to trust any big business as being 'up and up', and as a lowly consumer, my loyalty will be with my fellow consumers, but again, that's my bias. So if we're pushing for a purely freedom oriented approach--something that I don't think works in a complex scenario--then we might as well let the consumer get their protection and knowledge from a free media and let the burden of sifting through hyperbole and truth hang over the consumer at the potential peril of both the consumer and the businesses in question. It would be great though if consumers could have the critical awareness to make efficient choices while honest businesses wouldn't be at the mercy of a media-driven popularity contest.
Anonymous said…
If snacking weren't such an attractive option (quick, cheap, tasty - salty, sweet, fatty), I think 'compulsive' eating wouldn't be such a cause for eating too many calories. Eating three times a day, with no snacks in-between, you can see clearly what's on the table when you start and what's left on the table when you finish. Half the time, I don't realize how much I've eaten for snacks. So I have to write it all down.

The habit of writing down what you've eaten after you've measured it, then adding it all up at the end of the day, is just one way to realize all the things you've eaten mindlessly. When I can't remember what I've had for lunch, I know I've eaten mindlessly, most often something handy and quick and not eaten at the table.

We have the freedom to choose, from a vast array of food products (just think of the many kinds of oils, now that supermarkets stock all those natural food items), so advertisers find a good audience for so many products. I don't watch TV (I don't have cable, so I watch television programs on amazon, without commercials) and don't buy 'women's magazines' anymore (what to cook for Thanksgiving). When I come across food talk, it's food bloggers, food newsletters (I get 'em) and, of all places, diet websites. It used to be, when I low-carbed, food talk heavy on the creamed cauliflower, made to look like mashed potatoes, and the meat-porn. Now, on Spark People, it's what you've had for dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks, what you miss, what's the favorite food you crave!
Galina L. said…
It is impossible to screen food for healthiness.I would probably opt for the ban on food commercials for the food addressing children and even the marketing of children food at all. I also wish it will be illegal in US to advertise big pharm products.
CarbSane said…
I'm of mixed feelings on the drug ads. On the one hand it definitely seems to encourage people to be taking pills for anything and/or for imagined things. OTOH, not all docs keep up to speed on what new therapies may be available to help their patients. I also think the litany of side effects being listed -- out loud in the TV ads, quite detailed on pg. 2 of the magazine ads -- provides potential consumers with "in your face" information on the risks. The risk info is often downplayed or even ignored by docs when they take out the prescription pad.
Galina L. said…
It is almost always something is not entirely black or white.
CarbSane said…
Your last part hits home. There's a fine line between being mindful of one's eating and thinking about it morning, noon and night. I also feel more bombarded by food pushers in this general internet arena than "in real life".
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