Jump to content
Todd Allen

Hong Kong beats the blue zones

Recommended Posts

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/tl-pss011019.php

this review is very recent and wasn’t sure if it had been posted. High Fibre and powerful effects

 

“The results suggest a 15-30% decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality when comparing people who eat the highest amount of fibre to those who eat the least. Eating fibre-rich foods also reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-24%. Per 1,000 participants, the impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease”

Edited by mikeccolella

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikeccolella said:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/tl-pss011019.php

this review is very recent and wasn’t sure if it had been posted. High Fibre and powerful effects

...

Duh... :) Thanks.

I average close to 60g of fiber per day, according to MyFitnessPall. It's actually hard to believe that the average person in the US can manage only 15g. Most people I know are much more health-conscious, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Ron Put said:

No, whole grains and unprocessed plant foods in general are not bad for you 🙂 I thought this one was largely put to bed a decade ago, particularly for healthy subjects (but in many respects, for those on the larger side).

MMM....I'm not so sure. Conceptually, if a person is prediabetic, ignoring glucose peaks may well lead hir to fully fledged  diabetes, regardless of the quality of the cerals. Ditto for more aged people. And peaks sometimes turn out to be very subjective and sometime time- or situation-dependent in the same individual.

But thanks for the article link, I'll have to read it in detail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, mccoy said:

MMM....I'm not so sure. Conceptually, if a person is prediabetic, ignoring glucose peaks may well lead hir to fully fledged  diabetes, regardless of the quality of the cerals. Ditto for more aged people. And peaks sometimes turn out to be very subjective and sometime time- or situation-dependent in the same individual.

But thanks for the article link, I'll have to read it in detail

Apart from the wide variability of the index, I think there is a bit of confusion of what "carbs" may mean in dietary habits. Processed grains (like white rice or flower), cake mix and commercial breakfast serials are not what I am referring to, or what Blue Zone populations such as the Okinawans or the Sardinians ate three quarters of a century ago.

For the considerable differences between white and brown rice, for example, see this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3996977/

And the venerable D. Weil has a pretty good summary here:
https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/confused-by-the-glycemic-index/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2019 at 8:30 PM, Gordo said:

as you can see from the adventist studies

The Adventist studies are with respect to adherence to dietary regime patterns: vegan, vegetarian and subclasses of vegetarianism.  They aren't analyzing quality of food in the diets nor are they analyzing any sort of dose response to any particular foods.  Here's an example of an Adventist's study with quotations which make me doubt the results offer any predictive power for my personal choices of what to eat for health and longevity.

Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Mortality in Adventist Health Study 2

Quote

 

Some evidence suggests vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality, but the relationship is not well established.

Previous studies of the relationship between vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality have yielded mixed results. 

Diet was assessed at baseline by a quantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized into 5 dietary patterns: nonvegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo–vegetarian, and vegan.

Exclusions were applied ... estimated energy intake (not including write-in items) less than 500 kcal/d

Usual dietary intake during the previous year was assessed at baseline by a self-administered quantitative food frequency questionnaire of more than 200 food items. Dietary patterns were determined according to the reported intake of foods of animal origin. 

Observed mortality benefits may be affected by factors related to the conscious lifestyle choice of a vegetarian diet other than dietary components. Potential for uncontrolled confounding remains. Dietary patterns may change over time, whereas the analysis relies on a single measurement of diet at baseline. Caution must be used in generalizing results to other populations in which attitudes, motivations, and applications of vegetarian dietary patterns may differ; dietary pattern definitions used may not reflect some common uses of these terms.

The lack of similar findings in British vegetarians remains interesting, and this difference deserves careful study. 

We believe that perceived healthfulness of vegetarian diets may be a major motivator of Adventist vegetarians. 

 

 

And here's a larger population based study with findings in conflict to the Adventist's study.

Vegetarian diet and all-cause mortality: Evidence from a large population-based Australian cohort - the 45 and Up Study
 

Quote

 

Evidence to date suggests that vegetarians tend to have lower mortality rates when compared with nonvegetarians, but most studies are not population-based and other healthy lifestyle factors may have confounded apparent protective effects.

Among 243,096 participants (mean age: 62.3 years, 46.7% men) there were 16,836 deaths over a mean 6.1 years of follow-up. Following extensive adjustment for potential confounding factors there was no significant difference in all-cause mortality for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians.

We found no evidence that following a vegetarian diet, semi-vegetarian diet or a pesco-vegetarian diet has an independent protective effect on all cause mortality.

This is a large population-based prospective cohort study, with comprehensive data on potential confounders, which investigates the association between vegetarian diet and all-cause mortality. The results show no significant differences in mortality between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. There was also no difference in risk of mortality between different sub-groups of vegetarian status after adjustment for potential confounders. Our results are in agreement with other studies (Appleby et al., 2002; Key et al., 2009; Crowe et al., 2013; Thorogood et al., 1994; Chang-Claude et al., 2005) and two recent meta-analyses (Kwok et al., 2014; Dinu et al., 2016) which have shown that vegetarians do not have a statistically lower all-cause mortality than their non-vegetarian counterparts. In most studies, before adjustments for potential confounders, there is a reduction in risk and this may be because vegetarian status is positively correlated with a number of other healthy behaviours such as higher levels of physical activity, less smoking and less risky alcohol consumption (Bedford and Barr, 2005; Farmer et al., 2011). They are also more likely to have healthier food choices (Orlich et al., 2014).

 

 

Edited by Todd Allen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally, a majority of studies and trials appear to indicate that higher meat and animal fat consumption correlates with shorter longevity, all other things being equal. For instance, I posted a study here earlier, specifically comparing animal-derived protein with plant-derived protein.

The Australian findings have been shot at by a few, for valid reasons: for instance, the very small number of vegetarians (vegans lumped in as well). While even a large size variance generally shouldn't matter, in this case it might be introducing Type II errors -- there is a  large variance in cultural/ethnic background (it appears that a large portion of the vegetarians were SE Asians, who have a diet high in animal fat, vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates).

Let's look at the results: "Out of 16,836 deaths in total (6.9%) there were 80 deaths in vegetarians (5.3%)" within the follow up period of 6.1 years. But looking at table 2, there were 192 vegetarians at the beginning of the study who self-rated their health at the time either Poor (48) or Fair (144). Well, this smacks of another possible Type II error in the analysis -- 48 vegetarians rated their health at the beginning of the trial period as poor and at the end of 6 years, 80 vegetarians were dead. And we have no idea what their ages were, either.

We all look for aberrations to support our confirmation biases. While generally vegans and vegetarians are comparatively slimmer than the general population, we all know vegetarians who are hefty -- you can be a vegetarian and live on potato chips, pizza, deep fried vegetables and cookies. Or, as common in vegetarian SE Asia, live on white rice and dishes drenched in ghee (made either from animal-derived fat or hydrogenated oil). Or, consume too much olive oil :)

But I thought we are discussing healthy eating habits.

Edited by Ron Put

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2019 at 4:19 PM, Todd Allen said:

vegetarian 

The terms "vegetarian" and "vegan" are meaningless with respect to quality of diet or longevity (as many studies have shown).  Most vegetarians and vegans seem to eat a junk food diet similar to a standard American, minus the cheeseburgers (but vegeburger and fries isn't much better😞

eat-this-now-impossible-burger_fullsize_story1.jpg?20180711102022

(The vegan "Impossible burger" with whole wheat bun, greens, tomato, and onions may seem healthy, but looks can be deceiving)

That's why I like the idea of looking at the longest lived populations, then trying to tease out the relative differences between individuals in those cohorts based on lifestyle/diet differences.  Although this can be difficult to do.  The best thing an individual can probably do is just track their own biomarkers of health and see what tweaks you can make to improve them.

Edited by Gordo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/18/2019 at 11:19 PM, Ron Put said:

Apart from the wide variability of the index, I think there is a bit of confusion of what "carbs" may mean in dietary habits. Processed grains (like white rice or flower), cake mix and commercial breakfast serials are not what I am referring to, or what Blue Zone populations such as the Okinawans or the Sardinians ate three quarters of a century ago.

For the considerable differences between white and brown rice, for example, see this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3996977/

And the venerable D. Weil has a pretty good summary here:
https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/confused-by-the-glycemic-index/

Ron, I know all the theoretical considerations related to the GI and G load, but the fact is that, they are pretty generic and there exists wide individual variability.

For example, pasta al dente in some people, even in moderte amounts, spikes blood glucose, ande I've personally witnessed such a case. Ditto for some whole grain, not ground, cereals.

Conversely, some other foods which in theory should elevate BG pretty much so, in relaity do not do that, like toasted bread or ice cream.

So there is the theory and there is the reality which may be different from the theory, although the mechanistics aspect of the theory are reasonable.

Also, other variables may contribute like the circadian cycle and the variability of cortisol in the blood, stress, fatigue, hepatic glucose output for whatever other reasons.

My bottom line is that the theory may be a poor proxy of the reality and that without direct measures on ourselves in different conditions we may not able to reliably classify carbs into glycemic spiking or not glycemic spiking.

Of course the above assuming that a control of glucose spikes is really a governing factor in health and longevity (which may be not always so).

Reference: 

Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses

 

David Zeevi,1,2,8 Tal Korem,1,2,8 Niv Zmora,3,4,5,8 David Israeli,6,8 Daphna Rothschild,1,2 Adina Weinberger,1,2 Orly Ben-Yacov,1,2 Dar Lador,1,2 Tali Avnit-Sagi,1,2 Maya Lotan-Pompan,1,2 Jotham Suez,3Jemal Ali Mahdi,3 Elad Matot,1,2 Gal Malka,1,2 Noa Kosower,1,2 Michal Rein,1,2 Gili Zilberman-Schapira,3Lenka Dohnalova `,3 Meirav Pevsner-Fischer,3 Rony Bikovsky,1,2 Zamir Halpern,5,7 Eran Elinav,3,9,* and Eran Segal,1,2,9,*

 

Elevated postprandial blood glucose levels constitute a global epidemic and a major risk factor for prediabetes and type II diabetes, but existing dietary methods for controlling them have limited efficacy. Here, we continuously monitored week-long glucose levels in an 800-person cohort, measured responses to 46,898 meals, and found high variability in the response to identical meals, suggesting that universal dietary recommendations may have limited utility. We devised a machine-learning algorithm that integrates blood parameters, dietary habits, anthropometrics, physical activity, and gut microbiota measured in this cohort and showed that it accurately predicts personalized postprandial glycemic response to real-life meals. We validated these predictions in an independent 100-person cohort. Finally, a blinded randomized controlled dietary intervention based on this algorithm resulted in significantly lower postprandial responses and consistent alterations to gut microbiota configuration. Together, our results suggest that personalized diets may successfully modify elevated postprandial blood glucose and its metabolic consequences.

Also:

 

image.png.57509512ccacb30cf17f2d7ace86e6ad.png

 

Edited by mccoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Gordo said:

The terms "vegetarian" and "vegan" are meaningless with respect to quality of diet or longevity (as many studies have shown).  Most vegetarians and vegans seem to eat a junk food diet similar to a standard American, minus the cheeseburgers (but vegeburger and fries isn't much better😞

When I was vegan I ate meals like that.  Not everyday but when I joined my coworkers for lunch I would pick the vegan option from the menu and think irregardless of what I was eating it was the healthier and more virtuous option because I was avoiding animal sourced foods.  My biggest concern about the pictured meal would have been the fat in the fries and burger although I would have been comforted by it being low in saturated fat.  It wouldn't have been a concern that the fat was of poor quality and damaged by the processes of extraction, refining and high heat in cooking but merely that it was fat.  The "whole grain" bun I would have thought very healthy and foods made of whole grain flours were a major source of my calories.

I didn't come up with those ideas on my own in a vacuum.  They were part of the culture I was steeped in as a child   I expect most schools and hospitals today in the US still serve food of lower quality then the meal in your picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

My biggest concern about the pictured meal would have been the fat in the fries and burger although I would have been comforted by it being low in saturated fat.  

It's not low in saturated fat.  And the bun, burger, and the fries are all full of advanced glycation end products.  But yes, there are certainly worse things a person could be eating.  Refined sugar, flour, and most oils are all vegan / vegetarian, and if a person is getting most of their calories from these, and eating fried foods, which is probably typical, they aren't likely to enjoy great health or longevity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Todd Allen said:

First I've heard of "Impossible burger".   I think "unlikely burger" would be a better name.  Unlikely it is healthy or environmentally friendly, the two suggested primary motivations for eating one.

It's been all over the news for a while :) It's basically a soy burger: https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a27318918/impossible-burger-nutrition-information/

I don't particularly like the taste of the Impossible Burger, compared to Beyond Burger. But impossible Burger is served in a lot of fast food places, so it's considerably more popular.

Beyond Burger is tastier to me, and Beyond Sausage is actually truly delicious, to my taste buds: https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/hot-italian/
 

Neither is health food (because they are both processed food, with lots of salt and added oils) and it should not be consumed regularly. Just like regular burgers should not be consumed regularly. But, people all over do it.
 

To your second point: It is in fact likely healthier, as it's plant-derived protein, and it's definitely more environmentally friendly than a meat burger:

"Overall, are these burgers better for your health and the environment than commodity beef burgers (AKA a typical fast food or frozen grocery store burger)? Probably. That’s because raising cows in massive grain feedlots results in beef that contains unhealthy fats, extra hormones, and antibiotics and leads to disastrous environmental issues." https://nutritiouslife.com/eat-empowered/are-impossible-burgers-healthy-beyond-burgers-nutrition/


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth
 

Quote

 

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.

The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems,” he said. “Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.”

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sibiriak said:

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

I expect not having kids has a bigger impact.  Not using motor vehicles, flying on planes, buying stuff with extravagant manufacturing costs, ...  Do you honestly believe it is better for the planet to be eating fresh fruit daily flown in from the opposite side of the planet versus getting some milk, eggs and perhaps meat from animals on ones property?  Especially when those animals enhance the productivity of crops by providing fertilizer, tillage and control of weeds and pests reducing the need for fossil fueled sourced inputs?1330616150_pettingfreckles.jpg.31cf40fa565a4d3a9328755228fd1e04.jpggoats.jpg.ff74f3d3f7c839d7f92c4caca0a04aa5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it funny that someone would criticize the Adventist diet study, and then turn around and draw conclusions from epid studies in India. I mean yes, the Adventist study can rightly be criticized, but by the same token the India data is virtually meaningless. In general, trying to distentangle dietary factors in a population that has such low average life expectancy is pretty much pointless. The average Indian doesn't even make it to 70 - are you seriously going to try to gather a group of people who don't make it to 70 and try to figure out who of them were killed even faster by a single dietary factor? So that's OK, but the Adventist study is the one to bag on?

Is it really very meaningful to look to epid studies for guidance in diet composition of a particular individual? At best, such studies may have some value for society wide health policies, but for a specific individual, it's a lottery. It is time to acknowledge that personalized medicine is the best approach for any specific person. I therefore disregard any epid studies whether Adventist, Blue Zones, Hong Kong, Meditarrenean, Japan, Sweden or what not. You may do best on a vegan diet and I might do best on a pescetarian one - who cares what is good for the general population of some region.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

I find it funny that someone would criticize the Adventist diet study, and then turn around and draw conclusions from epid studies in India.

Has anyone done this?  Maybe you can reference the statement(s) which give this impression?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tons of quotes, but this one will do:

By sheer numbers I find India of interest.  And because it is one extreme of the spectrum of vegetarianism.

I find nothing of interest wrt. India and vegetarianism, regardless of sheer numbers. If the data is garbage, piling on more garbage doesn't make it less qualitatively garbage. It's hard to draw any conclusions from Indian Vegetarianism/Veganism & Lifespan. If you poison someone with bad air, riddle them with infectious disease, or serve them a cup of hemlock, being vegan is not going to have any effect one way or another. So if the country's average lifespan is below 70, I'm not interested in their diet in any way. It's the same with a war zone - bullets and bombs kill regardless of anyone's diet. The question of mortality in such circumstances is irrelevant wrt. diet. IMHO only, of course. Similarly, I'm reluctant to draw conclusions about cancer/CVD etc. rates when it comes to countries with super low GDP - you claim it's due to the composition of diet, and I might think it could be down to f.ex. consuming very little in the way of calories, so being CR'd or crypto-CR'd - it doesn't matter if you eat meat or fruit if your calories are super low, odds are you are less likely to get cancer on a low energy diet. I'm not necessarily even asserting that it's the calorie count that matters, I'm saying there are so many confounders that it's hard to draw any conclusions. Developing countries with super low GDP and developed countries with high GDP are different in so many ways that it's very tricky to do comparisons like that. Again, all IMHO, YMMV. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2019 at 1:54 PM, TomBAvoider said:

I find it funny that someone would criticize the Adventist diet study, and then turn around and draw conclusions from epid studies in India.

 

21 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

tons of quotes, but this one will do:

By sheer numbers I find India of interest.  And because it is one extreme of the spectrum of vegetarianism.

I pointed to the limitations of the Adventist study because I see it as insufficient to support statements such as "we can see from the Adventists that there are longevity benefits to vegetarianism" or "there is a small longevity benefit to modest fish consumption and a longevity cost to meat consumption".

I believe assertions such as "plant protein is healthier than animal protein" being unlimited in context or scope require a very high standard of evidence.  Even a large number of unassailable examples are insufficient to guarantee such generalization and only a single solid counter example is needed to falsify such a statement.  Unqualified assertions going unchallenged undermine the credibility of the community.

Contrast the nature of assertions worded as if fundamental truths of universal consequence versus my statement "By sheer numbers I find India of interest." 

I set a lower standard for data sufficient to make me take interest and ask questions.  I believe questions should be asked and assumptions need to be challenged.

 

Edited by Todd Allen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't disagree wrt. the Adventist study limitations. I guess my approach would be an inversion of yours: in my book the Adventist study is enough to "ask questions and challenge assumptions" while the India data are just noise, falling below consideration - just too many confounders. It is in this context that I found it paradoxical to criticize (correctly!) the Adventist study while bringing up the India data as if it had any value at all - it has no place in such a discussion. IMHO, of course, YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom, it is surely possible perhaps likely that there is an explanation having little or nothing to do with diet composition for why the state in India with the best longevity only has 3% vegetarian.  Maybe it is the water.  Maybe their rice is high in arsenic.  I don't know, just threw it out as one of many points perhaps of interest.

Here's another curiosity to chew on.  Although a small data set I find this potentially relevant because changes in cholesterol are a commonly used metric by which plant based diets are judged healthier. 

 

nhanes_LDL.jpg.ba6d2347819dca895fb54a8f70d1360b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Todd Allen
image was blurry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revealed: rampant deforestation of Amazon driven by global greed for meat

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/02/revealed-amazon-deforestation-driven-global-greed-meat-brazil

Quote

 

[...]Work by Stockholm-based NGO Trase, seen exclusively by our team, this week reveals the extent to which the international demand for beef is driving deforestation, with thousands of hectares of Amazon being felled every year to provide meat for world markets.

* * * * * *

[...]

Growing international demand for beef has become a key driver in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, with new figures seen by our team revealing the full extent of deforestation directly linked to a handful of major food corporations. Beef linked to deforestation is exported globally, including to key markets in the east Asia and Europe.

An investigation by Trase has uncovered how up to 5,800 sq km of forest is being felled in the Amazon and other areas annually to be converted into pasture used for cattle farming, with livestock from deforested areas found to be supplying abattoirs producing beef for global markets.

Companies in JBS’s supply chain are potentially responsible for the destruction of between 28,000 and 32,000 hectares (280-320 sq km) of forest each year for exported beef, according to data assembled by Trase. There is no suggestion Lagoa do Triunfo beef is exported. AgroSB state that they purchased the land in 2008, after the deforestation had already happened. JBS points out that it has “one of the largest private supplier monitoring systems in the world… which covers the legal Amazon region.” It has been working on the GTA-Verde concept, which would cover all links in the supply chain and “prevent the entry of cattle from illegally deforested areas into the meat industry”.

The latest data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been on the rise since 2012. Between August 2017 and July 2018, about 7,900 sq km was destroyed.  

In the most comprehensive study of its kind ever produced, TRASE used customs, agricultural, sanitary inspection, and deforestation data to map Brazilian cattle exports from the international markets which consume them back to the more than 3000 municipalities where the cattle were raised.

The analysis includes data on “indirect” suppliers, which are often intermediate farms that don’t sell directly to abattoirs, but supply other farms which may truck cattle to slaughter. This is a “previously invisible” part of the beef chain, say researchers, which is not monitored for deforestation risks.

The supply chain “map” was then cross-referenced with official datasets on pasture expansion, deforestation rates and figures on regional cattle production in order to calculate a deforestation “risk” associated with specific companies and the main international export markets.

Because of the high volume of Brazilian beef shipped to China and Hong Kong, these markets are associated with the highest amount of deforestation in total – 16,000 and 22,500 hectares per year – according to the analysis. The EU also imports more than $600m worth of beef from Brazil each year. And that will increase if the EU and member states approve a new trade deal with Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to gradually let 99,000 tonnes of low-tariff South American beef into Europe every year.

 

We must not barter the Amazon rainforest for burgers and steaks  The EU-Mercosur trade deal is good news for Brazil’s huge beef industry but devastating for the rainforest and environment

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2019/jul/02/barter-amazon-rainforest-burgers-steaks-brazil

Quote

 

[...]The EU-Mercosur agreement – the largest in Europe’s history, according to officials – will make it cheaper for Brazilian farmers to export agricultural products, particularly beef, despite growing evidence that cattle ranching is the primary driver of deforestation.

* * * * *

[...]Last month, a record surge of deforestation prompted concerns that Bolsonaro is giving a free pass to illegal logging, farming and mining. Last year saw a 13% increase to the highest level in a decade.

Not coincidentally, this comes at a time of record beef exports. Brazil is now the world’s slaughterhouse. Last year, 1.64m tonnes of steak and other cuts were sent overseas, beating the previous record in 2007, which followed the peak of forest clearance. The Trase study shows 5,800 sq km – 100 times the area of Manhattan – was cut down last year to create pastures.

* * * * *

[...]Many European politicians and environmentalists are furious about the trade deal and sceptical that it will increase leverage over Bolsonaro. They see the agreement as a form of appeasement at the behest of corporate interests.

Behind this are bigger geo-strategic concerns. In recent years, China (particularly Hong Kong) has become Brazil’s biggest customer by far for beef and soy, which is used to feed livestock. According to Trase, China is responsible for 75 times more deforestation than the UK. Without support from Beijing, efforts to promote greater supply-chain transparency and sustainability in the Amazon and Cerrado will come to nothing.

The US is also expected to announce that it will resume imports of fresh beef from Brazil for the first time since July 2017, which will add to pressure on the forests and give Bolsonaro further cause to abandon the battle against deforestation.

Business and politics as usual cannot fix this. The world’s greatest rainforest is a globally essential source of oxygen, carbon sequestration and biodiversity, but as long as these benefits are omitted from trade balance sheets, it will continue to lose out to steakhouses and burger joints. The Amazon needs to be at the centre of a change of values, not a peripheral concern that can be bartered away for a consignment of auto parts and delicatessen fillers.

 

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superbug hotspots emerging in farms across globe – study

Global outbreak of antibiotic-resistant superbugs linked to overconsumption of meat

 

Quote

 

Hotspots of antibiotic-resistant superbugs are springing up in farms around the world, the direct result of our overconsumption of meat, with potentially disastrous consequences for human health, a study has found.

Areas in north-east India, north-east China and the Red River delta in Vietnam were identified as hotspots in Asia, with areas as widely separated as Mexico and Johannesburg also affected. But the hotspots are expanding quickly. The study found areas where resistance to antibiotics among farm animals was starting to emerge in Kenya, Morocco, Uruguay, southern Brazil, central India and southern China.

The scientists, reporting on their work in the peer review journal Science, said there was a “window of opportunity” to limit the rise of resistant bacteria “by encouraging a transition to sustainable animal farming practices” around the world, particularly in the countries highlighted.

“Regions affected by the highest levels of AMR [antimicrobial resistance] should take immediate actions to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials that are essential in human medicine, by restricting their use in animal production,” the authors said.

They called the rise in demand for meat “the most notable dietary trend of our time”, with demand rising by nearly 70% in Asia alone since 2000. But as the demand is being met from highly intensive farming, often with animals raised in poor conditions, it has fuelled the use of antibiotics, used in many countries to keep the livestock healthy and promote faster growth.

This overuse leads to the development of superbugs that are resistant to key medicines, which is likely to spread from the hotspots already identified, with “potentially serious consequences for public health”, the study found.

The rise of superbugs that are untreatable by even the strongest antibiotics is one of the greatest threats the world faces, according to the UK’s outgoing chief medical officer, Sally Davies, who warned of an “apocalyptic” threat and the end of modern medicine. [ETC.]

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Sibiriak said:

Global outbreak of antibiotic-resistant superbugs linked to overconsumption of meat

Typical Guardian headline stupidity pointing the finger at meat consumption when the known cause is indiscriminate use of antibiotics in production.  Consumption of meat produced without antibiotics is not a factor.  Regulating production practices could resolve the issue.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×