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Healthy Eating: Science vs. Industry

2011-06-02-mypyramidpage1
2011-06-02-mypyramidpage1

While it's no surprise to anyone now that the USDA sleeps with the largest food manufactures in our food system. Scientists, Doctors, Nutritionist and even Harvard School of Public Health have long been critics of the USDA Food Pyramid and the clear distinction between lobbyist dollars and the recommendations of the government. Above is a photo of the 2005 updated version of the Food Pyramid, which was modified into vertical, confusing shapes and colors.

A confusing mix of serving sizes balanced with running up stairs. An almost indistinguishable yellow line marking the fats and oils category, milk and dairy is as big as vegetables, which isn't as big as grains and the meat category for the first time in Food Pyramid history took a dive in importance and is seen as the second smaller sliver.

HarvardNutrition pyramid
HarvardNutrition pyramid

Now let's take a look at the 2005 Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School's recommended Food Pyramid.

First what stands out is the recommendation for alcohol, multivitamins and a clear message about exercise at the base of the pyramid. HSPH goes further with their findings, bringing in language about "refined" grains such as white rice or white bread at the very top to use sparingly like butter, oil and red meats. Dairy is the 2nd lowest, not the 2nd highest like the USDAs and a new category of nuts and legumes were added! Wow! Not only is this important for everyone but vegetarians especially. Plant oils also make the base of this pyramid suggesting the importance of oil in our diet, yet appears as a barely noticeable sliver on the USDAs. Also vegetables and grains have no serving suggestion, just eat them!

myplate_blue
myplate_blue

We know the USDA takes input from major industry as experts in their fields, such as the Dairy Counsel and has since it's inception in 1943. When the updated Pyramid was delayed for several months, speculations arose about which "food group" lobbyist were arguing the most about their box of the pyramid. 7 months later, the image to the left was unveiled and WOW. I mean really WOW! Way to make a very uncharacteristic approach in government and simplify this for us! Replacing the pyramid with MyPlate was an excellent move. Eliminating serving sizes, qualifiers and that pyramid make this a reference tool that is easy to see with one glance. The department said that the input from the Childhood Obesity Task Force was a major consideration and Michelle Obama, said in a statement "When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it's tough to be a nutritionist, too," Michelle Obama said in a statement on Thursday. "But we do have time to take a look at our kids' plates. As long as they're half full of fruits and vegetables and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat diary, we're golden."

healthy-eating-plate-565
healthy-eating-plate-565

Quit being a stick in the mud Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical! While, the USDA MyPlate is a simplified version, Harvard calls it's Plate "based on science" and fixes many key flaws with the USDA plate. Harvard also moves to a simpler shape, cutting out illustrations of food while it opts to keep the detail it's always had and amplifies it. Removing alcohol and adding water was a smart choice as well as defining healthy oils, whole grains and stating that potatoes and french fries don't count as vegetables. Protein include vegetarian sources and recommend avoiding processed meats like bacon and limiting red meat. As someone who did undergrad in Public Health, I understand the USDA. In anything Public Health related, you want to reach as many people as possible with little to no consideration to the individual: vaccinations, diet/nutrition, seat belts/safety, fluoride in drinking water and so on. What I like about the government's approach is that it does follow that Public Health design but in doing so, makes it incredibly simple for the most simple minded person in regards to nutrition. On the flip side, Harvard School of Public Health takes a different approach based on scientific research on nutrition, pairing with the Harvard Medical School. They still follow Public Health guidelines of making something for the masses, but trust the audience will be a bit more skilled and discriminating in their food selection.

Do you follow the Food Pyramid? How do you know which to choose?

Portland Named Least Religious City

BusAd11-17-092
BusAd11-17-092

Portland is named least religious city in a recent study of census information. This Scorpio town is located in the Aquarian state of Oregon, the 46th least religious state. It's no surprise that the study found the Mid-West and Southern U.S. to be most religious, Salt Lake City being the #1 most religious city and the state of New Hampshire to be the least religious state. Read more and see where your city and state compare by clicking the link below. Huffington Post - Most and Least Religious Cities in America

Re-Run Recharge

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It's no secret to friends that I highly enjoy or even prefer re-runs of shows to trying to get into a new series, any day of the week. My fetish of I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Roseanne and Sex and City or even the long-running Saturday Night Live, creates a fictional world where I begin to invest in characters I see each time. I believe this is why I don't find movies to appealing, because after 2-hours, I will never see those characters again.

New research is finding that escaping into a rerun of familiar characters, sets and themes is actually doing your brain a great deal of recharging.

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/behavior/la-heb-reruns-mental-health-20120906,0,7013458.story

A Star Walks Among Us

Notable pagan blogger and Huffington Post Religion writer reveals himself to be "semi-famous recording artist". According to Teo Bishop's blog Bishop in the Grove, Matt Morris took anonymity to create a safe place to write about pagan, Druidic and spiritual thoughts online. Matt Morris has an impressive resume of Mickey Mouse Club alum (and yes, with rising teen stars and boy band members such as Justin Timberlake, JC Chavez, Christina Aguilera and Brittney Spears), and song writer having written Kelly Clarkson's breakout hit "Miss Independent", "Another Song (All Over Again)" on Justin Timberlake's critically acclaimed Timbaland produced album FutureSex/LoveSounds, another song for Reba and one for Mary J. Blige and a handful for Christina Aguilera, one being my favourite radio single from the singer, "Can't Hold Us Down". Morris also has a discography of three albums to his credit as well.

Impressive! A star walks among us.

So with the star-studded list of accomplishments, why the anonymity? "At some point, we must all come out. We must all be honest about how we’ve compartmentalized to excess, how we’ve created new masks — either out of fear or in an attempt to approximate privacy in a increasingly non-private society." A coming out of sorts Teo Bishop writes on his blog, Bishop in the Grove.

Earlier this year, yours truly consolidated all my online projects, changed my name from Sonoran Green to Jaysen Paulson and became more transparent about myself as a person instead of hiding behind a Facebook moniker and podcast anonymity. I felt that my accomplishments needed to be recognized as my true self. There was a great divide between JayP and Sonoran. My friends and family didn't know too much about Sonoran and listeners didn't know JayP. I felt similarly to what Teo Bishop wrote about his coming out: "I’m choosing transparency at this time because I believe doing so may be the only way I can move forward in both my music and my writing."

After his announcement Teo Bishop went on Devin Hunter's podcast titled Modern Witch to talk more in depth about his decision. (Unfortunately, I don't think it's released yet, but there is an entry about it on Devin Hunter's blog Modern Witch Online.)

I wish Teo Bishop much love and much discovery on his journey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0JZKHryR7Cw

Semi-famous Pagan Blogger / Semi-famous Recording Artist.