Top News from the Food Front: Sugary Cancer, Food Industry Cruelty, Non-GMO Win, and Norway’s Military Vegfest


This week’s news will make you cry, make you sigh, and make you smile. Some of it may even help you avoid diabetes, cancer, and kidney failure! New health research indicts meat and soft drinks, but encourages healthy eaters to go nuts.

Animal factories continually find new ways to turn the stomachs of anyone who glimpses their work — and then they file charges against those who dare to see (and record) it.  USDA proposes new anti-poop policies targeting organic farmers; but announces new projects supporting local food in public schools. Hawaii knocks the GMO-regulation ball right out of the park! In other breaking news, I suddenly want to move to Norway.

Read on, for all the week’s top food news!

Nov. 17-23, 2013: Food and Health, Diet and Disease

The New England Journal of Medicine published a new study reporting association between daily nut consumption and reduced risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other major chronic illnesses.

The International Business Times reports on new research linking soft drink consumption to kidney damage.

But wait, there’s more! To make it a double-whammy, new research also finds connections between sugary drinks and cancer.

New research on meat consumption and health yields completely unsurprising results. According to a news article published by Organic Authority this week,

‘Researchers out of France studied the dietary habits of a group of more than 66,000 women over fourteen years and concluded that those whose diets were more acidic were also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. During the study period, 1,372 new cases of diabetes were noted in the high acid diet group. Acidic diets and chronic acidosis are typically high in meat products. Chronic acidosis—high levels of acidity in the blood and body tissue—reduces the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels…’

Food Industry Shenanigans

Do you ever think about how school lunches could be made healthier? More specifically, do you ever think about how they could be made healthier by supplementation with Ritz crackers? (Nope: neither do we.)

If there’s anything as unsurprising as research linking meat consumption to human disease, it’s the consistency with which animal industry profiteers frantically resist any glimmer of a chance to do the right thing and/or limit animal cruelty. Gestation crates are in the ‘worst of the worst’ category of industrial farming cruelties, and THAT SECRET IS OUT. Why are we even still having this discussion? It’s only a matter of time, now, guys: let’s let ’em go, and move on.

Cruelty: It’s What’s for Dinner (but It Doesn’t Have to Be!)

This week Mercy For Animals released new undercover footage of grotesque animal cruelty at an Oklahoma pig factory that supplies Tyson and Walmart.

Graphic awfulness, yes; hard to watch, definitely. But if you still support modern animal agriculture: WATCH, I dare you! Then refuse to support it ever again.

You vote 3 times daily for what kind of world you want. REJECT. THIS. S**T.

In related news, animal factories and slaughterhouses continue their desperate and increasingly frantic battle to stuff the genie of consumer awareness back in the bottle — most people who eat animal products are not sociopaths, and find animal cruelty abhorrent. Knowing this, those to whom animal cruelty constitutes standard industry practices urgently, frantically, maniacally strive for your ignorance.

Towards that goal, prosecutors have charged a Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator with animal cruelty — not because she committed acts of cruelty, but because she recorded them. This perversion of our legal system highlights the severity and persistence of the problem of animal cruelty in modern animal agribusiness.

From Will Potter’s excellent coverage of the animal industry’s attempts to criminalize transparency:

‘Taylor Radig worked at Quanah Cattle Co. in Kersey, Colorado, and covertly filmed calves, some so young they still had umbilical cords attached, being kicked, thrown, and slammed onto trucks. Video footage was released by the group on November 13th, and on November 15th criminal charges were filed against three men shown abusing the animals…

Today [Nov. 22] the Sherriff’s department announced additional charges were filed against the young woman who filmed the abuse and turned over the footage to the police.’ 

If you still support this industry — and most consumers of animal products do put food dollars in these bloody pockets — for the love of everything good and right and beautiful… WHY?!


With all the animal cruelty, environmental pollution, and food safety problems large-scale industrial animal ag brings to the table, naturally the USDA instead targets organic vegetable growers for largely hypothetical problems.

These proposed regulations smell worse than organic fertilizer. The Big Ag folks staffing the USDA seem to be targeting their competitors, while ignoring the much larger food safety (and other) problems caused by factory farms: what a bunch of poop!

Sweetness and Light (and Wine!)

In the interest of group sanity preservation, let’s also talk about some nice things in the news.

The USDA announced some positivity this week — they’ve unveiled plans aimed at making it easier for schools to access fresh local food for students, through its Farm to School Program.

If you’re a fruit-of-the-vine fan like me, check this out: archaeologists have found a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in Israel, providing insights into the early history of winemaking. Interesting stuff!

Remember that GMO-pesticide issue in Kauai that we told you about last week, in which the mayor vetoed a bill seeking limits on the environmental and health impacts of GM crops and their related pesticides? WELL GUESS WHAT?! Kauai took my advice and got its act together: the city council overturned the mayor’s veto, passing the bill after all!

AND THEN, later in the week, Hawaii Island went that extra mile, banning GMOs and biotech companies from contaminating their lovely patch of land.

Well played, Hawaii: well played!

I saved the best for last — this is one of those rare news stories that makes me feel optimistic that large-scale progress may actually be possible.

Thanks, Norway! I needed that news today.

What Else, Food Rev Newsies?

As always, I hope you’ll comment below to share any food news that I’ve left out! Subscribe to the EDB newsletter, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to keep up with current events from the food front.

Then meet me back here every Saturday, for a tasty roundup of top news stories from the wide world of food!

Image credit: Newspaper and coffee photo via Shutterstock.

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