Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pet Food again

Many of us have pets so I will post the most recent news about the bad pet food - and hope all your pets are fine...

A few additional foods are being recalled; lawsuits are springing up and people are worried with good reason.

It seems that the wheat gluten in the dog food contained melamine...used in making plastic!

An aside here - plastic is becoming more well known as a major source of "much badness." In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors approved legislation this past Tuesday "to outlaw plastic checkout bags at large supermarkets in about six months and large chain pharmacies in about a year."
Full article HERE.

HERE is a CNN article about recent recalls and if you are in Oregon, HERE is a link to a local article that includes Oregon and FDA links for more information.

Some news sources suggest checking your dry pet food for what gluten - I just did and feel a lot better - none there!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Unhappy statistics

In my local paper there is a column in the Sunday Business section with statistics.

This is from the other day:

41% of workers say they often or always live pay check to pay check

55% say they would en an additional $500 per paycheck to live comfortable
[as people get paid every 1 or 2 weeks that's about $2000 or $4000 a month needed in addition to what they already earn!]

21% do not put aside any money each month into savings

16% work more than one job just to make ends meet

That's a very sad commentary on our lives in the USA these days

When I was a kid - my father worked, my mother stayed home.

There were 4 of us. We always had a car, pets, food, clothing and they owned the house I grew up in...and Queens College the NYC public college I went to was basically free in those days. I think we paid something like $10.00 a semester.

How many can say this now when two parents working full time often have trouble making ends meet...

What happens to the single parents? to the retirees on fixed incomes?

When I lived back East, there were ongoing discussions on how a town [with mostly residences and not many large businesses] was going to keep raising property taxes and not cause hardships for older homeowners...

And when you add in utilities like heat and electricity, gas for automobiles - you see a major problem looming...

Do you choose to eat? be warm? lose your home? pay medical bills? educate your children?

These are tough issues and they need to be addressed - NOW

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exercise surprises

I have been going to my cycling class with great consistency for about one year now. There were a few weeks I did not get there for one reason or another and a few weeks where one class was missed - but overall it's been 60 minutes of very hard work twice a week on a regular basis.

Yesterday I saw the best of the results - although at the time it was annoying : -)

I got a heart rate monitor a few months ago and learned that what my brain thought of as "hard work" was not hard work according to the monitor. To keep my heart rate at my good level, I had to increase either speed or friction on the pedals - UGH!

Anyway, yesterday I reached some sort of new [for me] levels. I had to work really really hard in class to keep my heart rate up. Why? I assume like all muscles, my heart is now in such better shape than it had been that it now found my "usual" level of work to be too easy.... It's like lifting weights - when once a certain number of pounds were hard to lift, now many more are needed to tire out say leg muscles.

So next week I will start off the cycling class knowing I have to work harder....but I won't be annoyed - I'll be happy that my heart is healthy....

Moral - if you are working out - try using a heart rate monitor. You'll be annoyed but happy with the outcome!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Who knew what when?

This is a follow-up to the bad pet food story...

In this day and age we as consumers have to be very pro-active...

I'm not sure what on a label would alert people to the bad pet food, but we do know that toxic skin care products and toxic people foods are being sold - and we know that the FDA is not inspecting as much as they should [see news article below.]

My way to deal with all this is to be sure my immune system and those of my dog and cat are as well taken care of as possible - "just in case"....and if you've read my political blog - you know my feelings about this administration and it almost assures us there will be a "just in case" a bit too frequently....

They knew about the bad pet food on February 20th!

From the CBC website: full story HERE

The investigation is focusing on wheat gluten used at two U.S. plants as the likely source of contamination.

The FDA first learned of a potential problem after receiving complaints on Feb. 20 and followed up by feeding the "cuts and gravy" product to 40 to 50 cats. Of those, seven animals died, said Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's top veterinarian. He added the contamination appeared more deadly to cats than to dogs.

I love my pets and my food is not on the list - and I don't feed pouches and/or wet food to them.

Turns out the the bad stuff most likely comes from two US plants - not the Canadian manufacturer..interesting?

We live in a country where people food is bad and pet food is bade...any connection to an administration that has curtailed inspections of food? Hmmmmm

More that needs investigating - but we know that democrats can multitask and do more than who-knows-how-many investigations at the same time.

From the AP FEBRUARY 27

FDA food-safety inspections steadily decreasing

By Andrew Bridges and Seth Borenstein

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The federal agency that has been front and center in warning the public about tainted spinach and contaminated peanut butter is conducting just half the food-safety inspections it did three years ago.

The cuts by the Food and Drug Administration come despite a barrage of high-profile food recalls.

"We have a food-safety crisis on the horizon," said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

Between 2003 and 2006, FDA food-safety inspections dropped 47 percent, according to a database analysis of federal records by The Associated Press.

Full article HERE

Guess we should start asking who knew about all this bad food and when did they know it?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

And now - bad pet food

I've written a lot about bad food and cosmetics for people - so it should not be a surprise that this news now comes along.....

Many of us have pets - they keep us happy and healthy - check what you are feeding them just as you watch what you feed you

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths....

The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between December 3 and March 6 throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico...

The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and PetSmart Inc.

full article HERE

The company has a list of the recalled food for dog and cats - HERE

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another reason to exercise

From Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Full article HERE

So there may be a reason why I feel I get more cognitive work done after that morning exercise class?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Over 65? Not so healthy...

According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 80% of those over 65 have at least one chronic condition and about 50 % have at least two.

You can go to the CDC interactive site and check your state and others HERE

You can also view the information by indicators such as:

Health Status

Physically Unhealthy Days
Frequent Mental Distress
Oral Health: Complete Tooth Loss

Health Behaviors
No Leisure-Time Physical Activity
Eating ≥ 5 Fruits and Vegetables Daily
Current Smoking

Among the overall USA findings:

20% of people aged 65 and older are obese
Almost 33% are sedentary
25 % of the women aged 65 and older haven't had a mammogram in the last two years
Almost 6% report mental distress 14 or more days in the past month.

Interestingly, to me, it varies widely from state to state like for obesity - Iowa is high - 24% but it's not the cold winters as as Louisiana is at 25% and Maryland at 23% and they are warmer in the winter...

Check your state - it's interesting.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Synthetic Vitamins - bad for your health

Wow - even the American Medical Association has published a study that is negative about synthetic vitamins...

Here is a review of the study and from there you can click though to the Journal of the AMA [JAMA] to read their review of the study.

In short - synthetic vitamins increase death risk.

Back in January, I also had an article here about synthetic vitamins and the milligram "game."

Now it seems, don't just worry about the milligrams, worry about the entire lines of synthetic vitamins...

My vitamins are food based....I don't worry....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Taking care of YOU

If you are a woman, you are most likely not getting enough sleep - or enough exercise.

Why? Because, in spite of any changes in our cultures, women still have the most responsibilities. And when pinched for time, women forgo sleep and exercise. I know - because I do this too - for me it's the exercise....if I get busy, I don't go to the gym - knowing full well that any intention of "working out" at home - is really a feeble excuse to skip the work out entirely.

From a National Sleep foundation Study we learn:

"... that when pressed for time, one half of women responded that sleep (52 percent) and exercise (48 percent) were the first things sacrificed.

But when women were tired or ran out of time, 39 percent also reduced the time they spent with friends and family, 37 percent stopped eating healthily and 33 percent stopped having sex with their partner. '

I am the master of excuses when it comes to pushing weights; but ask me to play squash and I find the time. The moral for me is to make working out a social event - but then I am not a stay at home mother and I am self-employed.

The other factors - beside lack of sleep and exercise - are also worrisome; eating less healthily, reducing time with friends and family and no sex with your partner. These are bad for one's mental and physical health...

All this leads to more stress and stress leads to spousal problems and spousal problems lead to more stress..

It is a vicious cycle and one that is hard to break especially if there are financial reasons underneath it all.

I know it sounds like a worn out platitude - but women must take care of themselves first - because if you don't, the ones depending on you do not get the care they need....