Quality Reading for a Healthful Lifestyle: Week of February 13, 2012

Pastured Chickens at Polyface Farms

Pastured Chickens at Polyface Farms*

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. Here’s our list of top 5 things to read this week.

Protein: We only serve white meat here

Very insightful excerpt from Joel Salatin’s new book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal (which we’ll be reading soon and providing a review of). It discusses how the traditional fast food industry’s demand for only 1 part of an animal doesn’t work with local and sustainable farming, which needs to use the whole animal in order to be successful.

The same is true for veggies – sustainable farms need to produce a variety of crops year-round in order to best use their land and avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, whereas most fast food places only use a small number of the same veggies year-round (lettuce, tomato, onions, etc.). Makes us feel good about providing a more diverse and rotating selection of veggies year round – this works much better for local, sustainable farms.

This post is a great read for anyone who wants to learn more about how the traditional fast food industry has to lead monoculture and other practices that have thrown our food system way out of whack.

Read more over at Grist or buy the book itself here

OMG: McDonald’s Does the Right Thing

So it’s not often that we have nice things to say about McDonald’s, but you have to applaud them for this move – they’re requiring their pork suppliers to provide, by May, plans for phasing out gestation crates. That’s not to say that it will happen overnight (it will take years), but when McDonald’s requires a change, change happens (as was the case with the size of cages for caged hens back in 1999).

What’s a gestation crate? It’s a small metal stall so small that a sow (a female pig) can’t turn around, and they’re usually kept in these things for their entire lives. Here’s a picture so you can appreciate just how much it sucks. The article, written by Mark Bittman, provides an insightful look into factory farming and makes the point that while this is a great move by McDonald’s and deserves praise, they still have ways to go before we can let them off the hook.

Read the full article over at The New York Times…

Investment banking should come with a health warning

Just FYI to the bankers out there – there are real health consequences to working your tail off in investment banking for multiple years, and it has a big impact on your ability to think creatively and come up with value-added ideas. A couple of us here on the Dig Inn team used to be bankers so we totally get it – we actually wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, as painful as it was. But if you’ve been doing it for 4+ years, it’s good to be aware that your health may be suffering as a result. Perhaps this isn’t news to anyone, but it’s the first study we’ve seen that shows a direct connection.

Read more over at The Bottom Line on msnbc.com…

The Coffee Conundrum

We’re pretty obsessed with coffee over here and look forward to serving some good stuff when we roll out a revamped breakfast menu pretty soon (check out our Stumptown Coffee post from a couple weeks ago). Here’s a helpful list of the pros and cons of drinking the tasty little beverage.

Check out the good and the bad over at The Well…

The Health Expert’s Guide to Boozing Like a Pro

Bunch of good advice in here on how to avoid hangovers and minimize the empty calories you’re taking in while boozing. We learned a bunch of useful insights. My personal favorite – avoid tonic. It has almost as much sugar and calories as soda (so it is NOT equivalent to seltzer). Instead of a vodka tonic, go with a vodka soda (club soda = seltzer) and keep the calories down to 60-80 per drink. Lots of other good advice in the post itself.

Check out it out over at Greatist…

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get even more links to interesting / useful articles – we post 2 per day. Have any good ones we missed? Let us know in the comments, and we’re likely to post them ourselves, either here on the blog or on Twitter or Facebook.

* Photo courtesy of the Polyface Farms website.

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