Below are links to 5 articles worth reading this week. Don’t miss the bonus video at the bottom – funny stuff from the IFC show Portlandia.
On February 15, the USDA announced that organic food certified in the European Union will now be treated as equivalent to food certified here in the U.S., making it a lot easier for European organic farms to sell their products here in the U.S. This all sounds well and good – access to more organic products is a good thing, right? Not necessarily Grist points out, due to the fact that certified organic standards differ between regions (potentially crowding out higher quality products) and because local U.S. farms could be hurt by new competition from larger industrial organic farms in Europe.
Great explanation of the Paleo Diet if you’ve been hearing about it but haven’t checked out the details yet. This beautiful infographic makes it easy to get up to speed in no time. It’s worth noting that Dig Inn is a great place for those who are trying out the diet, provided that you swap the brown rice for spinach or mixed greens (always an option) and stay away from the legumes (the succotash w/ mustard greens and the vegetarian chili).
Sticking with the “watch out for carbs” theme, here’s an in-depth look at why modern wheat (i.e. that which is produced via the industrial food complex) is really bad for you. While it’s a lengthy piece, this is a great read for anyone who’d like to be better understand why wheat in particular leads to weight gain and other health problems. The interesting thing is that whole wheat may not be much better for you than white flour, due to the fact that both come from a strain of wheat known as dwarf wheat, which was engineered by humans to be sturdier and higher-yielding. A good reason to stick with brown rice, ancient grains such as quinoa, or skip the grains entirely and go with lettuce or spinach.
Here’s another great (and lengthy) post about carbs – just happened to be a lot of good ones this week. This article is super informative and references a number of actual research studies, but it is quite long so we don’t expect all of you to read the whole thing (don’t worry – we’ve done that for you). If you’re pressed for time, skip down to the conclusions at the bottom, which could have a very positive impact on your diet and overall health. We’ve read the full post and can vouch for the fact that the conclusions are well backed up by the research cited in the article. Kudos to the author, Stephen Guyenet, for doing his research and weaving together numerous studies to make his point – an impressive feat.
Just when you thought that factory farms couldn’t get any scarier… For the last few years, factory hog farms in the midwest have been battling a mysterious foam that has been forming on the top of their barns. This foam can block ventilation ducts if not kept in check, causing methane gas to build up within the barn, which can cause the barns to explode when a spark is ignited. We’re not kidding – literally explode, killing thousands of pigs inside. This has happened half a dozen times since the foam was discovered in 2009. Takes the whole “factory farms are scary” theme to a whole new level.
So as not to end on a low point, here’s a funny video clip from the IFC show Portlandia. While we’re huge fans of local farms and do our best to source our ingredients locally as much as possible, we’re also appreciative of the fact that taking this ideal to the extreme is unrealistic and overly restrictive. It’s also quite humorous, it turns out. Worth watching the full episode, btw, which is available on Netflix.
Did we miss any good ones? Please let us know in the comments.