Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flat world, fat world: Report from the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Symposium, part 1

On September 21, 2009 in Minneapolis, a crowd of 300 people representing more than 30 disciplines gathered for a symposium hosted by the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute to discuss critical issues in research and policy related to food and health.

hfhl-2They also ate very, very well. Most conferences feature food, why make a big deal of this one? Because those who produced the ham-and-cheese sandwiches with fig chutney, the quinoa salad, and the lemon-ginger cookies, are local to the Twin Cities, farm without using raw manure (you’ll learn more about this in part III), practice ethical animal husbandry, steward the land, and feed their local communities, creating economic and health benefits. In other words, these healthy foods nourish healthy lives. Catered by Birchwood Café, follow them on Twitter, producers included: Hoch Orchards, Whole Grain Milling, Dragsmith Farms, Wild Acres Farms, Fischer Farms, Featherstone Farm, Hope Butter, Riverbend Farm, Peace Coffee, Birchwood Herb Garden (Facebook page), Garden Farme, and Common Roots Café.

Three themes emerged at the conference:

• As our world shrinks, our waists grow
• The nutritional debate over processed food
• What’s in the meat you eat and the water you drink

Monday, October 5, 2009

E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection

Published: October 3, 2009

Stephanie Smith, a children’s dance instructor, thought she had a stomach virus. The aches and cramping were tolerable that first day, and she finished her classes.

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Ben Garvin for The New York Times

Stephanie Smith, 22, was paralyzed after being stricken by E. coli in 2007. Officials traced the E. coli to hamburger her family had eaten.


Anatomy of a BurgerGraphic

Stephanie Smith was in a coma for nine weeks after being infected with E. coli.

Then her diarrhea turned bloody. Her kidneys shut down. Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. When she emerged, she could no longer walk. The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed.

Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.