Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hi there.... October 10th is a very special day for me personally. It's my birthday!
If you are wondering how many candles will be on my vegan birthday cake.... sorry, I am not telling! Hehehe....someone told me once that a woman never age after 30. Now, that's a very biggie hint!!!

Anyhow, Oct 10th is also the WORLD'S MENTAL HEALTH DAY .... and here's an update on what's it all about.... have a read...


Title : MIND YOU

AN estimated 450 million people worldwide experience mental illness (anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) Of these, less than half receive the help they need.

In recognition of this, World Mental Health Day 2009 will focus on Mental Health in Primary Care. That is, on ensuring more people with mental illness can get the treatment and care they need in their neighbourhoods, and not an isolated facility miles away from home.

“Primary care starts with people. And, integrating mental health services into primary care is the most viable way of ensuring that people have access to the mental health care they need,” say World Health Organisation director general Margaret Chan and World Organization of Family Doctors president Professor Chris van Weel in the 2008 report, Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: A Global Perspective (

Patients being treated closer to home is a good thing all round. Everyday living is less disrupted, costs are saved all around, and the chances of patients being abused by unfamiliar carers decreases.

However, in order for mental health services integration to flourish, Chan and van Weel note general primary care systems need to be strengthened first.

What you can do:

If you are a primary healthcare provider, benchmark yourself against the principles in the 2009 Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health Call to Action ( and develop an action plan to address any gaps in your service provision.

If you are a mental health service user, or care for someone who is, send a copy of the Call to Action to healthcare providers, politicians, charities, and NGOs in your area. Participate in how your healthcare is being designed and delivered. Ask why things are done the way they are and how they could be done better with your input and/or support.

If you live in a community with mentally ill people, find out how you can be a part of community care. Community care can mean care in the community and not in an institution (e.g. in ordinary housing or in indepent living centres) or care by the community (e.g. care from social networks, charities and/or informal carers.)

Community care supports primary care, and requires understanding, empathy, and involvement from community members. A good place to start learning is the Malaysian Mental Health Association, which is holding an open day this month (See Events.)

(Art4Health is a new Fit4Life feature aimed at getting people to think global and act local about their health. If you are organising a health-related event the general public will benefit from, drop us an email at so we can help you reach a wider audience).

SMOKING - the harm and effects

A very informative and touching story posted in SUNDAY STAR today on the harmful effects of Smoking by a parent who is also a medical doctor by profession. Please take a read and stay away from this unsavoury habit....


Sunday September 27, 2009


If you haven’t started on the filthy habit of smoking, please don’t. It can only harm you.

MY daughter recently started to smoke cigarettes. I found a box under her bed. When I confronted her, she claimed she just wanted to “try it out” and that she was pressured by her classmates to start. I want to convince her cigarette smoking leads to deadly diseases. What are the facts?

According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), smoking harms and damages almost every organ in the body.

In the US alone, the effects of cigarette smoking causes 438,000 deaths annually, which means that one out of every five deaths is related to it.

Virtually every system in your body is affected – your cardiovascular system, your respiratory system, and so on.

Apparently, in the US, as of 2007, it was found that 43.4 million adult Americans smoked. This is basically one out of five people there.

Most of them are aged between 25 and 40. But teen smoking, like that of your daughter, is on the rise.

The CDC has found that nearly 20% of all high school students in America smoke.

But smoking only causes lung cancer, right?

No, that’s where you are wrong. Smoking causes not only lung cancer, but cancers of the mouth, bladder, throat, voicebox (larynx), oesophagus, kidney, cervix, pancreas, stomach, and even leukaemia.

90% of lung cancer deaths in men are related to the type of cancer caused by smoking. And 80% of lung cancer related deaths in women are also due to this.

If you are a man who smokes, the risk of contracting lung cancer is 23 times that of a man who doesn’t smoke.

If you are a woman who smokes, the risk is 13 times higher than that of a woman who doesn’t smoke.

What is inside a cigarette that causes cancer?

It’s not only cigarettes. It’s also cigars and what you put into pipes. The ingredients are dried tobacco leaves, which contain nicotine.

Analysis shows that there are more than 4,000 different chemicals in these dried leaves and what has been added to enhance their flavour, including ammonia, tar, and carbon monoxide. 60 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. They are called carcinogens.

Don’t forget, even if you smoke low-tar cigarettes, the rest of the chemicals are still present.

There are plenty of theories as to how cigarette smoke affects the organs in the body.

One of the carcinogens, benzo(a)pyrene, damages DNA and mutates cells. Cigarette smoke also damages the lining of your lungs, including the cilia, which makes it more difficult to clear secretions and harmful substances.

My daughter initially didn’t like her first cigarette, but now she says it’s difficult to stop. Why is this so? Is she addicted?

Yes, she probably is addicted. Addiction means a repeated, compulsive, physical and psychological seeking or use of a substance despite knowing its harmful effects. Your daughter is addicted to cigarettes because of the nicotine in it. In each cigarette, the smoker will inhale around 1mg to 2mg of nicotine. How much you take in depends on how many puffs you take or how deeply you inhale.

It’s not only the nicotine. Smoking is linked to a lot of social activities, like hanging around with friends, and after a meal, or after sex.

There’s a deep emotional resonance to smoking, and many people are afraid of losing their friends and the things they love doing if they quit smoking.

Most smokers, around 70%, say they want to quit. But only 4% to 7% succeed without any help.

By the way, even if you don’t care about your own health, care about others around you. Second-hand smoke – smoke inhaled by being in the vicinity of smokers – is also very harmful. It’s also unfair to those around you because they didn’t ask for it.

There is no “safe” amount of second-hand smoke.

What other health problems can be caused by smoking?

Other than cancer, smoking can cause or lead to heart diseases (heart attacks, angina), aneurysms in blood vessels, and blood vessel disease of the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease), which results in poor blood flow. It is also a factor for stroke.

In the lungs, in addition to cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema, it makes asthma or pneumonia worse.

It has also been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration of the eye, osteoporosis, hip fractures, gum disease, and peptic ulcers.

Smokers are also more likely to have erectile dysfunction. It’s also very bad for pregnant women, and particularly damaging to the child you carry.

I am told that smoking reduces life expectancy. Is this true? Does it mean you die earlier?

In general, male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years in life and females 14.5 years of life. That’s a lot of years to lose!

Smoking also limits your quality of life.

In addition to the possible diseases you might get, it’s harder for you to breathe, walk, get around in life, or work.

(Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health advice, computers and entertainment. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information).


Hi all,

The following news article is, literally, hot from the Press! Well, at least from today's SUNDAY STAR. Here's good news for those who are adopting a healthier lifestyle in terms of a 100% change in their eating habits.... Going vegan on a plant-based diet is the way to go these days... for your physical, mental and spiritual health. Not to mention you are also saving planet earth from climatic change due to the negative effects of global warming. LET's take the cue from our Finnish friends....


Any successful heart disease prevention programmes available? Of course. Just look at the North Karelia Project in Finland.

IN Malaysia, the chief cause of death and disability is cardiovascular disease (CVD), that is, heart disease and stroke, accounting for about 25% of deaths. CVD remains the chief cause of admissions to government hospitals. Yet these conditions are largely preventable as the risk factors – diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, smoking, and obesity – can be prevented, or effectively controlled.

The Heart Foundation of Malaysia was recently invited to share the experiences of the North Karelia Project in Finland in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the community. This programme demonstrates that with the right guidance and effort, CVD rates can go down significantly.

Healthy lifestyle practices work!

The success story of the North Karelia Project demonstrates that healthy lifestyle practice do indeed work. The Project started in 1972 when international mortality statistics showed that middle-aged Finnish men, especially in the North Karelia region, had the world’s highest heart attack rates. Strong public concern led to the North Karelia community-based project to test whether the main risk factors – blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking – could be reduced in the population and whether this would reduce mortality from CVD.

Subsequently, the rest of Finland was included in the project, followed by some other countries (WHO MONICA Project) and WHO CINDI Programme involving Europe and Canada.

There were three key messages put forth by Director General of the National Public Health Institute, Finland, Dr Puska Pekka:

1. More fruits and vegetables, less saturated fat

2. Tobacco-free

3. Hypertension control

Prevention strategies
This national CVD prevention strategies involved health education programmes aided by media campaigns, together with food and nutrition policies, food labelling and price policies, intersectoral collaboration with food industries, community organisations and health services.

Agricultural reforms were introduced, with a shift from dairy farming to farming of fruits like berries and vegetables. Monitoring of quality of meals served in schools and the army was carried out.

Anti-smoking initiatives, together with legislation and public policies such as the banning of tobacco advertising and smoking in public places plus warning in tobacco packages as well as prohibition of sale of tobacco to individuals under the age of 18 were also implemented.

Astounding results
The programme resulted in:

·The total cholesterol decreased by 20% in North Karelia (from 7mmol/l to 5.6mmol/l)

·Systolic BP decreased by 9mmHg in males and 18mmHg in females

·Smoking prevalence decreased from 52% to 31%

This led to a decline in CVD mortality of 75% in North Karelia and 65% in the whole of Finland.

The tremendous success of this CVD prevention model is very encouraging and similar programmes have been introduced to healthcare personnel worldwide.

During the visit to Finland, we learnt how healthy lifestyle measures were effectively implemented through a series of talks and lectures, field visits, and discussions, and we hope to integrate similar activities to our community in the near future.

The Finnish experience was most educational and rewarding. The weather was cold but the people were warm. We learnt much, and much needs to be done now in Malaysia to reduce the incidence of CVD.

Note: Datin Dr Liew Yin Mei is a consultant physician and medical director of the Heart Foundation of Malaysia (YJM). The Heart Foundation of Malaysia is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that was established in 1982. The aim of the Heart Foundation of Malaysia is to help reduce the rising incidence of heart disease in Malaysia through various channels such as public education and implementation of heart health programmes that are designed to encourage healthy lifestyle habits. You can visit the Heart Foundation of Malaysia’s website at or write to us at Yayasan Jantung Malaysia, No 6, Jalan Lai Tet Loke 2, Off Lorong Gurney, 54100 Kuala Lumpur.

This article is courtesy of the Healthy Heart programme by the Heart
Foundation of Malaysia (YJM).

Source :

Friday, September 25, 2009


On Monday - 21st September, 2009 a global WAKE UP CALL in 134 countries participating in 2632 events world-wide in a concerted effort to reach world leaders with the SOS Planet Earth message.

Avaaz is a non-profitable global campaigning organization and is the "Voice" for many global issues especially on the climate change crisis that we are facing now.

Here's a report from AVAAZ on the Monday Wake-up Call... check them out.

Wow. Monday's Wake Up call was unbelievable - 2632 events in 134 countries, tens of thousands of phone calls crashing government lines, unbelievable creativity and diversity of events, directly reaching heads of state and cabinet ministers from Australia to Europe. Words can't describe it.

The Wake Up call was covered by hundreds of major news outlets and made the evening news everywhere from Germany to New Zealand. Europe's environment chief praised "the mobilisation of so many people by", the UK Prime Minister became the first major world leader to agree to our demand to go to Copenhagen and said that with "the pressure that can brought by organizations like yours...what people think is impossible can become possible". The Spanish environment minister called the action "extraordinary".

World leaders have heard us. But as Tuesday's UN summit showed, one day of action won't be enough to get real progress on climate. We need to come back again and again, louder and louder, until we get a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty.

We'll keep the pressure high through the TCKTCKTCK campaign until Copenhagen, with another global day of action on October 24th, and start planning right now for the LARGEST CLIMATE MOBILIZATION IN HISTORY ON DECEMBER 12th, in the final days of the Copenhagen negotiations.

Avaaz is now 3.6 million members strong in 14 languages, in every country of the world. On Monday, our movement took a huge step forward -- we showed that we can not only send millions of messages to leaders or donate millions to worthy causes, but that in just a few days we can flood the streets and crash phone lines from Mexico City to Mumbai.

If we stick together, anything is possible.

With hope and excitement for the future.

PS - the video above was made from over 10,000 wake up call pictures and 600 videos uploaded to Avaaz in just 24 hours! There were many tears among people making the video as we saw the amazing dedication of everyone, from the Avaaz community to our TCKTCKTCK campaign partners to people joining the first climate action of their lives. Click here to see the video of this amazing movement in action:

ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages! You can also follow Avaaz on Twitter!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here's the latest update from an environmental correspondent reporting on the recent
findings of 28 scientists on the natural resources of Mother Earth... how human activities are pushing the world into a danger zone caused by global warming.


Thursday September 24, 2009

Earth needs users' guide to protect it from people
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - A new users' guide is needed to help protect the Earth from dangerous changes such as global warming and extinctions of animals and plants caused by humans, scientists said.

A group of 28 experts suggested nine key areas, such as freshwater use, chemical pollutants or changes in land use, where governments could define limits to ensure a "safe operating space for humanity".

"Today we are clearly driving development in the world blindfolded," Johan Rockstrom, leader of the study and director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, told Reuters of a lack of international guidelines.

"We are not considering the risks that there are deep holes we can drive into," he told Reuters. The call, for setting "planetary boundaries", was published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature.

Rockstrom said there were signs human activities had already pushed the world into the danger zone because of global warming, a high rate of extinctions of animals and plants and pollution caused by nitrogen, mainly used in fertilisers.

Among limits, they suggested capping the percentage of global land area converted to cropland at 15 percent. At the moment, the percentage is 11.7 percent, they said.

They added that concentrations of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, should be limited to 350 parts per million of the atmosphere -- below current levels of 387 ppm. Human freshwater use should be capped at 4,000 square km (1,545 sq mile) a year -- against 2,600 sq km now.


Nature said in an editorial the proposed indicators were a "creditable attempt" to quantify limits on human use of the planet. However, it noted, for instance, that fertilisers caused pollution yet helped feed millions of people.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a co-author of the study, said there were growing risks of abrupt and possibly irreversible changes.

"Observations of an incipient climate transition include the rapid retreat of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, melting of almost all mountain glaciers around the world, and an increased rate of sea-level rise in the past 10-15 years," he said.

The scientists said the current relatively stable temperatures of the Holocene era since the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago was under threat from human -- or anthropogenic -- activities.

"Since the Industrial Revolution, a new era has arisen, the Anthropocene, in which human actions have become the main driver of global environmental change," they wrote.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vegan Recipes ... Soup for the Day

Our very own Malaysian cook, AMY BEH, has these yummy and healthy meatless soups to share with us:

Get healthier with a dose of these rich soups.

A LOT of soup bases are made with meat and bones, and you think that the ones made without these ingredients would be rather bland. However, for those who are interested in taking the healthy route, meatless soups have become the “in” thing nowadays. Give them a try and stay away from meat for at least a day. If you cook these three different soups on three different days, you would have kept yourself healthy for three days. What do you have to lose?


200g yam beans, sliced thickly
55g carrot, cut into wedges
100g black eyed beans, soaked overnight
50g lotus seeds (siong lin)
7g dried longan
10g tong sum
20 red dates
6 dried figs
3 honey dates
15g yok chuk
15g hoi chuk
25g wai san
20g fok san
10g kei chi
40g see sut (Ferox nuts)
2.5 litres water
Salt and sugar to taste

Bring water to the boil, add all the ingredients and bring to the boil again.
Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 2½-3 hours over very low heat until the flavours of the soup are enriched. Adjust with seasoning to taste.
Dish out and serve immediately.


200g lotus roots, sliced
200g arrowroot, cubed
100g peanuts, soaked for 3-4 hours
30 pieces dried Chinese mushrooms stalks, soaked
20 red dates
5 honey dates
5 dried figs
2.5-3 litres water
Salt to taste

Bring water to a boil, then add all the ingredients.
Allow to come to a rolling boil again. Reduce the heat then cover the pot slightly and simmer for 2-2½ hours.
Adjust with seasoning then dish out and serve.


150g fresh corn kernels
150g cabbage, shredded
100g carrot, cut into desired shapes
100g soft beancurd, cubed
For the stock :
10 red dates
200g yam beans, chopped
20 dried Chinese mushroom stalks, soaked
1 cup big head beansprouts (tai tou nga)
2 litres water
Salt, sugar and pepper to taste

Combine all stock ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the soup stock and return the soup to the stock pot. Bring to the boil again.
Add carrot and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add corn kernels, cabbage and beancurd. Stir and bring to the boil for a minute or two.
Adjust with seasoning then dish out and serve.

Blogger's Note : The above recipes were featured in THE STAR dated 15th Sept, 2009

EATING FRUITS - The Correct Way

Many thanks to a friend, KL Phua who forwarded us this article on how we can derive the most from a diet of fresh fruits and juices. Going natural and taking advantage of the wide variety of fruits we have locally will go a long way for our health and well-being....BUT before we go overboard and start stuffing on apples and oranges, it may be wise to spent a couple of minutes reading up on what the experts have to say....

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.

When is the best time to eat fruits?

If you eat fruit on an empty stomach, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and add extra zest to other life activities.

Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so by the bread you have just eaten.

In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil....

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining - every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet etc - actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the other putrefying food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Greying hair , balding , nervous outbursts, irritability , and dark circles under the eyes all these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.

There is no such thing that some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get the taste because cooking destroys all the vitamins and nutrients.

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher.. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can u believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and
lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE': (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting.. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack . Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms.. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive...(End)

So, folks... be kind to yourself.. eat your fruits at the right time of day and you will be saner, happier and healthier !

Friday, September 18, 2009

PEACE begins on our Plates - Vegetarianism vs Climate Change


United Nations Peace Day Events Link Peace to Vegetarianism and Climate Change

Santa Monica, California – September 15, 2009 – To mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21st, individuals across the globe are highlighting the peaceful effect of eliminating or reducing meat from our diets.

A number of events promoting the idea that “Peace begins on our Plate” will be held in North American cities such as New York, Santa Monica, San Jose, San Francisco, Victoria, and Ottawa as well as in Costa Rica, Australia and China.

Each event is officially recognized as part of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. The U.N. General Assembly has named September 21st as the permanent date for the celebration, where individuals create practical acts of peace.

“The compassionate consumer saves resources and recognizes that an organic vegan diet is a tremendously effective way to promote peace,” says Leron Rabinowiz, organizer of Peace begins on our Plate. Rabinowiz also recently founded an organization to coordinate and link global initiatives such as petitions[1] calling for government support of weekly Meat-Free days in order to reduce climate change.

A weekly meat free day is a simple yet effective way to reduce climate change that is recommended by Nobel Peace prize winner and Chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Rajendra Pachauri. Dr. Pachauri has said, “If you eat less meat you would be healthier and so would the planet … it would help the global community enormously because the entire meat cycle is very, very intensive in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Rabinowiz says that both climate change and peace are linked to meat free days because a vegetarian diet uses less resources that are common causes of global conflict, particularly water and energy[2],[3]. A University of Chicago study found that switching from the average American diet to a vegan diet would save 50 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than switching from the average American car to a hybrid Prius.[4]

“A simple act of Peace is choosing sustainable health for oneself and for our planet. By choosing organic foods, eating vegetarian, and buying from local farmers, you are… nourishing your body, conserving water and energy,reducing pollution and helping the local economy. Peace begins with your plate!” says Avon Mattison, President, and co-founder of Pathways to Peace.Pathways to Peace is the non-profit organization granted as an official UN Peace Messenger in 1987; it manages UN Peace Day

For further information on the events, please visit:

News contact:

Leron Rabinowiz
P.O. Box 8398
Van Nuys, CA 91409

Sources and additional information:


[2] Steinfeld et al. (2006) Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. Rome: UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

[3] McMichael, A., Powles, J., Butler, C., Uauy, R. (2007): Food, livestock production, energy, climate change, and health. The Lancet. Sept. 13, 2007

[4] Eschel, G., Martin, P.A. (2005) Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.: Diet, Energy, and Global Warming, scientific journal article in: Earth Interactions, Volume 10 (2006).

Friday, September 11, 2009

The tale behind the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

Caught the following news report and sharing with you how an unattractive fish finds its way to your plate and the severe ecological impact that is a result of our voracious appetite for filet-o-fish sandwiches...

Source of report : The New York Times
Reported by : William J Broad
Date published : 9th Sept, 2009


The answer to the eternal mystery of what makes up a Filet-O-Fish sandwich turns out to involve an ugly creature from the sunless depths of the Pacific, whose bounty, it seems, is not limitless.

The world’s insatiable appetite for fish, with its disastrous effects on populations of favorites like red snapper, monkfish and tuna, has driven commercial fleets to deeper waters in search of creatures unlikely to star on the Food Network.

One of the most popular is the hoki, or whiptail, a bug-eyed specimen found far down in the waters around New Zealand and transformed into a major export. McDonald’s alone at one time used roughly 15 million pounds of it each year.

The hoki may be exceedingly unattractive, but when its flesh reaches the consumer it’s just fish — cut into filets and sticks or rolled into sushi — moist, slightly sweet and very tasty. Better yet, the hoki fishery was thought to be sustainable, providing New Zealand with a reliable major export for years to come.

But arguments over managing this resource are flaring not only between commercial interests and conservationists, but also among the environmental agencies most directly involved in monitoring and regulating the catch.

A lot of money is at stake, as well as questions about the effectiveness of global guidelines meant to limit the effects of industrial fishing.

Without formally acknowledging that hoki are being overfished, New Zealand has slashed the allowable catch in steps, from about 275,000 tons in 2000 and 2001 to about 100,000 tons in 2007 and 2008 — a decline of nearly two-thirds.

The scientific jury is still out, but critics warn that the hoki fishery is losing its image as a showpiece of oceanic sustainability.

“We have major concerns,” said Peter Trott, the fisheries program manager in Australia for the World Wildlife Fund, which closely monitors the New Zealand fishery.

The problems, he said, include population declines, ecosystem damage and the accidental killing of skates and sharks. He added that New Zealand hoki managers let industry “get as much as it can from the resource without alarm bells ringing.”

The hoki lives in inky darkness about a half-mile down and grows to more than four feet long, its body ending in a sinuous tail of great length. Large eyes give the fish a startled look.

Scientists say its fate represents a cautionary tale much like that of its heavily harvested forerunner, orange roughy. That deepwater fish reproduces slowly and lives more than 100 years. Around New Zealand, catches fell steeply in the early 1990s under the pressures of industrial fishing, in which factory trawlers work around the clock hauling in huge nets with big winches.

Hoki rose commercially as orange roughy fell. Its shorter life span (up to 25 years) and quicker pace of reproduction seemed to promise sustainable harvests. And its dense spawning aggregations, from June to September, made colossal hauls relatively easy.

As a result, the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries set very high quotas — roughly 275,000 tons a year from 1996 to 2001. Dozens of factory trawlers plied the deep waters, and dealers shipped frozen blocks and fillets of the fish around the globe.

Moreover, the fishery won certification in March 2001 from the Marine Stewardship Council, a private fisheries assessment group in London, which called it sustainable and well managed. The group’s blue label became a draw for restaurant fish buyers.

“Most Americans have no clue that hoki is often what they’re eating in fried-fish sandwiches,” SeaFood Business, an industry magazine, reported in April 2001. It said chain restaurants using hoki included McDonald’s, Denny’s and Long John Silver’s.

Ominous signs of overfishing — mainly drops in hoki spawns — came soon thereafter. Criticism from ecological groups soared. The stewardship council promotes hoki as sustainable “in spite of falling fish stocks and the annual killing of hundreds of protected seals, albatross and petrels,” the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand said in May 2004.

When the stewardship council had to decide whether to recertify the hoki fishery as sustainable and well managed, the World Wildlife Fund, a Washington-based group that helped found the council, was strongly opposed. “The impacts of bottom trawling by the hoki fishery must be reduced,” the fund said.

The wildlife fund was overruled, and the council recertified the fishery in October 2007. At the same time, the New Zealand ministry cut the quota still further, reducing the allowable commercial catch from roughly 110,000 tons to about 100,000 tons.

Some restaurants cut back on hoki amid the declines and the controversy.

Last year, Yum Brands, which owns Long John Silver’s, issued a corporate responsibility report that cited its purchases of New Zealand hoki as praiseworthy because the fishery was “certified as sustainable.”

Now, Ben Golden, a Yum Brands spokesman, said hoki was “not on the menu.”

Denny’s said it served hoki only in its New Zealand restaurants.

Gary Johnson, McDonald’s senior director of global purchasing, said hoki use was down recently to about 11 million pounds annually from roughly 15 million pounds — a drop of about 25 percent. “It could go up if the quota goes up,” he said in an interview. He noted that McDonald’s also used other whitefish for its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.

Mr. Johnson called the diminishing quotas a sign not of strain on fish stocks but of good management. “Everything we’ve seen and heard,” he said, “suggests the fishery is starting to come back.”

The Ministry of Fisheries agreed. “If you look at the current state of the fishery, it’s apparent that the string of management actions that we’ve taken, which came at severe economic impact, have been effective,” said Aoife Martin, manager of deepwater fisheries.

But the Blue Ocean Institute, a conservation group in East Norwich, N.Y., that scores seafood for ecological impact on a scale from green to red, still gives New Zealand hoki an unfavorable orange rating. The fish is less abundant over all, the group says, and the fishery “takes significant quantities of seabirds and fur seals.”

Mr. Trott of the wildlife fund was more pointed. He called the fishery’s management “driven by short-term gains at the expense of long-term rewards” — a characterization the ministry strongly rejects.

But he, too, held out the prospect of a turnaround that would raise the hoki’s abundance off New Zealand and significantly reduce levels of ecological damage and accidental killing.

“We are currently working with both industry and government to rectify all these issues,” he said. “Our hope is that we will see great change and willingness by industry and, importantly, government to improve the situation dramatically.”

To read original article, please go to :

Thursday, September 10, 2009


There is a price for everything ... we pay for what we want in life or what we think would improve our lives. I was deeply moved and saddened by the following article from The STAR date today:

Centuries-old heritage in Balui valley to be submerged next month

Date : 10th Sept, 2009

BAKUN: An important chunk of Sarawak’s ancient history in Bakun in the heart of Borneo – depicting epic battles between the warring tribes during the head-hunting era and the numerous uprisings against colonial masters – will be buried underwater from next month when the Bakun dam reservoir starts to take in water.

Come October, the Balui River will be dammed and the entire Balui valley measuring 64,000ha (the size of Singapore) will be slowly drowned under 210m of water, and with it, a history that dates back centuries.

Bakun community chief Penghulu Saging Bit told The Star that the region is home to some of the most fascinating history of the Kayans, Kenyahs and Penans.

“The Kayans had for centuries lived in longhouses that measured more than a kilometre long each. There are more than a hundred families living next to each other in the longhouses,” he said.

“That had made it difficult for enemies to invade because any invasion would trigger an immediate and concerted response from the more than 1,000 people living in each of these massive longhouses.”

The Star last week visited the Bakun region and found that people from these unique longhouses belonging to the Kayans, Kenyahs, Ukits and Lahanans have already moved to the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme, located some 50km away from the dam.

Their new longhouses in the resettlement scheme are built by the government using modern designs.

Belaga Catholic priest Father Sylvester Ding said the region had wonderful treasures of oral history, some of which were never recorded in written text.

“There were epic battles between the Ibans and the Kayans that lasted days, with thousands of heads of these warriors being chopped off all over the Bakun region during the head-hunting period.

“There were many famous warriors, kings and princes from these tribes who had originated from Bakun. Some of their descendants are still alive today,” he said.

“This region is also important in the pre-independence history of Sarawak. It was here that the Orang Ulu had put up strong resistance against Raja Charles Brooke during the natives’ uprising against British colonialism.

“Thousands of Kayans were killed when the British army invaded Bakun. The British had huge cannons that can flatten an entire longhouse with a barrage of shots,” Father Ding told The Star.

The Bakun region was also an important venue for the Sarawak natives to organise guerilla warfare during the Second World War against the Imperial Japanese Army.

The natives then turned their firearms against the British after the war, and eventually they helped to liberate Sarawak from British rule and gain independence via the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Bakun dam developer Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd is in the midst of salvaging as much of the endangered plants and animals in Bakun as possible, but sadly, the physical history and ancient historical sites will be beyond salvaging.

They will be lost forever when these ancient venues are submerged.

VEGETARIAN DIET - A Natural Healer

Here's a news article from the BANGKOK POST by ANJIRA ASSAVANONDA who interviewed a cancer patient and received insights into the natural healing power of a vegetarian diet, coupled with a healthy lifestyle and good habits, can help arrest and heal cancerous growths....


At the age of 30, Chinese doctor Tom Wu was diagnosed with advanced stages of lung cancer, and was told he had only a few months to live.

However, Dr Wu, who recently spoke with mylife, has already reached 70 years old, and to our surprise, he still looks like a young and healthy man in his 50s.

Not only has he survived, but the doctor has maintained a healthy life. The cancer is all gone, and he said he's never caught a cold or other illness for 40 years. He has stopped going for blood tests.

"My body and feelings tell me I'm well, that I'm truly in good health," says Dr Wu.

His secret lies with the power of natural healing. Dr Wu always says that no wonder drug can cure diseases. But our own internal healing power, our immune system, can. And what can strengthen our immune system are simple foods from Mother Nature, and a healthy lifestyle. In his view, diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be overcome by changing their diet.

Dr Wu says people get sick because they eat the wrong foods. Fried food, for example, causes blockage in the arteries, bad circulation, cholesterol, and heart disease.

"Instead of taking a cholesterol lowering drug, I would urge them to stop eating greasy food. My suggestion is to eat clean food, which is high in phytochemicals," he says.

Phytochemicals are natural cleansing agents that will help rid plaque from your arteries. They come from natural foods such as vegetables, fruits with their seeds, and common garden herbs. Phytochemicals will nourish the body's cells so they can fight against any foreign substances that invade your body.

Dr Wu's outstanding contributions to the development of natural medicine have earned him the "World Famous Doctor Award" from the UN in 2001, and the "Best Wellness Doctor of the World" award from India's World Wellness Open University in March.

The secrets of how he won the fight against lung cancer and maintains a healthy body are revealed in his first book, Dr Wu's Principle of Natural Cures, which has recently been translated from its original Chinese version into a Thai edition, Thammachart Chuay Chewit, published by Nanmeebooks Publications. It was launched in Thailand in March.

Dr Wu says what's written in the book is unique and easy to understand because "the author is both the doctor and the patient himself". All the ideas and guidelines suggested in the book come from his own experience as well as what he has learned from his patients.

Dr Wu turns to natural medicine.

Dr Wu had first studied Western medicine in France, and then furthered his education in alternative therapy, earning a doctorate degree.

The turning point arrived when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 30. Modern medicine gave him no hope; it was too late to remove the damaged parts of the lung. The cancer had already spread to other organs, and the doctor told him he had only a few months left.

In his despair, Dr Wu picked up the Bible and prayed to God. Then the Bible fell to the floor, and he read the page it opened to carefully. The chapter talked about the days God created the Earth and everything needed for human beings. Then he created Adam and Eve, and told both of them that plants, vegetables and seeded fruits growing on Earth have been provided for them to eat.

"I thought about what I had eaten in the past - meat, fish, fried and grilled food, sweet cake, but God simply wanted us to eat vegetables and sour fruits. I was confused and doubted whether I would become weak if I ate too many vegetables and less meat," says Dr Wu.

Yet he decided to follow the Bible's guidance. He ate a lot of vegetables and fruits, drank clean water, and completely adjusted his lifestyle - his sleeping, breathing and exercise habits.

Nine months later, he went for a check-up, and surprisingly no cancer cells were detected.

He advised people in his family and in the neighbourhood about his discovery, and studied natural medicine until he received a doctorate degree in naturopathy and nutrition from the US.

Dr Wu has been a frequent speaker at worldwide forums, spreading his knowledge on natural cures and the use of organic food. He advises people to use the most simple foods in the most natural way in order to fight illnesses and maintain good health.

(please refer here for origin of article:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

HINI Vaccine - increase risk of cancer???

Here's a warning from Dr Wolfgang Wodarg - who is a politician, specialist in lungs, hygiene and environmental medicine - with regard to the risks associated with the vaccine for the HINI virus.

Dated : 21/08/2009

The swine flu vaccine has been hit by new cancer fears after a German health expert gave a shock warning about its safety.

Lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg has said that there are many risks associated with the vaccine for the H1N1 virus.

He has grave reservations about the firm Novartis who are developing the vaccine and testing it in Germany. The vaccination is injected “with a very hot needle”, Wodarg said.

The nutrient solution for the vaccine consists of cancerous cells from animals and "we do not know if there could be an allergic reaction".

But more importantly, some people fear that the risk of cancer could be increased by injecting the cells.

The vaccine - as Johannes Löwer, president of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, has pointed out - can also cause worse side effects than the actual swine flu virus.

Wodrag also described people’s fear of the pandemic as an "orchestration": “It is great business for the pharmaceutical industry,” he told the ‘Neuen Presse’.

Swine flu is not very different from normal flu. “On the contrary if you look at the number of cases it is nothing compared to a normal flu outbreak,” he added.

The chairman of the health committee in the European Council has urged for a careful and calm reaction to the virus.

Up until now, the producers of the vaccine did not know how many orders they would have by the autumn, but the German Government is now a guaranteed customer.

Even the pharmaceutical companies are trying to exploit the fear of the swine flu pandemic.

(SOURCE of Article:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hi everyone! I just read the following blog and have to share it with you all... hope you'd enjoy it as much as I did and learn some simple truths from it as well!

Author : David Romanelli (
Date : 4th Sept, 2009

3 Tips from the World's most ancient cultures for staying happy, healthy in tough times

This economy continues to grind and we're starting to see the ripple effects. It started with job loss and financial hardship. Now there are painful breakups, stressed out kids, road rage, and old injuries rearing their ugly heads. Maybe it’s just me but doesn’t something about life seem terribly wrong?

I stumbled upon some information over the past week that has done more to lift the veil and ease my mind than hours of hard work, multiple trips to the therapist, or countless staff meetings. I read about Christopher McDougall’s research on the Tarahumara Indians* who are considered by anthropologists as one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. The Tarahumara live very much off the grid…in the Copper Canyon region of the Sierra Madre Occidental in northern Mexico. Like the Moken people who reside on the islands surrounding Burma or the austere yogis of the Indian subcontinent, these deeply primitive cultures maintain ancient tradition and seem immune to the infectious pace, ultra-connectivity, and ensuing confusion, struggle, and passionless existence of modern times.

What can we learn from these primitive cultures who seem happier, healthier, and barely connected to the outside world but deeply connected to their instincts, passion, and faith?

1. EMBRACE A GENTLE NATURE The Tarahumara don’t like to be asked direct questions. They feel like it’s a show of force, a demand for a possession in their head. Force is considered unhealthy. In much the same way, the Tarahumara are famous for their ability to run great distances and in some cases 300 miles in one pop. When the Tarahumara were entered in the Leadville Trail 100 race in Colorado, their 55-year-old team captain won, becoming the oldest winner in the race's history. Team Tarahumara grabbed three of the first five places. The first non-Tarahumara finisher was nearly a full hour slower than the winning time. When studying how they do it, running coaches and trainers marvel at the Tarahumara’s fluid, gentle running style noting that their upper body seems as if it’s gliding on ice. The yogis have a saying, “Nothing on earth can overcome an absolutely non-resistant person.” In these tough times, instead of trying to fight, hustle, and overpower your challenges…take a cue from the ancient cultures and consider the gentler approach. Kill your nemesis with kindness. Heal your embattled friend with an afternoon of love, attention, music, and chocolate. Embrace your stressed out colleague with sweet words and hopeful visions. As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

2. TAKE THE MAGIC POTION Fun is the magic potion to lift the veil in these tough times. For the Tarahumara, fun is the secret to their supernatural athleticism. As author McDougall wrote, “That’s the most important thing I picked up from my time in the Copper Canyons, the understanding that running can be fast and fun and spontaneous, and when it is, you feel like you can go forever.” The Tarahumara don’t run for money, they run because it’s in their blood, in their soul, because they have passion. When we lose passion, we lose strength, we lose leadership, we lose respect. John Maxwell said, “A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” So if you, like me, are feeling weak and overwhelmed in the great recession of 2009, consider a shortcut on the road to recovery. Take a moment to remember what you love most in life. And go do it.

3. TURN OFF THE CLOCK Time stresses me out. I’ve got 8 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes until the bank automatically deducts my latest mortgage payment. I’ve got 1 day and 13 hours to book my airfare to Chicago or else the airfare will increase. I’ve got 38 minutes to complete this blog before I’m meeting someone for breakfast. I always feel like I’m running out of time. Interestingly, the Moken people barely notice time. They don’t even have in their vocabulary a word for “when.” As Dr. Narumon Hinshiranan writes of their dreamy perspective, “To be born and raised and, to die on the sea; to live out one’s seamless days together with one’s family, wandering the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea in a hand-built boat and feeling suffocated by contact with land or civilization—this is the heritage of the Moken.” Sharing a very similar perspective, the yogis will tell you it’s very unhealthy to always subject yourself to time. What can we learn here? Take a day, or a road trip, or a place where you forget about time. Whether it’s a yoga class, or a Sunday stroll, or a bike ride without your watch, “step out of the circle of time and into the circle of love.” (Rumi)

As we head into this holiday weekend, I challenge you as a I challenge myself, take a step back. What if, just maybe, the yogis, the Tarahumara, and the Moken know something we don't? What if, just maybe, the iphones and blackberries are actually making life more difficult? What if, just maybe, you could restore relationships, faith, and dreams through simple pleasures like chocolate, wine, music, and laughter? It might not make "sense" but neither does the 90 year old Tarahumara running across the Copper Canyon mountaintops.

Monday, September 7, 2009

You Can Alzheimer-Proof Your Brain

The following is a special report on the truths behind animal-feed and how a meat-diet can cause irreversible brain disorders which impair our thinking and reasoning abilities. Read on and find out that ALZHEIMER can be prevented and it is not a normal part of aging BUT is a disease that kills off our brain cells which leads to memory loss.

(BLOGGER'S NOTE : This report and subsequent comment do not originate from our blogsite. It's posted here for sharing and you are welcome to comment on it too if you have more to share. Thank you.)


When you bite into a hamburger or chicken sandwich, what do you think that this grass eating animal was eating before it died? Most likely it was a mixture of ground up eyeballs, anuses,bones, feathers, and euthanized dogs . Most animals that we eat spend the entirety of their short lives in factories eating recycled meat and animal fat. These herbivores have been turned into carnivores thanks to our process of ‘waste removal’ better known as rendering.

Every day thousands of pounds of slaughterhouse waste such as brains, eyeballs, spinal cords, intestines, bones, feathers or hooves as well as restaurant grease, road kill, cats and dogs are produced. From this need for large waste disposal came the development of rendering plants. Rendering plants recycle the dead animals and their wastes into products known as bone meal, and animal fat. These products are sold to the companies that grow animals for meat or milk cattle, poultry, swine, sheep and put into their feed.. Each slaughterhouse has a privately owned rendering plant nearby .

These facilities operate 24 hours a day all over the world. Till the BJP came to government in 1998 rendering was banned in India by the department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Agriculture, which prohibited the use of animal byproducts in ruminant feeds (Order No.2-4/99-AHT/FF) However , the BJP, influenced by a coterie of slaughterhouse owners and interested bureaucrats, repealed this ban and India’s first rendering plants came up in 2001. No one in Indiaknows about them – and few people in America where there are thousands of plants. They are not advertised - and for good reason. The process itself is very disturbing and those who have witnessed it have often sworn off meat for good. The rendering plant floor is piled high with 'raw product' - tonnes of feet, tails, feathers, bones, spinal cords, hooves, milk sacs, grease, intestines, stomachs and eyeballs of slaughtered animals.. In the heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as millions of maggots swarm over the carcasses. First the raw material is cut into small pieces and then transported to another machine for fine shredding. It is then cooked at 280 degrees for one hour ,melting the meat away from bones in the hot 'soup.' This continuous batch cooking process goes on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During this cooking process, the soup produces yellow grease or tallow that rises to the top and is skimmed off. The cooked meat and bone are then sent to a hammer mill press, which squeezes out the remaining moisture and pulverizes the product into a gritty powder. Shaker screens remove excess hair and large bone chips that are unsuitable for consumption. Now recycled meat, yellow grease, and bone meal are produced and used exclusively to feed vegetarian animals.

In India no testing is done of these plants . In America and Europe state agencies spot check , yet testing for pesticides and other toxins in animal feeds is not done or is done incompletely with toxic wastes accompanying the dead animals – all of which the rendering plants do not remove. Poisoned cattle stomachs, animals that have been lying dead for weeks before being picked up , animals that have been run over by trucks, all their noxious parts are part of this. The package includes euthanasia drugs given to pets, animals with flea collars containing organophosphate insecticides, fish oil laced with DDT, heavy metals from pet ID tags, and plastics from thrown away meats. Labor costs are rising and therefore many rendering plants refuse to hire extra hands to cut off flea collars or unwrap spoiled shopmeat. Every week, millions of packages of plastic-wrapped meat go through the rendering process and become one of the many unwanted ingredients in animal feed.

Even if some people do realize how animal feed is made and feel that it is still too far removed to be a concern to them, most of them do not know of the risks ,consumption of this meat entails. Perhaps the best-known health concern associated with rendering plants is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease. In Americaregulations mandate that brain and other nerve tissue be removed from cattle after they are slaughtered for human food. Yet these most infectious parts, the brain and spinal cord, are allowed to go to a rendering facility where they can be processed into pet and animal feed. This means it is possible that a cow with Mad Cow Disease can be ground up and fed to a pig or chicken that is, in turn, fed back to other cows that are eventually eaten by people. India has no regulations of any kind . Behind the scenes and out of public view, these practices are unfolding around the world putting millions of people at risk for Mad Cow Disease.

Other diseases that can be contracted from rendering plant product feed include tuberculosis , variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and Alzheimer’s. All of these diseases, except Alzheimer’s, are transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases (TSEs), which means that they is are infectious diseases that leave the brain resembling a sponge. The process by rendering plants makes chickens, goats, sheep, pigs,cows and buffaloes into cannibals. – a factor that has been cited as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease which did not exist in the world until this practice started. Millions of people are affected by Alzheimer’s making it one of the leading causes of death among the elderly across the globe. Scientific evidence shows that people eating meat more than four times a week for a prolonged period have a three times higher chance of suffering from dementia than vegetarians. A preliminary 1989 study at the Universityof Pennsylvania showed that over 5% of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were actually dying from human spongiform encephalopathy. That means that as many as 200,000 people in the United States may already be dying from mad cow disease each year. God knows how many in India but certainly thousands more after 2001.

In India ,in 2001 the BJP led Government, prepared a secret position paper on the “Utilisation of Slaughter House Waste for the Preparation of Animal Feed”. This is what the report said: “India ranks topmost in the world in livestock holding and has the potential to utilize slaughterhouse by products to partly meet the growing requirement of animal feeds. The total availability of offal/bones in the country generated from large slaughterhouses is estimated to be more than 21-lakh tonnes/annum. It can also be used for the preparation of animal feeds”. The report further goes on to explain that “Presently in India, live stock feed production is cereal based. This results in livestock, especially poultry, pig and fish competing with humans for grains and cereals which can easily be replaced with slaughterhouse waste.”

The Office International des Epizooties (OIE World Organisation for Animal Health) had surveyed the risk of CJD/BSE in Asia . The report revealed that no attention had been paid to any risk analysis on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in China,India, Pakistan and seven other countries. According to OIE, significant quantities of animal feed of meat origin have been imported into Asia, which may mean that the BSE agent could have reached domestic cattle in these countries. The Report noted that” the spread of BSE through rendering plants cannot be excluded in some countries such as China, India, Japan, Pakistan and Taiwan. Therefore, much more stringent management at slaughterhouses and rendering plants, as well as extensive surveillance programmes, are required in those countries. “

The Indian companies on the Internet advertise their rendered meal as having been made from "spray-dry" machines that turn blood into a fine, brown powder (gardeners know it as blood meal); gigantic kettles that boil fat to make tallow; grinders that crush bones into minuscule fragments.. Millions of tons are supplied to dairy industry, poultry farms, cattle feed-lots, pig farms, fish-feed plants, and pet-food manufacturers. Leading manufacturers of “Meal” ,as they call it, are Standard Agro Vet (P) Ltd., Allanasons Ltd., Hind Agro Ltd., Al Kabeer, and Hyderabad – also the four largest private slaughterhouses in the country.

All animal feed manufacturers use meat and bone meal in their feeds. Recent reports state most domestic animals are fed such rendered animal tissues. A 1991 United States Department of agriculture report states that approximately 7.9 billion pounds of meat, bone meal, blood meal, and feather meal was produced by rendering plants in 1983. Of that amount: 12 %percent was used in dairy and beef cattle feed ,34 % in pet food ,34% in poultry feed and 20 %in pig food . This has doubled by 2006. So has the use of animal protein in commercial dairy feed since 1987 all over the globe. Grass or cereal fed cattle and other animals are nonexistent abroad and lessening inIndia. BSE expert Richard Lacey states “The time bomb of the twentieth century equivalent of the bubonic plague ticks away.” Do you think Nature will forgive you for a baby chick is eating on what's left of her mother after she's been stripped down, a calf being fed on her mother’s slaughtered remains, a pig being reared on a diet of dead pigs, a goat being fed on a goat’s leftovers.

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(Here's the comment from MANEKA GANDHI (ex-Minister for Social Justice, India) for a further update on ALZHEIMER disease and its cause.

When I was Minister for Social Justice there were demands for giving grants to build Alzheimer’s Disease Homes- a disease unknown in India till the 1970s. In the West the first 150 cases happened in 1948, rose to 600 by 1978 . Now there are 500,000 cases in the U.K. , 250,000 inCanada and 4.5 million in the U.S. 10% of people over 65 in the US have it and 50% of 85 year olds . It is now very much in India – which means homes have to be set up as it is almost impossible for anyone to look after an Alzheimer’s patient for a long time .
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disorder in which a person loses his capacity to reason, think, recognize and function. The disease progresses from mild forgetfulness to death in just 8 years and is most prevalent in people over the age of 65. 55% of all senility cases are now Alzheimer’s.
Is it to do with old age ? If so, everyone would get it. But, the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that very poor people in Nigeria/India are far less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than their relatives in New York, Obviously it is a lifestyle related disease .
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. It is caused by sticky plaque-like deposits and neurofibrillary tangles that kill off brain cells until all memory disintegrates. Ultimately the patient dies.
What is the cause of this deadly epidemic? There is no mention of anything that could be considered Alzheimer’s disease in any medical or other literature before 1900. In the last 100 years, Alzheimer’s disease has gone from non-existence to a disease that affects 12 million people yearly and kills 200,000 people .

Dr Murray Waldman is the coroner of Toronto . He is a professor of Toronto University and medical director of a large rehabilitation hospital . His book Dying for a Hamburger has taken the medical world by storm.

He contends that Alzheimer’s is caused by a protein called a prion. The same prion that causes Mad cow Disease, (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE), variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), and other neurodegenerative diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs ).

Prions are misshapen proteins normally found in the nervous systems of animals. When prions come into contact with normal proteins, they cause these proteins to become misshapen, too. As the chain reaction continues, more and more proteins become misshapen and begin to impair normal neurological functions. In all prion diseases the brain is clogged by dense deposits and dementia is the major symptom. The disease shows up only in later age. It is irreversible. All these factors are true of Alzheimer’s.

Waldman correlates the growth of the industrial meat industry( where cows are fed meat and chickens fed other chicken) and meat eating directly to the increase in Alzheimer’s. WHO’s figures correlate with Waldman’s theory. After researching the spread of Alzheimer’s disease , Waldman concludes that Alzheimer’s disease behaves like an infectious disease, not something congenital. He has linked the spread of the disease to industrialized nations that eat factory-farmed animal meats, saying that ,just like mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s disease is the result of the modern factory farm and increased meat consumption in the last century. Till a few years ago scientists denied that mad cow disease could be transmitted to humans through beef. Now hundreds of people who ate infected beef have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), with perhaps lakhs more at risk. Could the same scenario hold true for Alzheimer's disease?

Waldman shows that Alzheimer’s disease first showed up in medical records at about the same time that world meat consumption began to rise and makes a direct correlation between the levels of meat consumption and the number of Alzheimer’s disease afflicted across the world. In countries, where meat consumption is lower, Alzheimer’s disease are much lower than developed countries, where meat consumption is high.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the world’s premier body on this disease. Their head of Research, Dr Sorensen, refuses the prion theory( which is weird because the Nobel Prize winner Prof Stanley Prusiner who discovered prions agrees with Waldon )Instead, he says that the factors that cause heart disease are the same that apply to Alzheimer’s.

This still makes meat the culprit. Saturated fat and cholesterol have been conclusively linked to heart disease and strokes. So have high levels of a substance called homocysteine and high blood pressure – all created by animal products.
Cholesterol is a waxy solid substance. High levels are found in meat,dairy,eggs,fish. Too much cholesterol damages the blood vessels as it deposits in the arteries . The only time vegetable fats carry cholesterol is when they have been altered by industry to be hydrogenated (hardened for shelf life) High cholesterol doubles the risk of Alzheimers unless you already have the Alzheimer’s gener ApoE in which case it goes up sixteen times. ( Only 50% of people with the ApoE gene actually develop the disease – those who eat a high-fat diet during their 40s ). 70% of people in the West , according to WHO have high cholesterol.

In a 21-year study, investigators examined the association of cholesterol with brain plaques and tangles in people who had died of Alzheimer’s. They found a strong correlation between increased cholesterol levels and increases in the number of plaques and tangles in the brain , the two characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease..
Not only does meat and dairy consumption raise cholesterol, it raises the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which is now widely seen as a risk marker for heart disease.The American Heart Association has shown a clear association between homocysteine levels ,heart attack and stroke – and Alzheimer’s.
Boston University investigators have found that elevated levels of Homocysteine increases the risk of Alzheimer’s three fold. Homocysteine is formed in the human liver after ingesting another amino acid, methionine, found in animal food . High homocysteine levels make nerve cells weak and prone to premature death. Like cholesterol it causes deposits in the arteries and 100gms of chicken have more than 12 times of what your body needs. In Alzheimer's patients much higher levels of homocysteine were found than in elderly individuals with no cognitive impairment. In fact , now tests on levels of homocysteine are useful in *predicting* who might get Alzheimer's.

The only things that brings down cholesterol and homocysteine levels are vegetables, green leaves and citrus. People who adopt a diet free of meat, eggs, and dairy products can drop their homocysteine levels by 20% in one week. This is because folic acid, a B vitamin found in whole grains, green vegetables, beans, and other plant-based foods, helps convert homocysteine to another, more useful amino acid.
In a study, reported at the World Alzheimer's Congress in 2000, researchers looked at 5,395 elder individuals who were free from dementia in 1993 and again in 1999 ."People who remained free from dementia had consumed higher amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and vegetables than the people in the study who developed Alzheimer’s disease."

The same findings have been reported at Case Western University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio, and St. George's Medical School in London . Scientists at The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing have brought out an ideal menu: it is entirely vegetarian with no milk products . WHO recommends stopping animal based food as exchanging red meat for white, full cream for skimmed, butter with margerine – reduces less than 5% cholesterol
Why do our doctors not look at prevention – simple, there is no money in that. Medicine, pharmaceuticals and hospitals are huge business. Why do medical colleges not teach nutrition anywhere in the world ? If prevention became the norm who would need doctors ?


Friday, September 4, 2009


Here's a news article received from Jenna to share with all:

Less meat brings heart, climate benefits, says professor

A Dutch cardiologist has added his voice to calls for a reduction in red meat consumption – both for the good of people’s hearts and for the good of the planet.

In recent months a number of reports have suggested that people in Western countries need to reduce their consumption of red meat, partly for health reasons and partly because meat consumption contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions – up to 18 per cent, according to estimates.

The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommend that individuals eat no more than 500g of red meat a week. But many people eat meat every day, meaning their weekly consumption is way over this.
The latest advocate for cutting back on red meat is Professor Ole Faergemann of Arhus University Hospital in Denmark, who told attendees at the European Cardiology Society in Barcelona, Spain this week that professional organisations in cardiovascular medicine and research should pay more attention to the links between health and climate.

Such an approach, already adopted by the World Health Organization and national medical institutions, is merited for two reasons.
Firstly, he said: “Risk of cardiovascular disease can be reduced by interventions which also reduce the risk of climate change. For example, recommendations could be given regarding the consumption of red meat such as those already made by oncology institutions.”

Secondly, he drew attention to physicians and researchers’ training, which stands them in good stead to understand the often complex scientific details of climate change, and promote this understanding in public and private debate.
“It is difficult for politicians in democratic countries to make the necessary changes in national and international policies for energy, transport, agriculture, urban planning, family planning etc without general public understanding of the issues.”

Faergemann said that physicans and scientists have the authority to promote understanding.

Calls to eat less meat
Prof Faergemann is not the first to draw links between meat consumption for better health and climate change.

The Swedish government recently circulated draft dietary guidelines which were based on climate considerations as well as human health.

And a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund suggested that retailers could play more of a role in curbing red meat consumption, both in the interests of their customers’ health and the climate.

BLOGGER'S NOTE : Take care of your health and that of Mother Earth's....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


An interesting news article on why mosquitoes prefer some people over the others when they are hungery for a meal .... read on why you may be the next victim..

SOURCE : LAB JOURNAL, 1st September, 2009

If you're one of those people whom mosquitoes tend to favor, maybe it's because you aren't sufficiently stressed-out.

Insects have very keen powers of smell that direct them to their targets. But for researchers trying to figure out what attracts or repels the pests, sorting through the 300 to 400 distinct chemical odors that the human body produces has proved daunting.

Now scientists at Rothamsted Research in the U.K. have been making headway at understanding why some people can end up with dozens of bites after a backyard barbecue, while others remain unscathed. The researchers have identified a handful of the body's chemical odors—some of which may be related to stress—that are present in significantly larger concentrations in people that the bugs are happier to leave alone. If efforts to synthesize these particular chemicals are successful, the result could be an all-natural mosquito repellent that is more effective and safer than products currently available.

"Mosquitoes fly through an aerial soup of chemicals, but can home in on those that draw them to humans," says James Logan, a researcher at Rothamsted, one of the world's oldest agricultural-research institutions. But when the combination of human odors is wrong, he says, "the mosquito fails to recognize this signal as a potential blood meal."

The phenomenon that some people are more prone to mosquito bites than others is well documented. In the 1990s, chemist Ulrich Bernier, now at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, began looking for what he calls the "magic compounds" that attract mosquitoes. His research helped to show that mosquitoes are attracted to humans by blends of common chemicals such as carbon dioxide, released from the skin and by exhaling, and lactic acid, which is present on the skin, especially when we exercise. But none of the known attractant chemicals explained why mosquitoes preferred some people to others.

Rothamsted's Dr. Logan says the answer isn't to be found in attractant chemicals. He and colleagues observed that everyone produces chemicals that mosquitoes like, but those who are unattractive to mosquitoes produce more of certain chemicals that repel them.

Misguided Mosquitoes
"The repellents were what made the difference," says Dr. Logan, who is interested in the study of how animals communicate using smell. These chemicals may cloud or mask the attractive chemicals, or may disable mosquitoes from being able to detect those attractive odors, he suggests.

Besides delivering annoying bites, mosquitoes cause hundreds of millions of cases of disease each year. As many as 500 million cases of malaria are contracted globally each year, and more than one million people die from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mosquitoes can also spread West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and other illnesses.

Currently the most effective repellents on the market often contain a chemical known as DEET, which has been associated in some studies with potential safety concerns, such as cancer and Gulf War syndrome. It also damages materials made of plastic. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has determined that DEET, when used as directed, is safe.

The Rothamsted team set out to get the mosquitoes' viewpoint. The researchers separated human volunteers into two groups—those who were attractive to mosquitoes and those who weren't. They then put each of the volunteers into body-size foil bags for two hours to collect their body odors. Using a machine known as a chromatograph, the scientists were able to separate the chemicals. They then tested each of them to see how the mosquitoes responded. By attaching microelectrodes to the insects' antennae, the researchers could measure the electrical impulses that are generated when mosquitoes recognize a chemical.

Dr. Logan and his team have found only a small number of body chemicals—seven or eight—that were present in significantly different quantities between those people who were attractive to mosquitoes and those who weren't. They then put their findings to the test. For this they used a so-called Y-tube olfactometer that allows mosquitoes to make a choice and fly toward or away from an individual's hand. After applying the chemicals thought to be repellant on the hands of individuals known to be attractive, Dr. Logan found that the bugs either flew in the opposite direction or weren't motivated by the person's smell to fly at all.

The chemicals were then tested to determine their impact on actual biting behavior. Volunteers put their arms in a box containing mosquitoes, one arm coated with repellent chemicals and the other without, to see if the arm without the coating got bitten more.

Significant Repellency
The group's latest paper, published in March in the Journal of Medical Entomology, identified two compounds with "significant repellency." One of the compounds, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, is a skin-derived compound that has the odor of toned-down nail-polish remover, according to George Preti, an organic chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, who is involved in a separate line of research into insect-biting behavior. The other, identified in the paper as geranylacetone, has a pleasant odor, though there is some question about whether the chemical is formed by the human biochemical process or is picked up in the environment, Dr. Preti says.

Dr. Logan declined to comment about the specific chemicals because of proprietary concerns. He says the findings have been patented and the group is working with a commercial company to develop the compounds into a usable insect repellent. One issue that still needs to be resolved: how to develop a formulation of the repellent chemicals that will stay on the skin, rather than quickly evaporating as they do naturally. The hope is to get a product to market within a year or two, he says.

Some of the chemicals researchers identified are believed to be related to stress, Dr. Logan says. Previous research has shown that these particular chemicals could be converted from certain other molecules and this could be as a result of oxidation in the body at times of stress, he says. However, it's not clear if the chemicals observed by the Rothamsted researchers were created in this way, and research is continuing to answer this and other questions.

Dr. Logan suggests that mosquitoes may deem hosts that emit more of these chemicals to be diseased or injured and "not a good quality blood meal." Proteins in the blood are necessary for female mosquitoes to produce fertile eggs, and Dr. Logan says it might be evolutionarily advantageous for mosquitoes to detect and avoid such people.

Other research includes an effort by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, who published a paper in the journal Nature last week identifying a recently discovered class of molecules that inhibit fruit flies' and mosquitoes' ability to detect carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide emissions from long ranges, so turning off the ability to detect the gas, perhaps by releasing the inhibiting molecules into the environment, may be a way of keeping the bugs at bay, the researchers suggest. Another team, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, is launching a study into whether the taste of human skin and blood are related to the insects' interest in biting certain individuals.

(For copy of this article :


Here's a very recent survey and report on the rapid melting of permafrost in the North Pole that is resulting in pure methane gas escaping into the earth's immediate threat to all living creatures. The details are as follow:

REPORT BY : Charles J Hanley (AP Special Correspondent)
DATED : 31st August, 2009

HEADLINES : Climate trouble may be bubbling up in far north

MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories – Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence — and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots around the polar world.

"On a calm day, you can see 20 or more `seeps' out across this lake," said Canadian researcher Rob Bowen, sidling his small rubber boat up beside one of them. A tossed match would have set it ablaze.

"It's essentially pure methane."

Pure methane, gas bubbling up from underwater vents, escaping into northern skies, adds to the global-warming gases accumulating in the atmosphere. And pure methane escaping in the massive amounts known to be locked in the Arctic permafrost and seabed would spell a climate catastrophe.

Is such an unlocking under way?

Researchers say air temperatures here in northwest Canada, in Siberia and elsewhere in the Arctic have risen more than 2.5 C (4.5 F) since 1970 — much faster than the global average. The summer thaw is reaching deeper into frozen soil, at a rate of 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) a year, and a further 7 C (13 F) temperature rise is possible this century, says the authoritative, U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In 2007, air monitors detected a rise in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, apparently from far northern sources. Russian researchers in Siberia expressed alarm, warning of a potential surge in the powerful greenhouse gas, additional warming of several degrees, and unpredictable consequences for Earth's climate.

Others say massive seeps of methane might take centuries. But the Russian scenario is disturbing enough to have led six U.S. national laboratories last year to launch a joint investigation of rapid methane release. And IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri in July asked his scientific network to focus on "abrupt, irreversible climate change" from thawing permafrost.

The data will come from teams like one led by Scott Dallimore, who with Bowen and others pitched tents here on the remote, boggy fringe of North America, 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) from the North Pole, to learn more about seeps in the 25,000 lakes of this vast river delta.

A "puzzle," Dallimore calls it.

"Many factors are poorly studied, so we're really doing frontier science here," the Geological Survey of Canada scientist said. "There is a very large storehouse of greenhouse gases within the permafrost, and if that storehouse of greenhouse gases is fluxing to the surface, that's important to know. And it's important to know if that flux will change with time."

Permafrost, tundra soil frozen year-round and covering almost one-fifth of Earth's land surface, runs anywhere from 50 to 600 meters (160 to 2,000 feet) deep in this region. Entombed in that freezer is carbon — plant and animal matter accumulated through millennia.

As the soil thaws, these ancient deposits finally decompose, attacked by microbes, producing carbon dioxide and — if in water — methane. Both are greenhouse gases, but methane is many times more powerful in warming the atmosphere.

Researchers led by the University of Florida's Ted Schuur last year calculated that the top 3 meters (10 feet) of permafrost alone contain more carbon than is currently in the atmosphere.

"It's safe to say the surface permafrost, 3 to 5 meters, is at risk of thawing in the next 100 years," Schuur said by telephone from an Alaska research site. "It can't stay intact."

Methane also is present in another form, as hydrates — ice-like formations deep underground and under the seabed in which methane molecules are trapped within crystals of frozen water. If warmed, the methane will escape.

Dallimore, who has long researched hydrates as energy sources, believes a breakdown of such huge undersea formations may have produced conical "hills" found offshore in the Beaufort Sea bed, some of them 40 meters (more than 100 feet) high.

With underwater robots, he detected methane gas leaking from these seabed features, which resemble the strange hills ashore here that the Inuvialuit, or Eskimos, call "pingos." And because the coastal plain is subsiding and seas are rising from warming, more permafrost is being inundated, exposed to water warmer than the air.

The methane seeps that the Canadians were studying in the Mackenzie Delta, amid grassy islands, steel-gray lakes and summertime temperatures well above freezing, are saucer-like indentations just 10 meters (30 feet) or so down on the lake bed.

The ultimate source of that gas — hydrates, decomposition or older natural gas deposits — is unclear, but Dallimore's immediate goal is quantifying the known emissions and finding the unknown.

With tent-like, instrument-laden enclosures they positioned over two seeps, each several meters (yards) wide, the researchers have determined they are emitting methane at a rate of up to 0.6 cubic meters (almost 1 cubic yard) per minute.

Dallimore's team is also monitoring the seeps with underwater listening devices, to assess whether seasonal change — warming — affects the emissions rate.

Even if the lake seeps are centuries old, Bowen said, the question is, "Will they be accelerated by recent changes?"

A second question: Are more seeps developing?

To begin answering that, Dallimore is working with German and Canadian specialists in aerial surveying, teams that will fly over swaths of Arctic terrain to detect methane "hot spots" via spectrometric imagery, instruments identifying chemicals by their signatures on the light spectrum.

Research crews are hard at work elsewhere, too, to get a handle on this possible planetary threat.

"I and others are trying to take field observations and get it scaled up to global models," said Alaska researcher Schuur. From some 400 boreholes drilled deep into the tundra worldwide, "we see historic warming of permafrost. Much of it is now around 2 below zero (28 F)," Schuur said.

A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft is overflying Alaska this summer with instruments sampling the air for methane and carbon dioxide. In parts of Alaska, scientists believe the number of "thermokarst" lakes — formed when terrain collapses over thawing permafrost and fills with meltwater — may have doubled in the past three decades. Those lakes then expand, thawing more permafrost on their edges, exposing more carbon.

Off Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard last September, British scientists reported finding 250 methane plumes rising from the shallow seabed. They're probably old, scientists said, but only further research can assess whether they're stable. In March, Norwegian officials did say methane levels had risen on Svalbard.

Afloat above the huge, shallow continental shelf north of Siberia, Russian researchers have detected seabed "methane chimneys" sending gas bubbling up to the surface, possibly from hydrates.

Reporting to the European Geophysical Union last year, the scientists, affiliated with the University of Alaska and the Russian Academy of Sciences, cited "extreme" saturation of methane in surface waters and in the air above. They said up to 10 percent of the undersea permafrost area had melted, and it was "highly possible" that this would open the way to abrupt release of an estimated 50 billion tons of methane.

Depending on how much dissolved in the sea, that might multiply methane in the atmosphere several-fold, boosting temperatures enough to cause "catastrophic greenhouse warming," as the Russians called it. It would be self-perpetuating, melting more permafrost, emitting more methane.

Some might label that alarmism. And Stockholm University researcher Orjan Gustafsson, a partner in the Russians' field work, acknowledged that "the scientific community is quite split on how fast the permafrost can thaw."

But there's no doubt the north contains enough potential methane and carbon dioxide to cause abrupt climate change, Gustafsson said by telephone from Sweden.

Canada's pre-eminent permafrost expert, Chris Burn, has trekked to lonely locations in these high latitudes for almost three decades, meticulously chronicling the changes in the tundra.

On a stopover at the Aurora Research Institute in the Mackenzie Delta town of Inuvik, the Carleton University scientist agreed "we need many, many more field observations." But his teams have found the frozen ground warming down to about 80 meters, and he believes the world is courting disaster in failing to curb warming by curbing greenhouse emissions.

"If we lost just 1 percent of the carbon in permafrost today, we'd be close to a year's contributions from industrial sources," he said. "I don't think policymakers have woken up to this. It's not in their risk assessments."

How likely is a major release?

"I don't think it's a case of likelihood," he said. "I think we are playing with fire."