As some of my readers may already be aware, since starting this blog I have gone back to school to earn a degree in biotechnology. This decision was in large part inspired by the research done for this blog as well as encouragement from readers. So to everyone who takes the time to read this thing, thank you. Unfortunately going to class has left me with less time and energy to devote to blogging. I have never been a fan of quickie blogging. Thoroughly sifting through information often takes times and I try to do the best job I can when tackling a subject. But I do wish I could post more often. So I’m going to try a little experiment. In the coming weeks I will periodically being posting about recent blogs, news, podcasts, and other items of interest. So let’s kick this off.
Roundup, Roundup, everywhere…:
You may have seen a news item making the rounds online lately stating, “Roundup Weedkiller Found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples, Gov. Study Finds”. This item has been touted by anti-gmo and pro-organic advocates as further proof of the agricultural apocalypse but what does it really say? In a post titled “Roundup in 75% of Air? What the Report Actually Says” on the Biology Fortified blog, Kevin Folta argues that the report has been misrepresented and that,
“Basically, the paper says that when you get into an ag area you can find ag chemicals, if you have sophisticated equipment and plenty of know-how. The authors discuss that they sample two different sites with different crops growing, so that could affect data and account for some of the weirdness and spikes observed.. It does not change the take-home message that agricultural chemicals volatilize and persist in the environment, so it is best to minimize their use, use chemicals with less environmental impact, and choose seeds that require less chemical.
That is exactly what GM crops do, and exactly what the data shows.“
The reality is almost always more interesting than the hype. I suggest reading the post for the full story.
The Never Ending Debate:
I’ve written a lot about fluoridation before. It seems there are an endless number of claims from anti-fluoridationists to deal with. So I was pleased to see this in-depth debate between retired research chemist Ken Perrott and the leading voice of the anti-fluoridation movement Paul Connett. The debate takes the form of a series of blog posts and can take a while to get through. But for anyone interested in the subject this isa must read.
This piece comes from Canadian activist-powerhouse Dylan Powell on the killing of Marius the Giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo last month. In this piece Dylan urges us to remember “that all of these situations are avoidable. They are problems which we constructed and they are problems which we can dismantle. Although the pictures out of Copenhagen are chilling – they point to the social dynamic of accepting these practices as normal, educational, or inevitable.”
This next piece I have to admit is just plan weird. I’ve written a good bit about cults on this blog before but in this piece blogger Eisel Mazard lays down an even stranger tale of how a Satanic cult morphed into the nations largest no-kill sanctuary. Truthfully I don’t know what to think about it, you just gotta read it for yourself. And please let me know if you have more information on Best Friends and the Process Church.
In this piece blogger and RD Ginny Messina tackles anti-grain myths such as those popularized by books such as Wheat Belly. The take home message is, “Grains may not have the robust nutrient profiles or disease-fighting reputations of other plant foods. But whole grains contribute lots of fiber and are a good source of minerals in vegan diets. They are also hearty and appealing. I eat them moderately but I eat them every day. And until the actual research shows me I shouldn’t, I don’t see any reason to stop.”
Vegans with a K?:
I listen to a lot of podcasts, or rather I used to. Lately I’ve been making less time for them, however I still try to squeeze at least a few in each week and keep up with my favorite ones. One of the podcasts I listen to on occasion is Skeptics with a K put out by the Merseyside Skeptic Society. In episode #115 the hosts (all of who eat meat) discuss meat eating and ethics, at times making some cringe worthy arguments. But I recommend listening to it and dropping them a line with your thoughts. Maybe you will be the one to convince them.