Monday, 21 December 2015

Tuesday Food Blog - Food fallacies

Last week I gave you the low down on margarine, this week it's lettuce. Did you know that it is bad for the planet?

Image result for lettuce

Lettuce is an annual plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most 

often grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its stem and 


So that is the biology but why is it dangerous?

According to research from the Carnegie Mellon University saving 

the planet may not be best achieved by eating a meat free diet.

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It seems that it is all down to emissions. The three elements that were compared are energy use, water footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
'What is best for the body may not be best for the planet,' the researchers concluded.
In fact the researchers reckoned that lettuce was three times worse than bacon.
The study examined the environmental impact by shifting the average American diet to three dietary scenarios. In the first scenario, researchers reduced the number of calories consumed but maintained the proportion of meat and vegetables consumed, which cut emissions, water and energy use by 9 percent.
In the second scenario, researchers maintained calorie intake but shifted completely to “healthy” foods (as prescribed by USDA dietary guidelines). This increased energy use by 43 percent, water footprint by 16 percent, and emissions by 11 percent.
In the third scenario, calorie intake was reduced and diet was made healthier by drastically reducing meat consumption. The result was 38 percent increased energy use, 10 percent more water, and 6 percent more emissions.
These findings go against the recent call to reduce meat consumption in order to combat climate change. Various studies cite different numbers for the emissions linked to animal agriculture, but some claim it’s as high as 51 percent.
Image result for food production
Of course the study takes into consideration all the stages of food production and the energy and water used, as well as the emissions caused by producing different food types.

In fact, like all reporting, there are things missing from the report and those facts are important but that isn't my point. It is the reporting and misrepresentation that we are all subject to by the media for a plethora of reasons. As in all studying it is important to garner information from a variety of sources to increase the accuracy of your report.

Other food myths


Image result for scrambled eggs

For years we were told that eggs were bad for us because they were high in cholesterol.
WRONG - only 25% of cholesterol comes from food the rest is manufactured by the liver. It is the saturated fats in the food we eat the stimulates the production of cholesterol which eggs are very low in. They also contain lots of useful nutrients.


Image result for cup of coffee

In the 1970s there were some studies linking coffee with cancer. The research was repeated years later, using superior methods and a larger sample of people and and NO LINK was found.


Image result for red wine glass

There was a piece of work that reported drinking a glass of red wine each day would help stave off heart disease. In fact sipping small amounts of any alcohol has beneficial effects as it has anti-inflammatory qualities, helps in the production of good HDL cholesterol, and may even slow the ageing process.

There are lots of such examples and research will turn them up. It makes me wonder why so much is spent on food research that frequently turns up contradictory results.

God Bless