Consumers Reports’ Fast Food Rankings

Their readers are consistently unimpressed by McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Taco Bell. Yet another sign that the traditional 1950s model of fast food is fading fast. Link.

Richard Dawkins on Vivisection and Agribusiness Cruelty

Short but heavy reading that breaks new ground in thinking about the moral issues linked to animal use. Every animal advocate should spend twenty minutes giving this article careful consideration.

The money quote:

Isn’t it plausible that a clever species such as our own might need less pain, precisely because we are capable of intelligently working out what is good for us, and what damaging events we should avoid? Isn’t it plausible that an unintelligent species might need a massive wallop of pain, to drive home a lesson that we can learn with less powerful inducement?

At very least, I conclude that we have no general reason to think that non-human animals feel pain less acutely than we do, and we should in any case give them the benefit of the doubt. Practices such as branding cattle, castration without anaesthetic, and bullfighting should be treated as morally equivalent to doing the same thing to human beings.

Add to the list: dehorning of cattle; electric stunning of pigs and chickens; tail docking and teeth clipping of pigs; concrete or wire flooring (which damages feet and legs); and lack of individualized veterinary care for abscesses, prolapsed uteruses, and broken bones. Link.

American Tour de France Cyclist Goes Near-Vegan

Tour de France competitor David Zabriskie is doing the upcoming event on a near-vegan diet: entirely vegan plus salmon twice a week.

If he does well, you can expect other prominent cyclists to make similar changes.

Of course, people like Scott Jurek and Rich Roll have long since proven that you can achieve outstanding athletic endurance on a totally vegan diet. Link.

Food Safety News on Non-O157 E. Coli

Michele Simon with a terrific piece on government inaction regarding non-O157 E. coli, despite the growing severity of the problem over the past decade. My only critique is that the piece omits the word clusterfuck. Link.

Wired on Poultry Antibiotic Misuse

New evidence that the chicken industry is causing deadly and difficult-to-treat E. coli infections in people.

Top-notch science writing on display here. Link.

Vegan For Life Now Shipping

Speaking of Jack, his and Ginny’s brand new Vegan For Life is now in stock at Amazon.com. Get it in paperback or Kindle.

Vegan For Life is the quickest way to get up to speed on how to cover all your nutritional bases. Moreover, the book shatters several widespread diet and health myths propagated by other prominent vegan books.

Just today, we learned that many vegans are apparently at significant risk of iodine deficiency. And doubtless the same thing is true for B-12. That people in our community are making such easily preventable blunders—with such dire consequences—underscores the urgent need for this book to be widely read within the vegan world.

When I want honest, deeply-informed information about vegan nutrition, Jack and Ginny are the people I rely on. Don’t miss this book.

New Iodine Info from Jack Norris

Jack Norris, RD just updated his iodine page, based on a worrisome new study indicating that many vegans have inadequate iodine levels. Non-pregnant adults should be over 100 micrograms per liter, and it turns out that vegetarians are at a comfortable 147 micrograms. Vegans, by contrast, stood at just 79 micrograms. One vegan in this tiny study clocked in at just 9 micrograms! I hope he’s enjoying his goiter.

The tragedy here is that deficiency is ridiculously easy to prevent. Basically, if you’re vegan and not taking a multivitamin with iodine, regularly using iodized salt, or frequently eating seaweed, you’re setting yourself up for problems.

It’s a safe bet that some vegans never take a multivitamin, eat seaweed, or use iodized salt. These people are on a collision course with iodine deficiency.

Don’t let this happen to you. Resolve to take a daily iodine-containing multivitamin. And if you like the stuff, get in the habit of eating seaweed for good measure. I make a crock-pot of miso soup every week, to which I add a couple tablespoons dulse flakes. And Arame salad is another of my favorites.