Archive for the 'Eat' Category

The solution to the GMO problem: a withering, internet mediated boycott

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In the film of Dune, Paul Atreides scans a box of the Spice Melange with a hand held device, before eating a sample. Passing the device over the spice, and it finding no contamination the device intones ‘safe’ in a soft female voice.

This is all you need to stop the contamination of the food supply with GMO goods.

An iPhone app that connects to a database of all food products known to be safe could be used to inspect every barcode on products you buy, returning safe, or nothing.

If you buy a product that returns nothing, this means it is either safe or not in the database, or that it is a GMO contaminated product and you should not eat it.

It is important that the software works in this way, because it means that the developers will not be at risk of a lawsuit for a wrongly labeled product, placed in the database by mistake. All that is needed is a database of clean foods, not a database of all good foods AND bad foods.

There is a piece of software that works in this way, with a focus on books:

With this app, you can scan the cover of any book, or its barcode and the software will retrieve entries on Amazon and other sites for you to buy it.

There is no reason why an app that scans the barcodes of products and returns wether or not they are contaminated could not be written, very quickly, to address this problem. Creating this software would be a piece of cake.

It is clearly pointless to run to the State to ask it to, “protect our food”. In any case, it isn’t your food until you buy it, and you cannot rely on the State for protection from every possible harm, and neither should you. This is especially true when the protection you need can be had straight away and under your control, totally ethically, without force of any kind.

Clearly there are millions of people who do not want to consume GMO contaminated foods. All of these people either have iPhones or Droids in their pockets. The market is ripe for an app that can put these two together to stamp out GMO food once and for all, via the power of a complete boycott, mediated by the internet on portable devices.

McDonalds Money: the solution to the banking and monetary crisis

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

It seems that another crack in the dam has appeared:

How long can it be before it cracks all the way and the whole creaking edifice bursts and the pressure is relieved?

Bad stuff is what happens when the state is involved in the production of money and the regulation of banking. Banking is no different to flipping and selling hamburgers; money is a commodity just like any other. The state should regulate neither banking nor burgers. If McDonalds was in the business of manufacturing money, there would be standardized, reliable, consistent money, redeemable everywhere on every high street, at a stable price.

As revolting an idea as this sounds at first, being people who know a little about good food:

it makes perfect sense. The McDonalds consistency ethic superimposed on the manufacture of money, free of regulation, would solve all the problems of unsound money.

Selgin outlines the foundation of this:

if you superimpose the Birmingham button maker money from the 1700s with McDonalds and modern computers, how this would work becomes instantly clear.

‘…but I wouldn’t want to live there’.

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012


Non-dom exodus costs London restaurant trade 1/4 billion

Friday, January 14th, 2011

As we explained in detail some time ago, Britain changing the rules for non doms is, to put it lightly, not cricket.

Now, thanks to a FOIA request, we have a number to juggle with:

UK sees non-dom ‘exodus’ as £30,000 levy hits home
The number of UK “non doms” has fallen by almost 16,000 after a £30,000 levy was imposed on offshore earnings, official figures show.

HM Revenue & Customs said the number of UK residents escaping tax on income or capital gains held in offshore bank accounts had declined from 139,000 to 123,000 in the year prior and after the launch of the £30,000 remittance basis charge in April 2008.

The 11.5pc decline was the first for five years and is likely to have been repeated in 2010 as more long-term non-dom residents become liable to the change, lawyers said.

McGrigors, the law firm which secured the figures under a Freedom of Information request, said the “collapse” in numbers of non-doms should be a warning to the Government not to tighten the rules on how offshore wealth is taxed.

The Coalition has pledged a review to assess whether non doms were making “a fair contribution to reducing the deficit” and a Treasury spokesman said last night that the review was “ongoing”. “A further announcement will be made at the appropriate time,” he said.


These people leaving the UK is a rational, and predictable response to the threat of theft; take a look at the details that were published outlining the new, byzantine and insane rules that were being mooted. Even if all of them were not implemented, the threat of them would have been enough for people to get out while the getting was good. But I digress.

What does this 16,000 number mean? What impact will it have on the people who are left behind?

To take just one example, it means that the restaurant visits these people will make in London will now not be made.

If these non-doms eat at a restaurant twice a week, which is very likely, and each of these meals costs £150, which is a perfectly reasonable assumption given the bracket these people are in, we can multiply the number of non-doms by the cost of these meals by two, which is:

16000*2*150 = £4,800,000

Four million, eight hundred thousand pounds, per week, taken away from the London restaurant trade.

That is £249,600,000  taken out of the restaurant trade in a single year, just shy of a quarter of a billion pounds; and remember, the number of non doms escaping this insanity is increasing. Bear in mind also, that this is just the restaurant trade. Every day non doms are in the country, they are spending money just being alive, on a myriad of other goods and services. That money too, is now gone forever.

None of this factors in the connections, future connections, future investment and everything else non dom entrepreneurs and high grade workers bring would have brought to the UK that would have been the seeds of future growth, that will now be planted in more fertile ground.

This is exactly the opposite of what HMG should be doing if they want growth to accelerate in the UK.

But you know this!

Horses for Courses

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Yes We Have No Bananas

Fruits of the forest

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Wild mushroom risotto, apple cobbler. Autumn!

Luckily, on the basis of one middle-class “horror” story in the Daily Hate-Mail, and a 2-year old recycled story from their own paper at that, there seem to be fewer people willing to pick… and so more wild mushrooms for those of us with a little common sense.

If I were a viking…  Beserker!!!

I am not a viking. I am hungri for fungi.

Folic Acid Trip

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

You will, if you eat anything containing flour, soon be forced to eat folic acid.

Experts back folic acid in bread

Folic acid should be added to bread on a mandatory basis, the Food Standards Agency has advised government.

Basically HMG is saying a certain percentage of people, through choice or ignorance or any number of reasons, do not take folic acid as currently advocated by… er, HMG… and so the entire population must be force-fed folic acid to compensate.

Note that there will be no opt-out. Folic acid will be added to flour, not bread, meaning that even home bakers will be forced to swallow this.

Last month there were calls for all Scottish women to take folic acid – even those not planning a family – after 15 babies were born with spina bifida since the start of the year.

I sympathise with those families, but I will not have a bizarre form of collective guilt expunged by forcing me to eat something I do not wish to eat.

Cereal has long been fortified on a voluntary basis by manufacturers, but suggestions that bread must be supplemented by law have been rejected by those who argue it is tantamount to mass medication.

Not ‘tantamount to’, is mass medication. As is fluoride in water.

Concerns about the how the potential risks weigh up against the benefits have been expressed.

As well as suggestions of a link with colorectal cancer, studies have also shown it may speed up cognitive decline in elderly people with other B vitamin deficiencies.

SACN did look at these issues for a report in 2007, which ultimately recommended fortification. But following publication of that report it was also asked to analyse two more studies relating to bowel cancer.

The FSA said that since SACN’s advice on fortification has not changed significantly as a result, its own recommendation in favour remained the same.

There is good evidence to suggest a link between excess folate and increased incidence of various cancer (look up what happende in the US and Canada after folate madation).  Even if inconclusive, the doubt is enough to block mandatory addition. Or should be, were we living in The Real World.

Discussions planned

The government’s Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson is expected to discuss the issue with counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having received the updated advice.

Sir Liam is known to be in favour of mandation.

Legislation would be necessary to introduce the measure, and it would also mean stricter controls on fortified foods like cereals to ensure people did not exceed recommended daily intakes.

How the hell is that going to work? Please, tell me? Will it be mandated that we all eat 2 slices of bread and 30g of cereal per day, and consume no foods containing natural folic acid? Will all folate supplements be withdrawn for risk of overdose? That, my friends, is one fucked up idea. In fact, so little thought, so little forward thinking at all has gone into this proposal that it does not even qualify as an ‘idea’. It is just the ramblings of madmen. Madmen who wish to mandate what you eat.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “We will now consider their recommendation for the introduction of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid alongside controls on voluntary fortification.”

There, a man-made analogue of something you can get better from real food will be present in everything from bread to cakes to fish and chips … anything containing flour.

Now we must ask the questions, why do they wish to do this and for whose benefit? The mandation of folic acid has been pushed several times in the last decade.

Delaying folic acid fortification of flour

Governments that do not ensure fortification are committing public health malpractice

The failure of European governments to mandate universal fortification of flour with folic acid has allowed a continuing epidemic of preventable human illness. It is ironic that the United Kingdom has not required fortification, as it was a randomised controlled trial from the United Kingdom that conclusively proved that supplementation with synthetic folic acid prevents about 75% of spina bifida and anencephaly---common and serious birth defects.1 This study provided the primary scientific basis for the United States, Canada, Chile, and other countries to require fortification.

This is an editorial from the British Medical Journal (one of the most important journals in the world) from 2002. It is a sick and twisted viewpoint, based on the opinion that ‘We Know Best’. It is belittling, patronising and enslaving. It demands that the populus kneel before it and take the medicine, and be thankful that we are being saved from our own stupidity. It makes me want to spit in the face of Godfrey P Oakley, author of this piece of sanctimonious shit and ‘folic acid ambassador‘.

In 2006 they tried again.

FOLIC ACID will be added to bread within a year to reduce the number of babies born with spina bifida and other defects in a U-turn by the Government’s food watchdog. The Food Standards Agency will recommend this week that the vitamin be added to all loaves and flour, The Times has learnt.

And in 2007 Sir Liam himself had second thoughts and blocked it, based on meaumeau’s rebuttal, no doubt.

Dr Sian Astley, from the Institute for Food Research and also quoted in todays BBQ article,  said at the time…

Dr Sian Astley from the institute said: “Fortifying UK flour with folic acid would reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida).

“However, with doses of half the amount being proposed for fortification in the UK, the liver becomes saturated and unmetabolised folic acid floats around the blood stream.

“This can cause problems for people being treated for leukaemia and arthritis, women being treated for ectopic pregnancies, men with a family history of bowel cancer, people with blocked arteries being treated with a stent (an internal splint) and elderly people with poor vitamin B status.”

She said it also increased the likelihood of multiple births for women undergoing IVF treatment.

She does not appear to have changed her mind.

You can read the FSA letters and reports here.

So we are left with a scenario where around 100 neural tube birth defects per year (20% of total) may be eliminated, balanced against an unquantifiable increased risk of cancer for the entire population.  Best case, this is a 100:0 balance. Worst case, who knows?

So again, why do they wish to do this and for whose benefit?

Other than a mass exercise in control-freakery, I don’t know. Perhaps one mandation begets anotherBut it will be whole grain for me.

The Evil That Men Do

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

A tip of the hat to the great and the good.

Simple but effective

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

bitter and twisted

Flour, water & salt.

Marijuana plantations for Eindhoven

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The Dutch city of Eindhoven has caused a stir with a plan to set up a cannabis plantation to supply marijuana to its coffee shops. The move was announced at a “weed summit”, when dozens of Dutch mayors urged the government to back the pilot project in an effort to clamp down on the criminals who supply the drug.

The Netherlands, famed for having one of Europe’s most tolerant policies on soft drugs, allows for the possession of less than 5g of marijuana and its sale in coffee shops, but bans the cultivation and supply of the drug to these shops. The majority of Dutch mayors say this legal “back door” has spawned an illicit industry worth €2bn (£1.7bn) a year.

“It’s time that we experimented with a system of regulated plantations so we can have strict guidelines and controls on the quality and price,” Rob de Gijzel, the Mayor of Eindhoven, told the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant. “Authorities must get a grip on the supply of drugs to coffee shops.”

There are also concerns about the increasing strength of unregulated cannabis, with the content of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active chemical ingredient, doubling in recent years.

The weed summit was called to thrash out a revamp of drugs policy after the provincial cities Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom announced plans to shut all their coffee shops in the next two years to combat drugs tourism and criminal activity. They complain that the 1.3 million French and Belgians who come every year for a puff of weed or dash of hash are often badly behaved. Worse still, they are targeted by “drugs runners” who lure them away from legal outlets to back-door suppliers that offer harder, illegal drugs.

Han Polman, the Mayor of Bergen op Zoom, said: “We are in favour of the Eindhoven experiment but we don’t see it happening quickly. That’s why we are going ahead with our shutdown.”

The Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin, of the conservative Christian Democratic Appeal party, has applauded these “courageous” efforts to wipe out coffee shops.

The capital, Amsterdam, was in shock over the weekend after news that one in five of its coffee shops would be forced to close under a new law. The city council said 43 of 228 sites must close by the end of 2011 because they are within 250m of a school. This includes the famous Bulldog coffee shop, a tourist magnet housed in a former police headquarters on the Leidseplein. Three Canadian visitors were reeling from the news. One said: “We come here twice a year, we fly thousands of miles, spend probably €4,000 while we are here. It’s the place to be!”

The headmistress of a nearby school, Margriet Bosman, was equally unimpressed by the new measure: “This is just for show. Children will get their drugs if they want to anyway, and closing the shops, which are quite regulated, is not a very good solution.”

Amsterdam’s mayor, Job Cohen, is also in favour of permitting the sale of soft drugs. “There should be a system… in which it is clear where soft drugs come from,” he said. Many Dutch also want the tolerant approach to remain in place, with a newspaper poll this week showing 80 per cent of Dutch opposing coffee shop closures.

Experts agree that a ban is not the answer. “A ban is even more dangerous than the grass itself because consumers will turn to illegal circuits and criminality will explode,” said Tim Boekhout, a criminologist.


The Independent

The only thing wrong with this plan is that the state is going to be the one setting up the plantation. They should completely legalize the growing and selling of marijuana, so that anyone can grow it anywhere and anyone can sell it….just like tomatoes.

It is completely insane and absurd that you are allowed to posses marijuana, but not allowed to grow it or sell it.

When people say, “the law is an ass”, this is what they are talking about.

There are no irrational regulations on the plantation of other crops for eating, and so there should be no irrational regulation on the growing of marijuana. If there are irrational regulations, i.e. what strains you cannot grow, someone, some ‘criminal’ is going to grow those strains simply because she should not. In any case, the crime routing around the law argument is irrelevant; no one has the right to stop you from growing whatever you want. Period. (GM being the exception, since the GM pollen can contaminate other people’s crops….small digression).

Words about the ‘increasing strength of unregulated cannabis’ come directly from the prohibitionist position, and are totally wrong. The strength or weakness of what you smoke should not be regulated by anyone, except you.

As for the Belgians and French who come to get a taste of liberty, that is a problem for the French and the Belgians to sort out. If their countries were operating correctly, there would be no reason to come to the Netherlands to smoke a plant and its extracts.

This nonsense about coffee shops being near schools is, as the teacher says, “just for show”. I’m sure no one is buying it there…what amazes me is that people are so stupid as to think that such a law would be taken seriously in the first place, or that it would in any way ‘work’ whatever they think ‘working’ is in this case.

Job Cohen is wrong to say there should be a system to show where ‘drugs’ come from.

Take a look at bread making:

when people are left to get on with their stuff in what ever way they want, they set their own standards, make what people want and everyone is catered for.

Artisan Bread Original makes a wide variety of high quality breads. No one told them how to do it, what the quality should be or anything else. It sells on its own merits and people buy it and are satisfied.

The same goes for marijuana. Growers will package it and categorize it themselves and the ones who know how best to do this will sell the most, with every other seller finding their own place in the market by virtue of people selecting them or not.

Finally, the argument about what is or is not in marijuana is simply nonsense. Cigarettes are full of toxic chemicals (599 to be exact) to aid the rate of burning and other qualities that the manufacturer is not required to list on the box:

The list of 599 additives approved by the US Government for use in the manufacture of cigarettes is something every smoker should see. Submitted by the five major American cigarette companies to the Dept. of Health and Human Services in April of 1994, this list of ingredients had long been kept a secret.

Tobacco companies reporting this information were:

  • American Tobacco Company
  • Brown and Williamson
  • Liggett Group, Inc.
  • Philip Morris Inc.
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

While these ingredients are approved as additives for foods, they were not tested by burning them, and it is the burning of many of these substances which changes their properties, often for the worse.


Marijuana does not currently have any of these artificial additives…but I can assure you that if the state gets involved in the marijuana trade, those deadly chemicals and others will be added.

Irdial Philosophy: ‘Synthesis of Music’

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

1. Music is a language through which all the following properties may be expressed: harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humour, provocation and culture.

2. The use of top quality products and technical knowledge to prepare them properly are taken for granted.

3. All sounds have the same musical value, regardless of their origin.

4. Preference is given to structure and texture, with a key role also being played by rhythm, melody and other traditional methods that make up a light form of music. In recent years red electric guitar and piano have been very sparingly used.

5. Although the characteristics of the products may be modified (volume, texture, shape, etc.), the aim is always to preserve the purity of their original flavour, except for processes that call for long cooking or seek the nuances of particular reactions such as the Maillard reaction.

6. Mixing techniques, both classic and modern, are a heritage that the artist has to know how to exploit to the maximum.

7. As has occurred in most fields of human evolution down the ages, new technologies are a resource for the progress of music.

8. The family of sounds is being extended. Together with the classic ones, lighter sounds performing an identical function are now being used (drones, pads, scratches, found sounds, animal sounds, etc.).

9. The information given off by music is enjoyed through the senses; it is also enjoyed and interpreted by reflection.

10. Hearing is not the only sense that can be stimulated: touch can also be played with (contrasts of volume and percussive textures), whereby the senses become one of the main points of reference in the creative music process.

11. The technique-concept search is the apex of the music pyramid.

12. Creation involves teamwork. In addition, research has become consolidated as a new feature of the musical creative process.

13. The barriers between the notes and noise world are being broken down. Importance is being given to a new noise music, particularly in the creation of the frozen sound world.

14. The classical structure of music is being broken down: a veritable revolution is underway in technology and composition, closely bound up with the concept of symbiosis between the noise and notes world; in music the “verse-chorus-verse” hierarchy is being broken down.

15. A new way of serving music is being promoted. The tracks are finished in the mixing room by the artist. In other cases the listeners themselves participate in this process.

16. Regional music as a style is an expression of its own geographical and cultural context as well as its musical traditions. Its bond with nature complements and enriches this relationship with its environment.

17. Instruments and arrangements from other countries are subjected to one’s particular style of music.

18. There are two main paths towards attaining harmony of notes and noises: through memory (connection with regional music traditions, adaptation, deconstruction, former modern styles), or through new combinations.

19. A musical language is being created which is becoming less and less ordered and more open, that on some occasions establishes a relationship with the world and language of art.

20. Mixes are designed to ensure that harmony is to be found in small doses.

21. Decontextualisation, irony, spectacle, performance are completely legitimate, as long as they are not superficial but respond to, or are closely bound up with, a process of musical reflection.

22. Noise Music is the finest expression of avant-garde music. The structure is alive and subject to changes. Concepts such as beats, notes, voices, morphs, etc., are coming into their own.

23. Knowledge and/or collaboration with experts from different fields (gastronomic culture, history, industrial design, etc.,) is essential for progress in music. In particular collaboration with the food industry and the scientific world has brought about fundamental advances. Sharing this knowledge among music professionals has contributed to this evolution.

We must eat our way out of the desert.

Sharia introduction has prevented 400,000 alcohol deaths

Monday, June 30th, 2008

The nationwide introduction of Sharia Law to Britain has triggered the biggest fall in alcohol deaths ever seen in England, a report says today.

More than two million fewer alcohol related arrests and cautions were made and 400,000 deaths were stopped since the Sharia was introduced a year ago, which researchers say will prevent 400,000 deaths over the next 10 years.

Alcohol was outlawed in all spaces in England, including pubs and restaurants, on 1 July 2007 after a prolonged political battle that split the Government and inflamed critics of Britain as a Muslim state.

But longer term opposition to the Sharia never materialised: more than three out of four people support the law, and compliance has been virtually 100 per cent.

Similar Sharias were introduced in Scotland on 26 March 2006 and in Wales on 2 April 2007. Doctors said they were astonished by the numbers quitting drink. Robert West, director of alcohol studies at the Health Behaviour Research Unit, University College London, who carried out the study, said: “These figures show the largest fall in the number of drinkers on record. The effect has been as large in all social groups – poor as well as rich. I never expected such a dramatic impact.” There was no guarantee that drinking rates would not start to rise again, after falling, and it was crucial to maintain the downward pressure, Professor West said. Currently around 22 per cent of the adult population drinks in Britain.

“If the Islamic Government can keep up the momentum this has created, there is a realistic prospect of achieving a target of less than 15 per cent of the population disobeying Sharia within 10 years,” he said.

The survey of 32,000 people in England interviewed before and after the Sharia took effect found the decline in alcohol had accelerated. In the nine months before the Sharia it fell 1.6 per cent compared with 5.5 per cent in the nine months after the Sharia. Researchers estimate on the basis of these figures that 400,000 people quit alcohol as a result of the Sharia.

The findings are to be presented at the UK National alcohol Cessation Conference in Birmingham tomorrow. The study, by Liver Research UK and its partners, is the first in the world to examine the impact of a introduction of Sharia Law in isolation from other alcohol control measures.

Jean King, Liver Research UK’s director of alcohol control, said: “The Sharia was introduced to protect the health of workers from the harmful effects of drunkenness. The results show it has been completely effective. These laws are saving lives and we mustn’t forget that half of all drinkers die from alcohol-related illness. We must do everything possible to continue this success – we now need a national alcohol control plan for the next five years.”

Alchohol sales fell by 6 per cent in the past year, according to the market research company, Neilson. In the 10 months from July 2007 to the end of April 2008, 1.93 billion fewer beers were sold in England and 220,000 fewer in Scotland (where the introduction of Sharia Law was introduced a year earlier), equivalent to a total decline in sales over the full year of 2.6 billion.

Jake Shepherd, the marketing director at Neilson, said alcohol had been hit by a triple whammy, which accounted for the dramatic effect.

“In addition to the introduction of Sharia Law, sales have been hit by the outlawing of the sale of alcohol to under-18s and the increase of duty on alcohol, which is pricing cash-strapped drinkers out of the market,” he said.

Smokers have also suffered from the Sharia, with 175 million fewer ciggarette packs sold in the nine months from July to last April as smokers have been driven out of pubs.

Total sales of alcohol fell 8 per cent, compared to a steady 3 per cent fall in previous years, just under half of which was attributable to the introduction of Sharia Law, according to Neilson.

Mr Shepherd said: “The wet summer of 2007 added to the downturn. The winter months were particularly bad – sales fell 9.3 per cent from November to January when smokers would have been reluctant to stand outside in the cold to have a cigarette.”

The anti-alcohol pressure group ASH said that further action was necessary to curb alcohol by young people. “We need a War on Alchohol, a Jihad if you will.” they said.

Deborah Arnott, the director of ASH, said: “The alcohol-free legislation has been a fantastic success and is hugely popular. But what it also shows is a hunger for more action.

“There is still much more that needs to be done. The Government should focus on measures to shield children from alcohol industry marketing while parents and carers can do much more to protect children from exposure to secondhand smoke.”

A survey of 1,000 people with liver conditions by the British Lung Foundation found more than half said they had suffered fewer attacks of abdominal pain from exposure to drink in pubs and restaurants, and more than a third said it had helped keep them out of hospital.

Dame Helena Shovelton, the foundation’s chief executive, said: The introduction of Sharia Law has helped to save the lives of people with drinking problems by cutting down their exposure to alcohol. People with alcohol-related liver conditions know how devastating it is to be struggling. An alcohol-free atmosphere gives our livers a new lease of life.”


The Independent

And there you have it.

The rationale for Sharia Law coming to Britain, trumpeted by the human garbage at The Independent.

A law is not good simply because it works to achieve an end. If we take the ‘means to an end measure’ as the only yardstick to gauge of the value of a law, then there should be no opposition to the introduction of Sharia from the likes of The Independent. Sharia cures many ills in many countries.

“If it works, then its OK, right?”


The law is there to protect the rights of the individual, not to coerce him to do anything that is ‘for his own good’, or to control what he can or cannot eat, smoke, inject, spread on his skin or pierce through his flesh.

We are living in a nightmare time, no doubt about it….if you take what Wide Loo Paper™ like The Independent prints as the truth.

A white haired Irishman once said to me, “Paper never refuses ink”. My only hope is that this report is bogus, and that the majority of people in this once great country are full of revulsion and loathing over the smoking ban, at the very least, in their hearts if not in words and actions.

Geophagy in Haiti

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Rising Food Costs Force Haiti’s Poor to Resort to Eating Dirt


It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

Yolen Jeunky arranges dried mud cookies for sale in a bucket in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Nov. 29, 2007. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of Fort Dimanche, once a prison, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages are threatening Haiti’s fragile stability, and the mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

The hand of a woman is covered in mud as she makes mud cookies on the roof of Fort Dimanche, Nov. 30, 2007. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

Yolen Jeunky prepares cookies made of dirt, water, salt and butter on the the roof of Fort Dimanche. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

“Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it,” said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti’s health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

“I’m hoping one day I’ll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these,” she said. “I know it’s not good for me.”

By JONATHAN M. KATZ Associated Press Writer
Jan 29, 2008
The Associated Press


Noor’s List

Coordinated attacks on Organic food by Pharma-shills

Friday, May 9th, 2008

This is a comment attached to this post, that I had to ‘promote’ to an entire post:


The new wave of anti-organic propaganda: organic food is bad for the environment!

First, biased tripe masquerading as a magazine piece on BBQ. Previously they had this slightly more balanced piece.

And last week, the “7 Myths Of Organic Food” debunked by Robert Johnston, who claims to be an ‘environmental expert’ but I can’t find his credentials anywhere. “these foods are an indugence the world can’t afford, argues environmental expert Rob Johnston”.

Robert Johnston is a doctor and freelance journalist. He was an executive producer for Lifetime Television in New York and medical adviser for the Millennium Dome Body Zone.”

His ‘article first appeared online before the Indescribablybad picked it up.

If these studies and articles have not been funded and placed by BigAgro then I’m a monkey’s uncle. The thrust of these articles is that only by intensive, chemical-driven farming can we save the world. And we’ll be healthier too.

Smacks of desperation, with a whiff of fear.


It in fact, stinks.

When someone who has the brain of a researcher and who is honest turns the fire-hose of their logic onto these subjects, the shiny surface gets washed away to reveal the pure dirty evil underneath.

Note how it is the usual suspects who eagerly regurgitate the PR lies.

Is Organic Food better for you? The only test you need

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

The Guardian, once again, has a pro-corporate, pro-pharmaceutical propaganda piece in its toilet paper.

It goes like this:

Organic food ‘no benefit to health’
Eating fruit and veg is more important than whether produce is ‘green’, says expert

Jo Revill, Whitehall editor
Sunday March 30, 2008
The Observer

Parents who want their children to eat healthily should focus more on serving them extra fruit and vegetables and less on giving them expensive organic produce, according to one of the country’s leading nutrition experts.

Lord Krebs, former head of the Food Standards Agency, said families were becoming ‘deeply confused’ by conflicting messages about healthy eating.

The market for organic food reached more than £2bn last year, with most consumers from households with children under the age of 15. An average of £37m is spent each week on organic produce, mostly in south-east England.


Without going into wether or not Lord Krebs is corrupt or not, or is a paid liar or not, or wether or not Monsanto, GSK or any other corporation is really behind this proclamation or not, we can say one thing for sure.

Organic food is better for you than non organic food.

And I can prove it.

Lets say you are someone with an infant child.

You have two glass ten litre beakers, marked ‘A’ and ‘B’, of distilled water in front of you and your baby.

I take a container of commercially available liquid pesticide, open the lid, and dip the tip of a thin sewing needle into the surface of the pesticide. I then dip that needle into the beaker marked ‘B’ and then stir the water vigorously.

I pour some water from beaker ‘A’ into a baby’s bottle marked ‘A’, and some water from beaker ‘B’ into a baby’s bottle marked ‘B’. I pour out 90% of the water in bottle ‘B’ and then replace the missing volume with water from beaker ‘A’.


Which bottle do you give your baby to drink?

Any sane person will give their baby bottle ‘A’. No parent with a single working brain cell will knowingly give their child the water in bottle ‘B’ which has been tainted by a miniscule amount of pesticide.

This is what Organic food is about, at the most basic level. Deliberately feeding people pesticide, at any concentration IS INSANE. It is better to eat food that has not come into contact with pesticides than it is to eat food that has come into contact with pesticides.

Organic food has not been sprayed with pesticides, and so therefore, it is better for you.

And that is THAT.

Then of course, there are all of the other ramifications of spraying crops, the pesticide entering into and remaining in the soil and rivers, the animals poisoned by it, etc etc. But I digress. Anyone who tells you that pesticide in small concentrations is safe to eat either works for one of the manufacturers of these poisons, is a paid liar for them, or they are stupid or ignorant.

Exactly the same demonstration can be made about organic meat.

Organic meat has not been injected with growth hormones, steroids and all manner of unnecessary and monstrous interventions. Would you feed your child a piece of meat that has trace amounts of animal growth hormone in it, or one that has no trace of such a thing?

The choice is obvious, and anyone who says that these trace amounts of drugs is harmless is is one of the above, a liar, a paid liar, ignorant or just plain stupid.

I would love to know how much money these journalists and newspaper editors are paid to regurgitate this nonsense unchallenged. Obviously they have no morals or human decency.

Thankfully, the majority of people are now waking up to why they should be eating organic food, and no, they are not so stupid as to conflate having a balanced diet with what organic food is all about. These imbeciles can publish all the papers they like, make all the proclamations they like in whatever newspaper or media they choose; we are ignoring them. Every time they publish a new paper or make another absurd proclamation, they become further discredited, and every time a trashpaper like the Guardian uncritically reprints their lies, they too become more discredited an look more foolish.

The same, tired religious dogma is trundled out:

However, according to Krebs, an eminent scientist and principal of Jesus College, Oxford, there is still no reliable, peer-reviewed evidence to show that there is any clear health benefit to eating this ‘green’ produce.

And we do not care. We do not care about the eminence of Krebs, Jesus College, Oxford, reliable peer reviewed evidence, his proclamations or anything else these suspicious characters, charlatans and religious fanatics come up with. Their credentials are meaningless. We are not eating poison because you say it is safe to do so. We are not going to give our children pesticide to drink because there is ‘reliable, peer-reviewed evidence’ saying it is safe. We are not going to sit around and wait to be told what is or is not beneficial or what is or is not safe to eat. You have lost all credibility, all authority, and no matter how you are announced in the newspapers the slavering ‘journalists’ intoning from your sacred scroll of hierarchical science power, we do not, and will not believe what you say.

Note how when the writer of this nonsense tries to balance out her article by quoting The Soil Association, she only quotes ‘A Sopkewoman’. No list of credentials, letters, academic associations…just ‘A Spokeswoman’ not even ‘an eminent Spokeswoman’. These sorts of cheap tricks no longer work; in fact, they can never work when the initial premise is so absurd, counterintuitive and blatantly false. What is in fact happening is that the more you are associated with these discredited bodies, the LESS you are believed, thanks to the decades of lying for money, bullshit and PR.

But you know this!

Organic food is better for you, better for the environment and better for the animals that are used as food.
Organic food is bad for evil scientists, bad for pharmaceutical companies and bad for fear-mongering journalists.

And that, my friends, is a proclamation you can trust!

Lily-livered, cowardly bullies must die!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

We wrote recently about naive idiots in York, wearing leather shoes, eating eggs, taking medicines developed in animal models and bleating over a restaurant serving foie gras.

Now we read this:

A Cambridge restaurant announced last week that it would no longer have foie gras on its menu. Not, perhaps, an important event in itself, affecting not too many people. But the circumstances leading to the decision were disturbing. Daniel Clifford, the chef-owner of Midsummer House – honoured with two Michelin stars – didn’t stop serving the dish because he had been persuaded to do so by the argument that its manufacture involved the maltreatment of geese and ducks. He changed his mind through fear. The Animal Liberation Front admitted responsibility for acts of vandalism that included glueing the restaurant’s locks, throwing a brick through a window (narrowly missing a waiter), spray-painting the windows and generally trashing the place, causing several thousand pounds of damage. “My initial feeling was, ‘Sod ’em, we’ll get cameras and security to guard the restaurant,’ ” said Clifford. “But when the police told me what the ALF was capable of, I decided to give in. Ultimately I have to think of the safety of my staff and customers.” There wasn’t much media coverage of or reaction to the outrage.

Many restaurants in Britain serve foie gras. Have they all now become potential targets of ALF violence? Are our restaurant menus to be determined in future by whether or not animal activists approve of the way the animals, birds and fish on offer have been treated? Today foie gras – tomorrow chicken? The life of a goose, even one primed for its valuable liver, is far pleasanter and its distress far less (especially with modern methods of feeding it) than that of a battery chicken. A few thousand geese and ducks might have suffered in preparing the small quantities of foie gras consumed in this country; many millions of chicken and other animals, destined to be food for humans, have suffered more. I do not for a moment blame Midsummer House’s owner for submitting to the threats and violence, but I have an uneasy feeling that the day he did so marked the beginning of something new and sinister.

Several points here. First, it is nobody’s place to tell you what you may or may not eat, whether that be the government or the ALF. Some will not eat any but free range, organic eggs and chickens from a local producer, myself among them. Some will eat the cheapest, battery-farmed, tasteless, drug-riddled meat they can get their hands on. Some people will eat Freedom Food, as named by the RSPCA. I hope these people are not fooling themselves, salving their conscience, and have taken enough interest to understand that ‘Freedom Food’ chickens are  grown in aircraft hangars exactly as those cheaper chickens they probably despise, but at slightly lower density. Freedom Food guidelines denote no more than 30kg of chicken per square metre. At 2.5kg after just 40 days of unaturally rapid growth, this still equates to 12 chickens per square metre. Anyway, I digress. It is about understanding, and making an informed choice without hypocrisy and without affecting anybody else.

A second point is that the POLICE have told this restaurant to give in to bullying.

SHAME on these filthy scum, charged with protecting the public yet  refusing to protect this mans business and freedom to serve what he chooses to people willing to eat it. The police giving this advice are as sick and stupid as the ALF members, both intimidating this man to get the outcome that suits them best.

The War On Fat

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Food Fascism on Steroids

Posted by Karen DeCoster at 09:27 PM

Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified Mississippi as the “fat state,” the fascist wackos in the Mississippi legislature have a plan: they want to make it illegal for anyone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or more to be served a meal in a restaurant.

“Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management,” the bill states.

If you think this is a joke:


Remember the fat child who was kidnapped for being fat by social workers?

And how about the woman who was denied permission to join her husband as a new immigrant to New Zealand because she was too FAT.

Its clear.

The War on Drugs failed as a means to bring in total control.
The War on Ignorance…obvious failure
The War on Poverty. Epic Fail.
The War on Terror; everyone is laughing out loud at it.

The War on FAT will win where the other wars failed to succeed!