Health/Nutrition Feed

World AIDS Day 2012


World AIDS Day 2012 at The White House
President Obama recognizes World AIDS Day 2012 by adorning The White House with a huge red ribbon.

Today is the first day of December. It is the birthday of some famous people such as comedian-actor-writer Richard Pryor; singer-actor Bette Midler; actor-writer-director Woody Allen and Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet's daughter, Zoe Kravitz. It is also World AIDS Day, the day citizens around the world unite to advocate for an end to HIV/AIDS. Since the groundbreaking announcement 27 years ago that actor Rock Hudson had become infected with AIDS and the shocking announcement just six years later, in November 1991, that Magic Johnson had also become infected, there is far too little coverage of this devastating disease.


Many people such as Johnson, live with HIV/AIDS and continue to live productive lives. They follow the advice of their physicians and other health professionals which includes taking the appropriate medication and following a healthy lifestyle. Inspite of tremendous advances, far too many people in the United States and around the world are still dying from HIV/AIDS. Let's do what we can to help stop HIV/AIDS starting with education about the disease. 

Do you know your HIV/AIDS status? If not get tested. Do not engage in unsafe sexual activity. Use a condom. Please. Know that You are worth more than AIDS.  

For more information on HIV/AIDS and what you can do to help put an end to it, visit the World AIDS Day website. Thank you.


Save Our Children: Why We Must End Poverty and Hunger Now [VIDEO]

Please take the time to watch this entire video. Don't multi-task while watching or you may miss some very important information on the slides and pictures.

One of the most compelling illustrations during this speech is the one below. Look at the stark difference between the brain scans of two three-year old children. Is there any reason why our children from economically impoverished family situations will ever perform as desired on the various high stakes examinations in our nation's schools? 


From -- Josette Sheeran: Ending hunger now


8 year-old Miami girl starts food fight with Obama girls in controversial ad

Jasmine Messiah, an 8 year-old student in Miami, is the face of a new campaign by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to encourage healthier food choices in the nation's schools. Jasmine is a vegetarian and apparently outspoken and spunky according to media coverage.

It's true that the American is generally high in fatty foods. It's also true that the U.S. School Lunch program depends heavily upon surplus foods donated by the government. Fatty foods plus a reduced physical education program in public schools results in kids who are heavier than in the past.

Unfortunately, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine may have crossed the line when targeting the Obama daughters. Sure, they attend a prestigious private school in Washington, DC that offers healthy meal options, but bringing kids of politicians into a lobbying effort in this manner will likely result in a backlash.

The Obama Economic Stimulus Effect Blesses Five Guys

President Obama at Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Since the President's golden touch seems to be more golden than Oprah's nowadays, the folks at a Five Guys Burgers & Fries in DC must be thrilled he stopped by for sustenance. Of course, he placed his own order and ordered for the crew filming him for a documentary.

This president is intent on living outside the White House bubble as much as possible. He likes to be around people. His security team must be going bonkers with this "regular stuff" the Obamas like to do.

Five Guys, which does have great burgers, must be a favorite of the First Family because the First Lady was also photographed at a Five Guys dining with staffers back in February. Of course, her visit was sans the film crew and as much hoopla.

The Obamas must also have an awesome workout routine because they seem to love burgers but stay in great physical condition.

The President does have some cleaning up to do. It seems it was leaked that he prefers other burgers to the burgers served at the White House. I'd love to attend that White House Kitchen staff meeting.

Oh yeah, the president ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, mustard and jalapenos. It's now unofficially called the "Obama Burger."

Did I mention the doubling of business at that particular Five Guys restaurant the President visited? Yes, that's the Barack Obama Economic Stimulus Effect at work.

Peanuts: Eat at Your Own Risk

Peanut-caution Boiled peanuts, roasted peanuts, peanut butter on saltine crackers, peanut butter cookies, and frozen Snickers bar: those are just a few ways I used to enjoy eating peanuts but not anymore.

Thanks to Peanut Corporation of America and the salmonella found in their products, it will be a long time before I eat peanut butter again. The conditions described in the plant were criminal. The company’s leaders should be jailed; no question about it.

Peanut Corporation owner Stewart Parnell, repeatedly invoked his right not to incriminate himself when questioned by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. In spite of the 600 people sickened and possible nine deaths linked to the salmonella contamination, Parnell defiantly refused to answer any questions; that’s unconscionable.

The sad reality is that Peanut Corp represents such a small percentage of the peanut industry. Their misdeeds has jeopardized an entire industry. As a consumer, there is nothing that leads me to believe that the conditions at Peanut Corp are different than other peanut processing plants. Perhaps the stimulus plan includes funding for more inspectors of our food supply. It may be time for meto seriously consider growing my own food.

Until this peanut situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the American people or is no longer highlighted in the media and the American people forget, the peanut industry will suffer. What's next?


Photo:  Bill Kennedy/The Plain Dealer

© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Another Reason to become Vegetarian: Massive Beef Recall

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Information received by the federal agency shows that Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. "did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian" as required when cattle became non-ambulatory after being inspected, the release said.

The Hallmark Meat Packing Company is the latest in a series of meat contamination scandals faced by the U.S. More than 143 million pounds of beef have been destroyed. A horrific video has permeated broadcast television and internet; it shows animal abuse and cows so weak they couldn't stand. They were shoved to slaughter. That same, likely contaminated meat has been shipped throughout the United States and consumed by who knows how many people.

What's happened to monitoring and oversight efforts in this country? Who's monitoring the finances? Who's monitoring the safety of the food we eat? Who's monitoring the viability of the roads, bridges and buildings we use every day?

Some instances can be considered out of the ordinary but there have been too many cases showing our exposure to danger and even death.


Haitians survive by eating dirt cookies

A woman in Fort Dimanche laying biscuits to dry, biscuits made of butter, salt, water and dirt. The Haitians face shortages of food and electricity.

Photo: Ruth Fresmon, New York Times

In the midst of the excitement surrounding the results of Super Tuesday, I received another very disturbing e-mail from a friend regarding the plight of poor Haitians on the island who have resorted to eating dirt for food. Initially, I attributed the message to be a cruel hoax from an insensitive person. I live in Miami where a significant number of residents are of Haitian descent. There had been no reports, to my knowledge, in any of the local media.

I received the message again, this time from a different friend and this time more passionate in its request to help. I Googled the subject and found the article had been published in the Houston Chronicle. I would also find photos in The New York Times. It was true.

Many of my friends are Haitian and I have come to respect our shared history and African bloodline. Haitian people are brilliant and resilient. It hurts to know that some have been forced to eat these mud pies to survive. This is a human issue and these people need our help. Click here to read the Houston Chronicle article. Please spread the word about this situation.

Request for Prayer for Healing, Uplift and Strength

I apologize that I've not posted to this blog as frequently as I'd like. I've not shared with you the recent challenges on my time and energy that have been wrought due to the illness of my mother. My experience with the health care industry and insurance companies during the last week and a half has afforded me several days of blog posts and most of them will not be pretty. I won't go off Michael Moore style right now, but I will later.

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer so I ask that you pray for the healing of my mother, Mary Woodard. I also ask that you pray for the emotional and physical strength of my dad, Art Woodard. My folks have been married for 57 years and my dad tries to be with her every moment he can. My dad is old school so he internalizes his emotions, except for anger. Speaking of anger, I also ask that you pray for God's control over my anger that will allow me to register my dissatisfaction with the service provided by a hospital staff member without raising my voice and losing my cool.

I will keep you posted about my experience and perhaps you will share your experiences also. I have to end this post now because I have to get ready for work and write an e-mail to the hospital administrator and public relations office about the unacceptable behavior of the social worker assigned to my mother.

I've already complained about the lax hospital security and insufficient air conditioning – heat promotes germs. I'm sure some of the staff will be glad to see me leave and others are glad I've voiced my concerns. In arguably, the hospital workers are overworked and underpaid. There is still a need to provide customer care that is better treatment than cattle on a farm. I said I wouldn't go there in this post.

Thank you for all positive thoughts for my family during this time. I'll post as time and energy allow. In the meantime, check out this article: Who's making money off the health care crisis?

In Memory of My Cousin: Blogging to End AIDS

Today is World AIDS Day. Throughout the world, over 30 million people are living with one of the most deadly diseases --- HIV and AIDS. It is likely that you know someone who has contracted the virus or who has already died from it. Because of the stigma of AIDS, one of my cousins, passed away several years ago in loneliness and isolation from our family.

Without giving us an opportunity to say a loving good-bye to him, his mother selfishly had him buried far away from us. No one else, not even his father, knew what happened to him. It is a pain that I still carry and anger that I have yet to overcome towards her.

Not only did my cousin die a horrible death, he was also ashamed to disclose his homosexuality to the family. While I cannot fully understand how he must have felt, it was just another stupid attempt to conceal the obvious.

I so want to say to him, "Hello cousin, tell us something we don't already know." I would have hugged him and told him that we love all of him even if we don't agree with his lifestyle. I just can't imagine the pain and loneliness he must have endured. It was all so unnecessary.

I know that my cousin probably wanted to avoid the attempts to "straighten" him out. His lifestyle choice would have wrought the same lectures heaped upon the "wayward" relatives who choose to "live in sin" without the benefit of marriage. I love my family but some of their actions are as predictable as sunrise.

All things considered, my cousin forgot how our family always has each other's back. He forgot that we don't always agree but we're always family. What is more ironic is that he could have learned that he was not alone; there are other members of the family that are homosexual also. What a sad end to a promising life.

HIV/AIDS is not a homosexual disease so don't foolishly think you can't get it if you're heterosexual. Although HIV/AIDS is prevalent among blacks, you can get it if you're not black. Regardless of your ethnicity or sexual preference, you are susceptible to contracting HIV/AIDS if you engage in sexual activities, are an intravenous drug user or require a blood transfusion. If you are an infant, you can get HIV from the breast milk of an infected mother.

Don't let HIV/AIDS break up your family and remember that no ever has to suffer through this disease alone. Most of all, to my cousin, I love you, man.

From World Vision:

Take Our Online AIDS Test
Fact and fiction swirl around the AIDS crisis. What do you know?
Test your knowledge about HIV and AIDS with this interactive quiz. Some answers are obvious — some are not. Take the test...

Step Into Africa With the World Vision Experience: AIDS
Can you survive the journey of a child? The Experience is an interactive exhibit that will transport you to the heart of Africa ... and into the life of a child.
Visit the Experience Web site and
watch the trailer...

More Beef Patties Recalled Because of E. Coli

Cargill, Inc. is recalling more than 800,000 pounds of frozen beef patties due to an e. coli scare. The beef patties were carried by Sam's Club a subsidiary of Wal-mart Stores. Four cases, all involving children, were reported in the Minnesota area.

The extent of the contamination in this situation is unknown. Is it just me or does anyone NOT sense urgency on the part of our government to crack down on food safety? As other meat processing companies are highlighted because of e. coli, it's reasonable to me that it's just a matter of time until contaminated chickens are reported also.

Factory farming coupled with a disregard of proper processing procedures and lax monitoring are some of the reasons why we find ourselves with these growing food contamination scares. Some of the local news stations have begun reporting health violations in restaurants and even some of our schools.

How much more of this can we take until there is a collapse of the meat processing industry?