Health/Nutrition Feed

Topps Meat Company Closes but How Safe is the Food You Eat?

Ecoli E. coli and an extensive beef recall have forced the closing of the Topps Meat Company. Topps was one of the largest meat processing companies in the United States. If the safety of the food supply in the United States doesn't cause you some concern, I don't know what will.

If there was ever a time to consider the switch to vegetarianism, this would be it. If Topps sold tainted beef, isn't is reasonable to assume other companies are guilty of the same? It wasn't the company, it was the beef.

I know of a gentleman who died recently from e. coli tainted beef bologna. After a hospital stay and surgery, he was sent home and died a few days later in the arms of his daughter. I'll spare you the description of his body's reaction during his last moments but let's just say that it was horrific and disgusting to the point that I'm considering the ultimate transition to a vegan lifestyle.

By far, the most comprehensive and informative site is sponsored by the folks at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Yes, those are the same folks that went a tad overboard regarding the Michael Vick case but be sure to check out their website for shocking facts on nutrition and the food industry.

Going vegetarian is easy. Grocery stores are always stocked with colorful vegetables and plenty of other vegan foods. Almost all grocery stores now carry delicious faux meat products, too—from veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs to vegetarian chicken nuggets, ribs, steak strips, and more. With all these great products available, it's easier than ever to whip up delicious meat-free meals at home. Going out to eat couldn't be easier too! With more and more people becoming vegetarian these days, most restaurants now offer great-tasting, healthy vegetarian selections.

Making the Transition

Watch more videos at

Pledge to Be Veg for 30 Days!

Famous Vegetarians



The PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Bottled Water Scam

The latest commotion about Aquafina being little more than tap water has sent my health-conscious friends into a tizzy. Dasani had the same problem back in 2004 in the UK. Who knew? I just know my granddad is looking down from heaven saying, "I told you so. Folks shouldn't pay good money for what Mother Nature makes bountifully."

I do drink bottled water but I try to only drink Evian and Zephyr Hills. They taste better to me. Aquafina and Dasani are the only brands in the vending machines in my office building but my days of purchasing them have come to a screeching halt. At a buck a pop, for tap water, I went back to the water fountain and I'll save money also.

I still feel taken advantage of. Perhaps, someone somewhere is mounting a class action suit against Pepsi and Coca-Cola, manufacturers of Aquafina and Dasani. If so, sign me up.

From Think Outside the Bottle website:

Media Coverage of the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign

Momentum is building in the campaign to challenge corporate control of water. Dozens of media outlets have brought national attention to the bottled water issue. See our interview with TV20's 'Your Green Report' on the San Francisco Executive Directive, which bans bottled water in the city in favor of tap water. Here's a sampling of recent coverage:

Read our letter in the New York Times. Read more.

Pure Water, Right on Tap. Read Yvonne Abraham's column in the Boston Globe.

Tune into our interview about Bottled Water with NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Listen now.

New Yorkers Urged to Drink Tap Water. Listen to NPR's Morning Edition report. Read more.

Ditching Bottled Water for Tap Water. Read ABC News' report.

PepsiCo to review label of Aquafina water brand. Read more.

Time to Chill

I am not getting enough rest. This is the second week of a lingering cough --- not a good sign --- there are a couple of major, time-sensitive projects that I must complete within the week. I'm pretty sure the cold is lingering because I really haven't allowed my body to rest in about five weeks now. Well, I'm really going to chill this evening. My remedy of choice is tea with honey, lemon and Haitian rum. I must fill you in on Haitian rum in a future post. With that, I'm surely to be out like a light soon and not to be held responsible for anything I may type.

I'll be back with you good people tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this unique collaboration of the James Brown hit, It's a Man's World, with Brown and Luciano Pavarotti.


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National HIV Testing Day: Do you know your status?


National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is an annual campaign produced by the N ational Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA-US) to encourage at-risk individuals to receive voluntary HIV counseling and testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 180,000 to 280,000 people nationwide are HIV-positive but are unaware of their status. HIV counseling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners, and helps people who test negative get the information they need to stay uninfected. [More]

While June 27 is the national day for testing, HIV/AIDS is rampant that we must encourage everyone that is sexually active to get tested and know their status.

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Engaging in unprotected sex, especially promiscuous sexual activity is like playing Russian roulette.

Back to a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Not_nuggets I'm switching back to a vegetarian diet. I'm not going vegan because I need eggs and cheese in my diet right now. I'm considering a vegan lifestyle but I'm taking this in stages.

Unfortunately, I've back-slid on my diet a few times because of convenience. You know, someone brings a pepperoni pizza in this office and there's no time between meetings ---there goes the vegetarian diet.  I can feel the meat slowing down my body. I don't have the energy I'm accustomed to and I'm noticably less productive. Breaking my vegetarian regime usually occurs when I'm under extreme stress as I have been lately.

So, starting today, I'm keeping a journal of everything I eat. Perhaps it will help me stay on task. In a household and office of meat-eaters, my work is cut out for me but I'll get back on track again.

World HIV/AIDs Day, December 1

Throughout the world, over 40 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 with 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 save himself from the attempts to “straighten” him out. You know, he was definitely right about that. His choice would have wrought the same lectures heaped upon the “wayward” relatives whose chose 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. What a sad end to a promising life. Don’t let HIV/AIDS break up your family and remember that no ever has to be alone. I love you, cousin. © 2005 VANESSA BYERS

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