Sunday, May 10, 2015

#FastFood Kills Gut Bacteria That Can Keep You Slim, Study Finds

#FastFood Kills Gut Bacteria That Can Keep You slim, Study Findsfrom theaustralian.com.au: Fast food diets make people fat not just through excess calories but by killing off the gut bacteria that help people burn off their excess energy, a leading British researcher has found. Diets with just a few highly processed ingredients, rather than the dozens of foods found in a healthy diet, are so toxic to these bacteria that it takes only a few meals to wipe out hundreds of the species humans need to maintain healthy digestion, according to research by Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London. The findings emerged from a series of studies in which Professor Spector, whose book on the topic, The Diet Myth: Why America's Obsessions with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health, is published this week, investigated links between gut bacteria and health. He was seeking insights into why some people put on weight while others stay slim on similar diets — and why less than 5 per cent of fat people succeed in long-term weight loss.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#GoodNewsNextWeek: McDonald’s Is Closing Hundreds Of Stores This Year

from fortune.com: The restaurant company closed 350 stores in early 2015, on top of the 350 it had already said it would shutter, as the burger purveyor seeks to stanch sales declines.

McDonald’s shuttered 350 poorly performing stores in Japan, the United States, and China the first three months of 2015 as part of its plan to boost its sagging profits.

Those previously unannounced closings, disclosed on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday, are on top of the 350 shutterings the world’s largest restaurant chain had already targeted for the year. While those 700 store closings this year represent a fraction of the 32,500 or so restaurants worldwide, they show how aggressive McDonald’s is getting in pruning poorly attended locations that are dragging down its results.

Earlier on Wednesday, McDonald’s had reported an 11% decrease in revenue and a 30% drop in profit for the first three months of year, a continuation of its troubles in the last two years as it has struggled to compete with new U.S. competitors, a tough economy in Europe and a food safety scare in Asia.

McDonald’s CFO Kevin Ozan told analysts that the shuttered stores in China, where comparable sales fell 4.8% in the first quarter, had been underperforming for years. In Japan, where McDonald’s is still reeling from the food safety scare last summer, the stores closed stores were “heavy loss maker restaurants.” As for the U.S., comparable sales were down 2.3%, one of their biggest drop in years as chains like Chipotle ate into sales.

CONTINUE @ SOURCE

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#FastFoodNation Workers Plan #April15 Strike

from time.com: U.S. fast food workers are planning a major one-day strike on Tax Day, April 15, their latest action in a two-year campaign for a $15 hourly wage and the right to unionize.Workers will walk off the job at fast food restaurants in more than 200 cities across the U.S. to demand higher pay, and protests will be held in as many as 40 other countries the same day.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

.@HeinzKetchup_US buys @Kraft in Mega-Merger for Big Food

Heinz buys Kraft in Mega-Merger for Big Foodfrom washingtonpost.com: The corporate kings of sugary ketchup and processed cheese, under assault by consumers’ growing love for fresher cuisine, are making a major gamble to revive their fortunes in the face of the changing American appetite. H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods Group, two of the most iconic names in the nation’s kitchens, said Wednesday they would merge through an estimated $45 billion deal to form one of the world’s biggest food empires.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Anti-depressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

from gardeningknowhow.com: Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy. 

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health
Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Big Agra Descends on Cuba to Spread GMOs

from startribune.com:: A delegation of 75 top U.S. agriculture leaders organized by Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc. will arrive in Cuba this weekend on a trade mission to explore the potential for increased business between the two countries.


Leaders said the trip will be a “learning journey” to understand what Cuba may need from U.S. farms, including corn, soybeans and rice, and what products the United States might receive from Cuba if less restrictive trade policies are adopted by both countries.

“It’s really about just having a good exchange with them on the state of the agricultural economy in Cuba,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, director of international business relations at Cargill, which has taken a lead in lobbying Congress to lift the trade embargo with Cuba.

Vorwerk and others started the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba early this year, weeks after President Obama announced he would pursue normal trade and diplomatic ­relations with Cuba following more than 50 years of restrictions.

The trip will begin with an orientation on Sunday, and a set of meetings with Cuban government import officials and others on Monday. The delegation will split into six smaller groups on Tuesday to visit Cuban farmers and agricultural cooperatives, Vorwerk said, to learn about their production capabilities, ­challenges and innovations. Wednesday will be a wrap-up day that includes discussions of the "larger issues" ahead. [emphasis added]

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More U.S. Children Doing Yoga, Taking Sleep Supplements

from channelnewsasia.com: A growing number of American children are bending into downward dog and other yoga poses, according to a new report on complementary health practices.

The report analyzed National Health Interview Survey data on practices outside of mainstream medicine and found significantly more kids and teens practicing yoga, tai chi and qi gong in 2012 than in 2007.

The study also showed a significant increase in the number of children using melatonin supplements as sleep aids. Melatonin is a natural hormone known to play a role in sleep.

Yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, and the mind-body practice has become so popular in the west that yoga studios are as common in parts of California as Starbucks coffeehouses.

The new study, published in National Health Statistics Reports, included 17,321 interviews with adults about their 4- to 17-year-olds.

Overall, 3.1 percent of kids did yoga in 2012, up from 2.3 percent in 2007.

Industry data shows a nearly 8 percent increase in the number of yoga instructors during the same five years, the study authors write. In addition, they say, public schools are beginning to incorporate yoga – which fosters stretching, relaxing and developing strength – into fitness programs.