A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A healthy dose of "aaaaaawwww!"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Truth or Dairy?

This is a great article written by a friend...

Truth or Dairy?
by Greg Lawson

The dairy industry has convinced most of us that we need cow's milk and that we put our health at risk if we don't consume at least three glasses a day. Years ago, dairy promoters used the pitch lines "Everyone Needs Milk," and "Milk, It Does a Body Good." When challenged for the proof behind those ads, they couldn't dispute the fact that approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians are lactose intolerant. So they don't use those slogans anymore.

In major studies, dairy consumption has been linked to asthma, colic and ear infections in children and in studies of adults to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several forms of hormonal cancers including prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Does it sound like milk does a body good?

Most people believe the industry promoted myth "Milk Builds Strong Bones." Since it isn't true, the dairy dealers can't put it quite so simply anymore. Their current ads read "Calcium Builds Strong Bones, Milk Has Calcium," implying the conclusion that "milk builds strong bones." The logic of that argument is similar to saying "Humans Need Selenium, Dirt Has Selenium," and thus the conclusion "humans need to be eating dirt."

The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, found that the women who consumed the most milk had the most bone fractures. Similarly, Dr. T. Colin Campbell's China Study, one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken on diet and disease, found that the countries with the most dairy consumption had the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Animal protein, such as is in milk, makes the human body more acidic and calcium is leeched from the bones to neutralize the pH. Plant sources of calcium, such as leafy greens, broccoli and sesame seeds are actually better sources of calcium than cow's milk and more easily absorbed. Studies have found that exercise and vitamin D are more important considerations for bone health than calcium intake.

The latest multi-million dollar campaign from the dairy industry featured the claim that milk helps a person lose weight. The “Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight” and “3-A-Day. Burn More Fat, Lose Weight” promotions have been running for the last several years. People have been eager to believe that a substance designed to help a baby calf gain a thousand pounds in a few months will somehow be the magic diet aid they are looking for.

"Recent studies have shown..." is the way these ads begin. Those recent studies were three small studies on groups of thirty people which lasted only a few weeks. The dairy industry paid over 2 million dollars to Michael Zemel, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Tennessee, to find those results. Independent research has found that the consumption of dairy products either has little or no effect on weight loss or actually increases body weight.

In May of 2007 the Federal Trade Commission ruled that the dairy industry was using false and misleading advertising in its campaign which suggests milk causes weight loss. The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board agreed to discontinue all advertising and other marketing activities involving weight-loss claims pending further research into the issue.

The dairy industry has "complied" with the FTC ruling by making slight changes to their "Milk Your Diet" campaign. Instead of saying "3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day can help you lose weight," they now say in their televised ads and on their promotional webpages "Studies suggest the nutrients in 3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day can help maintain a healthy weight."

Got Truth?

Greg Lawson is the President of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Things I need to learn

  1. How to get freelance clients. I'd like to work on some of my own work with my own clients on my own time.
  2. The history of typography. I learned a lot in school, but I've forgotten most of it over the last 10 years. Knowing about typography won't make me a better designer, but I think it'll make me a different kind of designer.
  3. Stock investments. I finally started an RRSP and chose the self-directed route. I know nothing about stocks or investing, but now's the time to learn. Um... help?
  4. How to use my camera properly. I have a decent camera that can take great shots. All I need now is to figure out how to use it.
  5. How to organise my time so I can accomplish all the things I want to. I have many things I enjoy doing, but there are only so many hours in a day. And my creative outlet activities seem to be slipping further down my list - unintentionally.
  6. How to just freaking relax and stop being so awkward/angry/sad/preoccupied.
I'm sure there are lots more things for me to learn, but these are top of mind right now.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's the little things

Yesterday my boss met with some clients. She was told by 3 separate clients "Michelle is great!".

I needed to feel that appreciation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Left Feet's 1st Annual Vegan Chili Cook-off

Am I wrong in assuming that most vegans believe they have a really kick ass chili recipe? My chili, in my opinion, is truly kick ass.

Of course, I may be completely humbled next weekend when I enter Left Feet's 1st Annual Vegan Chili Cook-off being held in Kensington Market on Saturday January 26th, 2008 from 2 – 6 pm. Yesterday, I stopped by Left Feet, submitted my entry form and payment to the lovely Natalie of Heart on Your Sleeve, wondering for the rest of the day if my chili really can stand up to the recipes of local veg establishments like Sadie's Diner and Urban Herbivore, or veg-friendly Magic Oven. Not to mention the other single entrants I'll be up against.

But, win or lose, I am really looking forward to being a part of such a great event. The winner will be chosen by a panel of tasters. All you need to do to be a taster is to pay a $5 fee, try each and every chili and cast a vote. That's it. All proceeds are going towards Toronto homeless outreach. If you're in the area, like chili and want to support a great cause, please stop by. The organisers are supplying eco-friendly bowls, utensils and cornbread so you have no excuse. The event is being held outdoors, so also make sure to wear something warm!