In a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, add coconut or avocado oil.
Add the asparagus to the frying pan and pan fry until for tender, about 8–10 minutes.
In a small pot, bring 2–3 cups of water to a boil.
Once boiling, gently lower the eggs into the water and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs once finished and set them aside for assembly.
Divide the asparagus on two separate plates and add sliced tomato and avocado on top.
Add the eggs and drizzle on the hollandaise.
Top with chives.
Eggs Benedict is one of those items that you’ll always see on a breakfast or brunch menu. It’s a breakfast classic. But, when prepared with the traditional ingredients, it can be hard on your waistline, heart, brain and digestion.
In my eggs Benedict recipe, I use immune-boosting, heart healthy, anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, asparagus and tomato. This low-carb breakfast is also high in healthy fats that are key for maintaining optimal health. So give this eggs Benedict recipe a try — you’ll never go back to the traditional dish again.
5-Minute Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
2 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ tablespoon water
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter or ghee over medium-low heat.
Add all the ingredients into a high-powered blender until well combined.
Full-fat cheeses, eggs and beef liver might not be the types of foods that come to mind when you think about eating a heart-healthy diet. But, you’d probably be surprised to know that in recent years, one of the most researched nutrients in the field of cardiovascular health has been vitamin K2, found in these very foods.
What are the benefits of vitamin K2? While vitamin K1 has the important role of preventing blood clots and bleeding disorders, K2 works differently.
According to a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, K2 benefits include helping with nutrient assimilation, growth in infants and children, fertility, brain function, and bone and dental health. Unfortunately many people don’t get enough of this type from their diets.
Something that makes vitamin K unique (both types: K1 and K2) is that it’s not usually taken in supplement form. K2 seems to be much more beneficial when obtained naturally from vitamin K foods.
Unlike vitamin K1, which is mostly found in plant foods like leafy greens, you get K2 from animal-derived foods, like grass-fed meats, raw/fermented cheeses and eggs. It’s also produced by the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome.
What Is Vitamin K2?
While we hear the most about vitamin K1 and K2, there are actually a bunch of different compounds that fall into the “vitamin K” category. Vitamin K1 is also known as phylloquinone, while K2 is known as menaquinone.
Compared to many other vitamins, the roles and health benefits of vitamin K2 were only recently discovered. What does vitamin K2 help with? It has many functions in the body, but the most important is helping the body to use calcium and preventing calcification of the arteries, which can lead to heart disease. Emerging studies show a lack of this vitamin is also associated with diseases including osteoporosis.
If there’s one thing that we need K2 for, it’s preventing calcium from building up in the wrong locations, specifically in soft tissues. Low intake of vitamin K2 can contribute to plaque building in the arteries, tartar forming on the teeth, and hardening of tissues that causes arthritis symptoms, bursitis, reduced flexibility, stiffness and pain.
Some evidence also suggests that K2 has anti-inflammatory properties and may offer some protection against cancer, including research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
What the difference between vitamin K2 and MK7? K2 is a group of menaquinones compounds, which are abbreviated as “MK.” MK7 is one type of menaquinones that is responsible for many of the benefits attributed to vitamin K2. MK4 has been the focus of many vitamin K2 studies, but other types like MK7 and MK8 also have unique abilities.
Vitamin K2 vs. Vitamin K1
There’s some evidence that people tend to get about 10 times more vitamin K1 (or phylloquinone) from their diets than vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 deficiency is very rare, even said to be “almost nonexistent,” while K2 deficiency is much more common.
A growing body of research now demonstrates that vitamins K1 and K2 are not only different forms of the same vitamin, but basically operate like different vitamins all together.
Vitamin K1 is more abundant in foods but less bioactive than the vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 from animal foods is more active in humans. This doesn’t mean that plant foods that provide K1 are unhealthy, just that they are not the best dietary sources of bioavailable vitamin K2.
When we eat foods with K1, vitamin K1 mostly makes it to the liver and then the bloodstream once converted. K2, on the other hand, gets distributed to bones and other tissues more easily.
Vitamin K1 is very important for supporting blood clotting, but not as good at protecting the bones and teeth as K2.
What is vitamin k2 used for? Here are some of the major benefits and uses associated with this vitamin:
1. Helps Regulate Use of Calcium
One of the most important jobs that vitamin K2 has is controlling where calcium accumulates in the body. Vitamin K2 benefits the skeleton, heart, teeth and nervous system by helping regulate use of calcium, especially in the bones, arteries and teeth.
The “calcium paradox” is a common term for the realization by medical professionals that supplementing with calcium can somewhat reduce the risk of osteoporosis but then increases the risk of heart disease. Why does this happen? Vitamin K2 deficiency!
K2 works closely with vitamin D3 to helps inhibit osteoclasts, which are cells responsible for bone resorption.
The Vitamin D and calcium relationship is important, as vitamin D helps transport calcium from the intestines as it digests into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, vitamin D’s job is done at that point. Next, vitamin K2 must activate one of its dependent proteins, osteocalcin. Research shows it then takes calcium out of the bloodstream and deposits it into bones and teeth.
For the best overall health benefits, it’s important to get enough calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. Depending on your age, health and diet, you may need to take a vitamin D3 supplement, and possibly other supplements, too.
Vitamin K2 is essential for the function of several proteins in addition to osteocalcin, which is why it helps with growth and development. For example, it’s involved in the maintenance of structures of the arterial walls, osteoarticular system, teeth and the regulation of cell growth.
2. Protects the Cardiovascular System
Vitamin K2 is one of the best vitamins for men because it offers protection against heart-related problems, including atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries), which are the leading causes of death in many developed countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than half of deaths due to heart disease are in men.
A 2015 report published in the Integrative Medicine Clinician’s Journal explains that
Vitamin K2 is associated with the inhibition of arterial calcification and arterial stiffening. An adequate intake of vitamin K2 has been shown to lower the risk of vascular damage because it activates matrix GLA protein (MGP), which inhibits the deposits of calcium on the walls.
The Rotterdam Study, a very large study done in the Netherlands that followed more than 4,800 adult men, found that the highest intake of vitamin K2 was associated with the lowest chances of suffering from aortic calcification. Men who consumed the most K2 were found to have a 52 percent lower risk of severe aortic calcification and a 41 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease.
The men in the study with the highest K2 intake also benefited from a 51 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 26 percent lower risk of dying from any cause (total mortality).
A 2017 study found that this vitamin was associated with a 12 percent increase in maximal cardiac output and that supplementation seemed to improve cardiovascular function in diseased patients. It seems to do this by restoring mitochondrial function and playing a “key role in production of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate” (ATP).
3. Supports Bone and Dental Health
For decades, vitamin K was known to be important for blood coagulation — but only recently human studies have uncovered how it support bone health and protect against vascular diseases, too.
According to a 2017 article published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, “K2 may be a useful adjunct for the treatment of osteoporosis, along with vitamin D and calcium.”
Another 2015 meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that “vitamin K2 plays kind of a role in the maintenance and improvement of vertebral bone mineral density and the prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.”
K2 benefits the skeletal system by taking calcium and helping usher it into bones and teeth to make them solid and strong. A number of animal and human studies have investigated whether or not vitamin K2 can be useful for helping prevent or treat fractures, osteoporosis and bone loss.
Certain clinical studies have found that K2 slows the rate of bone loss in adults and even helps increase bone mass, plus it may reduce risk of hip fractures and vertebral fractures in older women.
K2 can enhance osteocalcin accumulation in the extracellular matrix of osteoblasts inside bones, meaning it promotes bone mineralization. A 2018 review reports that there is also evidence to support the effects of vitamin k2 on differentiation of other mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts.
Additionally, it helps maintain the structure of the teeth and jaws. Many traditional cultures included K2 foods in their diets because they believed it could help prevent cavities, tooth decay and plaque formation. This impact was observed in the 1930s by dentist Weston A. Price, who found that the primitive cultures with K2-rich diets had strong, healthy teeth although they’d never been exposed to western dental hygiene.
It turns out that getting plenty of K2 during pregnancy is also important for fetal growth and bone health. During fetal development, having limited osteocalcin proteins activated (which require vitamin K2) equates to undergrowth of the lower third of the facial bone and jaw structure. Some experts believe this is the reason so many children in modern society need braces.
4. May Protect From Cancer
Some research shows that those who have high amounts of K2 in their diet are at lower risk of developing some types of cancers. For example, vitamin K2 may help to protect specifically from leukemia, prostate, lung, and liver cancers.
5. Defends From Rheumatoid Arthritis Damage
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, supplementing with vitamin K2 has been shown to result in a slowdown of bone mineral density loss and to decrease the amount of RANKL, an inflammatory compound, in the blood of subjects.
This suggests that K2 might be a useful supplement to a rheumatoid arthritis diet.
6. Improves Hormonal Balance
Inside our bones, K2 can be used to produce osteocalcin hormone, which has positive metabolic and hormonal effects.
Fat-soluble vitamins are important for the production of reproductive/sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. Because of its hormonal-balancing effects, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and postmenopausal women can benefit from getting more K2 in their diets, according to recent studies.
K2 can also helps promote blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk for metabolic problems like diabetes and obesity. Some research suggests that K2 helps regulate glucose metabolism by modulating osteocalcin and/or proinflammatory pathways.
7. Helps Promote Kidney Health
K2 may benefit the kidneys by helping prevent the formation of calcium accumulation in the wrong places, the underlying cause of kidney stones. It may also do the same for other organs, too, including the gallbladder.
In addition, a lack of K2 and vitamin D has been associated in studies with a higher occurrence of kidney disease.
What foods are high in vitamin k2? Vitamin K1 is found in mostly vegetables, while K2 is found in mostly animal products or fermented foods.
K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it’s present in animal foods that also contain fat, specifically saturated fat and cholesterol.
Animals help transform vitamin K1 into K2, while humans do not have the necessary enzyme to do this efficiently. This is why we benefit from getting K2 directly from animal-derived foods — and why sticking to grass-fed animal products provides the most K2.
The 20 best vitamin K2 foods include (percentages based on daily value requirement of 120 micrograms):
The more vitamin K1 an animal consumes from its diet, the higher the level of K2 that will be stored in the tissues. This is the reason that “grass-fed” and “pastured-raised” animal products are superior to products that come from factory farm raised animals.
Going back to the fact that vitamin K2 comes in several forms, MK7 is found in the highest concentration in animal foods, while the other types are found in mostly fermented foods. MK4 is the synthetic form of K2.
For those following a vegan diet, K2 can be hard to come by — unless you love natto! This “stinky sock” fermented soy food is an acquired taste and is also the only vegan source of K2. Fortunately, it’s also the richest source (and the food used to make the type of K2 supplement I recommend).
How much vitamin k2 do you need each day?
The minimum daily requirement of K2 in adults is between 90–120 micrograms per day.
Some experts recommend getting about 150 to 400 micrograms daily, ideally from K2 foods as opposed to dietary supplements.
Overall it’s recommended to tailor your dosage depending on your current health. People with a higher risk of heart disease or bone loss (such as older women) may benefit from getting a dose on the higher end of the spectrum (200 micrograms or more).
Those looking to maintain their health can get a bit less, especially from supplements, such as around 100 micrograms.
Is it beneficial to take vitamin K dietary supplements?
If you take a supplement that contains vitamin K, the chances are very likely that it’s vitamin K1 but not K2.
While some newer K2 supplements are now available, the type of supplement matters greatly.
MK4, the form of K2 found in many vitamin K supplements, is a synthetic K2 with a short half-life. This means that to get the full benefit of it, you have to take it multiple times throughout the day.
Often, an MK4 serving size is thousands of micrograms to counteract the half-life of the compound. However, MK7 derived from natto has a much longer half-life and can be taken in more reasonable doses like those listed above.
Remember that vitamin K works with other fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D, so the best way to obtain these nutrients is to eat foods that provide many different vitamins — like eggs and raw, full-fat dairy products.
Particularly for those at risk of osteoporosis, calcium should also be a nutrient you aim to eat a lot of while increasing your K2 intake.
What happens if you get too little vitamin K?
Symptoms of vitamin K2 deficiency can include:
Blood vessel and heart-related problems, like arterial calcification and high blood pressure
Poor bone metabolism and possibly higher risk for bone loss and hip fractures
Kidney and gallstones
Cavities and other dental issues tied to tooth decay
Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, like bloody stool, indigestion and diarrhea
Poor blood sugar balance and higher risk for blood sugar issues and diabetes
Higher chance of having morning sickness in pregnant women
Spider veins/varicose veins
Among adults living in industrialized nations, deficiency in this vitamin is considered to be rare. However, newborn babies and infants are much more susceptible to deficiency due to how their digestive systems lack the ability to produce K2.
Adults are at a greater risk of developing vitamin K2 deficiency if they suffer from any of these health conditions:
Diseases that affect the digestive tract, including types of inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or celiac disease
Malnutrition, due to calorie restriction or poverty
Excessive alcohol consumption/alcoholism
Use of drugs that block K2 absorption, which can include antacids, blood thinners, antibiotics, aspirin, cancer treatment drugs, seizure medication and high cholesterol drugs — cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and certain osteoporosis drugs inhibit the conversion of K2, which can greatly lower levels
Prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea
Risks and Side Effects
Is too much vitamin K2 bad for you? While it’s rare to experience side effects or vitamin k2 toxicity from getting high amounts from food alone, you might develop symptoms if you take high doses of vitamin K supplements.
However, for most people even high doses of this vitamin, such as 15 milligrams three times a day, have been shown to generally be safe.
Are there potential drug interactions to worry about? If you’re someone who takes the drug Coumadin, a potential side effect associated with taking too much vitamin K is increasing your risk for heart-related problems.
Too much vitamin K can also also contribute to complications in people with blood clotting disorders.
Look for a supplement that specifically lists menaquinone if you plan to supplement. Because vitamin K supplements can interact with many medications, talk to your doctor if you plan to take a vitamin K supplement and are taking any daily medications.
Vitamin K2 (also called menaquinone) is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with calcium metabolism, bone and dental health, heart health, and hormone balance.
Vitamin K1 is found in mostly green vegetables, while vitamin K2 (the more bioavailable form) is found in mostly animal products or fermented foods.
Benefits of getting more vitamin K2 from your diet include: helping to reduce your risk for calcification of the arteries, atherosclerosis, cavities, tooth decay, kidney problems, and hormonal imbalances.
This vitamin seems to be much more beneficial when obtained naturally from foods high in vitamin K2, rather than supplements. Consuming raw, fermented cheeses and other full-fat dairy products is the best way to get adequate amounts. Eggs, liver and dark meats are other good sources.
Each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 735,000 people suffer a heart attack and 610,000 people die of coronary heart disease (CHD). That’s one in four deaths. Preventing heart disease in patients is a physician’s main goal, but early detection is the next best thing. This can lead to changes in lifestyle and medical therapies that can delay or deny the onset of a heart attack; almost 80 percent of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle changes. Many of my patients are shocked to learn about the following clues to underlying clogged arteries and heart disease.
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Men have a built-in warning system for silent CHD. When achieving an erection is difficult or impossible, it can be a sign of clogged arteries in the pelvis that presents before a heart attack hits. There are, on average, three to five years between the onset of ED and the finding of CHD, which is plenty of time to detect and work on preventing heart issues. If you and your partner are worried about sexual performance, it’s smart to look for and treat the root causes of diseased arteries before automatically turning to a blue pill.
Calf pain when you walk
This is known as claudication (from the Latin for “to limp”). Atherosclerosis can block leg arteries, particularly in smokers, before CHD is diagnosed. This symptom requires an evaluation without delay. Your doctor will examine the pulses in your legs and perform simple measurements of leg blood pressure and blood flow to confirm a diagnosis of poor circulation. It is crucial that heart disease be diagnosed as early as possible because there are many dietary and medical treatments that can help reverse the problem. I advise my patients to eat more plant-based foods and fewer animal products and to start a walking program. Their calf pain completely resolved within weeks and has not recurred for years. Anyone with any of the above signs of silent CHD should know his or her numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting glucose). Ask your doctor if you should be checked for heart disease with an EKG, a coronary calcium CT imaging, or an exercise stress testing.
This symptom of clogged arteries occurs more often in women, but men should be aware of it, too. According to the Harvard Medical School, aches and pains in the jaw and neck are common symptoms of angina, which is the discomfort that results from poor blood flow to part of the heart. The pain occurs because the vagus nerve (the main nerve that carries pain signals from the heart) is in constant contact with the neck, jaw, head, and left arm. Visit your doctor to find out if your jaw pain is the result of something benign, such are teeth grinding, or if it’s something you’ll want to monitor with caution.
Lower back pain
Your lower back pain might not be a simple sign of aging muscles. According to the Physicians Community for Responsible Medicine, the lower back is also often one of the first parts of the body to accumulate plaque. You’ll feel pain because the reduced blood flow to the area can weaken the disks that cushion the vertebrae.
The chemicals in tobacco damage the structure and function of your blood vessels and damage the function of your heart. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. One of the best things you can do to decrease your risk of CHD is to quit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers help for quitting smoking.
Billions of ‘Microplastics’ in Your Tea From Each Plastic Teabag
A new study warns that even your soothing cup of tea might serve up some invisible health hazards.
Some tea companies are replacing traditional paper teabags with plastic ones, but the new bags may be adding billions of tiny bits of plastic to your beverage, a team from Canada reports.
“We show that steeping a single plastic teabag at brewing temperature [205 degrees Fahrenheit] releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage,” concluded a team led by Nathalie Tufenkji. She’s a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal.
The global proliferation of microplastics — bits of plastic so small they are often invisible to the naked eye — have made headlines recently, having been found in large numbers in ocean and tap water, seafood and even human poop.
“In the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing body of scientific literature demonstrating that not only are microplastics permeating the broader environment, they are entering our bodies, as well,” noted Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. He wasn’t involved in the new research.
Spaeth stressed that there’s just too little data on whether or not microplastics pose a threat to human health. However, “based on the molecular composition of microplastics, there is reason to have real concern about the potential health effects,” he said, “since they contain a variety of components known to harm human health — including hormone-disrupting chemicals, as well as human carcinogens.”
In the new study, the Montreal team noted that the heat of brewed tea can cause plastic tea bags to break down into bits of plastic that are thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. That means you can’t see, taste or feel them in your mouth.
Investigating further, the researchers removed the tea from plastic teabags sourced from four different manufacturers. They then washed out the empty bags and placed them in hot water.
Using a powerful electron microscope, Tufenkji’s team found that a single bag released close to 12 billion microplastic particles, and more than 3 billion of the [even smaller] nanoplastic particles, into the water.
These levels were thousands of times greater than seen in other foods, they noted.
In a separate experiment, the researchers fed varying doses of these particles to very tiny animals — water fleas. Although the fleas lived, they did exhibit some physical and behavioral abnormalities after being fed the microplastics, the researchers report Sept. 25 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Still, more research must be done to see if microplastics have health effects on humans, the McGill researchers said.
Spaeth said the new study “raises the specter that human exposure to microplastics is not just a result of the widespread contamination of the broader environment, but that our use of plastics in consumer products is notably adding to our microplastics exposure.” Steven Reinberg
In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests May Be a ‘Major Public Health Problem’
– Many more U.S. hospital patients suffer cardiac arrestthan previously thought, a new study reveals.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. It differs from a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked.
This new analysis concluded that there are about 38% more adult cases and 18% more cases in children each year than estimated in a 2011 report.
“Our findings illustrate a concerning trend in U.S. hospitals, and show that cardiac arrest is a major public health problem,” said study co-author Dr. Lars Andersen, an associate professor at Aarhus University in Denmark.
The findings stem from American Hospital Association survey data. They were published July 9 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
“Previous incidence estimates may no longer reflect the current public health burden of cardiac arrest in hospitalized patients across the U.S.,” Andersen said in a journal news release. He oversaw the study as a visiting researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Using recent U.S. hospital data, Andersen’s team estimated there are about 292,000 adult in-hospital cardiac arrests and 15,200 child in-hospital events each year.
That’s up from the 2011 estimates of 211,000 adult cases and 6,000 in children.
“Unfortunately, the data does not provide an explanation for the increase in adult in-hospital cardiac arrest, but it is likely due to many factors and may reflect an increase in actual events or in the reporting of cases over time,” Andersen said.
For example, the investigators believe the hike in pediatric cases is likely due to expanded reporting.
Andersen noted that life-support training programs tend to emphasize out-of-hospital resuscitation. The new findings suggest these programs should be expanded to include potential in-hospital responders, he said.
“It is also important to note that end-of-life discussions and decisions are crucial in order to avoid attempts at resuscitation in patients where it is likely futile or against a patient’s wishes,” Andersen said.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection characterized by fever and a typical rash most frequently seen on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the mouth. It should not be confused with foot (hoof) and mouth disease that affects cattle, sheep, and swine.
What causes hand, foot, and mouth disease?
HFMD is one of several infectious diseases caused by different members of the enterovirus family of viruses. The most common cause is Coxsackievirus A16; less frequently enterovirus 71 is the infectious agent. The clinical manifestations of routine HFMD are the same regardless of the responsible virus. However, patients infected with enterovirus 71 are more likely to experience rare complications (for example, viral meningitis or cardiac muscle involvement).
What are the risk factors for hand, foot and mouth disease?
Risk factors for developing HFMD include
summer and fall seasons,
toddler age range,
high-risk exposure location (such as daycare and preschool) and close contact (for example, family home) locations,
ineffective hygiene — infrequent soap and water hand-washing or not wearing disposable gloves when changing stool-containing diapers, and
a compromised immune system.
Is hand, foot, and mouth disease contagious? How does HFMD spread?
HFMD is spread person to person by direct contact with the infecting virus (either Coxsackievirus A16 or less commonly enterovirus 71). These viruses are most commonly found in the nasal and throat regions but also in the blister fluid or stool of infected individuals. The virus can survive on inanimate surfaces such as desktops, faucets, etc. It can then be transferred by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands. Likewise, changing diapers from an infected infant without wearing gloves or hand-washing can transmit disease. Water contaminated with the virus can also transmit the infection. Women who are infected shortly prior to delivery may pass on the infection to their infant. The baby will generally have a mild illness but should be monitored closely since in rare cases they could develop a more severe infection or experience complications. Infected individuals are most contagious during the first week of their illness. HFMD cannot be contracted from pets or animals.
The viruses that cause HFMD may remain in the person’s respiratory or intestinal tract for several weeks to months after all symptoms have resolved. It is possible, therefore, to transmit the infection even though the formerly ill individual has completely recovered. Some individuals (most commonly adults) may exhibit no symptoms or signs during their infection but may unwittingly transmit the illness to those (commonly infants and children) who are not immune.
What is the contagious period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Once exposed to the virus, those who develop symptoms and signs will do so within 1-3 days. They are most contagious during the first week of the illness. However, the virus may continue to be shed for one to three weeks in respiratory secretions (saliva and/or nasal mucous) and in the stool for two to eight weeks after the primary infection.
What is the incubation period for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
HFMD is moderately contagious and spreads from person to person. It cannot be spread by animals. Usually, the virus is passed via oral secretions (nasal discharge and saliva, etc.) or via stool. There is a short 1- to 3-day incubation period between exposure and development of initial symptoms (fever and malaise). A person is most contagious during the first week of illness.
Can adults get hand, foot, and mouth disease?
An adult who was never exposed to the viruses that cause HFMD as a child could develop the characteristic symptoms and physical signs (vesicular rash with the characteristic distribution) if infected by the virus. Interestingly, the majority of adults exposed to enteroviruses will remain without symptoms. Unfortunately, an infected person is still contagious even though he lacks objective physical findings.
What are the symptoms and signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
HFMD is most commonly an illness of the summer and fall seasons.
Initial symptoms of a low-grade fever (101 F-102 F) and malaise are followed within 1 or 2 days by a characteristic skin rash.
Small (2 mm-3 mm) red spots that quickly develop into small blisters (vesicles) appear on the palms, soles, and oral cavity.
The gums, tongue, and inner cheek are most commonly involved in the mouth.
The foot lesions may also involve the lower calf region and rarely may appear on the buttocks.
Oral lesions are commonly associated with a sore throat, uncomfortable eating and drinking, and as a result, a diminished appetite. It is very rare for an infected child to become dehydrated due to oral discomfort.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of those infected with this enterovirus never develop symptoms. Symptoms are much more common in infants, toddlers, and young children. Older children, teens, and adults are more likely to incur no symptoms.
When does hand, foot, and mouth disease usually occur?
In the temperate northern hemisphere, summer and fall are the most frequent seasons for community epidemics of HFMD. The illness is year-round in the tropics. While anyone exposed to the viral causes of HFMD may develop disease, not everyone infected will develop symptoms and signs
How long does hand, foot, and mouth disease last?
The total duration of illness from HFMD is approximately 5-7 days. One to three days after viral invasion of the patient, the first symptoms become evident. These include fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a general sense of feeling ill (malaise). One to two days later, the characteristic painful mouth sores develop. The final stage of the illness is manifested by small, tender red spots which progress to blisters in the mouth, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and less frequently on the arms and legs, as well as the buttock and genital areas.
What is the course of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
The illness is characteristically self-limited and is usually resolved within a week, particularly when due to its most common cause, Coxsackievirus A16. In those outbreaks due to enterovirus 71, the illness may be more severe with complications such as infection of the heart muscle and/or viral meningitis and encephalitis and paralytic disease. As a rule, HFMD is generally a mild and self-limited illness.
Why haven’t we heard more about hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Recognition of hand, foot, and mouth disease is relatively recent (when contrasted with mumps, measles, and chickenpox, for example). HFMD was first reported in 1956 in Australia. By the early 1960s, it had emerged as a common childhood illness around the world.
How do health care professionals diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Usually, the diagnosis of HFMD is made on a combination of clinical history and characteristic physical findings. Laboratory confirmation is rarely necessary unless severe complications develop.
What is the treatment for hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Treatment of HFMD is directed toward symptomatic relief of fever and sore throat. Antibiotics are not indicated in the treatment of this viral disease. Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) has been tried as a therapy for severely ill patients or immunocompromised older patients with variable success.
What are complications of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
Complications of HFMD are relatively rare. The more common cause of HFMD (Coxsackievirus A16) is less likely to cause complications when compared with enterovirus-71.
Complications include the following:
“Aseptic” (also called “viral”) meningitis (rare): Symptoms of meningitis are moderate-severe headache, discomfort when bending the head forward (classically tested by trying to touch the chin to the chest), and nausea and vomiting. Meningitis is an infection of the tissues and spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. The diagnosis is confirmed by a lumbar puncture (also known as a “spinal tap”). Depending upon severity of the patient’s symptoms, they may need to be hospitalized.
Encephalitis (brain infection): Encephalitis is much less common but more ominous when compared with meningitis and requires hospitalization for close monitoring. Other rare neurologic complications include paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, transverse myelitis, and cerebellar ataxia. Transient and permanent impairment can both occur.
Occasionally, the virus may infect the heart muscle fibers and thus compromise the heart’s blood-pumping capabilities.
Young infants may very rarely become dehydrated due to refusal to take oral fluids as a consequence of mouth pain.
In very rare circumstances, the skin vesicles may develop a secondary bacterial infection. A short course of antibiotics are used to treat the secondary infection.
How does hand, foot, and mouth disease affect pregnancy and the baby?
Commonly, HFMD is an illness of children less than 10 years of age; adults generally were exposed during childhood and maintain a natural immunity. Information regarding fetal exposure to HFMD during pregnancy is limited. No solid evidence exists that maternal enterovirus infection is associated with complications such as spontaneous abortion or congenital defects. However, should a baby be born to a mother with active HFMD symptoms and signs, the risk of neonatal infection is high. While such newborns often have a mild illness, a newborn infant is highly vulnerable and may develop an overwhelming and potentially fatal infection involving vital organs such as liver, heart, and brain, which could be fatal.
When can children with hand, foot, and mouth disease return to school?
Children may return to school once without fever for 24 hours (usually day three or four of the disease).
What is the prognosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease?
The prognosis for routine HFMD is excellent. A patient’s symptoms are bothersome but not debilitating. Medications designed to reduce fever and/or pain relievers are helpful, such as acetaminophen(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Young children often find that cool/soft foods (ice cream, smoothies, etc.) provide some pain relief and are psychologically helpful as “special treats.” An individual assessment is required for those unique individuals who develop complications (such as meningitis). As would be anticipated, those with an immunocompromised status are more likely to develop either a more serious infection or an illness of a more intense nature than those with a normally functioning immune system.
Is it possible to prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease?
There is no vaccine to prevent HFMD. Routine hygiene (soap and water washing of the hands) is a primary strategy to limit transmission of the virus. Cleaning a child’s toys (especially those which would be placed into the mouth or drooled upon) is important. Avoidance of direct saliva exposure (kissing, sharing eating utensils, etc.) is also very helpful to limit transmission. Since transmission of the virus is also possible via stool, wearing disposable gloves during changing of diapers (especially in a preschool or day care setting) is also beneficial.
Early Risers May Be a Little Less Likely to Get Breast Cancer
If you’re a woman who greets the early morning with a smile, new research delivers good news — you have a slightly reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
For night owls and people who tend to sleep more than the usual seven to eight hours nightly, the analysis suggested a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
“Sleep does impact health,” said study co-author Caroline Relton, a professor at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.
“The study found evidence for a protective effect of morning preference on breast cancer risk,” she said.
What the study team couldn’t tease out from the data was exactly why your sleep type — early bird or night owl — could affect your risk of breast cancer.
Eva Schernhammer, author of an editorial accompanying the study, said “one possible mechanism could relate to the misalignment between internal and external clocks.” She is chair of epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.
The disruption of a normal circadian rhythm can impact how the body functions. An example is the normal variation of melatonin levels, Schernhammer said in her editorial. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone.
Dr. Daniel Barone, a sleep specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant.
“If you’re reducing melatonin, that could potentially lead to an inflammatory response in the body,” he said. (Inflammation has been linked to cancer and other health conditions.)
Both Barone and Schernhammer pointed out that night-shift work has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Diet may be one reason why. He said it’s harder to find nutritious food options at night, and night-shift workers may get food from places like vending machines. Diet can impact heart disease and breast cancer risk.
The new analysis looked at two large groups of data, which included about 400,000 women altogether.
Previous studies had asked women about their sleep type — whether they preferred morning or evening, how long they slept, and whether or not they had insomnia.
But these researchers controlled the data to account for other factors that can affect breast cancer risk, including obesity, family history of breast cancer, alcohol use and smoking.
Women who said they were “morning people” were slightly less likely to develop breast cancer. The researchers said that early birds had about one less case of breast cancer per 100 women than did night owls.
So, should night owls be worried?
Maybe not just yet, said breast cancer surgeon Dr. Alice Police.
“This study suggests that there may be a lower incidence of breast cancer in ‘morning people,'” she said, but noted that the data in the study is “vague.”
“Until we understand other correlations, such as obesity rates and exercise rates in morning people versus night owls, I do not think definitive conclusions can be drawn,” Police added. She’s the Westchester regional director of breast surgery at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.
Relton agreed that more research is needed, particularly to figure out the underlying reason why morning people seem to have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
In the meantime, she said it’s possible that changing your sleep times to become more of a morning person might change your risk, though more research is necessary before doctors could make a specific recommendation.
If you’d like to try to get some shuteye earlier in the night, sleep expert Barone said the best change you could make is to limit “blue light” at night.
“Any screen you can look at without an additional light on is blue light, and blue light tells our brains that the sun is out and we should shut off melatonin production. Shut off blue light a good hour or so before bed to help keep the body more in tune with what it’s designed to do,” he said.
If you have trouble sleeping, taking a melatonin supplement a half-hour or so before bed can help, Barone noted.
If you’re wondering what else you might do to reduce the risk of breast cancer, editorial author Schernhammer said, “A woman should be more concerned about other, more established, breast cancer risk factors.”
Relton agreed, explaining that risk factors such as alcohol intake and obesity increase the risk of breast cancer much more than your sleeping pattern might.
Bad breath can be caused by bacteria from decaying food particles or debris in the mouth or can occur as the result of poor oral hygiene. To freshen your breath naturally, consider:
Eating hydrating foods. Oranges and organic celery – along with other water-rich produce – can help prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to halitosis. Also be sure to drink water throughout the day to maintain good hydration.
Ask your healthcare provider is magnesium is right for you, and what other supplements you must take with it. If he or she does not know then contact us.
Trying natural mouth fresheners. Chew on parsley after meals, sip on peppermint tea or fresh peppermint leaves, or chew (but don’t swallow) cardamom seeds. There are a number of probiotic-based toothpastes now that are worth considering for oral and breath health as well.
Are genetically engineered food and lab-grown meat the most sustainably regenerative choices available? Impossible Foods, creator of the meatless bleeding Impossible Burger, made with GMO soy, would like you to think so. After the release of its 2019 Impact Report,5 senior manager of impact strategy, Rebekah Moses, told FoodNavigator-USA:6
“We have done a tremendous amount of diligence and we’re confident that in using GMO soy, we are not taking a step backward in terms of sustainability.
Soy is really high yielding, it’s a good source of protein and it’s more efficient than wheat. You get so much more protein in a given harvest vs the amounts of water, energy and inputs needed to grow it.
Everything is very field-based, but at a high level, there is very little difference if any difference in the environmental impact of conventional vs herbicide tolerant soy and in some cases using herbicide tolerant soy enables you to adopt more sustainable practices such as the ability to reduce tillage, which is a win for the soil.
Similarly, the chemicals you spray to manage pests — that includes insects and weeds — in herbicide tolerant crops are lower toxicity than the alternatives [used to grow conventional soy].”
Impossible Foods takes aim at regenerative farming
Impossible Foods also points out that since meat from cows require about 30 pounds of corn and soy for every pound produced, GMO soy burgers reduce the net use of herbicides.
However, while this is true for livestock raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), it’s absolutely not the case for organic grass fed beef production, as pastured cattle eat grasses and never lay a nose to GMO grains of any kind.
So, while GMO soy burgers may have an environmentally competitive advantage over CAFO beef, it cannot compete with regenerative grazing as far as herbicide usage (or toxicity thereof) is concerned.
Despite such well-established facts, Impossible Foods takes aim directly at regenerative ranching in its report, claiming grass fed cattle ranching generates higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than cows raised in CAFOs.7,8 What it fails to include is evidence9 showing grass fed ranching actually has net negative emissions after all relevant factors are taken into account.
Is fake food really the answer we’re looking for?
Impossible Foods’ impact report is hard to reconcile with other established data showing GMO soybean and corn farms are a primary source of water10 and air pollution.11 GMO soybeans and corn have also been identified as primary destroyers of grasslands and forests.12,13
Regenerative grazing is also a key activity required for the optimal sequestering of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into our rangelands and pasturelands, while GMO soy production is associated with resistant super weeds14 and super pests and uncontrollable cross contamination.
Impossible Burger also skirts the issue of nutrition by focusing solely on the intake of protein in general, ignoring the fact that grass fed beef contains a complex mix of nutrients (including healthy fats) and cofactors you simply cannot recreate by mixing together an assortment of plant-based components.
GMO soy linked to ecological devastation
To learn more about the ecological impact of soy, check out the Greenpeace documentary “Soy: In the name of progress.” Also take a look at Dan Charles’ 2013 NPR article,15 “Pictures don’t lie: Corn and soybeans are conquering U.S. grasslands.” He writes, in part:
“Grasslands are disappearing … They’re being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans … A study16published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows actual pictures — derived from satellite data — of that changing landscape.
The images show that farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska converted 1.3 million acres of grassland into soybean and corn production between 2006 and 2011.
‘This is kind of the worst-kept secret in the Northern Plains. We just put some numbers on it,’ says Christopher Wright, from South Dakota State University, who got funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy to take a close look at this phenomenon …
Wright’s images are striking, and these changes are having profound effects on the environment of this region. For instance, it’s bad news for wildlife, because corn fields are much less inviting habitat for a wide range of wild creatures, from ground-nesting birds to insects, including bees.
Corn and soybean fields are increasingly encroaching into the Prairie Pothole region of the Dakotas and Minnesota, the most important breeding habitat for waterfowl in North America.
In southern Iowa, Wright says, much of the land conversion is taking place on hillsides. The soil of those fields, without permanent grass to hold it in place, is now much more likely to wash into streams and ponds.”
Modern agriculture largely responsible for death of our oceans
Chemical runoff is indeed among the most significant threats posed by these gigantic monocrop fields. As noted by National Resources Defense Council:17
“Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water or air, is the number-one threat to water quality worldwide and can cause algal blooms, a toxic soup of blue-green algae that can be harmful to people and wildlife.”
Similarly, a June 11, 2019 PBS News Hour article18 warns that “A ‘dead zone’ the size of Massachusetts could hit the Gulf this summer,” based on the latest forecast19 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“If this prediction holds true, this event would be the second largest on the list of Gulf dead zones in more than three decades,” PBS reports, noting this dead zone “would be 50% larger than the average seen in the last five years.”
The reason for the massive increase in algal blooms that kill marine life by sucking up all the oxygen is blamed on heavy rainfall increasing chemical runoff from fertilizer-enriched farmland — in the case of the Gulf, farmland surrounding the Mississippi River. As reported by The Washington Post:20
“Analyses from U.S. Geological Survey monitors in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya watersheds showed that discharge from these rivers was 67 percent greater than the 1980-2018 average. The amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus spilling into the Gulf were 18 percent and 49 percent above average, respectively.”
What’s more, “Even if nitrogen runoff was eliminated today from the Mississippi River, a 2018 study in the journal Science found, it would take at least 30 years for the Gulf dead zone to recover,” The Washington Post notes.21
Savory Institute responds to Impossible Foods’ attack
Impossible Foods specifically mentions the Savory Institute in its report, boldly claiming that Savory’s regenerative grazing theories have been “thoroughly debunked.” In response, the Savory Institute issued a statement saying:22
“This is not the first, nor will it be the last, attempt to discredit Holistic Management as a sleight-of-hand for promoting and profiting off of large scale industrial agriculture …
Claims that our work has been ‘debunked’ disregard not just the millions of acres that have been regenerated globally and the tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities who have stewarded this land transformation and witnessed it firsthand …
[T]hey also overlook the growing body of peer-reviewed evidence documenting that properly-managed livestock can be a net positive for grassland ecosystems,23carbon drawdown,24wildlife habitat,25 and rural communities.26”
Savory also highlights a third-party lifecycle analysis27 (LCA) of a holistic ranch, showing properly grazing livestock “when taking a full accounting of all greenhouse gases in and out of their farming operation,” is a net carbon sink. As noted in the analysis, “Carbon footprint evaluation of regenerative grazing at White Oak Pastures”:28
“Traditional LCAs don’t account for soil carbon sequestration and therefore don’t take into account the full carbon story for regenerative agriculture systems … Soil samples were taken and evaluated to quantify soil carbon sequestration and allow a highly credible inclusion of this information into the LCA …
As there is little information published on this topic and the outcomes challenge much conventional thinking on beef’s carbon footprint, careful consideration should be given to the conclusions and messaging.”
According to this analysis — notably performed by the very same company that conducted Impossible Burger’s LCA — the carbon footprint of beef from White Oak Pastures is 111% lower than conventional CAFO beef, as the “system effectively captures soil carbon, offsetting a majority of the emissions related to beef production.”
Regenerative grazing creates net carbon sink
All things considered, including enteric emissions, manure emissions, soil carbon capture, vegetation carbon, miscellaneous farm activities, slaughter and transport, the total net carbon emissions from the beef production on White Oak Pastures was found to be a negative 3.5 kilos of carbon emissions per kilo of fresh meat, making this integrated, holistic system six times more carbon efficient than the average CAFO production model. Importantly, as noted by Savory:29
“What Impossible Burger seems to have conveniently omitted is that their GMO soy-based product is still a net carbon emitter in comparison to White Oak’s properly-managed livestock that create a net carbon sink.
Could it be that GMO soy-based Impossible Burger feels threatened by the regenerative movement? In a world where current agricultural practices have eroded soils to the point of having less than 60 harvests left (according to the UN FAO30), the solution is not to maximize efficiencies in the broken, extractive, industrial model …
Rather, as environmentally-conscious businesses and individuals, we must address the root cause and adopt land management practices that honor the symbiotic relationships of plants and animals. One cannot exist without the other, so we must reevaluate our preconceived notions and return to farming in nature’s image.”
White Oaks Pastures invites Impossible Foods for a visit
Will Harris, owner of White Oaks Pastures and president of the American Grassfed Association, has taken matters a step further, issuing an open invitation to Impossible Foods’ officials to visit his farm to get a thorough understanding of how regenerative grazing actually works. In a statement, Harris writes:31
“As an independent professional rancher, who has practiced regenerative land management on our family farm for more than 20 years, I can state unequivocally that Impossible Burger’s claims about regenerative grazing are incorrect.
Not only is our business financially successful on a large scale, but we are accumulating data showing that our practices are enhancing the carbon sequestration potential of the soil on the lands we manage.
Today I am publicly inviting Impossible Foods representatives to visit my farm and see for themselves the many social, economic and environmental benefits of regenerative grazing.
I would be grateful to share our recent Life Cycle Assessment that clearly demonstrates that the carbon footprint of our farm results in a positive impact on the environment — a claim that imitation meat companies cannot make.”
Meat replacement companies need to demonstrate superiority
On his website, Harris also highlights some of the other benefits of regenerative farming and why we need it:32
“Land is meant to be a living thing. It contains the natural order of all living things: Life, Growth, Death, Decay, Life, Growth, Death, Decay. The land is our teacher. Looking back to the evolution of our ecosystem informs the way we manage land today.
The energy cycle, carbon cycle, mineral cycle, microbe cycle, water cycle have all co-evolved with plants, microbes, and animals since our planet’s creation. Our passion is to create an environment that allows these cycles to flow freely: microbes feed plants which feed the animals which spread urine and feces to microbes which feeds the plants which feed the animals.”
Just how exactly does cultivating fake meat in an industrial facility improve the ecology of our environment? Again, we’re not just talking about which strategy is the least destructive, we’re talking about which one actually improves the environment the most.
“Talk is cheap” they say, and in the case of Impossible Burger’s claims that certainly rings true. They (and other meat replacement companies) really need to tangibly demonstrate how their system is better, overall, and not just on some minor point, than the regenerative system.
Grazing livestock is integral to ending ecological destruction
In the podcast above, Sustainable Dish interviews Ronnie Cummins, executive director and co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association, about the importance of grass fed livestock farming for climate stability, environmental health, sustainability and regeneration.
As explained in many previous articles, livestock are important components that make farming truly regenerative, as they help build healthy soils. Lab-derived meat substitutes do not actually contribute anything to this healthy ecological cycle.
When animals are raised according to regenerative agriculture, a healthy ecosystem is produced and then more or less effortlessly maintained. So, eating meat is not synonymous with environmental harm; it’s industrial farming practices — CAFOs — that inflict the damage.
Some also believe eating meat means ripping out more forests so animals can graze, but I’m certainly not advocating for that. U.S. cropland is currently dominated by a two-crop planting cycle of corn and soybeans, largely for animal feed. Like CAFOs, these monocrops are devastating the environment, and even though they’re plant foods, they are part of the problem, not the solution.
Getting rid of these large swaths of corn and soy fields — which are laden with chemicals and largely devoid of life — is key, as is reverting them back to what they were before, namely grasslands for grazing animals.
Grasslands are key to fixing many environmental problems, and herbivores are a necessary part of this ecosystem. By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals — meaning allowing livestock to graze freely, and moving the herd around in specific patterns — farmers can support nature’s efforts to regenerate and thrive.
Long-term health effects of fake meat are still unknown
Aside from the fact that fake meat production doesn’t have any regenerative capabilities that would benefit the ecosystem, there’s also the issue of health effects. A number of studies have highlighted the risks of ultraprocessed foods, showing they raise your risk of cancer, and the more ultraprocessed foods you eat, the greater your risk.
In one,33,34,35,36 which included 104,980 participants followed for an average of five years, 18.74% of the men’s diet and 18.71% of women’s was ultraprocessed, and each 10% increase in ultraprocessed food raised the cancer rate by 12%, which worked out to nine additional cancer cases per 10,000 people per year.
The risk of breast cancer specifically went up by 11% for every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food. While sugar and unhealthy fats are key staple ingredients suspected of causing these effects, there’s reason to believe fake meat might have a similar impact, for a number of reasons.
For starters, the Impossible Burger meat substitute is the epitome of a highly-processed food — seeing how it’s manufactured from start to finish, and involves the use of man-made ingredients — placing it squarely in the higher-risk category.
Secondly, GMO soy has been shown to have a number of health risks all by itself. Third, the human body is not designed to process fake meat and there’s no telling what the long-term health ramifications might be. Even the liberal U.S. Food and Drug Administration has raised concerns over the soy leghemoglobin in the Impossible Burger being a possible human allergen.37,38,39
Fourth, GMO soy is loaded with glyphosate, the health risks of which are of increasing concern as it’s now being found in most processed foods, including non-GMO foods. Recent testing by Moms Across America (MMA) revealed concerning levels of glyphosate in the Impossible Burger.40
Fake meat isn’t about humanitarianism; it’s about profit
You really need to question the rationale for creating expensive fake meat alternatives when a far less expensive and more reasonable answer is readily available. What’s worse, fake meats may ultimately create more problems than they solve, as laboratory derived meat substitutes are not part of the ecological cycle and health hazards are as yet entirely unknown.
This basic lack of understanding affects safety regulations pertaining to processing and manufacturing as well. Commenting on the open questions pertaining to fake chicken production, Al Almanza, former acting deputy undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, noted that we still do not know “what’s normal or abnormal, and thus potentially unsafe, in a cultured-chicken plant.”41
Without this knowledge, food inspectors have no idea what to look for, companies cannot devise and implement proper safety protocols and regulators cannot make regulations to ensure safety. The same applies to fake beef,
In its report “From Lab to Fork: Critical Questions on Laboratory-Created Animal Product Alternatives,”42 released in June 2018, Friends of the Earth calls for more stringent safety assessments, regulations and labeling requirements.
The report highlights a number of health and safety concerns and environmental impacts hidden beneath “climate-friendly” claims. It also points out the lack of substantiation for “clean meat,” “animal-free,” “plant-based” and “sustainable” claims.43
All in all, it seems that, contrary to the PR being churned out, the creation of fake meat products is not about feeding the world or eliminating animal suffering. It’s about dominating billionaires looking to put patents on the food system.
Go grass fed, not lab bred
While many view lab-created meat substitutes as the lesser of two evils when comparing it to the CAFO meat that currently dominates the market, taking nature out of the equation altogether is not the answer, especially since holistic herd management is an integral part of the regenerative agriculture equation.
Ultimately, creating fake food is not the answer to solving the problems associated with conventional meat. For health reasons as well as ecological reasons, I recommend skipping the meat alternatives and opting for real beef raised the right way instead.
When you do shop for meat, go to a local organic farmer or look for Demeter (biodynamic) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) certifications. Both indicate high-quality, sustainable and environmentally sound food.