The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 14, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

The Global ‘Americanization’ of Diet

I remember many years ago watching television about subjects and events that occurred in foreign countries. When they scanned the places features, particularly cities, the ubiquitous Cocoa Cola stood out in stark contrast to the shop signs in native languages. Coke was, and has been, the leader in exporting poor nutritional content to the outreaching arms of the huddled masses.

U.S. food aid programs soon followed suit with foodstuffs that were processed for long shelf life. Then the food industry got in to the act. Here and abroad, highly processed food has become the norm in country after country. A study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found obesity rates and obesity related diseases increased dramatically since 1980.

” The study found that the proportion of overweight and obese people increased in every country in the world between 1980 and 2013, and that nutrition-related diseases, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer, are also increasing.”

The disturbing news? Not one country bucked the trend. Nutrient deficient food is now the norm across the globe.

Open thread – discuss.



30 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 14, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

    • Hey! If their skin is brown, nationality isn’t going to help them…PS, is a smoiking gun a pistol with a sly grin on it’s handle?

  1. QOTD:

    “9/11 will turn out to be not nearly as bad as the next mass casualty attack against the United States.” — Dick Cheney

    In other risky predictions, I say the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

    • Must Halloween, all the evil fookers are again walking the earth predicting doom and the Apocalypse…. can we parachute that coont into Anbar province and just say ‘sorry Achmed – it’s his fault though, he’s all yours’

  2. Ann Romney Launches New Center To Study Neurological Diseases

    On Tuesday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the Romneys are launching the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases, a research facility that will focus on finding cures and new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (known as ALS), Parkinson’s disease and brain tumors.

    I’m just a little too cynical to believe this would have happened if she didn’t have a neurological disease. ‘Cure me first!’

    • I personally think it’s going to be a center for wealthy people with Tourette’s syndrome.
      Mitt will be the first patient but will remain incurable.
      He will continue to blurt out stupid shit like “corporations are people my friend”
      Along with Youtube classics like “Who let the dogs out”? and, the all time favorite,
      “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax.”

  3. What Would Milton Friedman Do About Climate Change?

    Tax Carbon

    Leading economists at the “Mecca” of free-market economics, the University of Chicago, evoked their most prominent predecessor, Milton Friedman, last week in advocating a price on carbon to address climate change.


    “What’s happening when we turn on the lights, when the power is derived from a coal plant, or when we drive our car, is that carbon dioxide is emitted into the air, and that’s sprinkling around damages in Bangladesh, London, Houston,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and the director of the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago.

    “And those costs are real, and they’re not being reflected in the costs of that electricity or the tank of gas. Emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere does allow you to produce electricity more cheaply, but there’s a whole other set of people who are being punished or penalized. It’s a poor idea of economics.”


    Cicala defined an “externality” as an effect on a third party caused by the mutually beneficial exchange that occurs in a free market. For example, there’s a benefit to the power company when it produces electricity and sells it to the consumer, and there’s a benefit to the consumer when electricity is available for purchase.

    But when a third party not participating in that exchange suffers costs without compensation, the market has produced a negative externality.

    “It is theft,” Cicala said. “That’s a loaded term, but if anyone can come up with a better term for taking something from people without their consent and without compensating them, I’m happy to use that term.”

    Without accounting for the externalities, (a term Thom Hartmann has been using for years), the energy market is not a free one. Fossil fuels are not as cheap as their proponents would have you believe, if the externalities are factored in to the cost to society. It would be easier to show these costs to the public if we had a national health system, and the sickness caused by pollution was a calculable number on the nation’s spreadsheet.
    The RWNJs are going to have a much harder time denying climate change and its costs if their favorite economists acknowledge both.

  4. Alison Grimes is a ‘dead candidate running’ in Kentucky against McConnell, and rightfully so for her wishy-washy, cowardly stances.

  5. Thom Hartmann just called Ronan Farrow, ‘the daughter of Mia Farrow’. Later Thom referred to Farrow as ‘he’. Freudian slip?

  6. Libertarian Candidate In Iowa Senate Race Dies In Plane Crash

    Doug Butzier, the Libertarian candidate in the Iowa race for U.S. Senate, was killed in a plane crash on Monday, Butzier’s wife confirmed to local Iowa TV station KCRG-TV.

    The crash happened near Dubuque Regional Airport. Butzier was the sole occupant of the single-engine plane. The plane happened roughly one mile north of the runway of Ankeny Regional Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    This benefits pig castrater Joni Ernst, if the Libertarian votes swing her way, albeit, he was only polling around 2%. If I was a third party candidate, that might pull votes from a Republican, I’d watch my back. Karl Rove and the Kochs aren’t above murder to steal a Senate majority, IMO.

  7. Prediction time!

    I bet the rightwhiners are giddy. They will see this news as an opportunity to make simultaneous claims that Obama is a incompetent boob who is afraid to make a nomination before the elections and a criminal mastermind who is waiting for the results of said elections before unleashing the next step in his evil plot to destroy ‘Murika. And, of course, the mouth breathers who still listen to the professional rightwhiners will never notice, much less acknowledge, the inherent contradiction.

    • They are still distracted by Benghazi and of course Ebola!
      Give them a week before it dawns of them about AG

    • I’m still not convinced that the radiation from DU is the culprit. The symptoms observed are consistent with exposure to many forms of toxic chemicals; from white phosphorus to heavy metals to plastics to rocket and artillery propellants. The toxic soup created by modern munitions is, IMHO, doing damage beyond the simple answer of the radioactivity of DU.

      Here’s a radical idea. How about we “civilized nations” just stop the indiscriminate bombardment of foreign cities?

      • DU isn’t nearly as radioactive as other Uranium isotopes, but it still emits plenty of alpha particles, and that’s not good. You’re right, though, that the other shit is also nasty.

        I agree totally that we “just stop the indiscriminate bombardment of foreign cities” immediately. And then we need to cut the war budget by at least 2/3rds and leave it like that for the foreseeable. I’m sure the MIC will understand that to quit all warmongering is best for all and that they’ll willingly start making plowshares instead of weapons.

        Yeah, right.

        • We are in agreement, frugal. Radioactivity is so bizarre and counter intuitive that it’s easy to make it the culprit responsible for odd occurrences. Many of the effects being observed in Iraq are not really consistent with the alpha decay of DU. I think it’s a better explanation for respiratory effects in adults than the birth defects and other effects in newborns.

    • There is some damn memo with ‘talking points’ that goes out to the idiotic GOP and the sheep faithfully follow spewing it out to the public…
      if Obama wanted to ruin this country – it would have been done by now.

    • Speaking of cats – how is that new addition to your family getting along with others? And does he have name?

      • Our new addition is still wreaking havoc in our household. After observing him for a couple of weeks, we tried out ‘Taz’, for the cartoon Tasmanian Devil. It just didn’t feel right, so we have now settled on “Squiggy,” and sometimes “Squee.” He is psycho, plus he seems to have a cloaking device, and can move at warp speed. The little devil is tormenting the others, chasing them, ambushing them, biting their tails. The two other males, Fitzgerald and Buster, stay outside as much as they can. All of them (along with Wayne and I, of course) have tried disciplining him, but he’s only recently started to understand (and occasionally obey), the word “NO.”

        But when he’s being good, or just playing with his toys, he really is adorable. He likes to perch on our shoulders, but he also has a penchant for leaping onto my back unexpectedly. Right now he’s in my lap, trying to grab my opal pendant. He wants to walk on the keyboard, too. I have to put him back into the living room, so that I can go dry my hair.


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