Interesting news day…

Reading the news today, it just seemed too interesting to not make a few little notes on some intriguing stories:

    • rising obesity responsible for sharp climb in disability rates


    • herbal medicine fad destroying habitat


  • farmed salmon potentially dangerous to health

Obesity and disability

The Rand corporation released a study showing that disability rates for Americans aged 30-39 rose 50% (from 118 to 182 per 10,000) between 1984 and 1996, and that the major cause was increased obesity among Americans.
“We’ve always had the assumption that medical science is advancing and that people are getting healthier, but that is not the case,” said Darius Lakdawalla, lead author of the study.

See also the Rand News Release.

Herbal Cures and Habitat

According to Reuters:
“Worldwide demand for herbal remedies is threatening natural habitats and endangering up to a fifth of wild medicinal plant species which are being harvested to extinction, a leading science magazine said on Wednesday.”

Farmed Salmon Loaded with Chemicals
This is sort of old news. We know that most farmed fish are terrible for the environment because of all the waste. We also know that modern industrial fishing techniques are destroying ocean habitat at an alarming rate. It’s a lose-lose situation. Now it appears to be a lose-lose-lose situation: farmed salmon also turns out to be relatively toxic. One to two servings per month is all you can safely eat without exceeding EPA levels for intake of PCBs and other harmful agents. In the following quote, the cities refer to where the fish was bought, not farmed:

“Farmed salmon taken from markets in Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Paris, London, Oslo, Boston, San Francisco, and Toronto had the highest levels, and the researchers said consumers should eat no more than one-half to one meal of salmon per month. A meal was eight ounces (one-quarter of a kg) of uncooked meat.”