Jan 03
2013

Sugar's Toxic Effects

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

poison sugarIt's addictive, unregulated, and linked to multiple adverse health effects. It has even been branded a toxic substance. Yet sugar remains an almost inescapable ingredient in the modern American diet.

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LustigUS policy for decades has emphasized making cheap food available, promoting dairy, corn and other grains. This has successfully supported those sectors of American agriculture, says Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California San Francisco. But while farmers, and especially food producers have profited, consumers are paying a double price.

Federal crop subsidies have effectively held down food prices for American consumers. But Dr. Lustig suggests there is a downside to that, too.

fatty liver diseaseFrench farmers stuff geese with carbohydrates to produce fatty livers for pate. Humans are doing much the same to themselves by consuming too much sugar. The consequences, only now becoming apparent, will likely be devastating, in an emerging epidemic of what Lustig terms, fatty liver disease.

In Lustig's view, sugar, and fructose in particular, should be regulated as a toxic substance that can have adverse health affects, just as we do with alcohol, which has similar metabolic consequences. But he knows that's not likely to happen any time soon.

 

Jan 02
2013

New Ag Certifications

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

Windfall gravsBushels of apples rotting in the ground in back yard orchards. Kids who can't eat the lettuce from their school garden. New county rules taking effect this month will help ease these situations.

Sonoma StampSmall farmers who seek the new "Approved Produce Gardener" Certifications, will have to abide by a set of Best Management Practices, but Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar says they are not terribly burdensome.

muffinsHome-based food producers, or "cottage food operators" are blocked from selling meat pies or tamales under the state Health Department's regulations, as those are considered "potentially hazardous" food items. But it is possible to petition the state to make changes to their list of allowable products, says Christine Soskol, of the Sonoma County Environmental Health Department. She adds that the list of approved foods is lengthy.

Dec 31
2012

New Home for Sebastopol Arts Center

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

Gallery 1Art exhibits, film and literary events, classes in drawing, painting and ceramics and even piano lessons now share the Sebastopol Veteran's building with the local VFW chapter. And everybody's happy with the new arrangement.

EntrySebastopol Center for the Arts Board President Robert Brent and Executive Director Linda Galletta, outside the Center’s new home at the Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building. The local VFW chapter will also continue to call the facility home, sharing the space with the arts group. Above, the new, flexible gallery exhibit space in the building’s former auditorium. (KRCB photos)The announcement that the Sebastopol Center for the Arts would move into and take over management of the Sebastopol Veteran's Building came as a surprise to many. But Executive Director Linda Galletta says it was the culmination of a lengthy series of conversations that wound up benefitting all the parties involved.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 27
2012

Unraveling Marin's Breast Cancer Cluster

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Untagged 

Bruce Robinson

vitaminsVitamin D and variations in how women metabolize it, could play a role in Marin County's high breast cancer rate, suggests recent research. Kathie Dalessandri, a surgeon and research in Pt. Reyes Station, published a report this fall in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons linking breast cancer to a genetic variant in vitamin D receptors.

Post-menopausal women with this receptor variant, Dalessandri says, could be especially affected by low vitamin D levels.

KathieDalessandri is eager to see her results replicated in larger studies. Locally she's anticipating the Marin Women's Study, a breast cancer research study involving more than 14,000 Marin County women.

Vitamin image courtesy of Flickr user ckaiserca (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ckaiserca/). 

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