2016 has seen bird flu outbreaks in many countries. Currently its “rocking” Europe, but earlier in the year it hit Iraq and South Korea . In Iraq’s case it was the H5N1, which can also infect and kill people, but the current European outbreak is H5N8. This particular subtype of H5N8 bird flu was first found in China in 2014 but reached Europe in the same year. The globalisation of factory farming and its products will mean a steady increase in new viruses and its only a matter of time before there is another Swine Flu … a deadly species jump which killed some 284,000 people in its first 12 months.
It’s always interesting when a person changes their mind. Peter Clifton is a co-author of the biggest selling diet book in Australian history … The CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet. A diet built on research involving 200 grams of red meat per day. The book sold over a million copies and, wait for it, we still have an obesity epidemic. In the research on which the best selling diet was based, the people on the high meat diet lost exactly the same amount of weight as the people on the control diet; which shouldn’t be surprising because both diets contained the same number of kilojoules.
But the CSIRO simply told the public the opposite, namely that people on the diet lost more weight …when they didn’t. So it’s not surprising that a million copies of the diet hasn’t solved our obesity problems. The diet didn’t work and the CSIRO knew as much. What’s Clifton doing these days? He began a 2011 study with the words:
Meat protein is associated with an increase in
risk of heart disease. Recent data have shown that meat
protein appeared to be associated with weight gain over
6.5 years, with 1 kg of weight increase per 125 g of meat
And now in 2016 he’s looking further at the link between red and processed meat and diabetes. Eat a meal of red meat and bread … rather like a hamburger … and your insulin levels spike. Do this often enough and you may develop insulin resistance and diabetes.
Will we ever see a CSIRO vegan diet? Don’t hold your breath.
A recent study in one of the world’s top climate science journals recommended a substantial tax on meat and dairy products.
The lead author told The Guardian “It is clear that if we don’t do something about the emissions from our food system, we have no chance of limiting climate change below 2C.”
But still Australian politicians from across the political spectrum, including The Greens, continue to give Australia’s largest source of climate heat little to no attention. The article points out that it isn’t only the climate that will benefit.
“In addition, measures to change diets away from emissions-intensive food commodities, such as meat and dairy, towards more plant-based diets are seen to offer great potential for reducing GHG emissions, and could be associated with additional co-benefits in terms of improvements in human health …”