Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

How does the state of our agriculture today compare to twenty years ago? How similar are our farming issues and healthcare ones? Can they even be separated? Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck Benbrook PhD, chief scientist at The Organic Center to discuss the findings in a new provocative report comparing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations in the 1989 NAS/NRC report “Alternative Agriculture” and the June 29, 2010 NAS/NRC report “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century.” The later report assesses and updates the former, and since Benbrook served as the executive director on  NAS/NRC board that produced the “Alternative Agriculture” report, I find his perspective on the updates particularly insightful.  My interview follows:

AK: Since 1989 what do you see as the biggest changes that have occurred / are occurring in Agriculture?

CB: On the public health side, the dramatic upward trajectory in the rates of obesity and diabetes is triggering a long overdue awakening of interest in health promotion, as opposed to disease treatment.  We are finally beginning to take seriously the notion that what and how we grow food, and what we eat, impacts health outcomes.  The growing frequency and severity of reproductive and neurological problems – especially autism, ADHD, and other learning disabilities in children – have focused more science on the impacts of chemicals in food.  Pressure will continue to grow on farmers, the food industry, and government to clean up the food supply.  About time. (more…)


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Great NYTimes article this week about a Harvard study showing the benefits of brown rice versus white rice. Eating Brown Rice to Cut Diabetes Risk – http://nyti.ms/9xn06n

The key takeaways here are that the results were shown a) for actual brown rice – not brown rice flour pasta or puffed rice cereal or rice cakes which likely wouldn’t achieve the same results; b) that it was for swapping out brown rice for white rice.

Why? The article points out that the brown rice contains more nutrients – fiber, magnesium and we could add chromium too – compared to white rice. This is an example of why true whole grains trump refined ones.

If you want to try this suggestion make sure to choose an organic option which ensures more nutrients and less pesticides so that you get optimal health benefits from your food.

AKA loves Seeds of Change Organic rice, Lundberg Organic rice (not all are organic), Lotus has some organic, Eden Foods has organic too. A portion is the size of your fist and goes great with hemp seeds and spices and olive oil for a nutrient-balanced vegetarian eating occasion. Or try the rice with organic scrmabled eggs and chives and hot sauce for an “un-fried” rice option. Or mix it with nuts, cinnamon and stevia for a hearty breakfast bowl.

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