Watch NFL linebacker Brian Cushing puke an endless stream of vomit

In hockey coaching camp, we’re told, the old school ways of making kids skate until they puke is a no-no.

I agree.

Apparently, the concussion-free National Football League hasn’t gotten that message, as Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing demonstrated at a NFL training camp.

Watch Cushing prove to everyone that he’s only human by puking for nearly a minute during last night’s episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks.

A pox of poo on you, soccer star

Chelsea’s star forward Eden Hazard is no joke. Having created more chances to score last season than any other player in the Premier League, it’s no wonder people have compared him to La Liga greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

D0W30WOr that he was voted the league’s Player of the Year last season. Quite frankly, Hazard is intimidating to his opponents — even Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, who jokingly said on Friday that he hopes Hazard comes down with messy intestinal issues so that he wouldn’t be able to play on Sunday.

“You’d almost hope that Eden Hazard would have diarrhea,” the defender told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad this week (via the Guardian).

HPP may be safe but this advert is bad

In 2005, Hormel Foodservice became the first meat processor to make a significant investment in High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP).

HPP is employed after the meat is sliced and packaged — so there is no opportunity for harmful pathogens and food spoilage organisms to re-enter the package, and no need for taste-altering preservatives.

Sounds good, although I wonder about the potential for contamination once the package is opened.

But check out this ad which is a good example of marketers messing up science.

Expectant mothers are advised not to eat cold cuts and other refrigerated ready-to-eat foods because of the potential for Listeria contamination.

In addition to the medieval stirrups and a stereotypical representation of birth, there is no mention of why this lunchmeat may be OK other than, it has no preservatives.

Bad Hormel, bad.

Stick to singing? Justin Timberlake’s restaurant fails NY inspection

To be fair, it’s not sure how much JT is involved in the restaurant these days.

But his name’s on it, so there’s a potential for stigma.

justin.timberlakeJustin Timberlake’s New York City restaurant has been hit with charges of sanitation violations during a recent health inspection, including a citation for mice activity.

Officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene gave the Sexy Back hitmaker’s Southern Hospitality venue a routine examination in July, and according to the department’s records, the place received four violations.

In the documents obtained by GossipCop.com, two of those violations were critical, with the first showing “evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food area”, adding the venue has “conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.” The other citation suggests an area of the kitchen which comes in contact with food was “not properly washed, rinsed and sanitised after each use, and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.” The final grade for Southern Hospitality is still pending, and the restaurant remains open.

Food porn hero shot: Tricks of TV cooking shows

I can’t watch cooking shows.

The music is terrible, the chefs are awful and food safety is essentially non-existent (see paper we wrote over a decade ago).

celebrity_chefs4 A post on the social media site Reddit asked people who have worked on the set of food shows to reveal the strangest things they’ve seen while working.

According to user ‘Elroypaisley’ who worked on a daytime talk show with daily cooking segments, most the hard work is done by a food stylist behind the scenes.

“Most of the food is either A) not edible (under cooked chicken, just browned on the outside to look good for camera or sprayed with shining spray to make it look glossy) or B) Eaten by the crew,” write the redditor.

“The most enlightening fact, for me, was that many of the chefs have no idea what the recipe is, what they are cooking when they arrive or how it’s made.

“A food stylist shows up two hours before taping, having been up the night before all night making the ‘beauty dishes’ — these are the dishes the camera will take shots of to show what the final product looks like. Then the stylist lays out every ingredient, every bowl, every tool that will be needed.

“The chef arrives, does hair/makeup and comes to set where the stylist briefs them. ‘Chef, today you’re making such and such. These are the ingredients for the reduction sauce, etc’. The chef goes over the recipe a few times, then we go live and they are the expert.”

User ‘Landlubber77’ worked as a production intern on a food network and said the dish prepared on screen by the chef isn’t usually the one that features in the fancy photos.

“When they want to stage shots of just the food on its own, the ‘hero shot’, they have an intern make a duplicate of the meal (doesn’t matter if it’s undercooked inside because nobody is gonna eat it) which just has to look good on the surface. They then spray it with an aerosol can of some ungodly preservative to make it ‘stay’.

When it comes to shows such as MasterChef, ‘absinthevisions’ wrote that “each dish can be made several times so there is a lot of waste”.

masterchef“If it’s a contest style show, the judges don’t eat the version that you see cooked and plated. That version is thrown away and a new version is cooked specifically for them to eat. Then they take 2-3 bites from a plate and throw the rest away.”

If you’ve ever seen a cooking show where the chef is given a special ingredient at the start of the show and you’ve been amazed by how quickly they brainstormed and executed their dish, well … don’t be amazed.

“My brother was a sous chef for his (at the time) boss on a popular food competition show,” wrote Reddit user ‘LadyofRivendell’.

“He said the secret ingredient was revealed a few hours prior to filming and the chefs sat down with their sous chefs and made plans ahead.”

But the best story in the thread was from a caterer called ‘Astrochef12’ who was hired to in the early 2000s by The Oprah Winfrey show to help make a number of different celebrities’ favourite recipes for the studio audience.

Mathiasen, L.A., Chapman, B.J., Lacroix, B.J. and Powell, D.A. 2004. Spot the mistake: Television cooking shows as a source of food safety information, Food Protection Trends 24(5): 328-334.

Consumers receive information on food preparation from a variety of sources. Numerous studies conducted over the past six years demonstrate that television is one of the primary sources for North Americans. This research reports on an examination and categorization of messages that television food and cooking programs provide to viewers about preparing food safely. During June 2002 and 2003, television food and cooking programs were recorded and reviewed, using a defined list of food safety practices based on criteria established by Food Safety Network researchers. Most surveyed programs were shown on Food Network Canada, a specialty cable channel. On average, 30 percent of the programs viewed were produced in Canada, with the remainder produced in the United States or United Kingdom. Sixty hours of content analysis revealed that the programs contained a total of 916 poor food-handling incidents. When negative food handling behaviors were compared to positive food handling behaviors, it was found that for each positive food handling behavior observed, 13 negative behaviors were observed. Common food safety errors included a lack of hand washing, cross-contamination and time-temperature violations. While television food and cooking programs are an entertainment source, there is an opportunity to improve their content so as to promote safe food handling.

Johnny Depp visits Australian children’s hospital as Captain Jack

Actor Johnny Depp is around town filming the latest Pirates of Caribbean installment, and has taken to winning over the locals after some bizarre behavior, so he went to visit an Australian children’s hospital.

johnny.deppDressed as his character Captain Jack Sparrow, he arrived at the oncology and neurology wards of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane on Tuesday.

When his daughter Lily Rose contracted E. coli poisoning and suffered kidney failure in 2007, she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, spending nine days there.

Depp was so grateful for the help they received that he donated £1million to the hospital and made a surprise visit dressed as Captain Jack two years later.

But here’s the real inspiration for Captain Jack.

A’s pitcher Sonny Gray had Salmonella

I don’t like baseball. It’s like watching soccer.

sonny-grayBut pitcher Sonny Gray was back with the A’s Thursday after suffering a case of salmonella that hospitalized him for two nights.

Gray said before Thursday’s game with Seattle that he was back to feeling mostly well for the first time since Sunday, one day after symptoms of dehydration and fever that first cropped up Saturday became serious.

It’s not extraordinary being public and accountable: Hucksters, science and celebrity

Some 10, maybe 15 years ago, Timothy Caulfield and I served on the same federal advisory panel in Canada, and both argued for evidence-based solutions for biotechnology and food production.

caulfield.celebrity.jun.15And somewhere along the way, we both figured out that shamelessly using celebrities would help spread our message.

Caulfield, a professor at the University of Alberta (that’s in Canada) with his book, Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash, seems to be part of a growing movement that says: science is cool. Celebrities aren’t scientists. People who get PhDs and do the work are.

But what about those who shamelessly trade on their scientific credentials?

The American Medical Association is finally taking a stand on quacks like Dr. Oz to “defend the integrity of the profession.”

This is a turning point where the AMA is willing to go out in public and actively defend the profession,” Benjamin Mazer, a medical student at the University of Rochester who was involved in crafting the resolution, said. “This is one of the most proactive steps that the AMA has taken [on mass media issues].”

And as the N.Y. Times reported, the crimes and misdemeanors of science used to be handled mostly in-house, with a private word at the faculty club, barbed questions at a conference, maybe a quiet dismissal. On the rare occasion when a journal publicly retracted a study, it typically did so in a cryptic footnote. Few were the wiser; many retracted studies have been cited as legitimate evidence by others years after the fact.

But that gentlemen’s world has all but evaporated, as a remarkable series of events last month demonstrated. In mid-May, after two graduate students raised questions about a widely reported study on how political canvassing affects opinions of same-sex marriage, editors at the journal Science, where the study was published, began to investigate. What followed was a frenzy of second-guessing, accusations and commentary from all corners of the Internet: “Retraction” as serial drama, rather than footnote. Science officially pulled the paper, by Michael LaCour of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Green of Columbia, on May 28, because of concerns about Mr. LaCour’s data.

“Until recently it was unusual for us to report on studies that were not yet retracted,” said Dr. Ivan Oransky, an editor of the blog Retraction Watch, the first news media outlet to report that the study had been challenged. But new technology and a push for transparency from younger scientists have changed that, he said. “We have more tips than we can handle.”

scienceThe case has played out against an increase in retractions that has alarmed many journal editors and authors. Scientists in fields as diverse as neurobiology, anesthesia and economics are debating how to reduce misconduct, without creating a police-state mentality that undermines creativity and collaboration.

“It’s an extraordinary time,” said Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, and a founder of the Center for Open Science, which provides a free service through which labs can share data and protocols. “We are now seeing a number of efforts to push for data repositories to facilitate direct replications of findings.”

 

Food as snake oil: ‘diet gurus’ hook us with religion veiled in science

With full respect to Kurt Vonnegut, I listen to the ethical pronouncements of the leaders of the church of organic and am able to distill only two firm commandments from them. The first commandment is this: Stop thinking. The second commandment is this: Obey. Only a person who has given up on the power of reason to improve life here on earth, or a soldier in basic training, could accept either commandment gladly.

vonnegut.back.to.schoolFood is 21st century snake oil. In an era of unprecedented affluence, consumers now choose among a cacophony of low‑fat, enhanced‑nutrient staples reflecting a range of political statements and perceived lifestyle preferences, far beyond dolphin‑free tuna.

And to go with the Salt Spring Island goat cheese, the all‑organic carrots and the Snapple-laced echinacea is a veritable sideshow of hucksters and buskers, flogging their wares to the highest bidder ‑‑ these things always cost a premium ‑‑ or at least the most fashionable.

In 2001, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld four complaints against claims in a Soil Association leaflet entitled Five Reasons To Eat Organic. The ASA ruled there was no evidence that, contrary to the assertions of the Soil Association, that consumers could taste the difference, that organic was healthy, that it was better for the environment, and that organic meant healthy, happy animals. On one claim, the Soil Association responded that 53% of people buying organic produce did so because they thought it was healthy. The ASA rightly ruled this did not constitute any sort of clinical or scientific evidence.

Alan Levinovitz writes for NPR that from Paleo to vegan to raw, nutrition gurus package their advice as sound, settled science. It doesn’t matter whether meat is blamed for colon cancer or grains are called out as fattening poison — there’s no shortage of citations and technical terms (tertiary amines, gliadin, ketogenesis) to back up the claims.

But as a scholar of religion, it’s become increasingly clear to me that when it comes to fad diets, science is often just a veneer. Peel it away and you find timeless myths and superstitions, used to reinforce narratives of good and evil that give meaning to people’s lives and the illusion of control over their well-being.

Take the grain-free monks of ancient China. (My specialty is classical Chinese thought.) Like all diet gurus, these monks used a time-tested formula. They mocked the culinary culture around them, which depended on the so-called wugu, or “five grains.”

According to the monks’ radical teachings, conventional grain-laden Chinese diets “rotted and befouled” your organs, leading to early disease and death. By avoiding the five grains, you could achieve perfect health, immortality, clear skin, the ability to fly and teleport. Well, not quite. To fully realize the benefits of the monks’ diet, you also had to take proprietary supplements, highly technical alchemical preparations that only a select few knew how to make. All of this may sound eerily familiar: Look no further than modern anti-grain polemics like Dr. David Perlmutter’s Grain Brain — complete with its own recommended supplement regimen.

Despite basic logic and evidence to the contrary, the philosophy of the grain-free monks gained popularity. That’s because then, as now, the appeal of dietary fads had much to do with myths, not facts. Chief among these is the myth of “paradise past,” an appealing fiction about a time when everyone was happy and healthy, until they ate the wrong food and fell from grace.

hucksterThe mythic narrative of “unnatural” modernity and a “natural” paradise past is persuasive as ever. Religious figures like Adam and Eve have been replaced by Paleolithic man and our grandparents: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” is journalist Michael Pollan’s oft-quoted line.

The story also has a powerful moral dimension. It’s the Prince of Evil, after all, who tempted Eve. Once secularized, Satan reappears as corporations and scientists who feed us chemical additives, modern grains and GMOs, the “toxic” fruits of sin. (No matter if science doesn’t agree that any of these things are very toxic.)

Paradise past. Good and evil. Benevolent Nature with a capital N. The promise of nutritional salvation. After you’ve constructed a compellingly simple narrative foundation, all you have to do is wrap your chosen diet in scientific rhetoric.

For Chinese monks, that rhetoric involved “five phases theory.” For ancient Greeks and Romans it was “humors” — four fluids thought to be the basis of human health. Now it is peer-reviewed studies. Thankfully for diet gurus, the literature of nutrition science is vague, vast and highly contested — just like religious texts — making it easy to cherry-pick whatever data confirm your biases.

Handwashing is never enough: 50 now sick with Salmonella from chicks in Canada

Sure, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux own 17 chickens, but they’re celebrities, so their poop don’t stink: The Public Health Agency of Canada says contact with live poultry can be a source of Salmonella, even if a bird appears healthy and clean.

jen-aniston-800You can get Salmonella from a bird, its droppings or from environments where birds have been. Proper hand washing is the key to protecting yourself from illness. Always wash your hands immediately after handling birds, cleaning up after them or being in an area where birds have been.

Currently there are 50 cases of Salmonella illness in four provinces: Alberta (27), British Columbia (18), Saskatchewan (4), and Manitoba (1). Eight people have been hospitalized, and all individuals have recovered or are recovering. Individuals became sick between April 5 and May 30, 2015, and all have reported contact with live baby poultry including chicks, turkey poults and goslings. Many individuals reported purchasing live poultry by mail-order or from feed supply storefronts for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat. Poultry varieties commonly reported include: broiler chickens (meat birds) such as Cornish Giants; egg layers; dual-purpose breeds and turkeys. Traceback investigations have indicated that these birds were ordered from Miller Hatcheries and Rochester Hatchery catalogues. Both catalogues ship birds supplied by a single hatchery in Alberta.