Friday, August 30, 2013

We Were Wrong: L-Carnitine. Unsavory Aspects of Farmed Shrimp. Cleanup Crew. Eat local, Eat fresh, Eat healthy, Save money. Cleopatra. Thurgood Marshall. Charles Bronson.


For “Foodie Friday”:

Why We Were Wrong: L-Carnitine

Raw beef on cutting board

“All this time, we physicians have warned you about the risks of eating too much red meat. We worried that the high saturated fat and cholesterol content was damaging to your heart; however, we got it wrong. Red meat is still linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but it’s not just from the fat. New research points to a substance found in red meat called L-carnitine. This new research suggests that L-carnitine, either from red meat or taken in supplement form, poses a threat to your heart. Prior to the latest research, we’ve promoted this supplement on this show. Researchers claimed that it could increase energy, speed up weight loss, and improve athletic performance. Some energy drinks add L-carnitine for this reason.

Now, I’m saying DON’T take it!

Here’s how it works: After you ingest L-carnitine, it travels to your gut, and intestinal bacteria converts the L-carnitine into a substance called TMA, which then gets processed by the liver. The liver converts TMA into a compound that has been linked to plaque build-up in the arteries and heart disease. This conversion was most apparent in those who regularly ate red meat. Remarkably, vegans and vegetarians, even after consuming a large amount of carnitine, did not produce significant levels of TMA. It may be because they have different gut bacteria.

Red meat is one of the highest sources of L-carnitine, at about 56-162 mg per serving. L-carnitine can also be found in foods like pork, seafood, and chicken, but at much lower levels, between 3 and 7 mg per serving. Dairy, like ice cream, milk and cheese, has between 3 and 8 mg per serving. However, the main source of L-carnitine for many people is supplements – with some people taking up to 500-1000 mg per day. The more L-carnitine you get, the more TMA you may make, which can damage your blood vessels even faster.

Because the greatest source of L-carnitine in our diet comes from red meat, I think we should avoid it as much as possible. I don’t eat much red meat myself (I think lean chicken tastes better anyway); however, I know that’s not an option for everyone. If you must eat red meat, try to eat 4 ounces or less per week. For those carnivores who love their steak, here are three simple things everyone can do to create a healthy environment in their gut, which can lessen the impact of L-carnitine:

  • Build an alkaline environment in your gut by eating leafy greens or using lemon/lime on salads and in water. (Yes, lemons are alkaline. Even though it has citric acid, its overall nutrients are alkaline.)
  • Choose plant protein sources, like hemp seeds or black beans, which help to remove toxins because of high fiber content.
  • Take a probiotic. As mentioned before, regular meat eaters converted more L-carnitine into TMA than vegetarians or vegans. This suggests that the type of bacteria in your gut makes a difference.” 

From:  by Mehmet Oz, MD


The Unsavory Aspects of Farmed Shrimp

Shrimp“For the past several years, I’ve increasingly recommended avoiding most seafood due to widespread contamination, primarily by mercury, PCBs and other environmental pollutants.

Shrimp, however, due to their small size, have generally been considered to be one of the safer kinds of seafood. But a recent article may make you think twice about eating shrimp, unless you know it’s wild-caught from a clean source.

Farmed shrimp tends to be far more contaminated than wild-caught shrimp. Despite that fact, less than two percent of shrimp imported into the US gets inspected by US regulatory agencies

Farmed shrimp can contain a wide variety of contaminants, including hazardous drugs, chemical residues from cleaning agents, pathogens like Salmonella and E.coli, along with other contaminants like mouse and rat hair

Imported shrimp accounts for 26 to 35 percent of all shipments that get rejected due to filth

The joint NOAA/FDA Gulf seafood testing program claims majority of seafood samples have no detectable residues of oil or Corexit. But other scientists have raised concerns that the residue limits established are too high

When farmed in non-native waters, shrimp are raised in underwater pens built along the coastlines, where native mangrove forests are frequently sacrificed to make room for them.”     Complete article at:


Really, You Shouldn't Eat the Cleanup Crew

Unsavory Aspects of ALL Shrimp:

“Why did God prohibit eating certain foods? Was the Creator being capricious? Why should He be concerned? Is there a rational, logical basis for the Scriptures dealing with which foods are fit for human consumption?

Shellfish, lacking both fins and scales, are clearly excluded by the biblical dietary laws. But why would lobsters, crabs, crayfish and shrimp, which are considered delicacies in many parts of the world, be prohibited? The answer lies in understanding the role they were designed to play in nature.


Shrimp eating dead fish

Common shrimp, a small, delicate relative of crabs and lobsters, live by day in the mud or sandy bottoms of bays and estuaries all over the world. However, they become active at night as predatory scavengers and are "bottom dwelling detritus feeders [eating dead and decaying matter" (Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life).

These organisms were all created for a very important ecological purpose. They are, in essence, the "garbage collectors" or the "cleanup crew" for the bottoms of lakes, rivers, beaches, bays and oceans.  They were not intended to be food for human beings.”   More at:


Eat local, Eat fresh, Eat healthy, Save money.

“It takes energy to make energy, and 10% of all the energy consumed in the US—about 100 billion gallons of oil each year–is used just growing our food. Processing and transporting all those rutabagas, feedlot steaks, and artisan breads to our table raises the figure to 17%. The Chicago Produce Terminal reports that food in America travels about 1,500 miles before you stick your fork into it. And that figure is rising as grapes arrive from Chile and apples from China.

The United Nations says that the average American is responsible for about 22 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, compared to six tons per person throughout the rest of the world. You can trim some of this CO2 usage by eating as many fresh, whole, unprocessed foods as possible, and buying locally produced food from local area farmers and ranchers.

As RVers, we travel to many exciting places, and the preparation and enjoyment of local foods can become a highlight of our travels. The best local foods in season will be found at farmer’s markets, farm stands, and U-Pick farms. You may find your meals getting more interesting as you try foods you’ve never tasted before. Check local chambers of commerce or tourism bureaus for a list of markets and farmers and ranchers that sell directly to the public, or go online and do a Google search for “farmers market” with your location.

Ask the supermarket produce manager which of their fruits and vegetables come from local growers and buy those. Supermarket buyers have responded to the demand for local foods. You will be pleasantly surprised at the taste of right-off-the-farm fresh fruits and vegetables. And the bonus is that a local diet of fresh produce and meals made in your RV, eliminating a lot of processed foods containing fats, additives, and sugar, will do wonders for your waistline.

But also, if you believe in frugality, and like to stretch your travel budget, buying your food as direct to the producer as possible can make a huge difference in how many $$ you have left over at the end of the month–and can do something exciting or charitable with them. You will find also that these local, fresh-picked foods, taste better with the least amount of preparation, saving you cooking time and tasting awesome.

Eat local. Eat fresh. Eat healthy. Not only will you be helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also your taste buds will thank you for it–but your wallet, unlike your waistline, will be a little fatter. And that’s good too.”  From:  Click here: Eat local. Eat fresh. Eat healthy. Save money.  Posted August 19, 2013 by Bob Difley


On This Day:

Cleopatra commits suicide, Aug 30, 30 B.C.:

“Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

Cleopatra, born in 69 B.C., was made Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, upon the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 B.C. Her brother was made King Ptolemy XIII at the same time, and the siblings ruled Egypt under the formal title of husband and wife. Cleopatra and Ptolemy were members of the Macedonian dynasty that governed Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Although Cleopatra had no Egyptian blood, she alone in her ruling house learned Egyptian. To further her influence over the Egyptian people, she was also proclaimed the daughter of Re, the Egyptian sun god.”


Thurgood Marshall confirmed as Supreme Court justice, Aug 30, 1967:

“On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”



Movie tough guy Charles Bronson dies, Aug 30, 2003:

“On this day in 2003, the actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in such films as The Dirty Dozen and the Death Wish franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921, in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, to Lithuanian immigrants. The 11th of 15 children, he worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines as a teenager and later served in the Army during World War II. After the war, he worked a series of odd jobs and took acting lessons. He had an uncredited part in the 1951 film You’re in the Navy Now, starring Gary Cooper, and a small part (credited as Charles Buchinsky) in 1952’s Pat and Mike, with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In the mid-1950s, he changed his name to Bronson because he believed it wasn’t smart for an actor to have a Russian-sounding last name at a time when there was a strong anti-Communist sentiment in America.

The craggy-faced Bronson achieved fame in Europe--in Italy he was known as Il Brutto or “The Ugly One”--before he became a full-fledged Hollywood star in the 1970s. In 1974’s action thriller Death Wish, Bronson played the New York City architect Paul Kersey, who becomes a vigilante and goes after street criminals following attacks on his wife and daughter. Although the film was criticized for its graphic violence, it was a box-office success and spawned four sequels from 1982 to 1994. Bronson’s last starring movie role came in 1994’s Death Wish V: The Face of Death.”



Misty and I went to get Jay and had our little walk down there.

When we got back here, Jay and I worked on the desk that I had intended to put in the guest house, but Shay had commandeered for her use in her son’s place next door.  The back of the top hutch part wasn’t in too good a shape, and Shay had been griping about it.  She knows that the squeaky wheel gets the attention.  We had intended to replace it, anyway, so it was the time to do it.   Jay and I brought some beaded paneling down from my attic, and screwed a new back on it.  Now, things won’t fall out of the back of the cubby holes, and the paneling also keeps it square.

New-porch-roof-2013-08-29 Ray painted inside the posts on the screen porch, and Jay put some more closure strips and screws in the roofing that we had already installed.  We figured out where to put another skylight in the roof that will be over my front porch, but it was too late to do much more yesterday.


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