Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
A Green Light For Fat?
Mar 18, 2014
"It's not saturated fat that we should worry about," says Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, the lead author of a new study and a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Cambridge University. The new study on fat and heart health, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find an increase in heart disease in people who ate higher levels of saturated fat. And they didn't see a reduction in heart disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat. So, is this a green light to eat all the steak, butter and other yummy foods with saturated fat? Not so fast, says Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Hu says looking at individual fats in isolation could be misleading, because when people cut down on fats they tend to eat more refined carbohydrates that can also be bad for heart health. So, eat the steak but skip the bread.
The Dawning Age of Super-Plants
"Forget GMOs," says the Los Angeles Times. "Scientists are creating bionic plants." Indeed, scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are creating super-plants by placing tiny carbon nanotubes deep within their cells. Some of these altered plants increased their photosynthetic activity by 30% compared with regular plants. "The idea is to impart plants with functions that are non-native to them," said Michael Strano, professor of chemical engineering at MIT. This research confirms that we're just seeing the tip of the plant-altering iceberg. "There's a lot more coming," Strano said.
Idaho Sued Over Ag Gag Law
Idaho governor C. L. "Butch" Otter may not have sought controversy last month when he signed the state's "ag gag" law, but the state is now squarely in the cross-hairs of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations. That coalition sued Idaho this week over the new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities. The suit contends that the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse harsher than the penalty for animal cruelty itself.
Healthier Beef Proposal
Colorado entrepreneur Don Smith is seeking funding for a project to develop heart-healthy beef. The funds would pay for a Colorado State University research project that would feed cattle algae, a high source of omega-3 fatty acids.