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Bring Home the Biotech Bacon

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the probably-tastes-like-cardboard dept.

216

Wired is reporting that researchers may have found the key to "heart friendly bacon." From the article: "Geneticists have mixed DNA from the roundworm C. elegans and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids -- the kind believed to stave off heart disease. Researchers hope they can improve the technique in pork and do the same in chickens and cows. In the process, they also want to better understand human disease."

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216 comments

Pork... (1)

fatduck (961824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001105)

The non-diseased white meat.

Re:Pork... (1)

InsaneLampshade (890845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001296)

I hear the Pork Tapeworm [wikipedia.org] is pretty nasty.

Say (1)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001470)

You don't work for the Loser Research Foundation [kithfan.org] , do you?

Fatty (2, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001107)

Still, the pork has way too much fat to be healthy. You can still get trichonosis or tapeworm from infected meat, like regular pork. It's still not kosher or halal either.

Re:Fatty (2, Funny)

sexylicious (679192) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001133)

You can still get trichonosis or tapeworm from infected meat, like regular pork.

But if that's the case, you could market it as a weight-loss program too!

Re:Fatty (1)

coleblak (863392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001235)

They used to do that actually. Tapeworms were marketed as the ultimate diet aid at one time.

Re:Fatty (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001193)

They should combine this with turkey. Good turkey bacon tastes as good as real bacon, is healthier, and doesn't violate those religious rules. Of course, some people won't touch it because it's "health food" (onoes!)

Re:Fatty (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001555)

Good turkey bacon tastes as good as real bacon, is healthier, and doesn't violate those religious rules.

Two out of three ain't bad. Definately healthier, and doesn't violate the rules of any sane religion but it doesn't taste as good.

I'd go there with you on turkey ham. But real bacon is in a class all by itself.

LK

Re:Fatty (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001280)

That's what I say. I would rather throw some Salmon on my George Forman to get the omega-3 than buy pork meat from some genetic lab. I like pork but as I am getting older it is time to start eating healthy -- better later than never...

Re:Fatty (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001415)

Salmon?

Wild salmon as most oceanic top predators accumulates all the flame retardants, dioxins, etc we dump in the Arctic nowdays. I would seriously think twice before eating it unless it is from the North Pacific. Same for any Arctic and North Atlantic fish.

Farmed salmon is not much better either. It is stuffed with antibiotics and has dioxin levels way above what should be considered normal.

If you want to eat non-carcinogenic and antibiotic free omega-rich fish eat white trout (in Russian "Sig") which is nowdays farmed across most of EU. It has much better disease resistance compared to salmon so they do not stuff it with so much antibiotics. It also tastes better.

Alternatively - Antarctic fish. It is still reasonably clean from pollution and tastes better than salmon anyway.

Re:Fatty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001510)

George Forman? WTF?

It's a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001285)

...the rest of us don't mold our eating preferences according to arbitrary rules supposedly dictated by some mythical being.

Re:Fatty (2, Insightful)

Duckman5 (665208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001357)

It's still not kosher or halal either.

Which is exactly why I've been saying the next step should be to genetically engineer a pig with multiple stomachs so it can chew it's cud. Mmmm...kosher bacon.

Re:Fatty (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001597)

You can still get trichonosis or tapeworm from infected meat
Then cook it (the meat, not the tapeworm. Then again, cooked tapeworm should make for a pretty good source of protein).

Risks? (4, Insightful)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001111)

And then in 20 years we will discover that this 'adjusted' meat will cause cancer or 'mad-human disease'

Re:Risks? (4, Insightful)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001182)

Nobody cares if something causes cancer, or some disease in 20 years.

Know any smokers?

I'd rather risk the low-chance unknown (1)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001569)

than risk the sure-thing known. Wouldn't you?

Sounds like a rabbit's foot (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001112)

Good for us... Not so good for the pig or the rabbit.

Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No man, I don't eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.
Vincent: Why not?
Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.
Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got enough sense enough to disregard its own faeces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charmin' motherfuckin' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?

Re:Sounds like a rabbit's foot (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001278)

But do you eat mushrooms? Know where they come from?...

Re:Sounds like a rabbit's foot (5, Insightful)

dalroth5 (63007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001341)

Hello folks.
I really can't let this one go by.

"Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal."

No. When humans are confined without the means to stay clean (think gaol) they too sleep in shit. Does that make humans filthy animals? Clearly not. Equally clearly, when pigs live out in the wild they shun excrement just like you and I do.

"I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty."

No. A dog is merely doing what other animals do with a food which is difficult to digest: they re-digest it. Cattle do the same; but they don't have to shit it out first because they have multiple stomachs. It's called 'cud'. Do you drink milk? Do you eat butter and cheese?

If freshly dropped shit was harmful, you'd be ill already, wouldn't you? Please remember that your own, personal, filthy shit just came out of the middle of your nicely-clean-on-the-outside body. You and I are both literally full of shit. :) So is everybody else. In fact, the only humans who aren't full of shit are the starving millions in the Third World. Do you want to cleanse yourself? Stop eating for about a week. OK? No, I thought not.

Special thought for the day just for you: "I am glad and grateful to be full of shit."

Thanks for your time.

Re:Sounds like a rabbit's foot (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001591)

> Do you drink milk? Do you eat butter and cheese?

No, they are disgusting.

yummy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001114)

don't forget tapeworm for weight loss!!!!! :)

Doh ! (5, Informative)

sane? (179855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001115)

You can just imagine all those marketeers and press people who were planning to use Omega-3 as a marketing tool when they read this recent article [bbc.co.uk] .

As they say in the marketing rulebook: Timing is everything

Re:Doh ! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001304)

That won't stop them.

They're still marketing it as 'super brain food' based on one study that found if you fed children decent food in the morning instead of crap they did slightly better at school.

If you were to believe the marketing the only thing this stuff doesn't do is raise the dead... and I suspect they're working on that.

Re:Doh ! (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001411)

That article that you and many of the other people here are linking to is largely irrelevant. It's true that there have been many people making wild-ass claims about how Omega-3 fatty acids can stave off heart disease without enough clinical data to correlate that claim. Recent work like that you cite suggests that those claims are -1 overrated.

Regardless, it's still true that the average diet in countries like the US is lacking in O-3 fatty acids, and that there are other health problems that can result from this deficency. See the Omega-3 Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] article for an introduction to this subject. Most troubling is that consuming too few of the O-3 fatty acids, especially in an environment where there's an excess of O-6 ones, can decrease the health of the brain (certainly irrelevant for the average person but I care) and increase the body's inflammation level (which causes all kinds of problems that aren't necessarily linked to heart disease; pick up a title like the Meggs&Svec book "The Inflammation Cure" for a discussion of that topic).

I for one welcome our new pig...err, welcome the concept of foods tastier than fish that are heavy in O-3s. However, the past history of the food industry's use of genetically modified products has led me to a total ban on consuming them (which takes a shocking amount of work to pull off). But, please, focus on why tinkering with pig innards is bad, and not on dissing the essentialness of the fatty acids that most people don't get enough of.

Re:Doh ! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001599)

You can just buy Omega-3 vegetable oil and use it as a you would use other oils for cooking.

Then you don't have to kill anything or mutate the poor fuckers.

> In the process, they also want to better understand human disease.
So they can invent more pointless "hey it's got chemical X in it" foods when all it takes is a balanced diet and not "new Health Coke".

Instead of bacon... (2, Funny)

hobotron (891379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001119)


We get bacon with worms?

I think someone didn't run this by marketing.

Re:Instead of bacon... (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001200)

No, there is no worm in the bacon, the bacon IS the worm.

Re:Instead of bacon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001406)

Obviously the worm part will never be part of the marketing.

There's lots of stuff in products you buy that you really don't want to know about. And you can always trust marketing not to tell you.

the kind believed to stave off heart disease (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001123)

> omega-3 fatty acids -- the kind believed to stave off heart disease.

Er...no it's not:

http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,1738 599,00.html [guardian.co.uk]

Re:the kind believed to stave off heart disease (1)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001159)

From the actual university researchers - http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cm/2.117/2.128/2.139/2.141/1 .1076 [uea.ac.uk] It rather seems to me that recent attempts to "breed in" what are considered to be favourable medical components might end up being tonic, tincture and snake oil tomorrow. Still, always nice to be in the newspapers!

Re:the kind believed to stave off heart disease (1)

localman (111171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001458)

Man, it's crazy reading these health stories. The reports flip-flop back and forth and nobody seems to agree. You can find a study or expert to support completely conflicting theories. What are we to think? I certainly wouldn't dismiss Omega 3 based on this latest study... we've got data going both ways now. Which is wrong? Which is right?

The pattern I usually see in these studies is that after controlling for and isolating a particular dietary component, they find it has no benefit, and that the originally percieved benefits must have resulted from the people who eat that dietary component having an otherwise "healthy lifestyle".

But what is this "healthy lifestlye" then, if not a combination of things that may or may not have a positive effect in isolation? Diet has to be a part of that combination, but it may be that no single dietary component is "the key", rather it's the sum of them that does good. Perhaps then isolating components may not be the right approach.

Health and nutrition are extrodinarily complex. For myself I took a step back from all the analysis and confusion, to a relatively simple system of eating things that I think we must have evolved to eat. I skip just about anything that includes digestable technology. So it's grilled organic meats, salads and raw veggies, and water for the most part. I also try to include something "spoiled' each day, as I figure we evolved eating "spoiled" foods... cheese, yogurt, wine. I eat modest portions. And a few times a week I eat whatever the heck i feel like.

Anyways, since I started doing this I've lost weight and my cholesterol has been greatly improved. Though the latest studies I've seen claim that's not a great indicator anyways, so who knows what that means :)

Cheers.

Re:the kind believed to stave off heart disease (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001534)

And nevermind the fact that the whole idea that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart attack has always been a poor assumption based on poor science, the result of going on a, well, fishing expedition, for a correlation and stopping when they found one in the fat, with no particular justification for the fat being where the relevant correlation was to be found in the first place.

And, repeat after me: Correlation is not causation.

The most obvious difference to me between Greek and Inuit cultures (the high fat, low heart disease reason for the fishing expedition) and "ours" is that theirs is poor, but low stress with a bit of a fatalistic, what will be will be, view of life and death.

Skip the salmon and the Frankenstein's pork. Just mellow out dude.

And maybe get a little aerobic exercise a few times a week.

Of course nobody can get a headline out of that, or take out a patent on it to make a financial killing. . .

Oh, wait, nevermind. Excuse me, I have to go call my lawyer and patent a method for "MellowCise (tm)".

KFG

Doubt on Omega-3 benefits (2, Informative)

Elessar (8997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001125)

This may not be so great. This recent story http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4838086.stm/ [bbc.co.uk] casts doubts on the benefits of omega-3.

Yay song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001126)

Nobody loves me everybody hates me
Maybe I'll go eat worms
Long thing slimy ones, big fat juicy ones
Feel them slither and squirm

First you bite off the heads then you suck out the juice
Then you throw the skins away
Nobody knows how I survive
On worms three times a day

What about the animals? (1)

solarbob (959948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001142)

Whats the effect on them?

Re:What about the animals? (2, Funny)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001151)

Preliminary studies show they still mostly die of having their heads lopped off and getting shoved into meat grinders.

Re:What about the animals? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001153)

They won't be in a position to be concerned with their health, I don't think.

Re:What about the animals? (1)

LouisZepher (643097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001161)

I don't think they've found a safe way to remove bacon from the pig, so I'd say Wilbur isn't very well-off in the morning when you're dunking bits of him in syrup.

Re:What about the animals? (4, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001214)

Whats the effect on them?

Looking at the poultry industry [ciwf.org.uk] (pdf warning) I'd say, any effects to the Pig's wellbeing (good or bad) will be irrelevant to the agribusiness owners & the vast majority of consumers.

Quite sad - I have no problem with people eating meat, but knowingly choosing to eat something that's the end result of a life of torture is shocking.

good for us (4, Insightful)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001143)

not to sound like some peta activist (i'm carniverous to a fault) but how does it effect the life of the animal? i guess it's kind of like veil where not do you live to be slaughtered, but perhaps also live bad life too.

Re:good for us (2, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001242)

not to sound like some peta activist (i'm carniverous to a fault) but how does it effect the life of the animal?

You're going to get a million people replying to you saying variations of "what does it matter? The pig is going to die"

It's a question that society has to start thinking about - many people (like the parent poster) have no problem eating meat, but are concerned about the life of the animal prior to it being butchured.

Its a valid concern, and not hypocritical at all - there's an enormous gap between an animal that lives a relatively healthy, natural life prior to an (early) death and an animal that lives in pain, fear and misery prior to an early death. (for starters the first will taste much better).

So, in answer to your question, noone really cares how it effects the animal - but we should.

Re:good for us (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001609)

So, as a carnivore, you eat NO vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, pulses or grains ?

Wait 20 years (4, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001149)

I doubt regular bacon would disappear overnight or anything, but virtually every time someone comes out and says, "X-inol in corn prevents fin rot," five years later it's common knowledge that X-inol just makes food taste funny. If in twenty years, Omega-3 is still thought to make people healthy, then go adding it to things. For now, odds are you'll just end up with birth defects and adult acne.

Re:Wait 20 years (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001477)

But the only reason I eat so much corn is that I'm afraid of fin rot! What will happen to my fins now?

Trade-offs (5, Insightful)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001158)

Is it just me, or are we trying to over-optimize our diets? Why not just try to eat what we evolved to eat, what you in particular tolerate well, whatever makes your body run reasonably well.

You can devote a silly amount of time trying to eat an optimal, low-calorie, lowfat, high-protein, perfectly-whatever sort of diet.

What does that gain you? Is all that time and energy worth it, when, if you get it right, you'll probably just die of something else instead? Sheesh, live a little. Have some bacon once in awhile, have some ice cream for dessert now and then. If you eat too much of something, your body will let you know anyway.

Respect your body's intuition, and get some exercise. There's millions of years of research to back that up.

Re:Trade-offs (1)

mc bean (941767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001178)

Probably because in the very distant past humans actually lived in our natural environment, and diets were optimized for us by that fact alone. Those millions of years of research went down the tubes with industrialization. I'd agree we're overcompensating though.

Re:Trade-offs (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001244)

this isn't about optimized diets, it's about being able to eat for pleasure and not suffering the consequences. our bodies seek out fatty foods and stores the extra energy because it was needed a long time ago. with the current level of abundance (in some parts of the world), we no longer eat for just sustianance. we eat for pleasure also. just look at the types of things we eat and the quantiy we eat. the body doesn't really say "enough of this particular food".

Re:Trade-offs (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001286)

this isn't about optimized diets, it's about being able to eat for pleasure and not suffering the consequences. our bodies seek out fatty foods and stores the extra energy because it was needed a long time ago. with the current level of abundance (in some parts of the world), we no longer eat for just sustianance. we eat for pleasure also. just look at the types of things we eat and the quantiy we eat. the body doesn't really say "enough of this particular food".

"Eating for pleasure"? If you eat a quart of ice cream or a big bag of potato crisps or a slab of bacon "for pleasure", that's like huffing butane. Eat a slice of bacon, a small dish of ice cream for pleasure, with other stuff that's good for you and you will find the whole experience to be pleasurable.

I love caffeinated soda but if I chug two liters of Code Red, I know I'll get sick from the excess caffeine or sugar. So I drink a couple ounces and stop. Having more is just stupid.

Re:Trade-offs (1)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001367)

"I love caffeinated soda but if I chug two liters of Code Red, I know I'll get sick from the excess caffeine or sugar. So I drink a couple ounces and stop. Having more is just stupid."

I won't drink caffeine. That doesn't mean scientists were wasting their time for making caffeine free sodas like Sprite. If my only choice was cola or water, I would choose water. If given the between traditional red meat, and red meat whose fat content was replaced with Omega-3 fatty acids, I would choose the latter. Health is about making healthy choices. Giving people more healthy choices, and asking them to sacrifice less, is a perfect play to human nature.

Why else would we "fortify" our milks and cereals?

Re:Trade-offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001258)

I agree, we make this stuff into rocket science when it doesn't have to be at all. I mean you can just take 10 grossly unhealthy/unfit people and look at how they live and what they eat. Then find 10 healthy/fit people and do the same. While it isn't going to tell you everything, it'll be a big enough chunk of what's a good idea and what's a bad idea to do and to eat.

Personally I think it's more of a case of people looking for a magic bullet that'll let them do the things they know they shouldn't be doing (at least to the extent that they do them). Oh if I eat a bowl of oatmeal I'll be ok, while ignoring the fact they watch TV for five hours a day while stuffing their face with chips and soda.

Re:Trade-offs (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001373)

> Is all that time and energy worth it, when, if you get it right, you'll probably
> just die of something else instead?

It doesn't take any extra time or effort. You're right though - if you don't stuff your face with food containing a lot of saturated fat, salt etc then you probably will die of something else. That's the whole point though, isn't it.

Re:Trade-offs (3, Insightful)

bozho (676988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001383)

I agree.

It's amusing to observe what was considered healthy throughout history. "Drinking donkey urine/bathing in virgin blood will grant you eternal youth!", "High-fiber diet reduces colon cancer risk!"

One of the recent ones was sent to me by a dentist friend - a radioactive toothpaste (1940ies):
http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/quackcures/toot hpaste.htm [orau.org]

From the advertisment sample that I have:
"RADIOACTIVE TOOTHPASTE - CREATES NATURAL FRESHNESS"

"Gentle rays of Radium are active for 4 hours after application. It will remove plaque and oral inflammations, strengthen blood flow, keep your gums pink and strong, and your teeth as white as snow!"

Re:Trade-offs (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001384)

The problem is that those millions of years were in another environment - we didn't use to live in the enormous year round abundance of food we have now.

Our body's intuition says to stock up on fat for the harsh times, it says sweet = always good, fat = always good. Eat the food you can get before the next famine strikes.

We know what the ideal diet is - eat with the season, in tremendous variety, use meats in moderation, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, prefer wholewheat grains over processed flour, vegetable oils, get those fatty fish while they still exist. Do all those things your mother said you should.

Unfortunately, our body's intuition, given the current environment, causes a large majority of us to overeat and to emphasize the wrong things.

All that said, isolation one molecule that currently looks like it is helpful against a symptom, and fix the bacon so that it contains it... surely that's not the solution.

Re:Trade-offs (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001512)

Optimization of my diet makes my body run much better.

And eating what I am evolved to eat isn't an option: I'm evolved to eat a mixture of things that grow up in a totally mixed environment (no farming, other types of plants next to it), nuts, occasionally game, occasionally fish.

The trouble is that the earth can only support about 100 million people living this way. Which 98% do we kill off?

Eivind.

Healthy fat and marketing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001165)

Can anyone else smell a marketing stunt behind it?

I mean, let's face it, considering the average person in so called "developed countries", there's no such thing as healthy fat. We simply eat too much of it, no matter how healty it is. You can create "high fructose" stuff as much as you like, it still is sugar. Yes, probably better than "ordinary" beet sugar, but still sugar.

Same with Omega-3 fat. It's not like you get more healthy by eating more of it. Yeah, it's better than eating that saturated grease, but best would be NOT eating it at all!

Yes, we need fat in our diet, of course, but it's similar to salt in our diet: In "modern" food, you simply cannot eat too little of it, no matter what you do.

So, instead of eating "more Omega-3 fat", we should eat LESS fat altogether. But it is probably hard to get this past marketing.

Re:Healthy fat and marketing (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001348)

You can create "high fructose" stuff as much as you like, it still is sugar. Yes, probably better than "ordinary" beet sugar, but still sugar.

high fructose corn syrup [wikipedia.org] is markedly worse for you than any natural sugar. The main reason HFCS exists is that it's cheaper than real sugar and it doesn't spoil as fast.

Yes, we need fat in our diet, of course, but it's similar to salt in our diet: In "modern" food, you simply cannot eat too little of it, no matter what you do.

Essential Fatty Acids are called that because your body needs them and can't produce them on its own. "Modern" food as you call it has little or no Omega-3 fatty acids; therefore you can eat it all day and not make any significant progress toward getting O-3 fats. The two types of fat are so different in terms of what your body uses them for that you can't substitute one for the other.

Re:Healthy fat and marketing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001424)

But I hope we can agree on replacing (almost) all fat in your diet with Omega-3 would still result in too much fat.

I was also not refering to hfcs, but currently here the marketing goons of various kid food chains are riding the "full of healthy fructose" fad. Which makes me cringe every time I hear it. Fructose is still sugar.

And O3FS fat is still fat. Yes, it is essential (so is fat, actually), but we already eat far more than enough of the stuff. Yes, we need HDL, but just pumping more of it into you won't decrease your LDL count. Only decreasing your LDLs will.

It's not like you can eat more of one kind to counter the other kind. What you gotta do is eat less of the other kind. But somehow I feel we won't get to hear that from marketing.

Re:Healthy fat and marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001500)

Fructose is stunningly bad for you. The rise in obesity in the US shows a remarkable correlation with the replacment of sucrose with fructose as the sweetner in sodas and other processed foods.

Just PLEASE don't take the "old" bacon away (2)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001169)

I'm afraid of this shit. I love bacon and eggs every now and then, and the same shit could happen with this as with corn - you can't buy non-GM corn flakes anymore unless you shop at an "organic" store and pay twice the price. Leave bacon alone, I say. Or at least clearly mark the non-GM variety so that I'd know which one to buy.

Maize (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001224)

All corn is genetically modified. Maize [wikipedia.org] was domesticated thousands of years ago in a process of natural genetic modification. I'm not convinced that our recent addition of resistance to specific herbicides or insect pests is more significant than 10,000 years of gradual change by artificial selection. And all sorts of crazy genetic modifications (via viruses, cross-species pollination, etc.) take place naturally under the radar of our current understanding and observation. It's still corn.

you apparently don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001332)

resistant to herbicides ("roundup-ready" for instance) means they spray even *more* herbicides on the corn then they do now.

Re:Maize (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001361)

I think the parent post was claiming to be afraid of GM plants which are used for genetic research (read: the ones where they add, for example, rat asshole genes to a plant or other organism to see what the genes are responsible for doing). Might as well check out the Wikipedia article on Genetic Engineering [wikipedia.org] .

The funny thing is that while I want my Lucky Charms to contain ingredients which are (ideally) rat asshole free (using above example), I really don't mind if the grain came from plants which were selectively bred so that they produce more grain per acre.

When I eat popcorn, I don't give a second thought to the fact that the corn is guaranteed to be GM. Afterall, Orville Redenbacher made his own hybrid. I do give second thought, however, to the strange substance posing as "butter topping", but mostly because of the fact that after a long movie, it may stain my clothes after it eats its way out of the tub of pop corn.

Of course very few people give a single thought to the fact that the "human" insulin they take via injection is comming directly from a GM'ed lab strain of e. coli. Users of Apidra (Insulin Analog), Novolog (Crap that cloggs in insulin pump tubing), Humilog (Lispro, the grand daddy)... are doubly lucky as their insulin is modified and comes from GM'ed e. coli. (yeah, I'm a type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump.)

Boneless chickens (2, Funny)

adisakp (705706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001188)

Now all we need to do is biologically engineer boneless chickens for those tasty "boneless" chicken wings :-)

Re:Boneless chickens (1)

straybullets (646076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001581)

biologically engineer boneless chickens

they [new-harvest.org] have already done it [newscientist.com] .

How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001194)

It sad to see that we as a race still do something so cruel and barbaric as eat the flesh of another living being when we have the ability to sustain ourselves with plants and vegetables. You certainly don't need to worry about eating the wrong fats, as I can't think of one plant that we eat that is bad for you. We would certainly be able to feed more people with plant farms, than animal farms. Another plus is that we wouldn't ruin our environment with plants farms as we would with pig farms. I remember seeing an article about 5 years ago how the pig farms in the US east coast has poisoned the Alantic Ocean with parasites that literally eat the flesh off the fish, not just one species but many species of fish have been affected by this. So how about not bringing home the bacon???

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001264)

You certainly don't need to worry about eating the wrong fats, as I can't think of one plant that we eat that is bad for you.

Define bad. Where do you think sugar comes from? I'll give you a hint, it's not from pigs. Avocado's are also fairly fatty. Many fruits eaten to excess can cause diarrhea. Vegetarians, especially women, need to be very careful of what they eat to ensure they get needed vitamins and trace elements commonly found in meat - like iron.

We would certainly be able to feed more people with plant farms, than animal farms.

Meat has far more energy, weight for weight, than fruit and vegetables. Depending on how you farm the animals, you can provide more energy per hectare off animals than off most crops.

Another plus is that we wouldn't ruin our environment with plants farms as we would with pig farms.

No, you'd ruin them with other farms. Growing plants puts a strain on the soil. That's why you have crop rotations - you need to give the soil a chance to regain it's nutrients before you stick some more crops in it to start sucking them out again. If you increased the fruit and veg farming industry to the point where society could function totally without meat, you'd most definately have an impact on the environment. It'd just be a different one.

what planet are you from? (1, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001343)

Meat has far more energy, weight for weight, than fruit and vegetables. Depending on how you farm the animals, you can provide more energy per hectare off animals than off most crops.

I'm surprised that someone can be so wrong. Meat takes very roughly ten times the energy to produce than vegetables. Livestock have to eat plants to survive. Mostly, they are fed low-cost-high-yield plants like maize, soy, and castor bean, and various animal wastes, but livestock still require a great deal of land. You think livestock feed on air or something?

By going to a fully vegetarian society, though there would still be an environmental impact, the impact would certainly be much less.

Re:what planet are you from? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001445)

It depends on how you raise them. A decent-sized herd of cows can get most of their food intake by grazing in their pasture. The same land they live in grows food to support them. That's not to mention that animals also eat the low-grade foodstuffs that are unfit or undesirable for human consumption. If you didn't utilize that stuff to feed animals, what would you do with it? Throw it away? Force people to eat it?

Now granted, as I understand a lot of modern animal farming, you simply box the animal in and import all its food. I've no idea what sort of efficiency that gives in terms of land used. But the fact remains that animal farming does not have to cause these huge environmental problems; it's only when you start trying to cram as many as possible in to as small a space as possible that you start hitting that sort of problem. And if you farmed fruits and vegetables in the same way, you'd deplete the soil and screw everything up too. The problem isn't meat vs vegetables, it's responsible farming.

Re:what planet are you from? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001482)

I don't eat grass. However, the sheep in the field behind my house do eat grass. The meadow has no fertilizer or pesticides put down on it, and it is just left with the sheep on it - leading to a diversity of wild plant species especially in the hedgerows which would not be there if it were turned over to crops.

Sheep also simultaneously produce wool for clothing (which I dare say has less environmental impact than making synthetic wool).

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001372)

Sure, but your conscience would be clear(er). The worst thing about non-vegetarian humans is the fact that 99% of them don't do any of the killing like the other carnivores in nature. They are happy to buy stuff from supermarket shelves not caring that an animal has lost its life for it, as they do not taken any part in the butchery.

To all the carnivores out there:

The next time you want to have chicken, don't go to KFC - find a chook and chop its head off, pluck it, drain its blood and cook it to your heart's content.

The next time you want to have lamb chops, find a cute little lamb; straddle and hold it between your legs; try to ignore its plaintive bleating; take a knife and slit its throat a few times until it stops struggling to live. Again drain the blood (or drink it :S), chop off its fore and hind legs and perhaps its head and cute little tail; skin it; debone it and cook it to your heart's content.

etc. etc. for all the animals murdered in the name of cuisine.

The worst thing is when people justify this by saying that the animal is usually killed painlessly.. FFS - you are killing it!

Heartless..

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001391)

Meh, my conscience is perfectly clear, at least on the charges of eating meat. I've never butchered a chook or a lamb, but I've gutted and cleaned fish I've caught before eating them. Close enough, without the cute appeal.

And the whole supermarket thing is only recent; at least here in Australia. My grandparents can still remember their parents butchering chickens at home. We're the first generation in a while who've had qualms about consuming meat in any serious numbers - and we're the ones most removed from the actual source of the food. Talk to the ones who do do the killing - the farmers and the butchers. They don't have any qualms about it. The people who do are the squeamish suburbian types who've never seen a lamb except at the petting zoo (or the cold storage) and romantacize and anthropomorphize all the cute, cuddly animals getting killed.

And I hope you feel the pain of every soy-bean whose life you brutally extinguish. The worst thing is when vegetarians justify this by saying plants don't have nervous systems and are killed painlessly. FFS - you are killing it!

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001464)

Mod parent up!

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001595)

To all the carnivores out there:

I'm an Omnivore [reference.com] , bitch.

etc. etc. for all the animals murdered in the name of cuisine.

It's not possible to murder food.

LK

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1)

localman (111171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001493)

I think your missing something here: you may be able to get more energy out of livestock raised on a plot of land than the veggies raised in the same space. But what do the animals eat? Veggies, usually, from another area. So you're using the vegetable area anyways, and now the livestock area on top of it.

It's pretty well established that feeding veggies to animals and then eating their meat is a very inefficient use of energy. I'm quite certain that you can feed more people off an acre of beans and rice than the cows raised off an acre of beans and rice in the same time frame. Just think about that for a moment. Thus your last paragraph doesn't really line up either, as our overall vegetable farming needs would go down, not up, if we all ate vegetables instead of meat.

Despite that, our food shortage problems have nothing to do with meat eating. Hunger is a political problem. So I say go ahead and eat meat if you like it. And choose organic if you're concerned about the environmental impact. I'm a meat eater and that's what I've chosen, anyways.

Cheers.

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (2, Interesting)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001338)

You know, no matter how rational of an argument you have, adding multiple question marks or exclamation points always takes credability points away in most people's books.

Because of how the Internet works the only way we can tell how you mean stuff is how you write it -- caps is generally regarded as shouting, and 1337 conveys a stereotype, as does aimspeek. Similarly, using multiple punctuation marks leads to other stereotypes.

I saw a rule of thumb for exclamation points once -- you should only use as many in a week as you have thumbs.

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001346)

...as eat the flesh of another living being when we have the ability to sustain ourselves with plants and vegetables.

Do you mean those pesticide sprayed berries in February? (North America) Or Monsanto Fries, or is it Dow green beans? Half my teeth are for meat, half are for vegies. Thats how I eat. And yes, I know meat has the same issues as vegies. But until we decide to grow food naturally I will have to live with the fact that the "all beef" steroid antibiotic burger will have to do.

Re:How about NOT bringing home the bacon... (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001412)

Do you mean those pesticide sprayed berries in February? (North America) Or Monsanto Fries, or is it Dow green beans? Half my teeth are for meat, half are for vegies. Thats how I eat. And yes, I know meat has the same issues as vegies. But until we decide to grow food naturally I will have to live with the fact that the "all beef" steroid antibiotic burger will have to do.

Some people already do grow food naturally, but until you decide to stop buying the steroid antibiotic burgers they will continue to be produced for your consumption.

I voted with my money years ago, I dont buy that shit anymore and I'm not the only one.

This story is not about health, it is about marketing. Nobody is genetically engineeering pigs or corn for the good of the human race, they are doing it to make more profit at the expense of the human race.

No Clear Evidence Omega 3 Fatty Acids Beneficial (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001247)

Recently there have been articles that state there is no conclusive evidence that Omega 3 Fatty Acids are beneficial.

Omega 3 might not be a lifesaver [icnetwork.co.uk]
Mar 24 2006
Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
SCIENTISTS have cast doubt on whether fish oils can really help protect against heart disease.

It's interesting that they're using genes from C. elegans [wikipedia.org] which along with the fruit fly, yeast and the mouse make up some of the most throughly studied organisms. I wonder if it's a case of looking for the lost keys under the street light because that's where it's brightest.

Pigs have become popular as pets and many campaign to end the eating of pork. A open and shut case of anthroporcmorphism.:)

Obb. Futurama Reference (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001269)

Fry: I'm never gonna get used to the 31st century. Caffeinated bacon? Baconated grapefruit? Admiral Crunch? Leela: Well, if you don't like that, try some Archduke Chocula.

And how is the taste ? (2, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001297)

This remind me of those nice tomatoe which stay red a lot longer. And taste like water. Methink people concentrate too much on "not dying", and not enough on "living".

Clean food is good for you (2, Interesting)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001306)

Far too much is made of these improvements, if they are in fact improvements.

My grandfather lived to be 92, and died 2 days after playing and dancing to fiddle at a wedding. After having 2 wives and 15 children it is not hard to see why he had a large farm. Being monetarily poor, everything was used and everything made from the farm and without chemicals or bio agents. He was a mixed farmer raising cattle, pigs, chickens and wheat.

Well, to the point. None of the food, including eggs fried in suet every day, or the grease from the cattle or pig lard in bread, pastries or what amounts to steak-fried chicken ever hurt him. By modern days standards he should have died at 22 of a massive heart attack due to cholesterol alone.

But one truth appears to be the chemicals, the bio "enhancements" and engineering of foods is what is killing many of us. Growth hormones get passed on through the food chain and tell our bodies to "put it on". Radiation sterilizes but also kills proteins we need and thus we eat more. Nitrate preservatives... The pesticide residues in steady feed but minute ("government accepted levels") linger and pass regularly down the food chain to humans. Who knows, your cow might have been grazed down wind of a chemical processing plant or drank water downstream from another city or chemical use agro farm with god knows what in it.

It isn't just in livestock like chickens, pork and cattle. Seafood caught after rivers carry out taconite, lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury and a host of other impurities. The shrimp from Thailand to the Cod of the shores of Newfoundland all have similar issues.

When it comes to tinkering about the food chain, we might want to concern ourselves about a species like the Leopard Frog that is sensitive to mans pollution and bio agents. There used to be lots of them, but haven't seen one for 20 years and I have looked. Never saw tumors in fish until the last 5 years either.

Finding clean food is increasing becoming a problem. The problem is there are few places to grow clean food.

Re:Clean food is good for you (1)

Quantum Fizz (860218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001396)

Nice post, and I tend to agree with you.

People in the past century lived pretty long because they used primarily organic farming (didn't have non-organic methods yet) and also had more physically active jobs.

I wonder how the life span of baby-boomers and gen Xers will be comparitively. I mean, we are more likely to have desk jobs, and our food just has lots of processed crap, like unsaturated fats, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, remnants of growth enzymes from meat and dairy, etc. And we also have alot more plastics, especially plastic-coated cookware, which probably isn't good for us either.

So while our technology is getting better, our societal progress may be pushing us backwards in terms of life span and general health. It'll be interesting (and probably sad) to see what happens in the next decade or two.

Re:Clean food is good for you (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001465)

Actually, you're both wrong: life expectancy has been increasing all along (in the western world at least), and one instance of a man eating a fatty diet and living to a ripe old age with no heart trouble is about as representitive as the smoker who smoked 40 a day and lived to 90 - it's an anomaly.

Plastics are probably a lot better for us than bare metal, after all, you're not going to get traces of aluminium along with your food (aluminium is a cause of Altzheimer's).

The evidence shows that progress is pushing us FORWARDS about 18 months of life expectency per decade.

polyunsaturated fatty acids (1)

flowerp (512865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001311)


They would need to make pork meat with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. That would be nice and healthy. Problem though: I doubt a pig can live consisting of fats that are usually mostly found in plants and vegetable oil. Would that pig have green color? ;)

Dune (1)

Velocir (851555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001327)

Does no-one remember sligs? The Tleilaxu bioengineered combination of slugs and pigs that feed on garbage and produce the sweetest meat known to man. Calling someone a slig is a grave insult, yet sligmeat is valued above all other meat...

Spoo: the other white meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001585)

Me thinks spoo would be healthier than any other white meat...

Swine Heart Disease? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001370)

Geneticists have mixed DNA from the roundworm C. elegans and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids -- the kind believed to stave off heart disease.

Why would they bother doing this? I doubt heart disease is a major cause of death in pigs. Most of them don't live long enough to get past middle age. Maybe we should focus our DNA testing on animals which live over five years, like the turtle. Jeez! What a waste of funding! ;)

Don't play with your food (1)

coffeechica (948145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001374)

Can we please stop messing with food? Please? Especially when we don't really know anything about the long-term effects yet? It's really stopping to be funny now, and I'm running out of meat which hasn't been tampered with. Beef? Mad Cow (we know the long-term there). Pork? Antibiotics, plus this lovely new genetic experimenting. Chicken? Antibiotics again, and same goes for turkey. Fish? Full of lead. It's getting a bit tricky by now, and switching over to venison or kangaroo isn't exactly an option.

There's no knowing what the long-term effects of genetic engineering in food will be. So stop mass-testing it on the population.

Re:Don't play with your food (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001425)

Actually, when it comes to fish, you have to really worry about the mercury content.

I worry less about GMO and a whole lot more about food additives. MSG, high frutrose corn syrup, Splenda/Saccrin/Asperitame... stuff like that isn't really healthy for anyone.

Re:Don't play with your food (1)

Dan Farina (711066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001448)

Would you like to continue to be able to eat affordably?

Buy your organic free-range beef if you like, I care not. Just don't suggest that we should all have to pay for organic free-range beef.

(This is in the sake of argument, as I do not eat beef much at all. I'm instead saddened by having to ration my fish intake, where there is seemingly no recourse in buying "organic fish")

Re:Don't play with your food (1)

coffeechica (948145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001469)

I'm buying organic meat. Which means that I'm cutting back on how much of it I eat, since of course it's more expensive. Healthier all around.

I don't want anyone to be forced to pay for organic or bio food. But at the same time I don't want to be forced to have to buy food which has a list of ingredients full of emulgators and other stuff that belong in a chemistry lab and not on a plate.

Odd - "biologically sound" fish is easy to get here and not even that much more expensive. It's quite a market. As long as you don't want salmon or anything else that can't be raised/grown/whatever you do with fish in controlled environments. It all depends on the demand for it, of course, so if you're one of the few who cares...

Flax Seeds (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001378)

Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega 3. 25g ground up will give you about 10g of omega 3.

    PenGun
  Do Whta Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

22 Slices of Bacon Later... (1)

It's Impossible (891247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001385)


Finally I can eat my* Ultimate Bacon Sandwich [speakeasy.org] without guilt!




* Sadly, this is not actually my Ultimate Bacon Sandwich.

Let me be the first to say it... (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001389)

GOD BLESS SCIENCE!

And to all you vegetarians out there, until they make a plant that tastes like bacon, I'm not switching. If God didn't want us to eat animals then why did he cover them in meat?

Mmmmmm (1)

thallgren (122316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001451)

Mmmmmm, woooooooormmm baaaaaacooooon.

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001497)

welcome our parasitic porcine overloads.

Fake lives (1)

Dewin Cymraeg (607476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001529)

Nice to know that with the huge problems facing the world in terms of poverty, hunger, the environment and inept politicians, so much energy is being wasted in genetically engineering food.

Hey here's a thought: just don't eat so much bacon!

Maybe we could genetically engineer humans so that instead of having free-will, we follow a government-led pre-planned path to happiness. That way there'd be no more crime. There might be poverty, but we wouldn't care! And we can eat as much pig-like meat as the labs can produce.

Oh, brave new world...

where is the research (1)

order_underlies (451013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001604)

this is just the sort of shit we should be doing unitl long term reseacrh has proved it to be safe. some company will try and push these things through the FDA, and food associations, and there is just no way of telling what the side effects would be - especially the long term ones.

this is such a digusting aborration of science - only when we have lost what we have got will we realise how beautiful it was untouched.
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