Nearly 26,000 Meat Packers Have COVID-19

As of June 25, there have been at least 25,700 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 243 plants in 33 states, and at least 95 reported worker deaths at 39 plants in 24 states.

MidWest Center for Investigative Reporting

Meanwhile in Oklahoma a few weeks ago…

116 COVID-19 infections found in pork processing plant in Guymon

and in Houston…

Screenshot_2020-06-27 2019 Novel Coronavirus

On June 26th, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the Current Level of Risk for Harris County from Level 2 to Level 1.

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.

Regardless of current level indicated, all residents should continue the use of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of face coverings until there is a vaccine or a treatment for the virus. Additionally, residents exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days regardless of level indicated.

My vegetarian cookbook collection is growing.  Grocery trips will include more shelf stable items so that I’ll be able to fix more meat-free meals in the near future.

The acquisition of more cookbooks is a rational strategy.  I’ll need more sources besides the same recipe that shows up multiple times on multiple websites as the best (fill in the blank) for inspiration in the kitchen when the POTUS issues an Executive Order rationing animal proteins.

Nearly 5,000 Meat Packers Have COVID-19

COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported by 19 states. Among approximately 130,000 workers at these facilities, 4,913 cases and 20 deaths occurred. Factors potentially affecting risk for infection include difficulties with workplace physical distancing and hygiene and crowded living and transportation conditions.

COVID-19 Among Workers in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities ― 19 States, April 2020

Meanwhile in Oklahoma…

Texas County COVID-19 case count at 343; Guymon 3rd-highest number of cases

116 COVID-19 infections found in pork processing plant in Guymon

The article link is old.  I’m unable to find any current data on the number of Covid-19 cases at the meat processing plant.

Like I’ve before,  my vegetarian cookbook collection is growing.  I’ll need more sources for inspiration in the kitchen when the government starts rationing animal proteins and mandates veganism.

“Unlike other supply chain issues, this has nothing to do with anyone overseas. This has to do with how many people can you make work inside one of these processing plants—they’re all very close to each other and there’s a public health risk,” Rubio said. “So there’s been disruptions there. I know people are working hard to get that resolved. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to go a little vegan, right?”

Marco Rubio Admits “We Have to Go a Little Vegan” Due to Meat Shortage

Vitamin D Hypothesis – A Role in COVID-19 Mortality Rates?

Vitamin D Levels Appear to Play Role in COVID-19 Mortality Rates

By analyzing publicly available patient data from around the globe, Backman and his team discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and cytokine storm — a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune system — as well as a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality.

The research is available on medRxiv, a preprint server for health sciences.

The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality

In conclusion, we found significant crude relationships between vitamin D levels and the number COVID-19 cases and especially the mortality caused by this infection. The most vulnerable group of population for COVID-19, the aging population, is also the one that has the most deficit Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D has already been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections and it was shown to be safe. It should be advisable to perform dedicated studies about vitamin D levels in COVID-19 patients with different degrees of disease severity.

Many years ago I approached my former personal care physician and asked to have my Vitamin D level checked.

“What the hell for?”

“I would like to know my Vitamin D blood level to see if I need to take a supplement.”

“Just get outside in the sun for around 20 minutes a day.”

“Just order the test.”

And he did.  Less than a week later Doc called me back to let me know I had Vitamin D deficiency.  I’ve been taking a daily supplement since.

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic. The major cause of vitamin D deficiency is the lack of appreciation that sun exposure in moderation is the major source of vitamin D for most humans. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and foods that are fortified with vitamin D are often inadequate to satisfy either a child’s or an adult’s vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children and will precipitate and exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures in adults. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, and infectious diseases. A circulating level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of >75 nmol/L, or 30 ng/mL, is required to maximize vitamin D’s beneficial effects for health. In the absence of adequate sun exposure, at least 800–1000 IU vitamin D3/d may be needed to achieve this in children and adults. Vitamin D2 may be equally effective for maintaining circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D when given in physiologic concentrations.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 1080S–1086S, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.4.1080S
Published: 01 April 2008

An interesting hypothesis that needs more research.

Update 05.16.20

Journal Reference:

  1. E. Laird, J. Rhodes, R.A. Kenny. Vitamin D and Inflammation: Potential Implications for Severity of Covid-19. Irish Medical Journal, 2020; 113 (5): P81 [link]

Journal Reference:

  1. Petre Cristian Ilie, Simina Stefanescu, Lee Smith. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8

 

 

Taco Bell is launching an all-vegetarian menu feature with 50 meat-free items

Taco Bell is launching an all-vegetarian menu feature with 50 meat-free items

I’ve been following the Vegan Tsunami for some time now.  See here, here, and here, 2018-The year vegan junk food went mainstream.

A few things to remember:

  • The media is extremely loud on this subject and the percentage of vegetarians in the United States is approximately 5% or less.
  • Fast food is still fast food, meat or no meat.
  • My post is not an endorsement.

I haven’t eaten at a Taco Hell in years.  And the availability of 50 meat free items is not going to entice me to start eating there again.  If you’re eating less meat for health reasons that’s fine.  But don’t pursue your meat-free lifestyle with fast food.

 

 

Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study

Key points

  • The highest probability of reaching 90 years of age (longevity) was found for men and women drinking 5– < 15 g alcohol/day (or 0.5–1.5 glass/day); the exposure–response relationship was significantly non-linear in women.
  • Usual drinking pattern and binge drinking were not significantly associated with longevity, but the risk estimates indicate to avoid binge drinking.
  • The estimated modest risk ratios (RRs) should not be used as motivation to start drinking if one does not drink alcoholic beverages.
Results

 

We found statistically significant positive associations between baseline alcohol intake and the probability of reaching 90 years in both men and women. Overall, the highest probability of reaching 90 was found in those consuming 5– < 15 g/d alcohol, with RR = 1.36 (95% CI, 1.20–1.55) when compared with abstainers. The exposure-response relationship was significantly non-linear in women, but not in men. Wine intake was positively associated with longevity (notably in women), whereas liquor was positively associated with longevity in men and inversely in women. Binge drinking pointed towards an inverse relationship with longevity. Alcohol intake was associated with longevity in those without and with a history of selected diseases.

 

Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study

Hormesis?

Is Artisanal Fake Meat the Next Trend?

The company’s chopped “chicken” is made with pea and wheat protein, herbs such as sage and thyme, and salt and pepper, without preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors or colors. “I think that in the plant-based category, there’s so much innovation and so much excitement going around with what we can develop in a lab and what science can really add to the category,” Song says. “But at the end of the day, this is ‘We’re in the food space,’ and I think people are forgetting that this needs to be food.”

Still. Not. Meat.

Read the entire article and decide for yourself.

Why do you need food that pretends to be something other than what it is?

The GMO Problem in Fake Burgers

For starters if you need a primer on fake burgers read the following Epicurious article:

Everything You’ve Ever Wondered About Meatless Meat, Explained

And for the GMO angle read the article below:

Earth Watch: It’s Not the Cow, It’s the “How”

While at the grocery store I saw these in the refrigerated section next to the beef.

VegNews.SmithfieldVeganMeatLine

Photo: courtesy of VegNews.

Earlier this year a veggie magazine got pretty pumped about this meat free burger (see link below).

World’s Largest Pork Producer Launches Plant-Based Breakfast Patties, Burgers, and Meatballs

But with nary a word on the downsides.

Of course I picked up the package despite the pricey price tag of $6.99 for two patties.  The list of ingredients was too long to read.  My mind immediately said “highly processed” and I skipped the list.  Instead my eyes saw the deeply discounted price of $0.99.  Ninety nine cents.  Less than a buck.  I didn’t buy any.  No one else in the store seemed to be buying any either.

An earlier post of mine focused on meat alternatives in fast foods.  My conclusion was and is fast food is fast food whether prepared with meat or with a meat alternative.

For the moment this is still a free country (I live in the US).  I am not going to tell anyone what to buy or what to eat.  I’ve eaten both of the leading brands of bleeding plant based meatless burgers.  Both tasted fine but after digging in a little deeper I won’t be buying or eating any more of these plant based bleeders from any major corporation.

It’s better to make your own veggie burgers.

 

 

How Do Beyond and Impossible Burgers Stack Up From a Health Perspective?

Fake Meats! Full article at this link.

Ethical and environmental issues of meat production aside, it’s difficult to ignore the number and nature of the ingredients necessary to reproduce the taste and texture of a single-ingredient food. Aside from water, just about everything in the Beyond and Impossible burgers is highly processed, and many ingredients bear a striking resemblance to those often found in foods considered responsible, at least in part, for the current epidemic of obesity and chronic disease affecting numerous populations around the world.

Improving fruit and vegetable intake attenuates the genetic association with long-term weight gain

Conclusions

Genetically associated increased BMI and body weight could be mitigated by increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and the beneficial effect of improving fruit and vegetable intake on weight management was more pronounced in individuals with greater genetic susceptibility to obesity.

Improving fruit and vegetable intake attenuates the genetic association with long-term weight gain