The week that was (14 April 2016)

Read -  The Sugar Conspiracy in The Guardian. It’s a great story of scientist pitted against scientist (anti-sugar man vs anti-fat man) looking at how we found ourselves in the anti-fat fad of the '80s (as opposed to an anti-sugar fad). “It was not difficult to persuade the public that if we eat fat, we will be fat (this is a trick of the language: we call an overweight person “fat”; we don’t describe a person with a muscular body as “proteiny”. But there was so much more to it – dodgy board appointments, big business funding, popularity contests. I don’t agree sugar is to blame, but the tale of how fat was pushed out while sugar stayed in (everything!) is sordid and fascinating.
 
The article also looks at the correlation between the anti-fat movement and the obesity epidemic  (“Just 12% of Americans were obese in 1950, 15% in 1980, 35% by 2000. In the UK, the line is flat for decades until the mid-1980s, at which point it also turns towards the sky. Only 6% of Britons were obese in 1980. In the next 20 years that figure more than trebled.”) Wow. 
 
They note "the cure should not be worse than the disease" which segues nicely into this article in Bloomberg about the antibiotics used in livestock production. Did you know that worldwide, animals consume more antibiotics than humans? The exposé looked at the chook industry in India, where antibiotic regulation is almost non-existent and “antibiotics are often used as a substitute for sanitation and hygiene."

The use of antibiotics at "low or sub-therapeutic strengths" is also known to speed growth in food-animals and has been common place in western agriculture since the '50s. If it makes animals fatter faster, what do we think it will do to us?

However, the point of the article was not obesity but rather a fear of building antibiotic resistance (in animals and humans). A friend and medical journalist used a car analogy to explain the significance of this - you want to keep the Ferrari in the garage for special occasions. In India it's chicken feed. 
 
Watch Roberto Liberatis, a Roman butcher, explain why working with ‘brado’ meat (literally translating to wild, but essentially meaning free-ranging and grass-eating) requires different thinking. Liberatis (great name for a brado butcher, right??) notes that in order to celebrate the virtues of such meat we need to re-think how we work with it, both in the butchery and in the kitchen. He also suggests we have also forgotten how to chew. He’s a delight and he raises some very good points.
 
Download - the free-range egg app, CluckAR.  Using the app you can scan an egg carton in store and the app will give you the stocking density of the farm. It's pretty cool.