How to have a healthy dog in just eight weeks: Pet guru Kate Bendix shows how … – Daily Mail

We all know that what we eat is crucial to our long-term health – but how many of us pause to extend that logic to our dogs? Although we’re aware that if our diet is high in ready meals, sugar and processed meat we’ll pile on the pounds, few of us stop to think in the same way for our four-legged friends. And that means that, sadly, millions are now what we can only describe as doggy porkers.

Even if our beloved canine companions are not actually overweight, the foods we choose to feed them are causing long-term health problems. Over the past 20 years vets have noticed a massive rise in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome and skin problems in our dogs – just like humans in fact.

Author and animal lover Kate Bendix is shares her nutritional tips for dogs, pictured with her dog Nikita

Author and animal lover Kate Bendix is shares her nutritional tips for dogs, pictured with her dog Nikita

Deep-down most dog owners know they’re sometimes guilty of over-feeding their pets and not always feeding them the right things. But we’re also victims of marketing misinformation which has made it increasingly difficult to know what a healthy canine diet consists of. We’ve grown up feeding our dogs processed food and commercially prepared dry dog food, or kibble, because we believe the claims made by the food companies such as ‘stick to one food’. In my opinion, this is rubbish.

Luckily help is at hand. This week and next, I’ll be sharing with you sound nutritional tips gleaned from years of research into pet foods and dogs’ health issues. If you follow them – and particularly if you can bring yourself to ditch the dried dog food – then you really will see a different, healthier dog in just eight weeks. You’ll also be able to stop any weight gain and put your pet on the path to fitness. And there are delicious doggy recipes for you to try cooking for your pet at the back of this magazine too.

Part of the problem is that many of us are in denial about over-feeding our pets. You might think you only give them the odd this or that, but to a small animal that’s a big deal. For instance, a digestive biscuit is to a 10kg dog what seven would be to a 70kg human. A 10kg dog needs around 600 calories a day and a plain digestive has 73 calories – an eighth of their daily ration.

Kates says if you really follow her tips, you will see a different, healthier dog in just eight weeks

Kates says if you really follow her tips, you will see a different, healthier dog in just eight weeks

Guilt plays a major part too. Modern life is very busy and we feel guilty for leaving them alone while we go out to work, guilty for having to go out at night and guilty for watching TV when we could be playing with our pets. So when the pleading eyes look up at you, you slip him an extra treat or two. But a good dog diet is not rocket science, I promise you. And it won’t cost you a fortune or eat up your precious downtime either. More to the point, your dog will love it.


Take an honest look at your pet – then compare them to the dogs in the Body Conditioning table below to see if they need to lose weight. It works for all dogs and is widely used by pet professionals. Ideally your dog should have 16-25 per cent body fat, or just under if you have a leaner breed like a lurcher or greyhound.

You should also concentrate on the shape of your dog. Stand behind him and place a thumb on either side of his backbone. Now spread both hands across his rib cage. The ribs should be easy to feel without excessive fat covering – like pens in a soft pencil case. Now stand back and look at him from the side and from above. Can you see his waist? Run your hand underneath from the end of the chest along the belly – it should follow an upward curve and not droop down. This is the abdominal tuck. 

Is your dog in good shape? 

A little extra weight can be a big problem. 

Check your dog’s shape regularly – at least once a month with this Body Conditioning table to make sure he’s staying happy and healthy.


Studies have shown that even moderately overweight dogs are at risk of an early death. When a dog gains weight, the hormones released start to have an inflammatory effect on their body. Over time this can create problems for the dog’s whole system – heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and immune system. This is the starting point for a host of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

Excess weight can also lead to respiratory distress and can worsen brachycephalic syndrome, an upper airway problem afflicting snub-nosed breeds such as pugs. It can even cause a dog to collapse after exercise because it isn’t getting enough oxygen. These diseases are not only distressing but expensive to manage. A 12kg dog with diabetes could cost up to £1,100 per year in vet bills and drugs to manage the disease.

For the past decade the consensus has been that a dog needs to consume 2-3 per cent of their bodyweight daily, equating to 200-300g a day for a dog weighing 10kg. But how much your dog really needs to consume can depend on their energy levels – and whether they’ve been neutered. A neutered dog may need 25 per cent fewer calories a day. 

Studies have shown that even moderately overweight dogs are at risk of an early death

Studies have shown that even moderately overweight dogs are at risk of an early death

If your dog needs to lose some weight, you should first get him checked by his vet, then, if all appears to otherwise be well, reduce his intake of food by 15 per cent per day – no more – and watch for weight loss of 3-5 per cent per month.

Not all overfed dogs develop diabetes, but an unhealthy diet can cause a host of other problems including flatulence, bad breath, allergies, loose stools, constipation, poor coat condition, itchy skin, candida, lack of energy or twitchy energy. Indeed, regardless of whether your dog is overweight, the fact that many of us feed our pets the same food for years on end can itself lead to problems.

This lack of variety can cause Adverse Food Reaction (AFR), an intolerance to ingredients that are continuously served up. This is particularly true of chicken, as it’s prevalent in dog food. While AFR rarely leads to a full-blown allergy, it can compromise your pet’s immune system, causing chronic itchy and dry skin, flea-allergic dermatitis, leaky gut and colitis. These will wear your pet down, cause you worry – and cost a fortune in vets’ bills. But the good news is that you may be able to clear them up with a varied diet.

 An unhealthy diet can cause a host of problems including flatulence, bad breath, allergies, loose stools, constipation, poor coat condition, itchy skin…


Dogs need a balanced and varied diet. There is good research to show that a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, fruit and vegetable diet is the optimum way to feed them. The best way to achieve this is with a mixture of shop-bought wet food, raw food and home-cooked grub. We’ll look at raw and home-cooked food over the page – and you can try my tasty recipes at the back of the magazine.


If you can only do one thing for your dog, I recommend you cut down on the amount of kibble you give or even ditch it entirely. The process by which dried pet food is produced involves refining the carbohydrate content. Refined carbohydrates can play havoc with your dog’s blood-sugar levels and irritate their gut. In addition, some brands contain raw starch, which can be harmful because the bad bacteria in the gut thrive on it, overwhelming the good and leading to problems ranging from bad breath and wind to colitis and skin problems. For the majority of dogs in the UK, dry dog food is all they will ever eat, but many of them are overweight and suffering identical diseases to us.


■ Buy British. In my view, we make the best dog food in the world, using good ingredients and up-to-date manufacturing equipment.

■ Aim for a good balance of ingredients. Commercial dog food suits a lot of people, particularly if they don’t have time to cook. Look for fresh meat, poultry-based fat, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

■ Note how the ingredients are listed. It’s the first six ingredients that count, so often anything listed below this is there for marketing purposes only. The exception to this are food supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin (both of which can help your dog’s joints), which may be listed as additives rather than ingredients.

'In my view, we make the best dog food in the world'

‘In my view, we make the best dog food in the world’

■ Check the carbohydrate content on the label. Too many refined carbohydrates are potentially damaging to your dog’s gut, pancreas and insulin levels so avoid foods that have wheat, soya and maize in them. Instead look for complex carbohydrates which release energy more slowly and are found in foods such as sweet potato, oats, brown rice and carrots.

■ Avoid any food containing ‘various sugars’ – these are added to boost palatability.

■ Also avoid vegetable protein. Dogs can digest meat protein better than vegetable protein, partly because the amino acid balance is better suited to their guts.

■ Beware of foods with antioxidants added. These are preservatives put into the food to slow the rate at which oils and fats spoil and turn rancid. They include Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT, which have recently been linked with tumour growth. Instead look for foods that have Vitamin E and plant extracts as the preservative.

■ Stay away from food containing the main causes of diet-related allergies in dogs: beef, wheat, dairy, soya and artificial colours and flavours.

Cook up a bowl full of goodness – he’ll wolf it down

As we’ve seen, the wrong kind of diet can cause many problems for our canine companions. Cooking your dog’s meals from scratch gives you the advantage of being able to select ingredients he likes, while avoiding those that set off problems, and I’ve devised some deliciously healthy recipes for your pet that you can try at the back of the magazine.

And as you’ll be feeding your dog more nutrient-rich food, he’ll need less of it. Many dog owners don’t want to pay more than 50p a day to feed their dog. No judgement here, but hand on heart I have to say that feeding a dog properly at this price isn’t viable today. In the recipe section at the back of the magazine, I’ve costed all my recipes to an average of 75p per meal. To economise, I suggest preparing home-made meals in batches, bagging up the food in meal-sized portions and freezing it.

Cooking your dog’s meals from scratch gives you the advantage of being able to select ingredients he likes, while avoiding those that set off problems

Overall, home-cooked food can make a massive difference to your pet’s health, especially if you’re switching from shop-bought food. To keep the costs of home-prepared food down, here are some tips that I’ve gleaned over the years. 

Get your bog-standard meat or fish from any supermarket you like. I personally like Aldi and Morrisons because all their meat is British and not outrageously priced. If you make friends with your local butcher or fishmonger you’ll find there’s often a cheeky bag of offal or a small bone to be had for pennies while you’re buying food for yourself. Cooking in batches ensures there’s always something good in the freezer for your pet. Just repeat the Dog Diet mantra to yourself: ‘I’m choosing to spend money on good food now to save money on vet bills later on.’


Another divisive topic is whether to feed your dog leftovers, so here’s a guide to what you can sensibly feed them…

They can have…

■ Meat – with all the fat, skin and bones removed.

■ Fish – with no bones.

■ Potatoes – a bit of leftover mash is fine, as is a boiled potato, but steer clear of Dauphinoise or fried potatoes.

But they can’t have…

■ Fatty meat or fatty foods. These can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

■ Foods with added salt and pepper. Remove any seasoned skin from meat.

■ Stews and casseroles. Fat, salt, wine, Worcestershire sauce and onions are all bad for dogs.

■ Gravy, even home-made, contains too much salt for pets. Just say NO.

■ Fast food. No surprises – this is also a no-no! 

Foods to avoid 

Some human foods are dangerous for dogs. Here’s what they cause…

■ Chocolate: Seizures, heart arrhythmia, death

■ Alcoholic drinks: Depression of central nervous system, slow respiratory rate, can be fatal

■ Onions: Damage the red blood cells – anaemia

■ Raisins and grapes: Diarrhoea, dehydration, kidney failure

■ Avocado: Upset stomach. The stone can cause obstruction if swallowed

■ Coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks: Seizures, heart arrhythmia

■ Milk, yoghurt, cream: Dogs can be lactose-intolerant causing stomach upset, diarrhoea, itchy skin. Goat’s milk is better

■ Macadamia nuts: Pain for up to 48 hours, fever, weakness in the back legs

■ Sweets, chewing gum, diet foods, toothpaste: Rapid drop in blood sugar caused by increased insulin release. Disorientation and seizures, liver failure

■ Fat trimmings from meat: Liver and kidney problems, pancreatitis 

Raw bones can be fed to your pet a few times a week

Raw bones can be fed to your pet a few times a week

Should they eat bones?

Raw bones can be fed to your pet a few times a week. Bones must always be raw and never cooked. Cooked bones of all descriptions – not just chicken – are harder, more brittle and will splinter easily. 

Raw bones are much softer and full of nutrition. 

Try chicken wings, lamb shoulder, duck necks and pork ribs. Many can be bought frozen in pet shops – or befriend your butcher.

Why not give raw food a try? 

Faced with a raft of health issues from obesity to diabetes and allergies, increasing numbers of pet owners I come across are feeding their animals raw food to help them back to health. The raw food diet, which involves feeding your pet uncooked meat and fish plus vegetables (either blended raw or cooked) and fruit, has become such a trend among dog owners in recent years that some pet food manufacturers are now selling their own formulations. The thinking behind it is that our pets’ ancestors were hunting carnivores and therefore uncooked meat is nutritionally superior for them. The types of meat and fish served raw include rabbit, duck, salmon, turkey, venison, beef and chicken.

Raw food certainly divides opinions. Some vets love it because they see healthy dogs with pearly white teeth, but others think it’s dangerous because they’ve had to operate to remove splintered bones from a dog’s gut, although cooked bones are more likely to be a problem as they’re a big no-no (see the box below). If it fits in with your lifestyle, your dog may thrive on it, but don’t feel guilty for not feeding it to your pet.

Some vets think raw food is dangerous because they've had to remove splintered bones from a dog's gut - but they are more hazardous cooked

Some vets think raw food is dangerous because they’ve had to remove splintered bones from a dog’s gut – but they are more hazardous cooked

Raw food can have enormous benefits. Firstly, you have less ‘output’ to clear up. This is because your dog’s body can use most of the nutrients so doesn’t waste much. You’ll notice digestion improve, energy levels and weight seem to even out, your dog’s skin, coat, eyes and teeth gleam. I’m not quite sure why this is the case, but all the raw-fed dogs I’ve met are a healthy weight. I suspect this is because the extensive research their owners put into making it work leads to them becoming more attuned to their dogs’ needs.

If you’re new to raw feeding, try your dog on a commercial raw food first. Brands like Natural Instinct, Natures Menu and Nutriment are very good and available online or from your pet shop’s freezer. They’re designed to be a complete food, so you know your dog’s getting the right balance of nutrients. As a guide, the ingredients in shop-bought raw food should resemble those in the table above. Add in the odd raw treat as well, such as thawed frozen duck necks and tripe sticks… Yum!

If you’re preparing your own raw food, the basic rule of thumb I use is: one-third raw meat with some bone, one-third cooked carbohydrates and one-third blended or cooked fruit and vegetables, by weight. If you’re avoiding carbohydrates, try 80 per cent meat and bone and 20 per cent fruit and veg. There’s no need to eliminate carbs from your dog’s diet unless it’s for health reasons, such as a clear intolerance to a particular food. For a normal dog, eliminating carbs may leave them lethargic. High-energy breeds need slow-release carbohydrates such as those found in sweet potato or quinoa.

Commercial Raw Food

These are the typical ingredients you can expect to find in shop-bought raw food. By law, they have to be listed on the packet in order of quantity with the largest amounts first, as they are here…

■ British chicken with bone (75%)

■ British chicken liver (5%)

■ Peas

■ Carrots

■ Butternut squash

■ Curly kale


■ Broccoli

■ Flaxseed oil

■ Sea kelp

■ Wheatgrass

■ Barley grass

■ Spirulina

■ Thyme, bilberry, brewer’s yeast

Blend veg like carrots and kale
Dogs barely chew and a dog's digestion starts in their stomach

Blend veg like carrots and kale. Dogs barely chew and a dog’s digestion starts in their stomach

Tips for serving raw food

■ Practise good food hygiene. If you’re using frozen raw meat, defrost it thoroughly, mix it with other ingredients, then serve it. Never refreeze raw meat that’s previously been frozen.

■ Blend fruit and veg. Dogs barely chew and a dog’s digestion starts in their stomach. Blending fruit and veg really amounts to doing the chewing for them, making the food easier to absorb.

■ Mix cooked vegetables with raw meat. Starchier vegetables such as carrots, swedes and turnips become easier to digest when cooked.

■ Vary protein sources. Lamb, pork, chicken, game and fish contain different levels of essential vitamins and minerals, all of which your dog needs.

■ Most dogs love offal. If raw feeding, around 20 per cent of your meat and bone ratio can be offal. But limit liver to 5 per cent as it’s high in Vitamin A which can cause joint pain.

Why raw food is good for your dog

■ It’s unprocessed 

■ Good for healthy teeth and gums 

■ Now available as a complete dog food from your pet shop 

■ Feeding raw clears up a lot of health niggles in your pets and can reduce that doggy smell

…and its pitfalls

■ Raw food needs supplementing with extra minerals and vitamins if you’re not buying commercial products, see my website for details 

■ It’s crucial to get the meat/offal/fruit/veg ratio right 

■ Freezer space is required 

■ Raw food requires safe handling as with any raw meat 

■ Bones can be a hazard  

For more info, visit 

The Dog Diet by Kate Bendix is published by Short Books, £8.99. 

WellPet Welcomes Sojos Raw Pet Food and Treats to Family of Premium Pet Food … – PR Newswire (press release)

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — WellPet, LLC, the number-one independent, family-owned natural pet food company, announced it has acquired Sojos, the Minneapolis-based maker and brand of naturally nutritious raw pet food and gourmet treats. Introduced to pet parents in 1985, Sojos pioneered and today is one of the leading brands in the fast-growing category of raw nutrition for pets.

Ward and Maggie Johnson have built one of the most exciting brands in raw nutrition and a first class team and manufacturing facility,” said WellPet Chief Executive Offer Tim Callahan. “WellPet and Sojos share a mission to transform the lives of pets by providing the very best in natural nutrition and, now, our collaboration will enable them to grow and serve more pet families while staying true to the Sojos we know and love.”

Sojos joins Wellness®, Old Mother Hubbard®, Eagle Pack® and Holistic Select® in the WellPet family of premium, natural pet food and treat brands. Together, WellPet’s brands have more than 100 years’ experience serving pets with the finest quality pet foods and treats.

“Our dream has always been to fundamentally change the way that people feed their pets and with WellPet we believe Sojos is in an even better position to make that dream a reality,” explained Sojos’ Ward Johnson.

Sojos foods and treats will continue to be made in Minneapolis at Sojos’ own facilities. Sojos Complete® recipes come with freeze-dried meat – just add water and serve. Sojos Pre-Mixes® are specially formulated to let pet parents add their own meat, along with water.

About Sojos:
Sojourner Farms began making its Sojos Original raw pet food in 1985. Since then, Sojos has made it possible for millions of pet parents to bring the benefits of natural, raw nutrition into their homes, safely, easily and affordably. Sojos raw foods and treats are available at independent pet specialty stores across the US and Canada. For more information, visit

About WellPet, LLC:
WellPet, the number-one, independent, family-owned natural pet food company is home to premium pet food brands Wellness®, Old Mother Hubbard®, Eagle Pack® and Holistic Select®. For more than 100 years, WellPet has delivered on the promise of doing whatever it takes to make the healthiest natural products for the pets that depends on us. Today, our team of animal lovers, nutritionists and vets at WellPet are committed to carrying forth our strong heritage, continuing to find new ways to bring innovation, nutritional excellence and product quality to our family of natural brands, always putting pet health first. For more information, visit

Wellness®, Holistic Select®, Eagle Pack® and Old Mother Hubbard® are trademarks of WellPet, LLC. All Rights Reserved. © 2016

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Wdowik column: The diet year in review – Colorado State News

photo of Wdowik

As we enter a new year, many have set goals to eat better and maybe lose some newly gained holiday pounds. 2015 brought new diets and recycled old diets, and had many of us talking about what, ultimately, is the best diet.

  • Top-rated diets including the DASH, TLC, and Biggest Loser diets encourage a variety of whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats, while discouraging processed foods. With reasonable portions, this blueprint has been shown to reduce weight and chronic disease risk.
  • Clean eating plans, such as The Eat-Clean Diet and The Whole 30, allow you vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats while avoiding sugar, alcohol, additives and preservatives. Some versions eliminate grains, legumes and dairy, and others encourage you to have a cheat day. The concept encourages real foods rather than refined, which is never a bad thing, but it is not necessary to eliminate entire food groups unless you have an allergy or intolerance.
  • Raw food diets claim that cooking makes food toxic, thus recommend only raw fruits, vegetables and grains. While some heating methods do destroy nutrients, there is no support for the claim that this diet pattern will cure headaches, allergies or arthritis. Even our ancestors used fire. Speaking of which…
  • Paleo-type diets, including the Caveman and Stone Age diets, profess that eating like our ancestors will make us leaner and less prone to chronic disease. This diet pattern allows meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and fats while eliminating grains, beans, peanuts, dairy, sugar and processed foods. This type of diet will lead to weight loss if you typically eat excess calories, but nutrition experts discourage a high meat intake and question the need to remove whole food groups.
  • Detoxes and cleanses claim to clean you out and rev up your metabolism. If you really think you need to be cleaned out (which your body does naturally), try drinking 8-10 cups of water daily and increasing your fiber intake from fruits and vegetables. Then add daily physical activity for a metabolism boost.
  • Vegetarian diets range from macrobiotic to vegan to inclusion of milk and eggs but no animal flesh. Popular versions include the China Study, Engine 2 and Skinny Bitch diets, and reasons for adhering to them range from weight loss to ethical beliefs. Pro: They all encourage vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Con: Some of these diets are extremely restrictive and make outrageous claims; eating is not meant to be punitive.
  • My favorite rendition is “flexitarian” eating, emphasizing a plant-based intake (vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, whole grains) with a side of dairy, fish, lean meats and other animal products to your liking, and minimal processed foods. This eating style steers the body to a healthy weight while reducing the risk of chronic disease.

There is no best diet for weight loss; the most successful reduces calories, period. Choose a style you enjoy and can stick with, and include regular physical activity. For non-dieting tips, see our January newsletter at

Happy eating and Happy New Year.

Melissa Wdowik, PhD, RDN, is an assistant professor at Colorado State University in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center.

Here's How to Eat Like Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, According to Their Chef – Celebuzz

Veggies with a side of veggies, but hold the tomato.

Personal chef Allen Campbell revealed what beautiful people Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady eat on their strict, plant-based diet to Campbell, who comes from a raw diet background, values organic ingredients and keeps away from GMOs.

“80 percent of what they eat is vegetables,” he says of Bundchen and Brady. “[I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats … As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.”

He does not use white sugar, white flour, or MSG. “[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory,” says Campbell. “So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but maybe once a month.”

Other foodstuffs that he avoids are coffee, caffeine, fungus, and dairy.

Credit: Allen Campbell

Brady rarely eats fruits, barring the occasional banana in a smoothie, but his children enjoy homemade fruit rolls made from bananas, pineapple and spirulina, which is an algae. “It’s a super fruit. I dehydrate it,” says the chef. “I dehydrate a lot of things.”

Read more on the football player and supermodel’s diets over on, and launch the gallery at the top of the page to view photos of Bundchen at the “Gisele” book release in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Tom Brady's kids have a diet that is almost as strict as his – Business Insider

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tom Brady is a professional football player who is still in peak shape at an age (38) when most players are retiring. Gisele Bündchen is a supermodel and actress who is still in great shape at an age (35) when most models are retiring.

So it should be no surprise that they both are obsessed with staying in peak condition and part of that is controlling what goes into their bodies. Naturally, that obsession is also practiced by their children.

Hilary Sargent of the Boston Globe sat down with Brady and Bündchen’s personal chef, Allen Campbell, and discussed what the Super Family eats.

While the diet of Brady and Bündchen is a bit jaw-dropping, it is not a complete shock considering what each does for a living and how important their bodies are to their work. But what is a bit jarring is what the children eat because, if anything, it sounds nothing like what most of us experienced growing up.

When asked if the kids eat the same as Brady and Bündchen, Campbell said, “pretty much,” noting that about 90% of the time it is the same. The main construction of the family diet is described here:

80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. [I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.

It’s very different than a traditional American diet. But if you just eat sugar and carbs—which a lot of people do—your body is so acidic, and that causes disease. Tom recently outed Frosted Flakes and Coca-Cola on WEEI. I love that he did that. Sugar is the death of people.

In addition, to not using sugar, Campbell says he also does not use white flour, iodized salt, or MSG, and he never cooks with olive oil. 

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen with their son Ben.

Charles Krupa/AP

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen with their son Ben.

The menu for the children does deviate and one of things Campbell has been making a lot for the kids is sushi.

“I’ve been [making a lot of sushi for the kids] lately,” Campbell told Sargent. “It’s brown rice, avocado, carrot, and cucumber. The kids like [it] maki-style, so the rice is on the outside. And I do it with a ponzu sauce, which is uzu and tamari. [I use] tamari because we stick to gluten free for everything.”

As for snacks, don’t expect grocery store fruit roll-ups or potato chips.

“I make fruit rolls from bananas, pineapple, and spirulina,” Campbell added. “Spirulina is an algae. It’s a super fruit. I dehydrate it. I dehydrate a lot of things. I have three dehydrators in their kitchen. I also make raw granola and raw chocolate chip cookies.”

Campbell also notes that the children eat fruit, something Brady avoids, except for the occasional banana smoothie.

While it doesn’t sound like the most exciting meals for a child, they won’t have to make that adjustment to a healthier lifestyle that most adults struggle with.

Raw food movement seeks local reboot in 2016 – Columbus Dispatch

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Raw food movement seeks local reboot in 2016 | The Columbus Dispatch

Clean Eaters Warned About Risk Of Disorders – Sky News

Carrie Armstrong was recovering from an illness that had left her bed-bound.

With doctors warning her recovery would be slow, she turned to online health blogs and found what she thought was the healthy food holy grail: clean eating.

A new fad in food, clean eating promotes unprocessed and natural meals. It covers everything from gluten-free to raw food diets, and is praised by a legion of fans.

But Ms Armstrong became so obsessed with eating healthily, she became unhealthy.

“I went from eating everything to not just eating raw food, not just eating fruit, but eating just organic melon,” she said.

The uses for the scanners are 'endless', including instant nutritional data

A diet of melon alone, unsurprisingly, took its toll. Ms Armstrong’s hair started to fall out and her weight plummeted to 6st (38kg).

“I was worse off than when I started,” she said.

“I was mentally shattered and terrified by food. My life had become consumed by the food I consume.”

Experts are calling her experience “orthorexia”, an unclassified eating disorder identified by an extreme fixation on avoiding “unhealthy” foods.

They’re warning that the popularity of clean eating could lead to more cases, as extreme dieters become obsessed with controlling their food intake.

Even TV cook Nigella Lawson has spoken out about the trend – saying that clean eating could mask serious disorders.

But it is difficult to get away from the promotion of clean eating on health sites, blogs and social media.

On Instagram alone, there are more than 17 million posts when you search using the hashtag #cleaneating.

Fitness blogger Zanna Van Dijk has over 70,000 followers on the app.

Child measuring waist

She makes a living out of her healthy lifestyle, but worries about the example she could set for those who want to “eat clean”.

“Some people could use it to fuel negative behaviour, but I like to think that what I’m doing is going to support more positive behaviour,” she said.

“I do post my non-clean eating meals … and that’s a conscious effort to show people it’s OK not to be perfect.”

But many people following bloggers and fitness enthusiasts look at their recipes as if they’re nutritional advice.

Nutritionist Ian Marber warns that clean eating can often “cherry-pick science” and that people can end up “following fads and trends that have no background or basis to them whatsoever”.

Clean eaters are undeterred, and a community has grown around their “healthy” outlook.

For the majority, clean eating promotes a happy, healthy relationship with food, but there is a minority which take it too far.

The advice, as ever, is about balance – as much in people’s minds as on their plates.

From poop to power: Colorado explores new sources of renewable energy – 89.3 KPCC

The wastewater treatment plant in Grand Junction, Colo., takes in 8 million gallons of raw sewage — what’s flushed down the toilet and sinks.

Processing this sewage produces a lot of methane, which the plant used to just burn off into the air.

The process was “not good for the environment and a waste of a wonderful resource,” says Dan Tonello, manager of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Now, using more infrastructure, the facility refines the methane further to produce natural gas chemically identical to what’s drilled from underground.

Grand Junction has been replacing an aging fleet of garbage trucks and buses with natural gas vehicles, fueled mostly by the human-sourced gas from the treatment plant.

Tonello says Grand Junction is the first city in the nation to do that.

“We’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars a year being saved by implementing this process,” he says.

Europe has been extracting natural gas from organic waste for about a decade, and now it’s starting to pick up in the U.S.

Joanna Underwood, president of Energy Vision, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the use of this renewable natural gas, or RNG, says Grand Junction is a model for small wastewater treatment plants around the country.

It’s cleaner than diesel fuel, and puts emissions that were heading for the atmosphere anyway to good use.

And there are other sources beyond human waste. Right now, for instance, food scraps are being collected from restaurant, grocery stores and large food manufacturers all over Colorado’s densely populated front range.

In a few weeks, the collected waste will be shipped to northern Colorado, where the Heartland Biogas facility is in its final stages of construction.

It’s much bigger than the Grand Junction treatment plant, one of the largest in North America, according to Bob Yost, whose company A1 Organics is partnering with the facility to coordinate the delivery of all that food.

Yost estimates there could be 25 to 30 semi loads of food waste coming in per day, which is then mixed with manure from a local dairy farm.

The best way to get the most natural gas from waste, according to Yost, is for a facility to have a balanced diet of both food scraps and manure.

The RNG is then delivered by the same pipelines used to deliver fossil fuel natural gas.

If all the organic waste in the country were gathered, current technologies could produce enough natural gas to replace about half of the diesel fuel used in U.S. transportation, says Energy Vision’s Underwood.

“For this sector, which in and of itself is big, it’s not a small piece,” she says.

It’s not a replacement for the traditional oil and gas industry by a longshot. But, as Underwood argues, practical solutions to climate change have to be assembled piece by piece.

This story was reported with Inside Energy, a public media collaboration focusing on America’s energy issues.

Copyright 2016 KUNC-FM. To see more, visit KUNC-FM.


DNA sheds light on Irish origins – BBC News

Uragh stone circle, County KerryImage copyright

Scientists have sequenced the first ancient human genomes from Ireland – shedding light on the genesis of Celtic populations.

A genome is the instruction booklet for building and maintaining a human – comprising three billion DNA letters.

The work shows that early Irish farmers were similar to southern Europeans.

Genetic patterns then changed dramatically in the Bronze Age – as newcomers from the eastern periphery of Europe settled in the Atlantic region.

Details of the work, by geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen’s University Belfast are published in the journal PNAS.

Team members sequenced the genomes of a 5,200-year-old female farmer from the Neolithic period and three 4,000-year-old males from the Bronze Age.

Opinion has been divided on whether the great transitions in the British Isles, from a hunting lifestyle to one based on agriculture and later from stone to metal use, were due to local adoption of new ways by indigenous people or attributable to large-scale population movements.

The ancient Irish genomes show unequivocal evidence for mass migration in both cases.

Wave of change

DNA analysis of the Neolithic woman from Ballynahatty, near Belfast, reveals that she was most similar to modern people from Spain and Sardinia. But her ancestors ultimately came to Europe from the Middle East, where agriculture was invented.

The males from Rathlin Island, who lived not long after metallurgy was introduced, showed a different pattern to the Neolithic woman. A third of their ancestry came from ancient sources in the Pontic Steppe – a region now spread across Russia and Ukraine.

“There was a great wave of genome change that swept into [Bronze Age] Europe from above the Black Sea… we now know it washed all the way to the shores of its most westerly island,” said geneticist Dan Bradley, from Trinity College Dublin, who led the study.

Image copyright
Daniel Bradley, Trinity College Dublin

Image caption

Excavated near Belfast in 1855, the Ballynahatty woman lay in a Neolithic tomb chamber for 5,000 years

Prof Bradley added: “This degree of genetic change invites the possibility of other associated changes, perhaps even the introduction of language ancestral to western Celtic tongues.”

In contrast to the Neolithic woman, the Rathlin group showed a close genetic affinity with the modern Irish, Scottish and Welsh.

“Our finding is that there is some haplotypic [a set of linked DNA variants] continuity between our 4,000 year old genomes and the present Celtic populations, which is not shown strongly by the English,” Prof Bradley told BBC News.

“It is clear that the Anglo-Saxons (and other influences) have diluted this affinity.”

Image copyright
Barrie Hartwell

Image caption

A reconstruction of the Ballynahatty Neolithic skull

Today, Ireland has the world’s highest frequencies of genetic variants that code for lactase persistence – the ability to drink milk into adulthood – and certain genetic diseases, including one of excessive iron retention called haemochromatosis.

One of the Rathlin men carried the common Irish haemochromatosis mutation, showing that it was established by the Bronze Age. Intriguingly, the Ballynahatty woman carried a different variant which is also associated with an increased risk of the disorder.

Both mutations may have originally spread because they gave carriers some advantage, such as tolerance of an iron-poor diet.

The same Bronze Age male carried a mutation that would have allowed him to drink raw milk in adulthood, while the Ballynahatty woman lacked this variant. This is consistent with data from elsewhere in Europe showing a relatively late spread of milk tolerance genes.

Prof Bradley explained that the Rathlin individuals were not identical to modern populations, adding that further work was required to understand how regional diversity came about in Celtic groups.

“Our snapshot of the past occurs early, around the time of establishment of these regional populations, before much of the divergence takes place,” he explained.

“I think that the data do show that the Bronze Age was a major event in establishment of the insular Celtic genomes but we cannot rule out subsequent (presumably less important) population events contributing until we sample later genomes also.”

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Sorry, you can't have fries with that: Here are 10 foods that may disappear … – Raw Story

Climate change is making the world a different place. There are more floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Animal species around the world are either shifting habitat locations or simply dying off. Even humans are migrating due to a warmer world.

But there is one effect that will hit many of us right in the gut: Certain foods could disappear thanks to our changing climate. Brace yourself: here are 10 foods you’ll probably be sad to see go.

(image: Foodio/Shutterstock)

1. Guacamole

Around 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl, but football fans might soon have to find something else to dip their tortilla chips into. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict as much as a 40 percent decrease in avocado production over the next 30 years due to increasing temperatures brought on by climate change.

As a result, the fast food chain Chipotle, which goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados a day — 35 million pounds every year — has warned that if climate change worsens, it may be forced to stop serving guacamole. The company says it “may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”

(image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

2. Apples

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces,” the German theologian Martin Luther said, “I would still plant my apple tree.” He didn’t figure that there might be a tomorrow in which apple trees can’t properly grow. In 2011, an international team of scientists published a study which found just that: Temperate fruit and nut trees like the apple tree, which need a certain period of winter chill to produce economically practical yields, could be affected by global warming as winter temperatures rise. They said farmers should prepare for a warmer future by breeding cultivars with lower chilling requirements.

Such apples will likely taste different from the ones we have today, according to a Japanese study which found that rising temperatures are causing apple trees to bear fruit sooner, making them softer and sweeter. “If you could eat an average apple harvested 30 years before and an average apple harvested recently at the same time, you would really taste the difference,” said Toshihiko Sugiura of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan, the study’s lead author.

(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

3. Beer

It’s sad, but true. Beer is already a victim of a changing climate, with brewers increasingly finding it more difficult to secure stable water supplies. According to a 2010 report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council, about a third of counties in the United States “will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.” Between 2030 and 2050, the difficulty in accessing freshwater is “anticipated to be significant in the major agricultural and urban areas throughout the nation.”

Some specialty hops used by craft brewers have already become harder to source, since warming winters are producing earlier and smaller yields. “This is not a problem that’s going to happen someday,” said Jenn Orgolini of Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery. “If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now.” She said that in 2011, the hops her brewery normally uses weren’t available due to Pacific Northwest weather conditions.

(image: Mi.Ti./Shutterstock)

4. Rice and Beans

The late comedian/philosopher Bill Hicks once said, “The American dream is a crock. Stop wanting everything. Everyone should wear jeans and have three T-shirts, eat rice and beans.” He didn’t live long enough to find out that climate change could threaten the ability to follow his wise suggestion. It’s hard to overstate the importance of rice to world. It is a food staple for almost half of the world’s population. But climate change could significantly impact rice yields in this century.

According to a 2005 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “temperature increases, rising seas and changes in rainfall patterns and distribution expected as a result of global climate change could lead to substantial modifications in land and water resources for rice production as well as in the productivity of rice crops grown in different parts of the world.” A 2005 report by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the viability of rice-growing land in tropical areas could decline by more than 50 percent during the next century.

Beans feed the majority of the human population in Latin America and much of Africa and are a part of the daily diet of more than 400 million people across the developing world. But beans may also experience declines due to a warming world. According to a report the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), higher temperatures could reduce bean yields by as much as 25 percent. “Beans are highly sensitive to heat, and the varieties that farmers currently grow do not yield well under night temperatures over 18 or 19 degrees Centigrade,” writes Nathan Russell of CIAT. “Higher temperatures drastically reduce seed fertility, leading to lower grain yields and quality.” Thankfully, CIAT scientists have identified about 30 “elite” bean lines that have demonstrated tolerance to temperatures 4°C higher than the crop’s normal “comfort zone.”

(image: Kayo/Shutterstock)

5. Seafood

One of the most dramatic effects of climate change is ocean acidification, a decrease in the pH, or the hydrogen ion concentration, of the Earth’s oceans, making the water more acidic. This is caused by the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — carbon we are spewing by burning fossil fuel and mowing down forests. This decrease in pH makes it harder for organisms like corals, crustaceans like lobsters, crabs and shrimp, and molluscs like clams, oysters, snails, mussels and scallops to form the calcium-based shells and exoskeletons they need to survive. Scientists at the Ocean Acidification Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks have warned that shellfish farmers off the Alaska coast may need to start modifying the sea water in their hatcheries as they expect “significant effects” from acidification by 2040.

Scientists also believe that pink salmon, the most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, will be one of the primary victims of climate change, since the fish cannot survive the increasingly acidic waters. In a recent study, scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and MacEwan University in Edmonton reared pink salmon in the lab under water acidity levels expected at the end of this century. They found that when the fish reached the age at which they would migrate to the sea, their ability to use oxygen in their muscles was significantly decreased. This means their future wild brethren will face difficulties locating food and evading predators.

Ocean acidification isn’t the only climate-related threat to fish. According to a study conducted by a team of Australian scientists, higher temperatures will increase the toxicity of common pesticides and industrial contaminants such as endosulfan, an insecticide, and phenol, an organic compound used to produce plastics and a variety of pharmaceuticals, which threatens the survival of a wide array of freshwater species such as trout, perch and carp.

(image: avs/

6. Chocolate

“Everywhere in the world there are tensions — economic, political, religious,” said French chef Alain Ducasse in a 2013 interview with the Wall Street Journal. “So we need chocolate.” Who among us can disagree? An estimated one billion people around the world eat chocolate every day. The average American consumes 12 pounds of the sweet stuff every year. But the topography of Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Côte d’Ivoire, where more than half of the world’s chocolate is sourced in the form of the cocoa bean, will be so different by 2050 that production will be seriously impacted.

The current optimum altitude for cocoa production is 100 to 250 meters above sea level (MASL). But according to a worrisome 2011 CIAT study, that figure will increase to between 450 and 500 MASL by 2050. The report’s authors warn that farmers might begin to see declines in cocoa production by 2030. Beyond impacting our chocolate consumption is the effect that this will have on cocoa farmers, many of whom rely on cocoa for their livelihoods. “Many of these farmers use their cocoa trees like ATM machines,” said Dr. Peter Laderach, the report’s lead author. “They pick some pods and sell them to quickly raise cash for school fees or medical expenses. The trees play an absolutely critical role in rural life.”

(image: menic181/

7. Coffee

Coffee is ubiquitous. Around 8.5 million metric tons of coffee are grown in 60 countries on nearly every continent. Half a trillion tons of java are consumed every year. But people around the globe may have to find another stimulating beverage to start their day. In recent years, a deadly plant fungus called coffee rust has swept across Central America, cutting coffee production and seriously impacting local economies. Experts believe that the spread of the disease has been driven by higher temperatures brought on by climate change.

Coffee plantations around the world are dealing with increased incidences of fungi and invasive species due to higher temperatures. Coffee bean farms on the Kona coast of the Big Island in Hawaii are being ravaged by an insect called the coffee berry borer, which scientists say is “expected to become an even greater threat” due to climate change. And in Africa, scientists predict that the number of coffee-growing regions will decrease between 65 to 100 percent as the surface temperature increases. Actor Jim Carrey once said, “I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ‘Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.’” He probably wasn’t referring to climate change, but he might as well have been.

(image: inewsfoto/

8. Peanut Butter

Billy Joel once quipped, “A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.” Indeed, there are few things as immediately satisfying as a good PB&J. If you grew up in the U.S., you probably ate your share as a kid. But this simple and classic sammy could become a museum piece with climate change on track to push a number of wild relatives of plants, including the peanut, to extinction, according to a 2007 study.

Andy Jarvis, an agricultural geographer who led the study, said that flora like the peanut are more threatened by global warming since they grow mainly in flat areas; farmers would need to migrate significant distances to find cooler climates and that is not always possible. He points out the importance of maintaining seed banks to guard against the effects of climate change. “There is an urgent need to collect and store the seeds of wild relatives in crop diversity collections before they disappear,” he said. His call to action could be summed up neatly: Save the PB&J!

(image: Markus Mainka/

9. Wine

If we don’t keep the increase of the global surface temperature to a maximum of 2°C (some say 1.5°C) to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, fermented grape juice from traditional winemaking regions could one day become a thing of the past. Grapevines are extremely sensitive to their surrounding environment: The variation in yield from season to season is more than 32 percent. And with temperatures steadily increasing, viniculture around the world is changing. Changes are already afoot in France, one of the largest wine producers in the world.

“Extreme weather is becoming more common in all of France’s wine-growing regions,” writes Ullrich Fichtner in Der Spiegel. “Heavy rains and hailstorms frequently come on the heels of summer heat waves and dry periods. Winters and nighttime temperatures are so mild that the plants are never able to rest. Few winegrowers continue to deny these tangible phenomena.” The famous wine appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a striking example. As temperatures rise in the southern Rhône region, the harvest dates for this heavy wine have moved from October to early September. Philippe Guigal, one of the leading winemakers in the Rhône Valley, said that in the area where Châteauneuf-du-Pape grapes are grown, “the problems are getting really serious.”

But as climate change disrupts traditional winemaking regions worldwide, it will also create new ones, like Montana and China.

(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

10. French Fries

Who doesn’t like french fries? Scratch that. Who doesn’t love french fries? But we may need to think about a different side to go with basically everything. In January, Vice News published a story with a very disturbing headline: “Climate Change Might Be the Greatest Threat to Potato Cultivation in 8,000 Years.” In Peru, home to thousands of potato species as well as the International Potato Center (CIP), based in Lima, potato farmers are being forced to move to higher altitudes due to rising surface temperatures. But even the Andes don’t rise forever. “I estimate that in 40 years there will be nowhere left to plant potatoes [in Peru’s highlands],” said Rene Gómez, curator of the CIP germplasm bank.

Of course, french fries aren’t the only thing the potato has given to the world. We could also lose such starchy staples as potato chips, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, home fries and hash browns. Many cultures across the globe would lose popular potato-based regional dishes, such as aloo gobi (India), boxty (Ireland), cottage pie (United Kingdom), gamjajeon (South Korea), gnocchi (Italy), gratin (France), knishes (Eastern Europe), patatas bravas (Spain), kroppkaka (Sweden) and massaman curry (Thailand), to name a few. In terms of human consumption, the potato is the world’s third most important food crop after rice and wheat. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global total potato production exceeds 300 million metric tons.

Food may be one of the most apparent and immediate ways many of us will feel the impact of climate change. “The general story is that agriculture is sensitive,” said David Lobell, deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. “It’s not the end of the world, but it will be a big enough deal to be worth our concern.”

We certainly don’t need another reason to fight climate change. But a good one would be to save some of our favorite — and the world’s most important — foods from extinction.