| Hypocrite McDonald’s warns employees to avoid burgers + fries but not public!

McDonald’s to employees: Avoid burgers and fries – it’s risky for your health ~ RT.

Expressing concern over employees’ health has backfired on the world’s leading fast food producer, McDonald’s. Its own employee resources website recommended workers to avoid burgers and fries whenever possible due to health risks.

The McResource site, notorious for giving advice on how to make ends meet working for $7.25 an hour at McDonald’s, has cooked up another gem: the folks preparing and serving McDonald’s food should actually avoid eating it themselves – because it is unhealthy.

To illustrate the difference between ‘unhealthy choice’ and the ‘healthier choice’, the website of the food chain that employs some 700,000 people worldwide, for some reason countered graphics depicting a typical McDonald’s meal with graphics very much resembling a meal at the company’s major competitor, Subway: a sandwich with salad and a glass of water.


Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.



Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk of becoming overweight,” the site said.


Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.


Instead of eating a cheeseburger and fries, McResource advises to Eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups and vegetables to maintain your best health.”

“Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet,” McDonald’s revealed.


Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.Screenshot of fast-food tips from the McResource Line website, McDonald’s internal website for employees.


The corporate website also warns that “people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease must be very careful about choosing fast food because of its high fat, salt, and sugar levels” and calls to “limit the extras such as cheese, bacon and mayonnaise.”

After the new set of stunning revelations from McDonald’s drew the attention of media worldwide, McDonald’s issued a statement saying that, “Portions of this website continue to be taken entirely out of context. This website provides useful information from respected third-parties about many topics, among them health and wellness. It also includes information from experts about healthy eating and making balanced choices. McDonald’s agrees with this advice.”

Even though a spokesperson for McDonald’s, Lisa McComb, told CNBC that the data from the corporate website web site “does not advise against fast food”, the McResource site has already made way too many controversial remarks lately.

Just a couple of weeks ago fast-food workers in over 100 American cities walked off the job, demanding a $15 federal minimum wage, a two-fold rise from the current level. At the very same time McDonald’s corporate website generously shared with its employees some nuances on how to tip dog walkers, house keepers, massage therapists, personal fitness instructors, pool cleaners, au pairs and other services they are definitely unlikely to make use of ever.

In October McDonald’s workers unable to pay their bills or stay above the poverty line were advised to find help from food pantries or enlist in government benefit programs, instead of seeking higher wages (http://rt.com/usa/mcdonalds-help-broke-food-stamps-649/).

As of now the McResource Line site is closed for maintenance.

“We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible,” the announcement says.

Reuters / Noah Berger

Reuters / Noah Berger



| Food Explainer: Why Does Microwaving Water Result in Such Lousy Tea?

Food Explainer: Why Does Microwaving Water Result in Such Lousy Tea? ~

 , Slate.


Don’t put this in the microwave! Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

A reader recently wrote in to ask: Why is tea made with microwave-heated water so lousy compared to tea made with water boiled in a kettle?

Because a proper cup of black tea must be made with water that’s come to a rolling boil. A kettle is designed to heat water evenly to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat at the bottom of the kettle—whether from a heating element embedded in an electric device or from a burner on the stove—creates a natural convection current: The hot water rises and the cool water falls in a cyclical fashion, which uniformly heats the contents of the kettle to a boil (at which point an electric kettle clicks off or a stovetop kettle whistles).

But microwaves don’t heat water evenly, so the boiling process is difficult to control. Microwave ovens shoot tiny waves into the liquid at random locations, causing the water molecules at those points to vibrate rapidly. If the water isn’t heated for long enough, the result is isolated pockets of very hot or boiling water amid a larger body of water that’s cooler. Such water may misleadingly exhibit signs of boiling despite not being a uniform 212 degrees. For instance, what appears to be steam rising from a mug of microwaved water is only moist vapor evaporating off the water’s surface and condensing into mist on contact with cooler air—it’s the same principle that makes our breath visible on frigid days.

Why is water temperature so important to good-tasting tea? When tea leaves meet hot water, hundreds of different compounds that contribute flavor and aroma dissolve and become suspended in the water. Black tea contains two kinds of complex phenolic molecules, also known as tannins: orange-colored theaflavins and red-brownthearubigins. These are responsible for the color and the astringent, brisk taste of brewed black tea, and they are extracted only at near-boiling temperatures.

Water also cooks certain volatile compounds, chemically altering them to produce more nuanced flavors and aromas, such as the earthy, malty, and tabacco notes in black tea. When the water isn’t hot enough to instigate these reactions and produce these bold flavors, tea tastes insipid.

Overheated water results in bad tea, too—and this is also easier to do in a microwave than in a kettle, since there’s no mechanism to indicate when the water has reached a boil. The longer water boils, the more dissolved oxygen it loses—and tea experts say that dissolved oxygen is crucial for a bright and refreshing brew. Microwaved water can also be taken to several degrees above boiling if heated for too long (which is impossible in a kettle, because the metallic surface prevents overheating). Such ultra-hot water destroys desired aromatic compounds and elicits an excess of astringent, bitter notes by overcooking the leaves. Overheated water can also accentuate naturally occurring impurities in the water that contribute off flavors to the final brew.

It’s possible that the material of the heating vessel also affects tea’s flavor. Modern day kettles are invariably made from stainless steel. While stainless steel is considered a nonreactive material, research has shown that minuscule amounts of chromium, iron, and nickel can migrate from a container or a utensil into the food. These don’t pose a safety threat, but they may well subtly affect the taste of water boiled in a kettle. In contrast, only glazed ceramics, glass, and plastics are safe to use in microwaves. It’s not inconceivable that the lack of trace metal ions are partly responsible for a lousy cup of microwave tea.

Microwaved water isn’t totally useless for all tea. In fact, water that’s microwaved to below boiling is ideal for green tea. The mellow, brothy flavors prized in green tea are mostly derived from specific savory-tasting amino acids that start to dissolve at 140 degrees. While mouth-puckering tannins are desirable in black tea, with green tea, boiling water extracts too many astringent notes and too much bitter caffeine that would overwhelm the delicate amino acids. Caffeine is extremely soluble at 212 degrees, but significantly less so at 145 to 175 degrees, the ideal temperature range for brewing green tea.

Food Explainer thanks Lou Bloomfield of the University of Virginia, Skip Rochefort of Oregon State University, and tea expert Bruce Richardson.




| Health Myths: 7 Medical Misconceptions Exposed!

Health Myths: 7 Medical Misconceptions Exposed ~ Corrie Pikul, 

These are the myths and misconceptions that drive doctors crazy (and could affect your health). Let’s clear them up — once and for all.

1. Makeup with SPF is just as good as sunscreen.

Women tend to be (justifiably) wary of caking on makeup, but this means they rarely put on the amount of sunscreen-enhanced foundation, tinted-moisturizer or lipstick required to protect their skin from the sun, explains Justin Piasecki, MD, a plastic surgeon and the founder of the Skin Cancer Center in Gig Harbor, Washington. They also neglect to reapply the products every two to three hours, which is the amount of time Piasecki says it takes for any sunscreen to wear or rub off, and for the sun’s UV rays to deactivate its protective ability. This is why makeup with SPF can be 14 times less effective than sunscreen. Piasecki says that at least one-third of skin cancers occur above the neck, so he recommends wearing sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection under your makeup every day and carrying a travel-size sunscreen in your purse so you can reapply it when you’re outside.

2. Drinking milk will make your runny nose worse.

“I have patients who swear that milk makes them produce more mucous,” saysJennifer Collins, MD, an assistant professor and a physician specializing in allergy, asthma and immunology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. However, she hasn’t been able to find any good research to support that — and neither have other doctors. In fact, when Australian researchers went so far as to collect and weigh the nasal secretions of 60 volunteers inoculated with the common-cold virus, they foundno association between milk intake and mucous production. Scientists think that drinking milk may remind some people of the consistency of mucous or may coat their throat in a way that makes them think they’re feeling more phlegm. Collins notes that drinking milk fortified with vitamin D can help boost your energy, spur cell growth and help keep your immune system working optimally. Those who are firmly anti-milk (for whatever reason) can get their vitamin D from fish like swordfish, salmon and tuna, or from fortified orange juice or cereal.

3. A sprinkle of talcum powder a day will keep moisture away.

Baby powder (or scented talcum powder) can be easily inhaled into the lungs and, worse, has been linked to cancer. Harvard researchers recently found that postmenopausal women who use talcum powder in their genital area just once a week increase their risk of developing endometrial cancerby 24 percent. Another Harvard study found a strong link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer (it can increase the risk of developing the cancer by up to 40 percent). In general, family doctors have stopped recommending that women use talcum powder to absorb wetness. Stick to preventative measures like wearing breathable cotton underwear and rinsing regularly with warm water.

4. Topical antibiotics should be your go-to for minor cuts and wounds.

Many of us automatically reach for neomycin (one of the active ingredients in ointments like Neosporin) whenever we have a cut or scrape. But constantly exposing the skin to neomycin can lead to an allergic reaction over time, says Reid Blackwelder, MD, a professor of family medicine at East Tennessee State University who sits on the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “People will then use the ointment and assume the resulting redness comes from the wound, when it’s actually the neomycin affecting their skin.” Some studies have also suggested the widespread use of OTC ointments with neomycin, polymyxin or bacitracin may contribute to the development of resistant bacteria, says Blackwelder. For minor wounds like hangnails, shaving cuts and paring-knife nicks, he suggests using soap and water to clean and disinfect the area. If you think the area is infected, talk to your doctor.

5. Vaccines can cause developmental disorders in children.

This remains a hotly debated issue, despite being debunked in multiple large studies. And now the United Kingdom is dealing with a serious outbreak of measles partly as a result of the large number of children who were not inoculated against the diseaseduring the MMR vaccine scare of the early 2000s. Measles, mumps and rubella are still relatively uncommon in the United States, but there has been an uptick in recent years. The United Kingdom has launched a massive, expensive catch-up campaign to quickly vaccinate as many children as possible, and our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to stress the importance of making sure that you and the children in your life are vaccinated.

6. Eating a lot of carrots can save your failing vision.

Vitamin A is essential for good vision — no one’s refuting that — but you only need a small amount. One half-cup of raw carrots will provide you with 184 percent of the recommended daily value. An excessive amount of beta carotene, the compound in carrots that’s converted to vitamin A, can not only make your skin turn orange, but studies show it has also been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in some people. So enjoy the crudité, but if you worry that your eyesight is failing, make an appointment with an optometrist or an eye doctor.

7. You can catch a cold from not bundling up in cold weather.

Not necessarily, Collins says. Viruses do tend to be more active in cold weather, but a down coat won’t protect you if you’re run-down and haven’t been taking care of yourself. She says that you can catch a cold from staying inside in cold weather, especially if there are lots of other people around. Here’s why: When it gets chilly outside, we tend to crowd indoors and crank up the heat. Collins explains that this causes the mucous membranes inside our nose to become dry and cracked, making us even more vulnerable to germs being passed around by family members, friends and coworkers. Collins adds that regularly exercising outdoors has a protective effect on our immunity, even when the weather outside is frightful. Just be sure to wear the right layers: Dress as if it’s 10 degrees warmer than it is (you’ll feel chilly to start, and comfortable after about five to ten minutes of moderate intensity).

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.




| Anthony Bourdain: Human race is ‘essentially good!’

Anthony Bourdain: Human race is ‘essentially good’ ~ Anthony Bourdain, CNN.

Anthony Bourdain reads the paper next to a local market in Yangon, Myanmar.

Anthony Bourdain reads the paper next to a local market in Yangon, Myanmar.

  • “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” takes you across the globe to exotic destinations
  • The CNN personality will share his unique perspective and insights while traveling the world
  • Bourdain: “People, wherever they live, are not statistics. They are not abstractions”
  • He hopes to show “what people are like at the table, at home, in their businesses, at play”

World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain is the host of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” CNN’s new showcase for coverage of food and travel. The series is shot entirely on location. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” premieres Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET

(CNN) — Before I set out to travel this world, 12 years ago, I used to believe that the human race as a whole was basically a few steps above wolves.

That given the slightest change in circumstances, we would all, sooner or later, tear each other to shreds. That we were, at root, self-interested, cowardly, envious and potentially dangerous in groups. I have since come to believe — after many meals with many different people in many, many different places — that though there is no shortage of people who would do us harm, we are essentially good.

That the world is, in fact, filled with mostly good and decent people who are simply doing the best they can. Everybody, it turns out, is proud of their food (when they have it). They enjoy sharing it with others (if they can). They love their children. They like a good joke. Sitting at the table has allowed me a privileged perspective and access that others, looking principally for “the story,” do not, I believe, always get.

People feel free, with a goofy American guy who has expressed interest only in their food and what they do for fun, to tell stories about themselves — to let their guard down, to be and to reveal, on occasion, their truest selves.

Meet the crewMeet the crew

Anthony Bourdain previews new CNN show

I am not a journalist. I am not a foreign correspondent. I am, at best, an essayist and enthusiast. An amateur. I hope to show you what people are like at the table, at home, in their businesses, at play. And when and if, later, you read about or see the places I’ve been on the news, you’ll have a better idea of who, exactly, lives there.

“Parts Unknown” is supposed to be about food, culture and travel — as seen through the prism of food. We will learn along with you. When we look at familiar locations, we hope to look at them from a lesser-known perspective, examine aspects unfamiliar to most.

People, wherever they live, are not statistics. They are not abstractions.

Bad things happen to good people all the time. When they do, hopefully, you’ll have a better idea who, and what, on a human scale, is involved.

I’m not saying that sitting down with people and sharing a plate is the answer to world peace. Not by a long shot.

But it can’t hurt.

Anthony Bourdain
Hotel El Minzah, Tangier




| Steamy breakthrough: A few nanoparticles let you boil water using just the sun!

A Few Nanoparticles Let You Boil Water Using Just The Sun ~ MICHAEL J. COREN, Co.Exist.

A solution to sterilizing water and medical devices in places where heating lots of water can be difficult, this new breakthrough in nanotechnology means that boiled water is available anywhere there is sunlight.

A watched pot never boils. If you add nano-particles and sunlight, however, you only have to wait a few seconds.

Researchers at Rice University have discovered a way to create steam by boiling water using just sunlight, even if the water is ice cold. The phenomenon works by mixing water with tiny carbon or metal particles, smaller than a wavelength of light, that absorb and radiate the sun’s energy as heat. Since the particles have such a tiny surface area, heat is concentrated on its surface, which creates a vapor bubble–and thus steam. Traditionally, all of the water in container would have to reach a high temperature before it started boiling. This new approach means just a tiny fraction of the water must be heated, so even sunlight can deliver enough energy. It’s a radically new way to think about boiling water.


“We’re going from heating water on the macro scale to heating it at the nanoscale,” said Naomi Halas, the lead scientist on the project in a statement by Rice University. “This intense heating allows us to generate steam locally, right at the surface of the particle.”

Solar steam’s unique properties means the concept could sterilize drinking water or surgical instruments in remote areas using sunshine and little else. Engineering undergraduates at Rice have already built their first solar-powered steam autoclave while Halas is working on an “ultra-small-scale system for treating human waste in areas without sewer systems or electricity,” which was recently recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Further applications are still being explored. Steam generated power–the source of about 90% of the world’s electricity–is one contender (although the lower pressure steam from this process has less energy to spin turbines) as well as medical applications where tumors and other tissues treated with nanoparticles can be selectively “boiled” using focused light.

“Solar steam” is just one of the new advances courtesy of nanotechnology, science and engineering at the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers, or about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a sheet of paper. As tools to manipulate matter at the scale of atoms improves, a slew of new technologies should emerge as we learn to see the world from different perspective.

“We’re not changing any of the laws of thermodynamics,” Halas says. “We’re just boiling water in a radically different way.”



| Staggering rise of the British food bank!

Staggering rise of the British food bank: One opens every week after rise in families unable to afford to eat


Shocking figures have revealed that every week a new food bank opens  in Britain as more people find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

And the number of people needing emergency aid is expected to rise with  many food banks operators worried that the full impact of the recent budget will not kick in until 2013.

There are now over 190 food banks nationwide, 88 of which were launched in 2011 alone.

Rising: Centres handing out food are opening at an unprecedented rate to meet the high demand for emergency aid: there are now over 190 food banks nationwide, 88 of which were launched in 2011 aloneRising: Centres handing out food are opening at an unprecedented rate to meet the high demand for emergency aid: there are now over 190 food banks nationwide, 88 of which were launched in 2011 alone

Food bank recipients are not usually the homeless –  they are low-income working families who hit crisis, people who have been made redundant or people experiencing benefits delays.


Chris Mould, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, operates a nationwide network of 170.

‘More and more people on low incomes are finding it impossible to make it to the end of the week. Across the UK the Trussell Trust food bank network is facing dramatic increases in demand for help as front line care professionals refer more of their clients to us,’ he said.

Food banks have noticed that there has been a marked increase in the number of young people needing help since January, 2011 when the government scrapped the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) paid to working class youth to seek higher education.

Stretched: Last year The Trussell Trust's UK food bank network fed over 60,000 people experiencing food poverty and this year they predict they will feed over 100,000 peopleStretched: Last year The Trussell Trust’s UK food bank network fed over 60,000 people experiencing food poverty and this year they predict they will feed over 100,000 people

Julie-Anne Wanless, a food bank co-ordinator in Liverpool told The Times: ‘Most of us are only one or two pay packets away from not having any money,’ she said.

Recipients of food bank supplies are usually identified by care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police.

They are issued with a voucher which they can redeem at a food bank.

The Trussell Trust food banks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.


Each foodbox contains a minimum of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.


This could be delivered in a box to a client’s home or received in the form of 10 meals at a the food bank centre.

Milk (UHT or powdered)
Sugar (500g)
Fruit juice (carton)
Pasta sauces
Sponge pudding (tinned)
Tomatoes (tinned)
Rice pudding (tinned)
Tea Bags/instant coffee
Instant mash potato
Tinned meat/fish
Tinned fruit
Biscuits or snack bars

Last year their UK food bank network fed over 60,000 people experiencing food poverty and this year they predict they will feed over 100,000 people.

But the charity fears the situation is going to worsen in the near future.

‘With incomes flat-lining or falling and prices steadily rising we expect the situation to get significantly worse. The full impact of the recent budget won’t kick in until 2013 and again squeezes people on lower incomes hardest so we are gearing up for a long period of intense pressure,’ said Mr Mould.

Almost 40 per cent of food bank clients last year experienced benefit delay, according to the charity.

Anne-Marie and Danny, 22, were forced to use the food bank when a delay in benefits hit at the same time as Danny was off work with flu.

He received no sick pay and finances got so tight that they were faced with eviction as well as having no money for food.

The couple and their 18-month-old daughter, Tia, were living and sleeping in one room to reduce heating bills.

They resorted to borrowing a tin of soup from their neighbours to stop little Tia going hungry.

‘I don’t know what we would have done next if it wasn’t for the foodbank’, said Danny.

There are some people who believe that in Britain where more than 13 million people live in poverty, food banks are unnecessary.

Last year former Tory MP, Edwina Currie told Radio 5 live she did not believe people in the UK were going hungry.

‘Are you telling me people in this country are going hungry? Seriously? Seriously?’ she said in October.

But a recent survey revealed that one in five Britons are borrowing money for groceries because of the soaring cost of living.

One in four said they have had to dip into their savings to buy food or other daily essentials, while 19 per cent have gone into debt to do this.

Another 10 per cent said they could envisage borrowing money to buy food in the future.

The survey by consumer group Which? found that only 43 per cent of consumers feel they can afford to live on their income, while 36 per cent admitted to finding things difficult – twice the proportion who were struggling in 2006.

A separate study by Scottish  Widows found evidence of families subsidising less well-off members to the tune of almost £13,000 in recent years.

Executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘Over half of UK consumers are not coping on their current incomes. Worryingly, one in five people told us they had gone into debt just to buy food and other essential goods.

‘We know consumers are worried about rising food and energy prices. Our research also highlights significant changes being made to other buying decisions.’