Friday, January 23, 2009

Stevia Cleared: Hmmmm?

For years this herb has been resisted by FDA; however, Stevia is now considered safe for use. It is just that Coca-Cola and Pepsi market it now? Seem odd to anyone? Coincidense of sorts? I'm interest to know if this struck anyone else as it did me as, Hmmmmm? ~Anthony Sepe * From A Dietitian's Perspective* FDA Clears Use of Herb As Sweetener Article Comments more in Business » By BETSY MCKAY The Food and Drug Administration has declared a natural zero-calorie sweetener derived from the herb stevia safe for use in foods and beverages, clearing a path for Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and other companies to market it in a variety of products. Coke will introduce a reduced-calorie version of Sprite, called Sprite Green, and some Odwalla juice drinks with the new sweetener this month. Pepsi will launch three flavors of a zero-calorie SoBe Lifewater next week, and an orange-juice drink called Trop50, containing half the calories and sugar of orange juice, in March. The rush by the two companies reflects the importance they place on being first to market a sweetener that they say is natural, has no calories and tastes good. The FDA faxed approval letters late Wednesday afternoon to Cargill Inc. and Merisant Co.'s Whole Earth Sweetener unit, which are teaming up with Coke and Pepsi, respectively, to market the sweetener. Both Cargill and Merisant already sell tabletop versions. Coke and Pepsi hope the sweetener -- called Truvia by Coke and PureVia by Pepsi -- will allow them to create a blockbuster series of new zero- or low-calorie products. PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi said earlier this week that she believes the decline in U.S. carbonated soft-drink sales can be halted with new sodas containing a natural, zero-calorie sweetener. But the soft-drink makers face considerable challenges. Not every beverage tastes good with it: Citrus-flavored products work well, but scientists are still trying to find a way to create the iconic cola taste. The new sweetener is also about three times more expensive than commonly used artificial sweeteners, partly because of its small scale. Coke and Pepsi are edging into the market slowly for now. Sprite Green, which has 50 calories for each 8.5 ounces and will contain some natural sugar along with Truvia, will be introduced first in Chicago and New York at special events for teens and young adult. The FDA's decision applies only to a highly purified form of stevia known as rebaudioside A, supplied by other companies to Cargill and Merisant, which have further developed it for tabletop, food and beverage use. Write to Betsy McKay at

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration: Yes We Can

What an eventful day (and evening gala) for history. I'm proud to be part of it as an American. Start today; start now! Make those changes that you need to make to work your way toward a healthier lifestyle. The small gradual steps, will get you there to your goal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Obama's big day

It's Obama's big day; a new era for change. Remain true to your ideals. Barack Obama's inauguration as president means America is climbing the mountain that Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about in his last speech. Change takes on many forms, one of which is what you consume. Didn't you want a reason to stop consuming the things that YOU KNEW that you, wanted to change yourself? Well, here's another reason to stop eating hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fat and above all at this time, products made with hydrogenated fats such as these products: cakes, cookies, pies, crackers that contain peanut butter. FDA warns of contamination. Stay safe and until further notice that we are safe, I'd stay away from these products that contain peanut butter. Democracy is watching.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Are you Hungry? What's a Feed?

Feed 101Print What are feeds? I see "RSS", "XML", and "Atom" out there, but I don't know how I might use these links when I find them. Feeds are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into "widgets," "gadgets," mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major news/sports/weather/whatever headlines just about anywhere. What Does This Mean? You may recognize the universal feed icon or these "chicklets" from your favorite websites, blogs, and podcasts. These icons represent content in any format - text, audio or video - to which you can subscribe and read/watch/listen using a feed reader. What's that? Why is This a Good Thing? Technology evolution in online publishing has made it really easy to not only publish regular updates to web-based content, but also keep track of a large number of your favorite websites or blogs, without having to remember to check each site manually or clutter your email inbox. You can now streamline your online experience by subscribing to specific content feeds and aggregating this information in one place to be read when you're ready. Consumer Bottom Line: Subscribing to feeds makes it possible to review a large amount of online content in a very short time. Publisher Bottom Line: Feeds permit instant distribution of content and the ability to make it "subscribable." Advertiser Bottom Line: Advertising in feeds overcomes many of the shortcomings that traditional marketing channels encounter including spam filters, delayed distribution, search engine rankings, and general inbox noise. Who publishes feeds? Most of the biggest names on the web offer content feeds including, BBC News Headlines, ABCNews, CNET, Yahoo!, (including a podcast!), and many more. Google publishes feeds as part of many of our services; for example, you can get a feed of new items for any search you make in Google News. In addition, hundreds of thousands of bloggers, podcasters, and videobloggers publish feeds to keep themselves better connected to their readers, listeners, admirers, and critics. Apple, through its iTunes Music Store, offers tens of thousands of audio and video podcasts for download, each of which is powered by a feed. How do I read feeds? If you want to browse and subscribe to feeds, you have many choices. Today, there are more than 2,000 different feed reading applications, also known as "news aggregators" (for text, mostly) or "podcatchers" (for podcasts). There are even readers that work exclusively on mobile devices. Some require a small purchase price but are tops for ease-of-use and ship with dozens of feeds pre-loaded so you can explore the feed "universe" right away. Free readers are available as well; a search for "Feed reader" or "Feed aggregator" at popular search sites will yield many results. A handful of popular feed readers are listed at the bottom of this page. A typical interface for a feed reader will display your feeds and the number of new (unread) entries within each of those feeds. You can also organize your feeds into categories and even clip and save your favorite entries (with certain applications). If you prefer, you can use an online, web-based service to track and manage feeds. Online services give you the advantage of being able to access your feed updates anywhere you can find a web browser. Also, upgrades and new features are added automatically. Show me what a typical feed reader looks like. How can I publish my own feeds? If you have a website, blog, audio/video content, or even photos, you can offer a feed of your content as an option. If you are using a popular blogging platform or publishing tool like TypePad, Wordpress, or Blogger, you likely publish a feed automatically. Even other non-blogging sites like social photo-sharing service Flickr offer feeds of content you produce that others can retrieve. There are also tools on the market that can help transform traditional web content into the right format for distribution. FeedBurner's services allow publishers who already have a feed to improve their understanding of and relationship with their audience. Once you have a working feed, run it through FeedBurner and realize a whole new set of benefits. Learn more about FeedBurner's services for blogs, podcasts and commercial publications. And finally, some technical backstory... The new method for easily distributing online content is often called a web feed and the technical format that makes it possible is called RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, and/or Rockdale, Sandow, and Southern (Railroad) if you trust the good folks at RSS is based on XML, a widely used standard for textual information exchange between applications on the Internet. RSS feeds can be viewed as plain text files, but they're really designed for computer-to-computer communication. We should point out that RSS is just one standard for expressing feeds as XML. Another well-known choice is Atom. Both formats have their boosters, and it doesn't appear that consolidation toward a single standard is imminent. However, most feed subscribers simply want fresh content and don't care at all about the underlying protocol. (FeedBurner helps publishers avoid this quandary with our SmartFeed service, which makes any feed format readable on any subscriber device.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Are You Worth it? Prostate Cancer In Men: What's your Diet Like?

Make Prostate Cancer A National Priority With President-elect Obama taking office on January 20th, now is the time to act. A petition has been circulating around the country collecting signatures from citizens (like yourselves) who want to ensure that Prostate Cancer is made a national priority. Please join us in our efforts by signing at: In addition to the prostate cancer petition, there are a number of ways that you can help support efforts to establish an Office of Men's Health. Please watch your email for more information on this issue. Below is a message from John Sharp, Us TOO Prostate Cancer Group Leader: This will take less time to sign this then it will to read this letter. Pass this on to Two people to pass on to two. Let's make a difference. Please sign the Petition as there are only 12,917 Signatures as of today. I think there are more men in this country. Think like this if we had two friends sign and they had two and so on we could get a lot of signatures on this. This is to be presented to the new president of the United States of American on January 21, 2009. With this limited amount of signatures it will barely make any appearance. Our doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies all need our help and support. With the new numbers presented for this last year (2008) it appears that Prostate Cancer is on its way down. Not the case the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute has changed the formula for estimating. With the new formula we are seeing the percentage of deaths to diagnosed increase from 11% to 15%. The deaths for 2008 are estimated to be at 28,660 up from 2007 numbers of 27,050. Now prostate cancer is no longer the big three which are Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer and Breast Cancer. We must stand up and be counted.This past December 25th (Christmas Day) one of my closest friends lost his life at the young age of 47 years young. His brother and I share the same birthday. Almost three years ago his brother called me on our birthday and asked me to help his brother. His brother became a very good friend and we fought together with the best doctors in the United States. Still he lost his life and left three children, a wife, family and friends. Please take the time to sign this before January 20th, 2009. Every signature counts. Prostate Cancer incidence rates are comparable to Breast Cancer rates. Yet, federal funding is significantly higher for Breast Cancer research than for Prostate Cancer. In 2008, there were the same number of new cases of Prostate Cancer (186,320) as Breast Cancer (184,450), as estimated by the American Cancer Society. In 2007, Breast Cancer received almost two thirds more funding ($127.5 million) from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program as did Prostate Cancer ($80 million dollars) (59.5% difference). In 2007, Breast Cancer received more than twice as much funding ($707 million) as did Prostate Cancer ($305 million) from our nation's medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health (231% difference).Breast and Prostate Cancer scientists should not be made to compete for limited research funding. Scientists must feel encouraged to develop prostate cancer research. Both Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer research funding must continue to grow. Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer patients, equal in number, should receive equal and adequate funding and promotion for research. John F. SharpUs Too Support Group Please sign and then get two of your friends to sign. Males: What's the composition of your meal selection like? More fat? and, saturated fatty food items? Not as much fruit and vegetable consumption as you would like to have? Make sure to read the above petition, sign, and start to decrease your fat consumption, just 1-step at a time and increase your fruit and vegetable consumption daily-- starting today, on your way to better prostate health by making healthier food choices. By increasing your fruit/vegetable consumption and decreasing fat consumption there is a reduced risk of prostate cancer, and increase in respect for yourself and respect for your body. Are you worth it? ~Anthony Sepe, From A Dietitian's

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama and his Cheeseburger

President-elect Obama tries to take care of the Middle East, plan for his upcoming inauguration next week and juggle his recent Air Force jet to Washington; however, he does require food like the rest of us. He was handed a menu, but guess what? He ordered a cheeseburger. Who'd a thunk it? What do you think about his choice of picks from the menu offerings?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Notes: Sending a Holiday Dip Your Way

  1. 1 Packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing or Ranch Dressing
  2. 1 Cup of Fat-free Sour Cream
  3. 1/2 Cup fat-free milk
  1. Cut carrots, celery, broccoli florets, cauliflower, and red and green pepper strips; wash and pat dry.
  2. Arrange on platter with the above dips.