Short Supply Of Organic Beef Craved By Consumers

With consumers rapidly getting savvy about food quality and food safety, the demand for organic beef has never been higher.   So why aren’t more ranchers converting to the higher price-per-pound premium organic product?

Change in retail US beef salesNatural, organic or grass-fed beef varieties—all of which are Give Chikin A Chance Sign Worn By Cowantibiotic-free—fetch more money, retailing for 30% to 80% more per pound than conventional meat.

Organic and natural ranchers typically face greater transparency costs.

These include paperwork and audits to demonstrate adherence to animal-welfare, sustainability and other standards required by beef buyers or federal labeling rules.

The demand for more transparency in our food system’s ‘chain-of-evidence’ is one more trend contributing to higher grocery prices.

Health and sustainability focused consumers love knowing the back story about the food they eat. They also are the first to pass along good information to friends and family.

There’s also that pesky side effect from global weirding we’re calling a drought.  When you factor in the increased demand for antibiotic free meat by some of the large fast food and grocery chains, we can begin to see a trend in demand outstripping supply.

That won’t last forever. Healthy animals cost less to raise. Organic and natural beef is a major food trend that’s finally starting to see significant traction.  The decades long educational trickle down from natural products stores has reached the mainstream consumer audience.

Now we have to  cut through all the clutter and green washing in order to feel confident about the food purchases we make each day.  Informed consumers will be the major factor influencing market supply and demand.  Expect to  pay what it costs to deliver a premium product.  Expect to pay more for the non-premium product too.

USDA Gives 2nd Generation GM ‘Innate’ Potato Green Light

Would you eat this unlabeled GMO creation? Could you even tell which one you’re eating? Didn’t think so.

Innate Genetically Modified Potato and Regular Potato after 30 Minutes










You likely already ate some GM potato without knowing it. Over 400 acres worth of GM potatoes were sold in Midwestern grocery stores over the summer, and most of them went unlabeled as such. The second generation of J.R. Simplot Co.’s genetically modified potato has cleared its first federal regulatory hurdle, and the Russet Burbank variety ‘Innate’ has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the name of a potato that won’t brown or bruise, as this is the reason being given for its genetic alteration, we are expected to eat another genetically modified crop, and like it.

Of course you are interested in the rhetoric provided by Simplot’s vice president of plant sciences, Haven Baker. He says:

“For historical reasons and current agriculture reasons, this is an important milestone. The Irish potato famine did change a lot of Western history. Even today – 160 years later – late blight is a $5 billion problem for the global potato industry.”

The potato modifications were made by silencing existing genes or adding genes from other types of potatoes, not from other plants or animals.

“It’s potato genes in the potato,” he said. “There are clear benefits for everybody, and it’s just a potato.”

One of the company’s oldest business partners – McDonald’s – has already said it does not plan to use the company’s first-generation Innate potato. McDonald’s did not immediately respond to calls for comment about the new potato, so the company will sell to grocery stores instead.

Doug Cole, the company’s director of marketing and communications, said about 400 acres’ worth of the company’s first genetically modified potatoes sold out last summer in grocery stores in 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast. The company plans to market about 2,000 acres of potatoes next summer.

The company said it expects FDA and EPA approvals within a year. Commercial planting would likely begin in 2017, and they are already hard at work on potatoes that will have a resistance to a virus ‘that makes potatoes unmarketable.’
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Read: How to Know if You’re Buying the New GMO Potato


ADHD, Substance Abuse, Conduct Disorder Share Same Neurocognitive Deficits

ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder develop from the same neurocognitive deficits

Now that we can reverse engineer behavior deficits to neurocognitive deficits, I wonder how long will it take before we layer in the nutritional deficits and apply the same statistical rigor to that data set. Seems like low hanging fruit to me. Pun intended.

12 August 2014 Université de Montréal

Researchers at the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre have traced the origins of ADHD, Crazy Makerssubstance abuse and conduct disorder, and found that they develop from the same neurocognitive deficits, which in turn explains why they often occur together.

“Psychopathology exists on multiple continua of brain function.  Some of these dimensions contribute to a multitude of problems, others contribute to specific problems.

Together, they explain patterns of comorbidity such as why ADHD and conduct problems co-occur with substance misuse at such a high rate,” explained the study’s lead author, Professor Patricia Conrod.

“Our findings suggest that risk for externalizing problems exist on a continuum in the general population, are easily measured and can be targeted before diagnosable problems arise.

The findings also help reduce stigma and address some of the complexities when diagnosing and treating concurrent psychiatric problems.

The implications are that clinicians can manage multiple psychiatric problems by focusing on how a young person is functioning on a few key neurocognitive dimensions.  The next step is to develop evidence-based intervention strategies that will target these three areas of brain function”

The findings were established by studying the reward sensitivity and decision making patterns of 1,778 European 14-year-olds of comparable demographic profile.

The teens were asked to undertake several tasks while undergoing an MRI and answer personality questionnaires. Clinicians also profiled the participants, once at the time of the testing, and again two years later..

At age 14, 4.4% of participants were identified as having a diagnosis of conduct disorder, ADHD, or both; by 16, this figure had risen to 6.6%.

Alcohol and substance abuse were also identified, with 3.7% and 10.6% prevalence respectively at age 14, and 18.0% and 27.1% respectively at age 16.

Teen Girl Smoking With A BeerThe researchers were able to use statistical modelling to see what risk factors were linked to which psychiatric symptoms. “This is the first study to model ADHD, conduct disorder and substance use problems in adolescence by using a novel statistical approach that identifies the shared variance among these problems as well as the neurocognitive risk factors that are common across these problems.

Three key neurocognitive dimensions were identified as being implicated in most externalizing problems:

  1. impulsive action, impulsive choice (valuing immediate rewards over delayed rewards) and reward sensitivity.  A young person’s performance and brain function on each of these dimensions were shown to be related to externalizing problems.
  2. Self report impulsivity, impulsive actions on a response inhibition task and the extent to which frontal brain regions are hypoactive when committing an impulsive action differentiated youth who were most at risk for ADHD and conduct problems from youth who are at risk for all externalizing behaviours more generally.
  3. Thrill or sensation seeking and abnormal activity in frontal brain regions when anticipating rewards differentiated youth who were uniquely at risk for alcohol misuse relative to those at risk for problems generally.” explained Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, first author of the study.

“There has recently been a trend in psychiatry to reformulate diagnostic categories from a dimensional and neuroscience perspective, fueled mainly by the high rates of comorbidity between certain disorders. This is precisely what we do with regards to externalizing disorders/problems. Our findings provide support for this new “dimensional” approach to psychiatric research by showing these disorder/problems share substantial variance as well as common risk factors and that they exist along a continuum in the general population.”

Behaving Badly DVD CoverThe findings shed light on the cognitive deficits that could be targeted in order to potentially help treat comorbid cases (e.g. adolescents who have been diagnosed with both conduct disorder and substance use problems).

“Comorbid cases are harder to treat and have worse prognosis than non-comorbid cases, and currently there are very few interventions or clinical strategies that are designed to treat comorbidity,” Castellanos-Ryan said.

“Prevention and intervention approaches for externalizing problems – ADHD, conduct disorder and substance use – could benefit from incorporating training components that target the brain functions or deficits related to impulsive action, impulsive choice, and reward sensitivity.

Furthermore, these findings suggest that new intervention and prevention strategies targeting these deficits, either at the personality, cognitive or neural level, have the potential to concurrently impact on a number of clinical outcomes during adolescence and potentially before problems occur.”

Castellanos-Ryan N, Struve M, Whelan R, Banaschewski T, Barker GJ, Bokde AL, Bromberg U, Büchel C, Flor H, Fauth-Bühler M, Frouin V, Gallinat J, Gowland P, Heinz A, Lawrence C, Martinot JL, Nees F, Paus T, Pausova Z, Rietschel M, Robbins TW, Smolka MN, Schumann G, Garavan H, Conrod PJ; The IMAGEN Consortium.

  • Notes for editorsNatalie Castellanos-Ryan, PhD, and Professor Patricia Conrod, PhD, are researchers affiliated with the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry and the Research Centre at the CHU Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital Centre. Castellanos-Ryan is also affiliated with the university’s School of Psychoeducation.The research team published “Neural and Cognitive Correlates of the Common and Specific Variance Across Externalizing Problems in Young Adolescence” in the American Journal of Psychiatry on July 30, 2014.The research was supported by the European Union-funded FP6 Integrated Project IMAGEN (Reinforcement- Related Behaviour in Normal Brain Function and Psychopathology; LSHM-CT- 2007-037286), the FP7 project IMAGEMEND (Imaging Genetics for Mental Disorders) and the Innovative Medicine Initiative Project EU-AIMS (115300-2), the Medical Research Council Programme Grant “Developmental Pathways Into Adolescent Substance Abuse” (93558), and the Swedish funding agency FORMAS. Further support was provided by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF grants 01GS08152 and 01EV0711), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Reinhart-Koselleck Award (SP 383/5-1), and DFG grants SM80/5-2, SM 80/7-1, SFB 940/1. This research was also supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (grant 01EV0711). Natalie Castellanos-Ryan’s and Patricia Conrod’s salaries are awarded from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Santé.


Is Hemp The Next Superfood?

Hemp SeedsWhile hemp is a commonly misunderstood ingredient—no thanks to its cousin marijuana—it offers a wide variety of both health and sustainability benefits.

Though future controversies may arise related to THC content and confusion over CBD, this increasingly popular ingredient has industry experts deeming hemp the industry’s next big star. ​

This slide show was adapted from a presentation by Tom Vierhile, innovative insights director, Datamonitor Consumer, at Ingredient Marketplace 2015. The full presentation is also available to download.

 Click To View the Slideshow   It’s an extremely well done and highly
informative . You’ll be up to speed on the distinctions between hemp and marijuana and the bright future for both.
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