WHO Data: Chinese Babies will have Longer Healthy Lifes than Those Born in the U.S.

Tom Miles wrote

China has overtaken the United States in healthy life expectancy at birth for the first time, according to World Health Organization data.

Chinese newborns can look forward to 68.7 years of healthy life ahead of them, compared with 68.5 years for American babies, the data – which relates to 2016 – showed.

American newborns can still expect to live longer overall – 78.5 years compared to China’s 76.4 – but the last 10 years of American lives are not expected to be healthy.

“The lost years of good health that are a factor in calculating healthy life expectancy at birth are lower for China, Japan, Korea and some other high income Asian countries than for high income ‘Western’ countries,” said WHO spokeswoman Alison Clements-Hunt.

The United States was one of only five countries, along with Somalia, Afghanistan, Georgia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where healthy life expectancy at birth fell in 2016, according to a Reuters analysis of the WHO data, which was published without year-on-year comparisons in mid-May.

The best outlook was for Singaporean babies, who can count on 76.2 years of health on average, followed by those in Japan, Spain and Switzerland. The United States came 40th in the global rankings, while China was 37th.

In terms of overall life expectancy China is also catching up with the United States, which Reuters calculations suggest it is on course to overtake around 2027.

“Chinese life expectancy has increased substantially and is now higher than for some high-income countries,” said Clements-Hunt.

Meanwhile U.S. life expectancy is falling, having peaked at 79 years in 2014, the first such reversal for many years, Clements-Hunt said.

That reflected increasing rates of drug overdose deaths, mainly from opioids, suicides, and some other major causes among younger middle-aged Americans, particularly in less affluent areas, she said.

The world’s longest life expectancy is in Japan, at 84.2 years, meaning that babies born there in 2016 were the first to be able to look forward to seeing the next century.

Source : Reuters

Pan-seared Tofu with Creamy Yogurt-chard Sauce


350 g package extra-firm tofu
2 tsp garam masala, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sliced roasted almonds


  1. Line cutting board with a couple sheets of paper towel. Top with tofu, a couple more sheets of towel, and another cutting board. Press to extract excess liquid. Slice tofu into 3/4 in blocks and toss with 1 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  2. Slice off stems from chard leaves and thinly slice stems. Roughly chop chard leaves and then soak them in large bowl of cool water, swishing to loosen any grit clinging to them. Drain and squeeze out excess water, or use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Chop greens into smaller pieces.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add tofu and cook, tossing the cubes occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in pan. Add onion, chard stems, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until onion has softened and browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and ginger to pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add 1 tsp garam masala, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and red pepper flakes in pan. Cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped chard leaves in batches and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from heat and let cool for about 2 minutes. Stir in yogurt, 1/4 cup at a time, and then stir in cream. Gently stir in tofu and lemon juice. Serve topped with almonds.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Missouri Is Making It Illegal To Call Plant-based Burger “Meat”

Maddie Oatman wrote . . . . . . .

The United States’ beef and pork producers churned out 48.4 billion pounds of red meat in 2015, and made $9 billion exporting it around the world. Despite that success, they appear threatened by the growing number of meat alternatives cropping up in grocery stores. Now, the livestock lobby is taking its beef to state lawmakers.

On Thursday, Missouri became the first state to make sure plant and lab-based meat makers can’t use the term “meat” to describe their products. The Missouri state legislature passed an omnibus agricultural bill that includes a provision to ban the use of the word “meat” to describe anything that is “not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” The provision paralleled language in a House bill sponsored by Republican state Rep. Jeff Knight, a former livestock auctioneer.

The Missouri Cattleman’s Association, a trade group, applauded the measure. “The use of traditional nomenclature on alternative products is confusing to consumers and weakens the value of products derived from actual livestock production,” stated MCA’s executive vice president, Mike Deering, in a press release.

Last month, France also banned the use of the words “steak” and “cheese” (okay, fromage) to describe vegetable products or alternatives. “It is important to combat false claims. Our products must be designated correctly,” tweeted Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a French politician.

But some see such measures as redundant in the US. “Misrepresentation is already prohibited by federal law; the intent of this bill is to censor labeling terms in plant-based products,” said Jessica Almy, director of policy at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes alternatives to conventional meat. Almy argues that the term “plant-based meat,” which the Missouri law would prohibit, already makes clear that a product is made from plants, and banning it would “present a serious hurdle to manufacturers trying to describe their products.”

The battle echoes the great mayonnaise wars of 2014-2015: In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that eggless mayo company Hampton Creek couldn’t use the term “mayo” on its label. Then reports surfaced that the American Egg Board had attempted to stop Whole Foods from selling Hampton Creek’s product; ultimately, Hampton was allowed to keep “Just Mayo” as its product’s name so long as it made its egglessness clearer.

Do the terms “plant-based” or “clean” meat really pose much of a threat to animal meat makers or consumers? It’s hard to feel too bad for livestock producers—the United States Department of Agriculture predicts that Americans will scarf down a record amount of meat in 2018, or around 222 pounds a person. But you can already try plant-based hamburgers that have a texture eerily similar to the real thing. And lab-grown meat, also known as “clean meat,” could be here before you know it: Some experts posit that you’ll be able to buy meat grown from stem cells by 2020. Memphis Meats, a company perfecting lab-grown beef, duck, chicken, and pork, counts billionaire Bill Gates and agriculture corporation Cargill as investors. Poultry giant Tyson Foods has at least a five percent stake of plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat, and recently launched its own line of alternative proteins.

And the popularity of vegetarian and vegan alternatives is on the rise: A recent Nielsen poll found that 23 percent of people want more plant-based proteins on the shelves, and data from HealthFocus International suggests that 60 percent of people say they are cutting back on meat-based products.

Source: Mother Jones

U.K. Finally Gets a Beef-Like Vegan Burger

Picture a juicy seared burger, mac and cheese, short rib, and smoky barbecue sauce, sandwiched on a soft bun. But it’s all vegan. Dubbed the “Vegan Mac Daddy,” it’s the plant-based meat behemoth that restaurant Dirty Bones will premiere at its London and Oxford locations this June.

The base of this head-turner is the vegan B12 Burger by Moving Mountains. It’s made from coconut oil, wheat, soy, potatoes, mushrooms and beet juice, which makes the patty appear to “bleed” when you cut into it. According to Moving Mountains Founder Simeon Van der Molen, their product is “the UK’s first ever raw bleeding plant-based meat burger.”

The patty has 20 grams of protein, no cholesterol, and low saturated fat, but is on-par with beef in terms of protein. As its name suggests, the B12 burger is also fortified with B12, a vitamin that can be hard to get in a meat-free diet.

Moving Mountains launched their burger at vegetarian London chain Mildred’s earlier this year, but when they premier at Dirty Bones this June it will be the first time their patty will grace the menu of a restaurant that also serves meat dishes. The Vegan Mac Daddy will be £12 ($16), which is just £1 more expensive than its meaty alter-ego.

While I certainly wouldn’t mind taking a taste of this burger (and maybe I will when I head to the U.K. after Smart Kitchen Summit Europe!), the most interesting part about the B12 Burger isn’t the burger itself, but how long it took to get here. And by here, I mean the U.K.

After all, we in the U.S. have two options for plant-based burgers meant to mimic the look and feel of beef: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Moving Mountains’ burger is the first attempt in the U.K. to make a plant-based product that’s marketed not just at vegetarians, but also at meat-eaters and flexitarians.

The recent arrivalof a meaty vegan burger is pretty surprising considering London was named the most vegetarian-friendly city by PETA and has over 3.5 million vegans. A recent study from Kantar Worldpanel showed that 29% of evening meals in the U.K. don’t contain any meat.

While I lived there I came to expect a vegetarian option — in fact, a good vegetarian option — at every burger joint and cafe, no matter how meat-focused. Which is not always the case in the U.S.

Perhaps it’s because of these omnipresent veg options (often built around halloumi, the most delicious substance on the planet Earth) that the U.K. has been slow to hop on the meat-like vegan burger train. Though the B12 Burger’s positive reception at Mildred’s shows that there’s certainly a market for it, though it’s still so new that it’s mostly a novelty.

Part of this delay is just timing. Founder Simeon Van Der Molen told the Spoon that the idea for Moving Mountains formed in 2016, after he “recognized a restriction on the impact we can have on the environment and animal agriculture,” and then decided to create an “innovative plant-based food product that could affect positive change for public health and the planet by reducing animal meat consumption.”

After he had the idea, it took Van Der Molen and his team two years in a lab working with a team of scientists, chefs and farmers to nail the formula — they went through 100 recipes before they settled on a final one. They wanted to get a burger that, in Van Der Molen’s words, “replicates animal meat in every way, from the sizzle and texture to the taste.”

It seems like Moving Mountains may have hit the market just in time. Beyond Meat announced that it was planning to start selling their burgers in the U.K. by the end of 2018. In fact, the Guardian reported that Beyond Meat was rumored to have a deal with British supermarket Tesco to bring their burgers across the pond by July of this year.

As of now Moving Mountains is only available at a handful of restaurants in London and Brighton. If Beyond Meat does indeed make it to the U.K., we’ll see if there’s enough room for two meat-like meatless burgers in the ever-growing British flexitarian market.

Source: The Spoon

New Review Highlights Benefits of Plant-based Diets for Heart Health

Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets are associated with better cardiovascular health, according to a new review published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine looked at multiple clinical trials and observational studies and found strong and consistent evidence that plant-based dietary patterns can prevent and reverse atherosclerosis and decrease other markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, including blood pressure, blood lipids, and weight.

The review found that a plant-based diet:

  • Reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 40 percent.
  • Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 40 percent.
  • Fully or partially opens blocked arteries in up to 91 percent of patients.
  • Reduces the risk of hypertension by 34 percent.
  • Is associated with 29 mg/dL and 23 mg/dL lower total cholesterol and LDL-C levels, respectively, compared with non-vegetarian diets.
  • Is associated with weight loss.

“A plant-based diet has the power to not only prevent heart disease, but also manage and sometimes even reverse it–something no drug has ever done,” says study author Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D., Physicians Committee director of clinical research.

The review notes that a healthy diet and lifestyle reduces the risk for a heart attack by 81-94 percent, while medications can only reduce the risk by 20-30 percent.

Plant-based diets benefit heart health because they’re rich in fiber and phytonutrients–like carotenoids, anthocyanins, and lycopene–which reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Animal products are packed with saturated fat, cholesterol, heme iron, and environmental pollutants and can harm heart health.

“Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. This study proves it doesn’t have to be,” says Dr. Kahleova.

Around the globe, cardiovascular disease is responsible for 46 percent of non-communicable disease deaths, or 17.5 million deaths a year.

Source: EurekAlert

Today’s Comic