Known as Earth Overshoot Day, it’s the day, sometime in August, when our yearly demand for ecological resources exceeds how much the planet can replenish those resources for the year. Soon after August 15, this year, Earth will be operating on a deficit.
All the while, the population of Earth is growing. It’s estimated there will be 9 billion people by 2050, an additional 2 billion than now.
That’s a lot of mouths to feed.
The question is, can the Earth’s resources handle the increase in food production required for all these people? Probably not.
So, what’s the solution? Bugs.
Since 2003, various media outlets have been reporting how our food system is expanding beyond livestock, chicken, and fish to include insects. And entomophagy, the act of gulping down squishy, slimy, slithery bugs, is now very much a thing.
And North American outfits like New Millennium Farms in Ontario, Canada, and Aspire in Austin, Texas, are jumping on the trend to turn insects into cash crops, in the process making a more sustainable food system a reality.
The insect farm Aspire has ratcheted production up so high, they recently expanded their facility at a commercial scale and can now produce up to 7 million crickets weekly. Their next big harvest cycle is currently underway this July, and they’ve begun to turn those millions of chirpers into powders for nutritional supplements and flavor enhancers in products such as energy bars, baked goods, diet supplements, and food condiments. Interested in munching on a Hopper Peanut Butter, Cherry & Cacao Cricket Bar?
There’s still an “ick” factor confronting insect evangelists, and the day when Americans cast aside the reality TV imagery of creepy crawly bugs, and knowingly purchase this low-impact, sustainable source of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals for their dinner entrée is still a ways off. But that day will come. Eventually.
“It’s about environmental and food-system literacy,” said Gustavo Montes de Oca, 34, managing director of the social enterprise The Golden Company in London.
“In general, companies worldwide are already selling to the public products that come from insects, like honey or cochineal. Everyone knows what honey is, but probably not cochineal. It’s been around for centuries. It’s the red dye you find in many food products,” he continued. “So I think it’s going to be less of a leap selling insects to the mass market than one might imagine.”
At its core, the key for Americans to accept bugs over beef will come down to marketing and awareness building, rooted in the efforts of our media and their ability to tackle environmental stewardship.
But can we count on our media to inform Americans that crickets need six times less feed than cattle? Or that to produce a quarter pound of edible crickets, they need only a moist paper towel each week versus 869 gallons of water to produce a third of a pound of beef?
Or will the media report that crickets have nearly as much protein, 14 to 25 grams per a 100 gram serving, as lean beef, which typically averages out at 27 grams of protein?
Based on current trends, it seems unlikely. Reporting about pop-stars trumps stories about the environment 92 to 1 on network TV news programs.
In fact, environmental stories—like those concerning insects or deforestation, which makes way for more cattle ranches to support our meat-dominated food system—are hard to come by in the U.S. news media. A studyconducted by The Project for Improved Environmental Coverage found that environmental stories in the media made up less than 1 percent of all headlines, even though an opinion research corporation survey found that 79 percent of Americans want more environmental coverage in the news.
Unless the media starts reporting more on environmental issues, bugs don’t stand a chance of becoming a common food source. Food is culture after all, and the media shape culture.
Alas, the path is clear. In order for a real entomophagy movement to happen, and for Americans to get up to speed on their role in helping the environment, personalities like NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt need to truly bug out on more sustainable insect stories. Only then, can we acclimatize, normalize and accept that bugs indeed should be what’s for dinner. And they aren’t gross.
Apple Cider vinegar has been used for Medicinal purposes for at least 12,000 years, in Assyria Babylon, used by the Egyptians and it was used by the Greeks 2,400 years ago.
Apple cider vinegar is fermented juice from crushed apples. This fermented juice, is likely to contain vitamins and minerals found in the apples the cider is produced from. These vitamins and minerals include:
significant amounts of Acetic and Citric Acid
Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet will be beneficial to your health and it’s easy to do.
Use it in your salad dressings, mayonnaise and in your favorite cooking recipes.
Some choose to dilute it in water or within their favorite beverage and drink it. 1-2 teaspoons to 1-2 tablespoons daily is the average recommended intake for the beneficial properties of apple cider vinegar. 2 tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water twice a day, mixed with a tablespoon of honey, is said to cure the common cold, flu and cancer, help with weight loss and its a great wound and scar treatment.
4 Lessons Learned From Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar With Every Meal
1. The body is able to utilize the iron from the foods we ingests when accompanied by Apple cider vinegar. The acid helps release iron within the food we eat.
Iron is a key component of hemoglobin and myoglobin which are responsible for carrying oxygen to cells throughout the body. Oxygen is essential to burn calories which turns into energy for our body.
2. Apple cider vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes*, benefitting insulin function and blood sugar levels. It significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses, reduces blood sugar and ingesting 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.
3. Several human studies suggest apple cider vinegar can help you eat fewer calories and burn those calories for energy, thereby helping you to loose weight.
Eating high-carb meals with apple cider vinegar can increase feelings of fullness. Studies have found people are likely to eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
A study in obese individuals showed that “daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss.” The study was conducted over a twelve week period.
These are the results:
•1 tablespoon: Lost 2.6 pounds
•2 tablespoons: Lost 3.7 pounds
It is considered to be healthier and more likely to maintain weight loss when it has been achieved in a gradual process like these test results suggest.
4. In China, apple cider vinegar ingestion is linked to decreased esophageal cancer. it is also possible that apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer, based on current research.
It is essential when attempting to naturally cure to cancer, to alkalize the body. Regular vinegar has a neutral pH ash factor. When trying to achieve a more alkaline internal pH level, taking baking soda with the apple cider vinegar will cut down on the bicarbonates the pancreas has to produce. This treatment should further help to alkalize and oxygenate the body which creates an environment that is difficult for cancer to grow, let alone survive.
This case is fictitious and the described condition is not a real diagnosis. The images in this case have been digitally altered. The case was originally published as one of Radiopaedia.org’s April Fools’ cases.
The right second to fourth fingers are in bony continuity with the right femur consistent with grade 4 acrofemoral synostosis. The first ray (thumb) is absent. Associated severe developmental dysplasia of the right hip.
Acrofemoral synostosis (AFS) is graded 1–5 corresponding to the number of digits fused to the femur and is invariably associated with developmental dysplasia of the hip. Historical attempts at surgical correction of AFS were unfavourable, as the severity of hip dysplasia interfered with mobility. In contrast, children with uncorrected AFS mobilize relatively freely by actively moving the leg with the attached upper limb in what has been termed the puppeteer adaptation.
Interestingly, the song “I’m a little Teapot” created by George Harold Sanders and Clarence Z. Kelley in 1939 was inspired by a child with teapot syndrome. Sanders famously wrote the song to help include a boy, Handinma Pokett, in an urban jazz routine. Remarkably, Pokett went on to join the Bolshoi ballet and several of his most memorable performances are featured in this YouTube video.
Excessive cervical range of motion, and mild intermittent long tract symptoms that are positional in nature.
This case is fictitious and the described condition is not a real diagnosis. The images in this case have been digitally altered. The case was originally published as one of Radiopaedia.org’s April Fools’ cases.
Absent C4 vertebral shadow, with non-specific soft tissue density in the intervening space. The expected height of C4 is maintained relative the the expected distance betweeen C3 and C5 in a normal cervical spine.
Vertebral aplasia at C4, with associated anterior and posterior meningoceles. Note the hypertrophic discs above and below the meningoocele and the bridging fibrocartilaginous tranformation of the ALL which buffer mechanical forces in the extremes in range of motion, limiting patient symptoms.
Vertebral aplasia, in association with the patient’s clinical symptoms, is consistent with the diagnosis of Von Schlapp Syndrome (VSS). This is an extremely rare congenital anomaly that has no demonstrable inheritance pattern, and presents in a similar fashion to those with Hirayama’s disease. In the few reported cases of this condition, it has been determined to be an isolated anomaly, not associated with other dysplastic segments or organs.
A specific genetic defect has not been identified. The condition is thought to be a cell signaling error that leads to focal altered paraxial mesoderm migration. This disrupts sclerotome formation around the notochord and neural tube which inhibits resegmentation during the 4th week of development at the level of the signaling error.
The condition is as interesting as the man who first described it. In 1946 Adolf Von Schlapp, a German American neurologist living on the island of St Mocassin in the Pacific while convalescing from a protracted neurosyphilis flare up, noted that 4 of the young islander serving girls who worked at the sanitarium were able to flex their neck more than is expected. How he noted this is unclear from his 1947 AJR article .
Von Schlapp did not return to the United States until 1965, by then almost blind and probably raving mad from neurosyphilis. With the help of his long suffering wife, Christina Von Schlapp, he founded the “Von Schlapp foundation” to try and help victims of syphilis find employment in meat packing industry (his brother Hans Von Schlapp was the owner founder of Schlapp Meats Inc.).
Despite devoting considerable funds to the project, he was plagued by rumours of former involvement with the NAZI party, and was never able to garner the support of the general public.
In 1972, destitute and wandering the streets of New York he fell down a man hole and died two days later. In 1992, the American Vertebrate College attempted to distance themselves from Von Schlaap by officially changing the name of the syndrome to ‘Muppet disease’, likening the clinical hypermobility of the neck to that of Jim Henson’s puppets.
An estimated 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly 1 in 4 global deaths. Environmental risk factors such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change, and ultraviolet radiation contribute to more than 100 diseases and injuries.
In March 2016, WHO published the second edition of the report, “Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks”, which cites proven strategies for preventing disease and deaths through healthy environments.
More than half of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis remained clear of lesions after a year of treatment with the interleukin-17A inhibitor ixekzumab, according to data reported here.
The 60-week follow-up data showed that 54% of patients treated with either of two doses of ixekizumab had 100% improvement in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 100). More than 70% achieved PASI 90, and more than 80% met criteria for PASI 75 response.
In general, the monoclonal antibody demonstrated good tolerability, associated with a discontinuation rate of about 5%, Andrew Blauvelt, MD, of Oregon Medical Research Center in Portland, reported at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting.
“Izekizumab treatment led to high clinical response rates and sustained efficacy in a majority of patients,” Blauvelt said. “More than half of ixekizumab-treated patients achieved complete resolution of psoriatic plaques at week 60. The safety profile for ixekizumab was similar to what was observed during the 12-week induction period.”
Ixekizumab is a specific inhibitor of the IL-17A receptor. The antibody was compared against placebo and etanercept (Enbrel) in two phase III trials that evaluated two ixekizumab dosing schedules (administration every 2 or 4 weeks). More than 1,200 patients were randomized 1:2:2:2 to placebo, etanercept (Enbrel) or one of the ixekizumab schedules.
As previously reported, the antibody demonstrated superior efficacy after a 12-week induction period. PASI 75 response rates were 7.3% with placebo, 53.4% with etanercept, and 84.2% and 87.3% with the two ixekizumab regimens. PASI 90 rates were 3.1%, 25.7%, 65.3%, and 68.1%. PASI 100 responses were attained by 0%, 73%, 35%, and 37.7%.
Upon completion of the induction phase, all patients transitioned to open-label ixekizumab, administered every 4 weeks. Blauvelt reported findings for patients who received only ixekizumab for the entire 60-week follow-up period.
The data showed that response rates attained at 12 weeks with ixekizumab held up through the 60-week follow-up period. The intention-to-treat analysis (n=771) showed response rates of 82%, 72%, and 54% for PASI 75, PASI 90, and PASI 100. A per-protocol analysis (n=722) showed a PASI 75 response rate of 87%, PASI 90 response rate of 77%, and PASI 100 response rate of 57%.
Cosentyx Versus Stelara
In another study reported here, long-term follow-up from a randomized trial comparing two other biologic drugs showed sustained superiority for secukinumab (Cosentyx) over ustekinumab (Stelara) in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
The randomized comparison of secukinumab (Cosentyx) and ustekinumab involved almost 700 patients who had a baseline mean PASI score ≥12, an investigator global assessment score ≥3, and body surface area involvement ≥10%. They were randomized to the monclonal antibodies, and the primary endpoint was PASO 90 response at 16 weeks. As reported last year, secukinumab resulted in a PASI 90 rate of 80.1% versus 59.0% for ustekinumab (P<0.0001). PASI 100 rates were 45% and 29.2% (P<0.0001).
Follow-up in both groups continued to week 52, during which time patients treated with secukinumab continued to have better psoriasis clearance rates compared with those treated with ustekinumab, said Diamant Thaci, MD, of the University of Lubeck in Germany. The secukinumab group had a PASI 90 rate of 76.2% compared with 60.6% for the ustekinumab group (P<0.0001). PASI 100 rates (a secondary endpoint) were 45.9% and 35.8% with secukinumab and ustekinumab, respectively (P<0.05).
Investigators in the trial collected quality of life data by means of the Dermatology Qualty of Life Index (DLQI). A secondary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a DLQI score of 0 or 1 at week 52 (responder). Response rates were 71.6% with secukinumab and 59.2% with ustekinumab (P=0.0008). A significant between-group difference emerged at 4 weeks and persisted throughout the 52-week follow-up period, Thaci said.
Secukinumab and ustekinumab had similar and favorable safety profiles. No new or unexpected adverse events or toxicities occurred in either group. No patient developed tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. The only notable difference was a higher incidence of candida infection with secukinumab (6.4% versus 1.6%). Thaci said none of the infections were serious.
Ever dream of being the hero that saves the day? Or what about making a daring escape from a near-death situation just like your favorite action star? Former Australian Navy Clearance Diver and trainer Ben Mitchell developed the Frogman Project to enable men and women to be able to handle dangerous situations. His program “revolves around such tasks as finning, pack marching, strength endurance, body-weight movements and cardiovascular training.” Based on the same principles as the Frogman Project, Ben put together a list of the top 13 movements that could save your life (or someone else’s). While it’d be ideal to never be put in a life-or-death situation where you have to use them, it’s always better to be prepared, right?
Self-improvement often requires willpower, a word the dictionary defines as “energetic determination,” but in modern times has come to mean “the ability not to inhale a donut every time you see one.”
As important as willpower is for establishing good health habits, Americans know little about it.
Acquiring willpower is not something that is taught in public schools or discussed in many homes, and – outside of sports – it is seldom a theme in popular culture. Like annuities or kale, willpower is a thing that we know we should have more of, but don’t.
So what happens? We make New Year’s Resolutions and break them. We work out to get the perfect body, but end up wearing a huge T-shirt to the pool. We try to make it to lunch without drinking soda and fail. Beer? Five, please.
Then we blame ourselves for being failures, but the truth is we’re not failures. We’re willpower amateurs in a world of professionally-packaged temptation. It’s us, with zero training, against a $15 trillion economy that gets better at selling us things and capturing our attention every day.
Want to eat right? Hit the gym regularly? Get a proper amount of sleep? Finish that passion project?
Want to ignore the donut?
You need more willpower. The good news? You can get it. Willpower is something you can study, understand, use and strengthen.
In their book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney disclosed the idea that willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened.
The authors argue that the mental equivalent of high-rep, low-weight training can boost willpower. Their method: Start small, then build. Little willpower wins over the course of a day, week, or month can lead to larger gains down the road.
As an example, Baumeister and Tierney cite performance artist David Blaine. When he trains for his strange public feats —such as spending 64 hours inside a giant ice cube—he does so by practicing small acts of willpower, such as not drinking alcohol. “Getting your brain wired into little goals and achieving them helps you achieve the bigger things you shouldn’t be able to do,’’ Blaine said. “It’s not just practicing the specific thing.”
If your goal is to diet and lose weight, you can build your willpower by doing seemingly non-related things – like taking a walk every day, or cleaning your home every night.
If you’re Blaine, maybe you shave your creepy facial hair every day. Whatever works for you.
4 Proven Willpower Hacks
1. POSTPONEMENT OF DESIRE – You can, for lack of a better word, trick yourself into better behavior. Nicole Mead of the Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics and her colleagues say that postponing consumption of an unhealthy snack to an unspecified future time reduces snack intake. Mead believes that reducing desire, rather than strengthening willpower, is an effective strategy for controlling unwanted food-related cravings.
Postponement gives the brain a cooling-off period that leads to more snack no’s than yesses, Mead told WebMD. She adds that the postponement should not be specific. In other words, you shouldn’t say, “I’ll eat that entire Fudgie the Whale Carvel Ice Cream Cake in 30 minutes.” You should say, “I’ll eat the cake at some point later.”
2. FLEX YOUR MUSCLES – But there’s another trick you can use if you feel your willpower slipping: Flex your muscles. Iris W. Hung of the National University of Singapore and Aparna A. Labroo of the University of Chicago conducted a study in which participants were who were instructed to tighten their muscles, regardless of which muscles they tightened, demonstrated a greater ability to withstand pain, consume unpleasant medicine, attend to disturbing but essential information and overcome tempting foods.
The researches theorize that the body primes the mind.
3. USE MENTAL IMAGERY – Mental imagery, used by athletes worldwide, is another willpower hack. According to Harvard researchers, people who do a good deed or who imagine doing a good deed are better able to perform tasks of physical endurance.
In a strange twist, those who envisioned themselves doing something bad had more endurance than those who envisioned themselves doing something good. In this case, researchers believe that the mind primes the body.
The findings are based on two studies. In the first, participants were given a dollar and told either to keep it or give it to charity. They were then asked to hold a five-pound weight for as long as they could. Those who donated to charity held the weight for an average of almost 10 seconds longer.
In a second study participants held a weight while writing fictional stories in which they helped another person, harmed another person or did something that had no impact on other people.
Participants who wrote about doing good were significantly stronger than those whose actions didn’t benefit anyone. Researchers were surprised to learn that the people who wrote about harming others were even stronger than the participants who envisioned helping someone.
“Whether you’re saintly or nefarious, there seems to be power in moral events,” researcher Kurt Gray said when the study was published. “People often look at others who do great or evil deeds and think, ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I wouldn’t have the strength to do that.’ But in fact, this research suggests that physical strength may be an effect, not a cause, of moral acts.”
So next time you’re jogging and getting tired, picture yourself on a heroic quest to save the princess—or murder her father, the beloved king.
4. MODIFY YOUR ENVIRONMENT – You can also trick your brain by modifying your environment. Consumer psychologist Brian Wansink discovered that people eat and drink more out of bigger containers.
In one of his studies people lost weight when they ate off salad plates instead of large dinner plates, kept unhealthy foods out of sight, moved healthier foods to eye-level and ate in the kitchen or dining room instead of in front of the television.
Like your muscles, your willpower can tire out. According to a study co-authored by Baumeister, the more frequently and recently people resisted a desire, the less successful they will be at resisting subsequent desires. He believes people only have so much willpower to use during the day.
How can you tell if your willpower is depleted?
People with low willpower feel things, both physically and emotionally, more intensely. Baumeister and his colleagues found that people with low willpower reported more distress in response to an upsetting film and rated cold water as more painful during a cold-water immersion test.
Making choices isn’t the only way to burn through your willpower. Another culprit: hunger. Another Baumeister study concluded that acts of self-control reduce blood glucose levels and low blood glucose levels predict a lack of self-control. It’s the proverbial vicious cycle.
The good news is that glucose is sugar, which is fuel for the brain, and it can be replenished. Ideally your sugar should come from a healthy source, such as fruits.
Don’t drink a regular soda to avoid eating a cookie.
What you want to do is ward off decision fatigue. McMaster University associate professor of kinesiology Kathleen Martin Ginis says that having to make many decisions can cause a person to cave into temptation.
In his efficiency book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity,” David Allen urges busy people who want to be more productive to create folders in their email, and in their file cabinets, into which they can file decisions that don’t need to be made until later.
Allen’s tactic acknowledges that it takes a lot of energy to focus on the present and remain productive. Folders remove the burdens of constant decision-making.
Ginis said making regular plans to exercise at the same time every day also nets positive results.
The Depletion Debate
Not everyone agrees with the Baumeister camp. Many researchers believe that willpower, in fact, can not be depleted. For example, Stanford psychologists found that people who think willpower can be depleted are more likely to be tired when performing a tough task. People who think that willpower cannot be drained easily stay on task longer without losing focus.
So which one are you?
Can you stay focused on one thing for long periods of time? If you can, you’re in the Stanford camp. Soldier on.
Do you find that your energy drains quickly when you’re focusing? If so, you’re in the Baumeister camp. Grab an orange.
The Future of Willpower
It has only been three years since Caltech scientists pinpointed the parts of the brain that regulate willpower—the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
“After centuries of debate in social sciences, we are finally making big strides in understanding self-control from watching the brain resist temptation directly,” researcher Colin Camerer said on discovery. Camerer hopes his research will lead to better theories on how self-control develops and how it works for various types of temptations.
Until science makes a willpower pill, find hacks that help you will your way past the donut.
Hand pain with areas of skin elevation. History of strict paleo diet for last 18 months
Paleo-induced mineral periostitis (PiMP) is a recently recognised disease attributed to the so-called “paleo diet”. It most frequently involves the metacarpals and phalanges producing perpendicular periosteal projections (“spines”), an appearance that has lead to the alternative name of “cactus disease”. In severe cases the spines can tent the skin and present clinically, although the majority of cases are only detected radiographically after patients complain of hand pain, particularly when squeezing fruits (e.g. crushing goji berries).
Proponents of the paleo diet continue to deny that it causes PiMP, however a strong temporal association and correlation between length of diet and disease severity have proved scientifically robust; 2016 Cochrane Library metareview. Supportive archeological evidence from paleolithic human populations also exists including cave paintings in Argentina showing cactus hands 12,000 years ago (pictured above).
The European Society for Hand Models recently listed the paleo diet as a category 5 risk (alongside wood work, wicket keeping and thumb wrestling) after founding member Spike E. Hanzenfeat announced that his once “really really, ridiculously good looking hands” had been “internally shashlicked” within seven months of commencing the diet. A Broadway adaptation of his story entitled “The Stuff Fools Swallow” is expected in late 2017.