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3 Fun, Easy Ways To Up Your V-Game This Year

3 Fun, Easy Ways To Up Your V-Game This Year

One of many mouthwatering dishes at ICNM.

Your first way is to visit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org ).   They offer tons of free, well-written, legitimate nutrition information, updates on research into chronic diseases, and an abundance of superb recipes.  For those of us working in healthcare, there are also free continuing ed credits.   It’s an awesome site to refer both laypeople and the as-yet uneducated medical professionals in your life to for more information on how and why to shift to a plant-based diet.

They sponsored the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine (ICNM) held in Washington, DC last July, which was a serious good time!  The 2-day program was packed with speakers whose educational pedigrees were longer than a month of Sundays.  I’m pretty positive that if I had asked, not one of the presenters would have been able to tell me what a Kardashian is.  That, my friends, is impressive.

The clinical nutrition information was exceptionally intriguing to a geek like me, but in this post, I’m going to focus on one speaker, in particular, Chef Chad Sarno. He was able to turn all of the good advice the speakers gave into practical “here’s how you do it” information.

Chef Sarno is one of the creative minds behind your second way, the plant-focused Rouxbe Online Cooking School (ROCS), which you can find at www.culinary-Rx.com.  My initial thought on hearing about an online cooking school was “Is that even a thing?”  Having been blessed enough to have taken cooking classes at exceptional schools both here and abroad, I was skeptical.  Now, friends, I am willingly drinking the (vegan naturally-sweetened, sustainably-sourced) kool-ade.     

I’ll never do justice to the site by trying to explain it; I strongly suggest that if you are at all interested in improving your kitchen skills, your health or the health of the planet, you take a looksee for yourself.  I will point out that I am mesmerized with the instructional clips.  The videography is beautifully done, meticulous, well-lit, and close enough for ample detail but not so on top of the action that you feel like an ant at an IMAX movie.

Impressively, at the demo I attended at the ICNM, Chef Sarno was able to prepare a dozen different dishes in about 45 minutes, and explained how the average person could do the same thing at home, as well.   His devilishly simple secret is mise-en-place.  Literally, it means “put in place” in French, but translated, it refers to being in the moment, really thinking about what you’re doing and the ingredients you’re working with.  The end results are home-cooked meals prepared with a minimum of fuss and drama, which cost only a fraction of what you’d pay if you were to eat out.  As a bonus, by doing your own shopping, you control the ingredients, making it less likely that you’ll end up eating salty, plasticized, extruded food-like substances instead of food.

In practice, mise-en-place translates to having ingredients peeled, cut, measured, and ready before you start cooking, as well as having utensils clean and handy, the oven pre-heated, and so forth.   No running to the neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of tofu in the middle of trying to get dinner in the oven before the in-laws show up—how vulgar!

So once you’ve got the mise-en-place down pat, what do you do with all that fabulous organizational skill and those empty countertops yearning to be filled?  There are a zillion awesome vegan cookbooks out there, but one of my favorites is, yes, your third way to up your street cred, Chef Sarno’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Powered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution that he co-wrote with cookbook author Kris Carr.  Crazy Sexy Kitchen is available from Amazon and pretty much everywhere else online and in brick-and-mortar stores that carry anything besides 101 More Ways to Microwave Leftover Oysters.  It’s full of gorgeous photography, menu ideas for a number of occasions, kitchen hacks, and, of course, gluten-free, soy-free, kid-friendly, etc, etc, etc , recipes.  The first thing you should do is memorize that enchanting Lemon Tahini Sauce recipe which is a breeze to make and goes with everything.  I keep a batch in my fridge at all times now.

It would be great to fortify our skills in the kitchen, don’t you think?  That way, instead of falsely representing to the world that vegetarians live on salad and energy bars, we could illustrate, and be examples of, how delicious, easy, and nourishing veganism is for both body and mind.

Disclaimer for Doubters

And before you even ask, no, I did not get the cookbook free, I paid for it.  And no, I am not getting anything free in return for talking about Rouxbe.  I simply feel that it’s an awesome tool for people who don’t have the means to travel to the Culinary Institute of America, sell their possessions to afford the tuition, and put their lives on hold for several years while they may learn how to make hummus but also 101 ways to fry a pork chop.  And yes, I paid my own way to the conference, registration and hotel included.  So there!

All Fast Food is Trash Food

All Fast Food is Trash Food

Every 14 hours or so, a new McDonald’s opens somewhere on the globe.  Not only do Americans have to have their Big Macs, they have to make sure every other culture everywhere else in the universe has access to them, as well.  We don’t want all that diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease just for ourselves, now do we?

“But wait!” I can hear you indignantly protest.  “I don’t eat red meat, of course I know it’s not healthy.  I only eat chicken.

I hate to break it to you like this, my friend, but it’s all crap.  Save for perhaps a single item here or there, there’s nothing you can buy at a fast food joint that in any way resembles anything healthy.  Let’s compare a few chicken sandwich meals at some popular fast food places, shall we?

 

McDonald’s

Crispy Chicken Sandwich w/ light mayo, large fries, large soda: 1400 calories, 60g fat, 1600 mg sodium

Burger King

Chicken Whopper, large fries, large soda: 1500 calories, 70g fat, 2500 mg sodium

Taco Bell

Chicken Quesadilla w/ guac & sour cream, large soda: 950 cal, 40g fat, 1800 mg sodium

 

Even the “healthiest” choice at any fast food place comes with the temptation to order a large fry, or a shake, hot dog, etc.  Why bother putting yourself in that position to begin with?

Because no matter what you’re contemplating choosing from the menu, it’s all pretty much salty, greasy, garbage, IMHO.  On top of which, it’s detrimental to the environment to produce it, it helps perpetuate the poverty cycle for the people who serve it, and it’s unquestionably a huge contributor to animal suffering.

Fast food restaurants also like to plop down in poor neighborhoods, where food deserts leave the residents little choice but to eat at these glorified slophouses.  Nutrition goes down, obesity rates go up.

I highly recommend the following article:

Garber AK1, Lustig RH.  Is fast food addictive?  Curr Drug Abuse Rev. , 2011 Sep;4(3):146-62.

Food Recalls and Alerts 101

Food Recalls and Alerts 101

E. coli and Salmonella are, unfortunately, household words these days.

E. coli O157:H7 is the pathogen most commonly found in ground beef when it is contaminated.  Between 2003 and 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracked nearly 400 E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks.

Over 4,900 E. coli cases were confirmed.  Of those, more than 1,200 people had to be hospitalized.  Thirty four people died.

The news is no better for Salmonella.  Rates of Salmonella food poisoning are increasing, and have been linked to overuse of antibiotics in the meat industry.  In studying 14 Salmonella outbreaks, the CDC found that 8 were resistant to at least one class of antimicrobial drugs.    Ground beef was the source in those 8 outbreaks.

Food Safety News also quoted Dr. L. Hannah Gould, Ph.D., leader of the National Outbreak Reporting System Team at the CDC, as saying “data show a sharp increase in ground beef-related Salmonella outbreaks after 2000.”   She went on to say that “outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in ground beef appear to be a growing problem.”

But it’s not just ground beef, friends.  Even if you avoid red meat you’re not safe from the creepy crawlies.  Check out this sampling from the latest FDA list of recalls; it’s interesting reading:

  • “Schreiber Processing Corp. Recalls Chicken Tender Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination and Misbranding.”  Approximately 2,300 pounds of chicken tenders “may” be contaminated with plastic and misbranded.  Too bad for every kid in America, right, since they all pretty much live on chicken tenders and fries?
  • Or skip over to “Pork Rinds & Snacks, LLC, a Spartanburg, S.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 7,629 pounds of pork skin products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.”
  • And there’s also “Schnuck Markets Inc., O’Fallon, Mo. establishment, is recalling approximately 62 pounds of ready-to-eat grilled chicken products due to undercooking.
  • Our friends at National Steak and Poultry had the same problem, but with a slightly larger amount of meat involved: “National Steak and Poultry, an Owasso, Okla., establishment, is recalling approximately 1,976,089 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products due to adulteration because of possible undercooking.”

I hope you dairy lovers don’t think I forgot about Listeria monocytogenes.  This little beauty is a lesser known, but quite serious pathogen.  “Only” about 1,600 people living in the U.S. get listeriosis each year, but that’s not good news.  Most of them require hospitalization, and 1 in 5 will die.  Not good odds.  If you get listeriosis while you’re pregnant, miscarriage, newborn death or stillbirth are real possibilities; fetal loss occurs about 20% of the time in those cases.

That Vegetarian Chili Cornbread Casserole and Fiery Garlic Tofu are sounding pretty good right about now, huh?

Which Way To The Husky Department?

Which Way To The Husky Department?

 Today, we not only have enough food to eat in this country, but we’re eating too much, most of which is pure, 100%, Grade A Crap.  That’s why nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obese and 10% have diabetes.  If 10% doesn’t sound like much, let me put that another way for you:  it means about 30 million Americans have diabetes.  And we’ve been overfed for a while.
So, our caring Uncle Sam put together the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee a number of years ago, which consists of Registered Dietitians, physicians, and PhDs from universities and research centers across the country.  These folks now review and revise the DGAs every five years.   The idea is that these brainiacs will give it to us straight; i.e., here’s what to do to become, and stay, healthy.
In addition, having current, sound information is essential because these guidelines are used, not just in grade school classrooms, but for many programs critical to Americans.  That includes
  • The federal school meals program;
  • The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which supplements those populations with healthy foods;
  • Manufacturers, so food labels will be accurate and (hopefully) not contain misleading statements; and
  • Consumer education

just to name a few.

So, what do the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans say?

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods, and amount.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake.
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all.

Umm, what?  That all sounds like the kind of vague advice could get from a Magic 8 Ball, if there were such a thing as a Magic Nutrition 8 Ball.  What does it mean?  Let me break it down for you:

1.“Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan” means that the steady diet of chicken nuggets and French fries your toddlers eat is setting the pattern they will follow for the rest of their (probably prematurely-shortened) lives.  While there is no doubt that, say, cancer, or a massive coronary can be a function of gene expression.   But helping kids along by providing a standard diet of beige, fried food is probably one of the biggest culprits for the rotten health most of us have.  

2.  “Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods, and amount” means if you  alternate between pork rinds and hamburger for dinner most nights, with a baked potato on the side loaded with cheese, bacon bits, chili, and sour cream to the point that your spud has its own gravitational pull, you need to branch out.  Weight issues plague many of us, myself included.  But let’s be realistic; most of us who are overweight are not fat because we’re eating too many leafy greens and bran cereal.  

3.  “Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake” is code for drink water instead of juice and pop, and please don’t salt your food before you even taste it.  I’m no psychic, but if you don’t heed this advice, I predict bad things will probably happen in your not-too-distant future.  Things like arteries becoming harder than diamonds and blood pressure soaring so high you blow out your kidneys (hello, dialysis!) before you even have time for a mid-life crisis.

4.  “Shift to healthier food and beverage choices” is code for stop eating garbage and drinking sports drinks instead of water because you took a lap around the mall with your 95-year old grandfather.  “Shift”, in this sense, means eat mostly healthy stuff. 

5.  “Support healthy eating patterns for all” means that while your mom may think you’re the center of the universe, there are, in fact, others of us out here, too.  And some are starving; some are suffering from the excesses of a food system that turns corn into beef (also known as ‘cows’) and dumps sludge into our waterways; and some don’t have any idea that it’s not really okay that strawberry Pop Tarts are the only fruit they ever eat.   

 

Challenge

Keep a food diary, just for a few days, to get a more accurate picture of what you are putting in your body.  You may think you only drink a few thimblefuls of water and nibble on some crackers, but I guarantee that writing down every item that you shove in your piehole will be an eye-opener!

Pick a typical weekday and one weekend day, and write down everything you eat and drink.  Don’t worry about calories, just note the size of what you’ve had to eat or drink.  Then email them to me.  In future columns, I would like to share a few submissions so we can all peek into our neighbors’ cabinets and fridges.  It’s hard, I know, and I’m right there with you.  

I’m not fat-shaming or trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, because Lord knows I have struggled with my weight all my life, but does it really matter if your feelings are hurt when you die because you didn’t survive the emergency quadruple bypass you had to have?

Vegan, Not Violence

Vegan, Not Violence

OK, I admit I’m often accused of bringing the strong scent of brimstone with me wherever I go.  Regardless, I do love me some Jesus and I really enjoyed my pastor’s sermon today at church.  It was an excellent piece on peace, and he ended it by asking the congregation to consider “what can I do to promote peace?” as we go about our lives this week.

And — BAM!  KAPOW! — just like that (I’m imagining those words looking like they did on tv in the old Batman series) an idea came to me:  “share my vegan lifestyle.” 

One excellent organization focused on peace and vegetarianism is Food Not Bombs, and they have said what I’m thinking far better than I ever could.  Here is an excerpt from their site, which can be found at:  http://foodnotbombs.net/nonviolence.html

“Poverty is violence. By spending money on bombs instead of addressing human needs, our government perpetuates and exacerbates the violence of poverty in our society. One of the most direct physical expressions of the violence of poverty is hunger. Millions of Americans go hungry every day and childhood malnutrition contributes heavily to infant mortality rates, which are higher in parts of the U.S. than in some Third World nations. Inadequate or non-existant health care, police brutality, and class discrimination are also forms of systemic violence against poor people. Poverty is also a key factor in the level of interpersonal violence. It can drive down people’s self-esteem, causing people to lash out in the form of domestic violence and violent street crime. The violence of poverty also becomes internalized which can result in addictive behaviour and suicide.”

It’s essential for me to know I’m doing what I can about issues that are important to me.  If you have ever toyed with the idea of giving up meat, you need to make it a priority, TODAY.  You will be making a difference for the animals, the environment, your own health, world hunger, and the violent society in which we live.  

 

“Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks:

they’re only animals.” 

Theodor W. Adorno, 1903-1969, Philosopher and Social Critic

 

5 Picks For Movie Night

5 Picks For Movie Night

“Our food system is broken. Some people don’t have enough food, while others are eating too much. There’s only one way to fix this problem—and it starts with you and me.”

So reads a statement on Food Tank’s website explaining their raison d’etre.  They are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that puts out some very thought-provoking information.  Their vision?  “Building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters.”

Recently they posted a summary of 19 documentaries on food and hunger.  You may have seen some, you may not have heard of others.  I am reproducing part of their list here; my own vegan journey began with a film viewing many, many years ago (talking pictures were still a gleam in Hollywood’s eye), and the power of documentaries is as crucial to self-examination and change as ever.  

I haven’t seen all of these myself, and I am endorsing neither the films or Food Tank.  But this is a subject about which knowledge is power.  So for what it’s worth, here is Food Tank’s movie list for your enjoyment:

 

  1. Food Chains: “Food Chains,” produced by actress Eva Longoria and Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, reveals the plight of farmworkers, the foundation of our food industry. Filmmakers follow a group of Florida tomato pickers in their quest for a more dignified work life through the Fair Food Program, which helps bring growers and retailers together to improve conditions for farmworkers.
  2. Food, Inc.: Filmmaker Robert Kenner details how the growth of industrial farming and the political power of major food companies have put human health, the independent farmer, farmworkers, and our environment at risk. The film is widely recognized as one of the most influential documentaries ever made and was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2009 Academy Awards. Despite its dire overview of the current food system, “Food, Inc.” inspires viewers to do their part in changing the food system. “You have to understand that we farmers…we’re gonna deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands…People have got to start demanding good, wholesome food of us, and we’ll deliver; I promise you,” says Troy Roush, an Indianan farmer featured in the film.
  3. How to Feed the World?: This 10-minute film describes how developed countries can address food insecurity by investing in international development and consuming more foods with lower environmental impact. Created for children ages 9 to 14, “How to Feed the World?” explores food justice, dietary insufficiencies, the economic consequences of food aid, and the idea of a new type of agriculture for feeding more people with less environmental harm.
  4. In Defense of Food: Based on Michael Pollan’s best-selling book, “In Defense of Food” delves into Pollan’s advice to “eat food. not too much. mostly plants.” Pollan coins the term nutritionism to describe Americans’ adherence to dietary fads and critiques the American food industry’s emphasis on specific nutrients rather than whole foods. According to Pollan, “as eaters we feel whipsawed by the changes in the nutritional advice we’re getting.”
  5. We Feed the World: In this 2005 documentary, Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer takes viewers to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, and Brazil, while presenting the ironies of the world’s food systems. For example, Latin America produces much of Austria’s livestock feed, while a quarter of their own population starves.  “We Feed the World” illustrates the effects of globalization and industrial food production on the world’s food systems and highlights the global repercussions of hunger.

For the full list of 19 films and for more information, visit Food Tank.

Our Daily Poison, One Bite At A Time

Our Daily Poison, One Bite At A Time

If you are old enough to remember nature writer Rachel Carson’s unforgettable book The Silent Spring (1962), you know the kind of national discussion and concern it engendered.  Unfortunately, we didn’t learn, so it had to happen again, and we are in for a bumpy flight.

Just released in paperback, Our Daily Poison:  From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick (The New Press, 2016) by Marie-Monique Robin, carries on in that tradition but goes even further in the information she lays bare for her readers.

Robin is an internationally-recognized award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker.  In ODP, she has laid bare the myriad ways we are assaulted daily by harmful chemicals, not only in our food, but in our packaging and other household products, as well.

Robin covers many subjects in this hefty expose.  It is not an easy read, but definitely worth it.  ODP covers the increasing rate of chronic diseases,* endocrine disruptors, and the manner in which international corporations maintain a cloud of secrecy and misinformation around many of the products we use and ingest daily only skims the surface.

Through Robin’s book, it is clear that if they didn’t, consumers would all too soon come to the realization that P&G, J&J, or any of a thousand other multinational corporations, no dan una mierde.  Just the money, baby.

http://thenewpress.com/books/our-daily-poison

*(despite the billions of dollars we willingly throw at various charities & telethons, with little or nothing to show for it, I might add)

Granpa’s Sausage Makes a Comeback

Granpa’s Sausage Makes a Comeback

No lie, this is honest-to-goodness direct from an ad in an industry meat rag I recently received.  The text that is colored was added by me to emphasize the, um, information provided.

You can see all of this company’s products at www.nu-meat.com in case you’re really stoked by the copy:

Just like your grandpa’s sausage, the old is new again. People love their sausages in a traditional shape and tied with natural thread. The Inotec GIROMATIC IG 5 is an automatic high speed tying machine that handles all types of sausage products in natural, collagen or artificial casings, tying them with a natural thread.

THE INOTEC IG 5

• Hanging loops can be programmed at any position

• Compatible with all filling machines, with or without wt. portioning

• 200 pounds per hour (depending on product and stuffer)

• Hanging loops are made from the same thread automatically

• Can tie with or without space between the products

• The space between products is adjustable from 2 mm to 60 mm

• Hanging loops with double distance can be easily created

Can keep up with any stuffer

• Handles calibers from 20 mm to 75 mm

We live in a time when people are coming back to traditional values. A sausage product, tied with a natural thread, unifies product safety and traditional shape.

The tied product is safe because no metal or plastic is used for the separation of the portions.The natural thread emphasizes the traditional aspect of the product.

The Inotec GIROMATIC IG 5 is an automatic high speed tying machine that handles all types of sausage products in natural, collagen and artificial casings, tying them with a natural thread.

The two basic types of the tied separations are: Tying with a distance between the products and the tying without a distance between the products. In both cases no stuffed product remains in the separation. The length of the tyings is adjustable between 2 mm and 60 mm. The length of the thread covering the sausage length is adjustable and is automatically adapted to the shape of the casing.

The GIROMATIC IG 5 supports the traditional aspect of the sausage product. Hanging loops with double distance can be created easily by selection on the Touch Screen panel.After the drying process the tied product chains can be separated by Inotec WT cutting machines and brought to the packaging equipment by customer specific designed solutions.

And the photo, my friends, is of the amazing GIROMATIC IG 5.  Feast your eyes, baby.  Feast your eyes.  That sporty new car that you just blew your wad on is starting to look pret-ty crappy right about now, isn’t it???

Environmental Racism: Yes, It Is a Thing

Environmental Racism: Yes, It Is a Thing

Oh, great, another politically correct term you have to learn, right?  Well, you could look at it that way.  Or you could look at it as your duty as one human to all other beings on a planet with finite resources that we all share.

 Environmental racism, in a nutshell, is a term describing the fact that most slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, and industrialized farms are located disproportionately in communities of color—ie, poor communities—and that even the employees in these industries are people of color who suffer physical damage, from lifelong exposure to chemicals to death to “mere” traumatic mechanical injuries by the equipment used to render the animal cadavers.

 So yes, the fact that you eat meat does, indeed, support the racist divide in America.  Hate if for you if that makes you uncomfortable.

 But fear not:  the meat industry, which is responsible for all of this, as well as the unimaginable misery of untold billions of animals, has a solution.  I quote from the Meatingplace’s Mack Graves (how apropos) July 21, 2016 editorial:

We cannot ignore the fact that we have a racial problem in our country.

He exhorts us that “if for no other reason than because each life matters, our industry can and must do something to provide leadership to help solve this national anguish.”

And goes on to say that:

We in the meat and poultry business have a special responsibility to help fulfill the president’s request [to work towards racial harmony]. Why? Because our meat and poultry plants are staffed by a disproportionate large number of African-Americans, Hispanics and other immigrant nationalities.

For more information on this vital topic, read the editorial, and other enlightening meat musings, for yourself, at www.meatingplace.com, where Mack Graves is described as having worked in “animal-food proteins for the past 39 years, specializing in corporate strategy, management focus and marketing effectiveness across the protein chain.”

Sounds like he creates euphemisms for animal carcasses to get us to ignore the health consequences of eating that crap.  Just saying.

Chocolate Cures Heart Disease

Chocolate Cures Heart Disease

NO, not really!  But you knew that.  I was just pulling your leg.   Chocolate is tasty, but that’s about all.

I bet, though, that you have heard about all the studies in recent years proving that cocoa flavonols, naturally-occurring compounds found in cocoa beans, are “heart-healthy.”

In fact, a 2015 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition entitled Cocoa flavonol intake improves endothelial function and Framingham Risk Score in healthy men and women:  a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial:  the Flaviola Health Study said so (i.e., the cells lining your blood vessels work better when you eat chocolate, or so candy companies would like you to think…)

What that study did loudly proclaim was that Mars (makers of Twix, Milky Way and Snickers bars) funded the study.  And that Mars provided one of their employees to help design the study, and then write the conclusion.  And, oh, yes, they provided the special flavonol-enriched cocoa product used in the study, because normally, flavonols are easily destroyed in processing.  Which means a cup of hot chocolate or some chocolate cookies ain’t gonna save your life, yo.

The folks over at industry rag ConfectionaryNews.com, however, (which offers “breaking news on confectionary & biscuit processing”) would have you believe otherwise.  Their headline back in 2013 trumpeted flavonols as a SUPER INGREDIENT!  Wow, start funneling the chocolate syrup directly into your blow-hole, folks:

Healthy chocolate? The growing evidence for cocoa flavanols

By Nathan Gray+, 25-Jun-2013

The meteoric emergence of cocoa flavanols as the new ‘super ingredient’ continues, with many new scientific publications focused on the potential health effects of these special compounds. As part of this special edition, we take a look at some of the highlights.

http://www.confectionerynews.com/R-D/Healthy-chocolate-The-growing-evidence-for-cocoa-flavanols

And Mars’ own website even cops to the not-so-much about flavonols once you turn cocoa beans into moonpies.  Check it out at Mars’ own website, marscocoascience.com:

Are Cocoa Flavanols Found in All Cocoa or Chocolate-Based Products?

No, not in consistent or guaranteed amounts. The fresh cacao bean, from the cocoa pod or “fruit,” is naturally rich in flavanols. However, cocoa flavanols are easily destroyed during normal processing and not all cocoa-based products will contain significant levels of these beneficial compounds.

Really, I’m not making these websites or quotes up.  No one is that imaginative.  My point is, remember what Mr. Brady always said: “Caveat Emptor” when taking nutrition advice from someone offering you candy.

To read the entire study for yourself, go here:

British Journal of Nutrition