Saturday, October 20, 2007

Eating meat and being healthy

I'm confused

Growing up I always believed that the best diet consisted of meat and 3 veges. Sometimes we might have fish, sometimes chicken - but usually red meat.

Last year, after hearing the publicity surrounding the CSIRO Wellbeing Diet book, I thought this confirmed my belief that red meat was good for - the book recommends lean red meat four times per week, fish twice per week and chicken once per week. I've been following the CSIRO diet believing that, not only will I be able to manage my weight, but also be healthy which is of course my primary interest. The CSIRO was criticized for having too much red meat in the diet however stood by the book and red meat quota.

I was very surprised when I read an article/transcript on the ABC Health website at

In particular when I read "Vegetarians are generally a healthy bunch. Compared to meat eaters, they have less heart disease and cancer, lower blood pressure – and they're slimmer"

I found this amazing as it is contrary to everything I have heard - in fact I always thought that vegetarians were unhealthy - and needed to supplement their diet with meat substitutes to keep up with meat eaters. But this article not only says they are healthier that meat eaters but they have less disease and cancer!

Another quote from the article "What's more, red meat – which includes pork but not chicken – has been linked to a slightly higher risk of some cancers. And for processed meats like sausages – along with bacon, ham and salami – the cancer link is stronger ... What's not known is whether there's something in red meat that causes cancer or whether eating meat means there's less room in your diet for other foods that might help prevent cancer. It might be a bit of both."

This piqued my interest so further google searching found this article at which in part says "regular meat eaters are significantly more likely to develop bowel cancer", says that "diets high in red meat are associated with a slight increase in risk of bowel cancer", says that "Vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to get cancer than nonvegetarians, regardless of other risks such as smoking, body size, and socioeconomic status."

Even more worrying is this entry in Wikipedia at

"Recent studies indicate that red meat could pose a notable increase in cancer risk. Some studies have linked consumption of large amounts of red meat with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer and prostate cancer. Professor Sheila Bingham of the Dunn Human Nutrition Unit attributes this to the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules which are found in red meat. She suggests these molecules, when ingested trigger a process called nitrosation in the gut which leads to the formation of carcinogens. Overall, the relative risk of developing a fatal cancer in non meat-eaters is 0.91 compared to people who eat red meat regularly.

Eating cooked red meat may increase the likelihood of cancer because carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines are created during the cooking process. Heterocyclic amines may not explain why red meat is more harmful than other meat, however, as these compounds are also found in poultry and fish, which have not been linked to an increased cancer risk."

What's also amazing is that many foundations are saying that as these theories are still just theories then restricting meat to smaller serves and no more than 3 - 4 serves per week is OK .... This sounds like spin doctoring to me - maybe catering to the meat industry?

I'm confused

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Programs I use

Wakoopa, recommended by Leo Laporte, is a small monitor of the programs I use. Looks pretty cool.

My top 10 software

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fees to use a credit card

I sent this email to the Reserve bank and to Asic - but I doubt I will get a satisfactory reply.

Subject: Consumer complaint

I think it is abhorrent that the Reserve Bank agreed in 2003 to allow companies to charge a fee for using a credit card.

The reserve bank has a responsibility (according to your website) to "promote the safety and efficiency of the payments system" however by allowing merchants to charge a fee for using a credit card you are in fact discouraging the use of a payments system. Credit card payments are such a convenience for many consumers - a payment system that the Reserve Bank approved to be introduced for all Australians in 1972.

Now you are catering to the merchants with no regard to the consumer. When you introduced this policy in 2003 the media spin you promoted was "There is no requirement for such a fee to be charged and it is expected that many merchants will not charge one." Now just a few years later more and more merchants are realising how easy it is to increase their profits by enforcing this fee onto consumers - which was always going to happen.

Sure consumers have a choice and can vote with their feet by not using a credit card. After 30 years of credit card use, without fees, now it's the consumers who have to change. Most consumers will realise that they don't really have a choice and must pay the credit card fee - in the same way that they are forced to pay bank fees. If you have used a credit card for several years it is a way of life that is difficult to change. There are loyalty reward schemes that are tied in with credit cards - years of credit card loyalty will be lost if you stop using the card.

Shame on you Reserve Bank - thanks a lot - obviously you don't have the consumer in mind.

Monday, June 18, 2007

a new PDA

I had previously chosen the Palm brand as I thought that they were the standard.

So, a week ago my Palm Tungsten C died. I did a hard & soft reset, sync'd, recharged and pushed every button - it's dead. At one point there was a glimmer of hope when it displayed the Tungsten logo - but then it wouldn't move on from that - it's dead.

So following my law that when something breaks and you replace it - you buy something better than what you had - to take away the pain of the broken item. So, this train of thought led me to decide whether I would buy another Palm or something else. I thought about the Palm Treo 680 and Treo 750 however I have now realised that having a mini keyboard on a pda is not really important - it's better to have a larger screen. I thought about the Palm Tungsten TX - which looks really nice - but it's only a pda, and I think I should get an all in one device.

From the reviews and web sites I looked at I resolved that the O2 Atom is the way to go. There are some negatives but I figure most reviews were positive. I remember there was a guy from work who had an O2 when they first came out and he really liked it. I remember a mate telling me that there was a plethora of software available for the Windows Mobile system operating system so that shouldn't be a problem.

So, my research revealed that the O2 Atom Xda pda looks nice. They are selling in Dick Smith Electronics for $1099. I started watching them in eBay finding that they were selling for around $430 - $500. I was lucky enough to get one today for $365.00 It doesn't have a stylus so I have bought one separately for $7.00

Can't wait for it to arrive - I'm expecting it will do everything the Palm does and more. Did I make the right choice? What software do you recommend? Have you heard of this brand/model? What are your thoughts?