Around the Web; and Another Reason to Cook at Home

Here are items that caught my eye this week:

[1] Iodine watch! Japan fallout tracker: So you got potassium iodide somehow, and want to know whether to take it. Here’s an animated gif from the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) in Austria that shows the radiation plume from the Japanese reactors. Luckily, the prevailing westerly winds have to date been blowing the radioactivity out to sea. Unluckily, the forecast is for winds to calm this weekend, which may direct the plume toward Tokyo by Sunday.

Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/permanente Freisetzung/Jod-131

(via Zero Hedge)

The danger is not negligible for the Japanese. Over 4,200 tons of radioactive material are present at the Fukushima site – 24 times the amount present at Chernobyl – although in general the material is less radioactive (due to having already decayed significantly) than the Chernobyl materials. I hope that the world’s potassium iodide supplies are being directed to Japan at the moment. It would be a shame for them to be short-handed.

[2] Panic! Salt shortage in China: The Chinese may be over-reacting to the reactor story. Here they are mobbing a salt vendor in search of iodized salt:

A technician in my wife’s lab reports that her mother-in-law in China bought 20 bags of iodized salt – a lifetime supply – last week, just to be “safe.”

Let’s hope no one dies of salt toxicity trying to protect themselves from radioactivity!

Panic buying is not confined to China. Americans are paying exorbitant prices for iodine, even though the radiation danger here is almost non-existent. The price of the Iodoral tablets we recommend has tripled on Amazon; FDA-approved iodine supplements have risen in price almost 20-fold.

[3] Animal photo: Bad news calls for a hug:

[4] Used copies for sale?: If anyone wants to sell their copy of our book, Zoë would like to hear from you!

[5] Mmmmmmm!: If Sunday is too far away and you need a food post, Guy Giard has your fix. To work up an appetite, click on the cute couple:

[6] How was your meat glue?: As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to cook at home, here’s a new one. Restaurants not only use bad oils and MSG, some of them save money by buying recycled meat scraps, re-assembled into a facsimile of fresh meat through the use of “meat glue” – enzymatic treatment with tissue transglutaminase.

Tissue transglutaminase will be familiar to readers of our book as a primary player in gluten autoimmunity. It is expressed whenever wounds need repair, and helps cross-link proteins. This allows it to knit meat pieces together so they appear like natural flesh.

The trouble is that bacteria collect on the surface of meat. With a whole piece of meat, it is normally sufficient to cook the surface; rare meat is safe, since cooking kills the surface bacteria and the uncooked interior was antiseptic.

But when many small scraps are knitted together this way, the bacteria are retained in the interior of the meat. If the whole “steak” is not thoroughly cooked, bacteria will not be killed and the meat will be infected and unsafe.

Here is a video from Australian TV. Can you tell the real meat from the glued scraps?

[7] New foods to try: Melissa McEwen recommends fermented rice foods: “Indian Idli, which Stephan has blogged about … [is] SO DELICIOUS…. Filipino Puto [is] SO chewy and delicious with butter!… There is also some evidence that fermented rice improves cholesterol markers and reduces fatigue in animals.”

[8] Brain-Gut connections: It seems that trauma to the brain induces a leaky gut within 6 hours. I would never have guessed this as a cause of leaky gut. (Via Chris Kresser)

[9] Good news for Short People: Being small might be an advantage.

[10] True: “No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe.” – Lord Salisbury

[11] Top posts: Chris Masterjohn has a superb post, “Genes, LDL-Cholesterol Levels, and the Central Role of LDL Receptor Activity In Heart Disease”. It is too rich to summarize, but the best post I read this week. Also, Chris Kresser is nearing the end of his “9 Steps to Perfect Health” series (I’m jealous! We only had four steps.) This week he advises “Get More Sleep”.

[12] Almost the Top Post: Maybe I should buy some crickets. It seems hunting crickets is a very effective way to relieve stress – at least for cats. Mark Sisson’s friend’s cat recovered from disease by hunting crickets. What do you think? Will it work for people too?

[13] Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park:

(via Craig Newmark)

[14] Not the weekly video: Are earthquakes predicted by high tides, fish kills, whale beachings, homing pigeons going astray, and clockwise rotation of earthquakes around linked faults?

If so, there might be shaking on the west coast of North America this week:

[15] Weekly video: After all this disaster talk we can use a little fun. Here’s Dean Martin and Goldie Hawn, flirtatious and funny, from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In:

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hi, re:#8 -vagus nerve – fascinating cause/effect.
    Dr. Ayers at the blog cooling inflammation has written about vagal/gut connection, but from a different point of view:

    ‘…cutting the vagus nerve produced heightened inflammation in gut treated with an irritant. The vagus nerve appears to stimulate regulatory T cells…’ and more.

    Just for those who like connecting info.

    Paul thank you for continuing posts and the iodine/Japan info.

  2. Hi Paul!
    Thanks a bunch for linking to my forum post!
    I can’t thank you enough for everything, actually!

  3. Hi Kriss,

    I remember that Art Ayers post. It is interesting how everything gets tied together, every part of the body influences the other parts.

    Hi Zoe,

    My pleasure – I’m glad you like us!

  4. Hey Paul, a bit off topic, but do you have any idea what could cause a pin and needle type feeling in my fingers. I know for certain I have thyroid problems, but these symptoms had largely disappeared when I went low carb, but came back a couple days ago. I don’t think it has to do with the introduction of ‘safe starches’ because I added those in a month ago with no apparent problems. I’d also like to point out that I lost a lot of circulation in my fingers in December due to the cold, but my hands have failed to recover, and are still slightly swollen. Google searches brought up things such as neuro damage, heart problems, glucose intolerance, and calcium absorption problems. The last one has been on my mind for some time now, because I usually only get 400mg of calcium daily. What do you think could be causing this problem, and do you think it’s something I should highly be concerned about.

    Thanks a lot.

  5. Hi Robert,

    Sounds like Raynaud’s:

    The symptoms include several cyclic color changes:

    1. When exposed to cold temperatures, the blood supply to the fingers or toes, and in some cases the nose or earlobes, is markedly reduced; the skin turns pale or white (called pallor), and becomes cold and numb.
    2. When the oxygen supply is depleted, the skin colour turns blue (called cyanosis). If the color progresses to purple, resembling a bruise that doesn’t go away (or spreads in size) and is accompanied by excruciating pain, contact your doctor immediately.
    3. These events are episodic, and when the episode subsides or the area is warmed, the blood flow returns and the skin colour first turns red (rubor), and then back to normal, often accompanied by swelling, tingling, and a painful “pins and needles” sensation.

    In primary Raynaud’s the cause is unknown … but Raynaud’s may be secondary to a lot of other conditions that can be addressed, and curing the underlying problem should fix the Raynaud’s …

    One of the conditions that can cause Raynaud’s is hypothyroidism. Another is magnesium deficiency. There are many others.

    I would advise eating our diet and following our nutritional and therapeutic steps. Supplement magnesium and address your hypothyroidism expeditiously. Meanwhile, consult your doctor about this. He/she should be aware of it, and can start looking into other possible causes independently.

    Keep me posted on how things go!

    Best, Paul

  6. Dr. Thomas McPherson Brown considered Raynaud’s to be in the family of rheumatoid diseases, and found it responded well to low dose pulsing tetracyclines. Those pesky stealth infections!

    Michelle, on low dose pulsing Doxy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and doing well.

  7. Thanks Michelle!

    You know it never surprises me to find that diseases of unknown cause are actually infectious.

    I’m glad you’re doing well!

  8. Thank you for the “meat glue” info.
    I’m guessing it’s used here in the U.S?
    I was not aware off it.

    Keep up the great work.

  9. Hi Marc,

    According to this (—ready-for-its-close-up/), meat glue is commonly used in processed meats like sausage to make the meat pieces stick together, and chef Wylie Dufresne of a fancy New York restaurant uses meat glue to make “pasta” out of shrimp.

    This suggests that sausages should be thoroughly cooked. Of course, processed meats are unhealthy in epidemiological studies, this could be one reason.

    Meat glue is apparently “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the US FDA, so food producers are free to use it.

    But I don’t know how many restaurants use glued meats.

  10. Robert, like you, my hands and feet are frequently very cold even when the temp is comfortable for others. I don’t know what causes it, but I get a lot of relief by putting a heating pad (I use the kind you put in the microwave) on my feet or hands for about 15/20 minutes. The heat radiates throughout the body and I feel a lot better pretty quickly and since I started the heating pad therapy, the cold spells are less frequent.

    Good luck.

  11. Thanks for the suggestion Erp, I’ll try that. I hate the cold because I am very intolerant to it.

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