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Meat Industry Overfeeds Antibiotics to Cows, and We Get Sicker – The Beet

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

When you sit down to eat a burger, a steak or other piece of meat, you don't imaging that your plate is full of antibiotics, but it is. And there's a tie to this fact and the pandemic, which makes us wonder: Why is the meat industry being allow to drug Americans without their knowledge, and what can we do to stop it? Other than stop eating meat?

That was the question after readinga new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that exposes the fact that the meat industry in America is overusing antibiotics and putting unhealthy amounts of drugs into our food system.

The 14-page report, titled Better Burgers: Why Its High Time the U.S. Beef Industry Kicked Its Antibiotics Habit,dives into a variety of topics concerning the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in cows and chickens intended for human consumption.

First, the report breaks down how beef "feedlots" -- essentially the animals' kibble-- regularlycontains "importantantibiotics," and creates antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause infections that are hard to treat, and death, in Americans. the overview ofthe study states that the problem is dire:

"Antibiotic resistance poses one of the gravest threats to our health. It undermines the efficacy of antibiotics, and therefore the ability to safely perform transplants, joint replacements, C-sections, dialysis, and other procedures requiring reliable drugs to treat the infections that often complicate them. Already, people in the United States experience at least 2.8 million infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, resulting in up to 162,044 deaths."

The farmers are aware of the issue, the report continues, since these drugs in the feed often making cattle sick, and meatpackers staying mum on their antibiotic use. In America, we also use antibiotics more frequently than many other countries around the world, indicating that our standards for antibiotic use in animals need to be stricter, so that when humans need the drugs, they work. How does the antibiotic from the animal get into our systems? It's direct: When a cow is processedand becomes your steak or burger, the drugs are passed directly into humans in the meat.

"The problems with the overuse of antibiotics that are important to people is ingrained in the industry, and they have the power to change it, but it's going to take leadership, and they haven't been willing to take that on," explains the report author David Wallinga, MD, a senior health advisor with NRDC, in a statement published on the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy website.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to humans when they handle raw beef or consume undercooked meat, and farmers and farm workers can be exposed while working at the plants, putting them at increased risk. Additionally, people who live by feedlots, downstream or downwind, can be affected when the antibiotic-resistant bacteria is transported into the air, water, and soil, and subsequently inhaled, or ingestedwhen we eat thefood that grows in this soil. For most of us, the risk from superbugs that are resistant to bacteria is highestwhen we buy and eat grocery store beef, thoughduring COVID-19the detrimental impacts these practices have on farmworkers and the communities that surround feedlots has also been clear.

This is especially disturbing since a high proportion of meat processing workers -- upwards of 20,000 people, got sick inside the plants, causing major companies to close plants, and meat shortages in mid to late May. And while COVID-19 is a virus, and not caused by bacteria, it's the secondary complications -- such as pneumonia and other infections are caused by bacterial infections and inflammation, and that's where the overexposure to anti-biotics comes into play. If you are constantly bombarded with antibiotics, through meat, they stop working when actual infections take hold, and your body does not respond. That is how immunity is compromised.

The report calls out the poultry industry, where there have been marked improvements: It estimates (with some caveats) that the use of medically important antibiotics by the U.S. chicken industry has dropped around 73% from 2013 to 2017. Let this set the precedent for other animal farming industries to follow suit.

At the end of the paper, Wallinga urges that action be taken to promote beef from cattle raised without the routine use of antibiotics. Additionally,he makes the plea that conventional beef producers rethink their antibiotic policies to act more responsibility, work with third-party certification programs to verify responsible antibiotic use protocols, and support the creation of national antibiotic use reduction targets and a nationwide system for keeping tabs on antibiotic use at farms. In conclusion, he also asks that the FDA and USDA do more to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics in our food system.

In recent months amid the coronavirus outbreak, theres been growing concern about consuming meat. In May, doctors warned consumers that coronavirus may be able to spread through meat products. Meanwhile,the meat industry could stand to take a blow to profits of some $20 billion, as more consumers choose plant-based substitutes. Theres also increasing concern that factory farms could cause another pandemicas more and more health experts and doctors urge people to go plant-based in light of the global health crisis.

For most people eating a plant-based diet,learning about the link between coronavirus and Big Ag and the rampant overuse of antibiotics in our nations beef system is enough to inspire us to convince our loved ones to stay away from meat for the foreseeable future. In order to be even more persuasive, forward this piece and the Natural Resources Defense Councils report to all theburger lovers in our lives. And throw a few more plant-based burgers on the grill thissummer.

For how to go plant-based, check out The Beginner's Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

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Meat Industry Overfeeds Antibiotics to Cows, and We Get Sicker - The Beet

Simple and Fastic Apps: Why Do I Keep Seeing Intermittent Fasting Ads on Social Media? – VICE UK

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

On TikTok in the middle of the night during lockdown, I watched hours of videos that include: a dog that howls like a man, a Rube Goldberg machine made of bourbon biscuits and an update from a middle-aged man trying to quit fizzy drinks. And then I noticed that I was seeing a particular advert in among the videos very frequently, and one that jarred with the content around it. A thin, conventionally attractive woman talking to the camera about how she gained weight from staying at home recently, but then lost it again thanks to an intermittent fasting app called Simple.

Then I realised that I was being advertised other similar apps too, and I started to see the adverts on Instagram and Twitter. I asked some friends, and then some strangers, and found that a significant number of people, usually but not always women, have had their social media feeds carpet bombed over lockdown with adverts for these same apps.

Intermittent fasting, the practice of restricting the hours in which you eat to set windows each day, has been a favourite health regimen of Silicon Valley bros for a while, part of a trend for biohacking, or optimising the human bodys performance as though it were a machine. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, for instance, spoke last year about how he had been playing with fasting, and sometimes goes for days without eating at all. Its also been favoured by celebrities. Kourtney Kardashians lifestyle company Poosh plugged an intermittent fasting app called Zero in a blog post recently, which also included tips like licking salt off your wrist to make yourself feel less hungry. But over the past year, a number of different companies have sprung up offering apps to help ordinary people fast, and started advertising intensively on social media, pissing a lot of people off in the process.

I have not enjoyed seeing these advertisements. My own obsessive food restriction used to centre around apps that allowed me to log and monitor my food intake, and those habits took are taking years to break. When I asked other people how they felt about these adverts, I got some strongly worded responses. Its deeply unsettling, said one woman, to see something advertised which helps and encourages you to disrupt your relationship with food. Another woman, who is recovering from anorexia, said: Every single one of those ads is an absolute body blow and I detest them. Many more people, both with and without histories of disordered eating, spoke of the anger they felt at seeing the adverts, including people as young as 15.

The apps that appear most on peoples social media feed at the moment in the UK seem to be Simple and Fastic. The adverts vary: animated characters encouraging you to download, illustrations of the different types of belly fat a woman might have to lose, and the most uncanny type: first person, on-camera endorsements of fasting. Adverts on TikTok a platform where 37 percent of the US audience are in their teens are particularly integrated with the rest of the content. One advert, for Simple, begins with the actress whispering to herself is it recording?, to seem as much like unsponsored content as possible. Rose Lyddon, a graduate student, mentioned these adverts, featuring women with protruding collar and hipbones, in particular as being highly reminiscent of thinspiration posts, and therefore triggering. That was the visual language of online ED (eating disorder) communities when I was a teenager, she said.

Its been documented that Instagram and TikTok in particular have a problem with pro-anorexic user-generated content on their platforms, but paid-for advertisements are another matter altogether. Ysabel Gerrard, a researcher into social media platforms content moderation policies around eating disorders at the University of Sheffield, was firm about how harmful this content can be: We know that discourses like this are damaging, and at the very, very least they're triggering for people.

I interviewed one of the co-founders of Fastic, Phil Wayman, and the founder of Simple, Alex Ilinski. I put it to both of them that their adverts were seen by some as irresponsible, and upsetting by many.

I'm sorry to upset them: we don't say they should lose weight, said Ilinski. Similarly, Wayman was apologetic, but only to a point: Especially on social media, you get a lot of shit-storm for everything nowadays but we go strictly against starving. It's more like an eating window.

Most of the apps are age-limited at over 16, but you can set your date of birth as whatever you like. I mentioned to Wayman that Fastic allows users to register as being 13 years old, and he was quick to assure me that this would be rectified in the next update. Each of these apps advises you to check with a doctor before altering your diet, but you can set your current weight and your goal weight at dangerously low levels. Its also easy to find pro-anorexic websites and social media accounts that explicitly recommend these apps to pursue unhealthy weight loss goals.

The difficulty is that intermittent fasting is not inherently bad for you. Fasting for religious reasons is practised widely and safely all over the world. Both Wayman and Ilinski were effusive about the supposed health benefits of intermittent fasting, including increased mindfulness, energy and weight loss, and said that they continually seek the expertise of nutritionists. We want our users to reach full consciousness about [nutrition], whether it means fasting or just balancing their diet until they find whats best for their body and mind, said Ilinski. It all sounds healthy enough, if a little obsessive in tone Im not sure why someone would want to reach full consciousness about what theyre eating. However, the benefits of fasting are far from a medical certainty. I spoke to two experts, registered dietician Aisling Pigott and registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, both of whom said that there was no large body of evidence that suggests intermittent fasting has any health benefits, weight loss included.

But the potential for these benefits allows these apps to market themselves as a health platform, and to trade on ill-substantiated medical claims. An advert for Fastic on TikTok claims that coffee prevents Alzheimers. Ilinski told me that Simples advertising only encouraged responsible lengths of fasts: We don't tell you to fast for 24 hours, for two days, for three days. When I pointed out that the company Instagram had posted admiringly about one of their users who had not eaten for over three and a half days, he admitted that this could maybe encourage unhealthy behaviour.

Fastic app advert on TikTok.

Aggressively marketing food restriction apps on social media contributes to an atmosphere of oppressive heterodoxy when it comes to body image. This is difficult for the 1.25 million estimated sufferers of eating disorders in the UK, and especially during lockdown. One anonymous woman told me: Lockdown has been a nightmare for people with EDs, and promoting these apps just looks like preying on the vulnerable.

There are plenty of people for whom fasting apps are useful tools for following a lifestyle that is not in and of itself dangerous. Fastic has amassed 4 million downloads. But these apps are wide open to misuse, and being marketed in irresponsible places and with irresponsible messaging, to people likely to misuse them. The responsibility for preventing this misuse lies with the app developers, but also with social media platforms. Adverts to do with fasting on TikTok, like all their ads, are supposedly vetted and age-gated, but the Director of External Affairs at BEAT, Tom Quinn, told me that it is clear further steps need to be taken to limit the amount of harmful advertising of this kind on social media platforms.

Perhaps we should just be reporting the adverts and moving on with our lives. But the issue, especially for people with burgeoning disordered relationships with food, is that a part of you is curious about what youre seeing. I see these adverts, and a small voice in my head says maybe you should use a fasting app. These adverts may not all actively promote harmful behaviour, but they certainly contribute to the feelings that lead to it.


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Simple and Fastic Apps: Why Do I Keep Seeing Intermittent Fasting Ads on Social Media? - VICE UK

Kendall and Kylie Jenner Deny Allegations That They Aren’t Paying Factory Workers – Yahoo Lifestyle

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

From Cosmopolitan

The Kendall + Kylie clothing and accessories brand denied accusations that they don't pay the factory workers who produce their products.

Previous reports claimed Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner weren't paying workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the reports identified Global Brands Group as the brand's owner.

The brand is currently owned by Canada Inc. and does not manufacture products in Bangladesh, according to a statement from Kylie Jenner's rep.

The Kendall + Kylie clothing and accessories line has been in piping hot water lately following accusations from blogs like Diet Prada and non-profit organizations like Remake, who called out Kendall and Kylie Jenner for allegedly withholding pay from factory workers in Bangladesh.

Initially, Remake named the brand's owner and manufacturer as Global Brands Group because GBG and Kendall + Kylie were linked via a logo on GBG's website. Remake also stated that as a result of the pandemic and production changes, "factories are facing a severe liquidity crunch, with the women who make our clothes placed in the most vulnerable situation. No longer receiving pay, despite having already done the work, these women are quite literally at risk of starving to death.

Since Kendall and Kylie are two of the wealthiest women on the planet, critics were quick to question why they allegedly weren't paying their workers. But the sisters, by way of their brand's Instagram account, just denied everything in a brief statement posted to their feed. The Kendall + Kylie team wrote:

Story continues

Kylie's rep echoed that statement in a June email to Teen Vogue and added, "The Kendall + Kylie brand is owned by Canada Inc. The brand does not produce in Bangladesh. So [these allegations are] not accurate." The rep also stated that Remake has taken the brand down from the site and is in the process of deleting their current social media posts.

But, uh, while all this was going down in June, Remake posted an interesting statement after Kylie's rep denied everything. Remake claimed that the Kendall + Kylie team threatened legal action if they don't remove their posts and apologize. Remake continued to press and demanded the clothing brand provide proof that they are paying their garment workers during the pandemic. If not, Remake "will not back down."

TBD if Remake will respond to the latest statement from Kendall + Kylie.

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Kendall and Kylie Jenner Deny Allegations That They Aren't Paying Factory Workers - Yahoo Lifestyle

Why You Should Bet Against Joey Chestnut In The Hot Dog Eating Contest – PlayUSA

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

The 2020 edition of Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest comes our way on Saturday, July 4, with the worlds top competitive eaters squaring off for the Mustard Belt and a share of $40,000 in prize money.

Bettors in New Jersey, New Hampshire and Colorado can get even closer to the action this year. Legal betting on this annual tradition now has the green light and odds are posted on sportsbooks as we speak. You can also join the $25,000 free-to-play pool at DraftKings.

This years contest will have a different feel due to safety precautions. Instead of outside surrounded by fans at the corner of Surf and Stillwell on Coney Island, itll be held indoors at an undisclosed location. Only six eaters will compete on the mens side and just five will compete for the women.

Massive favorites can be found on both sides. Joey Chestnut is expected to add to his lengthy Nathans resume. Miki Sudo is expected to do the same for the women.

Are the favorites locks to win it all? Or is there money to be made betting on the underdogs? Heres what you need to know about betting on the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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Joey Chestnut has won this event a ridiculous 12 times. He won it handily in 2019 (see above). Hes the overwhelming favorite to win it all again, and theres not much to suggest that he wont make it happen.

According to current odds at DraftKings, the odds of a Chestnut win now sit at -1000, while the odds are +550 for any other eater in the field to pull out the victory.

Say you want to bet on Chestnut anyway and put $100 on it. If he does go on to win, at those odds youll make $10. While its always nice to have an extra 10-spot laying around, it doesnt exactly translate into a stellar return on investment.

Now lets flip the script. Say you go against the grain and the unthinkable happens. A winning $20 bet on any other eater at odds of +550 turns into $130 when we cash out the ticket (the initial stake of $20 plus a $110 profit).

Betting on massive favorites at such unfriendly odds just doesnt make much, if any, sense. But do any of the mens competitors have a legitimate shot? Heres a look at the biggest threats.

Thats three competitive eaters out of a field of six who have at least a slim hope of unseating Chestnut. Another secret you might not now about competitive eaters? The best are actually really fit, so its worth knowing how in shape your horses are before betting on them. See updated odds on all eaters at DraftKings right here:

Over on the womens side of the equation, were faced with a similar conundrum. Six-time champion Sudo is a gigantic favorite. At DraftKings, its odds of -835 for Sudo and +500 for anyone else.

While Sudo winning once again seems like the most likely outcome, the return would be nothing to get excited about. For a $100 winning bet, wed get back a whopping $12. However, if we drop a $20 on the field and the upset rings true, well make $100 for our efforts.

So does anyone have a shot at taking down Sudo? Heres who looks like the biggest threat.

Michelle Lesco: Shes number 10 in the MLE rankings and will be looking to top a personal best of 25.5 Nathans Famous Hot Dogs.

Three other women will be in the field as well, so we cant completely rule out an unknown shocking the world. It doesnt matter who pulls it off, as long as one of them does so you can cash a ticket at odds of +500.

If youd like to get even more analytical with the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, theres absolutely a way to do so. You can place your bets on the Over/Under for the number of hot dogs eaten by the competitors.

You can think of this being the same as placing a wager on a total for an NFL or NBA game. Theres a simple decision to make on the benchmark number provided by oddsmakers: Will the total be Over/Under that amount when all is said and done?

There are also a few other intriguing prop bets to consider. Using defending champ Chestnut as an example, his personal best (and current world record) is 74.

Can he beat that number this time around? Heres what the oddsmakers at DraftKings have to say about the range hell fall in.

Last year, Chestnut rifled down 71 dogs, while he hit 72 in 2017 to bookend his record-setting 2018 total of 74. If you think he has hit his peak and expect the total to drop this year or believe another record is coming, you could be in for a nice payday if either comes to pass.

Chestnut has speculated the conditions might be right to break his current record. As he told TMZ, in an air-conditioned warehouse instead of the hot street and with fewer competitors to make hot dogs for (and so better tasting dogs, he says), conditions are perfect for a record attempt.

You can also bet on the individual marks for the competitors. For Darren Breeden, the bar has been set at 49.5. He hit 50 last time around, so you simply need to choose if you like him to go over or under last years tally.

There are also bets to be found on whether a record will be set on the mens or womens side, as well as the total number of dogs eaten for the winner in both brackets. Heres what the odds look like for the women.

Sudos best is 41. Itll take a Herculean effort for her to beat that mark, or for anyone in the field to hit 41 or more.

In years past, the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a sight to behold as tens of thousands of fans took in the action live at Coney Island in New York City. Millions more watched ESPN along at home.

Its a different story this year. Just like virtually every other sporting event, the COVID-19 pandemic means that no fans will be in attendance. Additionally, as opposed to being held in an open-air venue, the proceedings have been moved to an undisclosed location.

Could the changes have any kind of ripple effects on the competition? As we all adjust to new realities and prepare for the return of sports sans fans, several prominent oddsmakers have weighed in and said that the absence of crowds could impact the events.

We also have to at least consider the possibility that a lack of fans at the contest amounts to a new wrinkle. Think about it: if Chestnut hits a wall mid-way through the event, will the fact that no fans are cheering him on impact him digging deep and pushing through?

While we cant lean on history as a guide, we can say that its certainly interesting food for thought.

The roots of the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest trace back to 1916 (or so the legend says, as official records only date back to 1972). Either way, there has been enormous growth in the contest from the early days. Consider the following:

As you can see by prize money alone, the contest has evolved from a curiosity into a serious event. For some additional perspective on the numbers, consider that Kobayashis tally of 50 in 2001 was a 257% spike over the winning number of 14 in 1972.

If we look at Chestnuts record of 74, its a rise of 420% over the 1972 winning tally. Eating contests are big business these days. While this is by far the most famous, there are upwards of 3,000+ contests held annually across the globe, including qualifying events to see who has what it takes to compete at the signature Nathans contest.

Back in the days when the contest was little more than a side attraction, the answer would be no. Now that the event has risen in popularity while the competition level has gone right along with it, we can say maybe.

Since Takeru Kobayashis stunning performance in 2001, when he doubled the prior years winner, the event has been even more competitive. The winning tally on the mens side has been over 60+ year after year for over a decade.

The womens contest made its debut in 2011, and totals for the winners have been in a tight range of 31 to 41. When it comes to totals, we have some data to go off of, so we can say that analytics plays at least somewhat of a role.

As for the winners, we cant say for certain. Both Chestnut and Sudo are on dominant runs, and the trends show no signs of abating. However, theres always the possibility of an upset.

Anything is possible, but its tough to see how the competitors could pull it off, or why they would want to with so much prize money and prestige at stake.

A designated scorekeeper watches over the proceedings with an eagle eye, and penalty cards can be issued for things such as regurgitation or messy eating. Also, the defending champs, Chestnut and Sudo, have been on dominant runs. They dont seem to need any help in mowing down the competition.

This year, they are the overwhelming favorites for the mens and womens competitions. Legal betting on the event has been permitted in NJ, NH, and CO for the first time.

So why hasnt betting been allowed on the event in the past? The answer is two-fold. For starters, the legal sports betting environment is complicated with each of the individual states having things they may or may not frown upon. Since sports betting has been a rather new development for many of them, the envelope hasnt been pushed too far, and options for betting on entertainment events have been rather scant as a result.

Things are different this year. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar, so sportsbooks are spending more time on things that may not necessarily move the needle. Hence, the push for betting on the Nathans contest took off and dreams were realized.

ESPN has been providing broadcast coverage of the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest each year since 2003. The first year was on tape delay, but it has been live and in living color every year since then.

Normally, the event is held outside of the Nathans location in Coney Island with thousands of fans in attendance. Itll be held without fans this year in a private location, but ESPN will still be there to bring us the action.

Coverage begins at noon Eastern on the main ESPN channel, which is available for streaming via many cord-cutting providers. You should also be able to pick it up on the ESPN app, but please note thatll require signing in with a valid TV provider.

There are some risks involved with competing in contests of this ilk, and some of them are of the long-term complication variety.

Among the potential problems is a condition known as gastroparesis, a disorder that has to do with the weakening of muscles in the stomach. If this were to happen to a competitive eater, the ability for the body to move food naturally through the digestive tract would be impacted.

Consuming such large quantities of food not only at the contest but in preparation of it opens up the door to potentially severe bouts of vomiting. One well-known competitive eater claims hes thrown up over 10,000 times in his career. Over time, all sorts of damage could be done internally to the stomach, esophagus, throat, and teeth.

Just like any other competition, the competitors know the risks going in. For those who have chosen to compete at this level, we can assume they have individually reconciled the risk-to-reward ratio.

For some further perspective on what the contestants are putting themselves through, we need to look no further than the nutritional stats on what they are consuming during the event. Lets take a look at the differences between eating a single dog and consuming a massive quantity of 70.

To drive those numbers home, consider that the average adult following a healthy diet should be consuming up to 2,000 calories per day. On the sodium front, a person that went over 2,300 mg of sodium per day or so would be overdoing it.

Too much sodium can open the doors to serious health problems down the road. For those who compete at this level of eating, its yet another factor that we would imagine has to weigh heavily on the thinking.

The Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is a fun event, and the fact that we can bet on it this year makes it even better. However, that doesnt mean that the sport is completely devoid of controversy or blackmarks.

Consider the case of Takeru Kobayashi, a competitor who personally transformed the sport. As mentioned, he crushed the previous record by a wide margin in 2001 by knocking down 50 dogs.

That was the first of six straight wins for Kobayashi at this event, a run which brought him a great deal of fame and put the event itself on the map. Sadly, Kobayashis association with the contest would take a dramatic turn in the opposite direction.

He last competed at the contest in 2009. As he explains it, he refused to sign an exclusive contract with event organizers, which he found to be too restrictive. Naturally, the relationship soured.

While he wasnt scheduled to compete in 2010, he showed up anyway and jumped onstage after it was over. He was arrested and spent the night in jail. Event organizers have tried to mend fences and invited him back, but there has been no movement towards reconciliation on Kobayashis part to date.

Through the years, several memorable characters have taken the stage in Coney Island to take their shot at glory against the best competitive eaters in the world. Heres a where are they now look at some of the most iconic competitors in Nathans history.

Each of these competitors, and many more, have made their mark at the Nathans contest. Well wait and see if any new icons emerge at this years event or in the coming years.

The Nathans Famous Hot Eating Contest was once akin to a sideshow attraction. These days, its big business and a popular made-for-TV event thats broadcast to the nation every Fourth of July. As such, stars have been created along the way. Heres a look at the ones who have shined the brightest.

1. Joey Chestnut: A 12-time winner of the event, Chestnut will be looking to make it five straight titles in 2020.

2. Miki Sudo: She has won this event six times in a row and become a big name as a result. Can she make it seven straight this year?

3. George Shea: The brains behind the contest also serve as master of ceremonies, and he has gained a great deal of fame due to some legendary introductions.

4. Sonya Thomas: Known as The Black Widow, Thomas won the first three womens Nathans competitions and became an instant celebrity.

5. Takeru Kobayashi: This is the guy who changed the game at Nathans. Kobayashi began a dominant six-year run in 2001 by downing a then-unheard-of 50 dogs.

While these are the five biggest stars the event has produced to date, theres certainly room for more. Well see who emerges to carry the torch and the Mustard Belt in future years.

The spectacle that is the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest lends itself to plenty of pomp and circumstance in normal years. A good part of the fun is the rousing introductions by organizer George Shea, who puts an interesting spin on the contestants, many of whom have some rather outstanding nicknames.

Since this years event will be held without fans, some of the usual magic may be missing. However, well hold out hope that itll still be chock full of entertainment. In the meantime, lets take a look at some of the more memorable nicknames in the world of competitive eating.

1. Crazy Legs Conti: Formerly known as John Conti, this competitor liked his stage moniker so much that he legally changed his name to match it.

2. The Locust: Rich LeFevre has been on the competitive eating circuit since 2002, right along with his wife who competes on the womens side.

3. The Black Widow: Sonya Thomas made a name for herself by competing with the boys and following that up by winning the womens crown three years in a row.

4. The Doginator: Dominick Cardo once took first place in the pickled cow tongue division of a contest known as the Glutton Bowl.

5. Beard Meets Food: Adam Moran is the real name of a YouTube sensation who holds the British record for most Big Macs consumed.

Its pretty tough to beat the name Beard Meets Food, but we can safely assume that we havent seen the last of creative nicknames on this fun and entertaining circuit.

As George Shea calls it, Rich and Carlene LeFevre are the First Couple of competitive eating. Rich has earned the nickname The Locust for his exploits, and Carlene has competed right by his side at several Nathans contests.

Remarkably, theyre both over 70-years-old and have slight builds. However, that doesnt stop them from scarfing it down. As an example, Rich set a world record by eating six pounds of Spam straight out of the can back in 2004.

The LeFevres have become quite the darlings on the competitive eating circuit. The couple has been together for 40-plus years and has noted that theyre both voracious eaters.

Thankfully, there havent been any tragedies at the Nathans contest. Unfortunately, thats not the case with food eating contests that fly much further under the radar. Heres a quick look at some of the more horrifying incidents.

While the Nathans contest is a fun source of entertainment, the dangers are real, as well as for other forms of competitive eating. Said another way, leave it to the pros.

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Why You Should Bet Against Joey Chestnut In The Hot Dog Eating Contest - PlayUSA

The best books to read with children at every age – Gulf News

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

Best books to read to kids under six Image Credit: Shutterstock

Aside from keeping your children fed, clean and safe, one of the most important things you can do is read aloud to them and the earlier you start, the better. A 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics study states that reading to infants is actually an essential part of their primary care.

The paper, published in Pediatrics, says, Regularly reading with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which in turn builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

The quality and quantity of book reading in early infancy can predict the size of a childs vocabulary, and reading as a child has even been linked to higher income jobs and more professional roles in adulthood.

But wont I feel strange reading to a two-week-old who keeps falling asleep, you ask? What happens if my six-month gnaws off the corner of the book? And, how do I get my toddler to sit still? Experts say you dont need to worry about that.

In fact, research shows that if you allow your baby to safely explore books yes, even with their mouth or let your toddler skip through the pages, you teach them that reading is a safe, fun and positive experience.

Here are the best types of book to enjoy with your child from when theyre babies, to toddlerhood and beyond:

06 months

We begin developing the language skills required for reading when we are just babies, Jemma Gadher, speech and language therapist at The Developing Child Centre in Dubai, explains. When you read to your baby, his or her brain is rapidly learning the rules of language that are necessary for reading, and speaking.

At this age, dont worry too much about what youre reading. While babies may not understand what youre saying, theyll love the connection and may reward you with a smile or an excited kick.

Your baby might want to grab or bite the book and, as long as its safe, touching is encouraged. If your little one starts to cry, look away, arch his or her back, or close his or her eyes, take a break.

Nada Iskandar, KG1 teacher and year leader at Dubai International Academy, explains that babies are drawn to shapes and big pictures. Their colour vision is usually developed by four months so include books with vibrant pictures. Board books are great because theyre easy to handle. Look for books that have lift-the-flaps, mirrors or pop-ups. The more interactive they are, the more interested your baby is likely to be.

712 months

Offer babies simple stories with colourful pictures. Repeated rhymes can encourage language and memory development, with some babies recognising characters, pictures and stories, and even starting to mouth along.

From 12 months old, start asking more complicated questions like, Where do you see the sun? and see if your toddler gestures. Toddlers may start requesting their favourite stories now.

12 years

If your toddler runs away when you read, dont take it personally. Kids need to move around at this age. Keep reading, and your toddler will reconnect when theyre ready. Adopt a playful attitude by asking your toddler to act like a character, or get in on the action yourself.

Ask him or her to label objects using simple sounds or words, like woof! for a dog, or give them some responsibility by getting them to turn the pages. Asking them what is happening (who is carrying the watermelon?) helps build language and thinking skills. If your toddler can talk, pause before saying a favourite line and see if they can fill the gap.

23 years

At this stage you can ask more challenging questions, like What do you think the girl in the book should do?, or try to connect the book with your childs life.

By three, your child may start reading to you based on pictures. Toddlers love repetition, so dont be put off if they keep requesting the same book.

The Developing Child Centres Jemma says that books that include a clear beginning, middle and end are great. You might notice symbolic understanding developing, where kids begin to understand other representations of an item, for example, a doll representing a baby.

46 years

At this age children have usually developed a theory of mind understanding that they are autonomous beings and therefore others are too, says Louise Edensor, senior lecturer in media and education and campus programme coordinator for the International Foundation programme at Middlesex University. This means they can understand deception in stories, so they will follow a tale that perhaps offers the reader something that the characters dont know.

Traditionally, this is the age that many children embark on that exciting adventure of learning to read themselves. But what happens if your child is not reading by the age of six?

Comprehension skills are usually in full gear now, so some children are ready for more words and fewer pictures, KG1 teacher Nada says.

Having said that, its all about knowing what works best for your child. There are many milestones in the pre-reading stages that children should reach before actually beginning to learn to read. Phonological awareness and comprehension stand at the forefront of these skills. Some children flourish at the expected age of around five or six. Needless to say, some children just may not be ready. If you make reading fun, theyll keep at it. Thats the main thing.

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The best books to read with children at every age - Gulf News

FDA warns of 5 more hand sanitizers to avoid, growing list to 14 – Yahoo! Voices

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

If you are purchasing hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, avoid purchasing products that contain methanol, a type of wood alcohol that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.

In recent weeks, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified several products that contain methanol. According to a press release issued on June 19, nine hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV, were found to contain methanol.

According to the release, samples of the Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ were tested. The Lavar Gel product "contains 81% methanol and no ethyl alcohol," while CleanCare No Germ "contains 28% methanol."

In early July, the organization identified additional hand sanitizer products containing methanol:

Grupo Insoma's Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented, 70% alcohol)

Transliquid Technologies' Mystic Shield Protection Hand Sanitizer

Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free and Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer

Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%

"Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects," said the release. "Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning."

On June 17, the FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend that the company remove its hand sanitizer products due to their methanol content, but that action has not yet occurred. A request for comment from the FDA was not returned at that time. Their release did not include information about where these products are currently sold.

The FDA warns that "substantial methanol exposure" can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death. Those who are most at risk for these symptoms, according to the FDA, are "young children who accidentally ingest these products" and "adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute."

If you are using hand sanitizer, make sure to use a product that does not contain methanol and contains at least 60% ethanol. However, the FDA recommends that people wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, as opposed to using hand sanitizer.

This story was updated on July 6 to include further recalls.

FDA warns of 5 more hand sanitizers to avoid, growing list to 14 - Yahoo! Voices

Eating healthy with Yanaya – The Zimbabwe Daily

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Lifestyle Writer

Early this week, Government announced that restaurants could now safely resume with limited operations, allowing them to serve sitting customers.

This is an exciting development, especially for many outgoing young people, the single in particular who are lazy to cook after a long hard day at work.

To them, eating out is one way of escaping the cooking and dish-washing routine.

Yanaya workers pose for a photograph at the food bar

Yet, when some people choose to eat out, they go for fast foods (junk foods) which are unhealthy and may result in non-communicable lifestyle diseases such as cancer, blood pressure, strokes and diabetes among others.

Many choose to ignore the fact that eating a balanced diet is fundamental to good health and well-being.

According to a 2017 report by Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of international agriculture experts, Africa as a continent now has the fastest growing middle class in the world with current trajectories showing they will grow to 1,1 billion by 2060.

Yanaya a healthy lifestyle bar

The agriculture experts point out that over the last few years, big fast food brands like Nandos, Burger King, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Subway all set shop on the continent with the hope of taking advantage of the expanding middle class, who have disposable income and a palate for processed food.

Given that, an obesity epidemic is now unravelling in countries like Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria.

In the report, the Malabo Montpellier Panel further says: Surprisingly malnutrition and obesity also co-exist in the same households sometimes, with stunted children living alongside overweight adults, who themselves manifest multiple micro-nutrient deficiencies.

Yet, eating healthy has many benefits especially this time when the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 has also changed the eating habits of many Zimbabweans.

In an effort to ensure those who prefer eating out maintain a balanced diet, 28 yearold Nyaradzo Dhliwayo, an acclaimed restaurateur has created a company dubbed Yanaya a healthy lifestyle food bar situated at Joina City in Harares central business district.

But how did she come up with such an idea when some women her age are busy with fast life such as chasing trendiest fashion, hairstyles even busy with TikTok (a popular social media application that has made youths go wild)?

Who is she and why did she choose that profession?

The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle, traced the bubbly young entrepreneur and caught up with her at the prestigious food bar Yanaya.

Upon entering, organic fresh designs leave customers thinking the restaurant is an exotic garden. Inside, one can easily buy everything the fresh aroma of ingredients and fruits which she uses to prepare is tempting.

Dhliwayo said her creative work and photography has caught the attention of local and international exhibitions.

Oh well, she is a professional photographer who holds an honours degree in design and photography from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

I have been a vegan for almost two years and vegetarian for three years. I struggled whenever I went out because there were no places that offered good vegetarian meals. I realised getting healthy, nutritious natural tasting food was a struggle not only for myself but many people in Zimbabwe, she says.

That alone inspired her to create space for people who are health conscious to enjoy a meal out.

I have also been to the gym of late and we are given the eating plans. Some did not know where to start from, so it was an opportunity for me to penetrate the market, she explained.

Her goal was simple to redefine what it means to eat well and promote a healthier happy lifestyle.

Ingredients she uses for her meals are 100 percent local produce.

I am passionate about feeding people with nourishing meals made from whole ingredients that have a positive impact on their overall mind, body and health. I am a firm believer in supporting local producers and improving value chains, she added.

According to Dhliwayo, the biggest hurdle for Zimbabwean farmers pertains to post harvest losses, and as such a lot of perishable agricultural produce goes to waste.

This is because our farmers do not have many ready off takers like us who are willing to apply fair conditions when transacting with farmers. We make gourmet sandwiches, burgers, salads, detox smoothies, wraps and juices among others, explained Dhliwayo.

And because of the lockdown, Dhliwayos Yanaya has been delivering orders to those who cannot access the facilities.

An application where customers can buy online and the food is delivered at their doorstep is also available with the creation of a website in progress.

With a menu that is highly nutritional as well as detox benefits, her hope is to see young people change their eating habits.

We serve a niche space for healthy food as part of our mandate to promote healthy living. Though we have tried to narrow down our primary market to healthy lifestyle enthusiasts and those with varying health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, we have discovered there is a growing population that is aware of what they eat and how they live, she said.

Surprisingly their smoothies are a hit with local celebrities who are endorsing the product line. The photographer-cum- restaurateur draws inspiration from her Christian values.

I look up to Christ first for inspiration and guidance, said Dhliwayo.

The talented businesswoman said she loves to eat bun-less burgers, a burger with no bun but a patty with spread sauce over the top added with some onions, lettuce wedge and favourite sauce. She concluded that people should eat healthy every day, especially now in the era of non-communicable diseases.

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Check Out the Most Surprising Celeb Transformations of the Week – E! NEWS

Posted: July 5, 2020 at 4:50 am

Keeping Up with the Kardashians was a little harder than usual this week.

Not only did Kim Kardashian debuted one of her most dramatic hair changes yet, but the super-private Rob Kardashian made a stunning comeback on social media this week, leaving fans with their jaws on the floor. Oh, andKourtney Kardashian gave fans a glimpse at what she would look like without eyebrows and it definitely blew their minds.

Joining the Kardashian siblings with some transformations this week were JoJo Siwa, as the popular YouTuber debuted not one but two new looks in the span of a few days, a Riverdale star took to Instagram to show off his quarantine beard, and a reality TV star showed off his weight loss journey over the last several months, posting a selfie to show off all of his hard work. Pics or it didn't happen and all that, you know?

Check Out the Most Surprising Celeb Transformations of the Week - E! NEWS

The ‘beanatarian’ diet: is it good or will you die? –

Posted: July 5, 2020 at 4:49 am

English Style Beans and Toast (Credits: Getty Images)

Beans, beans, good for your heart. The more you eat, the more complete your nutritional profile will be. Thats how that one goes, right?

Its seems thats the way one man was taught the rhyme, after his girlfriend asked the internet for help due to his new beanatarian dietary choice.

In a post to the subreddit on relationship advice, the woman said: My boyfriend told me 3 weeks ago that he has decided to convert to a beanatarian diet. He told me he will from now only only eat different types of beans.

I thought he was joking at first but I have literally seen him eat nothing but beans and multivitamins every day for 3 weeks.

He insists that Almost all nutrients can be derived from beans, and he takes 2 multivitamins a day just in case.

Each day the man would eat different beans and cook them differently to keep things varied. There was no variation, however, on the fact he was eating wall-to-wall beans.

Clearly their relationship was suffering due to arguments about the validity of beanatarianism, but all the people of Reddit (and later Twitter) could do was argue over whether beans would provide you enough nutrition.

If youve ever watched Im A Celeb, youll know how grim and dull a diet of rice and beans appears and this guy is just eating the beans but is it even safe to do so for long periods of time?

Weirdly, the protagonist in this tale isnt the only person whos gone beanatarian, as a runner and filmmaker called Beau Miles ate only 191 tins of beans over 40 days and tracked his progress.

Although Beau was otherwise healthy at the end of the experiment, he did report low energy, irritability, worse performance when running, and random nosebleeds throughout.

Many people across the world live on a diet mostly comprising of rice and beans, and beans are the more nutritious of these two products, so it would be logical to assume that youd be fine going beanatarian.

Beans are considered a superfood and are described by the NHS as acheap, low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Theyre cholesterol and fat-free, have a low glycaemic index so they fill you up, and associated with a reduced risk ofheart diseaseandtype 2 diabetes.

However, while its great to incorporate beans into your diet, there are limits. One serving of beans will count towards your five a day. However, if you eat multiple servings of beans, you will still only have consumed one serving.

This is because they dont have the same variety of vitamins and minerals that other vegetables and fruits do.

Regardless of how good beans are for you, eating any one food without variation will lead to deficiencies somewhere. In the vase of beans, this includes vitamin C and iodine amongst other things.

Jo Ann Hattner, a nutrition consultant at Stanford University School of Medicine told LiveScience: No single vegetable or legume has all nine essential amino acids humans need to build the proteins that make up our muscles.

Thats why most human cultures, without knowing anything about food chemistry, have developed diets centred on complementary veggies that, together, provide all nine.

Jo Ann warns that subsisting on one food along would initially affect your hair and nails, gradually affecting your lean body mass including your heart and lungs.

She says, Eventually, your heart shrinks so much you die.

Its honestly not worth trying it especially not for some self-serving experiment. Supermarkets have a number of offers on fruit and vegetables to supplement a diet that includes beans and other food groups.

That way you can enjoy the musical fruit every single day without the danger of death.

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The 'beanatarian' diet: is it good or will you die? -

Letter to the Editor: Dietary committee report should be postponed – The Times

Posted: July 5, 2020 at 4:49 am


I am writing to urge you to call on the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services (USDA-HHS) to postpone publication of the report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, so that the federal agencies in charge can have time to address serious allegations by one or more members of this committee about the process that produces the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

These allegations, which recently come to light in a letter submitted by The Nutrition Coalition, detail serious flaws in the process and imply that the very reliability of our federal nutrition recommendations is in question.

With 60 percent of Americans diagnosed with one or more chronic illnesses, conditions that increase the risk for severe outcomes and death from COVID-19, the U.S. now more than ever needs evidence-based advice on how to maintain and restore our metabolic health. The guidelines to date have self-evidently been unable to flatten the curve on the rates of these diet-related diseases.

Please urge USDA-HHS to delay the release of the committee's expert report to provide time to thoroughly investigate these allegations.

Art Davidson, Pittsburgh

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Letter to the Editor: Dietary committee report should be postponed - The Times

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