Bits and Pieces: Buffalo Steak, Energy Shortage, and Food Additive Hazards

A series of short articles touching on the prospects of buffalo steak becoming a food staple, the likelihood of a prolonged energy shortage, the possible adverse health effects of food additives, golden eagle hunting, and energy conservation. .
By the Mother Earth News editors
September/October 1973
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In the early 1970s the National Buffalo Association had hopes that buffalo steak and other buffalo meat products would become common in the U.S.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/JIM PARKIN


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THE NORTH AMERICAN BISON, according to the South Dakota-based National Buffalo Association, may well become a major meat animal in the United States once again. The association points out that, although the native American animals can be fattened on scrubbier forage than cattle, bison burgers and buffalo steak contain 20% more protein than their beef counterparts. Buffalo is sure to make a comeback, says the NBA ... and maybe the organization is right. In fact, that comeback may already be upon us: Seventy years ago there were only an estimated 50 bison left in the U.S. Today, 25,000 of the animals are known to exist in public and private herds.

E.B. WEISS, one of the advertising industry's most influential spokesmen, has given the "unlimited growth" segment of his profession a bitter pill to swallow. Far from being a temporary situation that we will pass through quickly, he says, today's energy shortage will not be alleviated for at least 15 years. "To the contrary," states Mr. Weiss, "in at least some of its major aspects it will worsen for practically every one of the next 15 years."

"We must learn to live a different way," Mr. Weiss says. "We shall have to abandon a style of society marked by profligate production, conspicuous consumption, and waste for a society marked by rationalized production and consumption, and vastly increased services."

THE ARTIFICIAL COLORS AND FLAVORS now being pumped into hot dogs, ice cream, soft drinks, processed cereals, and other foods "have no nutritional value", according to the July 9, 1973 issue of Newsweek. The publication quotes California allergist Dr. Ben F. Feingold as stating that the additives (classified "safe" by the FDA) can trigger extreme hyperactivity and severe learning disorders in children. Dr. Feingold cautions that his observations need substantiation but he adds that he definitely feels that hyperkinesis (a steadily growing abnormality) can be controlled by eliminating artificial colors and flavors from the diet. Unfortunately, 90% of all processed food contains these additives.

WESTERN SHEEP RANCHERS who illegally hire helicopters to hunt down golden eagles should know that, according to Kenya (Africa) biologist Dr. Leslie Brown, "There is massive, solid evidence that golden eagles pose no threat to sheep operations. Indeed, the birds may be indirectly beneficial in that eagles subsist largely on jack rabbits and other species which are in the potential competition for sheep forage."

THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER, only recently endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency as an automobile pollution control, may itself be a health hazard. Platinum and palladium particles from the device, it is feared, can pour from a car's exhaust and lodge in human lungs causing ... well, nobody knows yet but scientists do know that platinum is toxic. The EPA has launched a $1.5-million crash program to investigate possible dangers of the very catalytic converter which the agency just approved. The only trouble, of course, is that the results of this rush research work won't be compiled until well after hundreds of thousands of the devices are already installed on 1975 automobiles.

DAVID LARGE , an electrical engineer, has edited a book called Hidden Waste, Potentials for Energy Conservation. The manual is intended primarily for people who already have some knowledge of energy matters (it is somewhat technical) and summarizes recent research into methods for reducing wasted energy.


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