In the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, food was on the mind of both ABC and CBS. CBS started a series called Overweight in America: Katie Couric examined the theory that modern obese people inherited a previously-useful gene that boosts appetite-increasing hormones. In the days when food was scarce, those hormones helped humans overcome satiety and load up on excess calories. She checked out mice in a Columbia University lab: excess ghrelin hormone stimulates hunger; depleted leptin hormone ignores fullness.
ABC's series is The Truth About Organics. Jim Avila explained that the hurdle to qualify for the "organic food" label is relatively low: no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no pesticides, no synthetic fertilizers. The label no longer refers simply to local farmers' market fare; more and more, agribusiness is finding ways to qualify. Avila advised us that Wal-Mart will soon be an organic leader--"mass marketing going natural and without huge mark-up." Its organics cost only 10% more than conventional food.
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