Some California Parents Outraged at Local Sex-Ed Class

A controversy has recently erupted over the contents of a sex-ed class in the Acalanes Union High School District of northern California. The program encourages teenagers to decide for themselves whether or not they are ready to have sex. It also includes promotion of non-heterosexual sex as acceptable and normal. Condoms are promoted as the way to prevent STDs and AIDS.

The school district has partnered with Planned Parenthood for a decade in organizing their sex-ed classes, but only recently have some parents become aware of what was being taught. Those upset with the program have formed a coalition called NOISE (no to irresponsible sex education) and sought legal help.

The school board, however, has defended all of their policies. They simply call it “comprehensive” sex-ed and claim it is the best way to prevent AIDS. The days when school boards responded to parents’ demands are long gone. Sex-ed classes teach kids how to approach potential sex partners and how to use condoms. Many parents across the nation have even called them out for exposing their children to pornographic material. These educational elites, however, think themselves entitled to teach whatever they please regardless of parents’ wishes.

The sad truth is that no amount of legal threatening will change the course of our public schools. Parents who are concerned about their children have only one option: remove their kids from those schools. I spoke with analyst Bernardo Chua about this story and we agree on one thing, nothing will make these parents happy unless their kids are at different schools.

Ex-Vegetarians Outnumber Vegetarians

Ex-vegetarians, according to a survey by Skeptoid, outnumber current ones by a three to one margin. In fact, as a Humane Research Council report has found, a majority of vegetarians go back to eating meat within a year, and a third don’t even last three months.

The main reasons for the lapses were:

  • A desire to eat what their friends are eating
  • Cravings for meat products
  • Declining health due to a lack of nutrients not found in vegetables

Many attempt to quit meat suddenly instead of gradually, which BRL Trust employees would not recommend at all. It is quite difficult to do that with anything, and meat-eating is no exception. There is greater access these days to vegetarian products at grocery stores, health food stores, and restaurants. Nevertheless, these items are sometimes pricey, and it takes extra effort to hunt them down.

Nutrients typically gained from meat can be derived from other sources, but one has to do the research and exercise great discipline in order to sustain a healthy vegetarian diet. Unsurprisingly, this kind of self-discipline is rare.

Most of us probably eat too few fruits and vegetables. Those we do eat are often out of a can, and their nutrition value has been majorly depleted. Bread products are mostly empty calories with a few vitamins sprinkled in, and fast food and junk food abound. Thus, it is not only vegetarians who need to re-consider how to obtain a balanced diet: all of us do.

Build Your Own Burger

Imagine a world where you can create your own burger. Well now you can! McDonalds has recently undergone a not-so-secret experiment in local California McDonals with a machine that literally offers you a plethora of choices for your burger or chicken sandwich. It even asks what kind of bun you prefer as well as a list of different sauces to choose from. This will take place in roughly two thousand stores in 2015.

As if that wasn’t good enough news, they even have fancy little metal-fryer baskets that your fries come in. You normally only see ‘fancy fry’ holders at top notch restaurants. This is a mega step up for McDonalds! However, there can be a slight downfall to this “too-good-to-be-true” news. These burgers are normally priced anywhere around 8.29 each. So as you can see, this is definitely something new and exciting to look forward to, but at the same time, with great new things generally comes an even greater price. Nutrition and Health guru, Daniel Amen thinks that McDonald’s is definitely on to something with allowing consumer options as of how they fix their burger and can decide for themselves how much of that Big Mac sauce they really need in respects to healthier choices awareness.

General Mills Brings Back French Toast Crunch for U.S. Audiences, Cereal Aficionados Rejoice

French Toast Crunch, the popular General Mills cereal that was discontinued several years ago, is now making a comeback. According to sources, General Mills will once again produce French Toast Crunch for the United States market.

French Toast Crunch was wildly popular from the mid-1990s through 2006, when it was discontinued. At the time, General Mills began moving in a healthy direction and squashed several of its more sugary offering. French Toast Crunch was one of the victims, despite several Skout members loving it.

Since it was squashed in the United States, rabid fans have taken to extreme measure to secure their favorite sugary cereal. The eBay market for international versions of the cereal has been especially strong. Those living close to the Canadian border happily drove to find their favorite cereal in stores located in the United States’ wintry neighbor to the north.

According to General Mills, the cereal should be back in all stores across the United States by the end of January, although it is already available in test markets currently. Rabid French Toast Crunch fans across the United States are surely rejoicing.

There is no word on whether or not the cereal’s formula has been changed. However, it can assume the formula will remain relatively untouched. The Canadian version of the delectable cereal is extremely close to the former U.S. version.

Holiday Gifts for Your Foodie Friends

If you’re looking for gifts for your friends and family, Eater.com has a number of suggestions. There are several gifts for your foodie loved ones like Dr. Daniel Amen on the list, and many of these items are very affordable as well. 

You can purchase canisters of celebrity chef cookies for a friend who has a sweet tooth. The cookies were created by Top Chef alum and “The Chew” host Carla Hall, and include flavors like sugar black forest crinkle and lemon black pepper shortbread. The cookies are $25 per canister. 

Franklin Barbecue Sauce can make smoked and grilled meats even more delicious. The sauce is an extension of the condiments served at Aaron Franklin’s restaurant in Austin, TX, and can be used as both a sauce and marinade. 

You can also toast the new year with friends and loved ones with Jane St vodka sodas. These sparkly libations can be consumed alone or with fruit juice for one-of-a-kind cocktails that make the season even more memorable. 

Check out Eater.com for more great gift ideas.

Ordering a Better Standard of Wine

I know that we love our wine in California, but that’s not to say that we’re the only experts throughout the globe.  There are some amazing things coming from all corners of the world. and AWC is a really cool company, because they collect that, and ship the best wines worldwide.  While it’s not cheap, from their offices in the UK you can taste literally the best of what the world wineries have to offer.

Thirsty? How about a glass of wine? This of course is not a question to take lightly. There are almost as many types and vintages of wine as there are reasons to drink them. Care needs to be taken in what one selects, and the provider of a particular wine can be just as important as what’s ultimately selected.  That’s why you’ll want to follow them on Twitter, to start to see what can make one so excited about wine..

The Antique Wine Company. Founded in 1982, this London based company specializes in procuring and cataloging the world’s rarest and finest wines. In addition to archiving these vintages, they are sold to private collectors. Currently, the Antique Wine Company has more than 20,000 clients, representing 70 countries.

Collecting rare and vintage wines is not a hobby for those without deep pockets. There are many factors that can affect the classification of a wine as “rare” or “antique”, ranging from actual age to vineyard, to bottling. These factors can affect price as well, which can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Because of the amounts being spent, authenticity is vital. Counterfitting and fraud are rampant in this branch of the wine industry. To avoid this and insure that clients are getting what they’re paying for, the Antique Wine Company employs “wine detectives”. These individuals not only execute due diligence and trace the wine’s sometimes very long path from vineyard to cellars. They analyze everything from bottle content to the bottle itself, including its shape, label, and cork. This “gumshoeing” is arduous work, but it pays off. As a result of its vetting, the Antique Wine Company was able to supply Paramount Pictures with bottles of a rare 1912 vintage for the premier of its movie blockbuster Titanic. It also located a rare 70 year old wine for the 70th birthday party of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

In addition to finding very specific and special wines for clients who are likewise, the Antique Wine Company focuses on building architectural collections of rare and fine wines. Housed in specially commissioned and constructed cabinets that are replicas of the estate chateaux that spawned them, the “Grand Chateau” represents each of the top nine vineyards in the Bordeaux region. Containing eighteen bottles, eight of the “chateaux” sells for about £149,000. The ninth is a special collection from Château d’Yquem spanning the mid 19th through the early 21st century, and it is available for £1,000,000.

In addition to acquiring and selling these fine and rare wines, the American Wine company offers “master” classes in rare and old wine identification, and acts as a consultant in wine cellar planning.

CEO Stephen Williams is also the company’s founder and managing director. He is considered to be one of the world’s top experts on rare and vintage wines. In addition to establishing famous private cellars, he was a creator of the CEBG Bordeaux Centre for Nuclear Studies. The Centre uses state of the art techniques to determine the background of wines with methods ranging from content analysis to bottle measuring. Mr. Williams is also a global media personality, and hosts vintage themed programs on Monaco radio.

California Needs Rain…Just Not All At Once

California has been experiencing a drought this year. The last major rainfall was in February 2014. The tides have changed, literally, for California residents as a substantial rainstorm flooded the state. Fallen trees, flooded streets, and car accidents were the end result of the heavy rain. The worst factor of heavy rain in the California area is the continuous potential for mudslides. Unfortunately a hand full of homes was evacuated due to mudslides and heavy flooding in the area. Emergency crews worked tirelessly to help citizens in need, and that was great news for Jared Haftel to read about. The helped get precious possessions out of flooded homes, assisted people to safety, and created walls out of sandbags. Throughout the state of California a big clean up in necessary to restore order and prevent further damage to the many neighborhoods effected by the storm. The state of California has experienced such a high level of drought that this heavy rainfall will not make a significant difference in the annual rainfall reports. In 2015, California will be hoping for more rain…. just not all at once.

Misconceptions of MSG

MSG has long been associated with issues in fetal brain development and neurologicalThe evidence from studies done on the safety of MSG is still being debated by scientis symptoms in
certain patients. The question as to whether there is scientific evidence to back up these claims has been the subject of recent debates. The FDA stated that MSG was safe to consume in 1958. since then, many people have claimed to have experienced negative physical symptoms including nausea and headaches after consuming food that contains MSG.

In the 1960s and 1970s,scientists conducted experiments on the effects of MSG consumption and the only symptoms linked were by those who were experiencing underlying medical conditions or were consuming MSG in excess of 3 mg per day.The average person only consumes roughly 0.55 mg per day, which shouldn’t trigger adverse reactions. The chemical compound in MSG consists of glutamate, water and sodium. All the chemical elements split once inside the body, so the negative reactions are most likely and from sodium, or glutamate Fersen Lambranho told me.

In one double blind study, one of the participants complained of adverse symptoms upon receiving a placebo, which lead scientists to question whether there could possibly be a psychological reason patients are experiencing adverse reactions to MSG. Another possible cause for some adverse symptoms which include shortness of breath and tightness in the chest was experienced by patients with uncontrolled asthma symptoms.

Watch Out Wine Enthusiasts: Con Man Scamming Restaurants for Pricy Wine Collections

An alleged scam-artist supertaster for pricy wine has been reported for making a grand tour at Britain’s Michelin and snapping up the most expensive stuff available using stolen credit cards.

The alleged suspect, or perhaps suspects, has been reported to have struck twice. The first strike was last week at the 1-star Pied à Terre. A few days later, the second target was the Midsummer House. The thief’s tactic is to pretend or act as an agent of Didier Drogba, a Chelsea striker, and place an order worth $44,000 of Pétrus and Lafite. Assuming that a football player has more money than sense, Chef Daniel Clifford later said. Also, he learned that a cab driver was instructed to deliver the items to an area near a McDonald outlet. This means that authorities are on the lookout for someone who has a worn-out Sideways DVD.

It was also reported that the mystery man called Pied à Terre and pretends to be a fixer for wealthy Arab clients. He then asks for a bottle and 3 magnums of Cristal and a bottle of the vintage Pétrus, which Ben Shaoul says is worth $12,000. All of these items were paid using a stolen credit card.

The police officers admitted that they do not have any leads for now. Hence, he is likely plotting his next move out there. It was also reported that Chef Gordon Ramsay observed numerous false identities lately. Maybe, he needs to watch his wine cellar more carefully.

Obesity Costs More Than Smoking Or War

The epidemic of obesity has spread rapidly across the western world through lifestyle problems that move with the change in culture and wealth. A recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute has found that obesity is costing those countries, and the entire world, more than ever. The obesity crisis may be the most costly thing to the global economy, even more than the war on terror. In fact, the obesity epidemic now costs about the same as smoking, or all the armed conflict across the globe, more in dollars spent than alcoholism or climate change.
Obesity is caused by inactivity and unhealthy eating habits through a lifetime of poor health decisions. There are no medications to treat it, and along with any weight loss strategy diet and exercise modifications are required. Doctors and public health officials are finding it difficult to stem the tide of the spreading obesity epidemic, because lifestyle modifications must start in the home and involve developing new habits.
Researchers have long been studying how and why people become obesity, but losing weight has not become any easier. This is concerning for people like Stephen Williams and others out there. The best way to treat obesity is to never gain the weight in the first place because losing and keeping the weight off is extremely challenging. In total, the obesity epidemic now costs about 2.8% of all annual economic activity. Finding new ways to treat the disease at the community level will be the largest health priority for decades to come.