Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dear Mark: Does Chicken Cause Cancer, Should You Neuter, Dog Collagen, and Skipping Dinner

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions. First came in from an email and regards a new study showing a link between chicken eating and several types of cancers (melanoma, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) among British adults. What do I think of the study? Second, did I really tell people not to neuter or spay their dogs? Third, can dogs take collagen powder, and if not, are there any alternatives? And last, I address a comment about early time restricted feeding.

Let’s go:

Hey Mark,

What are your thoughts on this study that showed a link between chicken consumption and cancer?


Okay, let’s do this.

First of all, the link wasn’t between chicken and cancer, it was between chicken and specific cancers. The specificity suggests that there may be something going on here.

Look, I love a good roasted chicken. There’s almost nothing quite like crispy chicken skin.

But today’s birds are exceedingly high in omega-6 fatty acids. Your standard battery-fed bird—which is what most people in these studies are eating—eats a diet of soybean oil, corn byproducts, and other junk high in omega-6 fats. Those dietary fats are incorporated into the animal’s tissues, which get incorporated into your dinner, which get incorporated into your body.

Most of the cancers in question have been previously and mechanistically linked to elevated omega-6 levels and/or reduced omega-3 levels.

Melanoma and other skin cancers?

One study out of Australia—land of skin cancer—found that adults with the highest serum concentrations of DHA and EPA had the least “cutaneous p53 expression.” When your skin is in danger of damage from the sun, p53 expression is upregulated to protect it. The fact that p53 expression was low suggests that the skin wasn’t in danger; the omega-3s were protecting the skin and reducing the “perceived” (and real) danger. Acute intakes of EPA reduce the inflammatory skin response to UV radiation.

One problem of excess omega-6 fats is that they crowd out DHA and EPA from the serum and cellular membranes. The more omega-6 in your diet, the less DHA and EPA you’ll have laying around to protect you from the sun.

Prostate cancer?

Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (found in seafood and fish oil) are generally linked to lower rates of prostatic inflammation and a less carcinogenic environment; omega-6 fatty acids can trigger disease progression. A 2001 study of over 6,000 Swedish men found that the folks eating the most fish had drastically lower rates of prostate cancer than those eating the least. Another study from New Zealand found that men with the highest DHA (an omega-3 found in fish) markers slashed their prostate cancer risk by 38% compared to the men with the lowest DHA levels.

I didn’t see any solid evidence one way or the other with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but omega-3 intake is linked to a lower risk. If that’s a causative connection, and excessive omega-6 is competing with your omega-3s for physiological supremacy in the body, that could increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But again, this isn’t a sure thing.

I couldn’t find the study mentioned in the article, but according to the article the scientists focused only on “meat consumption patterns.” They weren’t looking at other foods or nutrients—just what kind of meat they ate. If that’s the case, they wouldn’t have controlled for the intakes of fries and mayo and other junk foods often consumed alongside chicken.

British are eating more chicken than ever before, and they’re moving increasingly away from big family chicken meals—roasts and such—toward individual chicken meals for one—pasta and stir fries.

The fastest growing fast food in Britain is fried chicken. That’s chicken that’s been breaded in flour and fried in reused, rancid vegetable oil, then served alongside french fries and smothered in mayonnaise.

Now, I’m not going to say you should eat chicken for every meal. Red meat, fish, and eggs offer far more nutrients than chicken, and they’re much lower in omega-6 fatty acids. But I’m not going to shy away from a good roast chicken, or even a chicken chili, especially if I’m using well-raised, preferably pasture-raised chickens.

I’m sorry, are you recommending people DON”T spay/neuter their pets?!? Am I reading an article in The Onion? Is it April 1st? What the hell is going on??? Dear Bob Barker is rolling in his grave and thousands of dogs and cats will be unnecessarily euthanized today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next….) because there are just too many of them.

Nope, I’m just recommending that people read the literature and understand that spaying/neutering can have unwanted health effects, especially if you do it too early.

Most experts agree that fixing the dog after they’ve stopped growing is pretty safe and reduces the risk of later health issues. That to me is a good compromise.

And I’m not speaking to the masses. I’m speaking to the people reading this who are in general a reliable, conscientious bunch.

Also, a vasectomy is a good option that few people consider but more vets are offering.

Mark, would there be any harm or benefit in throwing in a scoop of collagen on top of my dog’s raw meat&veggie patty?

You could definitely do it. Just be aware that I’ve found some dogs have bad digestive responses to protein powders of any kind. A raw chicken foot will do the trick, if you’re up to trying it. I’ve also seen freeze-dried tendons in pet stores.

After a few years of IDF that had me mostly eating between noon and 8, I recently tried early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) and man it seems to work well for me. I did it under the influence of this guy’s posts: https://ift.tt/2NS0PeL

And I learned about him from an MDA post…


Two things.

Yes, some people for whom intermittent fasting doesn’t seem to be working may want to switch to an early feeding system. The vast majority of people who skip meals every day are skipping breakfast. It’s easier that way, you can just have some coffee and keep trucking. But not everyone benefits from it. If that’s you, try eating breakfast (and lunch) and skipping dinner.

And yes, Bill Lagakos is a great resource. Always love his stuff, even or especially if it conflicts with something I held to be true.

Thanks for reading, everyone. If you have any more questions, drop them down below!


The post Dear Mark: Does Chicken Cause Cancer, Should You Neuter, Dog Collagen, and Skipping Dinner appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Tell Kellogg’s To Stop Targeting Kids With Cereals Full of Artificial Ingredients (PETITION)

When I first saw Kellogg’s new Baby Shark Cereal my heart sank.

My daughter, who is 2 years old, LOVES Baby Shark – and I knew when she saw this she would beg me for a box! Just look at all those artificial ingredients…

In 2015, Kellogg’s announced plans to remove artificial colors and artificial flavors from all of their cereals by the end of 2018, and this was widely reported by the media (1).

They never did.

Kellogg’s still sells several cereals with artificial colors and flavors in America. And now they’re coming out with brand new cereals full of the absolute WORST ingredients targeting our children.


Kellogg’s is SAYING one thing, but DOING another. Where is their integrity?


Meanwhile, Kellogg’s sells cereals with safer ingredients in other countries. In Europe and Australia, Kellogg’s takes artificial colors and the risky preservative BHT out of their cereals completely. Why not here too? This is wrong. 


I am petitioning Kellogg’s to keep their word and to remove all artificial colors, artificial flavors and BHT from their cereals: SIGN THE PETITION NOW



Petition kellogg's baby shark cereal


Kellogg’s uses these five artificial food dyes in their cereals: Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Red 3. 

Artificial food dyes…

  • Are man-made in a lab with chemicals derived from petroleum – a crude oil product, which also happens to be used in gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and tar. (3)
  • Have been banned in countries like Norway and Austria (5) and the UK has imposed a voluntary ban. (6) Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 require a warning label Europe that states “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” (3-4)
  • May harm children’s health and best be avoided according to a 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement. (2)
  • Can be contaminated with known carcinogens (a.k.a. an agent directly involved in causing cancer). (7).
  • Cause an increase in hyperactivity in children. (8)
  • Have a negative impact on children’s ability to learn. (8)
  • Have been linked to long-term health problems such as asthma, skin rashes, and migraines. (5)
  • Do not change the flavor of food and add absolutely no nutritional value to the foods we are eating and are used solely for aesthetic purposes. (7)
  • Are being consumed at an alarming rate. A Purdue University study shows the extreme amounts of dyes being used in everyday foods now vs. when they were approved for use. Kids “could easily consume 100 mg of dyes in a day,” which is well over the amount shown to cause reactions. (9)


  • The preservative BHT is not proven safe and there are safer alternatives.
  • BHT is not legally permitted in cereals in Europe or Australia, so companies like Kellogg’s remove it.
  • BHT is linked to cancer (10) in some animal studies and is an endocrine disruptor that interferes with hormones (11).
  • The approval of BHT as a food additive has been called one of the worst failures of our regulatory system by the respected Environmental Working Group and is included in their list of dirty dozen food additives (12).
  • The Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) classifies BHT as a “Caution” ingredient (13) that is unnecessary, is easily replaced by safe substitutes, and to avoid it when possible.
  • There’s conflicting data about whether BHT promotes the growth of tumors, and its research is controversial (10) – too controversial to allow it in our food. The European Food Safety Authority (14) notes that short-term and subchronic toxicity study findings are inconsistent. Researchers agree that more studies need to be conducted.


  • Artificial flavors are chemical mixtures made with synthetic (non-natural) ingredients in a lab with fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar.
  • Artificial flavors are much cheaper than using real food. With artificial flavors, chemists can make anything taste like a strawberry without any actual strawberries.
  • Flavors can contain upwards of 100 ingredients, such as propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, BHT and BHA, all considered “incidental additives” not required to be labeled by the FDA. (15)
  • The FDA doesn’t require companies to tell you what is in the flavors they use. It’s a complete mystery ingredient.
  • A governmental or independent agency does not approve or oversee the safety of the food flavors. Instead, a flavor industry trade group, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) (16), has assembled their own “independent” panel of scientists who review and approve new flavors as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). These scientists are paid by the FEMA trade group (who ultimately get their funding from flavor companies). (17)
  • Public advocacy groups have questioned FEMA’s processes and called on the FDA to ban certain flavor substances that have known links to cancer, but little has been done. (18)
  • In 2019 the FDA banned 7 ingredients used to make artificial flavors that have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Any food company using artificial flavors has been given 2 years to remove them from their flavors, so they are still on store shelves. (19)

Tell Kellogg’s to remove these risky ingredients from their cereals. 

In recent months there has been Kellogg’s Peeps Cereal, Kellogg’s Unicorn Cereal, and Kellogg’s Caticorn Cereal… filled with artificial ingredients and BHT.

Kelloggs Food Babe Baby Shark Petition

It’s time for Kellogg’s to stop churning out cereals like this. Why should American children needlessly consume these controversial chemicals if Kellogg’s has already figured out how to make their cereals without it?

Kellogg’s Unicorn Cereal without Artificial Colors or BHT in Australia:

unicorn cereal ingredients in america vs. australia

Kellogg’s Froot Loops without Artificial Colors or BHT in Australia and Canada:

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes without BHT in the UK:

Parents overwhelmingly do not want products like this in stores. Here’s just one email I received about Kellogg’s cereals: 

“With all the reports of pesticides in cereals and what not, today while walking down the cereal aisle looking for my organic oatmeal I came across a cereal that just mortified me, as a parent and a responsible consumer doing my best to shop for better foods for my family I was so disgusted to see a cereal named Unicorn cereal by Kellogg’s. Not only that, but a family with 3 little girls in front of me were struggling to get past that cereal without a breakdown because the girls wanted the pretty unicorn cereal! I took some pics which I will attach and hope that this finds you in some way. It’s so incredibly off putting that a cereal company would do that to families.” ~ Irene

Kellogg’s is targeting young children, toddlers even, knowing they will get excited when they see a cartoon-covered box of Baby Shark Cereal at the store, begging their parents to buy it for them.

“We know ‘Baby Shark’ is a catchy tune that has captured the hearts of many families… New Kellogg’s Baby Shark cereal was created to expand on the joy families feel in a tasty way.” – Kellogg’s Press Release, July 2019

This is an absolutely disgusting marketing ploy by Kellogg’s to snag in the youngest consumers out there and get them hooked on their products.

Even if you don’t buy Kellogg’s cereal for your child, their school probably serves it.

Kellogg’s packages up Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, and Chocolate Frosted Flakes especially for schools across the country. Millions of children are eating risky artificial additives and BHT for their most important meal of the day.



Dear Steven Cahillane, CEO of Kellogg Company:

In 2015, Kellogg’s announced they would remove artificial colors and artificial flavors from their U.S. cereals by the end of 2018. This was widely reported in the media. 

It is now 2019, and Kellogg’s still sells several cereals with artificial colors such as Froot Loops and Apple Jacks. In addition, Kellogg’s has recently launched new cereals made with artificial colors and/or artificial flavors (Baby Shark, Peeps, Unicorn, and Caticorn). These cereals are directly targeted towards young children and toddlers. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement in 2018 warning that some chemicals found in food colorings, preservatives, and packaging materials may harm children’s health and best be avoided. Artificial colors have been banned in countries like Norway and Austria and the UK has imposed a voluntary ban. They may be contaminated with carcinogens and cause an increase in hyperactivity in children. Artificial colors add absolutely no nutritional value and are used solely for aesthetic purposes. 

There are risks that come with artificial flavors as well. A governmental agency does not approve the safety of artificial flavors. Instead, a flavor industry trade group, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA), has assembled their own panel of scientists who review and approve new flavors as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). These scientists are paid by FEMA (who ultimately get their funding from flavor companies). Public advocacy groups have questioned FEMA’s processes and called on the FDA to ban certain flavor substances that have known links to cancer, but little has been done. In 2019 the FDA banned seven ingredients used to make artificial flavors that have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Any food company using artificial flavors has been given 2 years to remove them from their flavors, so they are still on store shelves.

Your children’s cereals are preserved with Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). BHT is linked to cancer in some animal studies and is an endocrine disruptor that interferes with hormones. Although the FDA has granted it GRAS, BHT simply hasn’t been proven safe and researchers agree that more studies need to be conducted. BHT has been classified as one of the top “Dirty Dozen” food additives to avoid by the respected Environmental Working Group.

Kellogg’s sells some of the same cereals (Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and Unicorn) in other countries with safer ingredients. In Europe and Australia for instance, Kellogg’s takes artificial colors and the risky preservative BHT out of their cereals completely. We deserve the same, safer cereals that other countries get.

These unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients are not in Kellogg’s cereals sold overseas – so they shouldn’t be in ours. The simple fact that you don’t use these ingredients elsewhere is proof that they are not needed.

I urge you to remove Artificial Colors, Artificial Flavors, and BHT from all of your cereals here in North America and worldwide.


[Your name]


Thank you for joining me in signing this petition and spreading the word:

SHARE THIS PETITION. We are helping to shape a safer food system for everyone.



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Things You Should Do

Always dream big!

I had to share these exciting finds with you…

If you have a body….

Listen to these podcasts. I love EVE-RY-THING Brooke Castillo. She is just amazing. She will teach you how your mind creates all of your thoughts and emotions and you can change that for the better! These podcast episodes were so great. The first two about weight loss and eating and last about experiencing your body as your body. Objectively. Highly recommend!

If you like to bounce around….

Get this sports bra. It’s the best I’ve ever owned. Adjustable straps and a structured fabric are 100% necessary. And this marble one is the prettiest I’ve ever seen! Maybe I will be bold enough to run in only a sports bra that’s this pretty 🙂

If you have a savings account….

Listen to this Jess Lively interview! The interviewee, Erica, talks about how she went inward and questioned everything she was doing related to finance to live more in the present. The questions she brings up make great dinner conversation with your spouse: what would you do differently if you won the lottery? If you had 5 years to live? What would you regret about your life if you had 24 hours left?

If you have dull skin….

Join Band of Beauty this month and get the Overnight Resurfacing Peel as your free gift! If you’ve been thinking/hoping/dreaming/procrastinating/waiting to order something Beautycounter to try, now is the time.

Place $50 in your cart (like the popular Dew Skin and the No. 1 Brightening Oil combo I did below) along with the B.O.B. membership and the Peel will appear in your cart for free. PLUS you get free shipping ($7) plus $11 credit (10%) to use for your next order. It’s like getting the Peel for $12 if you count the credit. Read more about it here.

If you have a credit card….

Get this wallet! I’ve had my green Tusk wallet for years. I think since college. It’s been the perfect petite size, and I love how it opens and you can see all the cards vertically. I’ve had other wallets during the years, but I didn’t love any of them as much as my greek Tusk and kept coming back to it! It finally started to fall apart, and so I went to the Tusk website for a replacement.

While they don’t make one that’s the exact same size, I found one that’s the same “layout” I ordered the Orissa Slim Clutch and it’s GORGEOUS! Naturally I ordered the rose gold : ) Love some sparkle!

Have a sparkly week!

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Cincinnati Chili Recipe

This Cincinnati chili recipe is perfect for your next bowl of pasta or homemade burger!

Cincinnati chili is a Mediterranean meat sauce that is generous with the spices. It’s traditionally used as pasta sauce or a topping for burgers or hot dogs.

A close up view of a yellow casserole dish containing some pasta on the bottom level, Cincinnati chili in the middle, ad some grated cheddar cheese on top.

We don’t really do hot dogs around here, but we definitely do pasta and burgers! This is superbly delicious over either and quit filling as well.


People who are expecting a regular bowl of chili will be disappointed. This is not really chili at all. It’s served more like a sauce or condiment and is much heavier on the spices than traditional chili. The cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice and cloves give it a different flavor profile than regular chili as well.


There are many ways to serve this delicious meat sauce. These are just a few to get you started:

  • Ladled over pasta.
  • Spooned over homemade fries
  • In a bowl with cheese and chopped, red onions over the top. (You can even add hot sauce!)
  • Spooned on top of a burger before adding your top bun. (Think, “sloppy joe”)
  • Stirred into rice.

A yellow casserole dish filled with Cincinnati chili covered pasta, sits next to a wooden sign that says, "eat".


“The Mediterranean influence is a result of Macedonian immigrants inventing the dish. Woellert says the origins of Cincinnati chili can be traced back to a small burlesque theater called The Empress where, in 1922, several Macedonian brothers started serving chili on top of spaghetti, labeling it “chili mac.” (source)”

I should also add that, this meat sauce is kid friendly! While heavy on the spices, it’s not actually “spicy” in the heat sense. So the littles will enjoy this too. Particularly over pasta!

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Cincinnati Chili Recipe

A delicious meat sauce you can serve over pasta or on burgers! Note that this is typically made with beef. This recipe uses ground turkey, but notes are made in the recipe if you prefer to use ground beef.

  • 1 lb. ground turkey ((or ground beef))
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth ((no sugar added, low sodium is best – If using beef, use beef broth instead of chicken broth))
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt ((plus more to taste if needed at serving))

Optional Toppings for serving:

  • chopped onions
  • cooked pinto beans ((stir them in))
  • grated cheese
  1. Using a medium pot, place the oil and turkey into the pot and, over high heat, stir the turkey until it's browned.

  2. Now add all other ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through and the spices have had a chance to impart their flavors. About 5-10 minutes.

  3. Serve over pasta or burgers with any optional toppings you care to use.

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Data does not include optional toppings.

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