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Dying for a Hamburger: Modern Meat Processing and the Epidemic of Alzheimer's Disease

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One in ten people older than sixty-five, and nearly half of those older than eighty-five, have Alzheimer's disease. It's widely accepted nowadays that memory loss comes with age. Alzheimer's currently robs at least 15 million people of their identity worldwide. This book makes the controversial claim that eating meat may contribute to the development of the disease. In Dyi One in ten people older than sixty-five, and nearly half of those older than eighty-five, have Alzheimer's disease. It's widely accepted nowadays that memory loss comes with age. Alzheimer's currently robs at least 15 million people of their identity worldwide. This book makes the controversial claim that eating meat may contribute to the development of the disease. In Dying for a Hamburger, Dr. Murray Waldman and Marjorie Lamb draw upon documentary evidence, historical testimony, and inspired speculation to suggest that Alzheimer's: - is a new disease--elderly people did not experience symptoms of dementia in such alarming numbers in the past- began appearing after modern meat production techniques were introduced- has soared in nations where these techniques are used- hardly exists in cultures where meat consumption is low- has been attributed to many deaths that are actually the human equivalent of mad cow disease. They present startling evidence that Alzheimer's may be part of a family of diseases linked to malformed proteins known as prions. They hypothesize that the conditions that allow these brain disorders to be triggered are similar. They propose that mad cow, its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), other encephalitic diseases, and Alzheimer's may have a common antecedent. We know that a form of CJD is transmitted to humans who eat contaminated beef. And we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to monitor the meat supply closely to avoid a repetition of the mad cow scare in Great Britain. But suppose that Alzheimer's also involves prions--the evidence that points in this direction is growing. And suppose that Alzheimer's is also associated with tainted meat. This conclusion seems far-fetched--at first. In this compelling book, the authors come to a frightening conclusion about our seemingly insatiable hunger for hamburgers. Destined to provoke heated argument, this book is definitely food for thought.


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One in ten people older than sixty-five, and nearly half of those older than eighty-five, have Alzheimer's disease. It's widely accepted nowadays that memory loss comes with age. Alzheimer's currently robs at least 15 million people of their identity worldwide. This book makes the controversial claim that eating meat may contribute to the development of the disease. In Dyi One in ten people older than sixty-five, and nearly half of those older than eighty-five, have Alzheimer's disease. It's widely accepted nowadays that memory loss comes with age. Alzheimer's currently robs at least 15 million people of their identity worldwide. This book makes the controversial claim that eating meat may contribute to the development of the disease. In Dying for a Hamburger, Dr. Murray Waldman and Marjorie Lamb draw upon documentary evidence, historical testimony, and inspired speculation to suggest that Alzheimer's: - is a new disease--elderly people did not experience symptoms of dementia in such alarming numbers in the past- began appearing after modern meat production techniques were introduced- has soared in nations where these techniques are used- hardly exists in cultures where meat consumption is low- has been attributed to many deaths that are actually the human equivalent of mad cow disease. They present startling evidence that Alzheimer's may be part of a family of diseases linked to malformed proteins known as prions. They hypothesize that the conditions that allow these brain disorders to be triggered are similar. They propose that mad cow, its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), other encephalitic diseases, and Alzheimer's may have a common antecedent. We know that a form of CJD is transmitted to humans who eat contaminated beef. And we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to monitor the meat supply closely to avoid a repetition of the mad cow scare in Great Britain. But suppose that Alzheimer's also involves prions--the evidence that points in this direction is growing. And suppose that Alzheimer's is also associated with tainted meat. This conclusion seems far-fetched--at first. In this compelling book, the authors come to a frightening conclusion about our seemingly insatiable hunger for hamburgers. Destined to provoke heated argument, this book is definitely food for thought.

30 review for Dying for a Hamburger: Modern Meat Processing and the Epidemic of Alzheimer's Disease

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Nelson

    Wow!! Eye-opening. Whatever opinion you take from it, I believe everyone should read this just to be informed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dan Robert

    Following the link between the rise of Alzheimer’s disease in the 20th century, the connection with BSE, CJD and the development of modern meat processing due to the astronomical rise in beef demand, along with the development pattern of AD, the authors paint a pretty convincing picture. They propose that AD is a prion disease, transmitted along the vector of cattle fed prion-infected meat processed into their feed for added protein. After I had read Fatal Protein, a more medical look at the deve Following the link between the rise of Alzheimer’s disease in the 20th century, the connection with BSE, CJD and the development of modern meat processing due to the astronomical rise in beef demand, along with the development pattern of AD, the authors paint a pretty convincing picture. They propose that AD is a prion disease, transmitted along the vector of cattle fed prion-infected meat processed into their feed for added protein. After I had read Fatal Protein, a more medical look at the development of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease due to BSE-infected meat, I felt relatively safe. What I had gathered from that book is that there seemed to be a genetic predisposition for the transmission of this very rare disease. And considering the number of cases compared to the number of people who had accessed the same disease source, it was statistically irrelevant, unless of course you were one of the unlucky ones. But with so many dangers and threats to life much more likely to obliterate me from the planet, why worry about the unlikely probabilities. By linking Alzheimer’s disease into the BSE cycle, Waldman and Lamb have moved the probability uncomfortably closer. The statistical rise of AD and its meteoric rise in risk as one gets older present a compelling case. Looking at cases of kuru from Papua New Guinea and autopsies revealing the buildup of amyloid plaques killing off brain cells in an almost identical way to some form of CJD combined with the fact of kuru being a very slow-acting virus (20-30 years +)makes one shiver. Combine that with the fact that medical literature often confuses CJD with AD and that there’s no way of being absolutely sure which is which unless an autopsy is performed is not comforting. Iatrogenic causes, such as hGh and corneal transplants and use of dura mater from infected patients has also been shown to pass on the disease. Traditional disinfection methods of surgical instrument sterilization do not affect the malformed protein transmitted. These items remain infectious even though judged clean by today’s standards. And there is also no early detection method for prion diseases so far. This affects everyone, not just those who eat beef, since so many cosmetic, pharmaceutical and household products use slaughterhouse by-products. Leather, plastics, gelatine, etc., are part and parcel of everyone’s life. How long do these prions “survive”? No data so far. So the only way to make sure no transmission takes place is to destroy anything that’s been in contact with the prions. But as all this info was threatening to squeeze my brains out of my ears, a glimmer of hope showed up in some long term studies of a group of nuns. It seems that “idea density” and active use of the brain in such things as reading, writing, playing of musical instruments and the like were found to be strong counteragents to the progression of the disease. This in my case is a very encouraging thing, provided I live long enough to become part of the higher-risk group. The authors postulate an 80-90% infection rate due to the ageing population and t5he present rate of growth if continued. “Coincidentally” enough, I saw a bit of a TV special talking about the development of nanotechnology in which the first steps have been taken for molecule-sized machines that could deliver the right medicine to affected areas instead of blasted away healthy tissue the way it’s done with radiation and chemo nowadays. Things to ponder, but not to obsess about.

  3. 4 out of 5

    NcSark

    Someone else wrote that this book terrified them and I have to agree. This book scared the crap out of me too but in a "let's-do-something-about-it" kind of way, not in a "I'm-never-leaving-the-house-again" way. Whenever there's a mad cow disease outbreak, I think of this book (I didn't know before reading this book that mad cow can have an incubation period of up to 30 years! So when you see government officials in the news claiming there is no danger to public, there is really no way for them Someone else wrote that this book terrified them and I have to agree. This book scared the crap out of me too but in a "let's-do-something-about-it" kind of way, not in a "I'm-never-leaving-the-house-again" way. Whenever there's a mad cow disease outbreak, I think of this book (I didn't know before reading this book that mad cow can have an incubation period of up to 30 years! So when you see government officials in the news claiming there is no danger to public, there is really no way for them to know that). Factory farming today is one the most irresponsible methods of processing animal flesh and with the incredible rise of Alzheimer's cases within the last 100 years, this book makes a great medical argument for connecting the two together. As another reviewer warned, reading this may change the way you eat so be ready to throw out the ground beef in your fridge. This book also explains the process of someone who has Alzheimer's and the rapid pace that they lose their cognitive and motor functions. It's truly a horrible, horrible disease and certainly gave me a greater understanding for those whose family members suffer from it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Helena

    this book terrified me! Alzhiemers is a horrible disease and this book claimed that we pretty much already all have it. it is easy to read, and seems to be well researched. I highly recommend reading it, even though ignorance may just be bliss. it has some very interesting chapters on different plagues/ epidemics, the history of aging, and of course talks about the current research inAD.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    If you don't know what a prion is, you should read this book! Warning : it may change how you eat.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  7. 5 out of 5

    Never_

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arielle

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mari Gallion

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hollie

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jacquie Schwartz

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Jane

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh Rodriguez

  15. 5 out of 5

    Megan Ryerson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian Smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ntsoko Phuti

  19. 4 out of 5

    Harriet

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

  21. 4 out of 5

    Máire

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marmie7

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Howard

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Da

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Carroll

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Hale

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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