77th Annual Golden Globes Serves Vegan Meal for All
And the winner is … planet Earth!
"Over the holidays, we took time to reflect on the last year and began thinking about the new year and the decade ahead," Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President Lorenzo Soria said in a Facebook post Thursday. "The climate crisis is impossible to ignore and after speaking with our peers, and friends in the community, we felt challenged to do better."
Doing better meant serving an entirely plant-based meal at the first major awards show of the season, which is organized by the HFPA. The dinner began with a chilled golden beet soup and continued with wild mushroom risotto, king oyster mushroom scallops, and roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts and carrots, The Associated Press reported.
"The food we eat, the way we grow the food we eat, the way we dispose of the food is one of the large contributors to the climate crisis," Soria told The Associated Press.
Indeed, animal agriculture contributes around 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, HuffPost noted. A 2018 study found that adopting a vegan diet was probably the single-biggest thing an individual could do to reduce their environmental impact.
"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use," study leader and University of Oxford professor Joseph Poore told The Guardian at the time. "It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car."
The HFPA also took a stand against plastic pollution by working with Icelandic Glacial to serve water in glass bottles.
The menu change was a bit of a challenge for the kitchen staff at the Beverly Hilton, where the event was being held. That's because the hotel's executive chef Matthew Morgan was only told to prepare a vegan meal a few days before Christmas, NPR reported.
Morgan said his team had planned to prepare around 150 to 200 plates of vegan food, and then had to scale that up to 13,000.
"At first, it was a little shocking, but we were happy to make that change," Morgan told NPR, adding, "I really believe in what we're trying to represent and what we're trying to accomplish - the message that we're sending."
The vegan menu was the brainchild of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who also took home the best actor in a drama award for his performance in Joker, Variety reported. Sources said Phoenix had proposed the idea to the HFPA.
"First I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change, it's a very bold move, making tonight plant-based," he said during his acceptance speech.
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Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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