All About Fast Food

McDonald’s commissioned an independent television production company to produce a one-hour special where six random Australians were given the task of investigating the entire food-making process. Whilst McDonald’s funded the project, and their food-making processes were the ones scrutinised, it’s clear very little was hidden from these independent ‘food critics’. This program showed that McDonald’s food, and probably most major fast-food chain offerings, is actually relatively healthy – and more hygienic and fresher than we think.

Fast food companies have always gone to great lengths to convince the eating public of the wholesomeness of their food. It’s an incredibly profitable business. But, one of the business risks, in a health-conscious age, is having a reputation tainted by thought that your food is unhealthy or, worse, disgusting.

So, typical fast food – in the main – is safe for consumption and may be moderately healthy. But why do we feel unhealthy having eaten it? Compared to a serving of grandma’s pot roast where we felt sated and fulfilled, fast food tends to leave us feeling unfulfilled, spiritually.

I have a thesis about food: the only prepared food profitable to us is the food cooked with love. That is, food cooked for a known individual to eat. Food cooked with them in mind. It’s food that has soul.

FOOD SHOULD BE PREPARED WITH PRIDE

In the healthiest sense, proud is the cook that makes their food to please the eater. They have a vested interest in everything they do. They want to create it tasty, hygienic, and aesthetic on the plate. They care. They cook their food with love. And they want their food eaten with love and respect for the process.

Fast food, on the other hand, is an unloved child whose parent neither loves the food, their work, nor the receiver of the food. It’s made with no soul or spirit. It may fill our bellies and nourish our bodies, but the experience of eating fast food does nothing to nourish our souls.

We ought to become keen observers of how food makes us feel, and although food of itself doesn’t make us evil, our practices can sometimes make us feel that way. Feeling bloated or dry in the mouth or queasy are all psychosomatic signs that the experience of eating certain food hasn’t been positive. The food hasn’t served its nourishing purpose.

THE SERVICE THAT COMES WITH THE FOOD

Whenever we go to takeaway restaurants, not only is the food not cooked with love, it’s often not served with love. Patrons are commonly treated as second-class citizens; mainly because the person serving them has no propriety. They’ve not been trained to care.

Wherever we go in life it pays, as much as possible, to place ourselves in situations and circumstances of good experience. Enriching experience is good for the soul. Placing ourselves in non-enriching experiences, though, leads to a deadening of the soul. The service that comes with the food is just as important as the eating experience is. The service, too, must come with love.

***

The trouble with fast food is it’s generally not cooked nor served with love. Often it’s prepared and cooked by people with no stake in its consumption. Eating food is a spiritual activity. If we care enough for ourselves and those we love we limit our reliance on fast food. We’ll still eat it, perhaps, but less so.

Our dietary habits are key inputs to our spirituality. When we eat food made with love we profit. Food made without love cannot profit us spiritually.

 

Tips To Stay Away From Food Posioning

Millions of food poisoning cases occur each year, and millions more go unrecognised because they are mis-diagonisd – or unreported. The symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen.

Most of us can handle a little food poisoning without major upset, but there are a number of high-risk groups for whom it can be very dangerous, even fatal. These groups include the elderly, infants, pregnant women and the chronically ill, especially those with weakend immune systems. There are also certain types of food poisoning like (botulism) that can be deadly for just about anyone.

WHAT CAUSES FOOD POISONING?

Most food poisoning occurs because food was handled improperly at home, often during routine procedures that we all take for granted.(Other stages at which germs and toxins might enter food are during cultivation and storage).

There are four main culprits:

Bacteria: These are responsible for more than two-thirds of food poisoning episodes. The important germs in this category are Salmonella, Staphylococci Clostrdia and Bacillus Cereus. The food we eat, no matter how hygienically prepared, almost always contains a few bacteria. However, a small number does not cause illness: at a rough estimate, about one million bacteria must be present before a healthy adult will come to harm. However, in case of children under one year, or in case of old or sick persons, only one lakh bacteria bring on illness.

Viruses: These are the simplest living organisms containing only genetic material. Viruses require living tissues for their growth and multiplication, therefore will not multiply in food. However, food can serve as a transport vehicle for viruses. Since viruses are destroyed by temperatures achieved in normal cooking, food poisoning by viruses occurs largely in food which has not been cooked or has been handled after cooking by a person who is a carrier of viruses.

Chemicals: Common chemicals which produce food poisoning are pesticides, detergents, paraffin, food additives, sterilizing agents and packing materials. Food poisoning from chemicals is mostly caused by carelessness in the home or in an industrial establishment.

Try to avoid buying attractive and highly-coloured foods as these contain several addictives which way harmful. Carefully read the manufacturer’s information/instructions regarding contents, use and storage.

Aoid the use of packaged wheat-flour. Instead, buy whole-wheat from the market, clean it with plenty of water, dry it and have it ground at a floor mill.

Vegetables: Certain naturally poisonous plants, when accidentally mixed in with vegetables, cause food posioning. Among these are toadstool (confused with mushroom), hemlock, black nightshade, rhubarb leaves and undercooked red kidney beans. The toxins of most plants are unaffected by cooking.

HOW GERMS GAIN ACCESS TO THE KITCHEN

The main entry points are:

Food Handlers: Usually these are carriers (persons carrying the germs in their body but not suffering from the disease itself). They may be convalescents, i.e. people who have recently suffered food poisoning and who, though recovered, continue to pass a small number of these germs in the faeces; these may gain access to food due to improper washing of hands and poor general hygiene.

Carriers may also be healthy people who have not suffered the symptoms of food poisoning but nevertheless carry harmful germs in their intestines. Again, the medium of instruction is faeces.

Animals, birds and Insects: Flies, rats, birds, other insects and animals (incluing pets) usually carry bacteria in their intestines and on their feet and fur. These animals are infected through eating contaminated feeds, grazing on contaminated pasture land or through contact with other (infected) animals.

Food and food products: When animals are slaughtered and dressed, germs from the surroundings and from the hands of the handlers may contaminate the surface of the meat where they grow and multiply.

Dust: Vegetables are usually contaminated with dust which may contain bacterial spores. Spores are the unique feature of some (not all) bacteria. When growth and multiplication of bacteria is not possible due to an unfavourable environment, the bacterial cells form spores (small, reproductive cells) and the remaining part of the germs disintegrates. These spores are resistant to even boiling and freezing, can survive for years without food or water and, in faourable circumstances, are capable of reverting to the original, infective form – to grow again and multiple.

Raw vegetables should be first rinsed in plenty of water and then dipped in a very weak solution of potassium permanganate (about of grams in 1 litre of water), for 5 minutes, and then washed again thoroughly with clean water. Potassium permanganate removes the surface dirt, spores and germs.

Cross-contamination: This is the transmission of germs from a contaminated source to uncontaminated food (usually freshly cooked food). If this food is suitable for bacterial growth and is left for some time in a warm room, the transferred organisms multiply rapidly. Some examples of this process in a kitchen are:

  • Using a chopping board, a work surface or kitchen equipment in the preparation of two different foods without washing it in between, eg using a mincer for raw meet and then for cooked corned beef. The same principle holds true for the hands of the cook.
  • Sneezing, coughing, smoking, scratching around the genitals or the anus while in the kitchen and not washing hand thereafter.
  • Wearing highly engraved jewellery while preparing food. The crevices offer a foothold for germs which may then be transferred to the food.
  • By combining hair in the kitchen or from loose strands of hair.
  • From skin infections, especially of the hands (boils, furuncles, wounds etc.) in the cook.
  • From the crevices of craked/chipped plates and damaged utensils.
  • Through unhygienic food tasting, eg, dipping a finger in prepared food without washing, then licking it and again dipping it in another prepared for unprepared food, without washing in between.
  • By touching dirty linen, wash-cloths, dusters, etc. while preparing/handling food.
  • By incorrect placement of food in the refrigerator. For example, keeping uncooked meat on the top shelf, and uncovered, roasted chicken on the shelf below: Blood from the uncooked meat may drip on to the chicken and contaminate it. In the low temperature inside the fridge, these germs remain dormant, but once the food is warmed for serving or even thawed out at room temperature, the germs multiply rapidly.

HOW GERMS GROW IN FOOD

Germs thrive best when four conditions are optimum:

Temperature: Bacteria that cause food poisoning grow and multiply fastest at the temperature of the human body (37° C). Above and below the temperature, the rate of growth decreases, but still fairly rapid at about 30° C – which would be the room temperature in a poorly-ventilated kitchen during summers.

At the temperature of boiling water, i.e. 100° C, bacteria are killed in one or two minutes (though spores are not).

At low temperatures, such as in a fridge, they become dormant, but start multiplying again once the food is removed for thawing or warming.

The Type of Food: Germs multiply rapidly in those foods which have a high protein and moisture content, such as meat, poultry, dairy products, gravies and sauces. Protein and moisture provide “nutrition” to bacteria and act as very good culture media. (In the laboratory, most bacteria are grown over a blood or egg-containing medium.)

Moisture: Dehydrated products, such as milk powders, do not allow the growth of bacteria, but the bacteria remain dormant until the powders are reconstituted. So, reconstituted powder milk,eg, must be stored in the refrigerator as soon as water is added to it.

The Time Factor: If conditions are conducive, bacteria divide into two, every twenty minutes. Therefore, the longer food is allowed to stay in conditions optimum from bacterial growth, the greater the extent to contamination.

HOW TO PREVENT FOOD POISONING?

The ground rule is to maintain regorous hygiene at all the points at which food is handled:

Personal hygiene of the food-handler

  • Germs cling to the skin surface and persist in hair follicles, in skin pores, or in crevices and lesions caused by breaks in the skin. The hands should be washed with plenty of soap and water, preferably warm. A disinfectant solution may also be used, as an added precaution.
  • Nails should be short, unchipped and, preferably, unvarnished (if varnished, the varnish should not be chipped.)
  • Wet hands contain more bacteria than dry hands. Use clean towels to dry them. If you can afford an electrically-operated hand drier, that’s even more hygienic.
  • The food handler should remove all jewellery from his/her hands.
  • If any cut,wound or boil is present on the hand, a coloured waterproof dressing should be apllied over it so that if it accidentally falls off into the food, it can be easily noticed and the food discarded.
  • It is very important to wash hands after a trip to the toilet, blowing your nose, handling raw meat, poultry or contaminated food, etc.
  • The food handler should not smoke in the kitchen and should sneeze or cough into a tissue which should then be discarded.
  • Cover hair under a cap or net.
  • Clothes should be clean and should cover exposed areas of the body as far as possible. Long sleeves should be rolled up or securely fastened at the wrists so that cuffs do not dip into the food.
  • Always waer full-length apron.
  • During illness, the nasal and throat carriage of bacteria is increased, so sick persons and those who have suffered from food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting in the recent past (even if they are apparently healthy now) should not be allowed into the kitchen.

Hygiene in the Preparation, Cooking and Storage of food

  • Thaw all frozen foods completely before cooking. If you do not, the ice crystals at the centre of the food prevent the temperature that reaches the centre at the time of cooking from being sufficiently high to kill the bacteria there; at the same time, this temperature level will be optimum for bacterial multiplication!
  • Food should not be repeatedly frozen, thawed and re-frozen. Each time it thaws, it reaches a temperature that’s conducive to bacterial growth.
  • Cook food thoroughly at one go. Never do it in two stages – bacteria remain alive in partially-cooked foods and on cooling they multiply and survive right through the next phase of partial cooking.
  • Never keep the food warm (as in casseroles) because these provide the optimum temperature for bacterial multiplication.
  • Never re-heat the food more than once. Again, bacteria get a chance to multiply when the food has gone from ‘hot’ to ‘warm’. If re-heating is absolutely necessary, the food should be covered and cooled very rapidly after cooking and stored in the refrigerator until it is ready to be re-heated. To speed cooling, divide up the food into several containers or cut up big chunks into smaller pieces.
  • Quick, high temperature cooking is the best. The traditional practice of slow cooking in open pots increases the risk of food poisoning.
  • As eggs, especially duck’s eggs, are a known risk for salmonella poisoning, lightly cooked uncooked dishes such as scrambled eggs, omelette and poached eggs should preferably be avoided. Safer options are hard-boiled eggs (boiled for at least ten minutes), eggs fried well on both sides or eggs used in baked products such as cakes and puddings, which require cooking temperatures high enough to destroy the germs.
  • Cook foods to the proper temperatures. Meat should be cooked at least 160° degrees. Red meat is thoroughly cooked when it is brown or gray inside. Poultry is done when the juices become clear. Fish, which cooks very quickly, flakes easily with a fork when it is done.
  • Serve food as soon as possible after cooking. Don’t let it sit out for more than two hours at room temperature. If you are serving buffet-style, keep cold food on ice, hot food over warmers. Put out only small portions at a time so that the remainder can stay hot or cold in the kitchen until needed.
  • As far as possible, avoid buying prepared foods because you have no guarantee of the hygiene maintained in the preparation of such foods. If you must buy such goods, prefer frozen foods to warm foods, since they provide less opportunity for bacterial multiplication.
  • Don’t buy food in damage containers. Avoid cans and glass jars that have dents cracks or bulging lids. A damaged container may allow bacteria to get inside and multiple.
  • Use highly acidic canned foods, such as tomato and apple products, within 12 to 18 months. Other canned goods, such as canned meat, poultry, stews, pasta products, potatoes and peas can be stored longer (from two to five years).

There are several reasons for this. First, when acidic foodstuffs are packed in metal containers, the acid dissolves the metal which is absorbed into the contents of the tin/can, affecting their flavour and texture, thus causing spoilage.

The acid itself also softens the preserved food, again damaging its texture – “spoilage”.

Finally, meats and other hardy foods like pasta and potatoes preserve better because, at the time of processing, it is possible for them to withstands the duration and kind of temperature required for virtually complete sterilization – 121° C, for 20 minutes at 15 pounds of steam pressure. However, succulent foods like apples, tomatoes and mangoes cannot withstand such processing without having their flavour and texture altered. So, they are heated at a lower temperature, under less pressure, for longer time. Because of the incomplete sterilization, the chances of spoilage in such foods are comparatively higher.

  • Preferably, all canned food should be stored in the refrigerator – especially if you intend to use it over a prolonged period. In any case, don’t use it beyond the expiry date. All opened canned food should be stored as freshly cooked-food.
  • Do not put hot foods directly into the fridge. Apart from damaging the cooling coils, this can encourage the growth of certain germs and moulds.
  • The refrigerator door should be kept shut as far as possible; the fridge should also be regularly defrosted to remove excess ice around the cooling coils which decreases is efficiency.

Hygiene in The Kitchen

A sterile kitchen would be a mere fantasy. However, proper design and maintenance can go a long way in ensuring a clean and hygienic cooking environment and significantly reducing the risks of food poisoning:

  • The kitchen should be spacious enough to allow easy and thorough cleaning. Equipment should be moveable or, in the case of fridges, for example, should be placed where it is possible to clean its back, sides and under-surface.
  • The areas of preparation, cooking and washing up should be well separated to lessen the chances of cross-contamination.
  • The kitchen should be provided with a large window and ventilator, if possible with exhaust fan.
  • The window should be covered with thin wire mesh to prevent the entry of house-flies and other pests.
  • The cutting/chopping board should be made from hard-wearing, easily cleaned material which does not absorb moisture, chip or crack and is not affected by food residues. Stainless steel is the best choice, better than even plastic laminates which, of however superior quality, are still susceptible to scratches from knife blades etc. However, even today, far too many kitchens use wooden boards, which easily develop cracks and crevices, enabling germs to thrive.
  • Every kitchen should have a round-cornered dustbin, preferably with paddle-operated lid, and it should never be allowed to overflow.
  • Kitchen floors should be made of a hard-wearing, anti-slip, easily-cleaned material which is unaffected by moisture, and resistant to salt and fruit acids. Unbroken, smooth quarry tiles are a good choice.
  • The ceiling should have a smooth finish to facilitate cleaning (an absorbent plaster with washable emulation). Walls should be smooth and light-coloured to make dirt easily traceable.
  • Pick up knives, forks and spoons by their handles, glasses by their stems and plates by their edges. Discard any chipped plate or glass and any damaged utensils because even efficient washing may not get rid of the germs harboured in crevices and cracks.
  • Rat and mice carry bacteria in their fur, feet and faeces. Since they breed in warm and dark corners, the kitchen premises should be kept in good repair with no holes, or defective pipes or drains. Store-rooms for storage areas should be cleaned regularly. All the stocks must be kept off the ground and used in rotation to ensure that rats and mice are not been sheltered at the back of the store-room. If you do have a rodent problem, get rid of the pests with a mousetrap or a mild rodenticide.
  • Flies are the commonest carrier of food-poisoning bacteria. Reduce the risks by covering windows and ventilators with fine wire mesh, using covered dustbins and, if necessary, an insecticidal spray.
  • Cockroaches typically hide behind ovens and cooking ranges, water pipes, and refrigerators. They can be killed by most available insecticides.

 

All About Microwaved Food

I recently received an email asking if I could explain about ‘microwave ovens’, eating ‘microwaved food’ etc. So here it is.

The news is not good, if you prefer ‘ignorance is bliss’, now might be a good time to ‘accidentally’ have something better to do! When we think of ‘natural’ health & well-being, it would make sense that we would want to ‘cook’ our food in a ‘natural’ way.

It doesn’t take much intuition to realize that microwaving your food, is about as ‘unnatural’ a way to cook your food as you can get. Doesn’t the fact we use the terms, ‘zap’ it or ‘nuke’ it in the microwave, send a chill up your spine and suggest something is not quite right here?

A critical point is that microwaves don’t actually ‘cook’ your food at all. They basically just heat up the water content of the food and cause the food particles to resonate at very high frequencies. This ‘heats up’ your food, but this is very different from ‘cooking’ your food.

It’s like your food is heated but still ‘raw’. It doesn’t change the chemical structure of your food properly (and in many cases deforms the food molecules), thus substantially reducing your foods nutritional value. Worse however, is that microwaves can (and usually do) create harmful compounds that can lead to serious problems/disease (high cholesterol, cancer etc). * See the research further down.

Now, before you start cursing me again for making you feel bad (because you love your microwave and think life would be hell without it), remember, like all the health tips we give, you need to make them practical and still be able to function and enjoy life. However, while a little bit here and there won’t kill you (not immediately anyway!) – regular intakes are a real problem.

Basically, microwave ovens decay and change the structure of food by the process of ‘radiation’. Do you think if they were marketed as “radiation ovens”, they would be so popular? No way, but that’s exactly what they are. Simply put, you are interfering with/disturbing the ‘natural intelligence’ of the food (which is by far the most important part of any food).

Why wouldn’t we hear more about their negative effects if they were so bad? Basically, for the same reason we don’t hear about many of the things that jeopardize our health (until years after), vested interests and ‘heads in the sand’. Most people don’t want to give up something that is so ‘convenient’!!! And as modern science doesn’t value the fact that there is more to cooking food, than just heating it up, not enough proper research is being done. It’s just another case of modern society, trying to use ‘technology’ to save time… unfortunately at the expense of our health & well-being.

TIPS:

1. Avoid using microwaves/eating microwaved food whenever possible.

Yes, I know you’re busy, you don’t have time to cook and it’s so easy to just ‘zap’ it in the microwave. I know I’m being Scrooge again, and it’s all so easy to say “Don’t use microwaves”, but this really is a big one.

There’s probably not that many other things you could do to improve your long-term health more than throwing your microwave out the window… or at least using it far more sparingly.

Personally, I think you are better off to go and buy some half decent take-away (non-microwaved) than consistently eating ‘zapped’ food (seriously!)

2. THAWING FOODS is not so bad:

If you want to use your microwave for thawing frozen foods, that is not so bad. It’s still much better to let them thaw out naturally, but using a microwave for this purpose and cooking your food ‘naturally’ is not as bad as actually ‘cooking’ with your microwave.

3. ‘NEVER’ use PLASTIC:

Never heat your food in the microwave using plastic containers. When microwaving, carcinogenic toxins can be leached from your plastic and paper plates or covers and mix with your food. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. The combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin (Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer) into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

* This comes from Cancer News at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a statement by Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital. Full details below.

SOLUTION:

Use glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

4. *** MOTHERS: DON’T Heat your baby’s milk in the microwave (especially in plastic bottles): **

Most people know the enormous benefits of breast milk for infants (as natural as you can get). However, microwaving breast milk (expressed milk) has been shown to break down the essential disease-fighting ability of breast milk (which helps protect your baby) and cause ‘hot spots’ (which can burn your infants mouth).

While this is not ideal in itself, the fact that microwaving causes ‘hot spots’ in the first place, shows it does not heat things evenly/properly. Add on the general problems of using plastic bottles as highlighted above, and it really isn’t the best idea. * The same applies for formula milk/any type of milk in plastic containers.

Better Alternatives:

i) Warm the milk by placing the container in a cup/saucepan of hot water or

ii) ideally boil the milk in a saucepan and let it cool down to warm drinking temperature.

* More hassle? Yes. More time-consuming? Yes. Better for your baby? ABSOLUTELY.

Practical Help: How to Reduce your Microwave Use?

i) Plan ahead:

where possible, decide what you are going to have in advance, so if you need to thaw something, you can take it out of the freezer beforehand (you may need to be before you go to work in some cases).

ii) Weigh up the health benefits of cooking ‘naturally’ versus microwaves.

Is it really that much extra time/hassle? Instead of putting something on a plate, covering it and putting it in the microwave, you’re essentially doing the same in an oven/saucepan. Add a bit of extra time for cooking and washing saucepans etc (if you don’t have a dishwasher), and you are not that much worse off time-wise.

Tips for Getting Take-Away:

i) If you get take-away and they go to cook it/heat it up in a microwave, ask if they can ‘oven heat’ it instead (just enough so it’s not ‘cold’) – so it doesn’t take that much longer!

* In addition to the health dangers, there is nothing worse than your crispy, crunchy pastry or whatever, being microwaved into a soft, soggy, mushy heap (Urgghhh!!!).

ii) If they can’t/won’t do that (i.e oven heat it), depending on the food/season, you might prefer to just have it ‘unheated’/cold. Cold is not ideal, but better than being ‘nuked’.

iii) If it has to be heated and microwave is the ‘only’ way, ask them to microwave it on ‘medium’ (for a little longer) rather than on ‘high’.

If you want to know more about microwaves/microwaving food – who invented them, the science behind them (why they are so unhealthy), the research done so far etc,read on.

History of the Microwave – The Nazi’s:

The Nazis invented the first microwaves. First known as ‘radiomissors’ (argghhh!!!), they were used for preparating meals on a mass scale during the invasion of Russia.

After the war, the Russians had retrieved some of these microwave ovens and conducted research on their biological effects. So alarmed by what they learned, the Russians banned microwave ovens in 1976.

Research on Microwaves:

More and more research is now suggesting people who regularly eat microwaved food over a period of time, sustain significant adverse changes to their blood chemistries and the rates of growth of certain diseases.

These can include:

* An increased rate of cancer cell formation in the blood.
* Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers.
* Lymphatic disorders, leading to decreased ability to prevent certain types of cancers.
* Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of elimination.

1. Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel was the first scientist to conduct quality clinical research on the effects microwaved nutrients (on the human body).

His small but well controlled study showed the degenerative force produced in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. This included,

Increased cholesterol levels
Decreased numbers of red blood cells
Production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)
Decreased hemoglobin levels (possible anemia problems).

His conclusion:

Microwave cooking changes the nutrients in the food, and changes take place in the participants’ blood that can cause deterioration in the human system.

1. Hertel’s scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry.

2. A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that… broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97% of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains.

By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants.

3. A recent study at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York demonstrated that microwaving food creates toxic compounds (known as AGE’s) that are associated with serious illness such as heart disease and diabetes etc.

AGE’s form when sugars, proteins and fats amalgamate in high-temperature cooking, the most harmful of which is microwaved food.

4. Microwaving baby formulas converts certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic isomers, which are toxic to the nervous system – this is from the British journal The Lancet (Dec. 9, 1989).

Microwaved Blood Kills Woman:

A 1991 lawsuit involving a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. Blood is routinely warmed before transfusions, but not by microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.

More on Microwaves & Dioxins:

This is from an email (around Jan 06), Re; Cancer News from John Hopkins. It was received from a nursing supervisor at Greenville Memorial Hospital. It was sent to their staff.

Cancer News from Johns Hopkins:
No plastic containers in microwave.
No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dioxinchemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

He recommends using glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners and soups, etc, should be removed from the container and heated in something else (* Note from Mark – re-heating/cooking frozen food – e.g TV dinners, is not highly recommended anyway). Paper isn’t bad, but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. He also pointed out that Saran wrap is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous dioxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.

Alternative: Cover food with a paper towel instead.

The Natural (Ayurvedic) View:

For those familiar with the Ayurvedic dosha system, the understanding from Maharishi Ayurveda is that microwaves disturb vata dosha. Vata is that ‘governing principle of Intelligence’ that governs all communication and movement in your mind-body. If out of balance it can adversely affect your nervous system, and lead to problems ranging from anxiety, disturbed sleep through to constipation and early/chronic fatigue.

Understanding of Food State Nutrition

What exactly is “Food State”? A natural food, for example a vegetable growing out of the ground, will provide its nutrients to the body in a form that the body can easily recognise, assimilate and absorb. We can consider these nutrients to be in a “food state” form, and instinctively we will understand the benefit of this natural food. The vitamins and minerals within this food will be bound together within a food matrix with a variety of “co-factors” that effectively provide a delivery system for those nutrients to be delivered to receptor sites within the body. Evolution has created this relationship between us and the natural food we eat, yet if you strip away those co-factors you will end up with a nutrient in an isolated form that will never be found in nature. Yet this is the form in which virtually all nutritional supplements exist. We call this form “Free State”.

Is there a strong argument for taking supplements? If you consider the desperately depleted nutritional value of our farm soils, and if you accept the rationale that a lot of disease processes stem from a nutritional deficiency, then the answer would be a resounding “yes”. However, what most people don’t appreciate is that nearly all supplements are in a chemical, isolated form, without this delivery system inherent in live food. This is why supplements in a food state form are the preferred form for human consumption. This “Food State” form makes them more recognisable to the body (increasing their absorption and availability) and conveys a degree of protection to that vitamin or mineral, while appearing to prevent chemical interactions from occurring. For example, in the “Free State”, vitamin E and iron put into close proximity negate each other, making them unacceptable for use by the body. This does not happen when these two materials come into close contact in a “Food State”, as the active principle is satisfied in this state and is not free for chemical interchange. Complexed with Food Components The “Food State” vitamins, minerals and trace elements are complexed with food components of which yeast is one. Others are carrot concentrate for beta carotene; citrus pulp for vitamin C; vegetable oil for vitamin E etc. The final product is a food matrix containing co-factors such as: proteins, glycoproteins, lipoproteins, phosphoproteins etc. These co-factors are essential for proper delivery and they simply don’t exist in the more common isolated chemical alternatives. “Food state” materials do not need to be taken with food as all the food components are integral, thus eliminating the need for a random chance meeting of the active substance with its specific food co-factors. Minerals in the “Food State” Minerals are available in two forms: inorganic (“Free State”) and organic (“Food State”). Inorganic minerals are generally accepted to be inappropriate for human tissue, whereas in organic form, minerals are readily recognised and used by the body. Nature’s process is to convert inorganic minerals into an organic mineral form as plants grow in the soil. The plant is then eaten by humans (or animals that humans eat) and the organic mineral thus becomes available for human absorption. With this in mind, “Food State” minerals are produced by feeding living plant cells with that particular mineral, resulting in a super concentrated “Food State” mineral plant. This is then harvested, freeze dried and tableted. Food State supplements are recognised as one of the best sources of nutrients, which can be easily digested and readily absorbed by the body. They are more than just components extracted from a Natural Source. “Food State” presents a whole food as in nature, giving us not just a memory of nature but the actual experience of nature in a form that the human metabolic system is designed to recognise.

“FOOD STATE” DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS The Food State concept is a breakthrough in nutrition. The main reasons are:

1) The vitamins, minerals and trace elements we normally consume come to us as part of the food we eat. This is the best way for us to obtain our vitamins, minerals and trace element requirements.

2) In food, the vitamins, minerals and trace elements are naturally complexed to many different and complex food components.

3) With common supplement tablets, vitamins, minerals and trace elements are in an isolated chemical form, and are not found attached to the many different and complex food components.

4) Foodstate vitamins, minerals and trace elements are naturally complexed to food components, which is similar to the form the body can recognise.

5) Food technology and manufacturing processes alter or even destroy the natural and delicate balance of essential nutrients. Furthermore, modern farm soils are desperately inadequate in their nutritional value. These facts highlight the growing importance of dietary supplementation. Foodstate vitamin, mineral and trace element supplements offer a safer, more bioavailable and effective form.

6) The increased effectiveness of “Food State” products results in: a) More effective distribution within the body b) A general “non-targeting” effect, allowing the body to use nutrients where required in a similar way to food c) Less risk of gastric/gut irritation d) Nutrients are already accompanied by associated food factors that the body needs for their proper utilisation; i.e. there is no need for “Food State” supplements to be taken with food like other supplements.

7) Foodstate vitamin and mineral supplements are used and recommended by leading medical practitioners, as they believe the products outperform other products.

8) The on-going research programme is probably unrivalled for a Food Supplement supplier. A large number of independent studies into the “Food State” range, many peer-reviewed by renowned journals, cover the following topics: Bioavailability, Absorption, Retention, Utilisation, Toxicity, Comparative

9) FoodState products provide prolonged active presence in the body (better than delayed action products).

10) When their superior effectiveness is taken into consideration, Foodstate products are no more expensive per effective dose than other products. What about Yeast Allergies and “Food State”? Most allergens are complex protein-based molecules. Therefore for something to stimulate this allergy to yeast, it must contain complex long chain molecules, as true allergies are molecule specific. With “Food State” minerals, once the yeast has taken up the mineral, the outer cell wall is removed, the yeast cell is ruptured, and the long chain proteins are broken down to peptides by Proteolytic enzymes. Hence none of the potentially allergenic long chain molecules exist. These Food State nutrient products are safe to use even by yeast sensitive people; this has been proven by their use in allergy clinics where patients are whole yeast sensitive.

It must be said, however, that no product, is totally non-allergenic. In almost every biochemistry book, we find reference to “Carrier Proteins”. These carrier proteins are usually mentioned in relation to their role in transporting atoms of minerals, or molecules of naturally occurring coenzyme form vitamins, through blood plasma, cell membranes, cytoplasma, etc. The term “carrier protein” is used in connection with the metabolic system of animals, but we believe it could be applied to the vegetable kingdom as well. The working substances in an organism are the proteins which we call enzymes. In most cases, enzymes need minerals (called cofactors) and/or vitamins (called coenzymes). These nutrients must be attached to the enzymes or be a part of them. These substances are responsible for helping nutrient transportation, retention, storage and function, and have an influence on biological activity in general. They are present in all foods, and in all known living systems. In our opinion, they also help the absorption of nutrients from foods.

The protein-associated substances that are involved in the absorption of vitamins and minerals are called Carrier Food Factors (CFFs). Carrier Food Factor refers only to those constituents in food which help the absorption of vitamins and minerals while they are in the stomach, in the gut, and while passing through the intestinal wall into the blood stream. CFFs do not refer to the protein-associated substances which carry nutrients in the blood stream. The composition and structure of CFFs are unknown to us today. Very likely, there are numerous types present in our foods. The CFFs in foods of both animal and vegetable origin are in the cells of those foods, or in the interstitial fluid of those foods, and upon consumption they get into the GI system and begin to do whatever they have to do. To help understand why there must be numerous different CFFs and how each may determine the destination of a nutrient, a good mental picture is to imagine each one as an envelope with a different address, going to a different destination. The sender is the brain, the mail-order house is the liver, the postman is the plasma, the organ to be delivered to is the country, the area of the tissue is the county, the home address is the cell etc. Each destination in the living system must have its own address. The address, in our hypothesis, is somehow written in the amino acid / lipid / carbohydrate composition and in the three-dimensional folding of the CFF. The address the CFF is destined to reach is displayed on the surface of the cell in the form of the receptors, or in the cell membrane in the cytoplasma, in the nucleus, and also in the various organelles of the cell. It is doubtful whether the biological system reworks coenzyme form vitamin into USP (Unites States Phamacopeia) vitamins. If it did, then the individual USP vitamins and inorganic minerals would show the same absorption, retention, storage and biological activity as re-natured “Food State” vitamins and minerals. However, they do not. If the yeast mineral were released from the CFF, they would have the same toxicity, the same rate of absorption, and the same blood levels at any comparable time as the free-state minerals. They would appear at the same level in the organs at any given time. They would be excreted in the urine at the same concentration and in the same composition. However, they are not. Extensive testing of Food State nutrients has been carried out comparing them to standard “Free State” USP counterparts. The results, in our opinion, strongly suggest the presence of a CFF nutrient complex in the form that emulates food.

 

Can Food Be Modified

Despite the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods they are beneficial both to humans and the environment. Genetically modified plants can repel harmful insects while at the same time producing more fruit. They are better for the environment, are healthier, and are cheaper than organic foods. Nowadays, organic foods simply aren’t efficient enough so they cost more and are more difficult to produce than GM foods. While this creates a new market for people that are against genetically modified foods, for the average person it is impractical. GM foods are the foods of the future and they are here to stay.

GM foods are classified as any species of plant or animal that has had its DNA altered. The alteration usually produces desirable traits found either rarely or not at all in the original species. The DNA can either be modified by either allowing a dormant gene to be expressed or by “splicing” which is a process that allows a DNA segment with desirable traits to be cut from its strand and inserted into the DNA strand of the organism to be genetically modified. Through this process many benefits can be gained.

One benefit is that GM crops take far less time to grow and become fertile. Another is that they can also be adjusted to better withstand the never-ending onslaught of pests such as bugs, as well undesirable weather. This means an increase in production which means that people can get what they want when they want it, a very good thing in today’s fast paced world where many people are accustomed to instant gratification. Also, GM foods are arguably better tasting than some of their natural counterparts and also have a much higher chance of being an overall better product. Despite all these things there are still people with arguments against GM foods. However, it cannot be denied that genetically modified foods are a worldwide trend and carry with them many benefits.

Some arguments against GM foods are the potential for allergic reactions, the effect that GM foods can have on their environment, and lastly the ethics surrounding the science. Of these surely all the scientific arguments can surely be solved. One of the arguments in question is the fact that GM foods carry some risk of causing allergic reaction. The reason for this is that there is a very slim chance that the DNA segment that is cut during the splicing process contains code that produces proteins that people can be allergic to. So basically if someone who was allergic to peanuts ate a piece of bread that was made from GM wheat that that shared DNA with a peanut that person might have an allergic reaction (if he was extremely unlucky).

This problem can be solved by manufacturers listing possible allergens in their products on the can or box the product comes in. If the product in question happens to be some sort of produce or other product that does not come in a box, can, or other container that can be labeled other arrangements can surely be made. A second argument regarding GM foods is their impact on the environment. Genetically modified foods do have an impact on the environment but it is not decidedly negative. While genetically modified foods may negatively affect some parts of the ecosystem this is not known for sure. One thing that is for sure is that many forms of GM crops are poisonous to certain pests that would otherwise wreak their havoc not only in other crops but in nature too.

One of the last and most tricky arguments against GM foods is the question of morals. Is God really okay with us tampering with his creations? Well regardless of the answer to this question we have been doing exactly this for thousands of years. Originally corn when mature grew to be only about 3-4 inches in length. We have been using selective breeding to obtain desirable traits in both crops and livestock since ancient times by modifying DNA directly we are just speeding up this process. In the beginning, God said that all the plants and creatures of the earth were ours, and now we are just finally beginning to scratch the surface of what that truly means.

Though many people have expressed their dislike of GM foods it cannot be denied that all around the world these foods are making a difference. Farmers no longer need to use pesticides on their crops because they have been genetically altered to be resistant to a number of pests. Farmers also no longer need to worry about the effects of cold or freezing weather on some of their crops. Frost can destroy seedlings which can in turn ruin entire harvests. However, with the insertion of an antifreeze gene found in many species of cold water fish these plants are able to tolerate these harsh conditions.

Furthermore, since plants can also be modified to be both hardier and more fertile more crops can be produced using a significantly lower number of seeds. Another helpful modification found commonly in GM crops allows them to be resistant to Glyphosate more popularly known by its commercial name: Roundup. Glyphosate is an herbicide that kills all plant life with the exception of the GM foods that have been tailored to resist it. This resistance means that farmers only have to use one herbicide to wipe out any and all undesired plant life instead of using many that target only certain threats. But, genetically modified foods are not only helping farmers and the average person they are helping people out all around the world.

One of the most notable accomplishments of genetically modified foods has been the creation of “Golden Rice”. This rice is a variation of Oryza sativa rice and has helped to address the issue of malnutrition in third world countries by boosting levels of both Vitamin A and iron. In Oryza sativa rice the edible part of the rice contains no Vitamin A or iron. However, Golden Rice addresses this problem by biosynthesizing iron and beta-Carotene, a red-orange pigment commonly found in plants and fruit. It is a form of Vitamin A and is what gives carrots and sweet potatoes their orange hue. The impact of this rice on third world countries has been astounding and has prevented the deaths of thousands or possibly even millions of children who could have died from malnourishment. With genetically modified foods the possibilities are seemingly endless and the potential to do good is astounding as the dream of a world without hunger or disease suddenly becomes more and more a reality.

Modifying rice to produce Vitamin A and iron is just the beginning. In the near future it will be possible to administer vaccines and other medications through GM foods as well as essential nutrients. These edible vaccinations hold the potential to wipe out malaria and other deadly diseases so commonly found throughout our world. Future GM foods could also make possible the elimination of naturally occurring allergens and non-nutritional compounds. This would mean that all foods would be healthier and that none of them would cause allergic reactions. Some future applications of genetically modified crops go beyond the kitchen with

GM crops making the production of biodegradable plastics, diesel fuel, and more durable cotton and linen products a possibility. Also in the near future game fish may be genetically modified to grow faster thus helping repopulate the sea with different species of overfished fish. All these benefits and more are not so far out of our reach. GM foods have the potential to change the world for the better, to make it a healthier place to live. And once we reach this future who knows where we will be able to go from there.

Genetically modified foods are an asset to the people of the world. GM crops dramatically increase production. They also ensure that no blight, whether it be drought or frost, should be detrimental to a harvest. This technology has already begun to save lives by fighting malnutrition and has the great potential in the medical field. Soon we will be able to send vaccinations and other medicines via seeds that will grow to produce fruit with the medication in them. These foods have the potential to make us healthier and thus lengthen our lives. And while controversy will for a long time surround genetically modified foods, we have been using them since 1994. The precursor to genetic modification, selective breeding, began thousands of years before this date and is the reason for many of the common species of plants and animals today.

Genetic modification is merely another scientific advance such as many others that will, as they did, change the world. Genetically modified foods are just one aspect of this advance but they are a big part of it because of the huge impact that have on both everyday life and the lives of others. GM foods are the foods of both today and of the future. Despite some opposition to this fact it cannot be denied that these foods have benefits both in the long and short term. In short, GM foods are extremely beneficial and are here to stay.

Genetically modified foods are a good thing. They have many benefits and GM crops themselves can have other applications besides food. The potential of genetic modification is just barley being tapped. So many things are possible now that the building blocks of life are able to be shifted, changed, and replaced. What is being done now will be remembered as the start of a global phenomenon that will have forever changed the world for the better. Genetically modified foods will make a future without hunger, disease, and malnourishment a real possibility. The technology itself will go even further than this because genetically modifying plants and animals for food is only one small part of the overall picture.

The use and production of medicine, fuel, plastics, metals, and countless other things will be forever changed by this technology. The benefits of GM foods are seemingly endless. They will continue grow in popularity and in the near will be even more common than they are now. These foods will be continually improved so that from the time they are planted to the time they are eaten they are as wholesome as they can be. These are some of the reasons why genetically modified foods are so beneficial and they will go on to change the world for the better.

 

All About Food Addiction

Given the obesity rates in this country there are a lot of people who are addicted to food. Food addiction can be very similar to alcohol and drug addictions. The difference between an over eater and an addict is the over eater simply eats too much, but could stop if they wanted and tried to, yet the addict often can’t stop eating, or binging, despite the extra money it is costing, the effect its having on relationships, or what it is doing to the their health. Food addicts obsess about food. While a large portion of obese people may be food addicts, weight is not the only basis for identifying a them. People who are thin or average weight who are suffering from bulimia nervosa or similar disorders can also be food addicts.

Perhaps you are at a party or picnic and someone has brought out a tray of chocolate frosted cupcakes. It’s not on your new diet plan to eat cupcakes, but the host has made them thinking of you, remembering they are your favorite flavor. So you decide it would be okay to just have one. You enjoy one delectable cupcake, tasting how soft and moist the cake is and how creamy and chocolate-y the frosting is. But after that one cupcake you decide to have one other. At this point you realize that you can’t stop eating them. You might volunteer to take the rest home saying you will “bring them to your family”, even though you know you will eat the rest. Or so people don’t know you have a problem, perhaps you’ll leave a little early and stop by the bakery for cupcakes, and maybe somewhere else, because ice cream would sure taste good with them. Now you are thinking about cupcakes and food too much. It has probably gotten in the way of you having fun at the party.

Whether its cupcakes, ice cream, chips or pizza, if you are like this, not able to stop eating certain foods, you may be a food addict. Food addiction is real and serious. In the United States the obesity rate has been increasing for a number of years. Surprisingly, in the fight against obesity, food addiction is not mentioned. People are told to have self-control, use their willpower, and avoid overeating. They tell us to eat less sugar and fat, and to exercise. People talk to overweight people like they don’t know this. It is just difficult for people with a food addiction. Based on many separate research studies, scientists have found evidence of chemical dependency on food. Experiments have shown that the pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered when people use cocaine and heroin are also stimulated by food. People who are addicted to food overeat because some foods trigger good feeling brain chemicals such as dopamine that gives the person a sense of feeling high. While each food addict has their own particular food or foods they are addicted to, the foods that are most addictive in general tend to be foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt.

Every overweight person may not be addicted to food. Having three brownies once in a while, eating more than the recommended portion of fries, or eating large portions at dinner, do not make a person a food addict. There are many overweight people who are not food addicts. Food addicts think about food and diets a lot. They have often tried to not eat certain foods and have failed. They have nervousness and a sense of anxiety when it comes to food. They both love and hate food. They love food because it is not only delicious, but it has been there to comfort them and help them deal with, but mostly cover, negative emotions such as guilt, anger, or depression. They hate food because it makes them overweight and feel bad about themselves. Food makes them feel out of control because they can’t help eating more and more.

People who suffer from bulimia eat copious amounts food when they binge, just like many other food addicts who are overweight, but because they purge their food they tend to be thin or more often an average weight. But they are often addicted to food, not being able to handle just one portion. They eat large amounts of food, but try to control their weight by “getting rid of” the food.

There have been a lot of programs that are supposed to be helping to curb the obesity epidemic in this country. There needs to be more concentration on food addiction. Most of the obese people are not just overeating because they think it’s fun being fat. They, as well as others who not obese, are suffering from food addictions. Food addictions need to be treated as seriously as drug addiction because these addictions can lead to major illnesses and even death.