» UNFOOD BY THE UNPEOPLE
- by suzar
» GRILLED VEGGIES AND CANCER
When grilled or broiled, red meat, poultry and fish produce cancer-causing compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines). When HCAs are metabolized in the body, they can attack the genetic material in cells. The damage can lead to cancer. Different people metabolize HCAs at different rates, which affects the amount of damage they do. For most people, though, consumption of HCAs seems to increase the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, prostate and stomach. Marinating meat, fish and poultry before grilling reduces but does not eliminate the creation of HCAs.
There's more to this story. When fat from meat, poultry or fish drips onto hot coals or stones, other cancer-causing substances are also formed, called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). These carcinogens find their way back into the cooking animal foods through smoke and flareups.
Grilling or broiling plant foods, on the other hand, is much safer. Cooking vegetables and fruits at high temperatures is probably not the best idea, but even toast that has been burned, and dishes that have been "blackened" (in which only the seasoning is charred) present a substantially lower risk than grilled or broiled meats..
I'm sure you've seen how bread browns while being baked. This is due to a process known as the Maillard reaction. Maillard molecules are precursors of the HCAs that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures. Maillard molecules also form when vegetables or fruits are grilled or broiled, but they don't represent nearly the danger posed by full blown HCAs, which are formed by the grilling or broiling of animal products.
Please enjoy your broiled veggies. Of course, it's never a good idea to overcook food, or to eat food that has been significantly burnt or charred. But the real danger here clearly lies with animal products.
- a reply from John Robbins of www.foodrevolution.com
» THE NEW SCIENCE OF FOOD
With the second Green Revolution well under way, the world’s food supply is slowly being transformed by a radically improvised agricultural paradigm. Genetically engineered crops have been introduced into the market without the rigorous testing that many scientists feel is required. The history is instructive:
In 1986, US biotech companies began testing the first genetically engineered food products. In 1993, the FDA declared that GM food was “not inherently dangerous”, which gave a green light to biotech corporations who had been developing GM seeds. One year later, the first GM food product, Flavr Savr tomato , was released to enthusiastic US consumers.
But, in Europe, GM food did not win such easy converts. Groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth protested the new “Frankenfoods,” galvanizing a broad level of public outrage and the eventual policy mandate requiring all modified produce to be clearly labelled .
Despite the highly publicized battle over genetically engineered food, many people are still unaware that many of the products they consume on a daily basis are GM. In Contaminated, Fritjof Capra, Paul Hawken and Vandana Shiva explain the evolution of the new biotech agribusiness and its potential dangers to the sustainability of the global food supply.
- by m'bwebe aja ishangi fka jehvon buckner
» BUSH BLOCKS BAN ON SUGAR
Professor Kaare Norum, leader of the World Health Organization's fight to prevent millions developing diet-related diseases, has sparked an international war of words with a highly critical letter to US Health Secretary Tommy Thompson. In it he tells of his grave concern over American opposition to the WHO's blueprint to combat obesity. He accuses the US of making the health of millions of young Americans 'a hostage to fortune' because it has failed to take action over the fat epidemic as a result of its business interests, particularly the sugar lobby.
Since 1990, successive US governments have blocked WHO calls for action, claims Norum, professor of medicine at Oslo University.
'Obesity rates have risen so that now one in three Americans bears the burden of the very high health risks associated with this condition, with the poorest and most vulnerable worst affected,' he says. 'Obesity rates among American children have risen by 50%
Norum is the most senior scientist involved in an attempt to formulate a worldwide policy to fight heart disease and diabetes resulting from a junk food diet. An estimated 60% of disease worldwide is now due to cardiovascular illness, which causes 47% of deaths.
The letter from Norum will put Bush under intense pressure at home to show that he is serious about tackling the epidemic. More than half of all Americans are overweight, and in some states, including Bush's Texas, nearly one-third of the population is classified obese.
The President insists fighting fat is a matter for the individual, not the state. But today The Observer reveals how he and fellow senators have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from 'Big Sugar'. One of his main fundraisers is sugar baron Jose 'Pepe' Fanjul, head of Florida Crystals, who has raised at least $100,000 for Bush's presidential re-election campaign.
The Bush administration, which receives millions in funding from the sugar industry, argues there is little robust evidence to show that drinking sugary drinks or eating too much sugar is a direct cause of obesity. It particularly opposes a recommendation that just 10% of people's energy intake should come from added sugar. The US has a 25% guideline.
Another leading obesity expert supported Norum, describing America's position as a scandal. Professor Philip James, head of the International Obesity Task Force, a thinktank for experts worldwide said: 'People are far more tuned into what is now a much bigger obesity crisis and are more aware of some of the dangers such as diabetes. When they begin to see children developing these severe health problems, it brings home to people that this is not some vague risk in the future - it is happening here and now.'
Britain's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell recently urged people who take little or no exercise to start hobbies like DIY and gardening to get active, saying that she wants people to take responsibility for their fitness.
In the UK, nearly 16% of teenagers were found to be obese in 2000 - three times the number reported in 1990.
- To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go to http://www.observer.co.uk
» DIET AND PREMATURE SEXUAL MATURITY
Most evidence indicates that boys should begin genital maturation by age 14. But according to Herman-Giddens' study, one-third of U.S. boys now reach this milestone by age 8.
Herman-Giddens believes that U.S. kids' high-fat, low-fiber diets and lack of exercise are leading to body-fat changes that affect puberty onset. Another factor that is likely involved, she says, is exposure to environmental chemicals that affect hormonal function.
Meanwhile, 98% of U.S. beef cattle are injected with growth hormones, and one-third of our dairy herd are injected with genetically engineered bovine growth hormones. No other industrialized nation on Earth has allows this, but in the United States it is standard operating procedure.
I discuss these developments at some length in Diet For A New America, on pages 309-313. For further information on this topic, you might want to look at what I've written there. The book is available through this website.
These developments are not only unnatural, they are markedly unhealthy. Studies show that the earlier children reach puberty, the more likely they are to later develop cancer. But I don't think we need studies to tell us that eight-year-olds are too young to handle the powerful physical and emotional changes that come with sexual maturity. I wonder how many young girls are becoming pregnant because they reached reproductive potential before they were old enough to fully understand the changes that were happening to them.
Thanks for caring. Our kids deserve better than we are creating for them, don't they?
- a reply from John Robbins of www.foodrevolution.com
» CONDOMZ CAUSE CANCER
The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart studied 32 types of condoms and found 29 of them contained the carcinogen N-Nitrosamine, Reuters reported.
"N-Nitrosamine is one of the most carcinogenic substances," the study's authors said. "There is a pressing need for manufacturers to tackle this problem."
While some government officials said the report shouldn't be cause for alarm, Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment said daily condom users were exposed to three times the level of N-Nitrosamine than is naturally present in food.
- found on the web
» BALLINA COUNCIL REJECTS FLUORIDE
But new legislation now classifies fluoride as a poison. Ballina's manager of water and sewerage, Phil Warner, says it is time stop the practice because the council is no longer authorized to hand out fluoride.
"The council has been providing fluoride to the community over the counter for many years now, but in tablet form and also in drop form," Mr Warner said. "Basically fluoride is now considered a poisonous substance."
So haven't there been a ban in the United States??
- from Australian Broadcasting Corporation: www.abc.net.au
» SOFT DRINKS ARE HARD ON TEETH
Although mineral-rich enamel is the hardest surface in the human body, it's not a match for the old-fashioned American soft drink - including the sugar-free kind.
In a recent study, researchers found that the regular and diet versions of popular drinks such as Pepsi and Coke caused the same amount of dental erosion.
"I was always convinced that there was going to be a difference in the way diet drinks and regular drinks affect teeth," said J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, professor of biomaterials science at the University of Maryland Dental School and lead author of the study. "I was wrong."
Dental erosion isn't the same as tooth decay, but the result is: Teeth that aren't sufficiently protected from cavity-causing invaders can wind up needing the dreaded root canal - or worse.
Decay is usually caused by plaque, the sticky, whitish film composed of saliva, food particles and bacteria. As the bacteria feed on the sugars and starches found in food, they create an acid that first destroys the tooth's hard outer surface (the enamel), then digs deeper into the soft inner layer (the dentin), or further still into the nerve.
Erosion, by contrast, is a direct chemical attack on the enamel.
"Bacteria aren't involved," said von Fraunhofer, who, thankfully for his pearly whites, doesn't have much of a taste for either diet or regular colas. "The acid in the drink itself dissolves the tooth directly. You literally dissolve the enamel and then the dentin away."
Dr. Joel Goodman, a dentist in private practice in Glenelg, recalls an experiment in which an extracted tooth placed in a can of Coke would disappear in a matter of days. He suspects the same would be true of a tooth in Diet Coke - which is what he drinks.
"The key is that you're creating an acid environment," he said.
Soft drink consumption has increased sharply in the United States. In 1947 the average person consumed the equivalent of a hundred 12-ounce soft drinks in a year, which meant about two a week. Fifty years later, that number has climbed to nearly 600 annually, or just under two a day.
Diet beverages have also become more popular. By 1997, the artificially sweetened versions of soda standards accounted for nearly a quarter of all soft-drink sales, up from 16 percent in 1970.
To conduct his experiment, von Fraunhofer carved out 40 chunks of enamel from 20 cavity-free teeth extracted during oral surgery. He and his colleague, dentist Matthew Rogers, soaked the specimens in a variety of beverages poured into small plastic jars. They weighed them at the start and again at 24- to 48-hour intervals.
After 14 days, they found virtually no difference in the amount of tooth enamel lost from the regular and diet versions of Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew.
The researchers went a step further, examining how aggressive non-colas were on tooth enamel compared with their cola counterparts. The answer, in short: much more so.
Overall, enamel loss was two to five times greater with non-cola beverages. The worst offender, the researchers found, was Mountain Dew (diet or regular), followed by Arizona iced tea, Sprite, Diet Sprite and Canada Dry ginger ale.
When it comes to enamel attack, what seems to matter more than sugar content is a beverage's overall ingredient list. Many soft drinks contain a range of acids, including phosphoric, citric and tartaric acid as well as carbonic acid, which gives drinks their fizz.
In anticipation of the study's publication in General Dentistry, the National Soft Drink Association issued a news release last month calling the study's design "elementary" and "archaic."
One of the group's main sticking points (no pun intended): No one keeps a liquid in his or her mouth 24 hours a day for two weeks straight.
"You couldn't extrapolate this to real-life situations," said Richard H. Adamson, a pharmacologist and toxicologist who is vice president for science at the soft drink association. "If they would have taken other beverages - for example, wine, grapefruit juice, the juice from pickles - they undoubtedly would have found the same effects."
The study, he said, also fails to take into account the protective effects of saliva and good oral hygiene, including regular brushing.
What's more, the association pointed out, numerous factors can contribute to dental erosion, including some chewable medicines, oral hygiene products or even chlorine in a swimming pool.
If you're still leery, though, the researchers did find a few beverages that were relatively enamel-friendly, including root beer, brewed tea and coffee.
If only coffee didn't stain the teeth.
- by Erika Niedowski of the Baltimore Sun Staff
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