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Old McDonald’s August 18, 2009

Filed under: Health Facts and Concerns,MUST READS — Yvette @ 1:41 pm

Honestly, it is debatable whether McDonalds is actually food.  How can you consider something food if it doesn’t decompose?  After watching the video below, I wonder, how long that burger or fries will actually sit in your body, unable to be digested.

Bread should be moldy after a month, the meat should be rotting and breaking down within DAYS, the cheese should be sour and foul.  The reason why I say this is, most people don’t know when the animal was killed when eating a burger at McDonalds or any fast food joint.  There are so many artificial flavorings to cover up any fecal matter or rotting, you would never know.

Below is a clip, after the first minute it shows an actor smelling a couple of chemicals.  These chemicals are put into the food at McDonalds.  This is not fiction, this is based off of Eric Schossler’s book Fast Food Nation.  There are tons of labs where Food Scientists manufacture smells.  So you’re not tasted a grilled hamburger, you are tasting a chemical that was formulated to think you are.  In reality what you are eating is much scarier.

Here is another video that you must watch.   I ask the same question as the woman in the video below, what are they putting into these burgers?  AND what are Americans, and people across the world putting into their bodies as they chomp down on their Big Macs?


Hydrogenated oils & Trans fats February 23, 2009

At some point in time we developed a hierarchy of fats, saturated fats being the worst, then unsaturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.  Research showed that high consumption of saturated fats can lead to heart disease and cancer.  Instead of getting people to eat healthier and move away from a high fat diet, the food industry developed ways to mimic saturated fats using unsaturated fats.  This is when hydrogenated oils were introduced, not to just mimic foods like butter, but to extend shelf life.  I’ll remind you here that anything that extends shelf life is nutritionally deficient.  Vegetables and fruits rot because they are living and full of vital nutrients.  Where products with HFCS, hydrogenated oils and other preservatives can lay on shelves for years because there is little food in the actual product.

Hydrogenated oils are obtained by adding a hydrogen molecules to unsaturated fats.  These fats become hardened promoting longer shelf life and extended use in frying foods.  Hydrogenation does not completely transform the unsaturated fat into a saturated one, but it does produce trans fatty acids.  These fats behave like saturated fats and are linked to heart disease and cancers.

Partially hydrogenated oils are just as bad as hydrogenated oils.  The reason for the use of partially hydrogenated oils is because the trans fat content can be less than 1 gram per serving.  By USDA standards this is not a sufficient amount of trans fat to be reported on a label.

Please be aware that these man-made fats are extremely harmful to your health.  These ingredients can be found in candy bars, margarine, tub butters, baked goods and much more.  Be conscious consumers and read your ingredient labels.


Sugars That Aren’t So Sweet Part III High Fructose Corn Syrup and White Sugar December 21, 2008

Filed under: Food Additives,MUST READS,Sugar — Yvette @ 8:13 pm

I was pretty distraught when I watched this commercial for several reasons.

In this commercial they compare high fructose corn syrup to sugar, the reason why they can do this is because both are lacking in nutritional value.  These substances are refined sugars, that have been stripped of their nutrients.  High fructose corn syrup is made by extracting the natural sugars in corn and adding chemicals to it.  Table sugar starts off as a sugarcane plant, the juice is extracted, boiled, then the sugar is removed.   Companies use over 60 chemicals to transform the sugarcane plant into sugar.  So, neither of these are natural or healthful substances.

Wait don’t you need sugar to survive?  This is true, you need natural sugars like glucose found in vegetables and fructose found in fruit for energy.  These sugars are accompanied by fiber which helps the slow absorption of energy.  It is the fiber in foods that give us a full feeling, this wonderful nutrient says “hey stop eating we’re done!”  But when companies modify foods they strip the sugar from it’s natural context, and there is no fiber accompanying HFCS or sugar to let us know that we are full.  When people eat foods that contain these sugars it is very easy to overeat.

This isn’t the only problem caused by these sugars.  Another problem is that both these sugars release energy rapidly into the body.  The energy is used up quickly and the body is left feeling hungry.  A vicious cycle occurs and we need to eat more.  When you intake simple carbohydrates and don’t exercise regularly these carbs are stored as fat. 

When this commercial states, “fine in moderation,” my head wants to explode.  This is because it is very hard to get high fructose corn syrup or sugar in moderation in this country.  The average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year. 

You may think, I don’t eat sweets very often, I’m below that norm.  But both these sugars can be found in bread, ketchup, pasta sauce, soups, orange juice, soy sauce, yogurt, etc.   So, even if you don’t consume candy or soda your intake of sugar can be very high, I didn’t notice this until I checked all my food labels.  Check your food labels, you’ll see!

The increase is sugar consumption is related to the recent epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity.  We are all aware that America as a nation is pretty fat, 2/3 of the adult population is overweight and 1/3 is obese.   Not only are we fat, but we are unhealthy too.  The average american spends more on medical care than on food.  I believe this is because we are an overfed undernourished nation.

Why do people let this happen?  Well because sugar is cheap.  Corn is one of the most subsidized foods in the country, making HFCS is cheap.  If that’s not enough to make you be weary of sugar, listen to this.

The USDA passed a guideline stating that daily calorie intake of sugar “should be limited and below 10%.”  The sugar industries threatened to sue, so now the statement has been changed to “use in moderation and about 25% of your daily calorie intake.”  One statement treats sugar as something to be used sparingly and the other has a very liberal approach.  I would expect that if someones income is depending on you buying sugar they’d want you to be liberal with your sugar intake.  They didn’t change the statement because they believe in the quality of their product, they changed the statement because their jobs depend on you eating massive quantities of sugar. 

Check your food labels.  Every time you buy something at the grocery store you are casting a vote, make it count.


It’s Not Just Peanuts October 31, 2008

Filed under: Carcinogens,MUST READS — Yvette @ 4:29 pm

When I’m home I often grocery shop for my mother.  One day, when I grabbed the grocery list I noticed an interesting comment written by my sister, “buy organic peanut butter, my yoga teacher said that if you were going to buy anything organic, it should be peanut butter, I don’t remember why, but it was a good reason.”  O Michelle, we love you.  But, she is right.

Non-organic peanuts are the most pesticide ridden food on the market.  A particular mold called aflatoxin grows on these peanuts, and this toxin is a known carcinogen.  I’ll be using the word carcinogen a lot, so I’ll take a moment to explain why they are dangerous to the human body.

Carcinogens do not directly cause cancer, but they wear down the cell by mutating the DNA.  Usually your body has time to repair the damage done to the DNA, but if not then you are left with mutated DNA.  When this mutated cell begins to multiply, then you have cancer.

Aflatoxin is highly carcinogenic and is threatening to liver cells.  This isn’t speculation!  I have read studies that observe this carcinogen’s effect on liver cells and the cancer it causes.  Despite this information, the USDA states that even though almost ALL commercial peanut butters have some amount of aflatoxin, it is a small enough amount that won’t harm consumers.  Really?  A little bit of exposure to toxic substances never hurt anyone right?  I’m not too inclined to trust them.  Be aware that pesticides and food additives are relatively new to the food market and our bodies.  Researches have only tested the effects of one to three pesticides or food additives at a time.  The average American is exposed to over 3,000 different food additives and hundreds of different pesticides every year.  I don’t feel the USDA has enough evidence to support their statement.  Somebody show me the proof!

We should be allowed to choose the amount of a “safe level of toxins” for our bodies.  Now that you know, you can decide.  So, I’m not telling you guys to give up the PB&J sandwiches, that would just be wrong.  But, I still agree with Michelle on this one, organic peanut butter might be a better choice than the convential.  Buying organic can be expensive, but knowing which foods are most important to buy organic can really save you money in the long run.