FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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Glyphosate: Benefits and Concerns?

Problem: Little data, lots of confusion as to its safety.

Maybe if Monsanto would share their research, it would help to clarify since according to the following article, the results have not been made public.

Is it carcinogenic or not???? Would be nice to know the unbiased facts due to its wide use in all types of agriculture, including food crops. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the best known herbicide, Roundup.

CLICK HERE.

 

CLICK HERE. for more information about safety

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GMO 2.0?

 

It doesn’t look like genetically modified foods will be leaving us soon – on the contrary, more of them are in our future. Labeling proposals abound and regulations are currently a hot topic in the many diet debates. To date, many consumers are beginning to want more information about the foods we eat and are expressing more concerns about our food choices in the supermarket. In my opinion, that choice should be up to the consumer and should include as much information about that particular food product as possible.

A lot of newly proposed changes in our food culture will ultimately determine the makekup of our future food supply. The article states that USDA consumer comments are open until October 23, but COMMENTS are closed since the article was published in Sept. 2016.

CLICK HERE.


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Organic Foods: A Continuing Debate

Conventional food producers often declare that organic farmers use more pesticides than most people think and that some are relatively toxic. Organic farmers deny this claim; as a result, there are obvious biases on both sides of the debate.

Organic foods do not appear to be healthier than their conventional counterparts; however they are gaining in popularity with consumers primarily due to food safety and environmental issues. In my opinion, choosing organic food is a personal choice.

Here is what we know. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, antibiotics, or growth hormones. The USDA’s National Organic Program has developed standards such as what or what not the food product contains. For  example, an organic food may not include ingredients that are treated with irradiation,  produced by genetic modification, or grown using sewage sludge. Certain natural pesticides and some manufactured agents are permitted. Farming and processing operations that produce and handle foods labeled as organic must be certified by the USDA.  Three definitions have been established:

  • 100 % organic = 100% organically produced  raw or processed ingredients
  • Organic = contains at least 95% organically produced raw or processed ingredients
  • Made with organic ingredients = contains at least 70% organically produced ingredients

The following article attempts to further clarify how pesticide use in the organic food industry is regulated.

CLICK HERE.


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Have a Food Allergy? Food for Thought?

Ever since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, have we had so much food adulteration occurring in our food supply.  Here is the current problem:

  • Food allergies are on the rise that began about 2007. Many allergic reactions can cause a serious health crisis (i.e. anaphylaxis) which can be fatal.
  • This anomaly occurs primarily in the U.S. and is less common in most other countries in the world.
  • Despite the widely known fact that correlation does not equal causation, research suggests a causative factor may be something in the U.S. environment (food supply).
  • The food supply currently has many new ingredients that did not exist in the past; some or one of these may be triggering subtle reactions of our immune system since its primary function is to recognize foreign proteins.
  • GMO ingredients are just one of these relatively recent additions and critics suggest a connection with allergic reactions.   Another possibility is that intentional food additives have been added without proper safety testing such as emulsifiers, artificial colors or flavors, for example. One unintentional additive includes the explosive use of glyphosate on food crops, and is a widely used herbicide. The World Health Organization suggests it may be carcinogenic although this has not yet been officially established.
  • Food allergies are contributing to burgeoning health care costs as well as affecting our health, especially our children.

What can we do?  Recent surveys indicate that consumers want GMO labeling and have expressed a growing interest in fewer ingredients and more organic choices. The problem is enhanced by the fact that some of these ingredients are controversial as to their toxicity potential. More clarification is certainly needed.

CLICK HERE

FYI: A proposal to label GMO foods was on the 2012 ballot in California and designated as Prop 37. By the way, the legislation did not pass.  For a previous post, CLICK HERE.


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Warning About Romaine Lettuce

Just as we have been told by the produce producers that food safety issues from the past have been controlled, another outbreak is occurring across the country.  This time the suspected culprit is romaine lettuce and E.coli 0157:H7 bacteria.  This strain of E. coli 0157:H7  is particularly dangerous due to its association in some cases to a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can be fatal or cause lifelong health problems. It is best to avoid romaine entirely at home and in restaurants  since it is difficult to identify the source of this lettuce (presently thought to have been grown in Arizona)

CLICK HERE.