Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Food Safety: Cancer Causing Food Additives?


What were these additives doing in our food supply in the first place? According to the article, they have been approved and used since 1964.

Nutrition textbooks offer this information:

Delaney Clause: A clause added to the 1958 Food Additives Amendment of the Pure Food and Drug Act that prohibits the intentional addition to any food of any compound that has been shown to induce cancer in animals or humans, at any dose.

Guess they missed these seven. Now we know what “artificial flavor” means on an ingredient list?

Despite the criticism of the term “clean eating” by some,  perhaps our food has become a little less “dirty”.



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The Reality of “Detoxing”




Here is a case when consumers should follow the advice of a registered dietitian or someone with an advanced degree or legitimate credentials in human physiology and nutrition.  Most of them in the past have expressed their warnings about using faddish “detox” products or methods that can conceivably be harmful or dangerous.

The body is a marvelous machine that is capable of “detoxing” without need for the latest diet fad or gimmick for good health.


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Romaine Lettuce and a Feedlot: Not a Good Idea!

A recent E. coli outbreak had experts puzzled as to its origin after tracing the “bug” to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. Here are the theories on how it may have happened.  An educated guess is that it would be fairly safe to say – the cattle were the source.

Bottom Line: Based on this information, I would possibly avoid romaine lettuce in the fall and winter.  A better solution would be to close the feedlot – what in the world is it doing so close to the vegetable farms – not a good idea!!


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Will Monsanto Win (or Lose) Again?



“A California jury just held Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides responsible for a groundskeeper’s lymphoma. The jury slapped the agricultural giant  with a combined $289 million judgment — in compensatory and punitive damages —  in a landmark suit against Monsanto.”

It appears that the lawyers for the plaintiff finally exposed the secret tactics of Monsanto to suppress and manipulate scientific research in a number of ways using the companies own internal communications. Needless to say: Monsanto will appeal and this debate is far from over.

This is a statement from Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group:

“Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost.

This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company.”


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Lectins: The Latest Fad Diet?

There is a new book called The Plant Paradox by Steve Gundry that warns us of  the dangers of plants by way of compounds called lectins. Lectins serve as defensive mechanisms for plants against dangers against them (like being eaten). Will we soon be seeing “lectin free” on our food labels along with gluten free, non-GMO, lactose free, wheat free, etc, etc.?

We have been eating plants for many centuries and are claimed to be the healthiest way to  eat on the planet. How could they possibly be dangerous for us?  What are the facts?


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Fruits and Vegetables: Conventional or Organic?







Back in the day of my graduate years, the main topic for my dissertation research project was to investigate what if any differences occurred in breast cancer rates in female rats when given diets containing either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. Spoiler: we found no significant differences in breast tumor incidence between our four groups of rats. So we repeated the study and still found no difference. Needless to say, it was a disappointment since every graduate student is sure they will inadvertently discover the cure for some disease and of course cancer was the big prize. No Nobel Prize here in other words.

Since then, diet and cancer research has progressed from dietary fats to the idea that diet and cancer associations involved the newly discovered phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that have the potential for cancer prevention.  The study found HERE was  observational (no cause and effect). However the study was huge and lasted for 32 years.

Some fear has been generated that conventional produce is not safe to eat due to the presence of harmful pesticides. It is important to know that all produce  may have some pesticide residues and that organic crops may use less or less toxic pest control methods.  Bottom Line: Enjoy eating more of any kind of produce  – conventional or organic.  Both have very similar nutritive values and health benefits. It’s your personal choice but we need to know the facts and not avoid fruits and vegetables due to pesticide fears.