Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

why you should never eat packaged or prepared “food”

Posted by jeanne on February 23, 2015

reblogged in its entirety because it’s so important

Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat

Think you eat only healthy, unprocessed foods? Think again. Joanna Blythman went undercover and discovered that even your fruit salad is not what it seems

While exhibitors at most food exhibitions are often keen for you to taste their products, few standholders here had anything instantly edible to offer. Those that did weren’t all that they seemed. Canapé-style cubes of white cheese dusted with herbs and spices sat under a bistro-style blackboard that nonchalantly read “Feta, with Glucono-Delta-Lactone” (a “cyclic ester of gluconic acid” that prolongs shelf life).

A pastry chef in gleaming whites rounded off his live demonstration by offering sample petits fours to the buyers who had gathered. His dainty heart- and diamond-shaped cakes were dead ringers for those neat layers of sponge, glossy fruit jelly, cream and chocolate you see in the windows of upmarket patisseries, but were made entirely without eggs, butter or cream, thanks to the substitution of potato protein isolate. This revolutionary ingredient provides the “volume, texture, stability and mouthfeel” we look for in cakes baked with traditional ingredients – and it just happens to be cheaper.

This is the goal of the wares on show, something the marketing messages make clear. The strapline for a product called Butter Buds®, described by its makers as “an enzyme-modified encapsulated butter flavour that has as much as 400 times the flavour intensity of butter”, sums it up in six words: “When technology meets nature, you save.”

Exhibitors’ stands were arranged like art installations. Gleaming glass shelves were back-lit to show off a rainbow of super-sized phials of liquids so bright with colouring, they might be neon. Plates of various powders, shaped into pyramids, were stacked on elegant Perspex stands bearing enigmatic labels – “texturised soy protein: minced ham colour,” read one.

Manufacturers who need their tomato sauce to be thick enough not to leak out of its plastic carton – and just a little bit glossy, so that it doesn’t look matt and old after several days in the fridge – were sold the advantages of Microlys®, a “cost-effective” speciality starch that gives “shiny, smooth surface and high viscosity”, or Pulpiz™, Tate & Lyle’s tomato “pulp extender”. Based on modified starch, it gives the same pulpy visual appeal as an all-tomato sauce, while using 25% less tomato paste.

The broad business portfolio of the companies exhibiting at Food Ingredients was disconcerting. Omya, based in Hamburg, described itself as “a leading global chemical distributor and producer of industrial minerals”, supplying markets in food, pet food, oleochemicals, cosmetics, detergents, cleaners, papers, adhesives, construction, plastics and industrial chemicals. At Frankfurt, Omya was selling granular onion powder, monosodium glutamate and phosphoric acid. For big companies such as this, food processing is just another revenue stream. They experience no cognitive dissonance in providing components not only for your meal, but also for your fly spray, scratch-resistant car coating, paint or glue. The conference was the domain of people whose natural environment is the laboratory and the factory, not the kitchen, the farm or the field; people who share the assumption that everything nature can do, man can do so much better, and more profitably.

Tired after hours of walking round the fair, and, uncharacteristically, not feeling hungry, I sought refuge at a stand displaying cut-up fruits and vegetables; it felt good to see something natural, something instantly recognisable as food. But why did the fruit have dates, several weeks past, beside them? A salesman for Agricoat told me that they had been dipped in one of its solutions, NatureSeal, which, because it contains citric acid along with other unnamed ingredients, adds 21 days to their shelf life. Treated in this way, carrots don’t develop that telltale white that makes them look old, cut apples don’t turn brown, pears don’t become translucent, melons don’t ooze and kiwis don’t collapse into a jellied mush; a dip in NatureSeal leaves salads “appearing fresh and natural”.

For the salesman, this preparation was a technical triumph, a boon to caterers who would otherwise waste unsold food. There was a further benefit: NatureSeal is classed as a processing aid, not an ingredient, so there’s no need to declare it on the label, no obligation to tell consumers that their “fresh” fruit salad is weeks old.

Somehow, I couldn’t share the salesman’s enthusiasm. Had I eaten “fresh” fruit salads treated in this way? Maybe I had bought a tub on a station platform or at a hotel buffet breakfast? It dawned on me that, while I never knowingly eat food with ingredients I don’t recognise, I had probably consumed many of the “wonder products” on show here. Over recent years, they have been introduced slowly and artfully into foods that many of us eat every day – in canteens, cafeterias, pubs, hotels, restaurants and takeaways.

You might find it all too easy to resist the lure of a turkey drummer, a ready meal, a “fruit” drink or a pappy loaf of standard white bread. You might check labels for E numbers and strange-sounding ingredients, boycotting the most obvious forms of processed food. And yet you will still find it hard to avoid the 6,000 food additives – flavourings, glazing agents, improvers, bleaching agents and more – that are routinely employed behind the scenes of contemporary food manufacture. That upmarket cured ham and salami, that “artisan” sourdough loaf, that “traditional” extra-mature cheddar, those luxurious Belgian chocolates, those speciality coffees and miraculous probiotic drinks, those apparently inoffensive bottles of cooking oil: many have had a more intimate relationship with food manufacturing than we appreciate.

When you try to dig deeper, you hit a wall of secrecy. For at least the past decade, the big manufacturing companies have kept a low profile, hiding behind the creed of commercial confidentiality, claiming they can’t reveal their recipes because of competition. Instead, they leave it to retailers to field any searching questions from journalists or consumers. In turn, retailers drown you in superfluous, mainly irrelevant material. The most persistent inquirers may be treated to an off-the-peg customer reply from corporate HQ, a bland, non-specific reassurance such as, “Every ingredient in this product conforms to quality assurance standards, EU regulations, additional protocols based on the tightest international requirements, and our own demanding specification standards.”

I spent years knocking on closed doors, and became frustrated by how little I knew about contemporary food production. What happens on the farm and out in the fields is passably well-policed and transparent. Abattoirs undergo regular inspections, including from the occasional undercover reporter from a vigilante animal welfare group, armed with a video camera. My growing preoccupation was instead just how little we really know about the food that sits on our supermarket shelves, in boxes, cartons and bottles – food that has had something done to it to make it more convenient and ready to eat.

Eventually, contacts within the industry provided me with a cover that allowed me to gain unprecedented access to manufacturing facilities, as well as to subscriber-only areas of company sites, private spaces where the chemical industry tells manufacturers how our food can be engineered. Even with 25 years of food chain investigations under my belt, it was an eye-opener.

Anything that comes in a box, tin, bag, carton or bottle has to bear a label listing its contents, and many of us have become experts at reading these labels. But many of the additives and ingredients that once jumped out as fake and unfathomable have quietly disappeared. Does this mean that their contents have improved? In some cases, yes, but there is an alternative explanation. Over the past few years, the food industry has embarked on an operation it dubs “clean label”, with the goal of removing the most glaring industrial ingredients and additives, replacing them with substitutes that sound altogether more benign. Some companies have reformulated their products in a genuine, wholehearted way, replacing ingredients with substitutes that are less problematic. Others, unconvinced that they can pass the cost on to retailers and consumers, have turned to a novel range of cheaper substances that allow them to present a scrubbed and rosy face to the public.

Imagine you are standing in the supermarket. Maybe you usually buy some cured meat for an antipasti. Picking up a salami, even the most guarded shopper might relax when they see rosemary extract on the ingredients list – but rosemary extracts are actually “clean-label” substitutes for the old guard of techie-sounding antioxidants (E300-21), such as butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT). Food manufacturers use them to slow down the rate at which foods go rancid, so extending their shelf life.

Rosemary extracts don’t always have to carry an E number (E392), but the more poetic addition of “extract of rosemary” makes it sound like a lovingly made ingredient – especially if that salami is also labelled as natural or organic. And the extract does have something to do with the herb, usually in its dried form. The herb’s antioxidant chemicals are isolated in an extraction procedure that “deodorises” them, removing any rosemary taste and smell. Extraction is done by using either carbon dioxide or chemical solvents – hexane (derived from the fractional distillation of petroleum), ethanol and acetone. Neutral-tasting rosemary extract is then sold to manufacturers, usually in the form of a brownish powder. Its connection with the freshly cut, green and pungent herb we know and love is fairly remote.

Not sure what to have for dinner? How about a chicken noodle dish? If you noticed that it contained an amino acid such as L-cysteine E910, your enthusiasm might wane, especially if you happen to know that this additive can be derived from animal and human hair. But a range of new-wave yeast extracts is increasingly replacing E910. One supplier markets its wares as “a variety of pre-composed, ready-to-use products that provide the same intensity as our classical process flavours but are labelled as all-natural. Ingredients are available in chicken and beef flavour, with roasted or boiled varieties, as well as white meat and dark roast.” All can be labelled as “yeast extract” – a boon for manufacturers, because yeast extracts have a healthy image as a rich source of B vitamins. Less well known is the fact that yeast extract has a high concentration of the amino acid glutamate, from which monosodium glutamate – better known as MSG, one of the most shunned additives – is derived.

What else is in your basket? Suppose you are eyeing up a pot of something temptingly called a “chocolate cream dessert”. You read the ingredients: whole milk, sugar (well, there had to be some), cream, cocoa powder and dark chocolate. It all sounds quite upmarket, but then your urge to buy falters as you notice three feel-bad ingredients.

The first is carrageenan (E407), a setting agent derived from seaweed that has been linked with ulcers and gastrointestinal cancer. It is now regarded in food industry circles as an “ideally not” (to be included) additive. The second of these worrying ingredients is a modified starch (E1422), or to give it its full chemical name, acetylated distarch adipate. It started off as a simple starch, but has been chemically altered to increase its water-holding capacity and tolerance for the extreme temperatures and physical pressures of industrial-scale processing. The third problematic ingredient is gelatine. This is anathema to observant Muslims, Jews and vegetarians, and even secular omnivores may be wondering what this by-product of pig skin is doing in their pudding.

Fortunately for the manufacturers of your chocolate cream dessert, there is a Plan B. They can remove all three offending items, and replace them with a more sophisticated type of “functional flour”, hydrothermally extracted from cereals, that will do the same job, but without the need for E numbers.

Another possibility for cleaning up this dessert would be to use a “co-texturiser”, something that would cost-effectively deliver the necessary thick and creamy indulgence factor. Texturisers, just like modified starches, are based on highly processed, altered starch designed to withstand high-pressure manufacturing – but because they are obligingly classified by food regulators as a “functional native starch”, they can be labelled simply as “starch”. Again, no E numbers. So, out come two additives and one ingredient that many people avoid, to be replaced by a single new-generation ingredient, one that is opaque in its formulation (proprietary secrets and all that) but which won’t trigger consumer alarm.

The history of food processing is littered with ingredients that were initially presented as safer and more desirable, yet subsequently outed as the opposite. Hydrogenated vegetable oils, or margarine, were actively promoted as healthier than the natural saturated fats in butter. High fructose corn syrup, once marketed as preferable to sugar, has now been identified as a key driver of the obesity epidemic in the US.

Is the clean-label campaign a heart-and-soul effort by manufacturers to respond to our desire for more wholesome food? Or just a self-interested substitution exercise? The lines are deliberately blurred: as one executive in a leading supply company put it, “Ingredients that give the impression that they originated in a grandmother’s kitchen and have not been processed too harshly are of great appeal to consumers.” Meanwhile, there is no evidence that manufacturers are using greater quantities of the real, natural ingredients consumers want. Clean labelling looks less like a thorough spring clean of factory food than a superficial tidy-up, with the most embarrassing mess stuffed in the cupboard behind a firmly shut door – where, hopefully, no one will notice.

From water-injected poultry and powdered coagulated egg, to ultra-adhesive batters and pre-mixed marinades, the raw materials in industrial food manufacturing are rarely straightforward. In fact, they commonly share quite complicated back stories of processing and intervention that their labels don’t reveal.

In the same way that you will never see a stray onion skin lying around a ready-meals factory, you’re extremely unlikely to see an eggshell, either. Eggs are supplied to food manufacturers in powders, with added sugar, for instance, or as albumen-only special “high gel” products for whipping. Liquid eggs will be pasteurised, yolk only, whites only, frozen or chilled, or with “extended shelf life” (one month) – whichever is easiest. They may be liquid, concentrated, dried, crystallised, frozen, quick frozen or coagulated. Manufacturers can also buy in handy pre-cooked, ready-shelled eggs for manufacturing products such as Scotch eggs and egg mayonnaise, or eggs pre-formed into 300g cylinders or tubes, so that each egg slice is identical and there are no rounded ends.

These hard-boiled, tubular eggs are snapped up by sandwich-making companies. Manufacturers can also take their pick from bespoke egg mixes, which are ready to use in everything from quiches and croissants to glossy golden pastry glazes and voluminous meringues. And there is always the cheaper option of using “egg replacers” made from fractionated whey proteins (from milk). No hurry to use them up: they have a shelf life of 18 months.

Food engineers can now create a “natural” mature cheese flavouring by blending young, immature cheese with enzymes (lipases or proteases) that intensify the cheese flavour until it reaches “maturity” – within 24 to 72 hours. This mature cheese flavouring is then heat-treated to halt enzymatic activity. Hey, presto: mature-tasting cheese in days rather than months. (Traditional cheddar is not considered truly mature until it has spent between nine and 24 months in the maturing room.)

A factory pantry looks nothing like yours. When the home cook decides to make a Bakewell tart, she or he puts together a lineup of familiar ingredients: raspberry jam, flour, butter, whole eggs, almonds, butter and sugar. The factory food technologist, on the other hand, approaches the tart from a totally different angle: what alternative ingredients can we use to create a Bakewell tart-style product, while replacing or reducing expensive ingredients – those costly nuts, butter and berries? How can we cut the amount of butter, yet boost that buttery flavour, while disguising the addition of cheaper fats? What sweeteners can we add to lower the tart’s blatant sugar content and justify a “reduced calorie” label? How many times can we reuse the pastry left over from each production run in subsequent ones? What antioxidants could we throw into the mix to prolong the tart’s shelf life? Which enzyme would keep the almond sponge layer moist for longer? Might we use a long-life raspberry purée and gel mixture instead of conventional jam? What about coating the almond sponge layer with an invisible edible film that would keep the almonds crunchy for weeks? Could we substitute some starch for a proportion of the flour to give a more voluminously risen result? And so on.

We all eat prepared foods made using state-of-the-art technology, mostly unwittingly, either because the ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label, or because weasel words such as “flour” and “protein”, peppered with liberal use of the adjective “natural”, disguise their production method. And we don’t know what this novel diet might be doing to us.

A disturbing 60% of the UK population is overweight; a quarter of us are obese. Are we leaping to an unjustified conclusion when we lay a significant part of the blame for obesity, chronic disease and the dramatic rise in reported food allergies at the door of processed food? There are several grounds for examining this connection.

Food manufacturers combine ingredients that do not occur in natural food, notably the trilogy of sugar, processed fat and salt, in their most quickly digested, highly refined, nutrient-depleted forms. The official line – that the chemicals involved pose no risk to human health when ingested in small quantities – is scarcely reassuring. Safe limits for consumption of these agents are based on statistical assumptions, often provided by companies who make the additives.

Manufactured foods often contain chemicals with known toxic properties – although, again, we are reassured that, at low levels, this is not a cause for concern. This comforting conclusion is the foundation of modern toxicology, and is drawn from the 16th-century Swiss physician, Paracelsus, whose theory “the dose makes the poison” (ie, a small amount of a poison does you no harm) is still the dogma of contemporary chemical testing. But when Paracelsus sat down to eat, his diet wasn’t composed of takeaways and supermarket reheats; he didn’t quench his thirst with canned soft drinks. Nor was he exposed to synthetic chemicals as we are now, in traffic fumes, in pesticides, in furnishings and much more. Real world levels of exposure to toxic chemicals are not what they were during the Renaissance. The processed food industry has an ignoble history of actively defending its use of controversial ingredients long after well-documented, subsequently validated, suspicions have been aired.

The precautionary principle doesn’t seem to figure prominently in the industry’s calculations, nor – such is their lobbying power – does it loom large in the deliberations of food regulators. If it did, then steering clear of manufactured products would be a lot easier.

The pace of food engineering innovation means that more complex creations with ever more opaque modes of production are streaming on to the market every day. Just last month, a dossier for a new line of dairy proteins dropped into my mailbox. Alongside a photo of a rustic-looking, golden pan loaf, the explanation read: “Many bakers are now turning to permeates, a rather new ingredient in the food ingredients market. Permeate is a co-product of the production of whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), ultrafiltered milk, milk protein concentrate (MPC), or milk protein isolate (MPI).”

Permeate, apparently, “contributes to the browning of baked goods” and produces bread that “retains its softness for a longer period of time and extends shelf life”. How clever. But I would prefer that my bread was browned solely from the application of heat. I’m prepared to accept that it will stale over time, rather than eat something that owes its existence to ingredients and technologies to which I am not privy, cannot interrogate and so can never truly understand. Am I about to hand over all control of bread, or anything else I eat, to the chemical industry’s food engineers? Not without a fight.

What your food label really means

Added vitamins One-dimensional factory versions of natural vitamins found in whole foods: ascorbic acid (man-made vitamin C) is usually synthesised from the fermentation of GM corn, while artificial vitamin E is commonly derived from petrol.
Soluble fibre A healthier-sounding term for modified starch, which is widely used to reduce the quantity of more nutritious ingredients in processed foods, and keep down manufacturers’ costs.
‘Natural’ colourings The only difference between these and artificial ones is that they start with pigments that occur in nature. Otherwise, they are made using the same highly chemical industrial processes, including extraction using harsh solvents.
Artificial ‘diet” sweeteners Several large-scale studies have found a correlation between artificial sweetener consumption and weight gain. Accumulating evidence suggests that they may also increase our risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Enzymes Used to make bread stay soft longer; injected into low-value livestock before slaughter, to tenderise their meat; and used in fruit juice processing to create a cloudier, more natural appearance.
‘Packaged in a protective atmosphere’ Food that has been “gassed” in modified air to extend its shelf life. It delays what food manufacturers call “warmed over flavour”, an off-taste that occurs in factory food.
Beef/pork/poultry protein Collagen extracted from butchered carcasses, processed into a powder and added to low-grade meats. It adds bounce, increases the protein content on the nutrition label and, combined with water, is a substitute for meat.
Washed and ready-to-eat salads “Cleaned” by sloshing around in tap water dosed with chlorine, often with powdered or liquid fruit acids to inhibit bacterial growth. The same tank of treated water is often used for 8 hours at a time.
‘Pure’ vegetable oil Industrially refined, bleached, deodorised oils. Food processors often add chemicals to extend their “fry life”.
‘Natural’ flavourings Even the flavour industry concedes that “there isn’t much difference in the chemical compositions of natural and artificial flavourings”. They are made using the same physical, enzymatic, and microbiological processes.

This is an edited extract from Swallow This: Serving Up The Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets, by Joanna Blythman; published next week by 4th Estate, at £14.99. To buy a copy for £11.99, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846.

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how did aspartame become fda approved? hahahahahahah

Posted by jeanne on June 23, 2013

this isn’t pretty at all. i really hope you’re not using nutrasweet, or candarel, or equal.

the following is a repost of an article in collective evolution

The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal

January 19, 2013 by

artificial sugar

Did you know that Aspartame was banned by the FDA twice? How is this product legal now?

The bittersweet argument over whether Aspartame is safe or not has been going on for a long time. On one side we have medical evidence that suggests we should avoid using it and on the other side we lean on the FDA’s approval that suggests it is safe. Since generally that seems to be the factor that many continue to hold trust based upon, I thought we could look into the Aspartame story to find out how it came to be accepted as safe by the FDA. You would think that something so widely used and so well accepted would have quite the pristine story leading to its acceptance. I imagine one will discover otherwise after reading this post.

It all starts in the mid 1960′s with a company called G.D. Searle. One of their chemists accidentally creates aspartame while trying to create a cure for stomach ulcers. Searle decides to put aspartame through a testing process which eventually leads to its approval by the FDA. Not long after, serious health effects begin to arise and G.D. Searle comes under fire for their testing practices. It is revealed that the testing process of Aspartame was among the worst the investigators had ever seen and that in fact the product was unsafe for use. Aspartame triggers the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer put into place by the FDA in 1977. By 1980 the FDA bans aspartame from use after having 3 independent scientists study the sweetener. It was determined that one main health effects was that it had a high chance of inducing brain tumors. At this point it was clear that aspartame was not fit to be used in foods and banned is where it stayed, but not for long.

Early in 1981 Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (who is a former Secretary of Defense.. surprise surprise) vowed to “call in his markers,” to get it approved. January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle took the steps to re-apply aspartame’s approval for use by the FDA. Ronald Reagans’ new FDA commissioner Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision. It did not take long for the panel to decide 3-2 in favor of maintaining the ban of aspartame. Hull then decided to appoint a 6th member to the board, which created a tie in the voting, 3-3. Hull then decided to personally break the tie and approve aspartame for use. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller. Burstone-Marstella is the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

It is clear to this point that if anything the safety of aspartame is incredibly shaky.  It has already been through a process of being banned and without the illegitimate un-banning of the product, it would not be being used today. Makes you wonder how much corruption and money was involved with names like Rumsfeld, Reagan and Hull involved so heavily. In 1985, Monsanto decides to purchase the aspartame patent from G.D. Searle. Remember that Arthur Hull now had the connection to Monsanto. Monsanto did not seem too concerned with the past challenges and ugly image aspartame had based on its past. I personally find this comical as Monsanto’s products are banned in many countries and of all companies to buy the product they seem to fit best as they are champions of producing incredibly unsafe and untested products and making sure they stay in the market place.

Since then, aspartame has been under a lot of attack by scientists, doctors, chemists and consumers about it’s safety and neurotoxic properties. Piles of comprehensive studies have been completed that show aspartame is a cause for over 90 serious health problems such as cancer, leukemia, headaches, seizures, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy just to name a few. We have written several articles discussing various affects of aspartame.

Aspartame Leukemia Link. 

Aspartame and Brain Damage.

For a full timeline on aspartame’s legal and safety battles, expand the box below.

http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html

http://rense.com/general33/legal.htm

http://dorway.com/

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the best farmer’s market in atlanta

Posted by jeanne on August 19, 2012

i love atlanta. it’s green, people are friendly and come from all over, it’s laid back for the east coast, and cool things bubble up here and then spread around the world. like coca-cola, to be historical. like hip-hop music. like monumental street art. like neighborhood farmer’s markets. we’re the new york of the south, the los angeles of the east, the denver of the lowlands, the austin of the mountains, the charlottesville of the piedmont, the boston of something.

so today, sunday, i cruised down to a local farmer’s market, which i have heard people from alpharetta speak of as the best farmer’s market in atlanta.  the grant park farmer’s market, this is its second or third year operating, and there are vendors from all over with the freshest food you’ll find anywhere outside of your back garden.  and so photogenic.  even tho it was just finished raining, the streets were packed with cars looking for somewhere to park, and the crowds came pouring in as we walked down along venerable grant park to get to the market.

the first thing you see are coffee and donuts, and it was with the utmost forbearance that i was able to walk past.  that, and i wasn’t holding the money.

i won’t bother trying to name all the vendors.  there were several dozen, and they’re mostly listed here.

i took a bunch of closeup shots of the vegetables, because i’m thinking i want to do a couple of paintings when i get a chance.

just look at that artisan bread.  you want some, don’t you?  popped into the oven for a minute or two and then slathered with butter.

they don’t just have food there.  you can get plants, there’s music, there are things for the kids to do.  there was a bike race while we were there.

this lady sells flavored sea salt, for instance.  definitely not food, but very edible all the same.

and these folks were handing out tastes of handmade cheese.  very tasty, thanks.

handmade pasta.  you could make it yourself, if you had the patience and the proper wheat.

little bitty tomatos all laid out in baskets.  everybody had their own presentation, and i kept flitting from one to the other, oohing and aahing at the bright colors and neat shapes.

and everybody’s so friendly.

and the products are so varied, like these salsas.

and even some crafts – kitchen fabrics.  everybody needs potholders.

yogurt and ice cream, too.

and more colors than i wear on my tie-dyed shirts.

honey!  and he sells beeswax from his own farm, right down the street from where my grandson avery rides his horse.

couldn’t get a good shot of the fresh eggs, but the sample box had all sorts of shades of beige.

oh, and vietnamese food, with ginger and sesame dumplings in the foreground.

peaches.  i bought a bag of scratch-and-dent peaches for half nothing, and will be making a pie later on.

these kids were so alert, helping their dad sell their produce.  see the little girl looking at the camera?

people from all over.  truly global.  that’s why i love atlanta.

i knew you’d get hungry reading this post.

these guys specialize in crepes, but you can put anything into a crepe, so it’s all good.

and they’re so friendly they even let me photograph them close up.  smiling, even.

don’t forget the pastries.  you can eat them while you’re walking around.

many of the vendors are dedicated back-to-the-earth hippies.  many of the vendors are old fashioned farmer types.  many of the vendors are serious foodies.  it takes all kinds, and they all seem to be represented here.  they all love what they do, and everybody loves having them here.

look, here’s local celebrity jim yarbrough, a famous artist who lives right here in grant park.

grant park conservancy, the tireless folks who make this all possible.

and as we were leaving, the crowds were pouring in.  there’s nothing more hip these days than shopping at an urban farmer’s market.  come on back, y’all, hear?

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glutamate, a brain neurotransmitter

Posted by jeanne on March 17, 2012

more information about glutamate, otherwise known as MSG

New Mechanism In Brain’s Barrier Tissue Mapped By Scientists

Article Date: 10 Mar 2012 – 0:00 PST

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have documented a previously unknown biological mechanism in the brain’s most important line of defence: the blood-brain barrier. Scientists now know that the barrier helps maintain a delicate balance of glutamate, a vital signal compound in the brain.
Glutamate is the most important activating transmitter substance in the brain. Vital in small amounts, it is toxic for the brain if the concentration becomes too high. Noise on the brain’s signal lines can have fatal consequences and is involved in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis and schizophrenia. Until now scientists believed that the glutamate balance was maintained by an interaction between different types of cells in the brain: Scientists map new mechanism in the brain

“We now know that the blood-brain barrier also plays a vital role in the process by ‘vacuuming’ – so to speak – the brain fluid for extraneous glutamate, which is then pumped into the blood where it does not have a damaging effect. This is new knowledge that can have enormous impact on future drug development. We have charted a biological mechanism that other scientists eventually can try to influence chemically, for example, in the form of medicine to limit cell death after a stroke. When the brain lacks oxygen, the glutamate level in the brain fluid increases dramatically, which kick starts a toxic chain reaction that kills cells”, explains associate professor Birger Brodin.

The research results have just been published in the scientific journal GLIA.

A couple of years ago, researchers at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences modelled an artificial blood-brain barrier in the laboratory using brain cells from rats and calves. Ninety-five percent of all drugs tested for treating diseases originating in the central nervous system fail because they cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is why it is so important to have a tool that can be used to negotiate the difficult path across the brain’s effective border crossing.

However, the model is not just a potential screening tool. It can also inform scientists about the properties of the mysterious barrier and lead to new knowledge about the healthy brain and disease:

“Others have been on the trail of the hypothesis that the blood-brain barrier helps maintain the delicate glutamate balance in the brain. However, because of the model we created in the laboratory, we have been able to test the hypothesis successfully in a biological experiment for the first time ever”, explains PhD student Hans Christian Helms, who is the main driver behind the development of the blood-brain barrier created in the laboratory.

Scientists discovered the new mechanism in the blood-brain barrier as they were trying to investigate how amino acids get into the brain:

“Many significant discoveries happen by accident to some extent. We start by having a theory that we want to investigate. We test the theory in the laboratory and sometimes we get unexpected results. It is often the unexpected results that lead us onto new paths and to scientific breakthrough”, concludes Birger Brodin.

 

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more sweet poison

Posted by jeanne on February 12, 2012

and this one isn’t on the labels.  MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD is the only way to escape this.

Neotame the next aspartame? FDA doesn’t require labeling of latest chemical sweetener from Monsanto

Thursday, February 09, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) It could be lurking in the foods you eat every single day, including U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic foods, and you would never even know it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that one of Monsanto’s latest creations, a synthetic sweetener chemical known as neotame, does not have to be labeled in food products, including even in organic food products.

A modified version of aspartame with even more added toxicity, neotame received quiet and unassuming FDA approval back in 2002, even though no safety studies have ever been conducted on the chemical (http://www.neotame.com/pdf/neotame_fda_US.pdf). In fact, an investigation conducted by Feingold.org found only four studies relating to neotame in the MEDLINE database.

Two of these “studies” were not studies at all, and the other two were actually one duplicate study conducted by NutraSweet, the company that produces and sells neotame.

So just like with aspartame, the FDA has once again approved for use a dangerous sweetener chemical that metabolizes into formaldehyde when consumed. Except this time, the chemical contains added 3-dimethylbutyl, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed as one of the most hazardous known chemicals, and it does not have to be labeled on any of the products to which it is added.

“Neotame has similar structure to aspartame — except that, from it’s structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame,” writes HolisticMed.com on its page about neotame. “Like aspartame, some of the concerns include gradual neurotoxic and immunotoxic damage from the combination of the formaldehyde metabolite (which is toxic at extremely low doses) and the excitotoxic amino acid” (http://www.holisticmed.com/neotame/toxin.html).

The FDA, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all consider neotame to be safe for use, despite the fact that WHO actually published a paper seeking to establish acceptable daily intake levels for neotame. If neotame is so safe that it does not even have to be labeled, according to the FDA, then why do acceptable daily intake levels have to be established? And what is the point of establishing them in the first place?

This dog and pony show of special interest regulatory corruption is a travesty that will have global negative health consequences. Like most other toxins added to foods, neotame will most likely cause chronic damage over a long period of time, which means mainstream health authorities will get away with never having to admit that neotame is a dangerous toxin.

Sources for this article include:

http://articlesofhealth.blogspot.com

http://www.gaia-health.com

Posted in food industry, Research | 1 Comment »

homemade hot sauce cure-all

Posted by jeanne on November 18, 2011

i say cure all.  the basis for this recipe came off a swine flu forum page in 2009, when i was prepping for the big one.

but time goes on.  i still have the mother of all my hot sauces brewing on top of the fridge, and i’ve sent lots of little baby hot sauces out into the world as gifts.

and now my friend santa claus has donated a bag of peppers from the mennonite farm around the corner from the north pole, so i’ve got a brand new batch going.

i thought i’d show you.

the basic idea behind cure-all hot sauce is to put all sorts of medicinal things into vinegar for awhile.  and then eat it on everything.

so the picture above shows all sorts of things in the bottom of the jar.  eyes of garlic, chunks of ginger, juniper berries, allspice, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, celery seed, coriander, cumin seed, black pepper, brown mustard seed, and whatever else is in my pantry at the time.  i didn’t have horseradish, more’s the pity.

and then i stuffed it full of finger hot peppers, poured it full of vinegar, then capped it, dated it, and stuck it on top of the fridge. no pressure/heat canning, nothing complicated.  the ingredients are pretty mold proof in vinegar like that.

in a couple of months i can start pouring off the vinegar and bottling it up as hot sauce, wish maybe a couple more eyes and fingers inside.

i sent batches of it out once xmas, but only a few people ever commented on it, so i’m not doing that anymore.  but i’ve got loads on the fridge and use it like it was free.

which it is.

Posted in recipe | Leave a Comment »

hair of the dog

Posted by jeanne on October 28, 2011

i’ve long held that you should not be too pure because it makes you too vulnerable to passing whammies.  so i am domestically challenged, but it’s by choice.

oh 20 some odd years ago i went to an allergist because i had asthma and my doctor referred me.  i got a battery of tests – these big boards with pins sticking out of them that the tech mashed into my back, and then watched the welts come up.

the result – i was allergic to practically everything and needed a whole bunch of allergy shots, a whole regimen.

i ran screaming.

my understanding of my own system is that i am hypersensitive, especially to chemicals.  but i react easily, to pretty much anything.  i’ve got that kind of personality, too.  you should see me at a party.

so my answer to i’m allergic to everything was to decide i just had to be more tolerant.

so, allergic to feathers?  sleep on a feather pillow.  allergic to dog hair?  get a dog.  total immersion, that’s my answer.  it’s a personal thing.  kind of macho, actually, and since i got cancer i’ve kind of toned down the self-conquering attitude.

but moderation in all things.

being allergic to something is being intolerant to it.

and intolerance is bad, right?

so the idea that a little dose will inoculate you isn’t such a far-fetched one.

Can exposing little mites to dust stop allergy?

By Martin Halfpenny

Thursday October 27 2011

DOCTORS are to expose babies to dust mites in an attempt to halt the rising allergy epidemic.

Experts hope that exposing tots under one year old to the common allergen — often found in pillows, mattresses and on carpets — when their immune systems are developing will prevent them becoming allergic in the future.

A total of 120 babies aged five to nine months with a family history of allergy will take part in the project.

It is being conducted at the respiratory biomedical research unit at the University Hospital Southampton and the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre on the Isle of Wight.

As many as one in four people in the UK are affected at some time in their lives, with children accounting for half of those affected.

Dust mites are the most prevalent trigger, inducing reactions in 85pc of asthmatic people.

Prof Graham Roberts, a specialist in allergies, said: “We hope that by giving babies an allergen when their immune systems are working out what is and isn’t harmful will teach their bodies to not become susceptible as they grow up.”

Professor Hasan Arshad, director of the research centre, said: “We need to act very early in life — before babies reach their first birthday — and this should reduce the development of asthma and other allergies.”

 

Posted in medical industry, Research | 1 Comment »

organic’s dirty underwear labels

Posted by jeanne on October 15, 2011

i’m reposting this from this guy’s website because it’s a real service to humanity to pull all this information and report it, and i want to look at it after it’s been pulled.

Who Owns Organic? The Organic Corporate Brand List v1.4

Feb 19, 2009 | By: John Serrao

Ever wonder who owns organic brands you see on the shelves in the grocery store? Better still – which of all these new organic brands belongs to whom?

Well, it turns out you have come to the right place. This chart lays out the parent companies of each major organic label you are likely to see in the supermarket and what food stuffs they are selling. We have broken the chart into two distinct groups – agribusiness and independent labels (extended methodology is available below the chart). We hope this helps you determine the true owners of your food.

Agribusiness Organic/Health Labels

Organic Label Parent Company Food Stuffs
Organic Wild Hop Lager Anheuser-Busch Beer Lager Beer
Green & Black’s Cadbury Schweppes Plc. Chocolate Bars and Ice Cream
Chunky – Healthy Request Campbell’s Soups
Organic Select Soups (discontinued?) Campbell’s Soup
Pace (Picante) Organic Campbell’s Salsa
Prego Organic Campbell’s Pasta sauces
Swanson Broth (Certified Organic) Campbell’s Chicken, Beef and Vegetable Broths
V8 (Organic) Campbell’s Tomato Juices, Soups
Gold Peak Tea The Coca-Cola Company Tea, ‘Natural’
Odwalla Juices The Coca-Cola Company Fruit Juices, Fruit Bars
ConAgra Mills ConAgra Wheat and Flours
Healthy Choice, All Natural ConAgra Frozen Dinners, Soups, Pizzas, Sauces
Hunt’s Organic ConAgra Ketchup, Tomatoes, Sauce
Orville Redenbacher’s Natural (Organic) ConAgra Popcorn
PAM Organic ConAgra Olive OIl and Canola Oil Sprays
Silk (White Wave) Dean Foods (Dairy) Soy Milk
Horizon Organic (White Wave) Dean Foods (Dairy) Organic Dairy Products (Butter, Milk, etc.)
Cascadian Farm General Mills Cereals, Granola, Frozen Fuits and Vegetables
Muir Glen General Mills Tomato Products and Soups
Arrowhead Mills Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Whole and Organic Grains
Celestial Seasonings Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Tea Products
Rice Dream Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Non-dairy Beverages, Ice Cream Susbstitutes
Soy Dream Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Non-dairy Beverages, Ice Cream Susbstitutes
Oat Dream Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Non-dairy Beverages, Ice Cream Susbstitutes
Almond Dream Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Non-dairy Beverages, Ice Cream Susbstitutes
Hemp Dream Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Non-dairy Beverages, Ice Cream Susbstitutes
Garden of Eatin’ Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Corn Chips
Health Valley Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Bars, Cereal, Cookies, Crackers, Soups
Imagine Foods Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Soups, Broths
Terra Chips Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Chips and Snacks
Walnut Acres Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Sauces, Salsas, Juices
Yves Veggie Cuisine Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Synthetic Meat Products
Boulder Canyon Natural Foods The Inventure Group Potato Chips
RW Knudsen Family Juices JM Smuckers Fruit Juices
Santa Cruz Organic Juices JM Smuckers Juices, Spritzers, Peanut Butter, Sodas
Kashi Kelloggs Cereals, Crackers, Bars, Pizzas
MorningStar Farms Kelloggs Synthetic Meat Products
Back to Nature Foods Kraft (Altria/Philip Morris) Cereals, Granola, Cookies, Crackers
Boca Foods Kraft (Altria/Philip Morris) Synthetic Meat Products
Private Selection Organics Kroger Supermarkets Beverages, Dairy, Eggs, Produce, Meat and Snacks
Kettle Foods Lion Capital – UK) Potato Chips, Tortilla Chips, Nut Butters
O Organics (Safeway) Lucerne Foods Beverages, Dairy, Eggs, Produce, Meat and Snacks
Stone Mill Pale Ale MillerCoors (Michelob Brewing) Pale Ale Beer
Gerber Organic Nestle (Gerber) Baby Food, Juice, Cereal, Raviolis
Arrowhead (some fluoridated) Nestle Waters Water, 8oz – 5 Gallon Sized Bottles
Deer Park (some fluoridated) Nestle Waters Water, 8oz – 5 Gallon Sized Bottles
Ozarka (some fluoridated) Nestle Waters Water, 8oz – 5 Gallon Sized Bottles
Poland Spring (some fluoridated) Nestle Waters Water, 8oz – 5 Gallon Sized Bottles
Ethos Water PepsiCo Water
Flat Earth Snacks PepsiCoFrito Lay Veggie Snacks
Naked Juice PepsiCo Fruit Juices
Simple Harvest – Quaker Oats PepsiCo Oatmeal, Bars, Instant Oatmeal
Tropicana Organic Orange Juice (possibly discontinued) PepsiCo Orange Juice
Sara Lee Delightful Sara Lee Breads and Bakery Products
Earth Balance Smart Balance (formerly Boulder Specialty Brands, Inc.) Butter Spreads, Soy Spreads
Nature’s Farm (Organic Chicken) Tyson Chicken Chicken
Organic Ben & Jerry’s Unilever Ice Cream
Lipton PureLeaf Unilever Teas, ‘Natural’
Ragu Oragnic Unilever Pasta Sauce
Nature’s Pride Interstate Bakeries Breads
Brown Cow Dannon Yogurts
Honest Tea The Coca-Cola Company (40%) Teas
Baleine (La) Salt Les Salins du Midi Salt Products
Morton’s (Kosher) Salt Rohm & Hass Company Salts
Looza Pepsico Fruit Drinks
True North Snacks Pepsico (Frito Lay) Nuts and Nut Snacks
West Soy Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Soy and Rice Mlik
Smart Water (Glaceau) The Coca-Cola Company Water, Bottled
Vitamin Water (Glaceau) The Coca-Cola Company Water, Flavored
Propel Fitness Water Pepsico Water, Flavored
Sobe (Lifewater) Pepsico Water, Flavored, Tea
Aquafina Pepsico Water, bottled
Mother’s Natural Cereals Pepsico (Quaker Oats) Cereals, Rice Cakes
SunSpire Chocolate Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Chocolate Products
Jocalat Chocolate General Mills (Humm Foods) Cholocate Bars
Larabar General Mills (Humm Foods) Energy Bars
Nature Valley General Mills Energy Granola Bars
GoodEarth Teas Tata (Tetley) Teas Tea
Smart Products (SmartDogs, SmartBacon, SmartChili) ConAgra (LightLife) Meat Substitute Products
GimmeLean ConAgra (LightLife) Meat Substitute, Ground
Billington’s Sugar Associated British Foods, plc (UK) Sugar, Natural
Guiltless Gourmet The Manischewitz Company Chips, Dips, Cakes
Maranatha Foods Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Nut Butters, Peanut Butter
Near East Quaker Foods (PepsiCo) Middle Eastern Foods – Pastas, Pilafs, Falafel, Couscous
Tazo Tea Starbucks Teas
Stacy’s Snacks PepsiCo Chips – Pita + Bagel Chips
Imagine Foods Hain Celestial Group (HJ Heinz) Soups, Broths, Stocks
French Meadow Bakery Rich Product Corporation Bagels, Tortillas, Breads, Gluten-Free
Nantucket Nectars Cadbury Schweppes Juices, Nectars
Evian Dannon (Groupe Danone) Water, French Alps
Volvic Water Dannon (Groupe Danone) Water, Volcanic Origin
Fiji Water Roll International Water, Artesian
POM Products Roll International Juice, Energy Bars, Pills, Iced Coffee
Arizona Organics Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons Sweet Tea
Pearl Soy Milk The Kikkoman Group Soymilk
POM Wonderful Roll International Pomegranate Juice, Pomegranate Products
Old Bay McCormick Seasoning, Fish
Wholesome Sweeteners Imperial Sugar Sweeteners, Agave, Honey, Sugar

Independent Organic Labels

Organic Label Parent Company Food Stuffs
Bob’s Red Mill Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods Whole Grains, Gluten Free, Flours, Seeds
Clif Bar/Nectar Fruit Organic Clif Bar & Company Vegan Energy Bars (Men)
Luna Bar Clif Bar & Company Vegan Energy Bars (Women)
Petaluma Poultry (Rocky/Rosie the Chicken) Coleman Natural Meats Chicken Products (Sustainable)
Earthbound Farms Organic Earthbound Farms Fresh Produce, Cookies, Dried Fruit
Peace Cereal Golden Temple (of Oregon) Cereals
Yogi Tea Golden Temple (of Oregon) Tea
Coleman Natural Beef Meyer Natural Angus Beef Only Products
Laura’s Lean Beef Company Meyer Natural Angus Beef Products, Humanely Raised
EnviroKidz Nature’s Path Kids Cereals, Energy Bars, Waffles, Cookies
Optimum Nature’s Path Cereals, Bars, Waffles, Breads
Weil by Nature’s Path Nature’s Path Bars, Hot Cereal, Waffles, Breads, Mixes
Organic Prairie Organic Valley Coop (1300+ farms) Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey
Organic Valley Brand Organic Valley Coop (1300+ farms) Dairy, Eggs, Juice, Meat, Soy and Produce
Wolaver’s Beers Otter Creek Brewery Ale Beers, Stout Beers
Pamela’s Pamela’s Products Cookies and Baking Mixes
Giving Nature Giving Nature Foods Eggs, Milk
Echo Farms Puddings Echo Farms Puddings Pudding
Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs Pete and Gerry’s Eggs (New England)
Murray’s Chicken Murray Bresky Chicken, Fresh + Humane
Piney River Organics Black Eagle Farm Yogurt, Dairy
Black Eagle Farm Dr Ralph Glatt Meats (Beef, Chicken, Goat, Pork, Lamb) – Virginia
Seven Stars Farm Seven Stars Farm Yogurt
Hawthrorne Valley Farm Hawthorne Valley Farm Yogurt/Dairy
Golden Valley Natural Roger H. Ball Beef Jerky (Idaho)
Zija Plant Miracle (Direct Level Marketing) Fruit Drink
Cell-nique Cell-nique Green Drink
Artisan Salts (Colored) Artisan Salt Company Salts, fancy
Redmond Real Salt Redmond Trading Company Salts and Seasonings
Lakewood Juices Florida Family Trust Fruit Juices
Dr. Praeger’s Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods Frozen Foods, Jewish Foods
Country Choice Organic Country Choice Cookies, Oatmeal
Eden Foods (Edensoy) Meridian Foods (UK) Snacks, Whole Grains, Beverages, Canned Foods, Japanese Foods
Maldon Sea Salt Maldon and Essex Salt Makers Salt
Suzie’s ??? Whole Grain Snacks
Ian’s Natural Foods Ian’s Natural Foods Kids Snacks, Entrees, Breakfast
Doctor Kracker Kracker Enterprises LLC Crackers
Lakefront Brewery Lakefront Brewery LLC Beer – Organic ESP
Cal Organic Cal Organic Produce
Grimmway Farms Cal Organic Produce
San J San Jirushi Corporation of Japan Soy Sauce, Tamari, Marinades
Blue Diamond Blue Diamond Growers Cooperative Almonds, Nut Thins, Almond Milk
XOXOXO (Chocolove) Chocolate Chocolove Inc. Chocolate Bars
Terra Nostra Chocolate KFM Foods International Chocolate Bars
Vivani Chocolate (German) Vivani (Internatural Foods, LLC) Chocolate Bars
Endangered Species Chocolate Company Endangered Species Chocolate, LLC Chocolate Bar
Theo Chocolate Theo Chocolate Chocolate Bars
Edward & Sons Edward & Sons Trading Company Japanese Food (Miso, Panko, Brown Rice Crackers)
Let’s Do…Organic Edward & Sons Trading Company Candy – Gummi Bears, Licorice, Tapioca
Native Forest Edward & Sons Trading Company Fruits and Vegetables (Canned)
Nature Factor Edward & Sons Trading Company Coconut Products
Premier Japan Edward & Sons Trading Company Sauces, Asian
Road’s End Organics Edward & Sons Trading Company Pastas, Mixes, Sauces
The Wizard’s Saucery Edward & Sons Trading Company Sauces, Vegan (great label!)
Samuel Smith Organic Beer Merchant du Vin Corporation (England) Beer (Ales, Stouts, Fruit Beers)
Newman’s Own Organics Newman’s Own Cookies, Snacks, Teas, Oils, Coffee
Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water CG Roxane Water Company Water Products (Sierra Nevada Spring)
Vermont Mystic Pie Company Vermont Mystic Pie Company Pies
Sunergia Soyfoods Sunergia Soyfoods Soy Cheese, Tofu
Nasoya Foods Vitasoy Soy Products – Tofu, Sauces
Vitasoy Vitasoy Soy Milk
Azumaya Vitasoy Noodle Soup, Pasta, Wraps, Tofu
Lesser Evil Snacks Lesser Evil Brand Snack Company Snacks – Popcorn, Potato Sticks
New Morning Attune Foods Cereals
Erewhon Attune Foods Cereals
Oregon Chai Kerry Group, PLC Tea, Chai
Choice Organic Teas Granum, Inc. Tea
Alvita IdeaSphere Inc. Tea
BossaNova Suprefruit Juice Bossa Nova Company Juices with Acai Berry
Zoe’s Granola Zoe’s Foods Granola, Energy Bars, Cereals
thinkOrganic, thinkGreen think Brands Energy Bars
ECO Meal EcoMeal Inc. Dairy, Nuts, Grains, Beverages
popchips Popchips Company Potato Chips
Pannela Pannela Foods LLC Juices, Cane Sugar Based
I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter (Trader Joe’s SoyNut Butter) The SoyNut Butter Company Soy-based Peanut Butter Substitute
Funky Monkey Snacks Funky Monkey Snacks Fruit, Dried
Wedderspoon Honey (New Zealand) Wedderspoon Organic Inc. Honey, Manuka Variety
mix 1 Tri-Us LLC Beverages, Protein Drinks, Energy Bars
Melitta Coffee Melitta Coffee USA Coffee
Baronet Coffee Baronet Gourmet Coffee Inc. Coffee
Yummy Earth Lollipops YummyEarth Candy, Lollipops
Hearts & Minds Hearts & Minds LLC Peanut Butter, w/ Omega-3
Eddie’s Pasta InterNatural Foods Pasta
O.N.E. Natural Experience O.N.E. World Enterprises Beverages, Fruit
Manitoba Harvest Manitoba Harvest Hemp Products (Milk, Seed, Protein, Oil)
Living Harvest Hempmilk Living Harvest Foods, Inc. Hemp Milk and Hemp Oil
Texmati, Jasmati (Rice Select) RiceSelect Rice, Rice Blends
Madhava – Sweeteners Madhava Honey Sweeteners – Honey, Agave
FruitaBu FruitBu Fruit Snacks, Tea
Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods Right Foods Soups, Oatmeal
Cafe Altura Clean Foods, Inc. Coffee
Tasty Bite Indian Preferred Brands International Indian, Thai Foods
Scarpetta Sauces Sauces ‘n Love Tomato Sauce, Italian Fine Foods
Annie Chun’s Meals Noodle Bowls, Sushi, Sauces
FoxRiver Rice Fox River Rice, Inc. Rice Blends
Sensible Foods Sensible Foods LLC Dried Fruit
Rapunzel Family Owned Baking Products, Chocolate, Oils, Mixes
Koyo Organic None Japenese Foods – Udon Noodles, Sauces, Rice Cakes
Real Foods Company Real Foods Company Commercial Foods – Tzatziki, Sauces, Side Dishes
Harvest Bay Beverages Harvest Bar Company Beverages – Coconut, Acai Berry
Ener-G Foods Ener-G Foods, Inc. Grain Products – Breads, Cookies, Pastas, Flours, Cereals
Steaz Beverages Healthy Beverage Company Teas – Iced Teas, Energy Drinks
Old Wessex Ltd. Old Wessex Ltd. Hot Cereal, Oatmeal
Woodstock Farms Woodstock Farms Inc. Grains, Applesauce, Canned Goods, Condiments, Juices, Milk, Salads
Go Naturally Hillside Candy Hard Candies
BoraBora Bars Wellements Bars Energy Bars
Cafe Sanora Wellements Coffee
Green Mountain Gringo TW Garner Food Company Chips, Salsa
Vita Spelt Purity Foods Inc. Bread Products – Cereals, Flours, Granola, Pastas, Pretzels
Food Should Taste Good Sherbrooke Capital Chips – Exotic, Snacks
Miguel’s Organic Chips Middlebury Partners Chips, Salsa, Plantains
Rising Moon Rising Moon Organics Italian Foods – Pastas, Pizzas, Ravioli
Bionaturae Euro-USA Trading Co., Inc. Pastas, Olive Oil, Tomato Sauces, Fruit Spreads
Wildwood Pulmuone Wildwood Soy and Tofu Products
Whole Soy and Co Whole Soy and Co Soy Yogurt and Ice Cream
Natural by Nature Natural by Nature Dairy – Milk, Cream, Cheese, Yogurts
Applegate Farms Applegate Farms – (Dietz & Watson partnership) Meat – Cold Cuts, Frozen Beef, Hot Dogs, Bacon
Himalania Organic Himalania Goji Berries, Pink Salt
Alvarado St. Bakery Alvarado St. Bakery Breads, Sprouted Grain, Bagels, Tortillas
Annie’s Naturals Solera Capital Dressings, Marinades, Sauces, Condiments
Pacific Natural Foods Pacific Foods of Oregon, Inc. Soups, Teas, Soy, Pizzas, Mates
365 Organics Whole Foods Beverages, snacks, supplements
Barbara’s Bakery Barbara’s Bakery Inc (Sunfield Farms) Cereal, Snacks
ZenSoy ZenSoy Soy Pudding, Soy Milk
SweetLeaf Sweetener Wisdom Natural Brands (United American Industries, Inc) Stevia Products
Vitalicious Vitalicious, Inc. Snacks, low calorie
Healthy Handfuls Healthy Handfuls, Inc. Snacks
Attune Probiotic Bars Attune Foods Energy Bars
Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Inc Produce Baskets, exotic
Amy’s Foods Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. Frozen foods, Soups, Pizzas, Snacks
Lundberg Family Farms Lundberg Family Rice, Rice Products, Snacks
Tony Chacere’s Family Owned Seasoning, Sausage, Turduchens
The Republic of Tea The Republic of Tea Teas
Numi Tea Numi LLC Teas, Bottled Tea
Traditional Medicinals Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas

Notes:

Our distinction for calling a brand agribusiness is based on whether or not they are part of a corporate conglomerate whose main focus is not organics. Parent companies whose primary business is organics were placed in the independent category because often, they were the pioneers in using organic, healthy ingredients in the marketplace long before it was a popular choice.

Many of the brand labels you see listed in the ‘Agribusiness’ section (like Green & Black’s for example) were once organic pioneers in their respective fields – so this may cause you some confusion; thats exactly why this chart was made. Many (but not all) agribusiness interests count on you not being able to associate their organic labels with the parent company. We believe this is a dishonest practice. With the price premiums that are now attached with organics, buyers need to understand the marketplace more fully so they can make educated decisions.

Mind you, this is not a slight against agribusiness. We long for the day when Unilever and Kraft offer only organic products. Additionally, we are not suggesting that these agribusiness firms are no longer innovating – quite the contrary. Organics are one of the major agribuisness initiatives currently sweeping over the food marketplace and that is great for everyone. Still, a destinction needs to be made between market participants for whom organics is just another market segment versus companies that have fully embodied organic product lines from Day 1.

We have also chosen to include firms owned by venture capitalists and private investors as independent, even though most of these brands are likely being built to be sold to agribusiness interests at a later date for substantial profit.

Also note that this chart is designed for an American audience. International ones may follow if demand warrants.

If you have additional information to add to this chart, please contact Nutrition Wonderland at info@nutritionwonderland.com. Please include any necessary references.

Sources:

Posted in food industry, Research | 2 Comments »

wham

Posted by jeanne on August 16, 2011

i had to go lie down right after lunch today.  i could feel it coming on for about ten minutes, a growing fatigue, heaviness of the body and thickness of thinking.  i strongly felt like taking a nap.  so i got up and staggered to bed, my heart pounding, and went straight to sleep, as if i’d been drugged.

it was a late lunch – 2:30, and i could have worked thru the fatigue, gotten up, walked the dogs, gone back to work.  but i went and lay down, and the next thing i knew the phone was ringing, so i lurched up, grabbed it on the third ring, grunted a few times, and handed the phone off to the intended recipient, then fell back into bed instead of getting up and going back to work, and slept for another while.  then it was 5 in the afternoon.

and this is the second time it’s happened just like that after yogurt.  the second time i’ve noticed it.

so what am i eating?  or is it possible that i’m leaving the food so late that my blood sugar is near zero and it takes all my being to process whatever food i shovel in?

i ate stoneyfield plain organic whole milk yogurt, but recently they’ve fucked with the yogurt (using enzymes) and now it’s ‘smooth and creamy’ with a suspicious pebbly pattern, instead of being cream on top.

also in the bowl is my spice mixture – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger.

walnuts, almonds, rolled oats, coconut.

blueberries, prunes, crystallized ginger.

and a healthy spoonful of raw honey.

something is knocking me out.  and this post is the beginning of figuring it out.  it’s happened before with yogurt, but my eating habits are not regular or consistent, and a lot of things knock me out.  i’ll be keeping notes.

Posted in mystery illness | Leave a Comment »

“yummy” is bad

Posted by jeanne on August 10, 2011

i’ve started getting persistent arthritis symptoms not caused by ‘age’ but by exposure to something in my diet.

Is this Flavor Enhancer Making You and Your Children Sick and Fat?

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety
August 9, 2011

 investigation 210x146 Is this Flavor Enhancer Making You and Your Children Sick and Fat?
Obesity has run rampant across the globe to such a degree that even infant obesity is now turning into an epidemic. The problem has become so drastic that babies are now given anti-obesity drugs in the womb, medicated with weight loss pharmaceuticals before they are even born. Even more horrendous than climbing childhood obesity rates are adult obesity rates, which continue to skyrocket across not only the United States but the entire world population. What could be the cause of such a global health crisis? While there certainly is not a single factor to blame, one major player may be the integration of monosodium glutamate (MSG) into the average diet of both children and adults.

MSG is a deceptive “flavor enhancer” that has an extremely sweet taste and is widely used by the restaurant industry to make otherwise bad and unhealthy food taste delicious. Chemically, MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. Considering that it is derived from a natural source, shouldn’t it be of no danger to the body? After all, it is derived from an amino acid, which are considered the building blocks of life. The truth is that MSG, just like aspartame, is a toxic substance that has been found to damage the body in a number of ways — despite being “naturally” extracted from a non-essential amino acid. The problem is that when a singular amino acid is extracted from a complex food, and increases the concentration to unnatural proportions, glutamic acid can have devastating health effects. (See: Foods highest in glutamic acid)

In fact, MSG has been found to directly damage not only your neurological tissue, but has been found to lead to endocrine disruption throughout your body associated with metabolic syndrome. The reason for this lies within the relationship between MSG and the cells in your body. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, has described MSG as an excitotoxin. What this means is that MSG is so potent that it “excites” your cells to the point of death or damage, leading to varying degrees of brain damage. The result is the triggering of learning disabilities and neurological issues. Even the FDA has spoken out about the link between neurological diseases and MSG:

Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.

Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain.

According to the FDA, MSG Symptom Complex can involve symptoms such as:

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

The Obesity Connection

Aside from damaging major parts of your biology, MSG consumption may also be making you fatter. The University of North Carolina as well as a number of other organizations have found that those who use MSG are more likely to be overweight or obese than those who do not yet have the same amount of physical activity and calorie intake. Researchers from UNC teamed up with Chinese scientists to examine 750 Chinese men and women, aged between 40 and 59, in three rural villages in north and south China. With 82% of participants using MSG in their food, researchers created 3 different groups of eaters based on the amount of MSG they use. The results were quite shocking.

The group who used the most MSG were 3 times more likely to be overweight than non-users. Again, all of the groups had the SAME amount of physical activity and calorie intake!

Later in 2011, the study would continue on to find even more astounding information. Led by Ka He, a nutrition expert at the University of North Carolina, the researchers followed 10,000 adults in China for about 5.5 years on average. The intake in Asian countries is considerably higher than the United States so the results will be amplified in China verses the U.S., though that is beginning to change. Americans are consuming more and more MSG in processed food products such as chips and canned soups even when it is not labeled. Still,  Americans’ typical daily intake of MSG is estimated to be only about 1/2 a gram, whereas estimates for Japan and Korea have much wider ranges, averaging as much as 10 grams per day.

Studying the intake of MSG in a wider range of participants and for a longer period of time, the results matched the previous study. Those who consumed the most MSG (a median of 5 grams a day) were about 30% more likely to become overweight by the end of the study than those who consumed the least amount of the flavoring (less than a half-gram a day), the researchers found. Participants still had the same physical activity and calorie intake. Furthermore, the risk rose to 33 percent when excluding those who were overweight at the beginning of the study.

The leader of the study, Ka He, summarized his thoughts on the findings:

Everybody eats it. This could spell trouble for many Americans, as aside from impacting your brain and nervous system, as I’ll discuss below, it may also be making you fat.

Regular consumption of MSG certainly will lead to a higher obesity risk, as it will lead to additional weight with each additional gram consumed per day. If the obesity risk is not enough, it also damages the cells in your body and may lead to neurological damage. There is simply no reason to choose MSG over a natural and safe alternative such as stevia.

 Sources:

GreenMedInfo – The Flavor Enhancer That Sickens

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