Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

“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
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.


GreenMedInfo – The Flavor Enhancer That Sickens

Posted in food industry, Research | 1 Comment »

diabetic chocolate ice cream for grownups

Posted by jeanne on July 18, 2011

this is for thin-variant type-2 diabetics who need to put some weight on, don’t have high cholesterol, and don’t have heart problems.  it’s very low sugar, and very high fat.  the recipe makes a generous half gallon.  it’s based on a recipe i can’t find now.  the chili and vast amounts of spices were their ideas, but i’ve altered it a lot nutritionally.

start with:

1 qt half and half

4 tb or more mixed ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger

1 tsp chili powder

1 oz pulverized ground coffee

9 heaping tbs hershey’s special dark cocoa (if you’re lucky enough to have it)

pinch salt

2 tb molasses

4 tb butter

2 oz coconut oil

6 eggs


heat everything but eggs in a double boiler until steaming, add eggs and make custard (look it up), get as cool as possible in the fridge.  maybe even the next day, remove custard from fridge and add:

1 can coconut cream

1 qt heavy whipping cream

1 tb vanilla

an optional pint of crushed strawberries, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, etc.


put the mixture in your ice cream freezer, salt it properly, and plug in the machine.  when the freezer stops running, decant your chocolate slush into a plastic half-gallon container (you’ll have maybe a pint extra for a reward and you could put it either into a few of bowls or a smaller plastic container – for later), and stick in the freezer overnight.  take the lid off and stir several times during the first few hours of freezing to break down the ice crystals.  it’ll be rock hard when you take it out of the freezer every night for your dessert, so you’ll want to bring it out for up to ten minutes before you’re wanting to go in with a real sturdy large metal spoon.

i like to drizzle a tsp of molasses over my bowl of ice cream, and if there is any fruit in the house, i like to crush it and add it on the bottom so you have to dig it out as the ice cream melts.

it behaves differently than store bought ice cream, so if you’re not used to making your own, you’re not going to like it.  hell, you’re not going to like it because it has very little sweetener (tho the cream is sweet enough, really).  usual recipes call for two and three cups.  i use two tbs.  my little brother made a face.  he hid it, but i saw him flinch.  like that time when i tasted the dark chocolate truffles at a fannie may store, and the piece was so bitter i couldn’t eat it.

i’d love to know if you try this, and what you think.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

i eat a lot of spices – is that bad?

Posted by jeanne on July 18, 2011

i eat a lot of spices.  i got it into my head that spices are good for you, and started doubling up whenever i made a pumpkin pie or a batch of oatmeal cookies.  and then i started making home made ice cream for diabetics, altered a recipe for ‘chocolate for grownups’ to suit, and tripled and fourpled the spices simply because they’re hard to taste when cold.

i filled an empty mrs. dash shaker (jumbo size) with a spice mixture that i made up out of tubs of ground spice.  it was the usual, cinammon, cloves and nutmeg, and at one point i had cookies with cardamom in them and loved it, so i added a good dose of that.  and then i found some powdered ginger one day, and stuck that in too.

the last time i made ice cream, i shook in half a cup of my ground spice mixture, along with a heaping tsp of chili powder and an ounce of pulverized coffee.  this is for a half gallon of ice cream.

and we love it.  we’ve been eating it for over a year, every night.  it’s type-2 diabetic for thin-variant type 2s, so eating it doesn’t raise anybody’s blood sugar.  it’s not very sweet at all, and whenever i forcefeed a guest with a tiny taste they make a face, so it can’t be very sweet at all.  it’s got lots of fat – a lot of milkfat and a bunch of coconut oil to help fatten up a thin type 2 diabetic with low cholesterol and no heart troubles.  i’ve posted the recipe elsewhere.

recently 100% of the people eating this ice cream have developed sore, painful joints in the morning.  in the last month or two.  analyzing our diets, i wonder if maybe i’m not dosing us with too many spices.  and that maybe the spices are causing arthritis symptoms.

so i am here to check it out.


In addition to diabetes, Cassia cinnamon is used for gas (flatulence), muscle and stomach spasms, preventing nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, and loss of appetite.

Some people use it for erectile dysfunction (ED), hernia, bed-wetting, joint conditions, menopausal symptoms, menstrual problems, and to cause abortions. Cassia cinnamon is also used for chest pain, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, cramps, cancer, and as a “blood purifier.”

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in large amounts, long-term. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon might cause side effects in some people. Cassia cinnamon can contain large amounts of a chemical called coumarin. In people who are sensitive, coumarin might cause or worsen liver disease.

When applied to the skin, cassia cinnamon can sometimes cause skin irritation and allergic skin reactions.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cassia cinnamon during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Cassia cinnamon can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and use cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Liver disease: Cassia cinnamon contains some chemicals that might harm the liver. If you have liver disease, don’t take cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Surgery: Cassia cinnamon might affect blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cassia cinnamon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
from webmd


Clove is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant. Expectorants make it easier to cough up phlegm. Clove oil is used for diarrhea, hernia, and bad breath. Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting.

Clove is applied directly to the gums (used topically) for toothache, for pain control during dental work, and for a complication of tooth extraction called “dry socket.” It is also applied to the skin as a counterirritant for pain and for mouth and throat inflammation. In combination with other ingredients, clove is also applied to the skin as part of a multi-ingredient product used to keep men from reaching orgasm too early (premature ejaculation).
from webmd

In general, the use of cloves is regarded as safe for food use; however, when taken in large doses in its undiluted oil form or in clove cigarettes, side effects may occur.  These include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Sore Throat
  • Seizure
  • Sedation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hematemesis
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver damage
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Prolonged ejaculation
  • Seizure
  • Stomach irritation

Although the most common complaint of large doses of cloves is GI upset, those with kidney or liver disorders should avoid large doses of cloves.  Serious side effects are more commonly reported in young children.  There is insufficient evidence for cloves and its use in pregnancy or nursing.

Those with bleeding disorders and those taking medications that thin the blood, may be at risk for increased bleeding if ingesting cloves or clove oil.  There has been one reported case of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in a patient using cloves by mouth. 

If clove oil is applied to the skin or inside the mouth, the patient can experience burning, loss of sensation, tissue damage and an increased risk of cavities and sore lips.  Burns and contact dermatitis (rash) is more common if using undiluted clove oil directly on the skin or mouth.

There is a chance the clove oil taken orally may lower blood sugar levels based on an infant case.  Therefore, those with diabetes or hypoglycemia or those taking drugs or supplements that affect blood sugar are cautioned against the use of clove oil and blood glucose levels may need to be monitored and medication adjustments made as needed.
from altmed


Nutmeg and mace are used for diarrhea, nausea, stomach spasms and pain, and intestinal gas. They are also used for treating cancer, kidney disease, and trouble sleeping (insomnia); increasing menstrual flow; causing a miscarriage; as a hallucinogen; and as a general tonic.

Nutmeg and mace are applied to the skin to kill pain, especially pain caused by achy joints (rheumatism), mouth sores, and toothache.

In foods, nutmeg and mace are used as spices and flavorings.

Nutmeg and mace are UNSAFE in doses larger than amounts found in foods. Side effects such as thirst, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, feelings of pressure in the chest or stomach, dry mouth, stomach pain, and many other problems might occur in some people. More serious side effects might include hallucinations, seizures, and death.
from webmd


Cardamom is used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore mouth and throat, and tendency toward infection. Some people use cardamom as a stimulant and for urinary problems.

The cardamom seed can trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain).
from webmd


Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.

Other uses include treating upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis.

Fresh ginger is used for treating acute bacterial dysentery, baldness, malaria, poisonous snake bites, rheumatism, migraineheadache, and toothaches.

Dried ginger is used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.

Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain.

Some people can have mild side effects including heartburn, diarrhea, and general stomach discomfort. When ginger is applied to the skin, it may cause irritation.

Bleeding disorders: Taking ginger might increase your risk of bleeding. Avoid using it.

Diabetes: Ginger might lower your blood sugar. As a result, your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Heart conditions: High doses of ginger might worsen some heart conditions. Don’t use ginger if you have a heart condition.
from webmd

in general, these spices are good for you, and help regulate or lower blood sugar, and most of them are blood thinners.  they’re good for digestion, pain, and seem to be some sort of sex aid, possibly topical (i saw one ingredient list containing toad venom).

so that’s not what’s making my hands and feet sore in the morning.  maybe it’s old age.

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another few facts about msg

Posted by jeanne on June 16, 2011

i’ve said it for years, and now looks like there’s indication that eats the brain. like a zombie.

MSG: The Flavor Enhancer That Sickens In Two Ways

Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2011 – 14:36

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) contributes to illness in two distinct ways: 1) It makes food that is bad for us taste really, really, really good.  2) It is a toxic chemical that directly damages neurological tissue, as well as induces generalized endocrine disruption throughout the body associated with metabolic syndrome.
So, What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a commonly used “flavor enhancer,” and so powerful that arguably you could spray it on roadkill and it would taste good. This omnipresent ingredient in modern mass market food takes advantage of our biologically hard-wired taste receptors, and makes it very hard to stop eating the foods “seasoned” with this ingredient. In fact, it is doubtful that without the MSG trick many of these mass market processed foods would be palatable enough to maintain their status as economically viable commodities.

Common “Tricky” MSG Synonyms
Technically MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. Glutamic rich foods include wheat, dairy, corn, soy, seafood, etc. (Foods Highest In Glutamic Acid). The “YUMMY!” sensation that occurs immediately after ingesting a MSG (or various synonyms, e.g. hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast) laced morsel the Japanese call umami (meaning: savoriness) and is considered one of five basic tastes.  The problem is that when one isolates out of a complex food a singular amino acid, and increase the concentration to unnatural proportions (and without the hundreds of checks and balances Nature provides in the context of a whole food), glutamic acid can have devastating health effects.

MSG Synonyms:
Glutamic Acid
Hydrolyzed protein
Autolyzed protein
Textured protein
Yeast extract
Autolyzed yeast extract
Protein isolate
Soy sauce
Modified food starch
Modified corn starch
Calcium caseinate
Sodlium caseinate
Natural flavor
Monopotassium glutamate
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Textured protein
Yeast food
Yeast nutrient
Torula yeast
SOURCE: Indigo Earth
Monosodium Glutamate Causes Excitotoxicity
One of the primary adverse effects associated with excess glutamic acid is excitotoxicity, a form of neurotoxicity where neurons are stimulates to the point of cell death. Repeated excitotoxic events can result in neuronal lesions and loss of cognitive function. While there are a number of natural substances that mitigate this type of excitotoxicity, the best choice is to reduce the consumption of glutamic acid (as well as its “twin” excitotoxic non-essential amino acid aspartic acid) rich foods if there is a pre-existing neurological condition such as migraines, epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, to name but a few.
John Symes has written an excellent document on the benefits of the Glutamic and Aspartic Acid Reduced Diet (GARD Diet) here.

More Than Just An Excitotoxic Agent
Recently Dr. Mercola featured the connection between MSG and obesity.  While excessive food cravings caused by MSG’s taste-enhancing effects figure into this relationship, research from the US National Library of Medicine indexed on our site shows that MSG may directly cause hypothalamic lesions that result in elevated insulin, insulin resistance and leptin resistance (leptin suppresses appetite).
It is becoming clear that MSG can no longer be considered simply a “flavor enhancer” but an intrinsically harmful chemical with endocrine disruptive properties . Research we have collected shows that MSG actively contributes to metabolic syndrome, obesity, fatty liver, dysregulated blood lipids, as well as a wide range of neurological problems.

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chemicals to avoid if you can

Posted by jeanne on June 14, 2011

15-Toxic-Trespassers from women’s voices for the earth


Products It Lurks In Potential Health Problems Avoiding It
No More Toxic Tub
Products that create suds, like shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, hair relaxers – cancer
– birth defects
Read labels to avoid chemicals that may signal the presence of 1,4-dioxane, like sodium laureth sulfate, PEG, “ceteareth”, and “oleth”.
Household Hazards
Glass cleaners, all-purpose spray cleaners – reduced fertility
– low birth weight
Make your own non-toxic cleaners with WVE’s recipes, or buy from the few companies that disclose all ingredients on the label and look to avoid it.
Alkyl phenol ethoxylates (APEs)
Household Hazards
Laundry detergents, stain removers, and all-purpose cleaners – reproductive harm Make your own non-toxic cleaners with WVE’s recipes, or buy from the few companies that disclose all ingredients on the label and look to avoid it.
Ammonium quaternary compounds
Disinfectant Overkill
Some disinfectant sprays, toilet cleaners, alcohol-free hand sanitizers – occupational asthma
– decreased fertility and birth defects
Reduce your use of disinfectant products; download WVE’s Reduce Your Use of Disinfectants fact sheet for ideas.
Bisphenol-A (BPA)
No Silver Lining
Plastics like baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, and children’s toys; can linings – breast cancer
– early puberty
– hormone disruption
Opt for fresh or frozen foods instead of canned, look for plastics labeled “BPA-free” and never microwave plastic.
Glossed Over
The Blowup on Blowouts
Some nail products, shampoos, body washes, chemical hair straighteners – cancer
– skin and respiratory irritation
Look for nail polishes and hardeners labeled “three-free” or “formaldehyde-free” and avoid chemical hair straighteners.
Toxic Products Marketed to Black Women
Skin lighteners – cancer
– immune system damage
– reproductive and developmental harm
Avoid skin lighteners with hydroquinone listed on the label.
A Poison Kiss
Pretty Scary
Some lipsticks and other cosmetics, sunscreens, whitening toothpastes, children’s face paint – reproductive and developmental harm
– nerve, joint, and muscle disorders
– heart, bone, and kidney problems
Contact the company and ask if lead is a contaminant in the product.
Monoethanolamine (MEA)
Household Hazards
Some laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners and floor cleaners – occupational asthma Make your own cleaners with WVE’s recipes or buy from the few companies that disclose all ingredients on the label and look to avoid it.
PBDEs (Flame retardants)
Flame Retardants in Baby Products
Polyurethane foam padding in furniture, children’s products – reproductive and developmental harm
– thyroid hormone disruption
Avoid products containing polyurethane foam which indicate “TB117 compliant” on the label.
Look for products stuffed with cotton, polyester or wool instead of foam.
Glossed Over
What’s That Smell?
Not So Sexy
Fragrances in cleaning products, personal care products, cosmetics & nail polish – reduced fertility
– increased risk of breast cancer
– genital malformations in baby boys
– increased allergic symptoms and asthma in children
Avoid products with synthetic fragrance; look for fragrance with essential oils or products labeled “fragrance-free.” Look for nail polishes labeled “three-free” or “phthalate-free.”
Sodium laureth sulfate
No More Toxic Tub
Soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and products that create suds – products containing these chemicals may contain 1,4-dioxane (see above) Read labels to avoid products containing sodium laureth sulfate.
Synthetic musks: galaxolide and tonalide
What’s That Smell?
Fragrances, such as in cleaning products and personal care products – hormone disruption
– breakdown of the body’s defenses against other toxic exposures
– increased risk of breast cancer
Avoid products with synthetic fragrance; look for fragrance with essential oils or products labeled “fragrance-free.”
Glossed Over
Nail salon products – headache, dizziness, fatigue
– eyes, nose & throat irritation
– reproductive and developmental harm
Look for nail polishes labeled “three-free” or “toluene-free.”
Disinfectant Overkill
Antibacterial hand & dish soaps, some disinfectant products, tartar-control toothpastes, fragrance – hormone disruption
– potential increased risk of breast cancer
Avoid antibacterial hand soap, and read labels to avoid products containing triclosan as an active ingredient

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our bellies are smarter than our heads

Posted by jeanne on April 30, 2011

Mind-Gut Connection: Why Intestinal Bacteria May Have Important Effects on Your Brain

Anybody who’s ever “listened to their gut” when making important decisions might be satisfied to learn of the biochemical evidence for the mind/belly connection.
April 29, 2011

Photo Credit: Randomidea

Most children seem determined to eat dirt. It may be a coincidence, but what those little mud pie makers appear to intuit is now being supported by a growing body of scientific evidence that early exposure to diverse microorganisms results in healthier immune systems. Now there’s reason to think that intestinal bacteria have important effects on brain development as well.

A study published in the March issue of Neurogastroenterology & Motility examined germ-free mice — i.e. mice deprived of contact with bacteria at a formative age. The researchers observed changes in brain activity based on varying microbe levels. They also found germ-free mice more likely to engage in risky behavior — measured as time spent in areas where they could be seen — than mice with normal levels of intestinal flora.

The study concludes that this constitutes evidence of bacteria in the loop between belly and brain, and influencing behavioral development.

A separate study, published last November in Archives of General Psychiatry, surveyed the scientific literature for evidence of a connection between gut microbes and depression, and suggested that certain bacteria might be considered as treatment for depression.

Discoveries such as these support the decades-old “Hygiene Hypothesis,” which postulates that hyper-sterile environments, widespread use of antimicrobial soaps, and general paranoia about bacteria are responsible for many so-called “diseases of civilization,” like asthma, allergies, and other autoimmune disorders. The recently discovered importance of bacteria in brain function helps deepen understanding of our relationship with these ancient organisms.

Anybody who’s ever “listened to their gut” when making important decisions might be satisfied to learn of this biochemical evidence for the mind/belly connection. The mechanism by which mouse-belly microbes might influence mice brains isn’t known. There is speculation that the vagus nerve is a likely conduit.

The vagus nerve connects the brain to several parts of the digestive system. It’s what tells your brain how hungry you are, based on what it senses in your belly. The vagus nerve has also been shown to carry signals initiated by bacteria. Staphylococcus can attack the vagus nerve and induce vomiting. Salmonella infections have been shown to affect brain activity, a connection lost when the vagus nerve is severed.

However mouse gut bacteria exert their influence on the brain, the fact that they do so, on top of all of the other cooperative relationships we’ve been discovering with bacteria, is amazing. And it makes me wonder who’s really in charge. Are we simply hosting these creatures, or driving them around as well? When kids eat dirt, is it because the bacteria are telling them to?

Although we have a clear size advantage on the bacteria we harbor, they dramatically outnumbered us. And on the genetic level, bacteria bring far more to the table. Of the 3 million different genes identifiable in our bodies, only 30,000 are human genes. We share those additional millions of bacterial genes with thousands of different species.

The species lines in bacteria can be fuzzier than with mammals. I’m a lot less likely to exchange DNA with my dog than are two bacterium with each other. The genetic mixing is greatly assisted by bacteriophages: viruses that infect bacteria. Some of the most numerous and widely distributed creatures in the biosphere, bacteriophages are viruses that attack bacteria. They usually insert some of their own genetic information into the host, while helping themselves to what looks good in the host’s genetic fridge. Then they move on to the next bacteria and do it again, spreading genes as they go. When we speak of bacterial populations it’s a given that there is an associated bacteriophage population greasing the wheels of whatever’s going on.

A recent study found large amount of bacteriophage DNA in kimchi, suggesting a significant role of bacteriophages in the fermentation process. Kimchi is just one of many bacteria-rich (and presumably phage-rich) foods, like yogurt and sauerkraut, that many people consider to be superfoods. There are countless kinds of fermented foods in many diets, both old and new.

The Paleo diet — short for Paleolithic — is a modern diet that’s based on the foods humans would have had access to during our evolutionary formative years. According to the Paleo diet, modern-day foods like sugar, grains, and processed carbohydrates shift the balance toward undesirable flora, while animal- and vegetable-based dishes, including fermented foods and vinegar, encourage good bacteria. It’s no wonder, according to the Paleo worldview, that foods that have been with us since the beginning are the ones that keep our bodies in proper balance-with the help of our old friends bacteria.

The “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” (GAPS) diet (it’s also the name of the related book) is built on the premise of a link between mental and intestinal health. The diet mixes probiotic supplements with a regimen of foods designed to tilt the playing field so the good bacteria take over.

Probiotic supplements are essentially “good bacteria” by the millions, in pill form. Doctors often recommend them after a round of antibiotics, which can kill the good bacteria in your body along with the bad.

Much of what we’re learning in labs is validating ancient wisdom, like the importance of fermented foods. And along these bacterial lines, science is also finding an important function for an organ it once dismissed as a useless evolutionary relic: the appendix. Now they’re realizing that the appendix probably has immunological functions related to the fact that it acts as a reservoir of spare bacteria in case your gut flora gets killed off or flushed out, say, in a nasty bout of diarrhea.

We’re still at the beginning of the bacterial learning curve. A research team recently determined that humans can be classified into three categories depending on the type of bacteria in their guts. Such bacterial affiliation is found in all humans, and is unrelated to race or to the gut-bacteria type of one’s parents. At this point we have no idea what this means, or where it will lead.

But we can be sure that as we continue learning about our relationship with bacteria, kids will continue eating nature’s probiotic wherever they can find it. And the more we learn, the smarter they seem.

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meat glue

Posted by jeanne on April 10, 2011

what more need i say?  gluing meat together so scrap looks like prime.  it’s basically msg on steroids, it’s got to be bad for you, and of course, it’s not regulated and we consumers know nothing about it.

let’s have a look.

transglutaminase.  from the wikipedia entry:

It can be used as a binding agent to improve the texture of protein-rich foods such as surimi or ham.

Transglutaminase is also used in molecular gastronomy to meld new textures with existing tastes.

Transglutaminase can be used in these applications:

  • Improving texture of emulsified meat products, such as sausages and hot dogs.
  • Binding different meat parts into a larger ones (“portion control”), such as in restructured steaks
  • Improving the texture of low-grade meat such as so-called “PSE meat” (pale, soft, and exudative meat, whose characteristics are attributed to stress and a rapid postmortem pH decline)
  • Making milk and yogurt creamier
  • Making noodles firmer

there are problems with meat made up of chunks, oxidation and food poisoning being two of them.  transglutamase has also been implicated in huntington’s and parkinson’s diseases, as well as celiac disease.

here’s an interesting uninformed speculation.  given the polymerizing action of translutamase –

Transglutaminases form extensively cross-linked, generally insoluble protein polymers. These biological polymers are indispensable for the organism to create barriers and stable structures. Examples are blood clots (coagulation factor XIII), as well as skin and hair.

– maybe this would be another reason why you’d want to cook the hell out of it before you ate it.

it’s made by ajinomoto, under the tradename activa rm, and costs about a hundred dollars for about a kilo of white powder.  ajinomoto makes msg.

last year the eu first approved, and then banned its use on safety grounds.  but because its a good way of using cheaper meat and getting more for it, it’s evidently used all the time.  it’s considered safe by the fda – gras – and it’s one of the stars of the new cuisine.

here’s a video lecture on meat glue in the industry.

here’s a news report on meat glue.

think mcnuggets, but they don’t have to label it.  think fake crabmeat.  noticed a creamier yogurt lately?  maybe that’s what’s doing it.  blood clotting agent.

being transglutaminase, does it contain msg?  is it the same thing?  does it have the same neurotransmitter effect that msg has?  i can’t tell.  but i’ll keep my eye out and let you know.  in the meantime, it may be that it’s best to avoid most boneless meat roasts, as well as all that other crap we know is bad.

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i can’t find aluminum free baking powder anymore

Posted by jeanne on January 28, 2011

How to Make Your Own Aluminum-Free Baking Powder

Making Baking Powder at Home Using Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar

May 6, 2009 Theresa Bledsoe

Out of baking powder? Don’t despair. You probably have the ingredients for a suitable substitute on hand. And the best part is, this baking powder is aluminum-free.

Baking powder purchased from the grocery store typically contains aluminum–an ingredient that many people these days would prefer to avoid consuming. The rare brand without aluminum will usually declare its aluminum-free status on the front label of the packaging. If in doubt, it’s always wise to check the list of ingredients on the package. The added aluminum will probably be listed as sodium aluminum sulfate.

Many people are surprised to learn that baking powder contains ingredients. After all, when cooking, bakers often tend to think of baking powder as an ingredient in its own right. But because baking powder really is a mixture of ingredients, it can easily be made at home.

Mixing up your own baking powder provides several benefits. One of the most important, as mentioned above, is that the inclusion of aluminum can be avoided. In addition, commercial baking powder is generally purchased in sizeable amounts. For avid bakers, this is not a problem. But for those who bake only on occasion, it can mean that the baking powder will lose much of its leavening ability before it is used up. This can result in flatter than usual baked goods that are too dense or that have an under-cooked appearance.

One way to know that baking powder is fresh is to make it at home to store in small amounts, or to make it only as it is needed. By keeping on hand the ingredients needed to make baking powder, home bakers can be sure they always have fresh, aluminum-free baking powder that’s ready to use.

Simple Recipe for Baking Powder


1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon corn starch (optional)


Mix the baking soda and cream of tartar together until well combined.

Use immediately, or add the optional corn starch.

Cornstarch will absorb any moisture from the air and help prevent the baking powder from reacting and losing its leavening ability before it is used. Store in an airtight container.

Without the optional cornstarch, this recipe yields one Tablespoon or three teaspoons of baking powder.  If the additional cornstarch is used, use 1 1/3 teaspoons of the mixture for every teaspoon of baking powder called for in the recipe.

To make larger amounts of this recipe, remember to keep a 2:1 ratio in mind. Use two times as much cream of tartar as baking soda. If cornstarch is to be used, it should be used in an amount equal to the baking soda.

Making baking powder at home is a simple activity that produces satisfying results. By using it, the home baker can be sure that it is both fresh and aluminum-free.

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background noise affects the taste of food

Posted by jeanne on October 15, 2010

Posted by samzenpus on Friday October 15, @04:06PM from the that-sounds-delicious dept.

gollum123 writes

“The level of background noise affects both the intensity of flavour and the perceived crunchiness of foods, researchers have found. Blindfolded diners assessed the sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness, as well as overall flavour, of foods as they were played white noise. While louder noise reduced the reported sweetness or saltiness, it increased the measure of crunch. It may go some way to explaining why airline food is notoriously bland — a phenomenon that drives airline catering companies to season their foods heavily. In a comparatively small study, 48 participants were fed sweet foods such as biscuits or salty ones such as crisps, while listening to silence or noise through headphones. Also in the group’s findings there is the suggestion that the overall satisfaction with the food aligned with the degree to which diners liked what they were hearing — a finding the researchers are pursuing in further experiments.”

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7 deadly sins

Posted by jeanne on August 24, 2010

posted in its entirety from activist post.  it’s important to know this stuff

7 Secret Ways We Are Being Poisoned

from Activist Post

The objectivism of the scientific method seems to have been hijacked by corporations who often pay for scientists to support their products, as well as politicians who move through the revolving door between the private and public sector.  Even worse is that sometimes the consumer protection agencies themselves are complicit.

The trust placed by consumers in scientific studies and Federal oversight committees has been violated in service to profit so that products are allowed to enter the marketplace with reduced safety standards.   The synthetic chemicals we encounter on a daily basis in our food, water, and environment are increasingly shown to be disastrous to our physical and mental well-being.  Volumes can be written — indeed have been written — by experts in both mainstream and alternative medicine who have documented the sleight of hand used to hoodwink consumers and threaten our health.  The categories below are worth deeper investigation as prime examples of what we might face as a species if this chemical bombardment continues.

  • GMO foods — Monsanto started as a chemical company that brought the world poisons like Agent Orange and Roundup.  Now they are more well known for their domination of Genetically Modified agriculture, owning nearly 90% of staple GMO crops such as corn, soy, and cotton. In independent studies GMO “frankenfood” has been linked to organ failure, and a recent Russian study has concluded near-total sterility in GMO-soy-fed hamsters by the third generation.  Despite these and many other legitimate health concerns, it is unlikely that the Monsanto-controlled FDA will curb the growth of GMO foods, while the USDA’s biotechnology risk assessment research arm has a paltry $3 million at its disposal.  Of course the industry-funded studies show that the effects GMO on human health are “negligible.”
  • Food additives — When most of us think of harmful food additives we think of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which is still in many processed foods, but unfortunately MSG appears to be the least of the poisons now found in our food.  In 2008 Melamine was found in infant formula and some food products from China; the FDA went on record to say it was OK, despite sickening tens of thousands.  Dangerous food additives appear in nearly all processed foods with even the most common food dyes Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 being linked to cancer.  Most recently 92,000 pounds of frozen chicken was recalled because it contained “blue plastic pieces,” while McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets have been found to have “silly putty” chemicals in them.  In fact, some researchers estimate that today’s chicken is so full of chemicals that it only contains 51% actual meat.
  • Fluoride — Not all fluoride is bad; only the type promoted by dentistry and added to our water and food supply.  Calcium fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, while its synthetic counterpart, sodium fluoride (silicofluoride), is an industrial-grade hazardous waste material made during the production of fertilizer.  It’s past history includes patented use as rat poison and insecticide.   There are many blind- and double-blind studies that show sodium fluoride has a cumulative effect on the human body leading to allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, bone weakening, cancer, and neurological problems.  In this case, the EPA’s Union of scientists issued a white paper condemning fluoridation of drinking water.  However, as a hazardous waste, it is extremely expensive to dispose of as such.  And here might be a clue as to why this chemical, more toxic than lead and almost on par with arsenic, has been disposed of for our consumption.
  • Mercury — A dangerous heavy metal in its natural quicksilver form, but more so as the neurotoxin, methylmercury, released into the environment by human activity.  In both organic and inorganic form, mercury wreaks havoc with the nervous system — especially the developing nervous system of a fetus.  It penetrates all living cells of the human body, and has been documented most as increasing the risk for autism.  This calls into question mercury’s use in dental fillings, vaccines, and just about anything containing high fructose corn syrup — a near staple in the American diet . . . including baby food.  But the Corn Refiners Association naturally supports this chemical that is “dangerous at any level.”
  • Aspartame — The king of artificial sweeteners was allowed to the market in 1981 when the U.S. Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Arthur Hull Hayes, overruled FDA panel suggestions, as well as consumer concerns.  Aspartame is a neurotoxin that interacts with natural organisms, as well as synthetic medications, producing a wide range of proven disorders and syndromes.  So who installed this commissioner that would rule against scientists and the public?  Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G.D. Searle; the maker of Aspartame.  Rumsfeld was on Reagan’s transition team, and the day after Reagan took office he appointed the new FDA Commissioner in order to “call in his markers” with one of the most egregious cases of profit-over-safety ever recorded.  Aspartame is now nearly ubiquitous, moving beyond sugarless products and into general foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and even products for children.  It recently has been renamed to the more pleasant sounding AminoSweet.
  • Personal care and cleaning products — Everyday household items and cosmetic products are applied directly to the skin, absorbed through the scalp, and inhaled.  The Story of Cosmetics uses an animated video to tell a haunting tale of industrial violations and complicit “public safety” groups . . . and still only tells half of that story.   The list of common products and their chemical components is encyclopedic.  The sum total of the overwhelming presence of these chemicals has been linked to nearly every allergy, chronic affliction, and disease known to man.  Most recently, household cleaning products have been linked to breast cancer and ADHD in children.
  • Airborne pollutants — In a NASA article titled “Airborne Pollutants Know No Borders” they stated that, “Any substance introduced into the atmosphere has the potential to circle the Earth.” The jet stream indeed connects all of us. There is one category of airborne pollution that has been conspiracy theory despite a voluminous number of unclassified documents from 1977 Senate hearings:  chemical spraying (chemtrails) by both private and commercial aircraft.  Recent admissions by public officials strengthen the case.  Fallout from these chemical trails has been tested and shows very high levels of barium and aluminum.  Interesting to note that Monsanto announced that they recently developed an aluminum-resistant gene to be introduced.  Chemtrails might seem like abject paranoia, but there is a current example of chemical spraying that is undeniable: the spraying of Corexit oil dispersant over the Gulf.  This process of aerial application can be likened to crop-dusting, which we know has been going on for nearly 100 years.  Wars abroad even seem to be affecting global air quality, as military munitions such as depleted uranium have entered the upper atmosphere, spreading around the planet.  The observable effects of depleted uranium are not pleasant.  Airborne pollutants have been linked to allergies, genetic mutations, and infertility.

This is all leading to scientific, governmental, and medical management of the health and rights of the individual. It is ironic (or coincidental) that when one becomes sick due to the unnatural products listed above, the mainstream medical establishment aims to treat the afflictions with more unnatural chemicals.  Furthermore, some of the people at high levels of American government and academia such as John P. Holdren, the current White House Science Czar, have advocated population control via “pollution particles” as far back as 1977 in books such as Ecoscience.  Holdren’s views of humanity could make one question the intentionality of the poisons in our environment.

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