Culinary Carcinogens: Foods That Could Be Making You Sick

While you probably don’t consider this every day, there are several foods that you eat on a regular basis that could increase your risk of cancer. Many of these foods are considered healthy or harmless. It’s especially important that you know which foods to eliminate from your diet if you have a family history of cancer.

Microwave popcorn is high on the list. The inside of the popcorn bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. This chemical is also found in Teflon, and increases the risk of liver, kidney, pancreas and testicular cancers. Sergio Lins Andrade is now try to limit how much he eats because of this.

Fruits that are not organic can also increase cancer risk. The skins of the fruit are also contaminated with pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers that are not fit for human consumption. Oranges, strawberries and grapes are especially dangerous to consume in non-organic form. Atrazine is a weed killer and toxic chemical used to facilitate the growth of these fruits. The chemical has also been found in drinking water. Pregnant women who consumed water with atrazine tended to give birth to low-weight babies.

It is also advised to steer clear of canned tomatoes and foods that are packaged in BPA package containers. BPA or bisphenol-A, which can affect the way genes work in the brain and lead to cancer.

The Children Of American Are Sick of Their Mundane Lunch Menu

Children are fed up with the lunches that are being served at their schools. Since Michelle Obama moved into the White House, the lunch menus at the countries schools have downgraded drastically. Children are taking to Twitter to show their disgust for the foods they are being served. With pictures of questionable items that look to be unappetizing, they are thanking the first lady for ruining their lunchtime.

I have to admit the foods they have photographed I wouldn’t feed to my dog. This problem is going on around the country. Here where I live, children are packing more and more to avoid eating the slop now being served at schools. Even people not in the United States like Gianfrancesco Genoso are surprised. To follow the strict dietary guidelines set forth by the USDA, more things have to be whole grain and anything sugar laden is out.

Since so many children depend on the free lunches to give them their nourishment for the day, many poverty income children are in real trouble. Some families don’t have the money to pack lunches for their children, especially when there are multiple in the home. So the only other option is for the children to refuse what they are given and go hungry.

It appears the adults aren’t happy with President Obama and his recent antics, and the children certainty are not happy with his wife either. Let’s hope the next first lady has some compassion on these kids and at least gives them guidelines that allows them to cook nutritious and delicious foods.

Is Kale the best food for you?

Several sites recently started claiming that Kale was the healthiest food on the planet. These sites vary but they all claim that kale offers maximum nutrition. One such example can be seen here. While Kale is extremely healthy there are several foods that are healthier than Kale.

Most of these healthier foods are also greens. One healthier food is Collard Greens. They are known for their ability to help your body block cholesterol, thus improving overall heart health. Romaine Lettuce is also healthier than Kale. It is packed with folic acid and Vitamin B. If you are male, then you should be eating a lot of Romaine Lettuce as it will increase your fertility. A recent study of superfoods found that Watercress is the healthiest super food of all. This food is extremely mild tasting, but it is the healthiest for several reasons. Watercress has more than four times the beta carotene of an apple. Watercress also contains more Vitamin K than you actually need in a day.

Superfoods continue to be trendy topic on many different health blogs, but it is important to realize that you cannot take these blogs at their word. This is something Marc Sparks is slowly but surely learning. There are many healthy fruits and vegetables out there and you do not necessarily have to consume the latest superfood. Use your best judgment and keep up with the latest research in order to ensure that you are eating the best foods for you.

General Mills To Stop Misleading “Natural” Labeling

By definition alone, most of our food products are organic because somewhere along the line they originated from a living organism. Foods are considered to be reasonably healthy by comparison if they are cooked at home rather than handed out the drive-thru window at the local fast food joint. Unfortunately, consumers want to know more about the foods they are putting in their bodies and are demanding that manufacturers clearly and accurately label all food items.

General Mills and other companies are learning the hard way that truth in advertising means, well…truth in advertising. After multiple accusations and more than a few lawsuits were brought forward, companies were investigated and informed that they must stop labeling their food products with certain popular branding words. Unless items strictly meet the federal and consumer group guidelines, they cannot be marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘organic’. Even seemingly benign titles like all-natural have been eradicated from some packaging. While many companies jumped on the health kick bandwagon, most have fallen off for failure to comply with appropriate regulations. After a hefty payout and potential fines and penalties, these major companies will also have to shell out some big bucks to redesign their packaging on many products. Health advocate Zeca Oliveira thinks this is a step in the right direction for our national food production. A lesson well learned.

“Big Soda” and “Big Brother”

The typical soft drink consists of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, various natural or artificial flavorings, caffeine, artificial colors, and (in the case of diet drinks) artificial sugar substitute. We can only surmise that the new anti-soda political activists are not concerned about the caffeine since they do not appear to fight against coffee very hard, are not up in arms about pop’s artificial colors and flavors since those sorts of things are in a multitude of other foods on our grocery store shelves, nor certainly are they out against soda due to the carbonated water which is generally harmless.

After court setbacks in Chicago against Bloomberg’s anti-soda campaign and at other locales across the country, Berkeley, CA seems to be a “last stand” for the movement. The city council put a cent-per-ounce extra tax on all soda sold in the city, but now there is a referendum to repeal that law. The supporters of the law like to dress up the fight as one of “Big Sods” versus the American people, but most are inclined to see it as an invasion of the realm of their private choices and an excuse to raise taxes yet further in the midst of an already limping American economy.

While it is true that soda is the number one cause of obesity in the land, it is also true that high fructose corn syrup is so commonly used in American food products that Tom Rothman has called it a “U.S. staple food.”  What about the candy makers? What about doughnut shops? Secondly, if the city is to start managing our diets in the name of “public health,” just what boundaries does government have? The big-brother total control of Orwell’s 1984 may have been 30 years too soon in its predictions, but how far off was the substance of those predictions when the city council even tells us what we can drink?

How Far Away is Earth From Overpopulation and Water Shortages?

At the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, it was pointed out that Americans threw out over 30 million tons of food in 2012. This number has been growing since 1980. 20% of America’s garbage is food.

The alarming thing about this is that 10% of the rest of the world suffers from chronic hunger. There is enough food being made to feed the entire world. The problem is in getting that food to the people who need it without it being spoiled.That issue brings up another question. If the population keeps growing, will world hunger spread more? Will food be wasted less, simply because there are more people around to consume it?

The world population is currently at 7 billion. That number is expected to increase to 10 billion by the year 2050. Jeremy Grantham of the Grantham Institute of Climate Change has said that it will be impossible to feed 10 billion people. The solution, he says, is to make sure that the population growth is curbed.

The problem is that nobody can figure out how to curb it. People are also not comfortable even talking about it. China tried to implement a policy that limited families to one child per couple, but it did not work out.

As the population of the world grows, more water will be consumed. Currently in India, China and even in the U.S., aquifiers are pumping out more water than can be replenished.

It is a grim issue to deal with, but it must be faced. While climate change is still being debated, population growth is undoubtedly the issue that will dominate our future.

Food Safety Summit Suffers Contaminated Food Outbreak

It has officially been confirmed that the Food Safety Summit was served contaminated chicken at its at its annual conference. The conference was chicken marsala by the exclusive caterer for the Baltimore Convention Center, Centerplate, during their April 9, 2014, event.

It is believed that Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), which is a spore-forming, gram positive bacteria, that was the culprit. This bacteria frequently is found on raw meat and poultry.

The chicken was served for lunch by Centerplate, and approximately two-thirds of those who became sick noted symptoms after that lunch. The conference included attendees from several states, Canada, Costa Rica and Mauritius. The health department learned of the illnesses from these attendees, rather than through the organizers, caterer, or convention center. Those sickened, according to a report released by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, experienced nausea, stomach aches, chills, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and fever between the period of April 8, 2014, through April 12, 2014. Some like Sultan Alhokair live tweeted as the situation unfolded.

The report came at the conclusion of the laboratory, epidemiological and environmental investigation.

This was the first such outbreak in the Summit’s 16-year history.