Posts Tagged 'yields'

Food Inc. to be shown PBS

The following link will take you to www.pbs.org to find out what time your local listing will show this awesome documentary.  If you haven’t seen Food Inc., you should.  Food should not be industrialized, it should be personalized.  This documentary walks you through the hazards of industrialized foods.  Watch it with your family and friends and spread the word.  We highly recommend it!

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Excellent Documentary

Please view this documentary.  It is an excellent example of finding out where your food supply comes from and demanding it be better.

Deconstructing Food

C’mon, fill your lungs with free radicals.

We have all been bombarded with advertisements and media reports about antioxidants in various forms being heralded as everything from the fountain of youth to protection from our own bad habits.  Along with the news on antioxidants comes the message that free radicals (what antioxidants neutralize) are evil and we should do everything we can to stop their production.  Stopping the production of free radicals in your body is easy.  So easy in fact, that all you have to do is stop breathing forever… it’s that easy.  Obviously we are not supposed to completely stop the production of free radicals, so this must be one of those situations where a delicate balance must be achieved.

So why all the hype?  First, free radicals are substances that have an unpaired leectron which enables them to be highly reactive and in some biological situations, highly damaging.  Antioxidants are substances that have reduction capability and thus end the free radical chain reactions and in effect neutralize the radical intermediates of oxidative reactions…blah blah blah.  All that big chemistry talk means is that if free radicals are a fire spreading out of control, then antioxidants are the water used to control and eventually put the fire out.  Free radicals happen every day during normal chemical reactions in our bodies; their production is accelerated during times of stress, illness, exercise or toxic exposure.  A healthy, varied diet of whole, raw, live foods, espeically with a rainbow of colors, should be all that is needed to provide an ample dose of antioxidants to combat a normal production of free radicals.  Few of us however, live a life devoid of stress, illness, and exercise or toxic exposures.  These necessitate a supplemental increase in our antioxidant intake.  Most of us also do not consume a rich and varied diet of brightly colored raw foods on a regular basis.  The market is saturated with the next big miracle antioxidant.  What we have to realize is that certain antioxidants work in certain circumstances and under certain conditions to neutralize certain free radicals.  We need a variety of antioxidant nutrients from a variety of sources to combat all the free radical variables (i.e., ones we ingest, breath, absorb, etc).  It’s not enough to take a big load of Resvertatrol and think that it is taking care of all your antioxidant needs.  As the saying goes “variety is the spice of life.”  An antioxidant supplement that is whole food based and provides many different types of antioxidants is the best bet to combat the free radical onslaught of daily life.

The Fuel in Meat and Potatoes

This is a very interesting article that can be found in the very informative Mother Nature Network blog. http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/health/blogs/the-fuel-in-meat-and-potatoes

Fructose and Semantics – Natural (processed) Born (man-made) Killer (killer)

A current media blitz would have you believe that fructose, specifically high fructose corn syrup (HFCS for short) is not only “healthy in moderation” just like any caloric sweetener but is also chemically the same as table sugar to your body.  Both statements are flat out wrong and misleading.  Sort of like a publicists spin story on a compromising photo of a celebrity that has been splashed across the internet.

First lets get the chemistry out of the way. Your body runs on glucose, a simple sugar.  Fructose is another simple sugar, but here is the shocker, as you can see from the spelling GLUcose and FRUCTose, these two similar simple sugars are not in fact the same thing. Scientists like to name things and whenever new and different things are discovered they get a new name.  So, in fact researchers long ago confirmed that there is a difference between these two molecules and they were given different names. We know when we put glucose into the body certain things happen, a few highlights would be that insulin is released and another hormone called leptin is secreted.  The sugar is then taken into the cells by the insulin and metabolized for energy. Insulin and leptin both signal our brain to stop eating as we have sugar in the blood and therefore any more is excess and thus we are satiated. Many millions of other things happen as well but these two points will help show the case against fructose. When fructose is put into our bodies it is absorbed primarily in the jejunem and processed by the liver never triggering a proportionate insulin release and is readily converted into triglycerides and spurs an increase in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).  No leptin is released in response to fructose so with little insulin and no leptin your brain does not know you are full and more calories are consumed than needed. Fructose also raises our bodies levels of uric acid, and lactic acid neither is a good thing to have more of in you blood, this has damaging effects on the heart and kidneys and liver.

One very important fact about fructose in relation to insulin is that it has an effect on the target cells insulin receptors.  It causes a down regulation so when we do consume glucose we have to pump out more insulin.  This is called “insulin resistance” and this directly leads to diabetes syndrome X and other health problems. As to the idea that HFCS is natural and just like table sugar, both are a mix of fructose and glucose, however HFCS is a mix of the two simple sugars, table sugar is sucrose a disaccharide made of 1 glucose bound to 1 fructose. This bonding makes them behave very differently in our body as we have seen. This is not to say sugar is a good thing to consume in any quantity just that sugar would be preferred over HFCS due to the reasons above. If you are consuming predominatly whole, raw, live, fresh foods then you will not have to worry about this as HFCS does not exist in nature, though it is considered and labeled “natural.” It is natural in the sense that it does at some point come from corn but it is heavily processed and modified from the corn starch from which it started. Mind you, it is not a simple extraction process to make HFCS.  The heavy processing and stripping of other nutrients both micro and macro have much to do with making this sweetner such a harmful product.

We are now seeing another fructose sweetener in processed foods and drinks called “crystalline fructose”.  This is really just like HFCS only with the dial turned up to ten.  It can be much worse for you and can even be found with traces of heavy metals and other poisons in it like arsenic and lead. We should also mention that almost all the HFCS in our food supply is made from genetically modified corn. GM corn is a big problem as the Bt toxin (pesticide) in the plant promotes an allergenic response and many more people are presenting with corn allergies these days. The big issue is that once someone develops an allergy to GM corn then they are also allergic to natural organic corn, and since some form of corn is in almost every meal Americans eat, this becomes a big problem (hence so many different reactions to foods). A little bit of anything can generally be accepted by the body and handled while maintaining health but USDA stats show that HFCS consumption has skyrocketed.  Between the years 1970 and 2005 the average American increased their HFCS intake by 10,673%, that is not moderation. Many correlations have been made between this rise and the rise in modern diseases of degeneration like heart disease, cancer and of course diabetes.  Many factors coexist to nutritionally harm us and lead us down the path of disease but nobody can argue that the huge amount of sugar and in particular HFCS has had nothing to do with our nations health issues.  Not even a great publicist.

Food Inc. Heard of it? You Should.

check out the website and view the trailer here.

honeybees – why should we care that they are dying?

There is actually terminology for it – CCD Colony Collapse Disorder. Something is killing the honeybees around the world.  In the past, beekeepers annually lost between 5 and 10% of their colonies.  In 2007 that number rose to over 13% and last year to over 35%. Everybody immediately thinks of honey when they think of bees, and of course that is important.  However, the real effect is that honeybees are a major and primary pollinator of many food crops. A few of the crops affected are nuts especially almonds, fruits like apples, and many vegetables a full third of the entire us food supply counts on honeybees. No one is sure exactly what is causing this but many ideas make sense and its probably some combination of them that is actually at fault.

Certainly pesticides could do it and in fact it is well known that nicotine based products have an especially damaging effect. These products, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin (primarily from Bayer) are known to have fatal effects on honeybees and other pollinators. Imidacloprid and Clothianidin are bad chemicals all the way around and have a multitude of damaging effects to our environment. Also, this chemical is sold to farmers and to the general population for home use and Continue reading ‘honeybees – why should we care that they are dying?’