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What hormones, genetic alterations, antibiotics, and false information have you heard about in the food supply?

  • smaki Mar 2, 2011 12:22 PM

Do we really know what is going in our mouths? Sometimes it is better not to think about it.

Did you know they tried to put arctic flounder fish gene into tomatoes for better cold resistance. Fortunately these are not in our food supply. Here is more information of something that almost happened:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/dna/pop_genet...

Extra rBST did make it into the milk supply and when the Fox couple got fired in Tampa that story was not covered by the news as well as it could have been. rBST fortified milk is still around in all kinds of products because a dairy will get 15 - 20 % more production from each cow to make more money. The Feds allow rBST in the milk supply. The Fox News couple who broke the story in Tampa got fired. The milk supply is old news and here as an example only.

What kinds of new things have you heard of not so talked about? We do not want to be a rumor mill so try to provide links to information as back-up to get conversation started on a subject most of us do not like to think about.

Cattle, chickens, pork, turkeys, and most protein that is farmed often involves all kinds of growth hormones and antibiotics. Eating not-natural one would think negatively effects people while not sure of specific studies about it.

Bottom line is we do not know what we are eating from the store or restaurant. Most don't care enough to worry about it so it will continue because the majority rules. Each of us votes with dollars spent and the milk supply is an example of one that is getting better in recent times through consumer education.

Our government often does not regulate this as well as it could. So talking about things to educate consumers can help overall public health. Bad and processed foods make it into the supply chain now. Regulation decisions are driven by money not our health. Talking about it can help us all make better purchase decisions. The court systems are not just the person with the best lawyer just wins, look at OJ who used money to buy his way out of his wife's trial with a win.

I have a garden and enjoy eating food when know where it comes from and every step of how it was made including where the water comes from. It is impossible always to know the history of every item in our mouth while is a great goal to shoot for. It seems most have gotten used to the convenient surpluses of large farms so get their food from the store trusting it is safe to eat when it not always is. Maybe someday food labeling will help those who care. In the mean time it sure is hard to know what we are putting in our mouths even when someone takes the time to try to care.

What kind of hormone, genetic alterations, antibiotic, unknown things going in our mouth horror stories do you have to share about our food supply? Trying to open conversation on topics not covered because those selling bad products tend to squish information with the piles of money made. Conversation helps consumers know about problems, to make better educated decisions using their dollars to vote on who should be around long-term.

~ SMaki

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  1. Are you running for office?

    5 Replies
    1. re: beevod

      No not in politics. Just want to communicate to do my part to help keep those who are in public jobs honest so we can all eat better food. Tired of seeing the population be legally poisoned over and over again so someone can sell a new product to make money. Another example: please recall all the sugar substitutes through the years were initially said safe then 5-10 years later they were taken off the market when proven cancerous. I feel, if we consumers communicate about bad things we can stop buying immediately to encourage removal from our food supply. Just an idea from a guy who does more research than some and is sickened by the hidden toxins in our grocery stores with well funded marketing hype only there to make someone rich.

      ~ SMaki

      1. re: smaki

        I am with you SMaki. What about all the food produced in China that sometime we're not even aware we're eating. I am very careful of the food I buy, I always look at which country produced it.

        1. re: TDEL

          Speaking of food produced in China, one of the biggest gripes in recent memory is that when a food product is labelled as "Product of Canada", legally it only means that 51% or more of the costs of the product was incurred in Canada. The raw material could have been from China, Russia, Vietnam etc. as long as enough of the processing and packaging happens in Canada.

          CBC did an expose back in 2009, but I wonder how many Canadians actually are aware of this?

          http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2009/ve...

          This is very deceptive marketing and seemingly designed to allow food manufacturers to skimp on costs, while misleading consumers about the quality of the products. I currently live in Canada and care a lot of about the quality of my food, and now when shopping for processed food, I feel I am faced with the dilemma of either taking a risk to pick products that are "made in Canada" (knowing that the foodstuff may be of unknown origin), or to pick the products that are clearly (and proudly) labelled as produced in the USA, France, Japan etc. (while doing a disservice to environmentalism and my wallet).

          1. re: vil

            Interesting!

            1. re: vil

              Actually that could explain something rather odd I noticed a few years ago. One of the big sellers of bulk Indian foods (in that the foods were those used mostly for Indian cooking, I have no idea how many if any of those companies are actually based in India). was selling 5lb. bags of lentils marked "Product of Canada". However it became fairly obvios once once one opened the bag that they lentils could not have been grown (at least could not all have been grown) in Canada; some of the "volunteers" (the seeds of the other things that were growing in the fields and got scooped up in the harvest with them) were for plants that I reconized as only being capable of growing in a tropical to sub tropical climate. The company changed growing areas a little later (the lentils themselves changed which is how I could tell) probably for other reasons (some of the other seeds, (incuding one that could cause real harm in massive quantities) were there in such profusion that I imagine the stuff finally failed the inspection of whatever the Canadian equivalent of the USDA is) but it was still odd.

      2. just to stick with your first example - assuming they still taste good, what s wrong with putting arctic flounder genes in a tomato?

        13 Replies
        1. re: thew

          Some maybe allergic to fish and have a allergic reaction. This happened to a woman who had a severe allergic reaction to GMO corn because they had genes from a fish I think.

          Still have no idea why we need to GM food.

          I think it's a corporate thing where if you GM food, you own it. Because GM food defy the "survival of the fittest" equation, they essentially wipe out Nature's variety. This way, the farmers can use only 1 variety, the gmo variety, and pay tons of license fees to the GM company. This is what's currently happening with corn. Farmers who didn't even plant GM corn are getting sued due to cross pollination.

          1. re: mwok

            need? need is a strange criteria on a site dedicated to all the varieties and subtleties of food; most of what we discuss does not fall into the category of "need".

            allergies is legitimate as a concern, could you cite a source for any such stories from a reputable source? using a fish gene does not turn a tomato into a fish, so im wondering where the allergen is.

            corporate malfeasance is an issue of how corporation are run, and are not inherent in the concept of GMO, only in the current execution

            1. re: thew

              "The classical understanding of why a GM crop might create new allergies is that the imported genes produce a new protein, which has never before been present. The novel protein may trigger reactions. This was demonstrated in the mid 1990s when soybeans were outfitted with a gene from the Brazil nut. While the scientists had attempted to produce a healthier soybean, they ended up with a potentially deadly one. Blood tests from people who were allergic to Brazil nuts showed reactions to the beans.[7] It was fortunately never put on the market."

              http://www.organicconsumers.org/artic...

              1. re: mwok

                thats legit. and interesting.
                and it means we need to be careful.
                but that's not the same as stagnant

                1. re: thew

                  Yes. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
                  Unintended consequences is not a small concern. I am not convinced that all problems or potential problems in our food chain are intentional or covert. Just too much of a rush to judgement, too much confidence in ourselves...then "ooops", "guess it really does cause cancer/heart disease/allergies/birth defects" or whatever.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    absolutely. i usually use the internal combustion engine as an analogy in this discussion. if we knew of all the negative consequences (intended or not), such as pollution, airplanes used for dropping bombs, etcetc, and approached it as we do GMO we may not have cars and planes, and all of the positive consequences (intended or not) like the end of agrarian slavery, a global community, ambulances, fresh food year round, and the ability to see more of the world than a 10 mile radius from where you were born

                  2. re: thew

                    yellow rice is bloody awesome. GMO in america is bloody dangerous.

                    1. re: Chowrin

                      "GMO in america is bloody dangerous"

                      Mass famine is much more dangerous...

                      1. re: Servorg

                        What about world famine due to GMO gone wrong?

                        Not that anyone's opinion is going to be changed here, let alone the world being saved.

                        Having lived a year in a third world country ... and lord, if there's a more third world country than this, I don't want to go ... I'm skeptical that the food would be going to those that need it.

                        IMO, there are better ways to address the problm or world famine without playing genetic routette ... such as education, birth control, etc, etc, etc.

                        Just anothoer thought without expectations of even anyone really thinking about it.

                        1. re: rworange

                          The WHO and others agree with you.

                          1. re: sedimental

                            rworange

                            I totally agree with you. I really don't think we should be messing around with that stuff!

                      2. re: Chowrin

                        how so? i'm not asking how one or another specific crop is dangerous, nor am i asking how monsanto et al are promoting/distributing it, i'm asking how GMO in general, as a whole concept, is dangerous

                    2. re: mwok

                      How is that different from a new gene that is created through a mutation? Mutations happen constantly in all organisms, and are, after all, the basis of how things evolve. Why should a gene spliced in on purpose instead of randomly by nature be per se any more suspectl? Genes are only sequences of four amino acids, and the same four acids occur everywhere in living things.

              2. Growth hormones are not use in US chicken, turkey, or pork production per USDA regulation (side note - I hate using production when talking about raising livestock, but was at a loss for another word). Modern chicken, turkey and pig breeds used for food in the US grow very quickly as it is, and growth hormones wouldn't do much good.

                Edit to add: Here's a newsletter from NC State (my local ag school) explaning why growth hormones are pointless with modern poultry
                http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci...

                5 Replies
                1. re: mpjmph

                  I stopped eating all supermarket meats. Chickens are supposed to eat worms, not corn.
                  The corn feed are the lowest quality (according to one farmer) and are all GMO.

                  1. re: mwok

                    You are so right about corn. Do you recall a few years ago when the wrong corn made it to Taco Bell? Most of the public didn't notice. Monsanto created a corn rodents would not eat. And they feed it to what we eat: including cows, pigs, chickens, turkey, etc.

                    Hot off the press is a recent article on genetically modified corn and foods and how we are eating them when we do not know it:

                    http://www.hpj.com/archives/2011/mar1...

                    1. re: smaki

                      More on corn. And the really bad stuff rodents won't eat gets fed to most animals in the general food supply:
                      http://discovermagazine.com/2001/mar/...

                      We mostly eat grass fed natural beef from a known source with good water. While are not crazy about it and sometimes eat out. Preffer Texas Long horn or Limousin cattle which are generally lower in fat while sometimes a bit tougher if not cooked right.

                      1. re: smaki

                        Thanks for sharing this smaki.

                      2. re: mwok

                        Many meats have growth hormones it hits the news sometimes:

                        http://searchwarp.com/swa51791.htm

                        http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/i...

                        http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetCon...

                        http://www.preventcancer.com/consumer...

                        Yes that last one is about American beef banned in Europe posted on a Cancer website.

                    2. "Bottom line is we do not know what we are eating from the store or restaurant."

                      Bottom line is that we don't know what's truly harmful and what's not. In other words, there can be no meaningful discussion since there isn't enough evidence. It's like trying to have a discussion on a Russian play when you've only seen the first act; and, if you don't know Russian - If you don't have a good understanding of biology, physiology and organic chemistry - even less can be discussed and understood.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: ediblover

                        Evidence, it is all over online. Google a topic of your choice. In hopes to get meaningful discussion going here is some concrete evidence that goes against most of our thinking. If we all contribute here daily this will be a great place to learn and share. My evening contribution follows.

                        My grandmother a nurse for over 50 years lived to be 97. I took care of her in her late life to extend the time she was on the family farm for a few years. She told me about coconut oil and bacon fat being all they fried with before WW2. She taught me how to make the burned brown crust and bits on the pan after frying protein in saturated fat into a gravy. What she did is put water into the cast iron pan and boil all the flavor and bits off then pour it into a bowl and let the hot water and fat separate to the top then would skim the fat off and make gravy out of the remainder thickening with flour and water. We ate gravy over everything with red skinned yellow inside fresh dug Finn potatoes and what ever meat was around. Potatoes and gravy were part of almost every dinner with cranberry sauce and a small glass of red wine. She insisted it was healthy to me to fry in saturated fat and proved it with longevity. How can an old woman eat all that saturated fat and live so long I thought to myself. Possibly skimming it off or maybe what everyone had been teaching me is wrong...

                        So I quizzed her when still alive. Why do you think all that saturated fat is good? She told me about this great deal her dad had gotten on coconut oil in the 20's or 30s and that is was his plan to make a fortune with good grass and fat on his cattle heard. The cows ran through fences and ended up extremely skinny way below normal grass fed weight. I put into Google ... coconut oil cattle ... with this as the top result:

                        http://www.naturalhealthstrategies.co...

                        As the story goes, when the Philippines were taken by Japan the coconut oil supply dried up. The vegetable oil companies had more money than the coconut oil companies and created the food rumor unsaturated fat oil is better to fry with than saturated fat. Grandma told me the US vegetable oil companies had more money than the coconut oil companies and won. Here is a real world concrete example open for discussion of something to talk about. We are always told unsaturated fats are better for us - when it may be marketing hype. Money and advertising influences media and news which effects the general pubic eating habits.

                        Grandma is not always right while talking about it can maybe help us, our friends, our families, and others going forward make better food decisions. My goal is for future generations to have it better than we do and that is why I care.

                        1. re: smaki

                          More written information about coconut oil is at this website and it has a video of a doctor talking about the benefits of coconut oil consumption:
                          http://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/

                          There are many claimed benefits to eating coconut oil. This website and others say coconut oil increases metabolism to help people loose weight. Also, eating coconut oil is proven to help build up the bodies immune system to fight off sickness (outside of a mother's milk, pure coconut oil is natures most plentiful source of lauric acid). To loose weight, have more energy, and not get sick and much could be a good thing.

                          1. re: smaki

                            This is sort of what I meant.

                            Let's take it out of the science realm and more on to the basics. When it comes to information, the common sources are books, websites, movies, textbooks and journals. How many of them have oversight and what type are they? Only 2, the textbook and journal have "guards" in place to make sure that the information is accurate. The others? Not so much, since they're more about making a profit. The problem is that the other 3 often pick and choose information from the 2. It gets funny here, because the 2 will likely say, "This suggests..." and "Further study is needed."

                            We just don't know. To speculate and/or to present incomplete information as facts, is harmful. I can say that soy is bad because it mimics estrogen and cite a dozen sources supporting this. Because, it's true. The catch is that we'd have to eat a stupid high amount of it to be adversely affected. "X is dangerous." Replace X with anything and it will be true.

                            Anything can be made to look bad as well as good. When it comes to food and health, the only statements I feel comfortable with are to balance what you eat and to eat a variety of things. Because, well, those are really the only two that hold without a catch.

                            1. re: ediblover

                              Life is hazardous to ones health as it leads inexorably to death...If we obsess so much over what we are putting in our bodies as to miss out on the life around us we are the ultimate losers.

                              1. re: ediblover

                                Thank you! I don't expect others to be knee deep in medical journals all the time, but I'm frequently shocked at the utter lack of science literacy in the US, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.

                                1. re: mpjmph

                                  I agree. I am also shocked at the amount of sick, obese and misinformed folks in the US too. I doubt that either the scientifically illiterate -or those very sick folks- are reading CH or are even aware or concerned about diet and exercise. Typically, both of those characteristics go together. Many folks are not interested in food and health (and taste!) to the extent that most posters here are.

                                  It is nice to have a place to get ideas about food/health/taste issues, where so many people actually care about what they eat! As with any forum on any topic... you should "take what you need and leave the rest".

                              2. re: smaki

                                smaki
                                can you explain how to make this gravy with more details. I have never made gravy but would like to do it the way your grandma did. thanks.

                              3. re: ediblover

                                While talking about vegetable oils here is another example of something concrete to talk about in attempt to further contribute toward this discussion.

                                All of the TV shows, websites, and media say Canola oil is one of the most healthy there is. When two things about Canola oil make me wonder and try to not eat it in our home...

                                First, In the mid-90s I read in the Wall Street Journal the smoke off of Canola oil had been found cancerous. Apparently when Canola oil goes over its smoke point it turns into polymers which is plastic that when it gets into the body starts cancer. The smoke off any unsaturated fat oil could be cancerous cold be concluded. Any oil over its smoke point could be cancerous. The Food Channel, Create, and all the chefs I watch on TV smoke Canola oils and others like Olive all the time then breathe is and should they really? Possibly we at home should not be breathing the smoke from vegetable oils of all any kind like they do on TV. Most TV shows have commercial hoods where the smoke is not left around - when the closed airflow in houses could have the plastic bits hanging around in the house for hours. Maybe we should fry with something else and improve our airflow around the stove... or something.

                                Second, Canola oil actually is a marketing ploy of Canada as rapeseed is their #1 crop and I was once told no one wanted the cold pressed raw oil as it smelled terrible (do not know if true and hope not spreading a 'smelly' rhumor here so will post below if learn wrong at any point in the future). The same sources said most Canola oil these days is a highly processed product including heat to make the smell go away. When Canada went to pick a name for highly processed rape seed oil in the 70's during the granola craze may have picked a name that rhymed with the well known health food in hopes for favorable association. While the WF link below says something else about where the name came from that could be true. I try to eat things as close to nature as possible, do feel Canola is too processed for me to want it in my mouth so shy away from it for now. And would rather not have it around as get enough of it from processed food and eating out. Here is what WF says about canola oil confirming people should not breath the smoke like it appear the chefs do on TV when in reality their hoods are probably sucking it away from them:
                                http://www.drtimdelivers.com/nihtalk1...

                                I pan fry to brown meat in bacon fat or coconut oil (and use as little as possible). We avoid deep frying because of the large amount of vegetable oil involved. For table use love a good olive oil as it comes from the plant with minimal heat / processing to our plate. I only use canola oil for something I don't want to get hard in the fridge - olive oil will solidify when cold. I make my Italian and most things without oil then put EVOO with it right before eating.

                                1. re: smaki

                                  Microwaves superheat vegetable oils and everything else. Are they healthy? Or just convenient. My Finn grandma would not eat from one, was afraid of them, and lived to be 97. Was her fear of microwaves and living a long time related?

                                  Hard to prove. Has anyone ever heard of microwaves being bad for you? To us was a strange fear we mostly felt funny and laughable. Not concrete or proof, but a hypothesis maybe someone has thought about for a scientific study. When I google things like: microwave bad for health ... all kinds of things come up. No we can not believe everything we read online but it is something to think about that goes against conventional thinking. Do not want to spread potentially false information, does anyone know anything concrete about microwave use and health? All the restaurants have microwaves because they are convienient, save them time, and make them more money. So thought worth bringing up to expand this discussion on oils beyond oils.

                                  1. re: smaki

                                    When it comes down to a future (and immediate in other cases) choice between literally millions of people starving to death, and possible long term health consequences due to GMO foods, I come down on the side of GMO.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      That's the argument the GMO movement likes to use, "to feed millions of starving people" (I can't believe people are dumb enough to believe in this argument). The reality is these people are starving because of civil wars/corruption in their country. In certain African countries, if you build a farm...they will come and burn it down. This is why the people are starving. GMO will not fix this. GMO makes it worse, as is the case of the indian farmers who had to pay ridicolous amounts of royalty fees which many could not afford and ended up killing themselves.
                                      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/world...

                                      At the moment, GMO seeds are setup to compete with Nature's variety competively. However, as soon as the Nature's variety is wiped out (survival of the fittest), the GM companies will have a monopolic hold on the seed and will drive prices extremely high. This will create even more millions of people that will starve.

                                      1. re: mwok

                                        both extreme stances are wrong. most starvation is political. however wheat and corn that can survive in semi arid zones, and plants that can survive without huge amounts of pesticide can indeed help.

                                        polarized arguments almist always miss the real facts on the ground, which are rarely either/or

                                        1. re: thew

                                          GMO plants that survive without huge amounts of pesticide? Are you talking about the GMO corn that produces it's own pesticide?

                                          Many of the tribes in Africa that use maize meal as their primary diet are doing just fine without GMO and they are not starving (except in the few that are under heavy civil wars).

                                        2. re: mwok

                                          Wheat or rice production needs to continue to be increased at a rate that is not possible without GMO. Population increases will outstrip the ability of many countries to feed their own people (wars and corruption aside) and these developing countries will not have the financial ability to purchase those crops. Without direct aid, or increased production in their own countries we are looking at a catastrophe that will make the worries over the "possible" health consequences of GMO a mere blip on the health radar...

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            People have fed themselves just fine for over 2000 years. The population has expanded to exponential magnitudes since then and we did not need GMO foods to do it.

                                            GMO is not the next step up. GMO is a way of "owning" the plants and branding them. Most countries accepting aid simply do not want GMO foods, in fact when we tried to give them GMO corn, they flat out refused it.

                                            1. re: mwok

                                              This all smacks of the folks who warned against the Green Revolution and against biogenetic drugs, gene therapy and the coming revolution in epigenetics, alongside the totally debunked scare over vaccinations. I'll leave you to it with this Nobel lecture by Norman Borlaug from 1970: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/pe...

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                So you are for:
                                                - wiping out seed banks
                                                - preventing farmers from saving their seeds
                                                - increase cost to farmers by ten fold
                                                - support patents of seeds and ownership so you have to pay royalty fees for any seed you plant
                                                - wipe out all other varieties of a plant and create a monoculture and pray that no disease affects it
                                                - increased world hunger
                                                - increase food prices (once monopoly is established)
                                                - eat even more pesticide (GMO roundup ready corn + roundup next gen corn etc)

                                                This is what the GMO movement is doing.

                                                1. re: mwok

                                                  Roundup is not a pesticide. It is an herbicide. Big difference, and a very significant one relative to your diatribe.

                                              2. re: mwok

                                                again, you are confusing the way monsanto, et al, are marketing GMO, and the concept and technology of GMO. I abhor the former, i applaud the latter.

                                  2. Guess I'd better abstain from luncheon meats.

                                    1. New topic. What about the toluene from plastic containers leaking into our food supply?

                                      Confirmed at sites like this:
                                      http://www.ewg.org/BottledWater/Bottl...

                                      Mayo just went to plastic including Best Foods / Helmans which I love to eat too much of. Many olive oils also come in plastic which to me is not something I want to buy.

                                      I want glass containers back for mayo. While may never see. They worked good to pickle in also and will miss using them over and over until they break.

                                      I do not buy olive oil in plastic.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: smaki

                                        Good topic smaki. I am just now looking into plastics for cold storage problems. I am switching to all glass (canning jars are cheap and useful). I love Best Foods and was soooo disappointed at their switch to plastic. I am seriously thinking of taking the plunge and making my own as needed. I do this for special use, but have never made *all* my own mayo. There was another thread on CH that gave some good ideas about making small batches successfully.

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          Be careful with home made mayo as it is not pasteurized. One of my favorite ways to eat halibut is to mix mayo and sour cream half and half and put some chopped onion in it then spread it over the 1" thick fish. Bake at 500 until brown and bubbly ... keeps the fish moist and tastes great but is an example of a use for Best Foods pasteurized that doesn't work with home made mayo.

                                          The plastic from food containers leaks toluene into the food supply. The food makers get a few more pennies for each sale and we get slowly poisoned in small amounts. This is another example of something off the radar for most of the public consumers of food products.

                                          1. re: smaki

                                            Some worry about raw eggs and pink meat-I don't. Statistically, getting in my car and going to work daily is more risky.
                                            As a bonus though, I have my own chickens :)

                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              Love chickens my grandfather was a chicken farmer. They make good fertilizer when alive. When you eat yours have no growth hormones. I still eat raw eggs, raw meat, most sushi, raw milk, it is a calculated risk when know how the producer made what goes in my mouth. Is part of living and some of the eating I enjoy most when know I'm risking it and others would not. Maybe it is the Finn in me as grew up eating all kinds of new things often. We all need to be careful but not get crazy about it. Yes I make my own mayo, just have to be be sure it never gets warm so treat it differently than store-bought pasteurized mayo and it is a great treat to enjoy.

                                              1. re: smaki

                                                Again, chickens in the US are not fed growth hormones. It is illegal to use growth hormones in poultry, and pretty ineffective anyway. It doesn't matter if you raise them yourself or buy them from the grocery store. There are plenty of reasons to raise your own if you can, or to buy organic/locally raised, but growth hormones aren't one of them.

                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                  That is correct. Chickens are loaded with antibiotics, its the beef that is full of growth hormone. I think it gets hard to keep the drugs straight :)

                                                  If you are sick -you need to eat more chicken for the extra antibiotics and if you are short you need hamburger to grow taller? LOL

                                          2. re: sedimental

                                            You are right sedimental, zip plastic bags or vacuum seal bags to freeze could be a concern. We try not to use many plastic bags here while sometimes too handy. Love to buy in bulk and vacuum seal to freeze as is how lots of that stuff comes from the store anyway.

                                            bisphenol A (BPA) is only one poison that has been proven to leach into food from plastic. Especially when new or if heated when plastic contacts the food:

                                            http://www.hhs.gov/safety/bpa/

                                            Canned food linings are plastic and the government has advised to limit canned food consumption!!! Other specifics with plastic food contact proves this is a real situation where possibly more action needs to be taken:

                                            http://content.usatoday.com/communiti...

                                            BPA is no longer in infant bottles or water bottles because of changes in the last few years. I wonder if BPA or other bad stuff is in what plastic food containers. While new plastic contact with food is impossible to avoid I try to limit what I consume out of plastic. Finding out it is in all the canned food tonight when looking around surprised me. The food companies are finding it difficult to remove BPA from the plastic food containers many of us are eating from not knowing it is there:

                                            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                            Still trying to understand all this plastic toxic stuff - sorry unable to completely explain when don't understand which way to look with so many bad things. Feels like we are in a bad place and under fire from every angle. Makes it hard to know which where to look, which way to run, or where to hide from it. The simple thing to do is just give in and to not care.

                                        2. Soy is everywhere in our food supply. Soy is also used in feed for all kinds of animals for food. But is it good for us - here are a few examples online that say no:

                                          http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...
                                          http://www.becomehealthynow.com/artic...
                                          http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_a...

                                          Possibly we should all consider trying to limit our non-fermented soy intake.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: smaki

                                            I just want to thank you smaki for all this great information, I have learned a lot.

                                            1. re: TDEL

                                              Thank you for the warm feedback! Requests are welcome if you've heard about something that could be false information misleading food consumers. Love to dig in and do research. Trying to share scientifically proven truths about the food supply so more can make informed choices. We vote with our dollars. If a bunch of us don't buy something because we learn it is bad then communicate facts - possibly the maker will go out of business removing bad products from the food supply. This is an uphill battle labor of love kind of thing, because unfortunately there may be more who don't care who will keep buying bad food products no matter how hard we try to share information beyond marketing hype. Bad consumer decisions keep bad companies in business! Trying to do my little part and take a few minutes every day to share good information with more people. Even if not enough people see this to change anything, some of us can have better longer lives though making healthier food selections.

                                          2. Allergies are increasing at an alarming rate, especially among children. Mainstream media continues to report that "we don't know exactly why" but most parents who do their homework are finding out for themselves what is helpful or not by changing their kids diet. It might be a combination - especially about "being too clean" and dyes and additives in our kids foods from the earliest ages. Here are some links if you are interested. If you have an allergic kid, it might be worth changing their diet (if possible) instead of just removing the offending food. Yellow dyes might be a contributor to this problem.

                                            msnbc.msn.com/id/36060765/ns/health-allergies_and_asthma/
                                            http://fyiliving.com/diet/food-allerg...
                                            http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/...
                                            cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20009228-10391704.html
                                            allergicchild.com/food_dye_allergies.htm

                                            1. There has been a rash of commercials on t.v. recently promoting "corn sugar". I thought it was weird and it got me to "surfing"......... might want to check it out for yourself, but there seems to be some interesting info about health issues, I haven't looked into the issue of why there is suddenly a need to advertise it. Anyone know why?

                                              http://www.naturalnews.com/029951_HFC...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                because there's a lot of false information about what is wrong about HFCS.

                                                We've had a number of threads about HFCS - or at least we did a year or two ago.

                                              2. Bananas.

                                                It is the second most chemically treated crop in the world. Call me naive for not knowing about bananas.

                                                I'm living in Guatemala and a friend drives a truck transporting bananas from one of the giant banana companies to the banana boats at the ports.

                                                He dropped off a box of green bananas for us and said casually that they would take about a month to ripen because they were sprayed.

                                                "They spray bananas to keep them green?", I asked.

                                                I knew bananas were treated to ripen. It never occurred to me they were also sprayed to retard ripening. I just assumed the worst was that they were picked green.

                                                So off I went to google. Yikes.

                                                Let me say that I like this topic since it just seems to lay out some of the info and doesn't get too deep into the politics. So this is the info. People can decide for themselves about bananas.

                                                I'm still thinking about it when I get home. The bananas I eat here are straight from the tree and not sprayed. They are not pretty with lots of skin flaws. They are picked dead ripe and amazingly tasty. If I saw these cosmetically challenged bananas in the US, I would not even think to buy them.

                                                I do like the thought on one site though. The woman said to weigh a bunch of conventional bananas and a bunch of organic bananas. Note the price difference. Is that saving worth some of the problems with bananas?

                                                This write up on the book "Shades of Green: A (Mostly) Practical A-Z for the Reluctant Environmentalist", seems to approach the subject with how things work in the real world ... noting the problem, but discussing realistic solutions
                                                http://entertainment.timesonline.co.u...

                                                "Surely all ... involved in banana production mean that the greenest solution is to stop eating them altogether? Not exactly. Thanks to various twists and turns of colonial history, several national economies are now completely dependent on the banana trade. If we stopped buying, what would they do instead? Whatever they decided to do next, it could be a lot less green than growing bananas. So supporting best-practice banana-growing may be a sound ecological investment: and organic production, though tricky, eliminates the heavy use of agrochemicals. "

                                                Basically, non-orgainic banana plantations wreak environmental damage to the environment, and hurt farm workers. So, while the banana has a thick skin and you personally might not be harmed by THAT banana, you might be affected by some of the other environmental impact that eventually runs out to the sea and could contaminate that fish fillet you are eating at the super upscale restaurant.

                                                Anyway, the site "What's on my food" lists some of the residue on bananas. It is a brief list. Lots more chemicals are used
                                                http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp...

                                                A good outline of banana production from plantation to store
                                                http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/ch...

                                                An old 1998 exhaustive investigation on one big banana company. From what I'm reading, not a lot has changed
                                                http://www.globalexchange.org/campaig...

                                                1. Water. The major bottled water brands and tap water at home is good right? WRONG!!!

                                                  Bottled water is powered by advertising to make money. Many pay high prices for unique kinds supposedly from a special place - when it could be someone else’s tap water. Not all tap water is safe. Some think bottled water is guaranteed healthy. More about bottled water:

                                                  http://www.bottledwaterblues.com/bott...

                                                  http://www.bottledwaterblues.com/

                                                  http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eatin...

                                                  http://www.allaboutwater.org/

                                                  http://www.ewg.org/BottledWater/Bottl...

                                                  http://www.toxicfreecanada.ca/backgro...

                                                  There is all kinds of more information about this online if you search around in Google for it and hope to run into reliable sources (posted some quick results to get you started if want to dig in). Bottled water quality, tap water quality, chemicals from containers, bad supply, and chemicals from piping are things we don't usually concern ourselves with. However, fresh water availability to consume and cook with is a growing global and regional problem.

                                                  It is smart to get your water from a known-good source in reusable containers. I rinse with bleach our gallon plastic jugs every few uses (then flush out bleach with water before filling). Many jugs have been used for over 7 years so do not have to worry about the toluene with other chemicals possibly leaching into our water from new plastic containers. Have milk crates to make handling the gallon jugs easier in the back of my pickup. When get water usually get about 40 gallons at a time. Good water is getting harder and harder to find in all parts of the world. Think about your tap water. Did it get to you through lead, bad, or other unclean pipes to get to your glass? Did your government pipe it to you in a perfectly clean system? Is it chemically treated with things like chlorine? Is it filtered? Most counties will test for free, when did you last test your water? Where did the water you consume come from to start with? Is it a single source or mix of sources where you get your water? Most can not answer these kinds of questions as is not a concern and never will be.

                                                  Possibly more should think about the water they consume and cook with. It can be a key ingredient making a difference not only to taste, but could be a factor to long-term health.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: smaki

                                                    upmc center for environmental oncology can tell you tons about estrogen in the water. just sayin'.

                                                  2. Honey

                                                    Sam Comfort and his upstate New York-based one-man project, Anarchy Apiaries is mentioned in the book "Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement" by Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker. He states that industrialized beekeeping uses corn syrup to feed the bees in its hives and goes on to say

                                                    "Most of the honey in this country comes from China or Argentina. A lot of the time it’s not even really honey. Even U.S.-produced honey is laced with these miticides that keepers have been putting in since the eighties. They’re organophosphates, nerve agents, really sketchy stuff"

                                                    Scroll down this link for more info
                                                    https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:Campaig...

                                                    "

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      not that natural or even wild honey is neccarily safer. I remember one of my colledge professors warning our class to be careful taking honey from wild hives in some parts of the world, as some flowers have nectar that when made into honey can cause liver damage.)

                                                    2. What kind of stuff have we heard of?

                                                      Lots. However, I personally believe a majority of stuff we read on the internet is based upon fear and junk science. We're able to post anything on the internet and people will buy into it.

                                                      For example, we've all heard that myth that our bodies need 8 glasses of water a day. People repeat that advice blindly. However, there is no medical evidence or medical study that ever came up with that recommendation.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: dave_c

                                                        Oh... I just think if this thread keeps going, it will cover every single thing we put into our mouths.

                                                        Do you have credible proof that there is no medical study on the eight glasses of water per day?

                                                        I say just let the thread live it's life with the horrors of each food without dispute. It speaks for itself.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          I remember a long, long time ago (I think as a teen) buying into the 8 glasses thing. My conclusion was, "It can't be good to run to the restroom this often." Anyway, the suggestion isn't off, but it's more like you need about 8 glasses of fluid per day.

                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                            Take your choice: http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&am... but I like this one http://dms.dartmouth.edu/news/2002_h2...

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              From the second link

                                                              "Despite the dearth of compelling evidence, then, What's the harm? "The fact is that, potentially, there is harm even in water," explains Valtin. Even modest increases in fluid intake can result in "water intoxication" if one's kidneys are unable to excrete enough water (urine). Such instances are not unheard of, and they have led to mental confusion and even death in athletes, in teenagers after ingesting the recreational drug Ecstasy, and in ordinary patients.

                                                              And he lists other disadvantages of a high water intake: (a) possible exposure to pollutants, especially if sustained over many years; (b) frequent urination, which can be both inconvenient and embarrassing; (c) expense, for those who satisfy the 8 x 8 requirements with bottled water; and (d) feelings of guilt for not achieving 8 x 8. "

                                                              Well, there you go. Even water will kill you.

                                                              Like I said, let the thread go on unargued and we'll hit every single food.

                                                          2. re: dave_c

                                                            2 quarts of water is a good target for people prone to kidney stones (ask your urologist). Whether others need that much is less clear.

                                                          3. Several people have recommended the movie Food Inc. When looked into it seems very interesting:

                                                            A link to the HD movie trailer sucked me in at:
                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eKYyD...

                                                            Their official website with discussions and more is at:
                                                            http://www.foodincmovie.com/

                                                            More about the issues discussed in the film in more detail is at:
                                                            http://www.foodincmovie.com/about-the...

                                                            To buy it either go to Walmart who has it for just under $13 or go to Amazon at:
                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Food-Inc-Eric-S...

                                                            I plan to check it out at my local library to watch free.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: smaki

                                                              I've seen this movie "Food, Inc".

                                                              If they left out the scary music, didn't photo shop the images of the wheat field and the factory, didn't use (evil capitalism) propaganda, I would have appreciated the education. Instead, it made me feel used and annoyed.

                                                              Just the facts please.

                                                              1. re: eatswjoy

                                                                so waht are the facts? I am waiting for "Food, Inc" from the library as well. currently I am reading Omnivore's Dilemma and read parts of "Nourishing Traditions". It has really changed how I look at food, especially fats and proteins.

                                                                1. re: lilmomma

                                                                  Docudramas can be entertaining without an obvious agenda. I'm all for the small farms and foods that are not engineered, I feel for the soy bean growers and the animals. There are some very valid issues, facts that are important for people to know. There is a huge bias against corporations and capitalism. Then, the guy that complains about capitalism, markets his yogurt to Walmart.

                                                                  1. re: lilmomma

                                                                    lilmomma, good question. I think you will have to see it for yourself.

                                                                  2. re: eatswjoy

                                                                    Just the facts please.
                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                    unfortunately if people made films like that, no one would watch them.

                                                                    Food Inc still tells a worthwhile story if you can look beyond the "extras."