Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Truvia/Nectresse "NATURAL" Sweeteners?

Third installment in the sweetener controversy.  This one is about the ALL NEW - ALL NATURAL- ALL GIANT MONEY MAKING BANDWAGON RIDING WAVE OF all natural LIFE AFFIRMING WONDROUSLY CALORIE FREE sweeteners, Truvia and Nectresse.  Cargill and Coke came out with Truvia awhile ago and their claim that it is all natural is a huge crock.  I use stevia leaves in my mint tea all the time.  I steep the leaves in hot water.  Cargill claims the same thing, they make tea out of natural stevia. Then they process it.  The actual Coke patent for the process outlines a 40+ step process that includes the use of acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol to "purify" the stevia extract.  I'm sorry, whatever happened to just using an evaporator to dry out the stevia tea to get stevia powder?  Anyway, the FDA took just three weeks to approve this "ALL NATURAL" process and grant it GRAS status.  Money talks as we have seen in the past.
Nectresse is the newest product in the lineup of all natural sweeteners.  It comes from Lo Han, or Monk fruit.  Monk fruit are 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar.  McNeil, the makers of the very toxic Splenda, are the makers of this new product.  I have not found the info on how the Monk fruit is processed, so I can't really comment on that at this time. 

What I can comment on is the MAIN ingredient in Nectresse and Truvia.  Erythritol.

Erythritol is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in many fruits, in nature it is present in such small amounts (less than .005% by weight) it’s impractical to use natural sources.  So Cargill and McNeill manufacture erythritol by chemically converting genetically modified corn into a food grade starch which it ferments to create glucose and then processes further to create erythritol.

Shame on the FDA for allowing the deceptive advertising by these giant agribusinesses to state that these chemically made artificial sweeteners to state that they are "ALL NATURAL".  They are not in anyway all natural, they are made using toxic chemicals and are as far from natural as shoe leather is from a cow.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Giant Ants are coming! It ain't just plain ol' salmon!

Remember those "B" movies of the 50's and 60's?  Giant ants, Godzilla, huge scorpions and other tiny beasts of nature growing to enormous proportions because of the scare of nuclear fallout.  Well, it made fun movies and TV, but the only lasting effects of fallout has been increased cancer rates.  In the case of residents of Minsk north of Chernobyl, 60% of births have birth defects.  But no giant ants.  Not yet, but these times, they are a changin' as the old song says.  A new and horrific threat to Americans is now on the horizon.  Genetically Engineered Salmon.  Salmon farmers want to desparately introduce these to the unsuspecting consumers.  And they want to sell them without specific labeling that states that they just plain salmon.  Nothing about genetically modified.
The salmon in question are engineered by inserting a gene that produces growth hormone in large enough quantity that the fish grows to a mature saleable size in one year instead of three, the normal time frame for farmed salmon.  I don't think that I am the only one out in the real world that sees the problem with this.  The National Academy of Sciences is against allowing anyone to make these fish.
Problems that are pretty evident:
  1. Farmed fish regularly escape containment and then breed with native populations.
  2. NO RESEARCH has been done on the long term effects of what eating GE salmon does.
  3. Developers state all fish are triploidal (sterile females) but have done no research to determine if this man made genetic variation holds throughout life cycle of fish over one year if a fish "accidently" gets released into natural environment.
  4. Using only 6 (SIX) fish to test allergenicity of this mutated fish is NOT adequate testing.
  5. AquaBounty Inc, states in their application for approval to the FDA that the gene spliced into the fish did not alter over successive generations.  Hmm, see item 3 above.
Some of the stuff that I read makes me think back to those old giant creature movies.  Let's be realistic, no long term research has been done.  Just like all the other GM foods, they didn't do any long term testing and now we have sound evidence that the BT toxin gene, and the gene to allow plants to survive mega doses of glosophates transfers to the intestinal bacteria in humans.  How do we know that if we as humans eat this salmon, will the growth hormone gene also insert itself into the bacterial flora in our intestines.  If it does, will the bacteria then begin to excrete growth hormone into our systems.  And what about the fish that escape into the natural environment?  Will they indeed become the prevalent species in the wild?  And what about creatures that feed on salmon, will they, just like humans, begin to grow uncontrollably?  Will we have giant bears in the wild, giant sharks, giant ants?

One of the scary things about all of this controversy over Genetically Engineered food items is what happens if people like me are proved to be correct.  What happens when we find that BT toxins building up in our systems causes cancer, heart disease, birth defects or whatever?  What happens if humans start to grow uncontrollably because they eat a lot of GE salmon?  If all this becomes provable, does Monsanto, AquaBounty and other gene technology companies have the resources to handle trillions of dollars in lawsuits filed against them.  But then again, since the heads of Monsanto, along with Obama himself, only eat organic food and not their own poison, then perhaps they believe they will be the only ones left to repopulate the planet after killing off all the riff raff.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Modern Miracle, GE Foods

I remember 1996 when the scientists from Monsanto went before the Congress and testified how according to all of their research and testing, genetically modified foods are absolutely indistinguishable from their non-modified counterparts.  Wow, all I can think now is, What research?  What testing?  Princeton researchers, not exactly some fly-by-night group of scholars, have PROVEN that the implanted genes migrated to bacteria in the guts of the hosts that eat the GE food.  BT insecticide is now PROVEN to accumulate in the human body, with significant amounts showing up in blood samples.  And worse, it shows up in fetal blood samples.  Biotech giant Monsanto stated that BT is insignificant as any amount ingested will be destroyed by the human digestive system.  At this time, NO research has been done on the long term effects of BT toxin in the human body. NONE. Again, What research?  What testing?
Monsanto is making billions on glyphosate sales because the use of Roundup weed killer has in fact lead to the natural evolution of Roundup resistant weeds.  There are now 28 species covering 16 families of weeds that are confirmed to be not only resistant to glyphosate, (Roundup) but also 2,4-D which is that wonderful toxic stuff from Vietnam, Agent Orange.  Agent Orange sales have increased from 3.3 million pounds in 2009 to an estimated 100 million pounds next year.  These are toxic chemicals that we KNOW do not break down in the natural environment for years and ANY residues on foods accumulate in kidneys, liver, pancreas and brains of humans.  Again, What research?  What testing?
Monsanto and other companies are now making billions of dollars on the sales of pesticides.  That's because of the natural evolution of insects that are BT resistant and so their wonderful GE plants have to be sprayed with ever increasingly toxic pesticides because the BT gene is failing to deliver what was promised.  Again, what research?  What testing?
Some friends asked me why I am so adamant about eating organic, and never eating anything that might possibly be GE.  And why am I so vocal about people in California voting yes on Prop 37.  Because I survived modern medicine.  I am alive after the best efforts of doctors, nurses and the health care system attempting to kill me.  I DO NOT want all my efforts to be in vain because the food I eat is poisonous in order that Monsanto can make huge profits.

What do you want?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Secret to Baby Soft Skin

Not much of a secret really, but so many companies make huge profits making and selling cures for dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and any of a whole host of skin conditions.  The truth of the matter is that most skin problems are nutritional deficiencies.  Pretty simple, and it is one thing that big businesses NEVER want to be publicized.  Why would they, if found out that they could eat brown rice 5 times a week then their skin conditions would magically disappear.  Millions of dollars worth of dandruff shampoos are sold every year to cure something that a healthier diet would cure.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on hand lotions and creams and unguents to soften skin, remove scaly dead cells and to make the users feel good about themselves.  Fresh raw vegetables, whole grains, especially brown rice, and eliminating most of the toxic additives from processed food will do the same thing.

Weird huh?

Certainly a lot of this is conjecture, however I have had the great good fortune to teach healthy cooking and the use of whole grains in your diet.  I have counciled five people about dry skin problems.  And one about her psoriasis.  All six had already been interested in pursuing a change in their lifestyles when they came to me to learn bread baking and other nutritional info.  Each of them told me they would try adding brown rice to their diets, and I am pretty sure they did as each of them attended most of the brown rice cooking classes I gave.  (I make really cool stuff)  Each of them later told me how much their skin conditions improved after just a few weeks.  And one, told me how her dandruff disappeared. 
I have pretty soft skin, you know sometimes in the winter it gets a bit dry.  But for the most part I don't have any of those problems.  I can tell when I haven't eaten brown rice much, (I am staying with my sister currently so I don't always have the opportunity to cook what I want) the skin around my heels will start to flake.  When that happens, I eat brown rice and poof, a couple days and it is like magic. 
This isn't a cure all panacea for all skin problems for all people.  Or for that matter for intestinal problems like Krohn's, IBS and some others that are helped by a high fiber via whole grains diet.  But for most of the population, it will indeed be magic.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cajun Fusion

I love spicy food.  I didn't used to, I grew up with ketchup on everything.  A bit of flavor, and it was needed.  Sorry mom, but cooking was not your forte.  At the tender age of 14 I started to work and was employed by a nice man that introduced me to a whole new world.  A lot of that was at restaurants, salsa, and of course, in Mexico.  I loved to travel to Mexico for my job and eat there.  I was 15 and eating stuff from taco carts and seafood shacks in Penasco or Guaymus.  And chilis.  Loved those chilis and good homemade tortillas, seafood, and fresh salsa.  Wow.  Later, I started to eat other cuisines and found that same satisfying burn in other places.  Love Thai, love some Korean.  And loved Cajun.  Man I love Cajun food.  When I had the cooking store in Austin I taught Cajun cooking classes a lot, and they were well attended.  I do tend to make healthier versions of Cajun, and the stuff is mighty tasty.  I like it a bit hotter, but that is always up to the individual to adjust the spices to suit your own individual taste.  So, to that end, let me give you this cool and unique Fusion Cajun recipe.

Garbanzo Chile Waffles with Healthy Seafood Etouffee.

Start off making the Etouffee.  Peel and save the shells from a pound of shrimp.  Set the shrimp aside and season them with about 3 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning.  (recipe for your own seasoning mixes at )  Take the shells and put into a large stockpot, cover with water and add whatever you have in your trash bag you keep in your freezer.  Onion skins, ends of celery, stuff like that.  Always a good idea to keep that stuff around for stock and if you usually toss it, well, don't.  Add some peppercorns, a half dozen bay leaves and bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Now, take 3 bell peppers and dice in quarter inch dice.  Do the same with two big onions, and then chopped pretty finely at least 6 or more ribs celery.  Dump about a 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add a third the veggies and about two tablespoons of Cajun seasoning.  Cook the veggies until soft.  About 8 minutes.  Add another third of the veggies, and continue to cook until soft and beginning to brown.  It should be very aromatic with the spices in there.  Now, add another 1/4 cup olive oil and a 1/3 cup AP flour.  (unbleached organic of course) and continue to cook, stirring a lot until the whole mess is very brown.  Add the remaining veggies along with about ten or more cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped.  Now, drain the shrimp stock and add about 3 cups of it to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Add some cayenne or hot sauce to kick up the heat if desired.  (Yeah, it should be)  Take a few fish fillets and cut into bite size pieces and dust with Cajun seasoning to coat.  In a separate skillet, with a thin coat of olive oil, cook the shrimp just until they turn pink and start to curl.  Remove from pan and hold in a bowl.  Well, go ahead and dump half of them into the saucepan.  Now add a bit more olive oil and toss in the coated fish.  Cook until browned and then dump them into the saucepan.  Deglaze the pan with a half cup good beer and dump that into the saucepan as well.  Now, make the waffles.
Grind a cup of garbanzo beans with a half cup wheat berries in your wheat grinder.  Okay, not everyone has one of those, you can buy garbanzo flour in most store now and use whole wheat flour.  Mix in a half teaspoon sea salt, two teaspoons baking powder and a tablespoon Cajun seasoning.  Mix well, add a 1/4 cup olive oil, an egg and 1 cup milk.  Mix well.  Add a small 7 oz can green chilis if desired.  Or chopped jalapenos.  Spray your hot waffle iron with non-canola spray and make waffles.  These will be yummy, and make sure they are very crisp.  Put a waffle on a plate, add a ladle of the sauce mix and top with a couple of shrimp and garnish with lots of chopped parsley.  Very fun, very unique interpretation of a Southern dish. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Milk of human kindness

Wow, milk.  A staple in most every home in America.  Nasty stuff actually, and kind of gross.  I don't drink milk, but not for the reasons you might think.  We didn't drink it as kids, so I never ever developed a taste for it.  WHAT?  No milk as a kid.  Well might have had something to do with the incredible explosive gases that developed after drinking some.  I can recall using that to my advantage in my late teens and early twenties when consuming large quantities of beer and participating as a contestant in frat style parties wherein each of us was judged by time, reverberation, overall quality and lastly, quantity of farting.  I was frequently a victor in such competitions, my secret weapon was simple, a couple pickled eggs, a fistful of peanuts and two glasses of milk a couple hours before the competition.  I believe my capabilities were once described as being able to power a small city and in close quarters, could remove chrome from a bumper.

But that was a lifetime ago, and I learned how to alleviate that lactose intolerance that plagued me in my youth.  But I still never drink milk.  I do love yogurt, and have been known to eat ice cream at times, just as long as it is the all natural no HFC kind.  I am hoping that the organic yogurt and ice cream that I consume is in fact the great stuff that the producers claim them to be.  I hope so.  I don't have a lab to test the stuff, so I rely on others to do that for me.  Ouch, maybe I am wrong about that, the FDA isn't doing such a good job policing our food supply so far.

But let's go back to the milk itself.  I wrote that blog yesterday about how modern medicine is the number one cause of death in America today, and in it I talked about MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria that are becoming so prevalent in our world.  It is becoming a problem.  It may in fact lead to extremely serious and horrific problems in the near future.  And the death rate is just going to grow exponentially as we humans consume more and more nutrient deficient processed foods that do not allow our bodies to have the natural ability to fight off infections and have healthy lives.  And of course the hospitals where individuals contract the disease are the worst offenders for providing nutrient poor foods to their patients.  Everything on their menus is processed this white that, reconstituted flotsam and to kill any appetite you might have, everything they serve has High Fructose Corn Syrup Poison as an ingredient.  Thank God for Kim, Key, Roberta and David for bringing me brown rice and real food when I was hospitalized so many times back a few years.  I would have died I think if I had been forced to eat that slop.  

Did you know that a full 80% of the antibiotic production in the United States goes into farm animals.  And that is what this is all about.  Cows.  Cows are really pretty resilient creatures and if fed a harmonious diet of grasses and plant material that nurture the digestive systems that cows evolved with; if they are kept in sanitary conditions, they will live long healthy lives and give milk that is wholesome, nutritious and contains the enzymes that humans need to digest the milk properly thereby eliminating completely that lactose intolerance thing.  Yes, it is true, raw milk will not give anyone gas.  Once it is heated, or pasteurized, the enzymes are broken and most of the nutritive value of the milk is degraded.  But getting raw milk from healthy cows is not possible.  Not anymore.  For one thing, the FDA believes that they are divine by nature and will prosecute anyone that they find selling raw milk.  It is as if they have no concept if how life works.  Healthy cows will give healthy milk.  Their reasoning for the ban on raw milk is because big agribusiness is INCAPABLE of producing milk that is in fact healthy.

The problem is in the way cows are cultured in this country.  First they are fed things that are not part of their normal diet that the cows evolved eating.  Dairy and also beef farmers, feed their stock agricultural byproducts on a regular basis.  It is cheap, and they are told it is good for them.  One of the big things that livestock are fed is canola meal.  This is the stuff leftover after the canola oil is removed from the seeds.  It used to all be sent to England to feed cows there and it is one of the main causes of the outbreak of bovine spongeform encephalitis they had there.  Yep, mad cow disease.  NO GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY WILL EVER ADMIT THAT IT WAS A NUTRITIONAL PROBLEM, NOT A DISEASE!  But the facts are in, animals fed canola meal develop BSE symptoms including large holes in their brain material that resembles swiss cheese.  Scientists discovered that if they take canola meal and bake it at high temperatures with lye, then that effectively neutralized the euricic acid that is the toxic part of the canola.  But it still isn't a healthy food.  The lye burns holes in the guts of cows and they become more inclined to bacterial infections.  Cows are also fed a whole list of other byproducts, cottonseed meal, soy meal, corn byproducts, chicken byproducts, (yes it's true, feathers, scrap chicken entrails, heads and feet) and on occasion, alfalfa.  None of which is what cows are designed to eat in order to be healthy.  They evolved eating grasses.  And not corn either, they put on fat when fed corn and give a fatter milk, but it isn't that good for them.

The next problem is that cows are kept in feedlots.  Great big areas that are pretty much covered in several feet of cow shit.  They smell bad.  They smell like shit.  And the cows live there, they lie down in their own stinking shit and roll around in it.  And that is how they contract the number one problem with milk producers today, mastitis.  I have read a whole lot of information on various sites on the web about mastitis.  I get a huge variation in the numbers, from one USDA site claiming that mastitis affects as many as 47% of cows in the US (2009) to North Carolina University findings of 37% of the cows contracting the disease.  Well, either number is pretty disgusting. It goes back again to cows fed healthy food and living in a healthy environment won't get sick.  Cows fed crap, and living, literally, on crap, get sick.

What does this mean to you as a consumer.  Well, basically it means that if a cow gets sick and their milk contains the pus that is coming out of a mastitis infected udder and teats, then the dairyman will treat the cow with antibiotics.  But they don't throw that milk with the pus in it away, they pour it right into the tank with all the good milk.  Hey, it is only pus.  And it gets pasteurized right?

I don't drink milk.  And I never eat beef. 

Applause Applause, A big company did it RIGHT!

Okay, I know that most of my posts on this blog are negative.  Most.  Or a few about cooking.  But I have to talk about Orville Redenbacher doing something right for a change.  I know, hard to believe isn't it?  I don't eat microwave popcorn because of the canola and artificial poisons in them.  And some of the stuff is very scary.  I love popcorn, it is one of the few things I will eat and put salt on it.  And real butter as well.  I pop my own in an old spin popper, a little peanut oil and some butter.  Then Sea salt, good healthy stuff.  Microwave popcorn is poisonous.  That is until I just found Orville Redenbacher's newest addition, natural popcorn with lime and salt.  No deadly chemicals and of all things they use tocopherols as preservatives.  Okay, I know it is hard to pronounce, but the reality is that new research is going on for the industry to use tocopherols instead of BHA, BHT, and some other more deadly preservatives.  Tocopherals are part of the Vitamin E group and are beneficial to us, and as they seem to do a better job than the toxic alternatives, I am hoping to see more and more of their use in prepared foods in the future.
It isn't hard to do the right thing in America today.  You just have to decide that is what you want to do, and do it.  If more companies did the right thing, then perhaps we, Americans, could bankrupt Monsanto and crush the stranglehold they have on the food industry in America today.

In other news, a consortium of rice farmers in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana are suing Pfizer, Tyson and 3 other poultry producers for feeding their chickens arsenic laced feed.  The rice farmers buy the used straw bedding from the poultry producers and use it to fertilize their rice fields.  When the chickens are fed arsenic to kill intestinal parasites and make them grow faster, (a procedure only used when chickens are kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions) then the chicken waste contains arsenic and that seems to have destroyed the rice growing ability of large scale rice farmers.  When the arsenic gets into the ground, it then is taken up by the rice and now these guys are unable to grow rice that isn't contaminated with arsenic, and thus poisonous.  Makes me wonder if they test Colonel Sander's chicken for arsenic levels.  Scares me a bit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Death by Modern Medicine

Halloween is coming, fright night.  We all like to get a little scared now and then.  But I wish the fear that I feel only came one night a year.  However, it doesn't, it comes every single day of the year and it scares the bejesus out of me.  These facts are all found on sites on the internet, I am not making them up in any way.  So get ready to get the crap scared out of you.
One million seven hundred thousand people each and every year will acquire a nosocomial infection.  This is a bacterial or fungal infection that a person gets while in the hospital.  Approximately 99,000 people will die from these infections.  This is an annual estimate for the US by the CDC.  These infections affect the urinary system, cause pneumonia, destroy the broncho/nasal systems and a whole host of other systems.  And the worst part is now the prevelance of MRSA, or rather antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Hospitals are the PRIMARY cause of the transmission of these new and incredibly dangerous new strains of bacteria.  I personally am just one case of having contracted MRSA during a hospital stay.  Good luck asking them to fix it.  It has no cure and they will only try if you have really good insurance.
Next on the list of Frightening Happenings that cause death in the night is drug interactions and mis-prescribed drugs.  2.2 million people have severe adverse reactions to drugs, and over 105,00 die annually.  When in hospitals.  This has nothing to do with drug recalls or adverse side effects of drugs that drug companies and the FDA only find out about AFTER they are approved to be sold to the American public.  Again, this is something that happened to me, when in the hospital for my second pulmonary embolism, I was given 3 different drugs and developed pancreatitis.  A nurse told me they should not have prescribed that combination as it could do such.  I went ahead and looked it up on and sure enough, that was the one thing that the site said could happen if you took those three.  Hmmm.  Oh well.
I want to take a moment here to talk a bit about Plavix.  This is a drug that is used to prevent strokes and now pulmonary embolisms.  Something that I survived four episodes of.  The standard treatment for this has been coumadin.  An actual compound that was used as a rat poison as it tasted good, the rats ate it and then they died a slow death by bleeding internally.  So some one thought that would be a good thing to save lives.  I took it for three years, most of my hair fell out, I still have scars on my arms and legs from the CONTINUOUS bruising that occurred just from simple light bumps.  When I found out that Plavix would replace Coumadin, I was happy.  Then I found out about all the deaths from it.  With a little further research, I discovered that Plavix reduced the risk of stroke in patients down to 6.78 per 100,000 people.  Then, I found that taking one baby aspirin a day would drop the risk of stroke to 6.97 per 100,000 people.  And a very low possibility of death, unlike Plavix.  And at about 10 cents an aspirin, 600 times cheaper.   I no longer take Coumadin, I take an aspirin every day.
Next scary death knell, Iatrogenic Events.  Fancy word for just plain accidental deaths due to medical intervention.  About 2 million reported events resulting in an annual death rate of about 230,000.
So, what does all this mean.  Well, first off, this is only part of the list.  There are lots of other minor things causing deaths in hospitals.  But the whole thing boils down to this one thing.  And it is pretty important:  THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA TODAY IS MODERN MEDICAL PRACTICES.   Sends a shiver down my spine.  And you know, I really really am lucky to have survived my treatments by modern medicine, I am lucky to wake up every morning.
Take precautions everyone, ask questions of your doctor, look up your meds online to verify they won't cause more harm than any possible good they MAY do for you.  And ask, ask, ask, ask, and ask again.  If they think you are taking an interest in your care, they might not practice on you. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweeteners - Aspartame/Nutrasweet

Aspartame, the silent and deadly killer in America today is a horrific chemical that never should have been approved by the FDA for human consumption' but was.  See the previous post on sweeteners about the FDA Director taking a handout job for approving it.  Also see the Wikipedia entry entitled Aspartame Controversy to read about other government graft. 
Aspartame has been touted as safe by the manufacturer Searle, since the discovery.  Stating that it is made up of two simple amino acids, it is therefore safe.  And that part is true, an aspartic acid molecule and one of phenylalinine are both harmless, and in reality necessary for life.  In Aspartame, they are held together with a methyl ester bond that comprises 10% of the compound.  That is where the problem lies.  Methyl ester breaks down into methanol by the human body.  Wood alcohol.  And as we all have heard about that causing blindness, madness and deaths back during prohibition when bathtub gin makers were making methanol out of ignorance and causing so many problems then.  And of course there is Sterno, made from methanol, and the favorite drink of absolute bottom of the barrel alcoholics and referred to as "Squeeze" by those on Skid Row.  Well this is the same stuff.  Methanol is further broken down by the body into formaldehyde.  Embalming fluid. Formaldehyde destroys myelin, the sheath that protects the nerve cells of the brain.  This is the beginning of a whole host of neurological disorders from ALS type symptoms to birth defects, blindness, and all the not so serious ones like headaches, blurred vision and memory lapses.
The Feds, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency, declare that formaldehyde is toxic, and a known carcinogen.  They have established a maximum exposure to it of just 7.2 micrograms per day.  If a person drinks 8 diet sodas a day, they are ingesting 250mg per day.  Over 32 times the EPA recommended limit.

The conclusion is obvious, don't ingest Aspartame.  The reason it is still legal to put into out food supply is the same reason so many toxic additives are allowed - some people are making buttloads of money on it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweeteners -- Sucralose/Splenda

I thought that I should start to write about something that everyone here in America utilizes, sweeteners.  Most people use them, few understand how bad they are for you.  So, today, sucralose.

Sucralose is now the biggest selling of the artificial sweeteners available.  It is a chloro-carbon, that is very similar to sugar itself having three chlorine atoms added to basic sucrose, table sugar.  This makes it very similar to of all things, DDT.  Yeah.  In actuality chloro-carbons are listed as being highly toxic and carcinogenic by the US government itself.  Well, not the FDA, they approved this close relative to a horrific banned insecticide with only2 (that's right, TWO) human study trials completed.  A total of 36 subjects were given sucralose over a period of 4 (YES, ONLY FOUR) days.  And half were given placebos.  They measure how much went in, and then how much came out.  Reading the study shows that in one case as much as 15% of the product remained in the test subject's system after 4 days.  McNeil Nutritionals, the manufacturer, claims that it is not digested by humans, therefore it has no nutritive value. 

Sucralose has shown in animal studies to shrink thymus glands and produce liver inflammation in rats and mice.  Chloro-carbons are hypersentizing agent that causes Polychemical Sensitivity Syndrome, one of a number of Lou Gerhing type diseases that are incurable. 

The FDA has a long standing history of ineffective screening and approval of dangerous drugs and additives.  In our government, money talks.  Big business has big money and they tend to spread it around.  Arthur Hull Hayes Jr., the FDA commissioner that approved Aspartame left the FDA after that approval and became a consultant for Searle, the creator of that poison, for 1000 dollars a day on a ten year contract.  Big MONEY.  It gets results. 

Splenda is a carcinogen, it causes horrific incurable diseases like ALS, and we know, WE KNOW, that the manufacturers claims that NONE of it is retained or digested by the human body are in fact out and out LIES.  I won't eat it, I hope you won't either. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bread, rolls, loaves. Differences

I have a nice young woman that wants to have a bread baking class at her home.  However she is a bit concerned that the recipe that I have on this blog has the making of those rolls taking 3 or 4 hours.  And yeah, that is true, sort of.  That recipe for those rolls is really for rolls not necessarily loaves.  There is a big difference when making the two different types of breads.  Let me explain why:

Whole wheat bread is a very different animal than white bread.  When you make a nice dough with whole wheat, then because of all the bran in the flour and subsequent baking, as it cooks, the bran will absorb a lot of the free moisture available and you will get really stiff dry crumbly bread.  That is why I tell you to make your WW bread dough to be very wet, very sticky.  When the sticky dough is supported in a pan to make loaves, then the bread comes out light, fluffy and a lot like store bought bread.  The thing is, that if you tried to make rolls, or other stand alone breads, because the dough is really wet, if you tried to form the dough into rolls, they will just flatten out into pancakes.  Nice soft thick pancakes, but probably not what you want.  That's why the recipe post from a few days ago has you making a sponge, letting it rise a couple times and overall, taking a long time to make.  The reason for that is to allow the bran to absorb a lot of moisture so that you can make a stiffer dough and when baked, the bran will already have a lot of the available water taken in and so they won't take up all the free moisture and so you will get nice whole wheat rolls, fluffy and nice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Real Mayonnaise

Ever read the label of that jar of Mayo in your fridge.  Don't, just go ahead and throw it away, it will scare you if actually read the ingredients.  You know, I love tuna sandwiches with mayo.  Lots of mayo, dill pickle relish, (no HFCS) and lots of onions, celery, rosemary and jalapenos.  Good whole wheat bread, cheese and grill it with real butter.  Yumm.  Mayo though, what to do if you want to eat healthy.  I mean really, most people have no idea what goes into making mayo.  So here we go.  I will tell you just how easy it is. 
Take 2 eggs out of the fridge and set them on the counter.  Let them sit for an hour.  Take a saucepan and fill with water.  Place on the stove and put on low heat.  Put your digital thermometer in it and when the temp gets to 160, put the eggs in and turn the heat off.  Set the timer for 3 minutes and after the buzzer goes off, put them under cool water to cool off.  Now, my favorite mayo takes fresh basil, so I go ahead and put in a bunch of basil leaves into my blender.  Add about 3 tablespoons lemon juice and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  Whizz until smooth.  I usually add about 6 big garlic cloves with the nib root end removed.  Add a pinch of sea salt and then the two eggs.  Whizz until smooth.  Now, the hard part, with the blender on, start to pour 2 cups olive oil into the blender in a tiny stream.  When you have about half poured in, it should start to become thick.  Add only enough oil that will go into the mayo and the blender will still function.  If it stops moving the mass around, stop adding oil.  Scrap down the sides, blend it in, if won't move around, stop.  Remove from blender and place in jar and then in fridge.  It will last a few weeks.  Well, maybe, it will be so very much better than the crap from the store that it may not last that long.  You will find all kinds of uses for it.  I also like to mix dill pickle relish, capers, more lemon juice lots of pepper and some honey and use it as tartar sauce.  Pretty spectacular. 

Also try this for tuna.  Drain a can of chunk white.  Beat an egg well, into that bowl add a 1/3 cup finely diced onion and celery.  Dice a jalapeno, and throw it in as well.  Then shred about ten big basil leaves and add some rosemary leaves as well.  Then mix in a 1/3 cup bread crumbs.  Mix well and form into 3 patties.  Brown in some olive oil and serve with real mayo tartar sauce. 

Food Safety

I just got an email from the Center for Food Safety.  An interesting group, and they come out with a new informative email about twice a month or so.  Most are interesting, some are pretty scary.  Like the plea for every person in the country to contact your congressmen to stop the allowance of Genetically Modified Salmon from being permitted into the food system.  But that scary story is for another post, this one is about just the overall failure of the FDA, USDA and well, let's face it, government in general, to protect the people of this country.  I went to the CDC web site to verify this info, and it is all there.  And it is scary indeed.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in six American this year will get sick because of food borne illness.  128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die. 

I personally think that this a a huge failure in the governmental expression of the Food Safety and Modernization Act passed in January of 2011. 

A government organization that is lead by a former vice president of the largest agribusiness in the world probably isn't the wisest choice to be the shepherd for our health. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

a Sweet and Dirty Little Secret -- Agave

Agave is purported to be a wondrous new discovery out there that will allow humans to consume it with no harm at all to our bodies.  It is a product that has been used by natives of the Central Americas for centuries.  It has low glycemic index, is all natural, and GOOD for you.  Wow, nothing could be further from the truth.  Agave syrup is actually made in the same manner as High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It does not use the juice from the Agave, in fact they utilize the starchy core, just like they do when  making tequila.  They utilize the same caustic chemicals and enzyme reactions to change the starches to fructose and then with clarifying chemicals, sedimentation filtration they come up with a product that is so similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup as to be nearly indistinguishable. Well, with one exception; there are two kinds of Agave poison, light, or clear, and dark.  The dark stuff comes from the poor quality control in Mexican factories and if the syrup is heated to a temperature higher than supposed to, it burns and rather than throw it out, they label it as a different quality.  Of which I suppose it really is.

Anyway, don't let the producers hype influence you in any way.  This stuff is just like HFCS in just about every possible way.  And the worst thing is that most of it is made in Mexico under poorly controlled conditions.  This is not what I want to put into my system.  Sorry, but there are ice cream makers out there putting this stuff in their ice cream and proclaiming it to be healthier alternative to regular ice cream.  Sorry, regular sugar is better.

The next problem is the saponin content of the product.  Saponins are soap like compounds that exist naturally in Yucca and Agave species.  Many of the Agave species have saponins that are toxic steroidal derivatives and can cause problems when taken internally with the uptake of oxygen into the red blood cells, diarrhea, vomiting and a few other more unpleasant side effects.  The problem of course is that in the drive to make ever more Agave Syrup, processors in Mexico are harvesting virtually any species that has a starchy base so that they can convert it to the syrup.

So, not that I believe that sugar is a great thing to eat a lot of, but if you need to have something sweet, honey, stevia, maple and last, sugar, are your best bets. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Whole Wheat Rolls

Took these pictures of the baking of the rolls process.  The first is to see the sponge.  A bit of yeast and honey with about half the flour in with the liquid and allowed to sit a few hours.
 Here we have the dough after I  added in the rest of the flour and put the mixer on second speed and let it knead the dough for about 9 minutes.  It pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly and yet is still sticky to the touch. 
 Here I formed the dough into balls and set them on baking sheets to rise in the oven that I warmed for a couple minutes then turned off.  Usually I put the dough balls onto parchment paper but I couldn't find mine in the boxes over at the storage locker so I just oiled these.
After rising for about 25 minutes they were over doubled in size, so I took them out of the oven and began to use a razor blade to cut an X into the top of each one.  That allows the dough easy access to go up and less of the tendency for the dough to go outward.  Just a baker's trick, a lot of people always think that the cuts in the top of their bread is for decoration, but it ain't so.  It has a purpose, even in loaves, it allows easier expansion.
And then after baking at 400 for about 20 minutes, this is what came out of the oven.  Light and fluffy, better than any store bought rolls or buns because they are 100% whole wheat and no Poison in them whatsoever. 
It isn't hard to do, my son does it.