Saturday, 10 December 2011

Hygienic Floors at What Expense?

Chemicals in the commercial production of B’org food abound.  However, this article focuses on a floor cleaner that is commonly used in professional kitchens.  In order to keep the bacteria at bay, employees are made to clean the floor with chemicals that presumably kill unwanted bacteria and such.  But do they?  And why does the floor need to be antiseptic?  I’m sure few people drop food on the floor and put it in food to be served.  Not only that, the chemicals in these products are arguably more harmful to human health than the life forms normally found on kitchen floors.  But the main point is that people who are involved in food preparation are exposing themselves to toxic chemicals for no real purpose.

I recently came across Lemon Floor Gel which is marketed as an antiseptic floor cleaner.  It states on the Safety Data Sheet that it is not regarded as a health or environment hazard under current legislation.  This may suffice to make some people feel safe in using the product.  But on the sheet, it also says that it is harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed.  In fact, it further states that there is a risk of serious damage to eyes and is irritating to the respiratory system.  If that doesn’t amount to a health hazard, I can’t image what does!!!

This floor gel contains Limonene and it’s oxidation products are skin irritants.

It is recommended that eye protection should be considered where there is a risk of splashing.  Furthermore, rubber gloves and barrier cream are recommended when using any chemical.  I doubt this advice or the eye protection are followed much due to the time limitations of most workers.

It is stable under normal temperature conditions.  I wonder what this means.  What’s normal in a kitchen?

Another chemical in this floor cleaner is 2-aminoethanol and the hazards of this are clearly set out on Toxnet.  Here is some information from this source with further sources for evidence for those who need such proof (and I quote):

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ Symptoms associated with /CNS depression/ of the ethanolamines /in humans/ include increased blood pressure, diuresis, salivation, and pupillary dilation. Large doses produce sedation, coma, and death following depression of blood pressure and cardiac collapse. /Ethanolamines/
[Snyder, R. (ed.). Ethyl Browning's Toxicity and Metabolism of Industrial Solvents. 2nd ed. Volume II: Nitrogen and Phosphorus Solvents. Amsterdam-New York-Oxford: Elsevier, 1990., p. 428] **PEER REVIEWED**

/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ MEA inhalation by humans has been reported to cause immediate allergic responses of dyspnea and asthma and clinical symptoms of acute liver damage and chronic hepatitis.
[Christian M, ed; J American College of Toxicology 2 (7): 183-226 (1983)] **PEER REVIEWED**

OTHER TOXICITY INFORMATION/ Corrosive. Causes severe eye and skin burns. May be harmful if absorbed through skin or inhaled. Irritating to skin, eyes, respiratory system.
[Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials. 13 ed. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2002., p. 49-70] **PEER REVIEWED**

Skin, Eye and Respiratory Irritations:
Irritating to skin, eyes, respiratory system.
[Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials. 13 ed. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2002., p. 49-70] **PEER REVIEWED**

Probable Routes of Human Exposure:
NIOSH (NOES Survey 1981-1983) has statistically estimated that 1,163,087 workers (328,648 of these are female) are potentially exposed to 2-aminoethanol in the US(1). Occupational exposure to 2-aminoethanol may occur through inhalation and dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where 2-aminoethanol is produced or used(SRC). The highest level of 2-aminoethanol in the cabin atmosphere of a nuclear-powered submarines was <1 ppm(2). 2-Aminoethanol is present in bulk machining fluids used in the automotive parts manufacturing industry at 2-11% by weight(3). The compound was detected in one of five samples (0.10 ppm) in an aircraft maintenance degreasing facility(4). Use data indicate that the general population may be exposed to 2-aminoethanol via ingestion and dermal contact with this compound and other consumer products containing 2-aminoethanol(SRC).
[(1) NIOSH; International Safety Cards. 2-Aminoethanol. 141-43-5. Available at http//www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcs/nicstart.html as of Mar 24, 2006. (2) Schaefer KE; Arch Environ Health 9: 230-31 (1964) (3) Kenyon EM et al; Appl Occup Environ Hyg 8: 655-61 (1993) (4) Tharr D; Appl Occup Environ Hyg 9: 303-11 (1994)] **PEER REVIEWED**

In conclusion, there is more than meets the eye to working in the kitchen nowadays.  This is an example of how working in food preparation, something that should be chemical free, can actually be an extremely toxic job.  I wonder what it would take to make this health and environmental hazard recognised as such under current legislation in the UK?  How many people have to have these side effects before it is recognised?  And why are we being subjected to this hazard?  Beats me, except that someone is making money out of it.

So next time you go to a hospital, restaurant, care home, cafe, school cafeteria or other place where food is prepared and served, I hope you miss the cleaning up time because you too would be subjected to breathing in these toxic fumes.

Meanwhile, if you can't get out of using such a floor cleaner, I would suggest using extreme care and warm to cold water to limit the amount of fumes when using this product.  However, I would argue that floors do not need to be disinfected and a clean mop with hot water and a little elbow grease is all that is needed to keep the floors clean (except maybe where it's greasy). 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Mean Spirited Halloween


I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  Soon they’ll be charging us for the air we breathe.  They’ve already duped us into paying for our water with water rates and plastic bottled stuff.  But what I mean in particular by mean spirited is the government’s call for people to be more responsible when it comes to their health while allowing corporations to continue pushing the crap that is making people ill at cheap prices, and while whole organic foods remain expensive.  This spirit is enough to scare any even remotely aware person out of their wits this Halloween!

Since when is adulterated food the responsibility of the consumer?  And processed foods are adulterated.  What is adulterated?  It is to make something less pure by adding inferior or unsuitable elements or substances to it.  Is that not what most processed foods are?  Is that not even what whole foods are that have pesticides and other chemicals on them and in them.  Is that not food that is produced on industrial farms?  Is that not milk that has been homogenised and pasteurised and had the fat removed?!!!

Are we all supposed to spend our days examining all foods under a microscope and assessing the composition with research of our own to determine if it will harm our health or not?  Are we supposed to examine labels and look up the long strange names and E numbers to try and figure out whether the substances are toxic or not?  Or maybe we should all be producing our own food somehow?  And if the government allows products to be sold without directions on intake, are we not reasonable to assume that they must be alright to eat as and when we like?  After all, as bad as most medications are for health, at least they come with instructions on how and when to use them.

It is a mean spirited government that puts such responsibility on its citizens.  In fact, it is more than mean spirited; it is downright negligent and based on greed and madness.

But what is even scarier is the fact that people are doing what the government says and yet they are still becoming unhealthy.  Writers such as Hannah Sutter in Big Fat Lies: Is Your Government Making you Fat?, and Zoe Harcombe in her books and presentations about obesity show how people are eating less, counting calories and doing more and still becoming obese.  Sales of low fat milk products and margarine are flourishing (you only have to look at the shelves in supermarkets), but the rates of heart disease have continued to rise as documented by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride in Put Your Heart in Your Mouth.  And so the story goes ... on and on.

I started this blog over a year ago now because I was shocked by propaganda against organic food being bandied about by a government agency, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), as well as news of GM potatoes being grown in Norfolk not far from my home.  Others have come a long way too, but not the UK government or the US government for that matter which I wrote about in an article on the US Dietary Guidelines 2010.  They and big corporations are spiralling at the speed of light in the opposite direction to the one good for us.  And like particles in the Hadron collider, they’re headed for nothing but destruction.

The remit of nutrition in the UK has moved from the FSA to the Department of Health, but nothing has improved on the advice that is handed out. It still favours the corporate processed food structure.  GM potato trials are still being conducted in Norfolk and I found out at a rally in July that an outspoken Monsanto supporter is heading up the research.  And the government’s responsibility deal makes it no secret either that they are in bed with the enemy.

Not long ago, I learned about a top level American scientist warning the US and European governments about a new danger associated with genetically modified foods.  Dr Huber will be speaking in the House of Commons on 1 November 2011 about this.  I hope all the saints (as it is All Saints Day) are with him and that his message gets across.

But besides the fact that many animals in the UK are fed with GM corn and soy feed, I keep harping on about sugar.  Sugar, as well as, caffeine, alcohol and highly refined processed foods.  Margarine, skinless chicken breasts, low fat milk and lean mince.  The government is either ignoring the type of foods that should be warned against or recommending the wrong ones.

However, since it is so obvious that the government has got everything backwards with nutrition and has become worse than useless to the average citizen in this field, it should be obvious that some greater responsibility on each one of us is called for.  I only wish I could stop paying for the NHS (that is, the National Health Service which services the pharmaceutical corporations).

This Halloween, as I did last year, I make another plea for people to avoid the treats full of sugar and chemicals despite them being “in our face” because they’re really a trick that will make you ill.  Some would probably call me mean spirited for depriving children of candy.  But a spoonful of honey, fresh fruit and honey, some dried fruit or a GAPS treat would be much nicer and better for health.

Finally, for the millions on benefits, the mean spiritedness is extending to short change you of the means to even live on junk food.  Far from having a right to basic nutritious whole foods, air and water to stay alive, as nature provides, the government wants everyone to work for these things regardless of their personal health and circumstances.  As stated in a recent BBC documentary, The Future State of Welfare with John Humphreys, the age of entitlement is predicted to end with the current government.  In his comparison to what is happening in the US, I found the footage of soup kitchens in New York City of particular interest.  Is this what we have to look forward to in the UK?  Are we not entitled to anything that nature gives for free?  Mmm, but for a breath of fresh air ...  not likely in a city on Halloween.  Hope you have a happy one anyway!

Photo : The Skeleton Chef

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Wonderstuff?


I watched a program on the BBC iPlayer called Wonderstuff that I thought would be a documentary but which in essence was an infomercial or teleshopping and not about anything wonderful at all.  According to the BBC, this is part 6 of a series exploring the wonder in ordinary things.  In it, the TV presenter Jane Moore skates around any issue that might show that sunscreen does not prevent premature ageing, moisturisers are far from “magic” and the so-called “clever” ingredient in antiperspirants could lead to your losing your mind.  Besides ridiculous, it was very shallow coverage indeed.  I think I’m lucky that I missed the other 5 parts.

I came across an article on tapebeat.com about medical food for Alzheimer’s. It does not state what’s in it exactly, but since it is produced by Adeona Pharmaceuticals, I’m sure it’s not wholesome natural food.  You may at first think this has little to do with sunscreen, moisturisers and antiperspirants, but I will explain how it is closely related and this program is an example of how corporations are surreptitiously using mass media such as TV programmes to push their products.

Although not technically selling a specific product, Wonderstuff was selling a range of products for Boots and other supermarkets that generally carry them.  Moore starts out the program with saying “what’s in all this stuff” which reminded me of a book called What’s in This Stuff, The Essential Guide to What's Really in the Products You Buy in the Supermarket (2006) in which Pat Thomas thoroughly investigates the chemicals in products to explain how they negatively affect our health.  So the programme started on a deceptive note because it had nothing whatsoever to do with our health.  Moore also says we can’t live without this stuff which of course is a blatant lie!

Infomercials are popular in the US.  I came across one claim online that over $150 billion of consumer products in the US are sold through infomercials.  TV is a big opportunity for the B’org of Food to peddle its wares, there’s no doubt.  But it’s a shame that BBC documentaries which are supposed to be free of advertising are often geared to selling us ideas and products rather than merely informing.

Let alone the problem of Vitamin D deficiency which is likely to occur when the skin is blocked from the sun with sunscreen, talking with Boots skin specialist Ian Marlow, Moore claims that butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (known in the US as Avobenzone) is a beneficial chemical to put on the skin to avoid the sun’s UVA rays from aging the skin.  We’re also told that ethylhexyl salicylate, octocrylene, and emethyl butimido triazone are often in sunscreen to reflect the sun’s UVB rays to stop the skin from burning.  They talk about these substances as if they’re natural when in fact they’re anything but that.

Dr Campbell-McBride has pointed out that “sunscreens contain chemicals, which may cause skin cancer.  Apart from that many of them contain synthetic oestrogens, such a benzophenone-3(Pp-3), homosalate (HMS), 4-MBC, OD-PABA and many others.”  If you have any doubt, I will let you read about the potential health risks of sunscreen to make up your own mind.  But personally, I prefer to sunbathe with coconut oil lathered on my skin.  It reflects the UVB rays and keeps me from burning while at the same time moisturising my skin.  It smells good and has no possible side effects.

Next in the programme, glycerin is touted as the magic ingredient of skin moisturisers which I found bemusing since I’ve been diligently avoiding it for decades.  I read in Virginia Castleton’s book “The Handbook of Natural Beauty” (1975) that it is toxic in cumulative amounts.  In the programme, Dr Mike Bell shows how it absorbs water out of the air.  But Castleton wrote that “rather than act as a humectant, which attracts moisture from the air, glycerine first draws whatever moisture it can from the underlying tissues of the skin itself.  As long as glycerine is applied, the external skin surface will have some semblance of elasticity and softness.  But when the applications cease, the skin takes on a dry, raspy feel.  Any preparation containing glycerine, then, can be damaging to delicate skin tissues.”  So if you use this stuff and wonder why your skin is always dry until you put on moisturiser, there’s your answer.

Moore says that moisturisers are the way to best to keep your skin strong and healthy and Dr Bell, the supposed expert on the subject, actually said that the moisturiser puts the moisture back into the skin and cements it in.    If that’s the case, why is the skin drier when the moisturiser is washed off? He also said that it binds the water at the surface at the skin, but forgot to mention that this is the water it has sucked out of the skin.

For the antiperspirant, Moore had to bring in three people to help her make her case that it is something we all should be using.  She first talked to Leeds University physiologoist, Dr Mark Hetherington who explained a little about how the body perspires.  Then she called in her “materials maestro” whatever that is, Mark Miadovnik, who demonstrated how antiperspirants “plug up the glands” in our armpits.

Finally, Jack Morekey (sorry if I’ve misspelled his name), a chemist in Yorkshire, talked about the key ingredient in antiperspirants, a metal called aluminium which is what aluminium chlorohydrate is based on.  It doesn't seem fitting somehow to use a metal to clog up the pores in our skin!  Moore states that we all rely on it to keep B.O. at bay.  Well, she should speak for herself because I use a product which is 100%  salt.

Moore says that contrary to the widely held belief, there is no scientific evidence that aluminium chlorohydrate causes breast cancer, but she fails to mention Alzheimer’s disease.  Maybe she doesn’t think this is a concern because of the new medicine food soon to be available (as mentioned above)!  In my view, clogging up pores anywhere on the body does not seem like a reasonable thing to do.  After all, it is a well-known beauty treatment to remove dead skin from the body to open pores!  As for plugging up the glands, based on the cause and effect theory, I shudder to think of what effect this has on some other part of the body that will have to change to compensate for shutting down this function, but cancer seems likely.

How did we get to the point where such nonsense can be related with such apparent authority under the guise of science?

The bottom line is that what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body.  In the long run, these products are likely to cause damage and ill health, which may lead to you lacking the energy to cook fresh foods and also create a perceived need for medication.  All handy developments when you’re the B’org and in the business of selling chemicals in processed foods and drugs.

If Moore actually uses these products, I think she will find her skin in much worse shape in 10 years time and her health might even be showing greater signs of compromise by that time as well.  The money she was paid by the B’org to present this programme will not seem worth it then.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Drone IV Citing


Drone IV was cited wreaking havoc in Bangor, Maine and leading to a variety of psychological and mental problems such as manic behavior, delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, hyperactivity, nightmares, violence and suicidal depression. Drones in the Borg are wired up to do what they’re told.  Those who don’t flip out or rebel are likely to be in a compliant form. This goes for drones in the B’org of Food offices as well.

I came across the news 0f 1 August 2011 in the Bangor Daily News that Maine police chief sees a crisis in abuse of bath salts. This caught my eye because I couldn’t imagine the police worrying about people dumping too much Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts into their baths or even doing it too often, and I wondered what it was all about. So I did a search online and the first clue I got was a product called Drone IV, aka Snow Blow, Ivory Wave now rebranded as Vanilla Sky, Snowberry, Charge+, Blowout, White, Hurricane Charlie, White Gold, Dusted, F1, Toot, Star Dust, Space Dust, Raz, Shake & Vac, Purple Wave and Ivory Coast. Other names are Aura, Blue Silk, Bonzai Grow, Euphoria, Lovey Dovey, Ocean, Pixie Dust, Red Dove, Scarface, White Dove, White Girl, and White Lightning. Bath salts are a designer drug that supposedly are to replace cocaine and methadone. The ploy is to advertise them for your bath and not for consumption to circumvent the law which, nonetheless, is in the process of trying to catch up. Drone IV is now banned in Maine, but with all the varieties out there, it would be hard to know what is going on.

Basically what I found out is that bath salts contain a synthetic drug manufactured from cathinone which is derived from the African shrub called khat. Cathinone is chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy, but the side-effects seem to be more drastic. The presumption seems to be that most bath salts are made with MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, but mephedrone (aka meph, MC, MCAT, m-cat, 4-MMC, Miaow, Meow Meow, Bubbles, Bounce, Charge, Drone, White Magic) and methylone seem to be common derivatives as well, and there is a whole slew more as shown in a table on the Europa website and the above cited thread. As is usually the case with non-prescription drugs, there is no way to be sure what is in them unless you personally get them tested. However, it is getting to the point where you wouldn’t know exactly what is in any drug because of nano-technology and genetic modification which are becoming more and more prevalent.

There is an interesting Times News timeline for MDPV which includes a patent for MDPV in 1969 by Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the top 20 leading pharmaceutical companies in the world with sales in the UK of £397.5 million in 2010. But whether you feel more assured that this company was in control of the formulation or don’t care if a back street chemist in China made it, is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t trust either with my well-being.

People have died from bath salts and lost their minds, but this is nothing new as it happens every day with prescriptions. However, bath salts seem to be especially quick to destroy. It would be good to see our culture change away from the need to pop a pill, snort powders, poke with needles, drink potions, and smoke in order to feel good.

The next news article in the Bangor Daily news was almost as sad and directly involves the B’org of Food and ties in with Drone IV. It’s about McDonald’s sponsoring a golf tournament with net proceeds going towards a new Children’s Cancer & Treatment Center at Eastern Maine Medical Center's CancerCare of Maine. It’s sad to think that there is a need for a special treatment centre just for children with cancer. It’s sad also because the food served in McDonald’s could very well be contributing to the increase in this disease, and I think it is. And, it’s sad because the reason McDonald’s is so successful and able to sponsor events such as this is that many people are easily roped into their cheap, crap food because they’re high on Drone IV or a myriad of other drugs and/or medications that keep them from thinking straight and eating properly. I think it would be particularly sad if they served McDonald’s food at the treatment centre. Sorry to leave you on this sad note, but this article really is about lots of very sad people -all victims of the B’org of Food.

Photo Credit: incenseblends

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Two-Faced, Half-Baked GM Scam

The B’org Food Chain (big organisation of food and the chain of inequities) never ceases to amaze me and what I learned because of a demonstration on Saturday, 23 July 2011 was no exception.  I attended a rally organised to protest the trials of GM potatoes being grown in Norfolk to test blight-resistant varieties which I originally found out about just over a year ago when I started this blog.  While at the rally, I was in a photo shoot where we held up letter cards to spell out “GM SPUDS, A HALF-BAKED SCAM.”  I was the ‘S’ in SCAM.  You can view this photo and others from the event by clicking here.  Yes, it’s a half-baked scam in that it is not thought through.  But it is also a two-faced scam because on the face of it, GM is claimed to be for our benefit and to feed the world, but in reality, it is for the benefit of big organisations and our governments.  Not only do they not pass any benefits on to us, they use our tax monies to boot (and then cry age of austerity!).

Although impressive, the event itself was not really amazing.  We gathered at the Forum, a modern building in the centre of the city of Norwich.  Organic chips were handed out and enjoyed by campaigners and passerbys alike.  We heard speeches, took photos, handed out organic potatoes in small trays, and bussed to the John Innes Centre, chatted with several Sainsbury lab employees of varying ranks, delivered 40 crate trays of chitted organic blight-resistant potatoes (shown in photo above), then put them back on the trailer and went home.

News can be reviewed by clicking on the following links:




The Guardian did an article a few days before this demonstration called “Scientist leading GM crop test defends links to US biotech giant Monsanto, Research Professor Jonathan Jones says his verdict on a potato trial in Norfolk will not be influenced by his past commercial ties to Monsanto”.  Except they’re not past commercial ties to Monsanto, they’re present ones.  This oversight on the part of the Guardian may be due to its receiving Gates Foundation funding now which is also funding Monsanto.  I would imagine that it would be hard to report anything untoward about GM or Monsanto when a funder supports these two.  This is a pity as the Guardian used to be reliable for some grassroots reporting about such issues.

What I do find amazing is what I learned after the event, mostly about the lead researcher, Prof Jonathan Jones, who also gave a speech at the demonstration and spoke to us.  I had never seen him before and knew nothing about him except his name, but still recognised him when I saw him probably because of his outgoing self-assured air.  I told him what I thought of GM generally, especially that it’s a tool for big organisations to make more money and nothing else.  I also mentioned that we are all pawns, including him, being used to that end.  He claims that GM is a tool to improve the food supply and feed the world.  Another wake up call might be helpful because if it's not giant pigweed resistant to glyphosate, GMOs are prone to creating similar disasters.  I already knew that billionaire Lord Sainsbury is a supporter of GM and funds the John Innes Centre, and of course, the Sainsbury Laboratory, and has had contacts with Monsanto, but to learn of the close ties of Prof Jones to Monsanto was still surprising.

Prof Jones co-founded Mendel Biotechnology with its most important customer and collaborator for its business being Monsanto.  In fact, Monsanto (with its notorious background) is a strategic partner, along with BP (the big oily risk taker) and Bayer CropScience (affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry which is pushing drugs on everyone) and sits on the Board of Directors.  Prof Jones sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the corporation which is “dedicated to being a premier biotechnology company serving large agricultural companies with new genetic and chemical solutions and to becoming the leading seed company serving the bioenergy industry” (my emphasis).  They forgot to mention the other partners, that is, the US and UK governments.

Power Base has lots more information about Prof Jones for interested parties including that he is on the Board of Directors of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications which is a GM industry lobby group.  In my opinion, I don’t think he should be engaged in such one-sided enterprises as a professor of research because this hampers the open frame of mind needed for a successful explorer.  After all, research is exploring the unknown and with a closed mind, some avenues will not be tested.  The result of closed-minded research will always be half-baked.  One other point about the GM potato trial is that it is testing how the plants will grow, but no tests are being done on nutritional content or long-term health effects because this is not required by law.

The double sided swindle by trickery in this all is that the government is paying for the research on GM potatoes (never mind the rest) at the John Innes Centre to the claimed tune of £1.7 million with our tax monies, and saying it’s for our benefit when clearly it’s not.  Mendel Biotechnology and all GM efforts are dedicated to serving the LARGE COMPANIES (what I call the big organisation or the B’org for short), NOT YOU AND ME.  We may be recipients of their labours (e.g., we may end up having to eat their GM potatoes), but the products are not for our benefit and they’ll probably make us ill just like most of the other processed food and medications around today.

Although Mendel Biotechnology is an American company with its headquarters in Hayward, California, it has aspirations for significant growth.  In addition, their “worldwide sites include extensive controlled growth facilities as well as glasshouses and field locations that permit production and experimental analysis of large numbers of plants.”  I’m wondering if this includes the John Innes Centre in some way.

In summary, the two-faced scam is that not only are there organic blight resistant potatoes available now, as we demonstrated at the rally on 23rd July, but the government is supporting the research for GM blight resistant potatoes for the benefit of transnational corporations with our money!  Isn’t our government supposed to be representing our interests?  Well, once again, they’re not.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer (Liberal Democrat) recently asked Her Majesty's Government which department is responsible for supporting the creation of local food partnerships linking local government, health authorities and community groups with food producers in their locality.

Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Conservative) replied that Defra is responsible for policy on local food.  But doesn’t ‘support’ in this context include funding?  Lord Henley further stated that “it is for local communities and local economic partnerships to decide where and how they develop”.  Local economic partnerships means local government working with businesses to “quicken the economic recovery”.  So while our central government gives big businesses big money to tinker with our food supply, local government is in essence privatising services such as rubbish collection and allotment schemes.  I found a Food Partnership online for Brighton & Hove, but could not readily find much about the funding of it.

It seems to me that local food partnerships are about as welcome by our government as an alien to a Borg cube.  Come to think it, as welcome as I was and the other campaigners were to the John Innes Centre as we gathered outside the barricaded entrance to the driveway with nearly as many police (some even in a helicopter!) and security officers present as there were demonstrators.  Yet local food partnerships could be the answer to all our woes.  For instance, the prisons are “bursting at the seams,” to use Lord Henley’s words.  And, it is well known that the cost of running the NHS has skyrocketed, especially since they're having to buy lots of new equipment for the burgeoning obese population. Obesity alone is reputed to be costing 4bn a year!!  Rather than privatising more public services and spending money on scientific toys such as GM potatoes, I believe that the government should show they realise the importance of natural wholesome food in keeping people sane and healthy by reflecting this in their spending and working to make real farming the nation's primary health service as well.

However, history is continuing to repeat itself like indigestible GM potatoes.  It would be nice for a change to see our leaders showing some real innovation and finding a way to stop, not only GM, but also placing commercial interests over the health and well-being of life on earth.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Sugar Sugar

This article is not about the kind of sugar in the Archie’s song. No, it’s about the real thing, processed sugar in all its forms. It’s about the white death, the white drug, the white poison, the white devil. These nick names have been around for centuries. It’s possibly the biggest scourge civilization has or has had to face. But are you paying attention? Or has the B’org of Food totally got you bamboozled on this one. They've obviously pulled the wool over the eyes of many. Either that or they have lots of prisoners of the Food Wars who have no choice, or casualties relying on the medical system that is inextricably tied in with the B'org of Food and which does not adhere to the Hippocratic oath but only pledges allegiance to the almighty dollar (or whatever form of money they exalt on any given day).

It has even been said that “the purpose of sugar is to destroy humanity, together with its dignity and creative power. It is one of the most sinister products ever made to be legally sold as food.” As it turns out, sugar is one of the main weapons in the B’org of Food artillery.

Nowadays sugar actually comes in many shades and shapes. There’s high fructose corn syrup, lactose, glucose, fructose, raw fair trade cane sugar, maple syrup, etc, etc. The small amount of vitamins and minerals these sugars had in their raw state are stripped with processing. The B’org of Food often uses these various forms of sugar to hide the true extent of the sugar content in many processed foods.

It is undeniable from a scientific standpoint that sugar is not good for health. After all, it has no nutritional value except calories. A good example of this is the fact that in order for the body to metabolise it, magnesium is required, and eating lots of sugar will result in magnesium deficiency. As explained by Dr Campbell-McBride in Put Your Heart In Your Mouth, this leads to many health problems including neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Further evidence can be found in an interesting article written for the Ultimate Body Success blog showing that sugar interferes with the brain and nervous system as well as the calcium in bones and teeth. We all know that sugar rots teeth! In addition, there is no doubt that sugar intake is connected to weight gain which in turn is a high risk factor in developing diabetes. But despite these facts, the B'org of Food continue to use sugar to sell us their wares and are finding new ways every day.

As reported in September 2010, a new low-cost sweetener has been developed which it is claimed will help diabetics. A nano sugar will soon be in a pharmacy near you or even supermarket. This is a sugar that has been altered using nano-technology. As if single strength sugar wasn’t bad enough, somebody got the bright idea of intensifying the sweetness without the corresponding calories and thinking that will solve the problem. How can intensifying a poison make it better? For proof of this, look at high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) where fructose is seventy-three percent sweeter than sucrose and the evidence shows it contributes further to the obesity and diabetes epidemics, it does not detract from them. There are lots of free online videos made by doctors on the HFCS connection to health problems.

My cousin in the mortuary business recently wrote to me with reference to a WSJ article on diabetes complaining about the number and relative youth (many in their 40s) of the morbidly obese decedents they get in their funeral homes. He says that the “body cart” which is usually used to carry casketed remains is, “Now ... being requested because the decedents are so heavy that even 8 pallbearers would end up with hernias trying to move the person who can no longer move themselves.” He also commented on a McDonald’s outlet in the area doing great business. But it’s not just this fast food transnational corporation that has a stake in the continuation of promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

To put the problem in scale, the following chart of the obese in the US in 2009 is helpful when considering that obesity is a major risk factor in having or developing type-2 diabetes. With this trend continuing, how can the increased longevity claims survive? As you will see, up to a third of the population in many US States is obese and this does not include those who are simply overweight, which in itself is often unhealthy.
2009 State Obesity Rates
State
%
State
%
State
%
State
%
Alabama
31.0
Illinois
26.5
Montana
23.2
Rhode Island
24.6
Alaska
24.8
Indiana
29.5
Nebraska
27.2
South Carolina
29.4
Arizona
25.5
Iowa
27.9
Nevada
25.8
South Dakota
29.6
Arkansas
30.5
Kansas
28.1
New Hampshire
25.7
Tennessee
32.3
California
24.8
Kentucky
31.5
New Jersey
23.3
Texas
28.7
Colorado
18.6
Louisiana
33.0
New Mexico
25.1
Utah
23.5
Connecticut
20.6
Maine
25.8
New York
24.2
Vermont
22.8
Delaware
27.0
Maryland
26.2
North Carolina
29.3
Virginia
25.0
Washington DC
19.7
Massachusetts
21.4
North Dakota
27.9
Washington
26.4
Florida
25.2
Michigan
29.6
Ohio
28.8
West Virginia
31.1
Georgia
27.2
Minnesota
24.6
Oklahoma
31.4
Wisconsin
28.7
Hawaii
22.3
Mississippi
34.4
Oregon
23.0
Wyoming
24.6
Idaho
24.5
Missouri
30.0
Pennsylvania
27.4

While researching for my article called Diabetes is Reversible, I came across more specific B’org of Food iniquities in relation to sugar. My first port of call was my local GP Surgery, (for non-UK readers, that’s the doctor’s office where everyone has to go when ill if not going to the hospital with an emergency). I collected a lot of leaflets to look at and two were on diabetes, one of which was particularly interesting. I was shocked to read that MDS Diabetes advises the use of sugar to “treat” hypoglycaemia (what they refer to as a“hypo”) which is when the blood sugar level is low. I was especially shocked because it is a well known fact that sugar causes the blood sugar level to rise and then plummet again creating a vicious cycle.  This made me ask, who is MDS Diabetes?
I found out with a quick search online that MDS Diabetes is a spin-off of a company called MDS or Merck Sharp & Dohme. It is a transnational corporation with its headquarters in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. MSD is formerly in partnership with AstraZeneca, a well known global pharmaceutical manufacturer with headquarters in London, and Sanofi Pasteur to collaborate in the development, marketing and distribution of combination vaccines for Europe. Sanofi Pasteur has its headquarters in Lyon, France. MDS also seems to be informally in partnership with other large corporations because of its advice to use particular sugary products out of many for treating hypos as follows:

Lucozade with its 24% glucose content is produced in Gloucestershire by GlaxoSmithKline, another global pharmaceutical company.
Fizzy drinks we all know are produced by global corporations and contain high fructose corn syrup (27g of sugars in a serving) which as mentioned above is highly controversial in the obesity debate.

Jelly babies are manufactured predominantly by Trebor Bassett part of the Cadbury group which was acquired by the American transnational corporation Kraft foods in 2010. As can be seen from the chart below, not only do they have a high sugar content, but a high salt content as well. These are the ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Water, Gelatine, Citric Acid, Colours (E150d, E120, E132, E104), and Flavourings. Where the sodium comes from is anyone’s guess.

Nutritional information:

Servings per package
4
Serving size
45g
Per serving
Per 100g
Energy
617kJ
1370kJ
Protein
1.4g
3.2g
Fat
0.1g
0.3g
Includes saturated fat
0.1g
0.2g
Carbohydrate
34.4g
76.4g
Includes Sugars
24.5g
54.5g
Sodium
32mg
70mg

Glucotabs containing 93% Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Magnesium Salts of Fatty Acids, Natural and Nature Identical Flavouring (they must play "spot the difference in their spare time!), Citric Acid, and Vegetable Fat. I wonder why they don’t call it Dextabs! Anyway if you’re confused about what the difference is between, dextrose, fructose, and glucose, see here. Glucotabs are manufactured by Owen Mumford Limited, a global corporation with its headquarters in Oxford, UK which also makes diabetes devices.

Dextrose tablets are also recommended which are similar to glucotabs except more of them are needed to obtain the same result.
Finally, 200ml of orange juice will supposedly also cure a hypo. This much orange juice would have about 21g of sugar and 27g of carbohydrates. Apple juice would provide about the same amount of sugars. Why do they specifically recommend orange juice and not some other fruit juice?

It is obvious that the B’org of Food has a strong interest in making money from people continuing to suffer from diabetes and obesity and so actively promote sugar which, at best, aggravates these conditions.