1. White Sugar
More than any other food refined, processed cane sugar depletes your body of minerals. It has been associated with a fatty liver, insulin resistance, weight gain, abdominal obesity, heart disease, acne, mood disorders, behavioural issues in children and adults, increases blood pressure and leads to chronic disease. In the 1600’s on average we were consuming less than 2kg of sugar per year. That’s now increased to an unbelievable 40kg per year. (80kg in the States.)
[private]Most of us know that sugar is in so many things from snacks to packaged meals, condiments, table salt and soft drinks, but what most of use don’t know is it’s also added into things like baby formula – which has around the same amount as a can of coke. So we’re getting addicted young. Some studies have shown that removing refined sugar from your diet is harder than coming off heroin.
Refined sugar is empty calories so it leaves you unfulfilled and craving more. It quickly sends your blood sugar up and then straight back down again, resulting in fatigue, irritability, anxiety and leaves you unfulfilled and craving more, more, more – due to a low blood sugar. You’ll usually be feeling full and bloated but hungry – constantly.
2. Refined Wheat Flour, (and other grains)
Most of us are aware of the reasons we’re avoiding foods made with white flour, and the main one is gluten. There is about 4 times more gluten in this kind of flour than in its original state, so consuming it makes us feel heavy, tired and bloated, not to mention contributing to many other issues like food intolerances, diabetes and allergy’s and digestive and sleep disorders.
You’ll find refined wheat flour in many foods ranging from bread, pasta, cakes, donuts, crackers, biscuits, wraps, burgers and also in many foods as a filler like condiments, ice cream, pre packaged meals and flavourings.
3. GMO Foods
As it stands canola and cotton are the only genetically modified food crops produced in Australia, but…many other GM foods can be imported and used as an ingredient in packaged foods. Refined foods with GM ingredients do not need to be labelled as containing GM products.
Wheat itself is not a genetically modified organism, but evidence suggests that other frequently consumed GM foods – such as soy and corn – may help explain the recent increase in gluten-related disorders. (GM foods are designed to blow the insects stomach up.)
GM Crops Currently Grown in Australia
Canola – GM canola, modified for herbicide tolerance, was approved for commercial production in Australia in 2003. The states that were already growing it at the time placed bans on GM canola being grown. These bans have since been lifted by NSW, Victoria and now also in WA. Canola oil is used in margarine-type spreads, dips and as an ingredient in plenty of tinned and snack foods. Canola meal is also often used in stock feed.
Cotton – We’ve been commercially growing GM cotton since 1996, making it insect resistant, herbicide tolerant or both. The seeds of the cotton plant are crushed to produce cotton oil, which is widely used for cooking. Cottonseed meal is also used in stock-feed, so the meat you’re eating is now contaminated. And how about tampons? Make sure you buy them certified organic. Why not consider getting organic or at least eucalyptus or hemp sheets and underwear?
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) allows manufacturers to use a wide range of GM food ingredients imported from overseas. These include specific GM varieties of soybeans, corn, rice, potatoes and sugar beet (a cousin of beetroot).
GM soybeans are now used in many processed foods, such as bread, spreads, baby formula, protein powder, pastries, chocolate, potato chips, margarine and mayonnaise. Soy lecithin (additive 322) is commonly used as an emulsifier in spreads, cakes and confectionery. Soybean meal is often used in stock feed, particularly for pigs and poultry and in supplements for dairy cattle.
GM corn products can be corn chips, oil, corn flour or corn syrup; used in snack foods, fried foods and confectionery. It is also used for cattle feed.
GM potatoes are used in processed products such as snack foods. However fresh GM potatoes cannot be sold in Australia.
GM sugar beet can and is used as sugar in some imported processed foods.
Australia is now trialing GM pineapple, papayas, wheat, barley and sugarcane. These products like other GM crops have been modified for insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, color, oil production, and sugar composition, flowering and fruit development.
Gene technology research is now happening in Australia on bananas, rice and corn.
GM food products on sale in Australia and New Zealand – either as a whole food or as an ingredient in a processed food – must have their GM status identified if introduced genetic material or protein is present in the final food. However, there are exceptions.
– Foods where GM ingredients are highly refined, such as cooking oils, margarine, sugars, starches, chocolate, baked goods. Many processed foods fall into this category.
-Foods made at bakeries, restaurants and takeaways.
-Foods from animals that are fed GM feed.
– GM labelling laws allow companies to include up to one percent of GM organisms in food without labelling it GM, as long as the GM is there “unintentionally” or by accident.
GMO Foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, autism and gluten intolerance and numerous other health complaints that have been on the rise since genetically modified organisms (Gomes) were introduced. “It appears there is a direct correlation between Gomes and autism.” –Arden Anderson, MD, PhD, MPH
The best way to avoid GMO’s is to consult the nongmoshoppingguide.com or a download a free iPhone app’ like ‘Shop Ethical’ or Shop No GMO. Look for products with either the “Non-GMO Project Verified” or the “Certified Organic” seal. Avoid ingredients derived from the foods most likely to be genetically modified. These include soy, corn, sugar beets, cottonseed, canola, sugar, papaya from Hawaii or China, zucchini, and yellow squash.
In October 2011, Dr. Huber gave a talk in Germany about the physiological, neurological, and behavioral symptoms of pigs, cows, and rats fed genetically modified (GM) feed. After his lecture, a physician and autism specialist approached him and said, “The symptoms you describe are exactly what we are finding in our autistic children.”
The animals in those studies were fed the same GM soy and corn eaten by children and adults in the US. Both crops are outfitted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive being sprayed with herbicide, which kills plants. As a result, higher residues of toxic weed killer end up inside our food. In addition, some GM corn varieties have an even more unsettling characteristic: their inserted genes produce an insect-killing poison called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin in every cell—and in every bite. Although the biotech seed companies like Monsanto claim that their genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are harmless, that’s not what the independent scientists are finding.
4. Factory- Farmed Animal Products
Basically these are animals ‘grown’ using factory- farming. They are fed toxic ‘food’ and subjected to cruel conditions. If you choose to eat animal products – or products using any animal products -then choose those that have been certified ‘organic’. That way you know for sure they haven’t been bred with or fed food using GMO technology. If you decide you can’t afford organic food then avoid eating animals.
An excerpt from ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer.
The typical cage for egg-laying hens allows each sixty-seven square inches of floor space—somewhere between the size of this page and a sheet of printer paper. Such cages are stacked between three and nine tiers high—Japan has the world’s highest battery cage unit, with cages stacked eighteen tiers high—in windowless sheds.
Step your mind into a crowded elevator, an elevator so crowded you cannot turn around without bumping into (and aggravating) your neighbor. The elevator is so crowded you are often held aloft. This is a kind of blessing, as the slanted floor is made of wire, which cuts into your feet.
After some time, those in the elevator will lose their ability to work in the interest of the group. Some will become violent; others will go mad. A few, deprived of food and hope, will become cannibalistic.
There is no respite, no relief. No elevator repairman is coming. The doors will open once, at the end of your life, for your journey to the only place worse (see: processing).
Not all chickens have to endure battery cages. In this way only, it could be said that broilers — chickens that become meat (as opposed to layers, chickens that lay eggs)—are lucky: they tend to get close to a single square foot of space.
If you aren’t a farmer, what I’ve just written probably confuses you. You probably thought that chickens were chickens. But for the past half-century, there have actually been two kinds of chickens—broilers and layers—each with distinct genetics. We call them both chickens, but they have starkly different bodies and metabolisms, engineered for different “functions.” Layers make eggs. (Their egg output has more than doubled since the 1930s.) Broilers make flesh. (In the same period, they have been engineered to grow more than twice as large in less than half the time. Chickens once had a life expectancy of fifteen to twenty years, but the modern broiler is typically killed at around six weeks. Their daily growth rate has increased roughly 400 percent.)
This raises all kinds of bizarre questions — questions that before I learned about our two types of chickens, I’d never had reason to ask—like, What happens to all of the male offspring of layers? If man hasn’t designed them for meat, and nature clearly hasn’t designed them to lay eggs, what function do they serve?
They serve no function. Which is why all male layers—half of all the layer chickens born in the United States, more than 250 mil- lion chicks a year — are destroyed.
Destroyed? That seems like a word worth knowing more about.
Most male layers are destroyed by being sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified plate. Other layer chicks are destroyed in other ways, and it’s impossible to call those animals more or less fortunate. Some are tossed into large plastic containers. The weak are trampled to the bottom, where they suffocate slowly. The strong suffocate slowly at the top. Others are sent fully conscious through macerators. Cruel? Depends on your definition of cruelty (see: cruelty).
1) The shit of a bull (see also environmentalism)
2) Misleading or false language and statements, such as:
Perhaps the quintessential example of bullshit, bycatch refers to sea creatures caught by accident—except not really “by accident,” since bycatch has been consciously built into contemporary fish- ing methods. Modern fishing tends to involve much technology and few fishers. This combination leads to massive catches with massive amounts of bycatch. Take shrimp, for example. The average shrimp- trawling operation throws 80 to 90 percent of the sea animals it captures overboard, dead or dying, as bycatch. (Endangered species amount to much of this bycatch.) Shrimp account for only 2 percent of global seafood by weight, but shrimp trawling accounts for 33 percent of global bycatch. We tend not to think about this because we tend not to know about it. What if there were labeling on our food letting us know how many animals were killed to bring our desired animal to our plate? So, with trawled shrimp from Indonesia, for example, the label might read: 26 pounds of other sea animals were killed and tossed back into the ocean for every 1 pound of this shrimp.
Or take tuna. Among the other 145 species regularly killed— gratuitously—while killing tuna are: manta ray, devil ray, spot- ted skate, bignose shark, copper shark, Galapagos shark, sandbar shark, night shark, sand tiger shark, (great) white shark, hammer- head shark, spurdog fish, Cuban dogfish, bigeye thresher, mako, blue shark, wahoo, sailfish, bonito, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, longbill spearfish, white marlin, swordfish, lancet fish, grey trigger- fish, needlefish, pomfret, blue runner, black ruff, dolphin fish, bigeye cigarfish, porcupine fish, rainbow runner, anchovy, grouper, flying fish, cod, common sea horse, Bermuda chub, opah, escolar, leerfish, tripletail, goosefish, monkfish, sunfish, Murray eel, pilotfish, black gemfish, stone bass, bluefish, cassava fish, red drum, greater amber- jack, yellowtail, common sea bream, barracuda, puffer fish, logger- head turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, hawksbill turtle, Kemp’s ridley turtle, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Audouin’s gull, balearic shearwater, black-browed albatross, great black-backed gull, great shearwater, great-winged petrel, grey petrel, herring gull, laughing gull, northern royal albatross, shy albatross, sooty shearwater, south- ern fulmar, Yelkouan shearwater, yellow-legged gull, minke whale, sei whale, fin whale, common dolphin, northern right whale, pilot whale, humpback whale, beaked whale, killer whale, harbor porpoise, sperm whale, striped dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, spinner dol- phin, bottlenose dolphin, and goose-beaked whale.
Imagine being served a plate of sushi. But this plate also holds all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. The plate might have to be five feet across.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, a.k.a. factory farm. Tell- ingly, this formal designation was created not by the meat industry but by the Environmental Protection Agency (see also: environ- mentalism). All CAFOs harm animals in ways that would be illegal according to even relatively weak animal welfare legislation. Thus,
Common Farming Exemptions (CFE’s) make legal any method of raising farmed animals so long as it is commonly practiced within the industry. In other words, farmers—corporations is the right word—have the power to define cruelty. If the industry adopts a practice—hacking off unwanted appendages with no painkillers, for example, but you can let your imagination run with this—it automatically becomes legal.
CFEs are enacted state by state and range from the disturb- ing to the absurd. Take Nevada. Under its CFE, the state’s welfare laws cannot be enforced to “prohibit or interfere with established methods of animal husbandry, including the raising, handling, feeding, housing, and transporting, of livestock or farm animals.” What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Lawyers David Wolfson and Mariann Sullivan, experts on the issue, explain:
Certain states exempt specific practices, rather than all custom- ary farming practices….Ohio exempts farmed animals from requirements for “wholesome exercise and a change of air,” and Vermont exempts farmed animals from the section in its criminal anticruelty statute that deems it illegal to “tie, tether and restrain” an animal in a manner that is “inhumane or det- rimental to its welfare.” One cannot help but assume that in Ohio farmed animals are denied exercise and air, and that in Vermont they are tied, tethered or restrained in a manner that is inhumane.
One night, when my son was four weeks old, he developed a slight fever. By the next morning he was having trouble breathing. On our pediatrician’s recommendation, we took him to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which often expresses itself in adults as the common cold, but in babies can be extremely dangerous, even life threatening. We ended up spending a week in the pediatric intensive-care unit, my wife and I taking turns sleeping in the armchair in our son’s room, and on the waiting-room recliner.
On the second, third, fourth, and fifth days, our friends Sam and Eleanor brought us food. Lots of food, far more than we could eat: lentil salad, chocolate truffles, roasted vegetables, nuts and ber- ries, mushroom risotto, potato pancakes, green beans, nachos, wild rice, oatmeal, dried mango, pasta primavera, chili—all of it com- fort food. We could have eaten in the cafeteria or ordered in. And they could have expressed their love with visits and kind words. But they brought all of that food, and it was a small, good thing that we needed. That, more than any other reason—and there are many other reasons — is why this book is dedicated to them.
On the sixth day, my wife and I were able, for the first time since arriving, to leave the hospital together. Our son was clearly over the hump, and doctors thought we’d be able to take him home the following morning. We could hear the bullet we’d dodged whistle past. So as soon as he’d fallen asleep (with my in-laws by his bed- side), we took the elevator down and reemerged into the world.
It was snowing. The snowflakes were surreally large, distinct and durable: like the ones children cut out of white paper. We glided like sleepwalkers down Second Avenue, no destination in mind, and ended up in a Polish diner. Massive glass windows faced the street, and the snowflakes clung for several seconds before descending. I can’t remember what I ordered. I can’t remember if the food was any good. It was the best meal of my life.
Not only the willful causing of unnecessary suffering, but the indifference to it. It’s much easier to be cruel than one might think.
It’s often said that nature, “red in tooth and claw,” is cruel. I heard this again and again from ranchers, who tried to persuade me that they were protecting their animals from what lay outside the enclosures. Nature is no picnic, true. (Picnics are rarely picnics.) And it’s also true that animals on the very best farms often have better lives than they would in the wild. But nature isn’t cruel. And neither are the animals in nature that kill and occasionally even tor- ture one another. Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or to choose to ignore it.
There are sixty pounds of flour in my grandmother’s basement. On a recent weekend visit, I was sent down to retrieve a bottle of Coke and discovered the sacks lining the wall, like sandbags on the banks of a rising river. Why would a ninety-year-old woman need so much flour? And why the several dozen two-liter bottles of Coke, or the pyramid of Uncle Ben’s, or the wall of pumpernickel loaves in the freezer?
“I noticed you have an awful lot of flour in the basement,” I said, returning to the kitchen.
I couldn’t read her tone. Was that pride I heard? A hint of challenge? Shame?
“Can I ask why?”
She opened a cabinet and took down a thick stack of coupons, each of which offered a free sack of flour for every bag purchased.
“How did you get so many of these?” I asked. “It wasn’t a problem.
“What are you going to do with all of that flour?” “I’ll make some cookies.” I tried to imagine how my grandmother, who has never driven a car in her life, managed to schlep all of those sacks from the super- market to her house. Someone drove her, as always, but did she load down any one car with all sixty, or did she make multiple trips? Knowing my grandmother, she probably calculated how many sacks she could get in one car without overly inconveniencing the driver. She then contacted the necessary number of friends and made that many trips to the supermarket, likely in one day. Was this what she meant by ingenuity, all those times she told me that it was her luck and ingenuity that got her through the Holocaust?
I’ve been an accomplice on many of my grandmother’s food- acquisition missions. I remember a sale of some pelleted bran cereal, for which the coupon limited three boxes per customer. After buy- ing three boxes herself, my grandmother sent my brother and me to buy three boxes each while she waited at the door. What must I have looked like to the cashier? A five-year-old boy using a coupon to buy multiple boxes of a foodstuff that not even a genuinely starv- ing person would willfully eat? We went back an hour later and did it again.
The flour demanded answers. For what population was she plan- ning on baking all of these cookies? Where was she hiding the 1,400 cartons of eggs? And most obviously: How did she get all of those sacks into the basement? I’ve met enough of her decrepit chauffeurs to know they weren’t doing the hauling.
“One bag at a time,” she said, dusting the table with her palm.
One bag at a time. My grandmother has trouble making it from the car to the front door one step at a time. Her breathing is slow and labored, and on a recent visit to the doctor, it was discovered that she shares a heart rate with the great blue whale.
Her perpetual wish is to live to the next bar mitzvah, but I expect her to live another decade, at least. She’s not the kind of person who dies. She could live to be 120, and there’s no way she’ll use up half of the flour. And she must know that.
Sharing food generates good feeling and creates social bonds. Michael Pollan, who has written as thoughtfully about food as any- one, calls this “table fellowship” and argues that its importance, which I agree is significant, is a vote against vegetarianism. At one level, he’s right.
Let’s assume you’re like Pollan and are opposed to factory-farmed meat. If you’re at the guest end, it stinks not to eat food that was pre- pared for you, especially (although he doesn’t get into this) when the grounds for refusal are ethical. But how much does it stink? It’s a classic dilemma: How much do I value creating a socially comfort- able situation, and how much do I value acting socially responsible? The relative importance of ethical eating and table fellowship will be different in different situations (declining my grandmother’s chicken with carrots is different from passing on microwaved buffalo wings).
More important, though, and what Pollan curiously doesn’t emphasize, is that attempting to be a selective omnivore is a much heavier blow to table fellowship than vegetarianism. Imagine an acquaintance invites you to dinner. You could say, “I’d love to come. And just so you know, I’m a vegetarian.” You could also say, “I’d love to come. But I only eat meat that is produced by family farmers.” Then what do you do? You’ll probably have to send the host a web link or list of local shops to even make the request intelligible, let alone manage- able. This effort might be well-placed, but it is certainly more invasive than asking for vegetarian food (which these days requires no expla- nation). The entire food industry (restaurants, airline and college food services, catering at weddings) is set up to accommodate vegetarians. There is no such infrastructure for the selective omnivore.
And what about being at the host end of a gathering? Selective omnivores also eat vegetarian fare, but the reverse is obviously not true. What choice promotes greater table fellowship?
And it isn’t just what we put into our mouths that creates table fel- lowship, but what comes out. There is also the possibility that a conver- sation about what we believe would generate more fellowship—even when we believe different things — than any food being served.
5. Low Fat Foods
Regularly consuming fewer than 20% of your daily calories from healthy fats will put your health at risk in many ways. A diet too high in fat can also lead to problems—heart disease, diabetes, cancer and weight gain. Plus the chemicals used (unless organic) to remove the fat are toxic. Here are six health risks you’re taking –
– Poor Vitamin Absorption
Eating a diet too low in fat can interfere with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Because these nutrients are fat soluble, your body needs dietary fat to utilize them.
A diet that’s too low in fat—especially essential fatty acids, which your body can only get from food, will affect your mood. One study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders has linked low and abnormal essential fatty acid intake to depressive symptoms. Other research shows that, because fatty acids help to insulate nerve cells in the brain, allowing these nerve cells to better communicate with one another.
– Increased Cancer Risk
Colon, breast, and prostate cancers have all been associated with low intakes of healthy fats.
– High Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Low-fat diets play a role in heart disease.
6. Artificial Sweeteners
A fact no one can dispute is that these controversial sweeteners are made from chemicals, some of which are known to be not only harmful, but also truly toxic.
The most dangerous first –
Its approval heralded the birth of what has become one of the most potentially dangerous and controversial food additives in human history. Early animal studies warned of the safety of aspartame. There was a huge controversy regarding the approval of aspartame in the U.S. In 1981 after refusing to approve the legalisation of aspartame, the head of the FDA (Food and Drug Admin’) was fired. His successor legalised it and later accepted a job offer with Searle, the company that owned aspartame. Aspartame was later rebranded to NutraSweet®. Equal® also contains aspartame, and there are four other major commercial sweeteners, sucralose  (Splenda®), saccharin  (Sweet’n Low™), cyclamate  and acesulphame potassium  (Ace K, Twinsweet™). These have also been linked to various forms of cancer, genetic abnormalities and other chronic diseases.
What it’s made from: Phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol.
Reported side effects: Headaches, fibromyalgia, anxiety, memory loss, arthritis, abdominal pain, nausea, depression, heart palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, seizures, neurological disorders, vision problems, brain tumors and weight gain.
Concerns: Phenylalanine and aspartic acid affect brain and central nervous system functions, and they play a role in mood disorders, memory problems and other neurological illnesses. Methanol is converted into formaldehyde when metabolized. Makers of aspartame say methanol and its by products are quickly excreted, but research has found measurable amounts of formaldehyde in the livers, kidneys and brains of test subjects after ingestion of aspartame. At high temperatures, phenylalanine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DPK), a known carcinogen.
What it’s made from: Acesulfame-K is a potassium salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.
Reported side effects: Continued exposure to methylene chloride can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, eyesight problems and potentially cancer.
Concerns: Of all artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K has had the least scientific scrutiny. Early studies showed a potential link between the sweetener and development of multiple cancers in laboratory animals.
What it’s made from: Sucralose is created by chlorinating sugar. Its manufacturer’s say the chlorine in sucralose is no different from that in table salt – bad enough, but wait there’s more – the chemical structure of the chlorine in sucralose is almost the same as that in the now-banned pesticide DDT.
Reported side effects: Muscle pain, headaches, stomach cramps and diarrhea, bladder issues, skin irritation, dizziness and general inflammation.
Concerns: Research has shown sucralose can cause shrinking of the thymus gland, an important immune system regulator, and liver and kidney dysfunction. A recent study by Duke University found sucralose reduces healthy intestinal bacteria.
What it’s made from: Saccharin is a sulfa-based sweetener; its primary ingredient is benzoic sulfimide.
Reported side effects: especially if you are sensitive or allergic to sulphur – nausea, diarrhea, skin problems or other allergy-related symptoms.
Concerns: Early safety studies of saccharin showed the sweetener caused bladder cancer in rats. The FDA recently lifted the requirement that saccharin be labeled as a probable carcinogen on food packaging. The link between saccharin and bladder cancer has contributed to saccharin being the most investigated of all artificial sweeteners.
7. Refined Cooking Oils
I sometimes hear people say that these oils are healthy as they lower cholesterol or weight, or some other just as crazy, dangerous and untrue claim. Check out below how they’re processed, and then decide for yourself whether you want these oils in your pantry, or on our planet at all. These types of oils are available in supermarkets usually in large, clear plastic bottles lass jars. They may be marked as canola, peanut, sunflower, vegetable or a blend of these. Look instead for cold pressed oils in dark, glass jars.
The Process – Natural (crude) oils from vegetables are refined to remove any substances that may contribute to a change in flavor, odor, color, or for ‘standardization’. Standardization is required because there would be chaos at the supermarket if every bottle had a different color and clarity – as nature intended.
Step 1: ‘Washing’ of oil using water, salts and acids in order to remove waxes, phosphates and other impurities.
Step 2: Oil undergoes a neutralization process. Alkali (soap) is mixed with oil and heated to 82oC. A separator then removes the soap from the oil.
Step 3: The oil is subjected to ‘physical’ refinement to remove odor compounds by vacuum steam distillation process.
Step 4: The oil is subjected to cooling. By doing this, some fats will crystallize and are removed using filtration.
Step 5: The oil is then bleached. This process stabilises the oil. Bleaching involves using clay to remove color and impurities from the oil. The oil is then bleached by heating it to 54oF, and then mixed with clay. The mixture is held for several minutes and then the hot oil is filtered from the clay and cooled.
Step 6: pumping pressurized hydrogen into an agitated tank filled with oil completes the hydrogenation process. This must be done in the presence of a catalyst metal, such as nickel. (Nickel is a heavy metal with adverse effect on Respiratory system, liver, skin, metabolism, interaction with DNA/RNA, crosses Placental barrier also carcinogenic action.) Hydrogenation is done at 204oC and a pressure of 60psig.
Refined oils quickly get into our cells contributing to many diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, allergies, emphysema, stomach ulcers, premature aging, impotence, hypoglycemia and arthritis. This happens because chemically synthesized substances disrupt the biochemistry of hundreds of billions of microscopic living cells, which make up the body.
8. Palm Oil
This oil is derived from the palm oil tree, almost all of which is produced in Malaysia and most definitely not using sustainable farming techniques. On the contrary. Huge amounts of rainforest are destroyed each year to make way for yet more palm oil crops. This large-scale de-forestation is pushing orang-utan’s to extinction, along with many other native species of Borneo and Sumatra.
Palm oil is popular as a cheap ingredient in sugary, prepackaged snack foods and also in fragrant, chemical-filled soaps and shampoos, and baked goods, confectionery, cosmetics, body products and cleaning agents.
If a product states that it is ‘organic’ or ‘cruelty-free’, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s free of palm oil. Many natural/organic products do contain palm oil, because palm oil is a very much a natural ingredient. It’s the way it is produced that is far from natural.
There are many alternatives to this very damaging farming practice, but sadly none are quite as efficient…or as cheap.
In most countries there is no law pertaining to the mandatory labelling of palm oil. Consequently, companies can and do hide palm oil under the name of ‘vegetable oil’, or any of its other 170 other names. Below are a number of different ways to detect and then avoid palm oil.
– The most common name you’ll find palm oil hidden under is ‘vegetable oil’. Where you see ‘vegetable oil’ in the list of ingredients – put it back on the shelf.
– In the nutritional panel – if a product says it contains more than 40% saturated fat then it’s probably made with palm oil.
– Any mention of the word ‘palm’ in the ingredients means it’s derived from the oil palm fruit.
– Nearly all ‘home-brand’ (Coles/Safeway etc) or ‘no-name’ pasties and confectionery will contain palm oil. Eg. donuts, muffins, cakes, chocolate, confectionery etc etc.
– Most products made by the big, well known company’s (Nestle, Unilever etc) contain palm oil.
– To avoid palm oil, look out for products that contain better choices like 100% sunflower oil. Canola and soy are both GMO crops (see above) so these are no-go also.
– If you are unsure whether a product contains palm oil – Google the product name and then ‘palm oil’. Or call the company and ask if they use palm oil.
30 Names Palm Oil may be labelled as –
-Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (in almost everything that foams); Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS), Palm Kernel, Palm Oil Kernel, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl oxostearamide, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, Steareth -2, Steareth -20, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate *, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye, Cetyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmityl Alcohol.
9. Trans- Fatty Acids
Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are bombed at high temperatures with hydrogen, changing their chemical composition. This process allows the liquid oil to remain solid at room temperature, preventing biscuits and cakes from going soggy, stabilizing flavours and extending their shelf life. Definitely not extending ours however. A diet high in foods containing trans-fatty acids (TFA’s) increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The US Food and Drug Administration have announced that trans- fats ‘are not generally recognised as safe for use in food’ and that food producers should not be able to use them without permission.
Australians are consuming dangerous amounts of trans- fats due to our poor labelling regulation. Calls are quickly increasing for the artery-clogging substance to be banned. Australian health lobbyists say consumers have been left ‘in the dark’ as there are no laws or uniformity declaring trans- fats in the ingredients despite a 2011 federal government review recommending labelling or a total phase out by 2013.
Many products contain TFA’s – chicken nuggets, doughnuts, cakes, biscuits and pastries, and hot chips, margarine, spreads and so much more. Consumers have no way of knowing what the trans- fat content of these products are because manufacturers don’t have to tell us. Some trans fats, such as those found in meat and dairy occur naturally but the harmful artificial version is created during food processing. Certain products such as microwave popcorn; cakes and donuts that don’t have to be refrigerated are likely to have a higher content.
TFA’s have been shown to raise the not so good cholesterol and in America are said to be responsible for 20,000 heart attacks and 7000 deaths from heart disease a year.
Following America’s lead, The Public Health Association of Australia has called for trans fats to be removed from food in Australia, a proposal backed by consumer advocacy group Choice.
Australian Food and Grocery Council deputy chief executive Geoffrey Annison said the industry had been lowering the trans fat content of processed food since the late 1990s. ‘Australian food manufacturers have done an enormous amount of work to reduce the amount of trans fat in the food supply but we do still see it in imported food,’ he said.
10. Fizzy and Energy Drinks
A sweet drink to give us a little lift or reduce the effect of too much alcohol the night before, or a potentially lethal cocktail that should be banned? In the US, emergency visits related to energy drinks doubled from 10,000 in 2007 to over 20,000 in 2011. Over a five-year period, there was a fivefold increase in the number of people who called a poisons centre annually who’d had adverse effects from energy drinks. The primary cause of the toxicity comes from the massive caffeine and the sugar content.
There was a wide range of symptoms reported ranging from chest pain and mild palpitations to tremor and anxiety, then more serious effects like seizures, heart attacks and cardiac arrhythmias. Their average age was just 17.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand has tested caffeine thoroughly and they’ve come up with a cap of caffeine at 80mg for 250ml – the equivalent to a cup of coffee. A 500 ml serving of Mother, Monster or Red Bull contains 160 milligrams of caffeine, and some teens drink three or more a day.
Caffeine is responsible for much of the energy kick, but it’s helped along by a hefty serving of sugar – up to 13 teaspoons in one can. And within the same can, you have stimulants, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety agents. When drinking an energy drink this means you may not notice you’re getting anxious and nervous or that you’ve had too much.
Manufacturers of energy drinks tell us their product is not recommended for children, but who’s policing this? Sales of $593 million a year make up the fastest growing beverage sector
The high sugar content in energy drinks is just as concerning, says Jane Martin, who leads the Obesity Policy Coalition. One 500ml Red Bull contains the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of sugar.
The health concerns follows a discussion paper presented to the federal government that showed energy drink consumption in Australia and New Zealand has more than quadrupled from 34.5 million litres in 2001 to 155.6 million litres in 2010.
After writing this Blog Article today, I’ve decided that tomorrow on the last day of the year – I’m going to write my second Blog Article for December (and the last for 2013) on ‘The 10 Foods To Take into 2014’. Let’s start (and end) the year on a positive note together.
In Love and Wellbeing (Health + Happiness),