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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  22/06/2007  :  10:00
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT 2007

 I have shifted the intro to the body of the topic.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Tizer
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5150 Posts
Posted - 08/02/2010 : 19:49
Last week the House of Lords debated cerebral palsy. It was usually thought to be caused by lack of oxygen during birth but we now know that 80% of cases are due to problems before birth and before conception, and diet is one probable factor.

It's interesting to dip into Hansard and see how deeply the Lords get into this sort of matter - click here to see the record of the debate. Don't try reading it all because it goes on for pages and some of those Lords are doctors so they can get carried away! But you see some facts there - like cerebral palsy costs the NHS £4 billion a year.


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Tizer
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Posted - 11/02/2010 : 10:59
Anyone interested to see the state of food safety in the USA and the problems of food poisoning there due to centralisation of processing factories should have a look now and then at Bill Marler's blog. Marler's law firm is the most active one in dealing with food poisoning victims in the US and he is on a crusade to get the government and the companies to improve the situation. While looking at the page below, take note of the map showing how the latest Salmonella outbreak has been spread across the USA.

http://www.marlerblog.com/

Canada isn't much safer either, according to a journal article reported in the Globe & Mail newspaper...
"Canada’s food-safety system is broken, despite a massive independent investigation launched by the federal government in the wake of a deadly listeriosis outbreak, warns a new analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal....(more here)

Edited by - Tizer on 11/02/2010 11:06:39


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/02/2010 : 16:26
Amazing isn't it. It reminds me of 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair published in 1905. Legend has it that Teddy Roosevelt gave up eating sausages and founded what is now the FDA after reading the book. Eric Schlosser revisted 'The Jungle' with 'Fast Food Nation'. Both well worth reading.

Iwas listening to a piece on 'Sensorial Marketing' on You and Yours today about the use of artificial smells and carefully targetted music (and in the case of the Co-op, simulated radio programmes) in supermarkets to influence customer choice. I just can't grasp the context within which people can be influenced in the matter of food by anything other than quality, wholesomeness and purity. The strange thing is that if you go for these foods they are the cheapest. Perhaps I really am advertisement proof!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2010 : 06:15
Did anyone watch the Horizon programme last night on the influence of cooking in human development? Fascinating and should be watched by all vegetarians. They started by putting a group of people on a herbiferous monkey's diet, what our ancestors would have lived on. Apart from the psychological aspect (they all hated it) they found that modern humans can't eat enough to keep up essential nutrition and they all lost weight. Note that no cooking was allowed.

Research on the teeth in fossilised skulls showed that the shape of the molars changed and they believe this was because we started eating meat and the purely grinding molars that had served us well with a raw vegetarian diet were not efficient with meat. Along with the change in molar shape they noted that the size of the brain started to increase. The inference they drew was that a more efficient diet allowed extra energy to go into evolution of the brain and at the same time volume of stomach decreased because more efficient foods lead to less bulk to be processed.

Associated with these changes are the results of archaeological work in africa on very early habitation sites where clear evidence of butchering (knife marks on bones)  has been found and also burn't bones which suggests cooking.

Much more of interest and some surprising facts. At rest 20% of the energy we use is by the brain. Fascinating, I never realised it took so much energy. Well worth watching if you can find it.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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Posted - 07/03/2010 : 10:34
I've seen Stanley's post above rather late because I've been a bit out of touch with OGFB over the last week for various reasons. Another point is that as well as the change in molars increasing efficiency of utilising the diet, cooking made calories and nutrients much more readily available to the human gut and must have prompted a surge in health and energy.

It's surprising what lengths the body goes to in order to spare the brain. The dolphin (or is it the porpoise?) is the only other animal besides humans that experiences what we would call Type 2 diabetes but in the dolphin it's a beneficial control, not a disease. Dolphins eat only fish, i.e. protein, and get very little sugar so they need a way of ensuring that sugar is always available to the brain (it's the fuel for the brain). They can turn off the insulin receptors to attain the right level of insulin sensitivity without it going too far and causing danger. In other words they can turn Type 2 diabetes on and off as they wish. There is now speculation as to whether or not Type 2 diabetes could have served a useful function at some stage in humans' evolution, such as when we started eating more meat and less fruit and nuts. The theory might also appeal to those who still support the `aquatic ape' theory which claims that humans at one time lived in the sea (not just at the seaside!).

Edited by - Tizer on 07/03/2010 11:04:37


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 08/03/2010 : 05:29
Do you mean my type II is helping me think better! Oh goody!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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Posted - 09/03/2010 : 10:57
I've just seen a report in another magazine about dolphins and diabetes. It said the problem came when dolphins slept - their blood sugar would fall too low if the insulin receptors were not turned down during sleep. It also said dolphins have the second largest brain after humans, based on proportion of body weight. Other carnivores don't have the dolphin problem because they have smaller brains that need less sugar to tick over. Isn't life interesting...


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/03/2010 : 17:01
And sharks have a bullet proof immune system. They can't get infected. We have a lot to learn!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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Posted - 10/03/2010 : 20:32
Sharks are ancient and preceded bony animals such as fish, having cartilage instead of bone. So they've been around for a very long time and make mammals look like newcomers, never mind humans. They've had all that time to develop their immune system and they've probably done it with help from parasites which can modulate their host's immunity. It's funny how we often consider ourselves `top animal' on the planet when there are cleverer ones quietly going about their business as they have done for hundreds of millions of years. Sharks saw the dinosaurs come and go - for them, the dinosaurs were probably equivalent to us having noisy neighbours for about 10 years. Makes you think...


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/03/2010 : 05:47
' Makes you think'

It's salutory when you do. They have survived by evolving into a perfect killing machine, totally focussed and absolutely ruthless. What a role model! I saw a nature programme a while ago and saw footage of a Great White that had been killed by an Orca and thought it was strange that we see Free Willy as a likeable animal kept in captivity but still fear sharks. I hate to see the footage of Orcas killing seals but I suppose that's Nature, red in tooth and claw.

On  the nutrition front, I get the impression that the 'Queen of Fats' school of thought is gradually getting the message over. More power to their elbow.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/03/2010 : 06:38
Did you see the retiring CMO Prof Donaldson's remarks about the biggest danger to health in Britain? He said that it is lack of exercise. He reckons that even taking the lowest standard for recommended exercise, over 70% of the population don't reach that level. Combine it with industrial food and you have a recipe for a health disaster in the future. How many times do people have to be given the message?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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Posted - 16/03/2010 : 20:18
Also, when discussing the improvement in health that more exercise could bring, he said that any pill that could do the same we would consider a wonder drug and spend a fortune on it!

I hear that the Food Standards Authority is proposing to reduce the fat content of semi-skimmed milk to make us cut down on our intake of saturated fats. They've done a trial and found that although 50% of the people could tell the difference between the two milks about 90% said they would be happy with the lower-fat version. Now, you already know what I think about the benefits of drinking milk and the dangers of reducing its consumption simply to lower intake of saturates. I've mentioned before that there is little or no evidence that saturated fats encourage heart disease. Now further work confirms this view.

US scientists researching atherosclerosis have done a `study of studies' where they examined statistically the results of 21 epidemiological trials on intake of saturated fats and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The conclusion? They found no evidence for an association of saturated fat intake with risk of CVD. But even more importantly, replacement of the fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, "can exacerbate the atherogenic dyslipidemia associated with insulin resistance [i.e. type 2 diabetes] and obesity that includes increased triglycerides, small LDL particles, and reduced HDL cholesterol". In other words, replace the saturated fat with refined carbs and you will increase your risk of becoming obese and getting type 2 diabetes. Obesity and diabetes both increase the individual's risk of CVD. From the frying pan into the fire! The scientists say that to reduce CVD it is less important to advise the public to cut down on saturated fats and that they should be told instead to reduce their intake of refined carbohydrates and avoid obesity.

`Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease'
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2010, Vol.91(3), pages 502-509.
Authors: Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM.
Department of Atherosclerosis Research Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute Oakland, CA, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20089734


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/03/2010 : 06:06
Well done Peter. Exactly the conclusions reached in 'Queen of fats'. In her book Susan Allport gave one documented example of a baby food manufacturer being informed that their policy of replacing natural saturated fat with processed vegetable oil was damaging the babies. They refused to accept the evidence and carried on, the only factor that Allport could identify behind this was that the cheaper vegetable oil products gave them more profit. The inference is clear, profit is more important than health. The only remedy I can see is better education and an attack on the food processors by the consumer.

I once knew a lad who lived on Pot Noodles.  Last I heard he was seriously ill and I think he may be dead. I tried to warn him 30 years ago but he took no notice.

I'll stick to me porridge and saturated fat with five miles a day on the pavement. If they reduce the fat in semi-skimmed I'll go onto full cream again. I probably get through a pint a day in porridge and drinks.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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5150 Posts
Posted - 15/11/2010 : 10:23
Some snippets of food news from the USA...

A study of worldwide consumer packaged goods by Mintel found that salt, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are three well known ingredients that appear to be experiencing covert reductions in product formulations. This has been the case for salt for many years but sugars and the syrup are now following the same trend. At some point quiet removal of the syrup will switch to an overt, advertised reduction as manufacturers take advantage of the opportunity to trumpet their new low-HFCS products.

A study published in the Journal of Food Protection shows that E. coli 0157 can live for weeks around the roots of produce plants and transfer to the edible portions, but the threat can be minimized if growers don’t harvest too soon. Producers should apply manure to fields well in advance of planting and harvesting. A wait of 90–120 days between manure application and harvesting, with a minimum of 40 days between planting and harvesting, should minimize the chance of E. coli contamination.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that eating even moderate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, typically found in foods such as salmon and other fatty fish, may help ward off gum disease. Dental exams showed participants in the middle and upper third for omega-3 fatty acid consumption were 23–30% less likely to have gum disease than those who consumed the least amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The effect may occur through the anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids.

Research from Yale University shows that children as young as age 2 are seeing more fast food ads than ever before, and restaurants rarely offer parents the healthy kids’ meal choices. The fast food industry spent more than $4.2 billion on marketing and advertising in 2009, focusing extensively on television, the Internet, social media sites, and mobile applications. Despite pledges to improve their marketing practices, fast food companies seem to be stepping up their efforts to target kids.

The US Institute of Medicine has recommended that whole-fat milk (4% fat) should not be offered in dinners, stores, and vending machines at schools; only non-fat or 1% fat milk should be offered. How sad that whole-fat milk is being lumped in with fizzy, sweet drinks because it has more calories than low-fat milk. Why not teach the kids to drink what they choose but less of it? That experience would help them more in adult life than having safe, healthy foods banned from their diet. (My 7/2/10 post in this thread relates to this crusade against whole-fat milk.)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/11/2010 : 07:13
Tiz, in the US they are considering taxing fast foods. Problem I see is that in the process they will make the usual confusion with saturated fats. It's quite amazing how that canard lives on perpetuated by the big PR budgets of the food companies pushing modified fats because they are cheaper. I watched some of the Panorama film last night and switched it off when the Coa Cola lady stood there defending Coke on the grounds that none of the ingredients were harmful. A well constructed and legally true defence which misses the point entirely.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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