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August 22 2012

Ed Bauman -- Studies Show Microwaves Drastically Reduce Nutrients In Food

I can remember the days growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, when we prepared foods without a microwave oven. Water was boiled on the stove. Chicken was baked in an oven. Vegetables were steamed, baked, or sautéed. Food was whole and fresh. Even a TV dinner was baked in the oven, which took about 15 minutes to warm. And then, modern science and technology brought us the microwave oven that could heat food rapidly, from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

The industry has claimed that microwave cooking protects the nutrient content of foods. Somehow, in tasting foods that came out of a microwave oven, the texture was changed as was the flavor. Foods cooked or reheated in microwave ovens became rubbery and lacked the savory smells and layered flavors that come from cooking foods slower and longer.

Nevertheless, people bought the convenience aspect, the speed, the simplicity of heating and eating prepared foods. The science, which has been supported by the food industry, has continued to claim the health benefits of microwave cooking. Recently, published data from reliable sources questions the health benefits of microwaved food.

Does this mean an occasional microwaved meal will be harmful? Not likely. But what about a steady diet of eating foods cooked at such a high heat? Do the sensitive compounds in food, such as amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and phytonutrients change? It appears so. Read on to follow the scientific literature surrounding the depletion of our soil, foods, and health as a result of modern farming, food processing, microwave cooking, and not eating enough fresh, natural, uncooked, organic whole foods.

  • Three recent studies of historical food composition have shown 5-40% declines in some of the minerals in fresh produce, and another study found a similar decline in our protein sources (1)
  • A 1999 Scandinavian study of the cooking of asparagus spears found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamins (3)
  • In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic's principle active ingredient against cancer (5)
  • A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli "zapped" in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97%of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact (6).
  • A recent Australian study showed that micro- waves cause a higher degree of "protein unfolding" than conventional heating (2)
  • Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria (4).

Quan stated that more damage was done to the milk by microwaving than by other methods of heating, concluding: "Microwaving appears to be contraindicated at high-temperatures, and questions regarding its safety exist even at low temperatures."

Read more.. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/studies-show-microwaves-drastically-reduce-nutrients-food

May 07 2012

Amish farm kids remarkably immune to allergies: study

Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.

"The rates are very, very low," said Dr. Mark Holbreich, the study's lead author. "So there's something that we feel is even more protective in the Amish" than in European farming communities.

What it is about growing up on farms -- and Amish farms in particular -- that seems to prevent allergies remains unclear.

Researchers have long observed the so-called "farm effect" -- the low allergy and asthma rates found among kids raised on farms -- in central Europe, but less is known about the influence of growing up on North American farms.

Read More:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/04/us-kidsallergies-idUSBRE8431J920120504

April 16 2012

Fungal Threats to Biodiversity, Food Supply at 'Unprecedented' Levels

An "unprecedented" number of fungus-caused diseases are threatening biodiversity and the global food supply, scientists say in a study published yesterday.

"In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like species have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security," the study warned.

In the research published in the journal Nature, scientists from the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and institutions in the US say fungal infections destroy 125 million tons of the top five food crops - rice, wheat, maize, potatoes and soybeans. In addition to food crops, fungal infections are destroying trees, amphibians, bees, sea turtles and corals and bats.

"Crop losses due to fungal attack challenge food security and threaten biodiversity, yet we are woefully inadequate at controlling their emergence and proliferation," said corresponding author Sarah Gurr, a professor of molecular plant pathology at Oxford University.

Read More:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/13-6

April 12 2012

Sharon Salomon - Boost Mood with Whole Foods ; Typical U.S. Diet Tied to Depression

The food choices you make every day can impact your frame of mind. Research shows that there are many variables associated with diet and mood, including the way in which dietary patterns, specific foods, and nutrients can impact your brain and mood.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the typical American diet of salty, sugary and fatty foods may be partly responsible for depressive disorders afflicting an estimated 9 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Food-mood connection

A growing body of evidence links eating patterns with an increased risk for depression. Boost your mood with these food choices:

1. Whole foods versus processed foods dietary pattern. Researchers reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2009 that a processed foods dietary pattern -- one that's rich in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy -- is a risk factor for depression in middle-aged people, compared with a whole foods pattern rich in fruits, vegetables and fish.

Read More:

http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=12988&Section=Nutrition

March 30 2012

The link between fast food and depression has been confirmed

According to a recent study headed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, eating commercial baked goods (fairy cakes, croissants, doughnuts, etc.) and fast food (hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza) is linked to depression.

Published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, the results reveal that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression.

Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. In other words this means that "the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression," explains Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, to SINC.

The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group.

A long-term study

Read More:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-03/f-sf-tlb033012.php

March 08 2012

Profoundly Flawed Study Used as Basis for CDC’s New Report on Supposed “Dangers” of Raw Milk

[1]To hear the media tell it, our lives are in jeopardy if we drink unpasteurized milk. But the facts tell the opposite story.

A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares that raw milk “cannot be considered safe under any circumstances,” and essentially advocates for stricter laws and enforcement against raw milk on the state level. The study claims that the rate of outbreaks caused by unpasteurized milk and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk. The authors of the study based this conclusion on an analysis of reports submitted to the CDC from 1993 to 2006.

However, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation [2], the CDC has manipulated and cherry-picked this data to make raw milk look dangerous—and it has dismissed the same dangers associated with pasteurized milk.

Read More:

http://www.anh-usa.org/flawed-study-used-as-basis-for-cdc-report-on-raw-milk/

December 23 2011

Anna Taylor - Warning as infectious salmon disease spreads from Europe's fish farms to Canada

Anna Taylor

The Ecologist, 15th December, 2011

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1165637/warning_as_infectious_salmon_disease_spreads_from_europes_fish_farms_to_canada.html#

Discovery of the deadly salmon virus Infectious Salmon Anaemia in Canada is just latest likely example of disease spreading to wild fish stocks from the world's mega fish farms

The rise of the farmed fish industry in recent years has been accompanied by the emergence of many infectious diseases of fish. One of the most recent and serious diseases is the marine viral disease, Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA). 

First detected in Atlantic salmon farmed along the southwest coast of Norway in 1984, it has since spread throughout the world. 

As the name suggests, ISA shows itself by a severe anaemia, with fish displaying pale gills, and often swimming close to the surface of the water, gulping for air. More insidiously, however, many fish show no signs at all until they suddenly die. 

An outbreak of the ISA was detected in wild Pacific salmon last October, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Outbreaks of this virus have previously been detected in fish farms in Chile and Scotland, and although not dangerous to human health, have had serious impacts on the industry and the communities who depend upon it.

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