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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

Paula Alvarado -- A landmark ruling against agrochemicals in Argentina receives mixed reactions

Argentine activist Sofia Gatica did not win the Goldman Environmental Prize this year for a small reason: for more than a decade, she has been leading a joint complaint with neighbors from her town Ituzaingo, in Cordoba province, against producers who were spraying agrochemicals too close to the community, making people sick. (The public attorney claimed 169 people from the 5,000 neighbors got cancer from pollution from 2002 until 2010.)

Argentina being the third largest exporter of soybeans and a consumer of over 50 million gallons of glyphosate and endosulfan, her efforts were not small. In fact, she became the voice for a problem nobody wants to talk about.

Since the government depends on soy exports to collect taxes and keep the economy alive, the subject is not one eagerly discussed politically. There was a call by president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to create a commission to investigate agrochemicals in 2009, but its final recommendation, as IPS notes, was, "Because there is not enough data in Argentina on the effects of glyphosate on human health, it is important to promote further research."

The media is not crazy about it either, and you can see why by flipping the pages of the Country supplements from the nation's major newspapers, filled with ads from Monsanto et al. In 2009, a local scientist presented a study with evidence of the impact of glyphosate on amphibious embryos and received death threats plus an aggressive discredit campaign.

But this afternoon, Gatica and other environmental movements pushing the issue were preparing to receive a pat in the back. A court in Cordoba Province was going to give its final ruling on whether two farmers and an aviator were guilty of causing environmental damage and potential health hazards to the people of Ituzaingo.

Five hours after the initial time of the announcement, the verdict was in: one farmer was absolved due to lack of evidence, but the other and the aviator were found guilty and sentenced to three years of jail. Well, actually, conditional jail. Which means they can very much get out of doing any time, although they will be obliged to do social work.

Read more.. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/a-landmark-ruling-against-agrochemicals-in-argentina-receives-mixed-reactions.html

Paula Alvarado -- A landmark ruling against agrochemicals in Argentina receives mixed reactions

Argentine activist Sofia Gatica did not win the Goldman Environmental Prize this year for a small reason: for more than a decade, she has been leading a joint complaint with neighbors from her town Ituzaingo, in Cordoba province, against producers who were spraying agrochemicals too close to the community, making people sick. (The public attorney claimed 169 people from the 5,000 neighbors got cancer from pollution from 2002 until 2010.)

Argentina being the third largest exporter of soybeans and a consumer of over 50 million gallons of glyphosate and endosulfan, her efforts were not small. In fact, she became the voice for a problem nobody wants to talk about.

Since the government depends on soy exports to collect taxes and keep the economy alive, the subject is not one eagerly discussed politically. There was a call by president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to create a commission to investigate agrochemicals in 2009, but its final recommendation, as IPS notes, was, "Because there is not enough data in Argentina on the effects of glyphosate on human health, it is important to promote further research."

The media is not crazy about it either, and you can see why by flipping the pages of the Country supplements from the nation's major newspapers, filled with ads from Monsanto et al. In 2009, a local scientist presented a study with evidence of the impact of glyphosate on amphibious embryos and received death threats plus an aggressive discredit campaign.

But this afternoon, Gatica and other environmental movements pushing the issue were preparing to receive a pat in the back. A court in Cordoba Province was going to give its final ruling on whether two farmers and an aviator were guilty of causing environmental damage and potential health hazards to the people of Ituzaingo.

Five hours after the initial time of the announcement, the verdict was in: one farmer was absolved due to lack of evidence, but the other and the aviator were found guilty and sentenced to three years of jail. Well, actually, conditional jail. Which means they can very much get out of doing any time, although they will be obliged to do social work.

Read more.. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/a-landmark-ruling-against-agrochemicals-in-argentina-receives-mixed-reactions.html

March 23 2012

Food Police? Mayor Bloomberg Bans Food Donations to Homeless Shelters

Apparently going without is more nutritious than having food that is not nutritionally perfect. At least in Michael Bloomberg's eyes it is. I will admit I will savor chips, cocktail weenies and sugary punches when I wandered the streets as I lacked cooking facilities to make proper food. I also dumpster dived to supplement my intake as I found those food choices lacking for the carbo and protein burning rigors of sleeping outdoors and carrying everything I owned on my back. Homeless and hungry tip-Trader Joe's has awesome noms from the dumpster.

The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.

In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans...

...They’ve brought freshly cooked, nutrient-rich surplus foods from synagogue events to homeless facilities in the neighborhood. (Disclosure: I know the food is so tasty because I’ve eaten it — I’m an OZ member.) The practice of donating such surplus food to homeless shelters is common among houses of worship in the city.

Read More:

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/864964/food_police_mayor_bloomberg_bans_food_donations_to_homeless_shelters/

 

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