Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chemicals hidden in your food

New Stealth Chemicals Hidden in Your Food

If you pick up a can of soup and find that the sodium levels are lower than you expected, or that a food item advertises it has “less sugar” or “no MSG” ... then there may be cause for alarm. A relatively young company, Senomyx, may be responsible for the sodium and sugar levels falling in various grocery store items. They may be putting chemicals into your food right now, without telling you and without you even realizing. Under the law, they don’t have to.Senomyx has contracted with Kraft, Nestle, Coca Cola, and Campbell Soup to put a chemical in foods that masks bitter flavors by turning off bitter flavor receptors on your tongue. The companies can then reduce sugar and sodium levels by approximately half without affecting the flavor. All of the companies declined to identify which foods and beverages the chemical additives have been or will be added to. These chemical compounds are not required to be listed separately on food labels; they are grouped into the general category of "artificial flavors."Senomyx was able to obtain FDA approval and a “generally recognized as safe” classification from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association in less than a year and a half, based on a safety study of rats conducted for just 3 months.Food items that are most likely to contain these new chemicals include soups, juices (fruit and vegetable), ice cream and sauces.

Natural News April 10, 2008

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Perhaps one day we can all simply eat cans of mush, and it won’t matter because they’ll contain chemicals to block and alter all of our taste receptors! This is an example of malicious brilliance at its finest.Processed foods, by their very nature, do not taste good unless they have loads of artificial colors and flavoring agents, salt, sugar and often MSG added to doctor up the flavors. In fact, most processed foods would taste incredibly bitter if they weren’t doctored up because of things like their extremely hot cooking processes and added caffeine (in soft drinks).

So what do food companies like Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup, and Coca-Cola do? They hire Senomyx, a biotech company that can skillfully manipulate your taste buds with synthetic chemicals. The company has already developed several chemicals that, although they contain no flavor of their own, activate or block receptors in your mouth that taste. The chemicals can mimic or enhance savory, sweet and salty tastes, and are intended to reduce the use of sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in processed foods.

One of Senomyx’s chemicals even causes a “cooling” taste, and we have only just begun to hear about the “innovations” that come from this company.Senomyx already has 113 patents, and 371 more pending, in the United States, Europe and elsewhere in the world.

A Brief Lesson About Your Taste Buds

When you were in grade school, you were probably taught that certain areas of your tongue can taste different flavors. The “sweet” taste buds, for instance, were said to be at the tip of your tongue, and the “bitter” ones in back.This taste-bud tongue map is still being taught today, but it has been known for decades to be entirely incorrect. In reality, each one of your taste buds contains 50 to 100 receptors for each taste. This means that you can taste every flavor there is with every taste bud on your tongue. And, along with the standard sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes that everyone has heard of, your tongue can also taste a fifth basic taste: umami (the taste of glutamate, which is found in many Japanese foods, bacon and also MSG). It is also being debated whether or not there is actually a sixth taste receptor for fat on your tongue as well. Of course, your taste buds are not only there for pleasurable purposes. They also help you determine if a food is spoiled, unripe or otherwise unsafe to eat, which is why you’re probably better off leaving your taste buds as nature intended them to be: in fully functioning, tasting condition.

Your Taste Buds May Already be Deceiving You

Nestle is already marketing products that contain one of Senomyx’s savory enhancers. But you would never know it, because the chemical compounds are lumped in with an ingredient that’s already listed on most processed foods: “artificial flavors.”I did a little digging and found that the first product sold by Nestle that includes these “savory flavor ingredients” is bouillon used as a base to make soups and stews. So if you are using one of theirs that lists “artificial flavors,” I’d be very suspicious. Meanwhile, because the compounds are being used in small amounts (less than one part per million), Senomyx did not have to go through the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval process typically necessary to release food additives. Instead of the lengthy FDA process, the company only had to be classified as "generally recognized as safe" by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association -- a task that took less than 18 months. And as for safety, well there was that one three-month rat study. That’s right: one three-month long study is apparently enough for major food manufacturers to decide that a never-before-used chemical is safe for you and your family to eat.

Unfortunately, for now it appears that these taste-bud-altering chemicals are here to stay, as earlier this month both Coca-Cola and Nestle extended their research agreements with Senomyx.If You Want Chemical-Free Food …It is becoming more important than ever to avoid processed foods. At the very least, boycott any product that lists “artificial flavors” as an ingredient.

You can tell a real food from a processed food because real foods are:

Grown, not processed

Messy, not neat and convenient

Of variable quality, not always the same

Prone to spoiling, not “forever” fresh

Vibrantly colored and textured, not dull and bland

Naturally flavorful, not artificially flavored

Strongly connected to the land and cultureReal foods have flavors that your taste buds won’t want to miss, so take a break from the grocery store and take advantage of your local farmer’s markets. There you’ll find fresh, whole foods that your taste buds will be happy to recognize.

Related Articles:
Is Processed Food Really Food? How The Deceptive Practices of Processed Food Manufacturers Contribute to Childhood Obesity A New Food Additive: Good or Bad?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honeybees and lavendar

You may have heard that the honeybees seem to be disappearing in the last couple years. That is a bit alarming since we depend on them for pollination of some of our produce. I recently read an article that encouraged readers to plant the kind of plants and flowers that attract bees. Lavendar is one of them. My lavendar plant gets bigger every year, and the purple blossoms are out. Today I saw three bees on my plant! Woo hoo! I took this photo of one of them, I am very impressed with our camera and how well this turned out. I had it zoomed way in to get this shot. Keep coming honeybees, we need you back!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just call me Aurora! LOL!

Your 1920's Name is:

Aurora Verda

I am a first born!

You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.

At work and school, you do best when you're researching.

When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.

Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.

You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Re-discovering the world through the eyes of a child

I recently e-mailed some photos of Ronnie to family and friends, and this was one of them. As a first time mommy, I am thoroughly enjoying re-discovering the world through the eyes of my son. I love to watch him explore his world, to figure out how things work. I can see his little mind just working through things as he pushes this and pulls that. When he first started pulling up on things he was wabbly and a bit hesitant. Now he is so much braver and his legs are getting stronger. He is learning how to coordinate his legs and arms in order to hold himself up. He is also testing his own strength. It is just fascinating to watch, and to re-learn all those things right along with him.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wagon ride

Ronnie had his first wagon ride today outside. We went up and down the driveway. He just sat and looked around and enjoyed the ride. It was too cute!!!