Sunday, August 01, 2010

World Health Organisation warns of cancer causing chemical in fried food and much else besides

The old acrylamide scare still has legs, apparently. Acrylamide may well be bad for rats but "Acrylamide, like the majority of the other rodent carcinogens, has never been shown to be a human carcinogen"

A CHEMICAL created when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures has been proven to cause cancer, the World Health Organisation says. The main foods in which the chemical acrylamide has been detected include fried or roasted potatoes, potato crisps, coffee and cereal-based products, including biscuits and toasted bread.

A joint WHO and United Nations expert committee on food additives agreed there was evidence that acrylamide caused cancer following laboratory tests in animals this year. "Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has assessed the new data and agrees with the conclusions," a FSANZ spokeswoman said.

"The authority has acknowledged there is a need for ongoing research into health impacts of acrylamide in food. "The FSANZ has been working with industry to reduce the levels of acrylamide in food."

FSANZ will test certain products as part of the Australian Total Diet Study to determine levels of acrylamide next year.

"The 2004 study used 100 carbohydrate-based foods and next year's follow-up will compare against these original foods," the spokeswoman said. "People need to eat a balanced diet high in fruit and vegetables to be healthy." [Rubbish! Pure dogma. Where is the double-blind proof?]

The 2004 assessment by the Australian food authority showed an estimated average daily exposure to acrylamide of 0.5 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight for Australians.

Acrylamide is mainly formed in carbohydrate-rich foods by the reaction of asparagine (an amino acid) with reducing sugars (particularly glucose and fructose) during high-temperature cooking, usually in excess of 120C, such as baking, grilling or frying.

Methods that can decrease the amount of acrylamide in potato chips include increasing the surface area by cutting potatoes into thicker slices and washing, blanching or par-boiling to reduce the sugars in potatoes before frying.

Acrylamide was discovered in foods by Swedish scientists in 2002.


Governing your stomach with Sen. Gillibrand

There is plenty of food in "food deserts". It is just food that the elite disapprove of

The recent Capital article entitled “The Kirsten Gillibrand Diet, revealed!” appears innocuous and apolitical. As this is a menial personal epithet, it would seem to fall clearly outside the reach of government activism. Think again. According to Food Safety News:
“Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) introduced legislation to combat 'food deserts' prevalent throughout urban and rural communities across the United States.

A food desert is a large and isolated geographic area where mainstream grocery stores and access to fresh produce are absent or distant. The legislation would invest $1 billion through loans and grants to help build approximately 2,100 new grocery stores in high need areas across the country.”

Of course healthy eating is a lifestyle choice that would combat obesity and lead to healthier Americans. Gillibrand is going well beyond attempting to properly educate people- she intends to control their personal preferences.

The question becomes why do these “food deserts” exist? Gillibrand and others like First Lady Michelle Obama are using their high-profile status to publicize the existence of large areas where a grocery store would face no competition. If this untapped market has so much potential, wouldn’t someone, be it a supermarket powerhouse like Safeway or even a local entrepreneur with a fruit stand, pounce on the opportunity?

The truth is that the private sector is unwilling to invest in these areas because they believe it will fail. Fresh fruit and healthy food costs significantly more than fast food. It demands additional personal discipline to eat well and allocate the resources to buy higher quality food. Gillibrand herself deems buying her favorite food, raspberries, a “splurge,” and she is in the top 5% of income earners in our country.

I am sure Gillibrand fancies that through her “food desert” bill, food oases will spring forth. In truth, the solution to the “desertification” of cities is simple, increased demand for healthier foods would prompt the market to respond with greater access.

The “food desert” bill plans to override the personal preferences of American by using one billion dollars of their own money to entice them to eat healthier. The people of New York elected Gillibrand to represent them, not to parent them.

Gillibrand successfully dieted through the power of her own decisions; it did not take a “dessert desert” initiative to rid the Senate cafeteria of unhealthy options. The Senator should be commended for her personal success in health, but does she think that her constituents don’t have the same capability of will as she? That they need her intervention to lead a better life?



Rizwan ali said...

Sugar and MSG have one thing in common. People are more likely to buy products that contain them if they are called something else. Consumers trying to avoid sugar have begun to read food labels. Many have begun to think that the sugar by another name is not really sugar. Manufacturers know that the sugar called evaporated cane juice, for example, fools people into thinking there is less sugar in the product. Many readers have caught on the label about the fact that the ingredients must be listed in order from the largest amount contained to the smallest. By using different names for sugar, manufacturers can divide the contents between the different names, put the idea of sugar on the label below without having to reduce the amount of sugar in the product. But apart from some minor differences, sugar by any other name is still sugar.

John A said...

There are "food deserts" in the USA? She means certain types, of course. So, open stores that carry those types. Uh-huh. Like the fairly recent gaffe about arugala by PotUS. And if successful in getting them built (with government funds since private companies know they will not make money) then, of course, slam them and threaten to close them for not being strictly "local" and/or "organic" enough to suit the Greenies.

I also see someone pointed out that Senator Gillibrand`s own so-far-successful diet contravened Federal government "guidelines" as to what should be in everyone's daily diet. Fun stuff.