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    Archive for the ‘food supply’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Fruit & Vegetable Ripeness/Vitamin & Mineral Content

    Does the nutrition of a fruit or vegetable depend on how ripe it is?

    — Claire Snyder
    Tampa, FL

    An apparently simple question with a semi-complex answer.

    Technically, yes.

    Some fruits and vegetables offer different nutrition profiles depending on what stage of ripeness they are at.

    Take tomatoes, for example.

    Sun-ripened vine tomatoes are ideal because they produce plenty of antioxidants and polyphenols while fully ripening via the sun’s rays.

    Conventional tomatoes, meanwhile, are picked while still green. Days later, they arrive at your supermarket.

    In between being picked and ending up on display, they (as well as avocados, pineapples, and apples, among other fruits) are sprayed with ethylene, a plant hormone that speeds up the ripening process.

    It’s not so much that ethylene is harmful as much as the fact that this artificial ripening process does not allow the fruit to provide as much nutrition as it could. Some of the chemical processes that naturally occur as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light do not take place.

    By the way, this is why you so often bite into a wonderful-looking, yet bland-tasting, tomato. Some of the enzymes a tomato produces as a result of exposure to the sun greatly enhance its flavors!

    This is not to say conventional tomatoes are “unhealthy” or “bad for you.” However, you are definitely sacrificing some nutrition for convenience.

    Assuming you are eating naturally ripened food, though, its nutritional profile does not change over the course of a few days.

    Tuesday’s ripened banana will offer the same amount of potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 on Thursday.


    You "Ask", I Answer: Kevin Trudeau

    I just received Trudeau’s new book about weight loss. I haven’t read but a few pages and decided to research this guy on the net and came across yours.

    Trudeau makes a statement at the beginning that discounts embellishments in his story.

    Also, I already think the government, the ever-so-caring USDA and FDA- whom are supposed to be protected [sic] Americans from bad stuff- allows companies to put in additives.

    Regarding artificial sweetners [sic], overprocessed and nutrient dificient [sic] foods—they are so readily available AND CHEAP.

    Folks buy and consume, get fat, stay fat, are unhealthy and thus go to doctors who prescribe the other manipulated and deceiving racket of manufactured synthetic drugs.

    What is being pumped into everybody= nothing healthy and pure that’s for sure.

    So there’s a guy out there that sees this and decides to enterprise on it.

    Yeah! We all should be scratching our heads going ‘why didn’t I think of that’…..oh but then those Doritos wouldn’t be wonderful a thing anymore. Long live prepackaged overprocessed nutrient dificient colon clogging wholesome goodness—with a side of carcenigens for ya!!!!

    GOVEG.COM PETA.COM – meet your meat……..watch this and tell me something.

    — Anonymous (not surprisingly)

    Boy, where should I start?

    Well, firstly, I’m sorry to hear you spent money on Kevin Trudeau’s new weight loss book.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to peruse it myself, so I’m not sure what statements he makes in the introduction that discount embellishments in his story.

    Considering his track record, though, I would take most of what he says with many grains of salt.

    There are many issues here worth thinking about. For one — the subsidizing of certain crops certainly does not help improve this country’s food supply.

    Corn is extremely cheap, so it’s no surprise that high fructose corn syrup is in so many foods. This is a topic well beyond the scope of this blog, and one which I myself am currently not too clear on, but those of you interested in food politics and the current state of farming should DEFINITELY, without a doubt, read an excellent guide to the farm bill called Food Fight.

    Onto the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food & Drug Administration. Yes, they have their flaws (I think they often approve some artificial ingredients and components without hesitation), but this idea that they are conspiring to make us fat by adding secret ingredients to foods is far-fetched and completely misses another pressing issue — our food environment.

    The reason behind the obesity crisis in the United States is simple — not only are we eating more (due to increasing portion sizes), we are also in an environment that provides constant access to food.

    It’s a clear fact that visual reminders of food trigger a hunger response.

    It doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you are driving down a road or walking down a street littered with food advertisements, fast food places, and the encouragement of eating on the run, you are much more likely to overeat.

    Additionally, as discussed in Issue 5 of the Small Bites newsletter, the problem with large portion is that, as research has shown, the more food we have in front of us, the more we eat, even if physiologically our hunger has been satisfied.

    Kevin Trudeau has not discovered anything. The only thing he enterprised on was the opportunity to make unfounded claims (i.e.: bouncing up and down on a trampoline helps beat depression) and make a quick buck.

    As I have pointed out on this blog, the suggestions in many of his books are laughable (there is more to come — over the next few days, I’ll reveal more of his “weight loss secrets”, one of which, I kid you not, is to take deep breaths).

    It is obvious the man knows nothing about nutrition. He thinks he is a weight loss genius because he tells people to eat a mere 800 calories a day (yet contradicts himself by recommending that people eat as many apples all day as they want and chow down on burgers and fries as long as they are organic).

    Disagreeing with Kevin Trudeau does not mean I think Doritos are healthy or a ‘good food’. And, as far as your PETA links, I am not sure what the relevance is.

    I have not eaten beef, pork, or poultry since 1998 out of personal choice due to my disagreement with the conditions that exist in the animal processing/farming industry, and while diets rich in meat products and lacking in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increase the risk of certain diseases, I certainly do not think people who occasionally eat meat are endangering their health.

    Thanks for writing and allowing me to bring these issues to light.


    In The News: Deja Vu

    Here we go — another E. Coli recall, this time involving frozen hamburger patties.

    This one spans eight states and puts 165 tons of hamburger meat in the “shady” category.

    Can’t say I’m surprised. Just one mass-produced hamburger patty is made up of several cows’ body parts. And, considering the deplorable conditions of most feedlots, it’s no wonder so many cows get sick and end up in our food supply.

    The best way to ensure the meat you’re buying isn’t tainted? For starters — try to know the source. If you have a local butcher or meat market, head there first.

    Although buying local isn’t practical for everyone and everything, animal meat is so prone to a variety of infections and illnesses that relying on mega factories to provide you with safe food is a risk.

    If possible, buy certified organic meat.

    That reminds me — in the next issue of the Small Bites newsletter (out in late October), I will discuss the benefits of organic food, as well as the myths and false sense of security that often accompanies their purchasing. Stay tuned.

    Back to the topic at hand — the fact that people in Florida are eating meat products produced in New Jersey sets up a tremendous barrier to solving the problem at hand. This unsafe meat has now made its way to 20 percent of the country, making it that much harder to control.


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