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[P]
Know What You Eat

By Arduinothor The Vile in Internet
Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:56:43 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

Recently, I decided to rummage through my kitchen. I would pick up a food item and read its ingredients. Anytime I happened upon a listed item that I did not recognize, I would do a search for it on Google

What I learned and the conclusions I came to were more than I bargained for on a lazy Saturday afternoon.


I picked up a package of pasta. The noodles, although marketed as whole-wheat and healthy, contained a suspicious-sounding ingredient called Thiamine Mononitrate. I have never paid any attention to what I ate but I have heard that "nitrates are bad".

It turns out that Thiamine Mononitrate is actually Vitamin B1.

What did this say in terms of my perception of what was healthy or unhealthy?

I just got back from spending some time with two vegetarian friends. We were out of town for a week on a work-related project. One of the women I was with ate Kraft peanut-butter and toast the whole time there. Somehow, I had three different brands of peanut butter during my Googling fit and I checked out the ingredients of all three.

The brands were Skippy, Kraft Light, and a Generic Brand. All three of them were steeped in Trans Fats. Two out of the three peanut butters contained something called "icing sugar" while the last one, Kraft Light, had only "sugar".

This told me that although vegetarians may not be eating meat, they are as susceptible at eating unhealthy foods as meat-eaters. An interesting link I happened upon in my obsessive Googling was one called Why Do MacDonald's Fries Taste So Good?. The most interesting part was when the article went to define "color added" listed on some brands of yogurt and pink-grapefruit juices.

One of the most widely used color additives -- whose presence is often hidden by the phrase "color added" -- violates a number of religious dietary restrictions, may cause allergic reactions in susceptible people, and comes from an unusual source. Cochineal extract (also known as carmine or carminic acid) is made from the desiccated bodies of female Dactylopius coccus Costa, a small insect harvested mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands. The bug feeds on red cactus berries, and color from the berries accumulates in the females and their unhatched larvae. The insects are collected, dried, and ground into a pigment. It takes about 70,000 of them to produce a pound of carmine, which is used to make processed foods look pink, red, or purple. Dannon strawberry yogurt gets its color from carmine, and so do many frozen fruit bars, candies, and fruit fillings, and Ocean Spray pink-grapefruit juice drink.


Conclusion

There are three extreme ways to approach food:

1 - Taste: It tastes good. I will eat more of what tastes the best.
2 - Health: It is healthy. I will only eat things that get my body working as efficiently as possible.
3 - Ethics / Religion: I believe in *something* therefore I cannot eat *this*.

Most people I know (myself included) are a cross between point one and two with point number three as an afterthought. This being the case, however, means that we should be more concerned about health than we normally are. Many food companies try to make things seem "natural" and healthful when in fact they aren't. Pick up a food item in your kitchen and Google whatever ingredient you do not understand.

I guarantee you will be surprised at what you find out.

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Poll
This is how I eat:
o I eat for taste. 28%
o I eat for health. 2%
o I eat ethically. 1%
o Taste and health. 40%
o Taste and ethics. 4%
o Health and ethics. 0%
o All of the three. 17%
o None of the three. 4%

Votes: 227
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o nitrates are bad
o Vitamin B1
o Trans Fats
o Why Do MacDonald's Fries Taste So Good?
o Also by Arduinothor The Vile


Display: Sort:
Know What You Eat | 173 comments (159 topical, 14 editorial, 3 hidden)
someone could eat for all three reasons mentionned (1.60 / 5) (#1)
by xutopia on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:07:32 PM EST

perhaps you could adjust your poll to reflect this. (Rusty, we could use a checkbox poll)

will do. nt (none / 1) (#2)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:09:29 PM EST



[ Parent ]
awesome poll (2.50 / 3) (#14)
by Your Biggest Fan on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:59:13 PM EST

but could you please add a "cost" option.  this is an important factor in my diet.  Wendys' 99c menu satisfies both my hunger and my wallet.  
i fear that junior bacon cheeseburgers may be incompatible with my religious beliefs, but frankly i am too poor to care.  you obviously were not thinking of poor people when you wrote this article.

Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan
[ Parent ]
Could you analyze the nutritional value of... (1.04 / 24) (#6)
by pertubation theory on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:38:13 PM EST

...eating pussy? I'd really like to know.

Its 100% natural pussy.

----
Dice are small polka-dotted cubes of ivory constructed like a lawyer to lie upon any side, commonly the wrong one.
- Ambrose Bierce

Sounds cannibalistic. (2.83 / 6) (#7)
by Cirrostratus Clouds on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:42:34 PM EST

Considering the source, anyway.

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHA.... (2.50 / 3) (#8)
by pertubation theory on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:44:35 PM EST

...Encourage(3).

But that doesn't answer the question. C'mon there has to be some nutrional value! Maybe it a good way to floss your teeth?

----
Dice are small polka-dotted cubes of ivory constructed like a lawyer to lie upon any side, commonly the wrong one.
- Ambrose Bierce
[ Parent ]

Pussy has nothing. (2.75 / 4) (#10)
by desiderandus on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:50:10 PM EST

It's just acid. Perhaps lactic acid.

But Stormshadow, just suck on your own cock for a double-whammy of fructose! Well, that and sperm and sodium bicarbonate and some other junk.
_________
Our sins catch up to us in the worst possible way; they become part of our essential identities.
[ Parent ]

Shit man... (none / 1) (#12)
by pertubation theory on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:52:01 PM EST

...I wish I could say it was that big but I cannot tell a lie.

Still, I got some today. Did you?

----
Dice are small polka-dotted cubes of ivory constructed like a lawyer to lie upon any side, commonly the wrong one.
- Ambrose Bierce
[ Parent ]

Nada (none / 1) (#17)
by desiderandus on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:13:52 AM EST

because long-distance relationships suck ass in that way. Well, actually I would have, but my Valentine's visit was postponed. Ah, the details of a kuron's life must be so damn interesting.
_________
Our sins catch up to us in the worst possible way; they become part of our essential identities.
[ Parent ]
actually.... (3.00 / 11) (#23)
by livus on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:27:18 AM EST

"Female sexual fluids - the vaginal fluid is composed of mucus, the remains of dead cells, white blood cells, and a complex liquid that is sweated by the vaginal walls. Sexual excitation almost invariably causes some increase in the production of vaginal fluids, primarily mucus and sweat, though the amount may range greatly for different individuals and at different times. The exact sources of all the components of human vaginal fluid is still not certain, but the list of ingredients is long: inorganic salts, urea, amino acids and other proteins , and a number of volatile fatty acids. These acids evaporate easily making them ideal for conveying messages by smell; in fact, their role in sexual attraction among rhesus monkeys is well established. All women produce some of the two major human fatty acids, acetic acid (the major constituent of vinegar) and lactic acid (an element of sour milk). Around a third of them also produce significant amounts of other volatiles. The exact role of these aromas in human sexuality is not understood, but the smell of the vagina is known to affect many men quite strongly. Also, there are some women who produce vaginal fluid quite copiously during orgasm (the so-called 'female ejaculation'); the source and composition of this orgasmic fluid has not been sufficiently studied to enable a report on their significance at this time."

So now you know.


---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Ohhhhh (none / 0) (#36)
by desiderandus on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:39:12 AM EST

Sorry, I was thinking of a non-vasocongested vagina. I forgot that blood exudate lubricated the vagina, I was only thinking of the acid and mucus secretions. Bah, I suck.
_________
Our sins catch up to us in the worst possible way; they become part of our essential identities.
[ Parent ]
Pussy....you are what you eat. (nt) (3.00 / 5) (#38)
by Psycho Dave on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:13:08 PM EST



[ Parent ]
So are you like a dick? [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by pertubation theory on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:54:04 PM EST



----
Dice are small polka-dotted cubes of ivory constructed like a lawyer to lie upon any side, commonly the wrong one.
- Ambrose Bierce
[ Parent ]
hey, ask the chinese. [nt] (none / 0) (#64)
by the77x42 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:47:37 AM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Pity the poor Americans. . . . (2.70 / 10) (#16)
by IHCOYC on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:10:18 AM EST

. . . They don't have any food anymore. Anything edible there is either a poison, or a medicine.
--
Popoculus nauta sum; Popoculus nauta sum.
Ad finem pugnabo: spinaciam edo! Popoculus nauta sum!
--- Horace
I will put money on the fact that you... (none / 1) (#21)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:10:39 AM EST

care just as little about your diet.

You sausage-eating baguette-wielder.

[ Parent ]
Best. .sig. Ever. NT (none / 2) (#39)
by pHatidic on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:14:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Poison or a medicine (none / 0) (#144)
by Roman on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 09:13:58 PM EST

what is the difference?

[ Parent ]
Health and Calorie Content (2.16 / 6) (#20)
by BenJackson on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:02:06 AM EST

For most of my life I tried to eat mostly healthy foods. As it turns out, even nutritious food can have a lot of calories. You probably won't get heart disease from eating pasta, but you can sure get fat! If your number one health problem is weight, make sure you're looking at calorie content and serving size.

Not just Diet (none / 1) (#66)
by teece on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:56:31 AM EST

If your number one problem is weight, then the first thing you should look into is exercise.  Next, you look into caloric reduction.

So many of us neglect the exercise -- but it is the biggest factor.  If I were a professional Mt. Everest climber, I could literally eat as many calories as I could consume every day with out throwing up.  Your body will burn calories if you are doing something.

This is all quite obvious and simple, but so many people want the easy way out and the miracle cure.  But the best diet in the world is still going to get you fat if you burn 1000 calories a day and you consume 2000.

But your point is well-taken:  healthy food won't necessarily lead to a healthy body weight.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Health? (none / 2) (#84)
by wurp on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:06:41 AM EST

If you're eating for health, why are you eating pasta?!?  Pasta, bread, potatoes, and white rice are essentially pure starch.  Everything good and wholesome has been hulled, sifted or otherwise removed from the grain before it gets made into pasta, most breads, or white rice.

Bread is given to us as a food group (or it was to me when I was a kid), but a little reflection shows that it can't be required for our health.  Try ditching the grains that have been refined and going for oatmeal, whole grain breads, brown rice, and see what that does for your weight.

I personally think this is where the success of the Atkins diet comes from.  Replace refined grains with whole grains and do likewise with sugars, and of course you will lose weight.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

retard. (none / 3) (#98)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:06:24 PM EST

Eliminating an entire food group is not healthy, I don't care what your fat-ass (yes, he was) health fad guru says.

If you change what you eat, but not how much you eat, and lose weight, it's because your body is eating itself!

If the nutrition your body craves isn't forthcoming from your diet, (yes, your body needs starch too) your body will get said nutrition from your fat reserves. You can acomplish the same thing by not eating at all. Losing weight is not neccassarily a good thing, contrary to popular belief.

There's no secret to healthy eating: Eat a balanced diet in the proper quantities (read, less than the average american "portion") and exercise frequently.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Wow (none / 1) (#103)
by wurp on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:00:47 PM EST

A bit sensitive, are we?  I didn't say eliminate starch.  I said don't eat things composed of essentially pure starch or pure sugar.

Your response and the vast number of things you read into what I had to say says a lot more about you than it does me.  I prefer not to argue with your fantasy of what I wrote.

What fad guru taught you that changing your diet made your body eat itself?  That's ridiculous.  According to what you wrote, if I had a diet of pure candy, the solution would be to eat less of it, lest my body eat itself, rather than essentially eliminate candy and eat other things.

It sounds as if you're having some personal issues.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

that's just it... (none / 1) (#108)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:30:16 PM EST

I'm quite heathly, and have been all my life.

What does bother me are folk like yourself (and atkins proponents, moreso) advocate what is essentially a dangerous, unheathy view that certain foods are "evil" and must be avioded at all costs as a way to improve oneself.

What fad guru taught you that changing your diet made your body eat itself?

I didn't say that, I said that eliminating entire food groups from your diet will do that. And yes, that includes starch and sugar... your body need these to survive.

if I had a diet of pure candy, the solution would be to eat less of it

Actually, this is your solution. I advocate eating all types of food in moderation. You are the one who advocates the elimination of certain food groups. The candy allegory fits better with your viewpoint.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

taste, health, ethics (2.45 / 11) (#27)
by Timo Laine on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:25:19 AM EST

I find it interesting that ethics is an afterthought for you. For example, if you are presented with a meal made of, say, homeless people, do you first consider the taste and the health effects of the food, and only after that go on and think about whether or not it is right to kill homeless people and eat them?

depends (3.00 / 8) (#31)
by khallow on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:29:36 AM EST

If it's too gamey or has too high a fat content (can be a problem even with homeless people), then of course, the ethical considerations kick in. I think you worry too much.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

EWWW (2.83 / 6) (#33)
by godix on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:18:18 AM EST

That's just sick. No one should eat homeless people. Years of being marianated in booze has given their meat an odd aftertaste that just ruins whatever meal you try making with it.

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi
[ Parent ]
Interesting scenario... (none / 2) (#42)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:12:58 PM EST

but one that isn't likely to take shape any time soon.

Unless Bush gets re-elected of course.

[ Parent ]
ethics (none / 2) (#48)
by Timo Laine on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:00:28 PM EST

Well, of course it was just a thought experiment. But that shouldn't matter. If you say that you would think otherwise in such a situation, then you are contradicting yourself. When you look at things more carefully, you find that you are not in fact thinking that taste and health come before ethics. It is fairly commonly accepted in moral philosophy that for ethics to be ethics, it has to come before anything else.

So let's say that you would instantly reject cannibalism because of ethical reasons. But how should we then interpret your earlier claim that ethics is for you an afterthought? Perhaps you are thinking about some supererogatory unselfishness?

[ Parent ]

The article is not about the ethics of cannibalism (none / 0) (#52)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:20:19 PM EST

I could sit here and imagine all sorts of possible realities, each with their own particular ethical dilemma to think through and answer.

But I won't.

If I did, I would never get anything done. In fact, according to the poll, it seems most people feel the same way.

[ Parent ]
Shifting the definition of "food" (none / 2) (#61)
by ShadowNode on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:23:36 AM EST

Most people would never consider eating people, or anything else sentient, so ethics doesn't really enter into the picture.

[ Parent ]
definition of food (none / 2) (#68)
by Timo Laine on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:05:00 AM EST

A meal made of homeless people is functionally food, no matter what some may think. Indeed, they may not really think about things like these at all, so asking these taste/health/ethics questions is pretty pointless. These people you talk about just do what everyone else does no matter what it is.

Also, what do you think is the correct definition of food? Strict ethical vegetarians never consider eating animals, so would you suggest ethics has nothing to do with their eating habits?

[ Parent ]

It's culturally based (none / 1) (#70)
by ShadowNode on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:41:07 AM EST

While a meal of horse shit may fulfill the nutritional requirments of food, most people wouldn't consider it to be food.

I'd say vegitarians don't refuse animals because of any difference in ethics, but rather a difference in the definition of "sentient creature". Most people wouldn't include cows or carrots, but would include homeless people, where as ethical vegitarians would include homeless people and cows, but not carrots.



[ Parent ]
definitions (none / 2) (#77)
by Timo Laine on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:07:33 AM EST

While a meal of horse shit may fulfill the nutritional requirments of food
Do you think this is a good example? I believe that eating horse shit poses immediate dangers to your health, which I think is something that food is not supposed to do. On the other hand, eating people may be in fact quite safe, if the necessary precautions are taken.
I'd say vegitarians don't refuse animals because of any difference in ethics, but rather a difference in the definition of "sentient creature".
Doesn't sound plausible to me. I mean, basically we could say that all people share the same ethics, which is in short "don't do bad things". But ethics has to penetrate everything to really be called ethics. Moral principles have to be detailed enough to make moral criticism and debate possible. The ethical vegetarians challenge some beliefs popular in Western countries, and that challenge is primarily an ethical challenge, not a scientific one: they don't point to some newly discovered natural property in animals, but instead they claim that eating animals is wrong.

[ Parent ]
Ethics and Vegetarianism (none / 1) (#151)
by Greenarchist on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 05:00:21 AM EST

Sorry to butt in, but I am an ethical vegetarian.
Whether or nt an animal is sentient has nothing to do with my dietary choices however.   Eficiency of food production and the health of the biosphere however do.  
<tounge in cheek>
In fact I fully support eating meat eaters (so long as they are not raised as a food source, just hunted in the wild) as they have a very large environmental footprint. In the same vein all cattle currently raised for food should be slaughtered and fed to anyone who will eat them. Ideally this would be the last generation of cattle ever raised for food as the species would be extinct.</tounge in cheek>

 Ok now that the evil is out of the way, animals are not the most eficient way to feed our people in an industrilized society. That is all


[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 1) (#153)
by Timo Laine on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 06:12:06 AM EST

It sounds to me that you're not an ethical vegetarian, but perhaps an environmentalist vegetarian. You don't have to be ethical to be an environmentalist (check out Pentti Linkola for example), and you don't have to be an environmentalist to be ethical.

But of course I'm not saying that it is enough for ethical vegetarians to say that we shouldn't eat sentient creatures, if they dislike scenarios like this. Personally, I do consider myself an ethical vegetarian, but I don't know exactly why. I'm not even sure if ethics in general can be justified.

[ Parent ]

Ethics (none / 2) (#155)
by Greenarchist on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 07:42:41 AM EST

I agree that ethics are not a requirement of environmentalism. In fact you hit it in one, I'm much more concerned about the environment than I about animal welfare. With that in mind, the chief goal of my personal brand of environmentalism is to keep the human race alive and prosperous. I do understand the "kill many so a few can live well" philosophy, as my first post shows, but I do not subscribe to it. Animal welfare is also important to me, but only as it affects humans. In fact I guess I'm a horrible chauvinist. Anthropocentric to the core.

  I am an ethical environmentalist, and my ethic extends to my eating habits in such a way that I consume relatively few animal products.

  Back to the parent story for a moment, I relate to thearticle very well. Having gone vegan at twelve, now 29 and not so vegan, I was forced to inspect all labels and research many obfuscated ingredients and silly rumors. My life was completely changed by the process. Most notably that I no longer really see fast food places, unless they serve vegan fare (however unhealthy), and supermarkets seem remakably sparse and alien to me now, but I still eat very well. Better in fact, and I beleive that the investigation coupled with a strict set of rules was the cheif cause of the change for me.  

Thanks for the discussion.
Greenarchist

   

[ Parent ]

i'm not so sure (none / 1) (#97)
by jnana on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:58:24 PM EST

I'm not so sure about this. If sentience were the criterion, I could find a severely, severely retarded person who according to any test for sentience conceivable would test poorer than your average cow. People don't call them vegetables for nothing.

Also, sentience is a very low standard, and cows certainly are sentient. Sentience is defined as the quality of being sentient, of course, and sentient is just "That feels or is capable of feeling; having the power or function of sensation or of perception by the senses" [OED]. Perhaps you meant self-aware, or self-conscious, which does, as far as we know, separate primates from cows. But there remains the problem of the severely retarded person, because I can quite easily find a retarded person who isn't self-aware.

[ Parent ]

Sentient (none / 2) (#72)
by lonesmurf on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:00:23 AM EST

I actually think that that whole sentient thing is a thin line. For example, chimpanzees could, to stretch this particular point, be considered sentient. The can learn and utilize language and recognize themselves as individuals. But through out the congo basin it is fairly common to use them as a food source.

Then again, uhm, cannibals. :)

Ethics are a fickle thing.


Rami

I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.


[ Parent ]
There's a lot of grey, certianly (none / 0) (#74)
by ShadowNode on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:06:41 AM EST

You won't find me eating monkey any time soon, or cats or dogs for that matter. I don't really see an ethical issue with eating vegitative herd animals, though.

[ Parent ]
You're arguing with the wrong person then... (none / 0) (#76)
by lonesmurf on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:21:57 AM EST

I'm a plant eater. :) As far as I'm concerned, eating a dead animal is disgusting.


Rami

I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.


[ Parent ]
Good for you, but... (none / 1) (#150)
by Mr. Piccolo on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 01:17:09 AM EST

I only eat vegeterians.  The species matters not.

;-)

The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.


[ Parent ]
You're just bashing Rudi Giuliani (n/t) (none / 1) (#86)
by decaf_dude on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:45:31 AM EST


--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
An answer (none / 2) (#87)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:47:09 AM EST

Since almost all food that is commonly eaten is produced in the same way (farmed, killed), and almost everyone is reasonably certain that it isn't "soylent hobo," then the ethical concerns are rather level.  If you don't mind eating a cow that was raised and slaughtered, then you're unlikely to blink if it were a chicken or a pig.

The ethical question has already been pre-answered by most individuals, so you choose your foods from among what's left.  As such, the ethical question is a foregone conclusion, and the only thing left is taste / health.

[ Parent ]

right (none / 1) (#109)
by Timo Laine on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:39:45 PM EST

The ethical question has already been pre-answered by most individuals, so you choose your foods from among what's left.
Right, and this is exactly the point. Ethics is never an afterthought. That you usually don't have to think about ethics doesn't mean that the ethical questions aren't there all the time, as you say, pre-answered. In fact, I would say that having internalized your moral principles is a crucial aspect of being a moral agent.

[ Parent ]
Except that ... (none / 0) (#132)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 10:41:50 AM EST

... most people don't give a shit about the moral aspect of their food source, so the difference between it being an afterthought, and an internalized moral principle is a moot matter of semantics.

[ Parent ]
the implication (none / 1) (#133)
by Timo Laine on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:23:04 PM EST

most people don't give a shit about the moral aspect of their food source
This implies that they are immoral not just in this respect, but in virtually all respects. If you don't care about whether your food was produced in a morally acceptable way, this opens up a large hole in your whole moral outlook: for example, you couldn't be against killing innocent people by torture as long as the tortured people are eaten afterwards, thus making them a "food source".

Now of course this might be exactly what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

That's quite a leap. (none / 1) (#137)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 04:02:37 PM EST

Perhaps I should amend my comment to read:

Most people don't give a shit about the moral aspect of their food source, so long as it's within certain moral boundaries.

[ Parent ]

that is exactly right (none / 0) (#138)
by Timo Laine on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 04:47:38 PM EST

And those moral boundaries are what I have been talking about in this thread.

[ Parent ]
Write-in (2.57 / 7) (#28)
by joto on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:42:09 AM EST

Convenience: It should be simple to make, and last at least a few days in the fridge. Cost: It should fit into my budget.

And I consider all 5 factors important.

Comparing products.. (2.94 / 19) (#29)
by alfadir on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:15:21 AM EST

Beeing Swedish I spent a year in the US studdying. I found new brands of cercals and tried some of them out. Some of them very sweet.

Now I live in Germany and have some american friends here. Recently me and an american that works on one of the bases here in Germany prepared a big american breakfast for 15 or so swedes living here. It was a success and we served everything from pancakes to hash browns.

After this happening I just decided to check what difference in suggar contents there is between a German healthy cereal and Lucky Charms.

Looking at Nestles Fitness I found it had 17.2 g suggar. To my surprise Lucky Charms had only 13 g. Figuring that something was fishy with this I read the Nuitrition Facts more carefully.

The key was the Serving size. It was 30 g! All comparinsons I have seen in Europe compares all numbers to 100 g. That way you can easilly find out how a product compares to another. The Lucky Charm has 43.3 g suggar per 100 g compared to Fittness 17.2 g per 100 g.

Next step I had a look at a package of Apple Jacks. Here the Serving Size, still one cup, was 33 g. Suggar 16 g. The same math here gave 48 g.

Lastly I had a look at a more healthy cereal from the US. My american friend said that he never eats thouse suggar serials but Post Selects, Great Grains. I picked one for the breakfast. Rasins, dates and pecanes. Whole grain cereal.

Now the serving size was 1/2 cup, but 54 g. Guess the Great Grains are heavier. Suggar still at 13 g, like Lucky Charm. Recalculating the content to per 100 g gave 24 g.

Even though it is a rather simple formula it is not so simple that you can do exact comparisons in the store while buying cereals, or other products. (US suggar in grams * 100 g / US serving size in grams).

Fitness 17.2 g
Lucky Charms 13*100/30 = 43.3 g
Apple Jacks 16*100/33 = 48.5 g
Great Grains 13*100/54 = 24.1 g

How do you deal with this or do you not care about how much suggar you eat ?

I think that the big food companies need to wise up and make sure that they produce healty products . It can not be healthy to give your kids a product that is almost 50% suggar.



not a problem here (none / 0) (#30)
by khallow on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:26:37 AM EST

I would not give my kid a cereal with that much sugar in it.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Good (none / 1) (#32)
by alfadir on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:42:07 AM EST

but I guess some people are..

or eating it themselves. Anyway I fear this is also a trend in Europe, a lot of chocolate based snacks that is supposed to be the perfect afternoon snack for kids and adults, according to commercials.

I say eat an apple instead. :P



[ Parent ]
We don't eat that much sugar. (2.75 / 4) (#54)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:42:59 PM EST

These days it's all corn syrup.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

It depends where you are (none / 1) (#102)
by gidds on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:50:30 PM EST

Having compared ingredients on a couple of recent holidays in the US, my impression is that food differs greatly depending on where it's sold: differences in taste, additives, styling... everything.

In particular, here in Europe corn syrup (especially high-fructose corn syrup) is rarely used. Foods are usually sweetened with sugar, or with artificial sweeteners, or both. I was amazed just how much corn syrup is used in the US. (All those corn subsidies, I guess.)

But then, we don't use as much sweetener in the first place. The US diet is generally far sweeter than the British one, which in turn is probably sweeter than most other European countries.

Food can be a real culture shock. One of the real surprises for me was Heinz Tomato Ketchup. It looked the same, so I expected it to taste the same; but it didn't! Over here, it tastes of tomatoes. In the US, it tasted of, well, sugar. With chemicals. Even the texture was wrong!

If I was in an analytic and/or brave mood, I might try correlating the national sweet tooth with national health problems...

Andy/
[ Parent ]

Does that really differ significantly? (none / 1) (#124)
by Gooba42 on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:49:32 AM EST

In my ultra-basic understanding of the human metabolism, all sugar is broken down and reprocessed into glucose anyway.

Whether you're eating fructose, sucrose or any other digestible -ose you're still eating sugar.

A sugar by any other name...

[ Parent ]

Processed sugar (none / 2) (#63)
by drsmithy on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:46:18 AM EST

Is like tobacco for children.

[ Parent ]
Lables (2.87 / 8) (#34)
by pyro9 on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:28:38 AM EST

<p.it's unfortunate that the labeling laws in the U.S. are so shot through with loopholes. Most lables seem to be designed specifically to prevent the reader from knowing what is in the product.</p>

The most outrageous examples I have seen include cookies where the 'serving size' is a fraction of a cookie, and the many products whose packaging suggests one natural serving size but the lable suggests a much smaller one, such as softdrink cans, 'single serving' junk food packaging, etc.

Then ther are cases where 'trade names' are listed where the composition of those trade named ingrediants are trade secrets. In other cases, ingrediants hide behing 'color' or 'fragrance'. Interestingly, many of the 'fragrances' are actually designed to deaden the sense of smell rather than actually smelling good. Many people have allergic reactions to many of the fragrances. In other words, the most needed information is the most hidden.

Many product lables seem to be one big euphamism.


The future isn't what it used to be
Maybe I'm wrong... (none / 0) (#46)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:49:38 PM EST

But I thought that in the US, they had to list all ingredients, and couldn't hide behind trade names.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
As it turns out (none / 0) (#49)
by pyro9 on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:04:42 PM EST

There are apparently many exceptions. Unfortunately, fragrances never have to be broken down into componants. For that matter, in non-foods, they don't even have to meet safety testing standards.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]

yup (none / 1) (#62)
by the77x42 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:44:18 AM EST

and this is why when you buy Clinique makeup they lie straight to your face. that shit contains enough alcohol to turn your face into dust.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Serving size (none / 1) (#90)
by MorePower on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:15:49 AM EST

It really agravates me when they put tiny "servings" on the nutrition lables. There is only one serving size- one container. Once you open up a package, human nature guaranties that you WILL eat the whole box, even if you get sick of the food. It just feels too unnatural to leave an open container of food unfinished.

[ Parent ]
This would all be solved by the Big Red Dot! (none / 0) (#116)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:12:02 PM EST

One day, people. One day!

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

all natural vs synthetic (2.71 / 7) (#35)
by horny smurf on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:31:11 AM EST

Given the choice between "natural flavoring" and "artificial flavoring", most people would probalby go natural.

But as mentioned, the red dye from bugs is natural. And natural almond flavor contains low levels of cyanide. The artificial flavors, are made in nice clean hygenic laboratories.

natural flavor vs artificial flavor... (none / 1) (#41)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:49:24 PM EST

The article that I make reference to brings up this point.

A natural flavor is not necessarily more healthful or purer than an artificial one. When almond flavor -- benzaldehyde -- is derived from natural sources, such as peach and apricot pits, it contains traces of hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison. Benzaldehyde derived by mixing oil of clove and amyl acetate does not contain any cyanide. Nevertheless, it is legally considered an artificial flavor and sells at a much lower price. Natural and artificial flavors are now manufactured at the same chemical plants, places that few people would associate with Mother Nature.


[ Parent ]
Natural flavorings don't always come from nature (2.75 / 4) (#44)
by UserGoogol on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:47:06 PM EST

Natural flavoring can still be synthetic. As far as I know, all a flavoring needs to be "natural" is to occur in nature. But you don't actually have to get the flavoring from nature.

Not that it matters. An MSG molecule is exactly the same no matter whether it came from seaweed or from artificial fermentation.

[ Parent ]

Contaminants (none / 1) (#104)
by gidds on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:09:44 PM EST

An MSG molecule is exactly the same no matter whether it came from seaweed or from artificial fermentation.

True. (Unless you're a homoeopathist...) But that's not the issue. If it comes from seaweed, are you prepared to be that no other types of molecules came along with it? Similarly, if it was fermented artificially, can you be certain that there's not a single molecule of contamination?

Andy/
[ Parent ]

Easy answer (none / 0) (#170)
by Steeltoe on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 05:10:09 PM EST

If it's coming from Nature, and not a laboratory, the organic stuff will be endowed with life-energy, which your body can assimilate. Heard of Kirlian photography? It really shows the difference between natural and synthetic foods. Kirlian photography even shows that as the organic matter is dying, the surrounding aura will slowly fade and disappear. Old/frozen/canned food is not as healthy as fresh foods because of this.

You think you have all the answers, that everything is built up of molecules and atoms alone, but natural people have known for thousands of years there's something more to life than just easy building blocks called atoms. We could probably find ways to synthesize life-energy in the future, but until then I'm eating organically grown food. Tastes better too..

Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]

Will David Hasselhoff (none / 0) (#173)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat May 29, 2004 at 11:24:03 AM EST


We could probably find ways to synthesize life-energy in the future


star in movie about the near dystopic future in which the life energy is harvested from ADHD children (who obviously have a surplus) and added to health foods for the rich?

Will we learn in the end that the true secret to long life and happiness is to play with the children more often?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
people are wired differently when it comes to food (2.50 / 4) (#37)
by ptvan on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:53:31 AM EST

I read in Eating Well For Optimum Health that as a result of biochemical/physiological differences, peoples' eating habits are guided by different factors. Some people, like myself, don't especially receive pleasure from eating foods that taste good; I acknowledge that certain things taste better than others, but I can easily resist eating a Pop Tart (two words?) or other trans-fatty, cholesterol, sugar laiden treat. This freedom from food-pleasure makes it easier for some people to eat healthier. You can imagine the food-pleasure embracer.

PEANUT BUTTER!:
I love peanut butter. For the past sixth months, I've been eating natural peanut butter, made only with peanuts and salt. Smucker's natural PB can be found at the popular U.S. grocery chains. I buy Whole Foods Market's generic version, which has less fat than Smucker's. I think the natural PB tastes much better than the Jiffy and Meijer brand PB that I grew up on.. that stuff now tastes like sweet tan-colored frosting to me.

I'm a "food-pleasure embracer". (none / 1) (#40)
by gilrain on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:46:18 PM EST

However, I agree: the natural peanut butter is far better. Really, I think the only reason we have those ridiculous sugary peanut butters is because children are by far the main consumers of peanut butter. Adults don't eat that much of it (comparatively), so they just buy what the kids will eat.

[ Parent ]
Wicked information source on food (none / 1) (#50)
by Subtillus on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:34:43 PM EST

Ok, so there's a website for this class taught at my school that's about food.

I don't know if it's still running because I hear it got hit with some sort of virus... Also, it only runs in internet explorer.

I didn't make it don't look at me.

That said, go to:
cool.mcgill.ca
--> select course,
--> CHEM 150

It Should play but I'm on a Mac so I couldn't tell you.

Fun fact about beer in the UK (none / 2) (#51)
by fritz the cat on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 09:09:09 PM EST

For some unknown reason brewers in the UK do not have to list the ingredients of beer on the packaging. Makes you wonder what kind of evil additives they put in it (which is why I stick to the "continental" stuff).

DOING NOTHING FUCKING SOMETHING

Delicious beer. (none / 2) (#53)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:33:58 PM EST

I once had a girlfriend that worked at a local brewery. The company had the employees take a tour of a major brewery, in this case it was Labatt's in Canada.

She told me the story of how they use a chemical to remove the naturally occuring carbonation for bottling. That way they can squirt beer into the bottle much faster without it overflowing due to the carbonation. They then introduce yet another chemical to re-carbonate the beer before capping it for the masses.

... and they also do not list the ingredients of beer in Canada. I try to stick to microbreweries as opposed to the major brands. They are tastier beers and probably healthier ... not that I have any factual information to back this up.

Highly irrational. I know.


Arduinothor The Vile
- Beer. I love beer. Goddamit I love beer.

[ Parent ]
a quote from the Discworld seems apropos here. (none / 1) (#58)
by magney on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:11:14 AM EST

Ridcully said, "Ahhh! We know what goes into a good beer in Ankh-Morpork!"

The other wizards nodded glumly. They certainly did. That's why they were drinking gin and tonic.

- Terry Pratchett, Soul Music

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Likewise in the US (none / 0) (#82)
by wurp on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:01:17 AM EST

As far I can tell, no alcoholic beverages in the US are required to list their ingredients.

This is a real pain for me.  I am allergic to wheat and corn, which means I'm allergic to almost all processed foods.  It's actually been good for me; I eat much healthier.  But it would be nice to know which alcoholic drinks have corn syrup added to them.

On a side note, you wouldn't believe how much of the normal food you eat is made with corn.  Sausage, anything the slightest bit sweet, and almost anything precooked.  Any ingredient with "dextr" in it is usually made with corn, and in the US MSG is usually made from corn.

---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

thats why there is the Reinheitsgebot (none / 0) (#139)
by drgonzo on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 05:44:49 PM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinheitsgebot hurray for old europe :)

[ Parent ]
natural vs. synthetic (2.84 / 13) (#56)
by Polverone on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:56:39 AM EST

Would you rather have vanilla (vanillin) in your food, or 3-methoxy-4-hydroxylbenzaldahyde? They're the same thing. One has a familiar name; the other looks like it might have come from an EPA report on industrial accidents. But they are the same material. If every natural and artificial flavor had to be listed by its standardized, systematic name, there wouldn't be room on the package to print everything. Natural flavors and fragrances aren't as well-characterized as artificial ones, so they probably couldn't be broken down by ingredient in entirety even if the manufacturers wanted to. It's only the synthetic or highly refined ingredients that are known well enough to identify specifically. In other words, don't be alarmed simply because there are chemical names on a package. For example, benzaldehyde is better known as cherry or almond flavor/scent. It's also present in the pits of peaches and apricots. When benzaldehyde is exposed to air for a period of time, it oxidizes to form benzoic acid. The sodium and potassium salts of benzoic acid (benzoates) are used as food preservatives, and benzaldehyde (natural or synthetic) is used for flavoring and scenting food. Natural benzaldehyde has a more complex scent than artificial, because it contains many minor components in addition to benzaldehyde. Artificial benzaldehyde, therefore, is certainly at least as safe as the natural compound when made properly, because the natural substance is actually "benzaldehyde plus minor mystery components." What's MSG, monosodium glutamate? Glutamine is a common amino acid, found as a building block in many proteins. Glutamic acid is a closely-related derivative of glutamine that is formed in the body from metabolizing glutamine and is also found in various foods. MSG is simply the sodium salt of this acid, like table salt is the sodium salt of hydrochloric acid. This says nothing about whether it's good or bad for you: some people seem to be sensitive to MSG, while others have no problem with it. Asking "is MSG bad?" is a bit like asking "is fire bad?" It's dependent on context. Natural chemicals can kill you at least as fast as those made in a flask. Learning to read labels and look up ingredients is only the beginning of the story. You have to be able to distinguish between the Chicken Little shoutings of kooks, the general consensus of peer-reviewed researchers, and the soothing words of corporate supporters. Or you could just accept that you're going to eventually die and eat whatever makes you feel good.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
Excellent points (2.75 / 4) (#67)
by teece on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:03:34 AM EST

I have heard people say things like: "Do you want natural cherry goodness, or some chemical additive?"  The answer was supposed to be obvious.

But it always make the think:  is the 'natural' stuff pure energy then, in order to avoid being a chemical?

These terms that everyone takes to mean as good: natural, organic, etc.  They are not well-defined.  What does it mean to be 'natural?'  I'm sure to a lot of food companies it means 'it was developed on planet earth' and no more.  Ditto organic.

Anthrax is very natural and quite organic, can I have that on my serial?  Table salt is inorganic -- so does that mean it is bad?  And ultimately, the only thing that matters is does it taste OK and does it provide nourishment (and to a lesser degree is it non-toxic -- simply because that is less of a problem).  But the answers to all of those questions are extremely non-trivial.  They certainly go well-beyond any quaint little 'natural' or 'organic' descriptions.

People are really dopey consumers when it comes to food (well, when it comes to a lot of things I guess).

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Glutamate (none / 2) (#89)
by brain in a jar on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:09:34 AM EST

is also an important neurotransmitter (signalling chemical used by the brain) this is why eating food with a lot of MSG can produce a slight "buzz", but also can produce unpleasant effects such as headaches.

Yes, glutamate is a natually-occurring amino acid, but the body isn't necessarily built to suddenly flooded with its sodium salt (it might expect a slow input of glutamate from protein digestion).

Worst of all, glutamate is usually put into foods to compensate for their crappiness and lack of flavour, hence less MSG means they have to find better ways to make food tasty.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#130)
by Alhazred on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 09:25:29 AM EST

MSG is naturally found in mushrooms. This is one of the reasons they are used quite frequently as an ingredient in various foods, because they are a natural flavor enhancer.

It is definitely very hard to say what is and is not 'natural' in food. I'm not saying we should all just eat MSG because it happens to be found in certain foods naturally, but OTH its obvious that we CAN eat it, and even before modern food processing technology we DID eat it.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

A few nice points, but... (none / 0) (#118)
by TaoJones on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:31:51 PM EST

...there's nothing on the ingredient list of my "strawberry flavored yogurt" that lists dried Peruvian bug flakes. Call me crazy, but I'd like to know when I'm eating insect parts...

[ Parent ]
Simplistic (none / 1) (#135)
by 0xA on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 02:34:42 PM EST

What's MSG, monosodium glutamate? Glutamine is a common amino acid, found as a building block in many proteins. Glutamic acid is a closely-related derivative of glutamine that is formed in the body from metabolizing glutamine and is also found in various foods. MSG is simply the sodium salt of this acid, like table salt is the sodium salt of hydrochloric acid.

You miss the big question here. If MSG is simply an easy way to intorduce more glutamine into food why would somebody who has no problems eating foods high in gluatmine have a negative reaction to foods containing MSG or hydrolized plant protiens? It doesn't make any sense. I'm eating pasta with a wild mushroom tomato sauce on it right now, glutamine city.

You have to be able to distinguish between the Chicken Little shoutings of kooks, the general consensus of peer-reviewed researchers, and the soothing words of corporate supporters. Or you could just accept that you're going to eventually die and eat whatever makes you feel good.

Well when I eat things with most mangled glutamine compounds in them I definately don't feel good. Now on the other hand I don't really care if this stuff is in processed foods, I'd just like to be able to avoid them. When it is common practice to indicate the presence of MSG by using teams like "Natural Seasonings" and "Yeast Extract" or one of a hundred other inocuous sounding things it becomes difficult.

[ Parent ]

not simplistic (none / 1) (#141)
by Polverone on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:10:12 PM EST

MSG is not a way of introducing extra glutamine into the diet. It is a derivative of glutamine, one that is formed in the body to some extent. I would guess that some people react poorly to MSG because glutamic acid is normally not found in foods, so glutamic acid is reaching parts of the body that it wouldn't appear in from physiological glutamine conversion. The point was not that MSG is good or that it is bad, just that it is not so exotic as its chemical name might make it seem.

If MSG makes you feel bad, you don't need a solid theoretical framework for why it makes someone feel bad. You just need to not eat MSG. If MSG doesn't make you feel bad, you don't need a solid theoretical framework for why it makes someone feel bad, because you are not one of them. You needn't avoid it just because it makes other people feel bad, any more than you need to avoid nuts if you don't have nut allergies.

I appreciate the difficulty of pinning down exactly what's in what you eat, though. How many thousands of substances get to be called "natural and artificial flavors?"

I would advocate selecting food empirically. When your food, as part of your lifestyle, seems to help you feel well and stay healthy, it's good. When your food seems to make you feel bad, it's bad. If avoiding some synthetic ingredients help you to fulfill these goals, great! If not, it's a waste of time (and probably money too).

I do have this to say against synthetics in food: they're very rarely an improvement on the best in nature. But not everybody can afford to eat nature's best.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

whoops (none / 0) (#145)
by Polverone on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 10:13:57 PM EST

Glutamic acid is itself a natural amino acid, of course. Maybe if you chopped up a bunch of mushrooms, applied the appropriate enzymes, and isolated glutamic acid as its sodium salt, this mushroom-derived MSG would affect you as negatively as the cheap white crystals you can buy in a grocery store. Maybe it wouldn't (there could be some impurity in commercial MSG that people tend to be sensitive to, but that doesn't violate safety standards).

To reiterate: if something makes you feel lousy, don't eat it! How something is named has nothing to do with how healthy it is or how it will make you feel. Even in the case of artificial ingredients, negative reactions happen because of what the ingredients are, not because of how natural they are.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

natural flavours? (none / 0) (#160)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 08:18:02 PM EST

To create a 'natural' flavours (for example vanilla extract), the flavour must be seperated from the rest of the plant. This generally involves the use of some rather harsh chemicals/solvents. So ironically, natural flavours may be nastier than artificial ones where the flavour molecule has been produced in isolation.

But as for me, I'll make things from scratch if I possibly can. Tends to make things taste better (even if that's psychological). Vanilla beans are way cool.

An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]

No meat No eat. (1.44 / 9) (#57)
by xC0000005 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:44:26 AM EST

If something didn't die kicking and screaming, what's the point in eating it? (I had a nice steak slow cooked for dinner tonight). The vegetarians around here keep telling me I wouldn't eat meat if I saw how it was slaughtered. I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, right near downtown and the stock yards, and have visited my share of slaughter houses. As the bumper sticker says, "Never eat anything without a face."

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
Most foods die in pain. (none / 3) (#59)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:14:59 AM EST

Same goes for plants, if electrical spiked readings are any indication of 'feelings' when plants are harmed.

You know how some old guys have fat, round old-guy faces? That's what happens when you eat an unbalanced diet with lots of red meat. Old people who have faces which hold the same shape as when they were in their 20's are typically those who ate less red meat.

Sounds to me from your belligerent stance that you might have a few issues, too, much like the average fanatical Vegan, although in reverse. Possibly out of balance. Do you eat fruit and veg, or just meat?

For my part, one of my primary concerns is in making sure I am not contributing to needless cruelty when I consume. I prefer free run animals, and healthy, chem-free vegetables. Being thankful while eating that something died so that I might live is also important, I believe.

-FL

[ Parent ]

What? (none / 1) (#81)
by waxmop on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:28:12 AM EST

You know how some old guys have fat, round old-guy faces? That's what happens when you eat an unbalanced diet with lots of red meat. Old people who have faces which hold the same shape as when they were in their 20's are typically those who ate less red meat.

I couldn't make better shit myself if I ate a box of laxatives.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]

A whole box. . ? (none / 0) (#128)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 07:01:40 AM EST

I couldn't make better shit myself if I ate a box of laxatives.

Okay, so you're calling my info shit. Why? Do you know something about it I do not, or are you just trying to blow it off because it upsets you?

-FL

[ Parent ]

Plants and pain (none / 0) (#131)
by gentlemoose on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 09:56:48 AM EST

FantasticLad, where did you see/read blurbs about electrical spikes in plants? I saw something on TV YEARS ago concerning circumstancial evidence pointing to the possibility of plants' awareness of their environment. In short: A "scientist" working on a number of projects simultaneously, had wired (in an unrelated capacity) an electrocardiograph (or something similar) to a plant. He was searching, I think, for pain reactions in fish, and dumped a quantity of (some form of) acid into a fish tank (containing fish, naturally). He discovered some time later, and quite by accident, that there was a big spike in the readings from the plants that corresponded to the time at which he conducted his experiment on the fish.
I want to know where the heck it was I saw this.
Also - to touch on something you said earlier - it *is* possible to eat without killing an organism. There's a VERY small subset of veg*ns called 'fruitarians' who will not eat anything that results in the death of an organism - ie: no animals obviously, but also no root vegetables, for instance. Only the fruit of a plant, or other reproducible components.

[ Parent ]
EEC machines and Fruit. . . (none / 0) (#154)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 07:17:36 AM EST

Experiments have been performed numerous times in numerous capacities over the years. I've seen it commented upon in television documentaries and in science magazines. I don't have copies or publishing info on any of them at the moment, though.

However, a cursory search of the web turned up a variety of links; here are the first two I clicked. . .

EEC machine testing of plants

Stress response measured in plants

There seemed to be others which you can search through yourself, if you feel so inclined.

As for the Fruitarians. . .

Scavenging is certainly an interesting approach! I don't think humans are necessarily well suited to the practice, but the thought certainly puts animals like Vultures into a new light for me!

-FL

[ Parent ]

Bah! (none / 0) (#163)
by kraant on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 10:46:44 PM EST

You know how some old guys have fat, round old-guy faces? That's what happens when you eat an unbalanced diet with lots of red meat. Old people who have faces which hold the same shape as when they were in their 20's are typically those who ate less red meat.
Appearance isn't eveything y'know.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
poll write in: how bad it tastes. (none / 1) (#65)
by the77x42 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:48:47 AM EST

if it tastes bad, i don't eat it. anything else is fair game.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

food (2.25 / 4) (#69)
by F a l c o n on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:20:29 AM EST

I would suggest to everyone to not follow the authors advise.

If you read up about what you eat, you'll soon refuse to eat anything. Very few of the things we stuff into ourselves are even remotely healthy anymore. Most of the food is more industrial than natural, no matter what the packaging says.

When I was a kid, I used to have an allergic reaction to some artificial ingredients, nobody could really make out which ones. So my mother started to educate herself about what actually is in the food.
To this day, she prefers to buy whatever she can directly from the farms. That way, at least it's only fertilizer and insect poison that's in the food, not the whole shebang of artificial flavours, colours and other stuff.

It's sickening what we eat, really. I prefer not to think about it.

--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster

It's not actually that hard. . . (none / 1) (#75)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:13:32 AM EST

At first, it can seem overwhelming, but so long as you don't close your mind, you will find yourself developing other patterns of behavior which become the norm. I manage to eat very well these days, while avoiding all sorts of crap.

Of course, when I stop in at a 7-11, I literally can't touch 99% of the food products available. But so what? Who wants to be in one of those neon-lit sticky hell holes anyway? Real food is out there if you look for it.

Trying not to think about problems isn't very cool. All problems can be solved in fairly easy ways. Knowledge is often the only barrier.

-FL

[ Parent ]

What's with the sev-bashing? (none / 0) (#172)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat May 29, 2004 at 10:52:11 AM EST

7-11 has an excellent selection of healthy sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit. I go the seven eleven when I need a quick lunch because I can get healthy foods like; a chicken sandwich with a fresh fruit and some sunflower seeds. The other convenience stores (mostly Mac's where I'm from) carry nothing but junk.

I would suggest that the health conscious choose seven eleven for all of their impulse snacking needs. And remember; At seven eleven, fun is waiting for you


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Fast Food Nation (none / 3) (#71)
by kenka on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:59:11 AM EST

The book quoted in the french fries link, Fast Food Nation, is an interesting read. I just read it last week. If you have ever had doubts while eating McDonalds or other fast food, the book will go a long way to reaffirming your convictions. Remember, there is shit in the meat!

Meh (none / 3) (#99)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:14:57 PM EST

Buy the most natural organic vegetables you can and chances are some dude has been throwing shit on them every week!

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Doubts about McDonalds? (none / 0) (#111)
by Margaret Thatcher on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:50:27 PM EST

But if you read Fast Food Nation, you see that McDonalds has higher standards than most other meat suppliers you'll come across. Mind you, the book should certainly make you wary of eating meat. Unless you know the person who butchered it yourself, as I do.

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#126)
by kenka on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:00:12 AM EST

Yeah doubts about McDonald's (but I meant any place that sells that kind of meat, like schools I guess). Higher standards barely, but not high standards, and they're not exactly proactive about improving, either.

[ Parent ]
I've done a lot of thinking on this subject. . . (3.00 / 8) (#73)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:06:00 AM EST

I've spent a few years on and off thinking about and researching food. There is a lot a person needs to know if one is to consume that which promotes and maintains good health and does not put a strain on the body/mind, while keeping the enjoyment of food alive.

Things to consider. . .

1. Ethics --Free Range versus factory farmed animals. And "Do plants feel pain when you kill them?" (I think they do. So what does one do other than make peace with the fact that in order to live, one must kill. You can be thoughtless and cruel or you can be respectful and kind in so far as you are able.)

2. Toxic ingredients. --Including things like, Monsanto's big bad artifical sweetener, Aapartame in all its many forms and guises. Coloring agents which can cause hyperactivity and ADD-like behavior in children. Sodium Benzoate, which virtually everybody will tell you is safe, but which I have read enough suspicious and fascinating things about to not be nearly so quick to write off as entirely harmless.

3. Foods nobody really suspected were toxic. --A big one here is Soy, which contains, among other things, Trypsin inhibitors, (prevents protein digestion), large quantities of Phytic Acid, (prevents dietary mineral uptake), and plant-derived oestrogen-like compounds (Isoflavones) which have been shown without question to have narcotic effects upon the body. You want to screw up your newborn son's sexual identity and maybe even kill him? Feed him Soy milk during the first 12 months of his life. Seriously.

4. Food combining. --If you eat Meat and Potatoes together, how much food value does the body get from each, versus if you ate them separately? How much extra strain does throwing certain combinations of food together in your stomach put on your digestive and various bodily systems? There's a lot here which people could benefit from knowing.

5. Disease. --BSE; how does Mad Cow work? What can one do to minimize the risk other than stop eating beef altogether? (There are a couple of big things you can do, actually. I was very surprised by what I discovered.)

6. Sugar -- Sugar is an over-used sweetener which creates a whole series of imbalances in the body. Stop eating it in gross quantities, and you'll quickly no longer want it in gross quantities.

7. Salt. --Sodium chloride, while it IS a salt, is just one of many that the body needs. On its own and used in the quantities it is for flavoring purposes, it is actually rather destructive. The best salt I came across was designed to mimic the mineral composition of mother's amniotic fluid, which is comprised of about 70 different salts, all of which the body needs in order to function at its peek.

8. Caffeine --Caffeine in kids drinks, along with too much sugar and various coloring agents, is responsible for much of the ADD - related problems and very likely, the subsequent drugging of our youth with anti-depressants. Caffeine is a drug. It's one I use regularly myself and think highly of; it's one of the only drugs which enhances rather than dulls the mind and which has little negative effect if used responsibly. But it IS a drug, and it is not one which should be treated without respect.

9. Carbonated Drinks. --Fizzy drinks have been linked to the depletion of bone mass for a variety of reasons, from the carbonation to the acids in certain brands. "Put a nail in a glass of America's Favorite Drink, (Coca Cola), and it'll dissolve to nothing within a few days."

10. Fluoride --It's in everything. If it's in the water supply, then its in your fruit and vegetables, which means its in your meat, eggs and cookies. Is it good or bad? There are many who debate this. I do not. I am convinced that Fluoride is a real problem. The only way to properly combat Fluoride is to drink from a well or drink distilled water. (There is a big difference between naturally occurring fluoride in ground water and industrial fluoride in municipal water; one is bonded to carbon, the other is highly reactive.)

11. Chlorination --Let your water stand overnight to clear out this otherwise life-saving disinfectant. If you don't let it absolve from your drinking water, then you can expect all manner of subtle health problems which you may not even be aware you are living with; everything from digestive issues to a decreased sex drive.

12. Cow Milk --The stuff was simply not meant to be consumed by humans, particularly adults. A whole raft of problems have been linked to the consumption of un-fermented Cow's Milk. Cheese and Yoghurt? They're fine so long as you can find them without crap ingredients. And you can! (They taste better, too, and they don't cost much more, for the most part.)

All in all, there is a lot to be aware of. People tell me, "Aw, come on! You're being over-dramatic. This stuff isn't going to cause any significant problems. You're going to die someday anyhow. Live a little!"

Thing is, I'm generally a LOT healthier and more alert than most of the people I know who don't pay attention to this stuff. If I eat a steak on its own without a baked potato, then I'll be alert twenty minutes after dinner when everybody else is spacing out. Avoid pizza, (combining bread, meat and cheese), and stay trim while everybody else is getting fat and slow. Avoid Aspartame, and I don't get migraine headaches, a screwed up brain and spotty vision. Avoid Cow Milk, and I don't get indigestion and allergic reactions. Avoid Soy (which is in about 75% of all packaged foods these days), and I get to absorb the iron, calcium, zinc and various other minerals and proteins I need to stay healthy while keeping female growth hormones out of my body. Etc. etc. . .

This stuff adds up fast, and it makes people weak and submissive and tired and susceptible to illness. I spent the 2003 flu season among a lot of sick people, and without a flu shot, (another huge scam, by the way; the vaccines usually contain mercury), I managed to stay entirely Flu-free. --They don't tell you that if you wash your hands, eat healthy food and get enough sleep, that you increase your chances of avoiding the flu and similar illnesses by an estimated 80%.

Food is a huge vector of control in our society. If you spend the time learning about it and adjusting your habits, it becomes a very simple thing to maintain good health and a strong mind.

The cost?

Well, I don't eat fast food and I don't eat Doritoes. Interestingly, though, I've found that most junk food and soft drinks I once craved now taste a lot like petroleum products, and fast food tastes like barf on a bun. This really surprised me! After I started eating organic, non-toxic foods, I was stunned by just how amazingly disgusting I realized basic consumer food really was. I literally blink in amazement when I watch the shit other people eat without realizing it. It's like being in a sci-fi film where people are happily eating garbage without knowing it, and look at you funny if you don't partake. I think it might be rather like the ex-smoker who now feels like throwing up at the smell of cigarettes.

I eat really well these days. Fruit, veg, meats, cheeses, etc. And if you live near a health-food store, you can get all kinds of great snack items which don't actually cost a whole lot more than the factory produced stuff. And I'm not talking about rice-cakes, which are actually pretty worthless. You can get great potato chips, and cookies and salsas and all of that good stuff. Heck, I asked my local grocery store to start stocking organic foods and snack items that won't mess up your body. And guess what?

They listen.

-FL

Acid Coke (none / 1) (#79)
by bloat on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:34:55 AM EST

"Put a nail in a glass of America's Favorite Drink, (Coca Cola), and it'll dissolve to nothing within a few days."

Why is this in quotes? Anyway its not true.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
You know what's funny. . ? (none / 1) (#80)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:06:41 AM EST

Is every time I write a factoid which is later demonstrated to be bogus, my idiot-sense at the time of posting had tingled.

Seriously. I've been posting lots of stuff for a few years now, and either people have gotten sharper, or I'm spewing more crap, but I've been tripped up several times in the last few months on bad data; this never really happened much before. The good thing is that I'm actually getting sharper myself at intuiting when and where the bullshit crops up.

The next step is to double check on those impulses and to take even less for granted than I already do.

Anyway, thanks for the cool link!

--BTW, I just did a double-check on my big food-points post and it looks like only the Carbonated beverages entry is flakey, (I'm not actually certain about the effects of carbonation on humans; I realize that bit was hearsay. Bad, bad, bad!) Otherwise, I've examined everything else on that list to some depth, although, I could stand to do more research on milk; I don't actually understand why the stuff has the negative effects it does. I just watch people drink it and start sneazing or get stomach cramps. Beats me why. I don't even know what 'Lactose' is.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Snopes (none / 0) (#92)
by bloat on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:15:51 PM EST

Yes, Snopes is a cool site. Fantastic for browsing. I genuinely thought that Coke invented Santa Claus until recently...

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
Lactose (none / 1) (#94)
by rusty on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:29:45 PM EST

Lactose is a sugar (like "fructose", "sucrose", etc...) which is found in cow's milk and many other foods. The "sour" in sourdough bread, for example, mainly comes from excretions of lactobacilli -- lactose-eating bacteria that coexist in the sourdough starter with strains of wild yeast. The thing that most people don't seem to know is that lactose is not unique to milk, it's all over the place. The whole concept of "lactose intolerance" is generally pretty suspect, and most of the conventional wisdom about it is almost certainly wrong.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Lactose (none / 1) (#101)
by Alannon on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:33:25 PM EST

I don't even know what 'Lactose' is.
Lactose is a disaccharide that occurs naturally in both human and cow's milk. It is widely used in baking and in commercial infant-milk formulas. (taken from Oxford's "Molecules of the month").

Basically it's a double-sugar, the simplest types of carbohydrates after simple sugars. It's one of the less common types of sugars, though. It seems people's bodies have different strategies of breaking it down into a simple sugar, some of them leaving behind traces and fragments that the body doesn't deal well with. These can cause all sorts of reactions in the body, from allergic reactions to indigestion to headaches. Not surprisingly, people who's ancestors were more likely to drink a lot of dairy products tend to have fewer of these reactions. Many asians, in particular, have trouble with lactose. Most asian cuisines make little use of milk-products.

The 'proper' enzyme the body should be using to break down lactose is named lactase, but some people's bodies don't make any or enough of the enzyme to properly digest it. Lactase supplements are readily available at pharmacies, often under the brand name 'Lactaid'. They're only useful if you take them with your lactose-containing meal.



[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter anyway... (none / 1) (#95)
by trimethyl on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:39:29 PM EST

Stomach acid will dissolve the can the Coke comes in. It has a pH of about 2, depending on the person, but generally is some very nasty stuff. People die of asphyxiation after inhaling fumes from their own vomit.

Whenever I hear that little bit about acid in cola, I just chuckle.



[ Parent ]
Not Entirely On-Target (none / 2) (#83)
by jameth on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:02:15 AM EST

Most of everything you said was right-on, but these last three give me a little pause:

10.  Fluoride --It's in everything.  If it's in the water supply, then its in your fruit and vegetables, which means its in your meat, eggs and cookies.  Is it good or bad?  There are many who debate this.  I do not.  I am convinced that Fluoride is a real problem.  The only way to properly combat Fluoride is to drink from a well or drink distilled water.  (There is a big difference between naturally occurring fluoride in ground water and industrial fluoride in municipal water; one is bonded to carbon, the other is highly reactive.)

Just because it is in the water supply does not mean it is in everything you eat. First, many farms use untreated water (when I lived in Nebraska, it wasn't even in the public water supply and we had to swish flouride bi-weekly at school).
Also, even if it is, it will be completely altered after going into any living being. The plants and animals will have processed it into an effectively different form.
I don't know, but suspect, that flouride will be altered by cooking with that water. Most chemicals alter after hitting 300-400 degrees. That said, I don't know if it alters for the better or the worse.
Also, I agree that there are side-effects to flouride in water, but they are relatively minor compared to its advantages and will only be an issue if you drink a significant amount of water.

11.  Chlorination  --Let your water stand overnight to clear out this otherwise life-saving disinfectant.  If you don't let it absolve from your drinking water, then you can expect all manner of subtle health problems which you may not even be aware you are living with; everything from digestive issues to a decreased sex drive.

As above with the drinking a lot of water point. It may not be good for you, but it is a poison which your body can deal with. This is only an issue if you have a weak liver already.

12. Cow Milk --The stuff was simply not meant to be consumed by humans, particularly adults.  A whole raft of problems have been linked to the consumption of un-fermented Cow's Milk.  Cheese and Yoghurt?  They're fine so long as you can find them without crap ingredients.  And you can!  (They taste better, too, and they don't cost much more, for the most part.)

Be careful about gross generalizations. Milk is a problem for some people, not for all people. Many groups of people did not evolve in a way that left them susceptible to the side-effects of lactic acid. In particular, people from colder climates (Northern Europeans, Russians, Mongolians) are more accepting of lactose.
You mention indigestion and allergies in regards to milk at some point. I don't have those to the point where they are a problem. You may think that it's just my imagining it, but I seriously drink a lot of milk. If I had an allergic problem, it would cause me some trouble. Also, I'd have permanent indegestion.

However, your post was generally dead on, but I do think you are a little overly concerned. For a simpler system, I just say 'cook your own food from raw materials and don't eat lots of snack' and it works pretty well.

[ Parent ]

Fluoride. . . (none / 1) (#119)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:50:17 PM EST

Just because it is in the water supply does not mean it is in everything you eat. First, many farms use untreated water (when I lived in Nebraska, it wasn't even in the public water supply and we had to swish flouride bi-weekly at school).
If it is in the water supply, (which guess I wasn't loud enough in qualifying my statement with), then it will get into the food. --You worked on a farm where it was not in the water, hence it was not in the food produced there. This is good! I wish all farms were run that way.
Also, even if it is, it will be completely altered after going into any living being. The plants and animals will have processed it into an effectively different form.
Fluoride, while some versions of it do react with certain elements of the body, has also been demonstrated to simply build up in fatty tissues.
I don't know, but suspect, that flouride will be altered by cooking with that water. Most chemicals alter after hitting 300-400 degrees. That said, I don't know if it alters for the better or the worse.
Fluoride is not a molecule which is changed by cooking temperatures. This is well known. The best you can hope for is to evaporate it. Indeed, distilling is the only easy and reliable way to remove Fluoride from water.
Also, I agree that there are side-effects to flouride in water, but they are relatively minor compared to its advantages and will only be an issue if you drink a significant amount of water.

That there are great advantages to the use of Fluoride in drinking water is a widely held belief which has been achieved through years of expensive PR work and government promotion. Unfortunately, there are several ugly truths which have been deliberately concealed, and several misconceptions which have been encouraged through the years. You might be fascinated to read more deeply into the subject!

As above with the drinking a lot of water point. It may not be good for you, but it is a poison which your body can deal with. This is only an issue if you have a weak liver already.
There are many low level toxins which the body can easily deal with, and chlorine is certainly one of them. The problem is that each one adds a strain on your body's energy and resources. When you lump twenty or thirty or more of them together, (and there are easily that many!), then the accumulative effect is that of exhaustion and ill health.

I listed a dozen food-related stressors, and as I have said, I find that after having dealt with all of them, I am in much better condition, both physically and mentally, than those around me who choose to ignore problems and live as they are told.

I do like your general summation, however, "cook your own food from raw materials and don't eat lots of snack." But it never hurts to have more knowledge under your belt. Once you learn something, it's yours and it can only help protect you in the long run!

-FL

[ Parent ]

more chemistry stuff (none / 1) (#125)
by Polverone on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:49:54 AM EST

Fluoride, while some versions of it do react with certain elements of the body, has also been demonstrated to simply build up in fatty tissues.

I would be interested in reading about this if you have a link. Ionic fluorides - like all the chemicals used in dental treatment and water fluoridation - are soluble in water, and shun hydrophobic compounds (like fats).

Organic fluorine compounds (organic as in "containing carbon-carbon molecular bonds," not as in "full of natural goodness") on the other hand could easily be concentrated in fats, since they tend to themselves be hydrophobic.

I don't know, but suspect, that flouride will be altered by cooking with that water. Most chemicals alter after hitting 300-400 degrees. That said, I don't know if it alters for the better or the worse.

Most chemicals do alter after being heated at 300-400 degrees (celsius), but inorganic fluorides certainly won't, teflon will give extremely toxic pyrolysis products, most other organic fluorine compounds will give fairly toxic pyrolysis products, and in any case your food would be incinerated.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Pizza? (none / 1) (#85)
by abracadada on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:42:44 AM EST

Who says that pizza has to have meat in it?  In fact, combining a small amount of animal substance (cheese) with an incomplete source of protein (dough) is a great way to get a complete protein.  And in good pizza, the focus will be on the dough, not a slew of toppings.

Corn can be bad for you too, if you don't know how to eat it.  When it was first brought over to Europe, a lot of people suffered nutritional deficiencies because they didn't cook it with ash as Native Americans (or was it Aztecs?) did.  It's good to eat corn with black beans, as each makes up for what the other lacks to form a complete protein that your body can actually use.  Lima beans contain cyanide, though in countries like the U.S. they've been bred to contain far less.
WMBC online freeform/independent radio.
[ Parent ]

fluoride (none / 3) (#112)
by Polverone on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 06:50:58 PM EST

(There is a big difference between naturally occurring fluoride in ground water and industrial fluoride in municipal water; one is bonded to carbon, the other is highly reactive.)

Hmmm? All compounds where carbon is bonded to fluorine are artificial. Both natural and added fluorides are ionic compounds. Things like Teflon and refrigerant gases have fluorine bonded to carbon.

As someone who avoids fluoridated water, what are your specific health concerns? I get an enormous tinfoil hat vibe whenever I search for anti-fluoride sites on the web. It seems that many want to heap guilt by association and implication on water fluoridation. "Nerve gases contain fluorine! Fluorine compounds contribute to global warming! Fluoridation compounds are industrial byproducts!"

None of this has any relevance at all to the central issue: what are the health effects of low-level exposure to fluoride? Many people seem to think that it makes teeth somewhat more resistant to decay. Others think that it may reduce lifespans, induce cancers, and promote mental sluggishness and servility. There are both tinfoil-hat sites and reasonable sites that have gathered evidence for the harm done by water fluoridation. As with many other health issues, the evidence isn't especially clear-cut.

Compare, for example, the difficulty of deciding what dietary fat is "good" and "bad" and what quantity of bad fat causes harm and what quantity of good fat offers benefits, and which kinds of fat fall into which camp. It is a bit easier with fluoride, though, since one can just avoid it and take good care of one's teeth to offset any loss of protection against decay.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Eat six inches of Toothpaste. . . (none / 1) (#117)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:58:53 PM EST

And call me in the morning. If you aren't dead.

Hmmm? All compounds where carbon is bonded to fluorine are artificial.

True. I was working from memory. It was Calcium Fluoride and Sodium Fluoride I was thinking of which occurs naturally.

Here's some data and links on the type of Fluoride added to drinking water:

From an FAQ regarding a public water utility in Salt Lake County. . .

What chemical is being added?

Hydrofluorsilicic Acid is being used for the fluoride adjustment. This method of fluoridation is commonly used in the water industry, 85% of fluoridating communities use hydrofluorsilicic acid. The acid must meet high standards to be approved for addition to the water supply, and the distributor must meet NSF, National Sanitation Foundation, standards.

Doesn't the acid contain metals?

While low levels of metals, lead, and arsenic are in the concentrated product, the small amount being added to the water makes the metal addition insignificant in the finished product.

Arsenic and lead? What's up with that? Where does the fluoride added to drinking water come from anyway? Here is a material data sheet (with editorial comments) from one supplier. --A Dutch fertilizer company, apparently.

And here is a long page with water treatment systems installation information which mentions in some detail the various chemicals used how they are applied.

And finally, here's a link which talks about the differences between the various forms of Fluoride, as well as some of the health problems associated with Fluoride, putting the whole issue into context.

I have not bothered adding anything about Dental Fluorosis, (a tooth and bone damaging disease resulting from Fluoride's effects as it builds up in the body), as that information is easily found on the web.

As for my concerns on the Tin-Foil Hat end of the scale, I have been informed by those who would certainly know (but must not be named!), that Fluoride build-up in the brain renders a subject more susceptable to mood and behavior manipulation through broad electromagnetic control measures. --Though, granted, I have not been able to verify this yet to my satisfaction through any of the hard science available to the public. But frankly, given how much we know about how the world works, I don't think it is foolish at all to consider such things in a serious light.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful!

-FL

[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 2) (#123)
by Polverone on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:30:22 AM EST

Soluble ionic fluorides are fairly potent acute poisons. I use sodium fluoride as a biological sample preservative. I am also well-aware of dental fluorosis. Still, acute poisoning and fluorosis do not seem to be effects of reasonable levels of fluoridation.

I don't know how significant the added metals are. If, say, 2 PPM of hydrofluosilicic acid are being added to the water, according to the MSDS you linked to, that will add 1.6 PPB of arsenic to the same water. The EPA has recently revised safe drinking water standards for arsenic down to 10 PPB from 50 PPB. I don't know how I would quantify the risk of 1.6 PPB of arsenic added to any naturally occurring material, other than to say it is small.

Fluoride-enhanced electromagnetic behavior manipulation is something that I currently file with homeopathy and past-life regression, so unless you have some really well-documented information to share I probably can't discuss that in a meaningful way.

On the other hand, I was able to measure a six-inch stripe of Crest. Mass: 10.1 grams. Active ingredient: sodium fluoride 0.243 percent. That's 24.5 milligrams of sodium fluoride in all, well below the level where I'd expect to see any acute effects in a grown human. Eating 200 mg at once would likely make me sick, and 4000 mg may kill.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Cool! (none / 1) (#127)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:41:47 AM EST

You actually measured the Fluoride content in 6 inches of Crest! That's so cool! Man, I wish we lived in the same town. You're the kind of guy I could converse with for hours!

Anyway. . .

Yeah, the general agreement was that the levels of poison metals included with Fluoride in water treatment was beneath that which would cause immediate problems. (Though, when you're drinking a litre or two every day. . . I believe some of that stuff builds up over time, regardless of what the EPA has to say on what we should consider safe. --Indeed, I found it rather weird that such things were being deliberately added to the water in a treatment facility at all. I mean, Sheesh!)

But anyway. . . None of that was really the point I was looking at. Rather, I was attempting to establish the specific type of Fluoride being used; and it seems to be silicofluoride, which as that one Dartmouth research team wrote, was dubious, particularly as it had been largely untested for safety.

Fluoride-enhanced electromagnetic behavior manipulation is something that I currently file with homeopathy and past-life regression, so unless you have some really well-documented information to share I probably can't discuss that in a meaningful way.

Fair enough. I can provide a lot of secondary information which requires a little dot-connecting, but my primary sources must remain vague, non-final and safely unconvincing for the simple reason that there are very bad people who have the power to harm anybody they choose without penalty. (I've met them.) Pain in the ass, to be certain, but that's the nature of the beast. I can only encourage you to seek answers on your own. You can certainly find them if you really want to. Most do not.

By extension, the orthodox structures for testing and discussing this kind of information are very deliberately unaccommodating. In the public arena, despite the fact that scientific methods, if used honestly, are entirely capable of studying such matters and finding positive results, the depressing trend is simply that orthodox science doesn't want to know or deal with certain realities. You may have run into this yourself, as it sounds as though you work in the sciences. You may indeed, be one of those who would feel more comfortable if certain ideas remained very much in the realm of speculative fiction.

It can be very disturbing to learn that one has been living a lie since birth. I've watched more than one person completely fall apart emotionally and then retreat into denial when certain realities were made plain to them. Most people start accessing a series of pre-programmed responses the instant these kinds of subjects are brought up, including fear, a certain queasiness and a desire to ridicule. Since most people think that all the things they feel are genuine and not the results of social programming, such discussions usually end before they even begin.

The first obstacle to learning how things really work is having the willingness and the willpower to overcome these barriers. --Which, sadly, does not mean that the person will be able to deal with what they find on the other side. Worlds really do shatter. It's even harder when people have built lives which include family and dependants, because often there is a one or two year period of total disillusionment which can tear a life apart. This is of course, ultimately, a healthier path as living in lies can be far more destructive.

Even discussing this now is presenting you with options you are going to have to react to in some manner.

Perhaps I'll stop now.

-FL

[ Parent ]

gimme an experiment! (none / 1) (#142)
by Polverone on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:41:22 PM EST

I actually work (study) at computational biological chemistry, but my true calling is in the field of chemistry, with an emphasis on Mad Science.

Much of orthodox scientific knowledge must be correct, because people use it all the time to solve practical problems and a solution that did not conform to reality would not work. I am very confident in much of orthodox science, and I don't have any sort of strong evidence against the other portions of it.

At some point, if orthodoxy does not tell the whole story, or tells a misleading story, it must fail to conform to reality.

What is the simplest experiment you know of that shows orthodoxy and reality are at odds? In other words, I don't want to spend days searching the Web and books listening to the claims of people who have been shunned by mainstream science. If mainstream science has overlooked something significant, I just want an experiment that illustrates that point. I can see myself building from experiment to experiment to belief in a system, but I can't swallow the whole system at once with just words as evidence.

I'm far from rich and I work in a home lab, so the simpler the experiment the better. I won't (harmfully) experiment on any living thing more complex than insects or get any especially rare/expensive reagents or apparatus. Major portions of chemistry, physics, and biology can be demonstrated to teenage students in 45 minute chunks of time. Give me a reproducible experimental toehold on the things you speak of, and I will see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Oh, and experiments that conflict with orthodoxy but do not clearly demonstrate the superiority of an alternative POV are interesting but less useful.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Arrrggg, (none / 0) (#171)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat May 29, 2004 at 10:09:13 AM EST

my ears are being deafened by the silence. Will nobody suggest an experiment? You guys are all at least an order of magnitude smarter than the slashbots, can noone here suggest a simple three step experiment to demonstrate how to control the minds of the floridated with say parts from a old microwave? How about a washing machine running linux, that ought to do it! no?

Maybey instead, we can get some solid data on the harmonic characteristics of a dropped pins?

I know of one way (hint; parts from an older television set, even black and white will work ok), but I wan't to see what everyone else comes up with before I give the game away by telling everybody how.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Milk (none / 3) (#113)
by egeland on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:20:00 PM EST

You mentioned milk, so I thought I'd post a link: Http://www.notmilk.com.
This is a site with a lot of information about just how bad cow's milk is for humans.
I've switched to soy or rice milk whenever possible.

--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]
Put your $ where your =O is (none / 1) (#114)
by phatkat on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:00:08 PM EST

First, I really liked this article. I want to see more of this, whatever this is. An essay I guess. It's playful and open ended. Everyone likes food and the internet has lots to say about it.

Second, I would love to read some proof to back up your claims. Why? Because you presume to tell your readers what they should eat--that's annoying and immediately makes me skeptical. But you provide no support...

"The best salt I came across was designed to mimic the mineral composition of mother's amniotic fluid, which is comprised of about 70 different salts, all of which the body needs in order to function at its peek."

"I need to stay healthy while keeping female growth hormones out of my body."

What makes you think ingesting 70 different salts from the womb is a good idea for you? I'm sure you were exposed to some ammount of female hormones in there, too. While you're at it, please post the evidence of your claim that Aspertame causes "migraine headaches, a screwed up brain and spotty vision." Seriously, a lot of this stuff is just conjecture.

[ Parent ]
questions and answers. . . (none / 1) (#120)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:55:53 PM EST

Second, I would love to read some proof to back up your claims. Why? Because you presume to tell your readers what they should eat--that's annoying and immediately makes me skeptical. But you provide no support...

I was deliberately writing in this way with the hope that people would go and look further into these subjects for themselves. Learning is much more powerful when it is earned. I can assure you that my own efforts were very fruitful and that I have benefited enormously from the knowledge I found. I wish you the same luck if you should also choose to search!

In regards to Aspartame, This information page has many excellent links to research efforts demonstrating a wide variety of negative health effects resulting from Aspartame consumption.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Retraction (none / 2) (#129)
by phatkat on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 07:27:29 AM EST

I see now there is a lot out there on Aspartame. Sorry I doubted you before looking it up myself.

I ended up eating a lot of Aspartame during the time of a childhood lupus like sickness. I got migraines then and they still recur, though I haven't eaten Aspartame since those sugar free years.

I genuinely hope Aspartame isn't the cause, because if it is, I have no reason to believe that I'm not consuming some other widely available commercial product that I will some day find out is hurting me.

[ Parent ]
I've got a better aspartame link for you (none / 2) (#156)
by harik on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 05:42:23 PM EST

Snopes wins. Besides, as soon as you saw him list flouride it should have been a dead giveaway that he wears a tin-foil hat to keep the orbital mind-control sattelites from tracking him.

[ Parent ]
Don't let it go too far.. (none / 0) (#169)
by Steeltoe on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 04:58:03 PM EST

To be conscious about the food, is all good and well. But to add everything to a NO-list, will soon make you realize Everything is hazardous or may have unwanted side-effects.

Food is important, you actually ARE the food you eat. Just don't let it go too far, you'll stop enjoying life (and food). Remember the body has fantastic capability to adjust. You don't have to control it by forcing down vitamins, minerals and what not. You'll only stand in the way of your body to get the job done properly.

Myself, I'm doing yoga, meditation and I follow a lax Ayurvedic vegetarian diet. If you're into right knowledge about food and body balance, you should really check out the ancient Ayrvedic knowledge (Ayurveda means litteraly "knowledge about life").

For example, one very little known fact is that milk is indeed good for you. It's just that in the West we don't boil it (briefly), we consume large quantities of cool milk. Then it is much harder for the stomach to process, than if you warm it up. Warm milk is recommended by Ayurveda.

I also eat as little processed foods as possible. Ayurveda tells that the more processed and filled with additives the food is, the more it will upset your natural balance.

Ecologically grown food is best. Do you remember when a banana tasted like a real banana? I do, and found that ecologically grown bananas tastes just like I remembered. Sadly, not many stores carry ecologically grown food in Norway yet, but it's getting there slowly.

Anyways, food is important, just slowly adjust your lifestyle to what suits your body and your self best, and vary alot. Then it will go automatically, so there's no reason to make it an obsession and you can enjoy life with more energy and happiness. By doing yoga, breathing exercises and meditation, you'll get more life-energy in your body too, if you'd like that.

Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]

Watch for what isn't listed in the ingredients!!! (none / 3) (#78)
by zentara on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:14:53 AM EST

I went thru the same thing as you years ago. I went and lived on organic farms, ate locally etc. I came to the conclusion that you should eat as if you were living on an old farmstead. It changes with the season, alot of fresh stuff in the summer, alot of potatoes, corn and squash in the winter. If you are a meat eater, you eat more meat in the winter, because after the winter cool down, there are no flies and meat stores better. Grind your own grain and make your own bread.

That said, modern food is a great convenience and all chemicals are not neccessarily harmful, although alot are. Another problem, is that some people's genetics pre-dispose them to different diets than others. This is a problem, because everyone likes to lump everyone into big catagories, and say "this is good or bad for everyone".

I believed that nitrate story for a long time, but happened to be listening to a doctor talk about heart disease. He said nitrates are excellent because they open the blood vessels and stimulate circulation. He said nitrates were plentiful in greens, but also that the nitrites in preserved products were converted into nitrates by some reaction on the tongue.

So what category are you in? Do you worry more about your heart or your colon? Everyone's different.

A similar "bad-chemical" which may be good are the preservatives in breakfast cereal. Those same preservatives are used by some as anti-oxidants, so it may be good to get some in you.

I always remember that great ad, where, without telling you the food-product, they list the chemicals in it. It looked awful, then you turn the page, and it's an orange.

It's not what is listed on the ingredients that will get you, it's what isn't listed

I was just watching a consumer show on Canadian TV, and it was about "acrylomides"(?sp). Anyways, all of our favorite foods which gets hit with high heat, in processing, can produce carcinogens in it. It includes cereal, chips, etc. They are not putting that chemical on the label!!!!!

The same is true of imported produce. Do they list(or even test) for DDT on produce from Mexico?

Another big scandal, is the "rocket fuel" in California lettuce. I've read the reports, and it seems that some "rocket fuel manufacturer" up in Nevada, dumped it's waste, and now it's trickling into the Colorado River, and is in all the irrigation water in the SouthWest. Apparently the federal government is covering it up. Think about that the next time you eat a "healthy salad".

acrylamides in food (none / 1) (#91)
by seraphina on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:22:13 AM EST

Zentara mentions acrylamides, the subject of a recent food scare, and complains that these substances are not mentioned on the lable. These acrylamides are a by product of the cooking (mainly frying) processes which are used by the consumer, so they don't get included on the ingredients lists. As a reseach chemist, I find it easier than most to sort through the rubbish that food scares promote these days - the problem is the average Joe hasn't a clue about the science behind what he eats

[ Parent ]
Read "On Food and Cooking" (none / 2) (#88)
by abracadada on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:01:01 AM EST

Subtitle: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee.  It's a great in-depth book about food science, and has an entire chapter devoted to nutrition (as well as noting many nutritionally relevant facts along the way; get those tomatoes out of that fridge!)

Food additives and preservatives are mentioned, and the book brings up the point that they are not as new as people think, and probably not nearly as bad for us as people think.  Nitrates, IIRC, are the "active ingredient" in saltpeter, which was used to preserve food for years before we figured out how to extract just the nitrates.  So we are in fact using less chemicals to preserve food.

For the most part, I make my food from the base ingredients.  I buy bread from the store because I don't have that kind of time, though I always make my own pizza dough (it's sooo worth it), and sometimes make pasta.  You avoid a lot of crap right there (though of course, you have to think about the effects of fertilizer, possible genetic manipulation, etc.).  If you don't like cooking, you might like it more if you understand the science behind it.  You might also consider whether your tools are holding you back (Alton Brown's "Gear For Your Kitchen" is a good book for this).

I drink mostly water and real fruit juice.  Always make sure that the label specifies 100% fruit juice, because otherwise you're getting mostly hummingbird food with some fruit thrown in.  Juicy Juice is good, as is Ocean Spray's 100% line.  I also drink Guayaki brand yerba mate, which is organically grown in the rainforest.  Very tasty (I recommend the Greener Green Tea and Mate Chocolate variants).

As far as animal protein goes, I'm fortunate enough to live near a harbor, so fresh fish are easy to come by.  A co-worker turned me on to a service which will sell you 6 months of flash-frozen organic meats at a time, though I haven't actually started that yet.

One last thing.  If you're a vegetarian (I was, and a lot of my friends are/were), you should realize that most cheeses use rennet, the lining of a calf's stomach, in the cheese making process.  Cabot (of Vermont) is a notable exception, or you can look for various Kosher symbols (as Kosher restrictions forbid mixing meat and dairy).  Kosher symbols are also a good way to avoid hooves in your ice cream.  They aren't a catch-all for vegetarians, though, because fish are considered "pareve" (neither meat nor dairy), so use your judgement and consider whether fish might be involved.
WMBC online freeform/independent radio.

Making Pasta (none / 0) (#100)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:24:31 PM EST

How hard is that? I already make my own bread the lazy way (bread machine) and I would like to try making my own pasta.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Easy. (none / 0) (#106)
by abracadada on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:50:59 PM EST

At least, if you have a decent pasta machine.*  Pasta recipes are ridiculously simple (eggs, flour, salt), and the machine generally comes with all the recipes and instructions you need to get started.  Plus with pasta, you don't have all of the fiddling with yeast, rising, temperature, blah blah blah.  If you're really cool, you don't even need a mixing bowl.

You do need a longish stretch of workspace to which the machine can be clamped.  Alton Brown uses an ironing board; I use the top of my IKEA-issue food shelf.

The only caveat, I guess, is that it may take a bit longer than you think, at least the first few times.  But you probably know that a night where you have to rush off is not the night to try a new recipe/process :)

*If you are a total ninja, you can slice noodles by hand, but the machine is well worth it IMHO.  I did see some Asian noodles being made the other day which were stretched rather than cut, which doesn't require a machine.  I want to try this next.
WMBC online freeform/independent radio.
[ Parent ]

More annoying questions (none / 0) (#107)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:19:00 PM EST

What kind of flour?

Can you recommend a machine? Double extra bonus points if it can make other kinds of pasta like fusilli or ziti.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

More answers. (none / 0) (#136)
by abracadada on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:19:38 PM EST

High-protein flour.  Italians apparently have something called "double-zero" flour.  I use bread flour marked as intended for bread machines, as it apparently tends to have the highest protein content.  For exhaustive details about flour, see the bread section in "Cookwise" by Shirley Corriher (one of the major food science people I know of, along with Alton Brown, Harold McGee, and Robert Wolk).  You might also read the transcript of the pasta show at goodeatsfanpage.com.

My pasta machine is made by Imperia, IIRC.  Most of them look similar: shiny metal, detachable handle, adjustable width rollers, and a variety of attachments for cutting pasta into various types.  Again, see the Good Eats transcript for tips on picking out a machine and making filled pasta.  I've never felt the need for a motorized cranking attachment.

I don't think you use this type of machine for making spiral pasta, shells, macaroni, etc.  I generally buy those (pasta made in Italy is best, as they have very strict pasta-making regulations, for obvious reasons.)
WMBC online freeform/independent radio.
[ Parent ]

out of curiosity, (1.66 / 6) (#96)
by trener on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:54:24 PM EST

how the hell did this get to the front page? did anyone actually read the article? it's a fucking grade 6 science report.

Attaboy (none / 0) (#110)
by orconabora on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:45:37 PM EST

Yes Indeed, looks right out of ladies home journal!
Think no more, laugh, be jolly Why should men make haste to die? - AEH, A Shropshire Lad, XLIX
[ Parent ]
I agree. (none / 0) (#121)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:11:32 AM EST

However, this does not mean that sixth-grade science projects are necessarily irrelevant.

[ Parent ]
How about drink (none / 1) (#105)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:38:25 PM EST

It seems that I have gotten quite a bit healthier by only drinking the water, the rare orange juice or milk, and the alcoholic beverages...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

on the benefits of being "natural" (none / 3) (#115)
by polyglot on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:36:07 PM EST

http://skepdic.com/natural.html


--
"There is no God and Dirac is his prophet"
     -- Wolfgang Pauli
‮־

Yo (none / 0) (#122)
by SPYvSPY on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:08:30 AM EST

You know that Head and Shoulder's stuff? I bet you it doesn't cure dandruff, cause if it did, how would they sell any more of it? Riiiight?
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

It works actually. (none / 0) (#134)
by Hellkitten on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 02:11:38 PM EST

It does work actually (at least for me) but if I use another shampoo for a significant time the dandruff comes back. So in essence it doesn't cure anything, but it takes away the symptom.

Now can anyone whip up a conspiracy theory where one of the ingredients of H&S makes my scalp "addicted" to the stuff, so that i get dandruff back when I stop?



[ Parent ]
A Head & Shoulders story. (none / 2) (#140)
by notpleased on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 07:23:14 PM EST

My friend used to use Head & Shoulders every day.

One day, he decided to do away with his hair and shaved it off. Guess what he found on his scalp...

A thin "skin" sort of like when you pour white glue on your hand and let it dry. So, yes, Head & Shoulders works. It actually glues the dandruff to your head.


Arduinothor The Vile
- Have you considered buying a pair of clippers?

[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#143)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:54:02 PM EST

Did he shave his head and not notice the same thing when he was not using Head & Shoulders?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

chrome dome (none / 0) (#148)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 11:49:40 PM EST

Why would anyone use Head & Shoulders when they have a shaved head?

I had pretty bad dandruff when I was younger. I've been shaving my head for ten years and narry a flake.


Arduinothor The Vile
- Oi! Oi! Oi!

[ Parent ]
I mean: (none / 0) (#149)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:02:09 AM EST

The anecdote you tell is a story about a man who had hair, used Head & Shoulders, and then shaved his head. He found stuff on his head.

Did he ever have hair, use regular shampoo, and then shave his head? What did he find?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#157)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 10:09:13 PM EST

He didn't do that.

Continue using Head and Shoulders. My bad.

[ Parent ]
chrome dome (none / 1) (#146)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 11:47:09 PM EST

Why would anyone use Head & Shoulders when they have a shaved head?

I had pretty bad dandruff when I was younger. I've been shaving my head for ten years and narry a flake.


Arduinothor The Vile
- Oi! Oi! Oi!

woops. (none / 0) (#147)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 11:48:21 PM EST

That was supposed to be a reply to the message previous.

[ Parent ]
Even so (none / 0) (#152)
by brain in a jar on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 05:44:04 AM EST

Priot to the advent of synthetic MSG there it was very unlikely that someone ends up eating a ton of it all in one meal.

Personally MSG has no obvious effects, but I have a friend who gets weird sensations in his face if he eats a meal with a lot of it, and its association with headaches is quite well documented.

It isn't an important factor for everyone, but there are certainly some people who find it problematic, and it is usually associated with crappy processed food lacking in other flavour.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

But MSG is tasty... (none / 0) (#166)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 05:00:47 AM EST

I just hate it when the takeaways happily proclaim that their food is MSG-free. One of the big attraction of takeaway food is the yummy MSG in them.

[ Parent ]
RE: MSG is NOT tasty! (none / 0) (#168)
by wombat68 on Thu Mar 18, 2004 at 09:40:23 PM EST

I know you were being 'funny', but MSG has very little taste of it's own. It works by stripping the dead cells off your tongue, thus exposing more taste buds to the 'taste' of the food. The real question that gets missed about MSG is NOT "Why are we adding MSG to food" it's "Why does food have no taste?".

[ Parent ]
Annatto (none / 0) (#158)
by romulus on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 02:31:43 PM EST

My GF recently determined that the reason she tends to have an upset stomach the next day after eating microwave popcorn before bed isn't because she's eating too late, but because she's allergic to a yellow coloring that is common to fake butters and many orange cheeses: something called annatto, from the seeds of certain South American plants. Every butter-flavored microwave popcorn we could find has annatto in it, as does nearly all orange-colored cheddar cheeses.
--
Terorrists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.
In the Yucatan, it's called achiote. (none / 0) (#162)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 03:00:10 AM EST

And it's everywhere and quite good. Mexicans there use it on barbecue chicken like we would use "BBQ sauce".

It's quite tasty actually, and it's natural (achiote is, at least). It's the seed of a plant.


Arduinothor The Vile
- I miss that place.

[ Parent ]
What does Daily Value mean? (none / 0) (#159)
by splitpeasoup on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:53:04 PM EST

1 serving of raisins has only 6% DV iron. Assume you have 0 to 1 servings of raisins or dates a day, and you get about the same amount of iron through other sources. That adds up to about 12% DV. Let's be generous and say 20% DV. That's still only one-fifth of the amount of iron I need.

Why am I not dying of iron deficiency?

And, oh my fucking god, what about people who don't eat raisins?

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Healthy beliefs? (none / 0) (#161)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 08:40:10 PM EST

Extremes 2 and 3 cannot be seperated. Health crosses into beliefs. Witness most fad diets - they are borne of the belief that they are healthy. What is truly healthy is remarkably difficult to ascertain without foresight, unless one is remarkably in tune with one's body.
An identity card is better that no identity at all
o2 Burn (none / 0) (#164)
by jago25 on Sun Feb 22, 2004 at 12:28:02 PM EST

Another way to view it is this:

All food is fuel, and that's the #1 thing that kills you; Oxygen burning damaging DNA.

 Hence, near starvation diet leads to a longer life. Fun.

Food Karma (none / 0) (#167)
by zx4u on Tue Mar 02, 2004 at 03:35:59 AM EST

I have been a vegetarian all my life. This is due religious beliefs and all the members of my family and community are vegetarians. We are based in various parts of India. We don't eat any animal products. We are a large community; hence we are able to make sure that in the market place goods are available specially for us. Even in restaurants you can find vegetarian pizza and Mc Donald's also serves vegetarians burgers due to our large community. However, we can never be 100% sure about that the food we eat is always vegetarian. Last year, the government of India, made a legislation, whereby, all products that use animal parts would be labeled with a brown sticker and vegetarian products with a green sticker. The legislation ensures that vegetarians and the public at large have information on the ingredients of the products and don't have to go on the internet and search about the products. The RIGHT to choose... Due to this legislation, 1.) we can all we want, 2.)be sure that the food is healthy and 3.) religious beliefs are considered while we eat...

Peanut Butter Fan (none / 0) (#174)
by Marvaud on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 02:45:39 AM EST

I admit I am quite addicted to Kraft Peanut Butter, the smooth kind. Although, I know it is more of a confection than a sustenance type food. I figure it is a comfort food for me. Don't believe in getting all paranoid about what is in my food. I'd rather be happy with my stomach than a starving food intellectual chewing on a lentil or a stick of celery.

Know What You Eat | 173 comments (159 topical, 14 editorial, 3 hidden)
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