Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Artificial Trans-Fats no longer Recognized as Safe

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Vintage Crisco Can

By Catherine Haug, June 18, 2018 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

This is GREAT news! The FDA finalized its determination in 2015, and it became official today, June 18, 2018. Why the delay? They allowed time for food producers to adjust their recipes. Up until now, they were allowed in foods as long as total trans fats were less than 5% per serving, but they had to include the grams of trans fats on the label.

This movement to ban artificial trans fats started in 2006 in New York City and spread to other cities/counties: Philadelphia, PA; Seattle/King County, WA; Montgomery County, MD; and also the state of California (1). It continued to spread to other communities and is now effective in all 50 states as a result of the FDA decision.

This is a major change that affects products like Bisquick, cake and frosting mixes, pancakes & waffles, most margarines, most fried and deep-fried foods, Crisco and other vegetable shortening, non-dairy creamers, most ice creams, doughnuts, crackers, cookies, frozen dinners, and more.

Why this big change? Read on for more (more…)

Proposed Food-labeling Term for GMO/GE Foods: Bio-Engineered

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, May 19, 2018 (image, right, from Organic Consumers Association and used by permission)

This is an important alert for all who want to avoid GMO foods. Please share this with others, and write to your legislators about proposed use of this new term on genetically modified foods.

Because GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and GE (Genetically Engineered) are now commonly known as foods to avoid, the USDA has proposed a different term  for a new labeling law (2018) to replace GMO or GE: Bio-Engineered (BE). This newer term, while fairly common in scientific circles, has not been used much in common parlance. It also does not sound as scary as the more familiar terms. Hence if people see this on a food label, they will be less likely to refuse it.

But have no doubt about it: BE foods are just as harmful for your health and that of your pets and livestock, as GMO or GE foods.

Read on for more about the negative impact of these terms. See also: “Food Evolution”: New GMO technology even worse than Roundup-resistance and How much glyphosate is in your body? (more…)

Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

Charlie & Cloe

By Catherine Haug, Feb 4, 2018 (photo of my cats, right, by me)

This was originally published on my recipe blog, Cat’s Kitchen.

It is generally known that heavy metals are toxic; metals such as mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead, arsenic and free-iron. There is a common ingredient present in most pet foods that can be very damaging to the health of your dog or cat, even though it is present in very minute amounts: sodium selenite (NaSeO3). It may be toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, skin, central nervous system of your pet.

Selenium is an essential mineral for most animals, but only when it is present in “organic” forms (meaning it is chelated by proteins or amino acids), such as that in selenium yeast (a form of nutritional yeast that has been grown on selenium). In “inorganic” forms which are typically salts (e.g., sodium selenite), it can be quite toxic, even in very small quantities. Also, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, it is a truth: the smaller the concentration of toxic selenium, the greater the harm because small concentrations mimic hormones, especially estrogen.

NOTE: If you take (or give to your pet) a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, or specific mineral supplement that contains sodium selenite, stop using it and find a safer brand. For example, a widely used supplement that contains this toxic ingredient is Centrum.

See also: Miscellaneous & Information Menu (scroll down to “Pets”) on my Cat’s Kitchen blog. (more…)

Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

By Catherine Haug, Jan 30, 2018

It is generally known that heavy metals are toxic; metals such as mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead, arsenic and free-iron. There is a common ingredient present in most dry pet foods and some canned pet foods that can be very damaging to the health of your dog or cat, even though it is present in very minute amounts: sodium selenite (NaSeO3). It may be toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, skin, central nervous system of your pet.

Selenium is an essential mineral for most animals, but only when it is present in certain forms, such as that in selenium yeast (a form of nutritional yeast that has been grown on selenium). In other forms (e.g., sodium selenite), it can be quite toxic. Also, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, it is a truth: the smaller the concentration of toxic selenium, the greater the harm because small concentrations mimic hormones, especially estrogen.

NOTE: If you take (or give such a supplement to your pet): a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, or specific mineral supplement that contains sodium selenite, stop using it and find a safer brand. (more…)

Moringa: green-leafy veggie (tree) grows well during drought

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Edible leaves of a Moringa tree

By Cat, Dec 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves of this amazing tree are considered a superfood; plus the tree grows well in a warm, dry climate. Given the progression of climate change in our corner of the world here in NW Montana, this could become an important food source for us as our climate becomes more arid. Plus, its deep roots make it an amazing carbon-sequestor.

Its leaves have the texture of spinach with a radish-like taste, and are packed with nutrients. Use its leaves in salads and soups; add to smoothies or raw veggie juices. Its young seed pods are also edible, similar to green beans.

Important caution: We must be careful when introducing new, non-native species, as they can become problematic, invasive weeds.

Want to know more about this tree, and what makes it a superfood? Read on for more detail. (more…)

GMO ‘Arctic Apple” now in grocery stores

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Frankenfood

by Catherine Haug, Nov 22, 2017 (Image, right, from OCA and used with permission)

HEADS-UP! I wrote about the pending introduction of the GMO Arctic Apple last year, and now it is in about 400 grocery stores in the Midwest, and will soon spread through the country. This apple is genetically engineered to resist browning when cut/sliced. Initially, this Arctic Apple will be sold cut – in 10-oz bags, but in the future could be sold whole. They will not be labeled as “GMO;” instead, you will need to use a cell phone to read the QR code.

This new variety, developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, are engineered to suppress the production of the enzyme polyphony oxides (PPO), that causes the browning of the apple’s flesh when exposed to air. 

While the assumption is that a browned apple is a bad apple, that assumption is not true.

(more…)