Twinkies vs Carrots with Michael Pollan

Chew on this and let me know your thoughts.
I haven't purchased twinkies in years but have always secretly wondered what a fried twinkie would taste like.

Cereal Bar Comparison

The news that the Food and Drug Administration, in response to CSPI’s 2008 petition will convene an advisory committee meeting to discuss the link between food dyes and children’s behavior is welcome and overdue. Yellow 5, Red 40, and other commonly used food dyes have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior. But for years, FDA—which actually commissioned one of the first controlled studies—dismissed the mounting evidence against the dyes.  Fast forward ahead to 2011 and the FDA finally held their hearing.  In a close vote of 4 to 3, warning labels were shot down but there is agreement that more research needs to be done.

I love visuals.  This is one of the first visuals I saw when I started to research artificial colors like Red 40 and how they can effect you. 
You see two packages for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars. One is made here for us. The other is made in the UK for Europeans. Both use food coloring.  In the UK, the coloring is achieved using beet root. But in the US, the coloring is Red No. 40, a dye that has been associated with hyperactivity, and some types of cancer.
Why not use the beet root? The answer is that Kellogg’s probably saves half a penny on each bar using an artificial dye rather than using a natural one.
So why does Kellogg’s use the beets in Europe? Because in Europe the regulator has required WARNING LABELS on products with Red 40. Just like cigarettes. Kellogg’s did the bottom line calculation and decided the loss in sales would cause much more damage than the savings on the food dye.

C'mon US.  Why are we so behind on this issue?

Here is the U.S. ingredient list:
Filling (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Strawberry Puree Concentrate, Glycerin, Sugar, Water, Sodium Alginate, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Methylcellulose, Caramel Color, Malic Acid, Red No. 40), Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Whole Wheat Flour, Sunflower and/or Soybean Oil with TBHQ for Freshness, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Contains Two Percent or Less of Honey, Dextrose, Calcium Carbonate, Soluble Corn Fiber, Nonfat Dry Milk, Wheat Bran, Salt, Cellulose, Potassium Bicarbonate (Leavening), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono- and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Gluten, Niacinamide, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Carrageenan, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Guar Gum, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid.

Red 40 in Designer Waters and Other Dangers

I find this article extremely important and very alarming. It's rather long but very informative.

By now you have probably seen the ads for MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Kraft Foods' new gimmick aimed at young consumers seeking "cool" new ways to stand out among their peers. Leave it to the food and beverage industry to find a way to turn your perfectly healthful water into a mixture of toxic chemicals. This latest craze has you squeezing brightly colored flavor drops into your water from a cute little purse-sized bottle, and watching the mesmerizing nebula of color diffuse slowly into the clear water.

Very clever… a science experiment you can drink.

The market has been flooded with "functional waters," fortified (supposedly) with everything from vitamins and minerals to electrolytes, oxygen, fiber, and even protein. Supermarket beverage aisles can entice you along a virtual sea of beverage choices—energy drinks, vitamin waters, fitness waters, and sports/electrolyte concoctions in every imaginable color and flavor.

You can even buy a bottle of water infused with positive affirmations, said to "raise the consciousness of humanity" (Aquamantra). Or how about this one—bottled water fortified for your dog, called FortiFido?

But if you take a closer look at the labels, you'll discover they're spiking your punch with a lot of unsavory ingredients, many capable of wreaking havoc on your metabolism, hormones, and other physiological processes—and some of which are outright carcinogenic.

If you aren't already a label reader, it's time you became one, lest you fall prey to these clever marketing ploys.

Flashy labels, pretty colors, and seductive scents are not always harmless to your health—but they are incredibly alluring, especially to kids. Your child will be drawn in like an Emu to dangly earrings. So what's in this cute little bottle of liquid "water enhancer" with the equally cute name?

Mama MIO! More Like Factory Runoff than a Beverage
Here is the ingredient list for the Mango Peach variety of MiO:

Water, Malic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, "natural flavor," Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Potassium citrate, Polysorbate 60, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Potassium Sorbate (preservative).

Basically, this is a scary mixture of TWO artificial sweeteners, THREE dyes, one preservative, and propylene glycol (PG)—a solvent that can potentially result in cell mutations and skin, liver, and kidney damage, if ingested in high enough amounts. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates propylene glycol as a moderate hazard.

Artificial sweeteners are bad news for your health (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumors, and a long list of other serious health problems) and are unnecessary food additives—because there are SAFE natural sweetener alternatives.

All artificial sweeteners are risky, and MiO contains TWO of them!

Let's look at the rap sheets for some of MiO's flavor "enhancements":

•Sucralose (an artificial sweetener otherwise known as Splenda) is associated with respiratory difficulties, migraines, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, heart palpitations, and weight gain, and the list of reported problems is growing by the day.
•Acesulfame potassium (or Acesulfame-K) is another artificial sweetener that has been linked to kidney tumors.
•Food dyes have been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer—and MiO has THREE of them.
•Polysorbate 60 is an emulsifying agent that, like PG, is rated as a moderate health concern by EWG and can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane, two carcinogenic industrial pollutants.
Now, why go to the trouble of purifying your water, only to dump right back into it what you have just filtered out—a bunch of toxic chemicals?

This makes NO sense at all.

But MiO is just one example of a much larger problem. Enhanced waters have become an enormously lucrative business as people have begun to abandon soda pop for what they believe are better alternatives. Beverage battles (and now, water wars) have left manufacturers clamoring to come up with products that outdo all the rest. Are these beverages really better for you than soda? Not by a long shot.

Dysfunctional Beverages… Think Before You Drink
I don't want you to think I've singled out MiO as the big villain—it's just the most recent new recruit.

USA Today February 22, 2011

Guardian March 31, 2011

Fooducate April 11, 2011

Men’s Journal October 23, 2009

Jaime Olivers Vanilla Ice Cream Demonstration on David Letterman

oh gosh! Please know what you are eating. Please read the labels. You ARE what you eat! Check this out!  This was on Jaime Olivers Food Revolution reality show last night.  It's one of the best visual demonstrations I have seen on fake food!  My family has been on diet therapy following the Feingold program for just over 2 years now.  We started the program when we noticed behavioural problems in our child.  Then our eyes opened and we realized the foods we were eating were causing my kids many problems including being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, self esteem issues, speech problems, migraines, IBS, cognitive thinking, impulsiveness, rage and more!

Did you know the secretion from the North American Beaver anal glands is used in many foods as an additive for flavor! 

This vid is from Jaime Olivers interview with David Letterman.  As soon as the vid from last nights show becomes available I will add that.