Yet Another Gotcha: Canned Food

My Bigger Half and I are so clever! Yes, it’s true, we are. We learned about the problems with using plastic for drinking water from, storing food in, and using in our toys and shopping bags, and quite, or at least greatly reduced, our use of plastic. I sat on my smug laurels, and my backside, gloating over how good we were, missing one area we’d missed. You have probably missed the same thing because it’s not visible to you either.

Canned foods. (Oh no! My emergency food supplies are mostly canned.) Well, if they are canned how are we missing the plastic link? Because most cans used in food storage have a plastic lining. And not just any plastic lining, but with BPA and phthalates!

BPA and phthalate are the worst of the plastics — well, probably not the worst, but awfully darned bad — to have in contact with your food. If you were eating fresh, whole foods this wouldn’t be of the least concern to you. But some of the foods we cherish are canned. And, if you are stocking food in your larder for emergency situations, you will rely on canned foods too, unless you are more dedicated than even I am and make all of your own preserved food items, thus controlling what they are stored in.

Surely, you must be thinking, that little bit of plastic — if it’s even there — can’t be all that bad. Or can it? I even ask myself that question, and challenge My Bigger Half to consider the issue. Then I began my research in earnest.

A Bit About Plastic

BPA and phthalates are found in canned foods and sodas And it’s also found in food microwaved in plastic. You’ll find it in lots of types of plastics, but I’m focusing on canned foods in this article so will live only the warning of all of the plastics in your life. DEHP, a phthalate, is added to plastic to make it more flexible.

BPA and phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals and impact the hormone system. BPA mimics estrogen, and can effect the developing brain, reproductive system, and mammary and prostate glands. Some phthalates have been found to interfere with reproductive development, especially in men. Using products that are free of those two families of chemicals goes a long way toward cleaning up your body, but going further will help more. Cut as much plastic out of your life as possible because all plastics contain estrogenic activity (EA) and harmful chemicals that leach into your food and body.

One study found that by eating only whole, natural foods — no processed foods — BPA and DEHP levels dropped by 50 and 60 percent within two days. The levels didn’t drop lower because of the amount of plastics in our lives that we come into contact with regularly. The implication is that people can reduce their exposures by eating foods not purchased or stored in plastic or cans, and by choosing restaurants that serve only whole natural foods.

Another study found almost all commercially available plastic products leached chemicals having detectable EA. It didn’t matter what product, type of resin, or retail source was tested, even those claiming to be BPA-free, they all released chemicals mimicking estrogen. This is important to know because the “non-BPA” claims probably don’t mean you are avoiding EA chemicals, only BPA.

Many of the estrogen-mimicking plastics have been banned around the world from children’s toys, bottles, and sippy cups. But laws haven’t been passed protecting adults from the same chemicals. Bureaucratic and political delays keep proposed legislation on hold, even with the EPA campaigning about the hazards of the problems. If our laws aren’t protecting us from the obvious plastic hazards you know we aren’t being protected from the hidden hazards, like those found lining cans.

Don’t wait for the laws to pass, start ridding your life of plastic now. The hardest one to get rid of though, if your pantry is like mine and filled with a wide variety of canned foods, is the plastic lining cans. Man, this isn’t going to be easy. Where are we going to find sliced olives for My Bigger Half’s fabulous stacked enchiladas?

Back To Canned Foods

Tomatoes, being highly acidic, are one of the canned products that have relied on BPA-containing linings to keep the integrity of the can. Any canned food containing tomato (pasta, canned ravioli, tomato sauce and paste, and stewed tomatoes, for starters) should be high on your avoid list. Sadly, even organic tomatoes have BPA-plastic lining.

There are some canned goods coming out with BPA-free linings, but the question becomes what are cans lined with? Could it be one of the plastics mentioned above that are just as bad at leaching estrogen-mimicking chemicals? My cynical side says, “Probably”.

And just to add insult to injury, The Environmental Working Group reports evidence that “low doses of BPA spur the formation and growth of fat cells, the two factors” are driving obesity. Especially abdominal fat. Who needs help with that?!

It’s up to each of us to clean up our own lives, and of the lives of the people we care for. Start by avoiding plastic packaging, which is really hard. It’s become increasingly difficult to find prepared foods in glass containers, though even then the plastic lining many glass jar lids have contain these EA chemicals. And canned alternatives of course don’t help.

Where does that leave you? I guess it depends on how seriously you want to take this health threat. Avoiding plastic is an easy, flip answer, but not a realistic alternative, unless you are going to do all of your own canning or eat only fresh foods. And rid your home of all plastics. You can avoid drinking hot liquids from plastic cups, given the heat speeds the leaching of EA chemicals from the plastic. You can reduce plastic wrapped foods. You can eliminate most canned foods, maybe. Or, you can contact your Legislators and urge them to get on the stick about passing the bills requiring the most harmful chemicals be banned from our lives.

An off-topic concern, but one to get your mind reeling, is the question about other products in your life. What about your toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, lotions, makeup, deodorant, lip balm, for starters), sandwich bags, dairy containers, and other items you may buy regularly? And your non-organic foods and even your water supply may be suspect. There’s only so much you can do without talking to your Legislators and Representatives.

Don’t stop your research into the topic or your solutions with this article. It’s my goal to raise the issues I face, share my research, and voice my decisions and intended actions. I hope you’ll share your thoughts and actions so we can have a valuable dialogue and learn from each other.



Source by Kit Cassingham

Common Methods of Processing and Preserving Food

Food processing is a way or technique implemented to convert raw food stuff into well-cooked and well preserved eatables for both the humans and the animals. All these methods are used by food processing industry to give out processed or preserved foods for our daily consumption. Best quality harvested, slaughtered and butchered and clean constituents are used by food processing industry to manufacture very nutritious and easy to cook food products. Following are some techniques and methods used to convert food into processed or preserved food.

Preservation process: this includes heating or boiling to destroy micro-organisms, oxidation, toxic inhibition, dehydration or drying, osmotic inhibition, freezing, a sort of cold pasteurization which destroys pathogens and various combinations of all these methods.

Drying: this is probably the most ancient method used by humans to preserve or process their food. Drying reduces the water content in the product and lack of water delays the bacterial growth very much. Drying is the most common technique to preserve or process cereal grains like wheat, maize, oats, rice, barley, grams and rye etc.

Smoking: many foods such as meat, fish and others are processed, preserved and flavored by the use of smoke mostly in big smoke houses. This process is very simple as the combination of smoke to preserved food without actually cooking it and the aroma of hydro-carbons generated from the smoke processes the food and makes it even tastier to eat.

Freezing: probably, it is the most common technique used in modern world to preserve or process the food both on commercial and domestic basis. This freezing is conducted in big cold storages which can stockpile huge amount of food stuffs which can be further used in some natural emergencies. A very big range of products can be frozen to preserve and process which includes some which do not need freezing when are in their natural condition. For example potato chips and potato wafers requires freezing whereas a potato does not.

Vacuum packs: in this method, food is packed in airtight bags and bottles in a vacuum area. This method is used in processing the food as the air-tight environment doesn’t provide oxygen needed by germs especially bacteria to survive. This then, prevents food from getting rotted. This method is very commonly used for preserving processed nuts.

Salting: the method of salting is used in food processing as it sucks out the moisture from the food. This is done through the process of osmosis. Meat is the best example of the food processed by salting as nitrates are used very frequently to treat meat.

Sugaring: the method of using sugar to preserve or process food is very frequent where it comes to preserve fruits. In this method fruits such as apples, peaches and plums are cooked with sugar until they are crystallized and then it is stored dry. Now days, sugar is also used in combination of alcohol to make some branded alcohol and spirits.

Pickling: in this method of preserving or processing food, food is cooked in chemicals and materials which destroy micro-organisms. This is very strictly kept in mind that these chemicals or materials are fit to eat for humans. Normally, these include brine, vinegar, ethanol, vegetable oil and many other types of oils. Pickling is very commonly seen in vegetables such as cabbage and peppers. Corned beef and eggs are the non vegetarian eatables that are pickled.

These are some very common methods of preserving or processing food. These all will work only when processing and preserving is done under very strict rules and regulation set by the governments.



Source by Dagur Jonsson

Food Safety Bacterial Growth Requirements

As food safety bacteria are very similar to us they need similar conditions in order to grow. The main conditions are food, moisture, warmth and time.

Food and Moisture.

There are four main food types:

· high risk foods

· raw foods

· low risk foods

· ready to eat raw foods.

High risk foods are common in food poisoning outbreaks. They are usually composed of protein, are ready to eat, stored under refrigeration and no further processing such as cooking is required. Examples include pates, sandwiches, filled rolls, fresh cream and artificial cream cakes, pies and cold cooked meats.

Raw foods are a major source of food poisoning organisms. High risk foods must be kept away from raw foods at all times or cross contamination will result, compromising food safety and food poisoning will occur.

Low risk foods do not pose a food safety hazard mainly because they lack one or more of the requirements for bacterial growth. They could be acid foods with a pH of less than 4.5, they may have a high sugar, salt or fat content which are good natural preservatives. They may be dried products or preserved foods not requiring refrigeration. They may be foods that require ambient storage.

The last category of food is ready to eat raw foods. These include fruit and salad vegetables and they must be thoroughly washed before consumption to minimise the risk from low-dose pathogens.

High risk food contains sufficient moisture for bacterial growth.

Warmth.

The next thing to consider is warmth. If we control warmth then bacterial growth will not occur.

The maximum recommended temperature for freezers is -18°C. At this temperature there is no bacterial growth, bacteria remain dormant. Although some bacteria are killed during the freezing process, many remain alive.

Fridge temperatures should be between 1 and 4°C. Although the maximum legal fridge temperature in the UK is 8°C. At fridge temperatures some bacteria will grow very slowly including Listeria and C botulinum.

The next range of temperatures is the temperature danger zone. This is between 5 and 63°C. Once food is being prepared it must be kept out of the temperature danger zone. If food is left in the temperature danger zone bacterial growth will occur, affecting food safety and food poisoning will result. As bacteria enter the temperature danger zone at 5°C they start to grow slowly. As the temperature increases the bacteria will grow more profusely. Bacteria grow best at 37°C, which is body temperature. As temperatures increase from 37°C bacterial growth slows down. Most bacteria are killed by 52°C. The UK recognised safety cooking temperature is 75°C, although foods can be cooked at a low temperature over a longer period of time.

The hot holding temperature is 63°C, which is the top of the temperature danger zone. If food is to be served hot, for example in a carvery situation it must be retained above 63°C. If the food is above this temperature, there is no time limit to how long the food can be served for and there is no food safety hazard.

If cold food is refrigerated, it must be retained at 1 and 4°C. The time limit would depend on the food product. The food could not be retained without time limit as eventually there would be mould growth (mould can grow at very low temperatures).

The two hour hot rule allows foods that had been prepared and are meant to be served hot, to be served at ambient temperature for no more than two hours. For example if food is being retained at 63° C and suddenly the heating equipment breaks down then that food which is losing temperature can be sold for a further two hours. After two hours the food is allowed to be chilled and reused at a later occasion after refrigeration.

The four hour cold rule allows foods that are normally sold at refrigeration temperature to be served at ambient temperature for no more than four hours. For example if sandwiches are prepared and refrigerated, and the refrigerator breaks down, the temperature will rise. The sandwiches must be sold within four hours. After four hours any remaining sandwiches must be disposed of.

In order to check temperatures of freezers, fridges, cooking temperatures and delivery of foods, a temperature probe must be used. It must be a thermocouple temperature probe which is able to be calibrated. You can calibrate with boiling water, when the probe should indicate a temperature of 100°C. The bottom range of temperatures can be checked with mixture of ice and water. The probe should indicate a temperature of 0°C. Probes must be cleaned and disinfected between use. This can be achieved by using alcohol wet wipes or simply boiling water. The temperature probe must be inserted into the thickest part of the food which is known as the core temperature.

For further information and details of food hygiene training courses go to: Food Safety Training.



Source by Dave Summers

Food Management Consulting

WHAT IS FOOD MANAGEMENT?

Food Management is a general term for a number of career paths in food preparation and food service management. It encompasses restaurant operation and institutional food services management. Now a days, youngsters are putting their interest in making them educated in a newer and vast field like Food Management Consulting. There are various Universities which have introduced different educational curriculum which are useful for the upcoming students to get themselves educated in the field of Food Management Consulting.

What is a Food Manager?

A food manager usually works for a restaurant, catering business, food service commissary or institutional food service. The food manager is responsible for setting up and following systems to ensure food quality from a taste, nutrition and food safety viewpoint. He may be responsible for any aspect of the food delivery including budgeting and cost controls, menu planning and food preparation.

FOOD MANAGEMENT CONSULTING

Food management consulting means consulting the professionals who have vast experience in food management processes. These professionals charge some fees for providing their valuable tips using which one can manage the food system accurately and appropriately. These professional are highly qualified and possess good experience in their field. They provide their advices to the people so that they can better manage the food system in their organizations.

Now a days various companies have started providing their services on Food Management Consulting. These companies provide their clients different kinds of services like

1. Consumer understandings: In this studies have been taken to provide the education by which one can understand the different attributes about his consumers so that the product should be developed keeping in mind the potential consumers.

2. Customer category: The customers are of different types and can be categorised on the basis of Income level, Class wise like Business class and Working professionals. These studies help them formulate the products keeping in mind the category of consumers to be served.

3. New product development: In this the various techniques to be used in developing new products are provided so that how one can develop new products should be tought.

4. Supply chain management and its Improvement: The supply chaim management is the process of making availability of the product to the consumers where they live. The timely available of the product and consumers place will result in making good profits for the company.

Food Processing Business Improvement Services

The business organization which is working in the field of food service may require a proper Food Management Consulting at various levels so as to improve its working, by adopting such recommendations they put their business on the new highs as compare to their competitors.

There is a solution technique called ICS (integreted consulting solutions) business improvement services for food processing companies include productivity improvement, productivity audits, process mapping, improvement and redesign, and waste reduction. A system has been developed keeping in view the improved working of the company which is into the business of food processing and food service.

Food Safety Training Programmes

ICS (integreted consulting solutions) has formulated a training module adopting which one can outperform in the field of food processing and food service industry. This food safety training programmes include:

Internal Quality Auditor: It is the internal process of checking the quality of the food at all the processes right from the beginning to the end of the process. It helps in identification of the deviation in the quality of food at any level so that the needful step to taken at right time and the quality product to be processed.

Quality Assurance Awareness: In this category the information about the quality standards has been provided so that one could made well aware of the standards of quality of the product so that at all levels the manager should make himself assure of the quality of the product to be prodeuced. This could only be done if he had been provided the training in such an aspect.

Food Safety Requirements: A safe food production is the main objective of the fppd processing unit. An education must have been delivered in this category which esures that the food manager has provided all the information about the safety requirements that he has to check so as to produce a safe food for its clients.

Food Management Consultancy for the Diabetic Pateints:-

Diabetes is the result of the inability of the body’s cells to absorb the glucose, or sugar, so it stays in the blood making the blood stickier and harder to flow. The domino effect is that the body is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Because of these factors someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes may reason that they should eat less often. A diabetics patient should make it a practice to eat at regular intervals and not allow more than 5 waking hours to pass without eating.

1. The importance of eating regularly: For the Diabetic patient it becomes more important to eat regularly as it helps the blood to flow smoothly but if a diabetic will not eat for hours the the presence of glucose makes blood thicker and harder to flow which results in high blood sugar level. So it becomes highly important for such patients to eat on a regular intervals instead of not eating for long hours.

2. The importance of eating a well balanced meal: The key to healthy eating is balanced diet, means the diet consists of right amount of carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables to keep your blood sugar at a steady level is important. For healthy living vegetables are added in every meal as they are rich source of carbohydrates, low in fat and higher in fiber. Fruits may also be added but upto an extant as some fruits contains higher natural sugar which is not good for diabetic patients. Fats are also needed in the meal and the good fat providers are like fish and coconut oil which can be added in the foods.

How often should one eat to meet out eating disorder management?

How often one should eat is an individual matter, but here are some guidelines.

1. The times of the day when you usually feel hungry and have time to eat and try to arrange your meals then if possible. This system helps the person to keep himself out of Eating Disorder.

2. In many occupations, mealtimes are set at a fixed time and you are forced to have your meals at that time. Most people are satisfied with two or three main meals and a few snacks. One has to cope up with the system.

3. Many people with eating disorders go without food during the day and guzzle down food later in the evening. This increases the risk of compulsive eating, but the risk can be avoided by not going without food for more than four hours. Eat some fruit if meals are delayed.

4. Eating a proper lunch and dinner every day reduces the risk of eating any kind of food without caring about its nutritional value.

5. A problem for school children is that they sometimes are compelled to have lunch too early in the day, and as a result they eat almost nothing because most of them are not hungry. Later, when they are hungry, there is no food for them, so they satisfy their hunger by eating sweets and buns. It would be better if school lunch were scheduled at a later time.

6. Some people enjoy a big breakfast and others cannot stand to eat in the morning. One scientific study showed that children do better in school if they eat a proper breakfast, but a later study showed that this only applies to undernourished children.



Source by Geoff Lenox

What is Food Intolerance?

 Food  intolerance is discussed quite often these days – so what exactly does it mean? Well, sometimes our bodies cannot tolerate the  foods  we eat. This is known as  food  intolerance. When people consume  foods  that they’re sensitive to, such as dairy products for lactose intolerant individuals, their bodies have a negative physical reaction. The effects show up every time the  food  is consumed, although not always right away. If large quantities of the  food  are ingested, symptoms can be severe.

 Food  intolerance is sometimes mistaken for  food  allergy.  Food  allergies cause a person’s immune system to sit up and take notice, while  food  intolerances don’t involve the immune system. Neither are they linked to contaminated or spoiled  foods ; those cause  food  poisoning, not intolerance.  Food  intolerance describes the adverse physical reaction to the ingestion of certain  foods ; it is something that affects the digestive system.

The Causes of  Food  Intolerance

As mentioned earlier,  food  intolerance is caused by the inability to digest certain types of  food , usually due to insufficient amounts of the chemicals or enzymes needed to digest a particular  food .

Lactose intolerance is very common. People who suffer from this condition don’t have enough of the enzyme called ‘lactase’. Therefore, their bodies can’t break down the lactose, or milk sugar, in dairy products.

Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include intestinal distress, gas, bloating, and bowel irregularities.

Other people can’t process alcohol because they don’t have enough of the enzyme ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’. They can become ill if they consume even a single alcoholic beverage. The additives, flavor enhancers, and preservatives in processed  foods  are another common source of  food  intolerance. MSGs, caffeine, benzoates, and aspartame cause pain and fatigue in sensitive individuals.

Who Suffers from  Food  Intolerance?

Anyone can!  Food  intolerance is not limited to any particular group of people, however there are some factors that play a role in the likelihood that a person is affected by intolerance.  Food  intolerance can be hereditary; therefore if your parents have  food  intolerances, chances are good that you’ll have some too. Ethnicity plays a role, too. Only 10% of northern and western Europeans suffer from lactose intolerance whereas persons of Asian, African, Greek, and Native American descent are much more susceptible. Lactose intolerance affects 70-90% of the latter populations.

Newborns tend to produce more lactase, so they can digest lactose more easily than adults and older children. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can appear in children as young as two, but many people develop it later in life. Gastroenteritis sometimes causes a dip in lactase levels, bringing on a temporary intolerance to dairy products. Children face a high risk of lactose intolerance following gastroenteritis. And half of all Asians are affected by alcohol intolerance!

What are the Symptoms of  Food  Intolerance?

The symptoms of  food  intolerance center around the digestive system. Sufferers may experience stomach pain, bloating, nausea, loose stools, or the opposite (constipation.) These symptoms are seldom life-threatening, but they can make a person miserable on a daily basis. They can manifest anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the  food  is consumed, making it difficult to identify exactly what the problem  food  is.

Alcohol intolerance causes redness of the face, nausea, irregular heartbeat, headaches, and dizziness. Symptoms can also feel similar to allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose or itchy throat.

 Food  intolerance symptoms can become quite severe if a large quantity of the  food  has been consumed. People with a slight enzyme deficiency typically don’t experience symptoms as acutely as people with a larger deficit.

How is a Diagnosis Made?

Trial and error is the simplest way to test for  food  intolerance. This is done by removing one  food  from the diet for a while and monitoring symptoms for improvement. If symptoms decrease, the  food  is then reintroduced. A return of symptoms will reveal whether or not that  food  was the culprit. This method works best for those who have intolerance to one or two  foods .

For those people (like me!) who have intolerance to several  foods , the elimination method could take months…years…and an answer still might not be found. There are home tests on the market, that can identify your problem  foods  for you. Check out www.foodintolerancenews.com to see one. Specific tests are used to diagnose lactose intolerance. For example, your physician might recommend a test to measure the amount of hydrogen in your breath; a stool acidity test; or a blood glucose test to determine how well the patient digests milk sugar.

How is  Food  Intolerance Treated?

 Food  intolerance is usually controlled by removing the troublesome  food (s) from the person’s diet. For instance, lactose intolerant individuals can replace regular milk with soy milk.

If the intolerance is mild to moderate, the affected person can try eating only very limited amounts of the  food  in question. Mild lactose intolerance can be managed through the use of lactase enzyme supplements.

If  foods  are removed from one’s diet, they should be replaced with nutritious alternatives. It’s crucial to avoid malnutrition, especially in growing children. If you have questions about suitable  food  replacements, speak with your nutrition specialist.



Source by Kimberly A Buchanan

Raw Food VS Processed Food

One of the main reasons why most people are getting ill with 21 century diseases like: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity is eating processed foods as their foremost form of nutrition. Over eighty percent of the foodstuff Americans buy every year are mechanically processed foods, and food marketers do a wonderful job at making it seem that mass produced processed and junk food are the apparent choice.

The problem is that processed foods, are nutrient dead and are devoid of any real nutrition. The reason that they taste so good is the result of a combination of a chemical cocktail of artificial flavours and additives, without which this artificial processed food would have the look and flavour of cardboard. But what the food industry forgets to inform you is that there is a terrible price to pay for consuming this pitiful diet. For the sake of convenience we are trading the most valuable assets that we have, our health.

This food ingredient alone is enough to completely wreck your health, and it is only one of the dangerous ingredients in processed foods. One of the terrible side effects of eating a mainly processed food regime is that it means we’re also consuming foods that are choc full of high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup is the greatest source of calories in ones diet. This chemical food cocktail is enough to completely destroy your health, and sadly it is only one of many dangerous ingredients in chemically processed foods.

Are You Addicted to a poisonous Diet?

Processed foods are mainly chemically altered so they appeal to your taste buds, they can also trick your body’s regulatory signals that would normally tell you it’s had enough to eat – snacks like potatoes chips (you know the kind that make you want to eat the whole bag- check the packaging)! These chemical cocktails are crammed full of large amounts of sugar, salt, corn syrup and MSG, these radically increase the chances of you becoming addicted to them.

In one study of laboratory rats that were fed a diet that contained 25 percent sugar, they became fretful when the sugar was taken away – displaying symptoms akin to people going through drug withdrawals, such as: the shakes and shivering. The researchers who conducted the study found a causal link between opioids, (the brains pleasure chemicals) and a feverish craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods. It is thought that these high-fat foods excite the opioids, as when the researchers stimulated the rats’ brains with an artificial version of the natural opioid enkephalin, and the lab rats ate nearly six times their usual intake of fat.

It was also noticed that long lasting changes occurred in the rats’ brain chemistry – which are similar to those caused by heroin or morphine use. According to researchers, this is understood to mean that even casual exposure to pleasurable foods is sufficient to alter gene expression, which would suggest an addiction to the food.

Processed Foods Can Ruin Your Taste Buds

In the meantime, refined sugar, which is in nearly all processed food – because it is cheap and improves the taste of the food, has been demonstrated to be more addictive than cocaine! Your body’s sweet receptors (two protein receptors that are located on your tongue), are not adapted to cope with high-sugar consumption. Therefore, this abnormally high stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets generates extreme reward signals in your brain, which have the possibility to override the normal self-control mechanism, and thus can lead to an insidious addiction. This is why, if you regularly have a diet of processed foods, some whole foods seem to be lacking in flavour. This is because you have become conditioned to think that these chemically changed foods are the norm, when in fact – it is quite the opposite.

The unfortunate truth is that when you have a mainly processed food diet – it leads to a flood of harmful changes to your body’s metabolism. One of these negative effects is elevated insulin levels, and ultimately an insulin resistance. Elevated insulin levels are the foundation of nearly every major disease known to man, such as: cancer cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Most people think that if they can’t have their junk food, they are being deprived. In actuality, the sooner you change your eating regime, the quicker you’ll enjoy increased vitality, weight stability, improved mood and enhanced health. If you decide to try the raw food diet – I suggest you do it gradually – beginning with one meal a day. A target of 70% raw food is comfortably achievable.

If You Give Up Processed Foods, Should You Eat Raw Food?

It’s a really wise decision to have as much raw food in your diet as possible. There are a number of sound reasons for this. For starters, cooking food, especially at high temperatures, destroys those naturally occurring enzymes. Enzymes are proteins. They are the catalysts that help speed up and make possible reactions in your body. In point of fact, some biochemical reactions will never occur without these enzymes (we each have about 1,300 of them). So if all nearly all of your food is cooked, your body is going to be deficient in the enzymes it needs to function efficiently. Ideally you’ll want to eat as many foods as possible in an unprocessed state – organic grown fruits and vegetables that have been grown locally and in season.

It is wise to seek medical advice before trying the raw food diet. It is not recommended that you give up meat altogether,eating meat three times a week is sufficient to obtain most of the nutrients and trace minerals that you require for a healthy diet.



Source by Alex Mc Ginty

Methods of Food Preservation

Preservation of food can done in many ways other than using a refrigerator and here we will look at some of these options. First let’s ask ourselves a question. Why do need to preserve food? Well simply put food is essentially biological and was at one point alive and just like us when we die we start to degrade or rot. Some foodstuffs are seasonal so if we did not preserve them the majority of food would be wasted as most of it would become ripe to eat at the same time resulting in too much food at this point and none at others. Preservation processes must be non damaging to the food and non toxic to us so this narrows down the options.

Drying works on the principle that bacteria needs water to grow so by removing the water the growth of bacteria which rots the food is slowed or even stopped. This is a long established method of preservation involving drying out the food using the sun, wind or possibly smoking. An added benefit of drying is that it hardens the surface or skin of the food which stops dirt and other bacteria from contaminating the food. Dried or smoked fish has been a popular preserved food for hundreds of years and still regarded by many today as tastier than fresh fish. Meat is another product that can be dried although in many cases it is salted first, all red meats are able to be preserved in this manner. Fruits are also dried but undergo changes in texture and taste during this process some examples are drying a plum produces a prune and drying a grape produces a raisin. Vegetables are rarely dried as it takes all the flavor and vitamins out of them.

Pickling is a method of preserving food by creating a chemical reaction which is safe to us but which bacteria are unable to survive in. There are various ways in which this can be done with the most common ones being the use of vinegar or brine. Brine is produced when fermentation of salted water produces an acid solution. As this is more a chemical system the method tends to change between different foods as foods with more moisture can produce brine much easier than dryer foods. Food can last for many months using this process which doesn’t require a heat source like the sun or fire unlike the drying method of preservation.

Sugaring is a method used to preserve fruit where the fruit is placed into a sugar based syrup this is popular with apples, pears, apricots and many other fruits. Sometimes the fruit is cooked in this syrup and then dried and stored and in some instances the fruit skins are used as dried fruit skins are popular as a delicacy in some countries.

Freezing is the method that most of us use as most people have home freezers that are cheap to run. An advantage of frozen food is that many products can now be bought ready frozen to go straight into your freezer. Even foods that are unsuitable for freezing can be cooked and then frozen and many are prepared so that that defrosting before cooking is also not required.



Source by James S Thompson

Different Ways Of Properly Storing Food

People who buy their food in bulk to save money are usually storing food in smaller quantities until they use it at a later date. Since going grocery shopping is getting even more expensive, it’s really a great savings to buy food in bulk then repackage it in smaller containers to store it for later.

A lot of people save left-overs after a large meal, for example lots of turkey and trimmings left over after the holidays, also to save money and not waste any food that wasn’t eaten.

But before doing this, you need to know where you’re going to store your food and how to do it safely so you avoid any possibility of food contamination.

If you practice safe food storage, your food should keep for several months, which saves you a lot of money on your food bill and keeps food safe for your family. For example, particular foods can be stored at room temperature while others must be refrigerated or frozen.

For safely and properly storing food, either after a buying in bulk or after a holiday meal, stick to these food storage guidelines:

1. Food Storage Shelf

If you’re storing food on shelves, the food storage shelf should be in a cool dry area. Many foods should also be kept out of direct light. Temperatures should be kept at 70 deg. F or below. All foods need to be stored in an airtight container. Foods can be stored in their original packaging provided that packaging hasn’t been opened. Otherwise it’s best to use a clear, clean container with an airtight cover.

2. Refrigerated Food Storage

Some people have an extra refrigerator just for the purpose of refrigerated food storage. This is handy because you can store left-overs for a couple of days without the stored foods getting in the way of everyday items like milk and eggs.

Refrigerator temperatures should be set between 33 deg. F and 40 deg. F for highest food safety. It’s easy to keep a check on the temperature by keeping a thermometer inside the refrigerator. For refrigerated food storage, wrap the food in foil, plastic wrap, plastic bags or seal in airtight containers.

3. Storing Food in a Freezer

Freezer temperatures should be kept at 0 deg. F or below and like with a refrigerator, it’s a good idea to keep a thermometer inside of the freezer so you can regularly check that the temperature is at the correct setting. You should freeze meals or foods in containers that are made for freezer storage only. Wrapping the food properly ahead of freezing is the best way to secure against freezer burn.

It’s also best to label the outside of the food packages with the current date and use the approximate time tables below to know how long you can keep the food in stored in the freezer:

  • Raw meats: 6 to 12 months
  • Fresh poultry: 6 to 12 months
  • Fish and shellfish: If purchased already frozen, 6 to 12 months
  • Wild Game: If purchased fresh or brought home fresh after hunting, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Note: If you own a deep freezer, you can can freeze freshly butchered venison for up to a year without losing its flavor.
  • Cooked meats and Leftovers: 2 to 3 months
  • Smoked meats: 1 to 2 months

Types of Containers for Storing Food

Food vacuum sealers will keep foods fresher longer in the refrigerator, the freezer, and on a shelf in the pantry. LEM vacuum sealers are perfect and affordable for the home butcher to seal fresh meats after hunting. Food vacuum sealers are designed to remove all air from the packaging prior to sealing the bags.

If you’re going to wrap meats in foil or freezer paper, you can use a hand wrapper to wrap the food in plastic wrap first, giving it some extra protection against freezer burn or possible contaminants from other foods in a refrigerator.



Source by James Musselman

Fast Food and Fat Food

There are two sides of the same coin. You may have heard arguments on both sides regarding healthy foods and fast foods. You may have asked yourself one time or another, are all fast food fat foods? Can you binge on fast food without worrying about your health? How can you eat fast food and still stay healthy?

The United States is the leading country when it comes to obesity. The country is top three in the world in terms of existing fast food chains. When you put two and two together, you get to the conclusion that the popularity of fast food restaurants is affecting the health of the consumers.

McDonalds’, one of the famous fast food chains in the world, faced a lawsuit in 2003 when parents of a teenage girl claimed that the fast food restaurant is responsible for their daughter’s health problems. Although the case was dismissed, it started the battle of fast food restaurants against health experts.

Obesity is not something to laugh about. It can lead to all sorts of complications such as diabetes mellitus type 2, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and, of course, cardiovascular diseases. Aside from that, being on the heavy side can make a person the butt of jokes which ultimately results to social outcasts and suicidal attempts. Sedentary lifestyle and overeating are the main reasons why there are people who are considered obese.

You should be familiar with the daily calorie intake. Your calorie intake highly depends on your weight and lifestyle. On average, health specialists stated that the daily calorie intake for women is 1200 calories while it is 1800 for men. Generally, one fast food meal has around 1000 calories.

Most of the food offered by fast food restaurants are deep-fried or heated up in the microwave. These processes of food preparation take minimum time unlike home cooked meals. As a result, most fast food products have high calories and are practically swimming in trans-fat.

If you take all of these into consideration, then yes, fast food is fat food. Health experts have grounds why they are against eating fast food products. On the other hand, it does not mean that you have to forego fast food altogether to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fast food restaurants were a hit because they serve food in minimum time, in good taste, and in lesser price. So how are you going to make the two ends meet?

When health issues were raised, fast food restaurants come up with possible solutions to make their menu appealing to health buffs. They added salads, fresh fruit, and white meat to widen the selection of their consumers. Also, nutritional facts are made available so that people would have an idea how many calories are in their orders. These restaurants are doing their part but why is it that they are still being blamed?

It all boils down to you as a consumer. If you want to live a long life, you should know when to stop eating fast food. Moderation is the key. You cannot have burgers and fries all the time. If you can’t stay away from fast food, check out the other side of the menu. Instead of a Big Mac, why don’t you order a regular burger? If a regular burger is not good enough for you, just avoid add-ons like cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise sauce. Other add-ons can be tasty without the fat like onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard. Skip additional toppings in your pizza. Even though a slice of chocolate cake makes your mouth water, better order a low-fat yogurt or ice cream for dessert. Lastly, forget about the upsize promo. It will save you from calories and save a few pennies too.

Balanced diet is pretty elementary. As long as you know how to balance your intake, you’re good to go. The next time you crave for some fast food, indulge yourself. Just make it a point not to have the urge every day of the week.



Source by Vida Joy Carlos

Food, Spurious Food

The other day, my mother, who compulsively shops for anything you can think of, bought me a bag of sunflower seeds, as I went through a phase of eating them about a decade ago.

First of all, this was a completely redundant gesture, as they were just the seeds, and everyone knows that sunflowers seeds taste of absolutely nothing at all, and the only pleasure to be derived from them is cracking the zebra-coloured shell to extract them.

No good deed is without merit, however, and in eating them I did manage an idea, which, as those who know me will tell you, is a laborious and taxing process at best.

According to the packaging (which, perhaps naively, I find no reason to doubt) these sunflower seeds were bought in a branch of Boots and are part of a “meal deal.”

Now who, exactly, aside from perhaps squirrels and other small fluffy mammals, would ever consider sunflower seeds a “meal” ? Granted, perhaps Boots receive a lot of custom from numerous pigeons and small tits, but this still doesn’t explain how I ended up with them as my mother doesn’t even HAVE small tits.

Sorry, I seem to have digressed and in doing so swerved perilously close to the territory of the “fat momma” joke, which I’ll avoid.

Meanwhile, back on the subject at hand, why is Boots (are Boots? is Boots? I hate shops with no apostrophes) selling food in the first place?! If a butcher had a deal on moisturiser and sun-tan lotion, I think I personally would give it a miss, but somehow a shop that’s know for medicines and cosmetics has started offering meals and none of us has batted an eyelid.

Food in general, now that I mention it, has been getting stranger, lately. McDonalds, in a frankly ludicrous attempt to improve it’s image, has started offering salads as a direct result of Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me.”

Something about this bothers me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Kudos to Mr. Spurlock for shaking an empire to it’s core, it’s impressive by any standards and far more than the more high-profile Michael Moore has managed to do. (Although one does suspect Moore eats all his meals at McDonalds and just forgot to film it…)

McDonalds, though, is about grease. It’s about grease, and junk, and things that will, probably, give you a McCoronary sometime before you make it back to your car A coronary which, by all accounts, you can make bigger and more life threatening for a bargain 30p.

McDonalds isn’t SUPPOSED to offer good food. Everyone knows that McDonalds is bland and bad for you, in the same way we know that alcohol is bad for us and we’ll all regret it in the morning. Several months ago I thought I’d have a go at a McDonalds chocolate donut, and it was f*cking horrible. I remember remarking to those around me in my witty, Wilde-esque style, “This is f*cking ‘orrible.”

Doesn’t matter. I still have one whenever I go in, now, and they’re still terrible.

My point is this: NOBODY goes to McDonalds for a salad. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who did. I think I’ll add that to my list of character indicators. Never listen to anyone who doesn’t like “Columbo”, and never trust anyone who goes to McDonalds for a salad.

Salads go against the whole POINT of McDonalds, and I personally think that they should have more balls than to run for cover when their “secret” gets out. Tobacco companies have known for years that cigarettes kill you, as have the public, but they don’t suddenly branch out and start a new line of Malboro Lollipops as a healthy alternative.

Another thing that’s worried my lately, food-wise, is the reappearance of Pepperami. For those too young to remember, or those living in another country, Pepperami is best described as a stick of peppered meat in a wrapper.

I’ve always been bothered by them, principally because nobody has yet proved to my satisfaction that it isn’t just the spiced penis of some unknown animal that the snack-hungry public has sent rocketing towards extinction, but over the years I sort of forgot about them. Now, all signs (TV adverts, posters, the Beast running loose in the streets of Bethlehem) point to it coming back. We should be on our guard.

Now, some people may level the fair and accurate criticism at me that everything I write has no real structure; that I’m prone to going off on tangents and that I always end abruptly and inconclusively. This is true.

To these people, however, I say that if you can find another article on the web that goes from Sunflower seeds to animal penis by way of a chocolate donut, then good luck to you!



Source by Luke Haines