Archive | 2008

Contaminated Baby Milk in China

17 Sep

About 10,000 or more children in China have been affected by contaminated milk powder  including approximately 1300 who have actually gotten sic and 3 died so far, stated a Chinese Ministry of Health official.

At the cente of the scandal is  Sanlu group partly owned by New Zealand’s   Fonterra Cooperative, the largest dairy producer. 

The New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said her government contacted Beijing directly, after alerting the company and officials but to no avail. The Chinese officials were very slow to act. Mothers attested that they suspected something was wrong with the milk since March this year. 


A mother with her baby - who fell ill after consuming contaminated milk - in hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Saturday
In this case we frankly have sabotage of a product. Our hearts go out to the parents and the infants who were affected
Andrew Ferrier
Fonterra chief executive

The government is investigating how the contamination occurred. Official media is reporting that melamine, an industrial chemical rich in nitrogen, was added to the milk powder to help the food appear rich in protein, but it also prompted babies to develop kidney stones.

Reports are now emerging of some mothers expressing doubts about the milk as early as March this year, on seeing that their babies’ urine was discoloured after drinking the milk.

It said the contamination probably happened at the milk-collecting stations.

Meanwhile, state news agency Xinhua reported that two brothers had been arrested, having allegedly added melamine to the 3 tonnes of milk they sold to farmers every day. Melamine was linked to the deaths and illness of thousands of cats and dogs in the United States last year after it was added to pet food components exported from China.

 The moral of this story is as parents or people we should be aware of our bodies and when something new is happening.  We are our best physicians sometimes, we know how we feel.  If something don’t feel right stop using it. Trust your intuition.


Superfoods – Foods that are good for you but mix ‘n’ match

11 Sep

  The term superfoods have been coined to identify foods that are packed with life-giving qualities that are exceptionally nutritious and good for us and the added bonus is that they help to prevent diseases.  These foods include spinach, spirulina and salmon.

Recently avocado has joined the ranks of superfoods in spite of its high fat content. Nutritionists argue that the fat in avocado is the “good” fat that is its monosaturated and does not clog arteries.  Avocado is also high is things like potassium, vit. E and K.

  Any like always, entrepreneurs like to seize of ideas and terms in order to sell foods which they label “superfoods” indiscriminately so you always have to be aware, read labels and know what you are eating.  The less pre-cooked, pre-packaged foods you eat (which are packed with sodium – even those in the so-called “health food stores”) is the best for you. You can then control the amount of sodium and all the other additives that are found in perfectly good food by themselves.

Steven G. Pratt, M.D., author of several books on nutrition, claims that the lowly cinnamon is a superfood as well as chocolate but there must be 70 per cent or more cacao to be considered in this category.  So why not buy plain cacao and make your own hot chocolate using a little sugar, milk and the cocoa powder and blend it in your blender and there you have a delicious, nutritious drink.

   Susan Kraus, dietitian at Hackensack University, NJ stated “eating only these particular foods would be partially beneficial,” says Kraus. “However, we need many nutrients daily to maintain optimal health.”


Rather than concentrating only on superfoods, she says to consider these three qualities when devising a meal and snack plan: variety, colour and processing.

There you have it.

Beware of sweet smelling air

9 Sep

As we become so averse to natural human scents and smells largely triggered by advertisements that tell us that these scents are bad and unnatural and we should do our best to cover them up, which they invent for us at a nice little profit for themselves. These products such as  air fresheners are not only polluting the environment, they are polluting our bodies as well and may even be causing some of the cancers we are seeing more of these days.  Many of these air fresheners have toxic compounds that are harmful to health.  Whether they cause cancer or not, why are we so gullible as humans to suck up air from cans the content of which we do not have a clue.

Environmentalists are now saying that the undisclosed compounds should now be disclosed so that we know what we are inhaling.

  Here is a sampling of some of the products that environmentalists are concerned with that have no disclosure: For crying out loud people, stop the drain on our environment, use soap and water, open windows, air out places naturally and let’s keep some of the good life for our forbears.

“We rely on product information (such as labels) and product regulations to reduce potential risks,” says Anne Steinemann of University of Washington in her article says, published online in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review in July.

Sweating may help prevent asthma

9 Sep

The ability to sweat may do more than keep the body cool – it may mean a lower chance of exercise-related asthma, say scientists.

University of Michigan researchers say those who make less sweat, tears and saliva when exercising may have more breathing problems.

It is possible there is also too little fluid in their airways, they suggest.

However, asthma experts say it is too early to say whether the research will lead to practical patient benefits.

   It’s too early for definitive result but our hardworking scientists are always on the look out for connections that may help us lead better lives.

Hats off to all our hardworking scientists.

Orthorexia the new food obsession that kills

6 Sep

In my blog I have always stressed that whatever we do, whatever we are into, let it be with moderation.  Moderation is the key to life. Anytime we upset the balance it wreaks havoc in our lives.

Last night while listening to 20/20 show I learnt about this new obsession with food called Orthorexia  this is  the pursuit of purity of food, people who are disgusted by apples, grapes etc. if they are not of the organic variety. They go to such extremes that they may take hours in the supermarket reading every lable or hours to prepare food because it has to be done in a certain way. Many of these addicts are into raw foods and develop an aversion to anything they consider toxic. One woman said she does not go out to eat because they do not trust the ingredients “if it’s not organic, probably what goes into the soil is going go into the food, and then it goes into you.”

 The term orthorexia was coined by  Dr. Steve Bratman, author of the book “Health Food Junkies” to describe obsessive compulsive disorder focused on health food.

  Bratman wrote that while researching for the book he heard a lot of heart wrenching stories from families  with loved ones wasting away in pursitof purity. Ironically, the diet that is supposed to save them eventually kill them or leave them unhealthy, tired and lack of energy.  One woman said she realized that something was wrong when she found herself neglecting her children while she kept track of formulas, nutient ratios, numbers etc.



What you should know about Metabolic Syndrome

2 Sep

Have you ever heard of metabolic syndrome?  It is something that affects about 47 million American adults and therefore that could include you. Metabolic syndrome involves a series of medical conditions that could lead to diabetes and coronary artery disease.  According to recent research if you have three or more of the following attributes you meet the the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome:

            a large waist size (greater than 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women)

            blood pressure that is 130/85 mm Hg or higher

            HDL cholesterol that is less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in      women

            triglyceride level that is 150 mg/dL or higher

            fasting blood glucose level of 110 mg/dL or higher.

Metabolic syndrome often develops when the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. As a result, blood sugar cannot enter cells and builds up in the bloodstream, causing other problems. It is not clear why this happens, but gaining weight, especially in the abdominal area, and getting too little exercise both contribute to the disorder in people who have a genetic susceptibility.

When blood sugar levels remain high, other harmful changes occur. These include damage to the lining of coronary and other arteries; problems with enzymes that break down fats, which increase triglyceride levels; changes in how the kidneys handle salt, which raises blood pressure; and a greater tendency of the blood to form clots. Continued high blood sugar initially causes the pancreas to overproduce insulin, but eventually the organ burns out and type 2 diabetes may develop. All of these changes increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Men with metabolic syndrome are twice as likely as others to develop cardiovascular disease, and four times as likely to die from it. Risk also increases in women, although it hasn’t been as well quantified.

MAPLE LEAF Products Recalled

25 Aug
In one of the most massive recalls ever in Canada Maple Leaf has been plunged into a nightmare and I am sure will cost this company dearly for the harm  including deaths it has caused many of its customers.

It’s a wake up call for those of us who depend on ready cooked meals. This could happen to any product that is prepared in bulk for us. 

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness. Elderly, the very young, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.
    This outbreak apparently started in June but the effects are now felt as more and more people are becoming ill with similar symptoms.
 The Company has initiated a voluntary recall of the under-mentioned products, and as a precautionary measure expanded the recall to include all products produced on the two manufacturing lines involved from June 2nd (the earliest affected production date) to present. The Company is also temporarily closing the plant in order to fully reassess all aspects of its food safety procedures at this facility, including supplementary sanitation of equipment and validation of our testing protocols.
Sure Slice Roast Beef and Sure Slice Corned Beef products were involved in a recall announced on Sunday, August 17. Additional products now being recalled include the following, and were largely distributed to foodservice institutions such as restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes and may also be sold at deli counters supplied by foodservice distributors. The retail products affected were distributed nationally.
The products being recalled all carry Establishment No. 97B and have a best before date up to and including those identified in the table below.
                                                                   Up to and
    Product                                          Package     Best Before
     Code     Description                               Size            Date
    26365     Sliced Cooked Turkey Breast              470 g           SE 30
    02106     Schneiders Bavarian Smokies               1 kg           OC 28
    02126     Schneiders Cheddar Smokies                1 kg           OC 28
    21333     Sure Slice Roast Beef                     1 kg           SE 30
    21388     Sure Slice Combo Pack                     1 kg           SE 30
    60243     Deli Gourmet Roast Beef slices            1 kg           SE 30
    02356     Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef               500 g           OC 07
    42706     Roast Beef, Seasoned and Cooked          500 g           OC 07
    21334     Sure Slice Turkey Breast Roast            1 kg           OC 14
    21444     Sure Slice Corned Beef                    1 kg           OC 14
    44938     Montreal Style Corned Beef               500 g           OC 14
    21440     Sure Slice Black Forest Style Ham         1 kg           OC 21
    21447     Sure Slice Salami                         1 kg           OC 21
    21331     Sure Slice Smoked Ham                     1 kg           OC 21
    48019     Schneiders Deli Shaved Corned Beef       200 g           OC 21
    48020     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Meat       200 g           OC 21
    48016     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Ham        200 g           OC 21
    48018     Schneiders Deli Shaved Smoked Turkey
               Breast                                  150 g           OC 21
    48017     Schneiders Deli Shaved Fully Cooked
               Smoked Honey Ham                        200 g           OC 21
    21360     Burns Bites Pepperoni                    500 g        09 JA 01
    99158     Turkey Breast Roast                       1 kg           SE 30
    71330     Roast Beef Cooked, Seasoned             2.5 kg           SE 30
    71331     Corned Beef, Smoked Meat                2.5 kg           SE 30

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