Friday, July 26, 2013

Acrylamide. Are You Sure That's Food? 19 Foods That Aren't Food. U.S. Postal System. FBI Founded.


For “Foodie Friday”:

This might explain why I said yesterday that I am using my crockpot more for cooking. Even on ‘High’, the food does not go over 200°.

Exposure to Acrylamide Increases Your Cancer Risk

“Just over a decade ago, researchers discovered that a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical called acrylamide .

Acrylamide is a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical and is created when primarily carbohydrate foods are cooked at high temperatures, whether baked, fried, roasted, grilled or toasted.

Acrylamide can form in many foods cooked or processed at temperatures above 212°F (100°C), but carbohydrate-rich foods such as potato chips and French fries, are the most vulnerable to this heat-induced byproduct.

Pet foods also contain acrylamide and heterocyclic amines—both potent carcinogens—courtesy of commercial pet food processing methods.

Animal studies have shown that exposure to acrylamide increases the risk of several types of cancer, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer considers acrylamide a "probable human carcinogen”.

Ideally, consume foods that are raw or minimally processed to avoid these types of toxic byproducts—the more raw food, the better.

Acrylamide is not the only hazard associated with heat-processed foods, however. The three-year long EU project known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX), identified more than 800 heat-induced compounds in food, 52 of which are potential carcinogens… For example, the high heat of grilling reacts with proteins in red meat, poultry, and fish, creating heterocyclic amines *, which have also been linked to cancer.

While the EPA regulates acrylamide in drinking water and the FDA regulates the amount of acrylamide residue in materials that may come in contact with food, they do not currently have any guidelines limiting the chemical in food itself.”   Read more at:

*”Whatever the type of meat, however, meats cooked at high temperatures, especially above 300ºF (as in grilling or pan frying), or that are cooked for a long time tend to form more HCAs.” From:


“The reality is that you are exposed to more than you will ever know, simply by purchasing off of a shelf.  I don’t want you to hide in fear, but be educated and let your choices and your dollars impact policies from the top down.  Purchasing trends will do more to change the world than any legislation ever could.  Buy wisely.”  by Dr Eric


Are you sure that's food? 19 foods that aren't food

"Everything in moderation" is usually pretty sound advice, but let's face it: Some things you should just not put in your mouth. From artificial flavors and colors to words you'd need an advanced degree in chemistry to pronounce, there are thousands of ingredients making their way into your food that are simply not, strictly speaking, food.

Bottom line: Even though you can buy these 19 foods at the grocery store doesn't mean you should. Find out how many ingredients it takes to make a fake blueberry—and see what else made our list, to find out what should stay off of yours.”

Cheese that isn't cheese

Cheese faking is an art nearly as popular as cheesemaking. All kinds of brands make not-cheese, but the classic is Easy Cheese. This “pasteurized cheese snack” is full of fillers, oil, and emulsifiers. The ingredients are so un-cheeselike that lobbyers tried to force Kraft to call its cheese products “embalmed cheese”—but the government settled on “processed cheese,” according to the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cheese of the World.

Ingredients: Whey, cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), canola oil, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, milk, contains less than 2 percent of sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sodium alginate, autolyzed yeast extract, sorbic acid as a preservative, cheese culture, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color).

Mayonnaise that's not mayonnaise

Less of an impostor than a consumer mistake: This white spread is simply not mayo, and it doesn’t technically meet the official definition of “mayonnaise,” which requires at least 65% vegetable oil. What do you get instead? Dressing, where the major players are water, soybean oil, and vinegar. Tasty? Yes. Mayo? No.

Ingredients: Water, soybean oil, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, modified cornstarch, sugar, eggs, salt, natural flavor, mustard flour, potassium sorbate as a preservative, paprika, spice, dried garlic.

Vanilla that's not vanilla

There’s actually no vanilla (nothing than even starts with the prefix van-) on the ingredient list of Nilla Wafers. The only tribute to their namesake? “Natural and artificial flavor,” from what? The label doesn't tell us.

Ingredients: Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid), sugar, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, whey (from milk), eggs, natural and artificial flavor, salt, leavening (baking soda, and/or calcium, phosphate), emulsifiers (mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin).

Chocolate that's not chocolate

A chocolate chip cookie, by any other name, is a total red flag. See chocolate-chip-flavored cookies. Why is it called "flavored"? To be called chocolate, the FDA requires that a food contain cocoa butter, and these use cheaper vegetable oils as substitutes. And yes—that partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil is code for trans fat. Better bake your own. (Try our recipe for guilt-free chocolate chip cookies made with whole-wheat flour.)

Ingredients: Enriched flour bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, chocolate flavored chips (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa, cocoa processed with alkali, dextrose, soy lecithin), partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, water, contains 2 percent or less of: molasses, wheat protein isolate, baking powder (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate), salt, eggs, artificial flavor, nonfat milk.

Cream that's not cream

The world’s most popular cookie is, believe it or not, vegan—which is great for animals, but a bummer for anyone expecting cream in the middle. That white stuff—creme, they call it—is a blend of canola oil, artificial flavors, sugar, and other suspect players. And sadly, the very last ingredient is chocolate.

Ingredients: Sugar, unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), high oleic canola and/or palm and/or canola oil, cocoa (processed with alkali), high fructose corn syrup, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin—an artificial flavor, chocolate.

Caramel that's not caramel

Caramel Syrup may look and taste like the gross approximation of caramel, but industrial caramel is way different than the kind you make at home using a sugar base. Some “caramel color” is processed with ammonia, and California even added the compound that makes it up—4-methylimidazole—to its list of known carcinogens. Companies don’t have to disclose whether they use ammonia in their caramel color, so it’s best to melt your own.

Ingredients: Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sweetened condensed skim milk (skim milk and sugar), water, contains 2 percent or less of: disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, salt, artificial flavor, caramel color, xanthan gum, artificial color (yellow 6, yellow 5).

Whipped cream that's not whipped cream

When you see this fluffy stuff you can't help but wonder (sometimes before you eat it, but more often after): “Wait, what is that stuff?”

Truly, imitation whipped cream is a modern marvel, though very debatably “food.” How else to explain the 14 ingredients responsible for a light-as-air texture? As the old childhood expression goes, “Pretty please, with imitation whipped topping and a cherry on top.”

Ingredients: Water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), high fructose corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, contains less than 2 percent of: sodium caseinate, natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, beta carotene (color).

Peanut butter that's not peanut butter

Peanut-flavored sugar oil doesn’t have quite the same ring, but it’s far more accurate a name than this honey roast peanut butter from Peter Pan. What shouldn’t contain added sugar has at least two types, plus partially hydrogenated oil (code for trans fat).

Ingredients: Peanut butter [roasted peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils (cottonseed and rapeseed), molasses, salt, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil], sugar, and honey. 

Ice cream that's not ice cream

Gone are the good ol’ days of ice cream. Now, we’re forced to shovel down spoonfuls of Frozen Dairy Dessert, which can’t legally be called ice cream without containing at least 10 percent milk fat, according to this depressing New York Times lament of ice cream lost. What Breyer’s Extra Creamy Vanilla Frozen Dairy Dessert (phew) does contain is plenty of corn syrup, gums, and whey.

Ingredients: Milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, whey, mono and diglycerides, carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, natural flavor, annatto (for color), vitamin A palmitate, Tara gum.

Eggs that aren't eggs

Eggs are one ingredient. But substituting them takes 20. Thankfully, eggs top the ingredient list, but it goes downhill from there: the very next ingredient is a proprietary blend of “natural flavor” to conjure up egginess.

Ingredients: Egg whites (99 percent), less than 1 percent of the following: natural flavor, color (includes beta carotene), spices, salt, onion powder, vegetable gums (xanthan gum, guar gum). Vitamins and minerals: calcium (sulfate), iron (ferric phosphate), vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate), zinc (sulfate), calcium pantothenate, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamine mononitrate), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D3, biotin.

Butter that's not butter

Serve this on your popcorn and you’ll have people believing it’s not butter in no time. "Butter" spray is as artificial as it gets.

Ingredients: Water, soybean oil, salt, sweet cream buttermilk, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, lactic acid, (potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA) used to protect quality, natural and artificial flavor, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).

Potatoes that aren't potatoes

Meet the mashed-potato-in-a-box, whose first ingredient is, thankfully, potatoes. (Dehydrated potato flakes, to be exact.) But they also come with preservatives, emulsifiers, flavorings, and even trans fat. At that point, good luck trying to convince anyone of potato-realness.

Ingredients: Potato flakes (sodium bisulfite, BHA, and citric acid added to protect color and flavor), contains 2 percent or less of: Monoglycerides, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, natural flavor, sodium acid pyrophosphate, butteroil.

Chocolate milk that's not chocolate milk

Take a closer look: That’s chocolate drink in your hand, not chocolate milk. Yoo-hoo doesn’t actually contain any liquid milk, but it does come with a dose of partially hydrogenated soybean oil (hello, trans fat!). We dare you to get even halfway down the ingredient list before shedding a chocolate-flavored tear.

Ingredients: Water, high fructose corn syrup, whey (from milk), sugar, corn syrup solids, cocoa (alkali process), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sodium caseinate (from milk), nonfat dry milk, salt, tricalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, xanthan gum, guar gum, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, vitamin A palmitate, niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin D3, riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Orange juice that's not orange juice

Here’s what’s inside each bottle of Sunny D: high fructose corn syrup, and less than 2 percent of concentrated orange, tangerine, apple, lime, and grapefruit juice. Fruit concentrates are basically syrup, usually added to drinks and foods as additional sweeteners.

Ingredients: Water, high fructose corn syrup, and 2 percent or less of each of the following: concentrated juices (orange, tangerine, apple, lime, grapefruit). Citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta-carotene, thiamin hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), natural flavors, food starch-modified, canola oil, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate to protect flavor, Yellow #5, Yellow #6.

Maple syrup that's not maple syrup

Check out the syrup in your pantry before you pour it on your stack of pancakes: Chances are good you won’t find anything close to resembling maple syrup, but you’ll find plenty of corn syrup (two types!) and artificial flavorings. Here, treat your pancakes to another squeeze of sodium hexametaphosphate!

Ingredients: Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color, salt, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid (preservatives), artificial and natural flavors, sodium hexametaphosphate.

Blueberries that aren't blueberries

What goes best with fake maple syrup? Fraudulent pancakes, of course. Read the tiny print that says “with imitation blueberries”, and you’ll be dying to hear how to fake a fruit. Here’s the secret: take some dextrose, fractionated palm kernel oil, flour, citric acid, cellulose gum, maltodextrin, artificial flavors, two types of blue, one part red, and you’re set.

Ingredients: Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, may contain malted barley flour), imitation blueberry pieces (dextrose, fractionated palm kernel oil, enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], citric acid, cellulose gum, maltodextrin, artificial flavor, red 40, blue 1, blue 2), sugar, soy flour, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate), canola or soybean oil, dextrose, salt, mono-diglycerides, guar gum, artificial flavor.

Bacon that's not bacon

Ever wonder what’s in bacon bits? Not bacon. Bac’n Pieces™ (aka fakin’ bacon) has 12 ingredients, lots of unpronounceables, and no hint of the sizzly stuff.

Ingredients: Textured soy flour, canola oil, salt, caramel color, maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavor, lactic acid, yeast extract, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate (flavor enhancers), and FD&C Red 40.

Lemonade that isn't lemonade

Even if life doesn’t give you lemons, you can still make lemonade. Their lemonade drink mix ingredient list mentions nary a lemon, but plenty else! Because nothing captures the color of summer quite like Yellow #5.

Ingredients: Sugar, fructose, citric acid, contains less than 2 percent of maltodextrin, natural flavor, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium citrate, magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, soy lecithin, artificial color, yellow 5 lake, tocopherol (preserves freshness).  Contains GMO soy.

Tea that's not tea

Tea=tea+water. It's the easiest recipe on earth, yet companies so often seem to lose sight of what they're brewing. See SoBe, a PepsiCo company, that manages to cram 11 ingredients and no less than five weird extracts into their green tea. All in all, that's 21 grams of sugar and zero green tea—in our book, an extract does not a green tea make.

Ingredients: Filtered water, sugar, natural flavor, citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), green tea extract, caramel color, Reb A (purified stevia extract), guarana seed extract, panax ginseng root extract, rose hips extract.”    From: arent-food/     This story originally appeared on


On This Day:

U.S. postal system established, Jul 26, 1775:

“On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today's mail system. During early colonial times in the 1600s, few American colonists needed to send mail to each other; it was more likely that their correspondence was with letter writers in Britain.

Mail deliveries from across the Atlantic were sporadic and could take many months to arrive. There were no post offices in the colonies, so mail was typically left at inns and taverns. In 1753, Benjamin Franklin, who had been postmaster of Philadelphia, became one of two joint postmasters general for the colonies. He made numerous improvements to the mail system, including setting up new, more efficient colonial routes and cutting delivery time in half between Philadelphia and New York by having the weekly mail wagon travel both day and night via relay teams.

Franklin also debuted the first rate chart, which standardized delivery costs based on distance and weight. In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat.

He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain. President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.

Today, the United States has over 40,000 post offices and the postal service delivers 212 billion pieces of mail each year to over 144 million homes and businesses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa. The postal service is the nation's largest civilian employer, with over 700,000 career workers, who handle more than 44 percent of the world's cards and letters. The postal service is a not-for-profit, self-supporting agency that covers its expenses through postage (stamp use in the United States started in 1847) and related products. The postal service gets the mail delivered, rain or shine, using everything from planes to mules.

However, it's not cheap: The U.S. Postal Service says that when fuel costs go up by just one penny, its own costs rise by $8 million.”


FBI founded, Jul 26, 1908:

“On July 26, 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is born when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte orders a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice. One year later, the Office of the Chief Examiner was renamed the Bureau of Investigation, and in 1935 it became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

By the time Hoover entered service under his eighth president in 1969, the media, the public, and Congress had grown suspicious that the FBI might be abusing its authority. For the first time in his bureaucratic career, Hoover endured widespread criticism, and Congress responded by passing laws requiring Senate confirmation of future FBI directors and limiting their tenure to 10 years. On May 2, 1972, with the Watergate affair about to explode onto the national stage, J. Edgar Hoover died of heart disease at the age of 77.

The Watergate affair subsequently revealed that the FBI had illegally protected President Richard Nixon from investigation, and the agency was thoroughly investigated by Congress. Revelations of the FBI's abuses of power and unconstitutional surveillance motivated Congress and the media to become more vigilant in the future monitoring of the FBI.”



Ray primed the cedar boards that are the skirting on the back of the house, in the back yard.  We were using up some blue-grey Kilz primer.  Jay and I had already replaced some of the boards and they needed priming and painting.  The boards were originally bare cedar, then the contractors painted them white, then they looked dingy and were painted brown.  As soon as I saw the blue-grey primer, which matches the trim on my house, I knew I wanted all the skirting to be that color.  For those who know me, I don’t like browns or greens anywhere but in nature.  Next time I go to town I’ll have some paint mixed up to match the primer.

While Ray was doing that, I was grooming Muffie who had arrived at 7.00 am.  When Muffie arrived, Sam, the old gent who had the stroke, came to talk to Muffie’s ‘Dad’ and me.  He told us that Mikey had died.  When I took Mikey to the vet for Sam, I already knew that Mikey was on borrowed time, now he is really gone.  RIP Mikey, he was a sweet dog.

Muffie’s “Dad’ said that she wouldn’t eat her breakfast, but Muffie snapped at poor old toothless Misty to get at her breakfast, ate it all up, and then had seconds.  Misty was very mystified by this, as she has never been snapped at as long as she has been here, now she avoids Muffie.  So Misty ate another breakfast that I fixed for her.   The day she doesn’t eat is the day I will be very worried, as she always has a good appetite.

Muffie showed her real colors and started snapping at me about an hour into grooming her.  She gets bored with the process, so I have to let her take a nap, then she is OK again, so it takes all day to groom Muffie.

She ate a good dinner, but her ‘Dad’ was held up in a big traffic tie up on the freeway, so she didn’t leave here until 8.00pm yesterday.

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