For "Foodie Friday":
"It’s been more than a decade since scientists first raised an alarm about arsenic levels in rice—an alarm based on the realization that rice plants have a natural ability to absorb the toxic element out of the soil.
Since then study after study has confirmed that rice products contain more arsenic than those of any other grain. In response, consumer health advocates have pushed for regulatory agencies to set a safety standard for rice." More at: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/08/02/toxin-found-in-most-u-s-rice-causes-genetic-damage/
Five Things You Need To Know About Arsenic In Rice (Before Dinner Time)
1. Pay Attention To Where It’s Grown
“Rice grown in the Southeastern U.S. had the highest amount of arsenic, according to Consumer Reports, which makes sense given that this is the land where cotton was grown and arsenic was used as a pesticide for decades to combat the boll weevil.
Rice is grown in water, so the presence of arsenic in the soil can be readily transmitted. Even though they’ve done away with arsenic-containing pesticides in the U.S., the arsenic remains in the soil [and other arsenic-containing ingredients in animal feed to prevent disease and promote growth are still permitted]. Once in the soil, the arsenic can come into the roots and into the grain of the rice itself.
Rice grown in California wouldn’t have the same problems — California-grown rice has much lower levels of arsenic, the studies found. And here’s one instance in which buying imports is better: Thai jasmine and Indian basmati had some — but much lower — levels of arsenic (about one-half to one-third the amount).
4. Vary Your Grains
“Use other grains in addition to rice and eat a variety. There can be much lower levels of arsenic in wheat and oats, quinoa, millet, amarynth…
Just like eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is protective, eating a variety of grains is protective too.” Complete article at: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/10/arsenic-in-rice
Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby foods
"Baby foods used to wean infants off milk have been found to contain "alarming" levels of toxic contaminants including arsenic, lead and cadmium.
Researchers found feeding infants twice a day on the shop-bought baby foods such as rice porridge can increase their exposure to arsenic by up to fifty times when compared to breast feeding alone.
Writing in the journal of Food Chemistry, the scientists from the Unit of Metals and Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, where the research was carried out, said: "Alarmingly, these complementary foods may also introduce high amounts of toxic elements such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and uranium, mainly from their raw materials." More at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8440126/Arsenic-and-toxic-metals-found-in-baby-foods.html
Then this from the FDA:
Questions & Answers: Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products
"What is arsenic?
Arsenic is a chemical element present in the environment from both natural and human sources, including erosion of arsenic-containing rocks, volcanic eruptions, contamination from mining and smelting ores and previous or current use of arsenic-containing pesticides.
Are there different types of arsenic?
There are two general types of arsenic compounds in water, food, air and soil: organic and inorganic (these together are referred to as “total arsenic”). The inorganic forms of arsenic are the forms that have been more closely associated with long-term health effects.
How does arsenic get into foods? Do all foods have arsenic?
Arsenic is present in many foods, including grains, fruits and vegetables where it is present due to absorption from the soil and water. While most crops don’t readily take up much arsenic from the ground, rice is different because it takes up arsenic from soil and water more readily than other grains. In addition, some seafood contains high levels of organic arsenic.
Do organic foods have less arsenic than non-organic foods?
Because arsenic is naturally found in the soil and water, it is absorbed by plants regardless of whether they are grown under conventional or organic farming practices. The FDA is unaware of any data that shows a difference in the amount of arsenic found in organic rice versus non-organic rice.
What are “rice products”?
Rice products are foods that contain rice grains or rice-derived ingredients, such as brown rice syrup.
What FDA is Doing About Arsenic in Rice?"
Dr. Oz Proves This Fruit Juice Can be Toxic
"In September, Dr. Oz also discussed this issue on The Dr. Oz Show. Then Consumer Reports backed it up.(http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/30/consumer-reports-study-backs-dr-ozs-claim-about-arsenic-in-apple-juice/?test=latestnews )
He claimed to have tested 50 different brands of apple juice, and found they ALL contained high levels of arsenic. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contested Dr. Oz's findings, stating that his testing was inaccurate because he tested for both inorganic and organic arsenic, the latter of which is considered fairly harmless.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, and is a common groundwater contaminant. The US EPA limits trace amounts of arsenic in drinking water to 10 parts per billion. However, arsenic is also showing up in food and drinks, for which no safety limits have been set, raising concerns about overexposure through diet, especially for children and pregnant women.
Tests performed by both Consumer Reports and Dr. Oz recently exposed high levels of arsenic in fruit juices, especially apple juice. As a result, Consumer Reports is calling for government standards to limit consumer exposure.
Ten percent of 88 juice samples tested by Consumer Reports had arsenic levels exceeding the U.S. federal drinking-water standard.
Many foods, including chicken, rice, and processed baby foods have also been found to contain high levels of arsenic.
While acutely toxic at high levels, low-level chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including gastrointestinal problems, skin discoloration and hyperkeratosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes, reproductive problems, reduced IQ and other neurological problems, and various cancers." Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/22/toxic-metals-on-fruit-juices.aspx
"If you’re a typical milk cow in America, this is your life. You are raised, like pigs, on a concrete slab in a stall barely bigger than your body. There, you never touch grass or see sun till the day you’re herded to slaughter. A cocktail of drugs, combined with breeding decisions, has grossly distended the size of your udder such that you’d trip over it if allowed to graze, which of course you’re not.
Your hooves have rotted black from standing in your own shit, your teats are scarred, swollen and leaking pus – infected by mastitis – and you’re sick to the verge of total collapse from giving nearly 22,000 pounds of milk a year. (That’s more than double what your forebears produced just 40 years ago.)
By the time they’ve used you up (typically at four years of age), your bones are so brittle that they often snap beneath you and leave you unable to get off the ground on your own power.
Brittle bones aren’t the only reason cows become nonambulatory. A “downer” cow is an animal unable to stand on its own due to injury or illness; downers are deemed unfit by the federal government for human consumption. They are three times likelier to harbor a potentially deadly strain of E. coli, and at higher risk of carrying salmonella bacteria and transmitting bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, as it’s quaintly known.
But before you’re classified as a downer, Big Meat will use every trick up its wizard’s sleeve to keep you on your feet. Workers hit you in the eyes with a cattle prod, or in the groin, if you like that better; stick a fire hose down your throat to get you to stand, a ploy inspired by those who brought you Abu Ghraib; and, if all else fails, they hoist you with a forklift and load you onto a flatbed bound for slaughter.
In 2007, the Humane Society caught Westland/Hallmark red-handed, and just over two months later it busted the Southern California rendering plant for dumping 37 million pounds of downed-cow beef into the national “low cost or free” school-lunch program. No, it wasn’t enough merely to pawn toxic meat on an unsuspecting public; the company sold it to the Department of Agriculture for more than $156 million, which approved it for poor kids’ meal trays. That scandal shut the plant down, put Westland/Hallmark out of business and started riots in South Korea, where protesters – fearing exposure to mad cow disease – fought a pending deal to reverse an almost five-year ban on American beef. The total tab for that outrage remains a mystery, but is thought to be in the billions." Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists
Never Buy Meat, Potatoes or Herbs With This Label on it
"Irradiated herbs, seasonings and spices are exposed to HALF A BILLION chest X-ray's worth of gamma radiation. This information is clearly publicized by the USDA and FDA.
The FDA presently supports the use of Cobalt-60 culled from nuclear reactors on all domestically produced conventional food.
Irradiation leads to the formation of furan, which has been linked to liver toxicity, including carcinogenicity.
Irradiated foods must be labeled with the statement "treated with radiation" or "treated by irradiation" and the international symbol for irradiation, the radura.
Irradiated foods contain compounds called 2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACBs), which may promote tumor growth and colon cancer; they are found exclusively in irradiated foods.
Irradiation is essentially a very effective medium for masking filthy conditions in slaughterhouses and food processing plants; You can avoid irradiation by choosing locally grown, organic foods as much as possible."
Food expired? Don't be so quick to toss it
"Terms like "sell by," "use by" and "best before" are usually not good indicators of how safe the food is to eat. Rather than referring to when the food is safe to eat, these terms are simply suggestions from the manufacturer for when the food is at its peak quality.
The "sell by" date tells grocery stores how long to offer the product for sale, and food is usually fresh for at least several days after that date.
"Best by" usually speaks to when the food has its best flavor and quality. "Use by" is the last date recommended for use of the product at its peak quality. Confusion over these dates prompts 9 out of 10 Americans to throw away food before they really need to – a waste of taste and money.: More at: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/19/health/sell-by-dates-waste-food/
On This Day:
H-bomb lost in Spain, Jan 17, 1966:
"On this day, a B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. It was not the first or last accident involving American nuclear bombs.
The bomber was returning to its North Carolina base following a routine airborne alert mission along the southern route of the Strategic Air Command when it attempted to refuel with a jet tanker. The B-52 collided with the fueling boom of the tanker, ripping the bomber open and igniting the fuel. The KC-135 exploded, killing all four of its crew members, but four members of the seven-man B-52 crew managed to parachute to safety.
None of the bombs were armed, but explosive material in two of the bombs that fell to earth exploded upon impact, forming craters and scattering radioactive plutonium over the fields of Palomares. A third bomb landed in a dry riverbed and was recovered relatively intact. The fourth bomb fell into the sea at an unknown location.
Palomares, a remote fishing and farming community, was soon filled with nearly 2,000 U.S. military personnel and Spanish civil guards who rushed to clean up the debris and decontaminate the area. The U.S. personnel took precautions to prevent overexposure to the radiation, but the Spanish workers, who lived in a country that lacked experience with nuclear technology, did not. Eventually some 1,400 tons of radioactive soil and vegetation were shipped to the United States for disposal.
Meanwhile, at sea, 33 U.S. Navy vessels were involved in the search for the lost hydrogen bomb. Using an IBM computer, experts tried to calculate where the bomb might have landed, but the impact area was still too large for an effective search. Finally, an eyewitness account by a Spanish fisherman led the investigators to a one-mile area. On March 15, a submarine spotted the bomb, and on April 7 it was recovered. It was damaged but intact.
Studies on the effects of the nuclear accident on the people of Palomares were limited, but the United States eventually settled some 500 claims by residents whose health was adversely affected. Because the accident happened in a foreign country, it received far more publicity than did the dozen or so similar crashes that occurred within U.S. borders.
As a security measure, U.S. authorities do not announce nuclear weapons accidents, and some American citizens may have unknowingly been exposed to radiation that resulted from aircraft crashes and emergency bomb jettisons. Today, two hydrogen bombs and a uranium core lie in yet undetermined locations in the Wassaw Sound off Georgia, in the Puget Sound off Washington, and in swamplands near Goldsboro, North Carolina."
Peeker's cage is still set up in my house, because if he isn't adopted from the Habitat by the end of the month, he will be back here. He stays in the house and plays with Nala my foster cat, but there are times when he has to be locked up for his own safety.
But first, we carried the cages outside to our wash-bay, sprayed them down with bleach water, rinsed them, and brought them back in when they were dry.
Then we vacuumed and disinfected my four-storey kitty condo and took it into the Grooming Room for them to play on. The few-months-old kittens have been locked up in cages where they are, but I will be letting them out to have some play times.
As they are not yet in the system, our SPCA boss, Kenya, is going to visit the kittens, to look them over, make sure they are healthy, and get them vaccinated, today.