Archive for July, 2010

Summer Food Safety: Avoiding Food Borne Illness

                                      

Six to eight million cases of urinary tract infections (UTI’s) occur each year in the U.S., 80% of which are caused by E. coli bacteria ingested in food, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).   Once in the stomach, it passes into the intestinal tract where it multiplies and travels to the urinary tract.    While E. coli is a normal resident within the bowel, it is problematic when it migrates elsewhere.

CDC study findings* concluded that most of the E. coli bacteria causing urinary tract infections is primarily ingested through contaminated chicken and ready to eat products.   E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, painful abdominal cramps and nausea.   It is also a common cause of acute kidney failure in children and infants.  

With all this in view, and outside summer eating in full swing, we need to think food safety when planning outdoor events.  See Partnership for Food Safety (www.fightbac.org)  or CDC for general food safety practices.   Some are included below.

FOUR CORE FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES  

1.            COOK meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly and use a thermometer.  Cook roasts to 145ºF, poultry to 165ºF, ground meat to 160ºF, fish to 145ºF and heat leftovers to 165ºF.   Eggs should be cooked until the yoke is firm.  Bring sauces and soups to a boil.

2.            SEPARATE:  Avoid cross-contaminating foods.  Wash hands (soap for 20 seconds and rinse for 20 seconds) and utensils after they have been in contact with raw food.  Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat.   Never put cooked meat on a one that held raw meat.

3.            CHILL:  Refrigerate perishables as soon as you get home from the store.  Never let them sit out in room or outside temperatures for more than 2 hours, 1 hour if the temperature is over 90ºF. Refrigerate or ice leftovers if they are not going to be eaten within 2 hours.   Bacteria can grow quickly at room and outside temperatures.   Divide large volumes of food into shallow containers so they will cool more quickly. 

4.            CLEAN:  Wash produce in running water.  Discard the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage.               Bacteria can grow on cut surfaces of fruit and vegetable.   Be careful not to contaminate them while slicing them on cutting boards. Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces.  If you use cloth towels wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine. 

Antibiotic-free meats and poultry are better for your health and don’t promote the emergence of drug resistance bacterial strains – a concern of cited by CDC researchers.  (70% of the antibiotics produced in the U.S. are for “non-therapeutic use” on farm animals**).    Look for USDA organic labeled products or shop the internet (ex. www.kosher.com ) for sources of antibiotic-free chicken.

*  Vincent C., Boerlin P., Daignault D., et. Al., Food Reservoir for Escheriichia Coli Dausing Urinary Tract Infections.  Emerb Infect Dis. 2010:16:88-95

** Scientific American.com/article.cfm?id=most-us-antibiotics-fed-t

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July 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

What’s The Verdict on Soy?

 Would you knowingly consume a lot of a particular “food” if it blocked your absorption of essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, iron and iodine?   This is what soy and all other legumes (beans, peanuts, etc.) do because of an ingredient called phytic acid.   Soy contains high quantities of phytic acid when it is not fermented.

Be safe and consume soy as follows:

  •   Eat  Only Organic, Fermented, Non-Genetically Modified Soy Products

in Small Amounts

 

Phytic acid gets neutralized in the process of fermentation.  Fermented soy foods include miso, tempeh, soy sauce, tamari and natto. If you soak all legumes 48-72 hours prior to cooking/eating them, they will also be fermented.  Asians eat no more than 10-90 grams of fermented soy per day.  Compare this to a cup of unfermented tofu, 250 grams or soy milk, 240 grams.

  • Avoid Unfermented and Genetically Modified Soy and Soy Products that contain Gluten 

This is the worse possible combination.  Unfermented soy includes tofu, bean curd, all soy milks, soy infant formulae, soy protein powders and soy meat alternatives.  Genetically modified foods are unhealthy for humans, animals and plants.  Gluten causes autoimmune diseases and inflammation.

We already have other reasons to watch the consumption of soy. Its phyto-estrogens (plant-based chemicals that mimic estrogen) have been linked to breast cancer, infertility and thyroid disorders.  They are also known to cause premature signs of puberty in infants and young girls.  Soy’s high levels of aluminum have been linked to kidney problems.  Plus there is concern that soy may interfere with growth and cause pancreatic disorders.

Well, how did soy get to be so widely accepted as a healthy alternative to dairy, beef and other animal proteins you ask?  Obviously this is far from the truth.

The soy industry is so lucrative they have millions to invest in advertising and lobbying of the FDA.  Actually 100 years ago, soy was not considered a food at all.  In 1913, the United States Department of Agriculture listed soy as an industrial product.  Originally, the soy industry planted soy to extract the oil, and soy oil became immensely popular.  Along with the oil production was an ample residue of soy protein.   The question then came up as to what to do with the soy protein.   Since they could feed it to the animals only in small quantities, they decided to market it for human consumption.   

Source:  The Truth About Unfermented Soy and It’s Harmful Effects, Natural News,2/08

July 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Is Your Skin Care Good Enough to Eat?

Eating the right foods and drinking the right amount of water goes a long way towards healthy looking skin. But did you know that the most effective skin care products are those made from live foods you can eat?  

There are an increasing number of companies, like Holistic Dermaceuticals who believe that if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your face.   Dr. Alkaitis’ “skin food” products, made by Holistic Dermaceuticals, are organic skin treatments that constitute therapeutic raw health food for your skin.  Synergistic blends of only pure live organic ingredients are used.   Whole plants, wild-crafted herbs and virgin cold- pressed essential oils promote progressive balance to the skin.

Contrast this with synthetically processed products. Synthetic chemicals are machine-made.   Man-made ingredients can negatively effect your overall health over time.  While our bodies have a great internal filter to process the foods we eat, whatever we apply topically is quickly absorbed directly into our blood stream and body tissues.   Long term exposure to synthetic ingredients in shampoos, lotions and creams can have adverse effects.

M. Ruvolo, author of Natural Skin Care Vs. Synthetic Skin Care – Which Ingredients to Use and Which to Avoid, says “many synthetic ingredients trick the consumer. The initial damage of skin and hair actually makes it feel softer and smoother to the touch, even improving their appearance. This is only temporary though, as the damaged under layers of skin will eventually surface.”

Some of the key additives to avoid:   Parabens, Ureas, 1,4-Dioxane, Petrochemicals, MEA, DEA, TEA, Sulfates Chemicals,  Quats, Synthetic Polymers and Synthetic Colors.

Note:  Dr. Alkaitis products are available at the Advanced Wellness Center.  Send your questions to: info@awellness.com with subject heading “Skin Food”.

July 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

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