Food chemists consider their greatest achievement to be the transformation of the black, smelly gunk that comes out of soybeans or corn into a clear vegetable oil, then to manipulate the oil into a hardened fat; they bleach, de-odorize, dye yellow and flavor it to make margarine or spreads. But now the food chemists have more ambitious plans: to make a butter substitute out of water! The new spread is made up of around 80 percent water and 20 percent vegetable oil, with a smidgen of butter thrown in. Food chemists from Cornell claim it will have the consistency, creaminess and mouthfeel of butter. And they are already into their sales pitch claiming it is healthier—a tablespoon of the spread will contain just 2.8 grams of fat and 25.2 calories, compared to butter, with 11 grams of fat and 100 calories. The product still needs some tweaking. “We can add milk protein or plant-based protein, and since water acts like a carrier, we can adjust for nutrition and load it with vitamins or add flavors,” says Alireza Abaspourrad, senior author of a study describing the spread. The spread is made using a new emulsifying process involving high-internal phase emulsions (HIPE)—pronounced “hype.” The abstract to Abaspourrad’s paper claims the emulsion demonstrates “high resistance to gastrointestinal pHs” (ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 29, 26433-26441). Does that mean the new spread will be indigestible?
VINDICATION OF MEAT
For decades, calls for reduced red meat consumption have formed the cornerstone of U.S. nutritional policy. Red meat causes heart disease, claim the “experts;” red meat causes colon cancer; red meat production is causing global warming and destroying the planet. In recent years we have seen campaigns for less meat in school lunches and even proposals for a ban on meat consumption. But on September 30, 2019, the Annals of Internal Medicine published six papers about red and processed meat that have put a monkey wrench into plans for a meatless planet. The first paper summarized the dietary guidelines; the second provided a systematic review of randomized controlled trials; three papers described systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies; the final paper discussed attitudes toward eating meat. The paper examining randomized controlled trials reported no significant findings for intake of any kind of red meat from the twelve studies that met their criteria. Just a few weeks later, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (November 5, 2019) published a similar critique: “Mainstream dietary recommendations now commonly advise people to minimize the intake of red meat for health and environmental reasons. Most recently, a major report issued by the EAT-Lancet Commission recommended a planetary reference diet mostly based on plants and with no or very low (14 grams per day) consumption of red meat. We argue that claims about the health dangers of red meat are not only improbable in the light of our evolutionary history, they are far from being supported by robust scientific evidence.” The authors noted that diets without meat will lack iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and important fatty acids needed for our brains. The report was especially critical of vegetarian groups such as the Seventh-Day Adventists and animal rights activists, which have unduly influenced nutrition policy. Pushback, of course, was immediate. “Irresponsible and unethical” said Dr. Hu of Harvard, in an online commentary (NY Times, September 30, 2019). Harvard’s nutrition department is a major player in the campaign to get Americans to eat a lowfat, low-meat, plant-based diet. According to Marion Nestle, the most famous of food industry hacks, “Their strictly science-based approach seems unrealistic.” Do the authors really believe, she asks, that meat eaters are healthier than vegetarians (foodpolitics.com, November 30, 2019)?
ROUNDUP AND NAFLD
Hospitalizations for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increased tenfold between 1998 and 2010—from just under two thousand to almost twenty thousand per year. What could be causing such a dramatic rise? In a new (2019) study with rats, the glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup emerges as a culprit. Rats were exposed to varying doses of Roundup over fourteen days and then subjected to analysis. Inflammatory markers went up, especially in those exposed to higher doses, and liver histological studies showed the formation of vacuoles, fibroid tissue and glycogen depletion in the liver. Said the researchers, “These observations suggest progression of fatty liver disease in Roundup-treated adult rats. In summary, our data suggest progression of multiorgan inflammation, liver scarring and dysfunction post short-term exposure of Roundup in adult male rats” [https://doi.org/10.1177/1559325819843380]. The doses causing the rapid liver degeneration were high (up to 250 mg per kilogram of body weight) but an earlier study found that over time, low doses caused the same effects— the generation of biomarkers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease “and its progression to steatohepatosis,” which the researchers took as confirmation that liver dysfunction can result from “chronic ultra-low dose [glyphosate] exposure” [Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 39328 (2017)].
STATINS AND HEART FAILURE
Heart failure is a common side effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Statin drugs interfere with the production of CoEnzyme Q10, needed for muscle function, and the heart is a muscle. In a three-year study, one hundred forty-two patients with statin-induced heart failure were taken off statin drugs and given supplementation with CoQ10. Over half showed normalization or improvement in heart function. Statin-attributable symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, myalgias, memory loss and peripheral neuropathy also improved (Perm J. 2019; 23: 18-257). The authors concluded that patients can safely discontinue statin treatment—but of course, they should never even start statin “therapy” at all!
ANTIBIOTICS AND RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
It’s estimated that around 30 percent of all patients receive at least one antibiotic prescription per year. As antibiotics wipe out gut flora, it’s no surprise that antibiotic use is a major risk factor for increased susceptibility to infections and inflammatory bowel disease. Recent studies indicate that antibiotic use increases the risk of autoimmune conditions, including type 1 diabetes and autoimmune liver disease. Now a population-based case-control study links antibiotic use with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Over twenty-two thousand RA subjects were matched with up to five control subjects each and followed for ten years. The odds of developing RA were 60 percent higher in those exposed to antibiotics than in those not exposed. All classes of antibiotics were associated with higher odds of RA. Antifungal and antiviral prescriptions were also associated with increased odds of RA (BMC Medicine 17;154 2019). These findings should serve as a wake-up call to anyone offered a prescription for antibiotics!
HEAVY METALS IN BABY FOODS
Tests commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures of one hundred sixty-eight baby foods from major manufacturers in the U.S. found that 95 percent contained lead, 73 percent contained arsenic, 75 percent contained cadmium and 32 percent contained all four heavy metals. One in five of the baby foods tested contained over ten times the 1 ppb (parts per billion) limit considered safe by public health advocates. Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices. Infant rice cereal and rice-based snacks were the most toxic, containing not only high levels of arsenic but often all four toxic metals. Exposure to arsenic, in particular, is associated with lowered IQ scores in children (cnn.com, November 1, 2019). How to protect your baby? Don’t buy commercial baby food! Baby’s first foods should be puréed liver and meat, and soft-cooked egg yolk, all from pastured animals. Wait until baby is at least one year old to introduce grains, all grains, but especially rice, and then give him only organic grains that are properly prepared. Instead of fruit juice give baby puréed cooked organic fruit mixed with butter or cream. MENTAL PROBLEMS
A startling new report reveals that 50 percent of millennials (ages twenty-three to thirty-eight) and 75 percent of Gen Zers (ages eighteen to twenty-two) have quit their jobs because of psychological issues. By contrast, only 10 percent of baby boomers (ages fifty-five to seventy-three) reported leaving a job because of mental illness. Other studies have corroborated these findings of more mental health issues in the younger generations (thenewamerican.com,
October 14, 2019). Commentators blame the increasing burnout on trends like “rising workloads, limited staff and resources, and long hours.” However, many would argue that the current workplace environment is a lot more pleasant and comfortable than former factory production lines. The more likely explanation is poorly nourished brains due to abysmal dietary advice and typical eating patterns based on junk food and coffee. Neurological and emotional biochemistry require animal fats for optimal performance, but most millennials and Gen Zers have fallen for the propaganda that cholesterol and saturated fat are toxic. Another explanation: the dozens of neurotoxic vaccinations foisted on the younger generations, which poison the brains and sap the energy of our young people.
PESKY VACCINE FACTS
In the current hysteria to get everyone fully vaccinated, health officials are blaming unvaccinated children for causing disease. Yet an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) in March of 2019 was not caused by unvaccinated children. Of the nearly fifty children who contracted pertussis at a private high school in Los Angeles, all had been vaccinated, while none of the unvaccinated got the illness. Rather than state the obvious—that the vaccine doesn’t work and unvaccinated children are not to blame—officials blamed the new DTaP vaccine, which has fewer side effects than the old vaccine, but doesn’t last as long (LA Times, March 16, 2019). It happened again in December, when a Catholic high school in Houston, Texas closed early for the holidays due to seven confirmed cases of pertussis, some of whom were hospitalized. According to school officials, 100 percent of the students were vaccinated against pertussis (thevaccinereaction.com, December 26, 2019). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, the pertussis vaccines “typically offer good levels of protection within the first two years after getting the vaccine, but then protection decreases over time.” Of course, if you contract pertussis without getting the vaccine, you will have immunity for life.
EUROPEAN FARMS GOING UNDER
If we think agriculture in America is in trouble, just have a look at Europe. The new EU Agriculture Commissioner recently stated that Europe loses one thousand farms per day and that the EU is losing four hundred thousand farms per year. Strict regulations to “stop climate change” is a primary reason for farms going out of business. According to the European Environmental Agency, adapting to climate change must be a top priority for the European Union’s agricultural sector. Unfortunately, the obsession with climate change is destroying the EU’s agricultural economy and even its ability to grow food. Many are concerned about the possibility of starvation. Even without this worst-case scenario, prices for food are expected to rise (armstrongeconomics.com, October 25, 2019).
BREAKFAST CEREAL DECLINE
The product with the biggest markup in the whole world is dry breakfast cereal; the ingredients for a box of cereal cost pennies and the box sells for something like three dollars. So naturally producers are concerned about the decline in sales of this golden goose. In 1990 consumers ate a bowl of cereal about ninety-two times per year, while in 2018, that number had slipped to seventy-eight. Cereal manufacturers say they are “stepping up spending by retooling marketing campaigns, ramping up product investments and developing new flavors to try to keep shoppers engaged.” Gimmicks abound: Kellogg is developing new cereals, including a brand focused on gut health, and adding new flavors of older brands such as Wild Berry Froot Loops and strawberry-flavored Rice Krispies. General Mills recently hired rapper Travis Scott to design boxes for its Reese’s Puffs cereal. Its newer products include a cereal that lists almonds as its first ingredient and blueberry-flavored Cheerios (Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2019). Will any of these new products provide the remedy for the growing consumer recognition that these products just ain’t good for you? We don’t think so!