Sunday, May 18, 2014


In a scathing expose of the USDA’s new meat inspection program, the Washington Post quoted a representative from the meat inspectors union, who said that “pig processing lines may be moving too quickly to catch tainted meat… Tremendous amounts of fecal matter remain on the carcasses. Not small bits, but chunks.” What about the other white meat?
In the above video, you can see an infographic the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine created to highlight what they consider to be the five worst contaminants in chicken products. In their investigation of retail chicken products in ten U.S. cities, they found fecal contamination in about half the chicken they bought at the store. But with all the focus on what’s in chicken products, we may have lost sight on what may be missing—such as actual chicken.
Researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Baptist Medical Center recently published an “autopsy” of chicken nuggets in the American Journal of Medicine. The purpose was to determine the contents of chicken nuggets from two national food chains. Because chicken nuggets are popular among children, the researchers thought that parents should know more about what they’re feeding to their kids.
The nugget from the first restaurant was composed of approximately 50% skeletal muscle, with the remainder composed primarily of fat, blood vessels and nerves, and generous quantities of skin or gut lining and associated supportive tissue. The nugget from the second restaurant was composed of approximately 40% skeletal muscle with lots of other tissues, including bone.
“I was floored,” said the lead investigator. “I had read what other reports have said is in them and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope.” I profile some of those other pathology reports in my videos Whats in a Burger? and What Is Really in Hot Dogs?
The researchers concluded that since actual chicken meat was not the predominant component of either nugget, the term “chicken” nugget was really a misnomer.
If we’re going to eat something chicken-ish that isn’t chicken meat, why not truly boneless chicken: Chicken vs. Veggie Chicken.
More on fecal contamination of chicken in Fecal Bacteria Survey, of fish in Fecal Contamination of Sushi, and of pork in Yersinia in Pork. How can that be legal? See Salmonella in Chicken & Turkey: Deadly But Not Illegal.
In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.


Health experts recommend a nutritious breakfast to sustain energy throughout the day and prevent overeating during the meals that lie ahead. However, a breakfast loaded with sugar, fat, and unhealthy calories does just the opposite and increases a person’s risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued a report on Thursday revealing that breakfast cereal marketed for children contains an average of 40 percent more sugar than adult cereal.
Back in 2011, EWG researchers analyzed the nutritional facts behind 84 children’s cereal to see which brands matched up with the World Health Organization's recommendation of no more than 10 percent of calories from added sugar. On average, the research team found, children’s cereal was made up of 29 percent sugar. The biggest offender, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, contained 15 grams of sugar per serving.

The recent report from the EWG analyzed 181 children’s cereals, including the 84 that were featured in the original report. In 2014, the average children’s cereal is still made up of 20 percent sugar even though some companies have reformulated their recipe to include less sugar. Ten of the cereals that were able to lower their sugar content only did so by one gram.
“When you exclude obviously sugar-heavy foods like candy, cookies, ice cream, soft and fruit drinks, breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight,” nutritionist and EWG consultant Dawn Undurraga, co-author of the organization’s new report, Children’s Cereals: Sugar by the Pound, said in a statement. “Cereals that pack in as much sugar as junk food should not be considered part of a healthy breakfast or diet. Kids already eat two to three times the amount of sugar experts recommend.”
by medicaldaily

Friday, November 8, 2013


Some of the foods we eat every day are dangerous to our health, and not in an “eating too much of one thing is bad for you” kind of way. No, they’re probably worse — though eating too much of them will certainly make you sick or even kill you — because the majority of them are poisonous. Do you think you know what they are?


Considered a health food, beans are used in salads, on rice, and in soup. They also tend to be a staple in vegetarian diets, as they’re packed with nutrition, including fiber, protein, carbohydrates, folate, and iron. But as part of their natural defense, they also contain large amounts of lectin — proteins that, in plants at least, can act as a “potent insecticide.” For humans, this means that we too can get sick.
Kidney beans, for example, contain the toxin phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause extreme nausea followed by vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea within three hours. While boiling the beans for at least 10 minutes will neutralize the toxin, cooking it at just under boiling will make it worse. Just to be safe, it could be best to eat canned beans instead of packaged ones.
For tips on cooking beans safely, look here.


Commonly thought of as a nut, almonds are actually a seed. And if that wasn’t already a surprise, many raw almonds aren’t actually raw. That’s because bitter raw almonds contain naturally occurring cyanide — yes, the same ingredient used in spies’ poisonous pills. In fact, cyanide has even been described as having a “bitter almond” smell.
Crushing, biting, chewing, or damaging almonds in any way will activate the cyanide. Eating as little as four to five bitter almonds will cause light-headedness, nausea, and abdominal cramping, according to a 1982 case study on a 67-year-old woman. Unknowing of the bitter almonds’ effects, she consumed 12 more, causing severe abdominal pain in 15 minutes, and subsequently collapsed in her bathroom. Though she survived, she came very close to dying.
While bitter almonds are illegal to sell in the U.S. — sweet almonds, the other variety, are much safer — other countries may not have such laws in place. It might be safer to stay away from almonds while overseas.

Apples, Cherries, Peaches, and Plums

Sticking to the same theme — that cyanide is bad for you — it’s probably best to avoid eating the pits of so-called stone fruits, which include apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots. Like almonds, their pits or seeds contain cyanide that’s activated when they are crushed, chewed, or damaged in any way. While eating one whole pit might not induce any reaction, more than that might. It looks like eating the apple whole might not be so good for you after all.    


Pies and crumbles will never be the same if you incorporate anything but Rhubarb’s signature red stalks. The leafy greens at the end of them, however, are filled with the compound oxalic acid and possibly Anthraquinone glycosides, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While they won’t cause death, they’ll still do some damage — at the very least causing dizziness, a burning mouth, and stomach pain, and at the worst causing kidney stones, seizures, and coma. Avoiding these leaves are easy though. Just be wary of where you dispose of them — pets are susceptible to their poisoning, too.


Just like rhubarb, potatoes should be enjoyed for the reasons they’ve been had all these years. The spud is great when baked, mashed, or fried. But its leafy greens and stem contain solanine, which is “very toxic in small amounts,” according to the NIH. While regular potatoes are fine, those that have green under the skin or have spoiled should be thrown out, and the sprouts as well. Effects of solanine include delirium, diarrhea, fever, and as they worsen, hallucinations, hypothermia, shock, and paralysis.