Category Archive for: ‘Nutrition’

I’ve touched on sugar, mostly brown sugar,  in the past “Pantry 101 – Baking and Spices 6-12”  but we got a question from Debbie in California asking what is the difference between  cane sugar, corn sugar, and beet sugar, so we’ll go into depth to answer that question here.


Wikipedia defines sugar as:

Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucroselactose, and fructose,[1] characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugars refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols,[2] while in its singular form, sugar normally refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined (or free sugar) form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucosefructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Currently, Brazil has the highest per capita production of sugar.[3] 

Cane Sugar

C&H’s web site says this about cane sugar:

“How Cane Sugar is Better (or, Why cane sugar can't be beet)

Not all sugars are created equal. Lots of us have been brought up thinking that all sugars are—well—pretty much the same, and that the kind of sugar we use won’t make much difference. Even today, most people don’t know that some grocery stores carry two different kinds of sugar: cane sugar and beet sugar. Pure Cane Sugar, the kind C&H uses exclusively, is refined from sugarcane plants. The first cultivated sugar crop, sugarcane is grown above ground, nurtured in fresh tropical breezes under warm sunshine. Beet sugar, found in some store brands and in other makers that often don’t specify the source, is extracted from beets grown underground as a root crop. Cane sugar contains trace minerals that are different from those in beet sugar, and it’s these minerals that many experts say make cane sugar preferable to use. As professional bakers have long noticed, cane sugar has a low melting-point, absorbs fewer extraneous and undesirable odors, blends easily and is less likely to foam up. And that can be very important when you’re caramelizing a syrup, making a delicate glaze, baking a delicious meringue, or simmering your family’s favorite jam recipe.”


Domino Sugar, Dixie Crystal and C&H are all cane sugar and say so on the label
Holly Sugar, which acquired Spreckles, is beet sugar

Beet Sugar

Chemically identical to cane sugar 99.05 percent.  But that .05 percent makes a big difference when cooking.  Beets are harvested in the fall and are usually grown much further from the processing plant than sugar cane, requiring a higher transportation cost.  Beets are a root vegetable and more processing is required to clean them and separate the greens.  Also important to note is that beets are a rotational crop while sugar cane is a mono crop.  Rotational crops require 4 times as much land to grow as mono crops.  To learn more about how beets are turned into sugar go here.  For all practical purposes the only difference between beet and cane sugar may be how they react to heat.

Corn Sugar

Corn sugar aka corn syrup.  Yes, just like the corn syrup in your pantry.  Now, the difference is that corn syrup has no fructose as opposed to cane sugar or beet sugar.  Table sugar, composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, is from sugar beets or sugar cane.    For a lot of reasons I won’t get into now, but can be found in the movie “King Corn“, corn syrup is much cheaper to produce than cane or beet sugar, but it doesn’t taste the same. In step the scientists to “fix” that problem.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Scientists found a way to chemically alter corn syrup to create a cheap liquid sugar by adding fructose, hence the name high fructose corn syrup.  The corn syrup is high in fructose relative to other corn syrup, not to sugar.  HFCS-55 has a similar fructose ratio to honey and is composed of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose and is used in soft drinks.  There is also a HFCS-45, which is less sweet than sugar and HFCS-55 and is used in many baked goods, jams, jellies, and cereals. HFCS-45 contains 45 percent fructose and 55 percent glucose.  It is widely believed that because HFCS has been chemically altered that the body doesn’t react to it in the same way as sugar, but that has yet to be proven.


Many believe that caramel made with beet sugar will crystallize and never form caramel where cane sugar works well. Cane sugar on a creme brulee caramelizes while beet sugar burns.  Some cooks believe that making boiled icing with beet sugar is a mess.  If the package of sugar doesn’t say cane, it’s beet.  Some brands mix the two.


Happy baking and keep on Farming you Fat Farmers- Jughandle

Soil and the Organic Garden

According to Wikipedia:

Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotationgreen manurecompost and biological pest control. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizerspesticides (which include herbicidesinsecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibioticsfood additivesgenetically modified organisms,[1] human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials.[2]

Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972.[3] IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as:

“Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved…”


Apparently the soil in an organic farm or garden MUST be turned and amended and the crops MUST be rotated to insure problem free growth.

Crop rotation is one of the oldest and most effective strategies for organic pest control and healthy soil culture in your organic garden. Specifically, it means the planned order of vegetables or fruits in garden beds; avoiding planting the same crop in the same space for a two or three year period; and knowing what family your edibles belong to.

Where the same vegetables or fruits are grown in the same patch of soil successively, soil depletion and pest infestation may follow. As organic gardeners don’t use insecticides, preventing pest infestations must be controlled by other means.

Many soil dwelling insects are fairly immobile. Take wireworms for instance. They love to feast on sweet potatoes and carrots. If you plant those edibles in the sameraised bed every year, wireworms will build up in the soil and in a few seasons you’ll have a terrible infestation on your hands. But if you follow carrots or sweet potatoes the following season with a non-root vegetable like lettuce or spinach, the wireworms will lose their food source and will be incapable of multiplying.

The same idea holds true for diseases such as tomato blight. If your tomatoes were infected with blight last year, fungal spores from the blight may overwinter in your soil. Planting tomatoes the following year in the farthest garden bed from the blight infested bed will minimize the chances that your tomatoes will pick up the diseaseagain.

Crop rotation also spares depletion of your garden soil. Every plant requires unique amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium (N-P-K) and other trace minerals. When the same plant makes repeated demands of the same patch of soil, the elements it requires are quickly depleted and may take years to replace. For this reason, heavy composting in between crops is recommended for soil health and using a soil test kit formonitoring levels of N-P-K.

Rotating your vegetables and fruit also greatly reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides. In my organic garden, I have no need for pesticides at all – there simply are no infestations – and I only use a small amount of organic fertilizer, but large amounts of compost.

For more information on crop rotation and identifying which families your vegetables are in, check out this explanation on crop rotation from OrganicLife.

crop rotation potatoes Don’s follow potatoes with potatoes in your garden.


What to use in your soil?

Spring Cleaning

I know it is a touch early for Spring, but not to early to clean the toxins out of our systems and get ready for a healthy Spring and Summer, maybe with a detox diet.

 Start Properly

There are dozens of detox diets out there and some are down right bad for your kidneys and liver.  Be careful and use common sense, these diets are not for the faint of heart.  It is important to be prepared both mentally and physically for this diet.  Detox diets are not intended to cure disease, just to allow the body to run more efficiently, kind of like a car tune up.  If you have problems like high blood pressure, kidney disease or heart disease, consult your doctor before starting any diet.  Take the Detox Screening Quiz.

What the Mayo Clinic Says about Detox Diets

Detox diets: Do they work?

Do detox diets offer any health benefits?


from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Detox, or detoxification, diets are popular, but they’re not scientifically proven.

Detox diets are touted as a way to remove toxins from the body. Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using certain herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing (enemas) to help empty the intestines. Most detox diets last seven to 10 days.

Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. However, this may be due to a belief that they’re doing something good for their bodies. There’s little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Most ingested toxins are efficiently and effectively removed by the kidneys and liver and excreted in urine and stool.

It’s also important to consider possible side effects. Among other problems, detox diets can lead to:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

If you’re considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first — and remember, the best diet is a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.

What is a Detox Diet?

A detox diet is a good idea when you might have been over indulging in the wrong things for a period of time, or if you’d like to get a jump start on losing weight and/or are interested in getting the toxins and chemicals floating around in and on your body, out and off.  A good old detox can get rid of that bloated feeling and restore energy.  Your body will be able to accept more water and oxygen from the food you eat and your skin will look and feel better.  Detox diets generally last from 3 to 21 days.

Why Detox?

As I mentioned before, we ingest an amazing amount of chemicals, pesticides and hormones in the food we normally eat.  Even if you are trying to maintain a healthy life style, you are bound to have eaten some processed or canned food.  Been sick, having headaches, stomach problems, bloated,  had some drugs administered?  You need to detox.  Our bodies naturally remove toxins that we consume but a detox diet gives that body time to remove more toxins before we put more back in.

How to Start

As with most things, I recommend that you start slowly.  If you’ve never been on a detox diet before, start with a 3 day diet and see how it goes.

Juice fasts:

The Master Cleanse – Also know as the Lemonade diet. Nothing but lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper – click here for details

Liquid Diets and Juice Fasting – Nothing but juice – click here for details

Raw Food Diet:

The 28 Day Raw Detox – Basically you can eat anything that isn’t cooked or processed.  click here for details

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Fat Farm does not recommend extreme diets of any kind.  If you must try these diets, start small and don’t go longer than a couple of days.  Here is a link to several more.  click here.

Best Food To Eat In Winter

Food For Winter

Winter food.  Winter is a time to refit.  To assess the foundation and structure of our body and make adjustments if necessary.  The first and most important thing to look at is our diet.  If you are the type of person that eats the same things year in and year out or even worse, Monday is salad night, and Tuesday is pizza night, etc.  You are causing a number of problems with your health.  Like any organism the body adjusts to the stimuli that confront it.  Food is a very powerful stimulus to the body.  Did you know that you can lose or gain weight eating exactly the same food, but eating it in different combinations or at different times of the day?


Surprise your body.  Make it adjust to different foods and different schedules.  It is good for you.  God forbid that you might have to actually think about it!

winter landscape


Back to winter.  Everything slows down in the winter.  Your body’s metabolism slows to maintain the fat you have stored in case food becomes scarce.  Your immune system is compromised by the lack of water soluble and sunlight provided vitamins, such as B-complex and C which are not stored by the body and must be replaced every day and while Vitamin D, is stored by the body, it is also harder to come by in the winter because our main source is sunlight.  That is why you are more likely to get a cold or the flu during the winter.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, is lost during the winter causing a winter depression.  All of these negative factors are all increased when you stay on your warm weather diet.



Winter Foods

If you can’t find sunshine to get your Vitamin D, you can get it in abundance from fresh fish not to mention omega 3 fatty acids:  The following is from Ask DrSears ranking seafood by nutrition:

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Most important to eat daily are the foods containing your water soluble vitamins, B-complex and C.  Not only are they important to maintain your energy levels, they contribute to your appetite, vision, blood and nervous system.  The following is a table from the Colorado State University extension site about Water soluble vitamins.

Considerable losses during cooking.Uncommon due to availability in most foods; fatigue; nausea, abdominal cramps; difficulty sleeping.

Table 1: Water-soluble vitamins and their characteristics.
Common food sources Major functions Deficiency symptoms Overconsumption symptoms Stability in foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, melon, green pepper, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, potatoes. Formation of collagen (a component of tissues), helps hold them together; wound healing; maintaining blood vessels, bones, teeth; absorption of iron, calcium, folacin; production of brain hormones, immune factors; antioxidant. Bleeding gums; wounds don’t heal; bruise easily; dry, rough skin; scurvy; sore joints and bones; increased infections. Nontoxic under normal conditions; rebound scurvy when high doses discontinued; diarrhea, bloating, cramps; increased incidence of kidney stones. Most unstable under heat, drying, storage; very soluble in water, leaches out of some vegetables during cooking; alkalinity (baking soda) destroys vitamin C.
Thiamin (vitamin B1 )
Pork, liver, whole grains, enriched grain products, peas, meat, legumes. Helps release energy from foods; promotes normal appetite; important in function of nervous system. Mental confusion; muscle weakness, wasting; edema; impaired growth; beriberi. None known. Losses depend on cooking method, length, alkalinity of cooking medium; destroyed by sulfite used to treat dried fruits such as apricots; dissolves in cooking water.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Liver, milk, dark green vegetables, whole and enriched grain products, eggs. Helps release energy from foods; promotes good vision, healthy skin. Cracks at corners of mouth; dermatitis around nose and lips; eyes sensitive to light. None known. Sensitive to light; unstable in alkaline solutions.
Niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Liver, fish, poultry, meat, peanuts, whole and enriched grain products. Energy production from foods; aids digestion, promotes normal appetite; promotes healthy skin, nerves. Skin disorders; diarrhea; weakness; mental confusion; irritability. Abnormal liver function; cramps; nausea; irritability.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
Pork, meats, whole grains and cereals, legumes, green, leafy vegetables. Aids in protein metabolism, absorption; aids in red blood cell formation; helps body use fats. Skin disorders, dermatitis, cracks at corners of mouth; irritability; anemia; kidney stones; nausea; smooth tongue. None known.
Folacin (folic acid)
Liver, kidney, dark green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, whole grains, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, citrus fruits. Aids in protein metabolism; promotes red blood cell formation; prevents birth defects of spine, brain; lowers homocystein levels and thus coronary heart disease risk. Anemia; smooth tongue; diarrhea. May mask vitamin B12deficiency (pernicious anemia). Easily destroyed by storing, cooking and other processing.
Vitamin B12
Found only in animal foods: meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and milk products, oysters, shellfish. Aids in building of genetic material; aids in development of normal red blood cells; maintenance of nervous system. Pernicious anemia, anemia; neurological disorders; degeneration of peripheral nerves that may cause numbness, tingling in fingers and toes. None known.
Pantothenic acid
Liver, kidney, meats, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes; also made by intestinal bacteria. Involved in energy production; aids in formation of hormones. None known. About half of pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains and heavily refined foods.
Liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, also made by intestinal bacteria. Helps release energy from carbohydrates; aids in fat synthesis. Uncommon under normal circumstances; fatigue; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting; depression; muscle pains; anemia. None known.


 Bottom Line

If you want to get the message without doing the reading, eat the following in larger quantities during the winter months:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Water – stay hydrated year round
  • Chocolate – has many mood elevators
  • Citrus – especially oranges, limes and lemons
  • Nuts and Seeds – they contain selenium which will help you avoid the winter blues
  • Whole gains – remember whole grains
  • Cultured Yogurt – will help maintain your digestive system
  • Dark Green Vegetables – spinach, peas, kale all have iron which will help your blood
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Winter Squash


Eat healthy and feel better.  Click on the highlighted links above for much more information on each subject and as always please ask me anything you’d like – jughandle



Meat substitutes

Meat substitutes.  Check out this page on One Green Planet titled “10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat“.

Not your hippie friend’s meat substitute

Not too long ago vegan friendly substitutes for meat were like eating cardboard.  Not to mention they were highly processed and contained a lot of chemicals.  Not so much today.  There are quite a few products that are very good and can even stand on their own without being called a “substitute”.

Cutting down on meat?

If you aren’t, you really should be.  I have been on a vegan experiment for the last 6 months or so with interesting results.  That is a story for another day, but suffice it to say if you are pushing 65 as I am or even 45 for that matter, it’s time to consider your long term diet, in order to have a “long term” at all.  I’m not saying to stop meat completely, in fact I’ve started back on a limited protein serving a couple of times per week.  I’ll explain that another time.

The products and the companies producing meat substitutes that I’m going to list below are a great way to expand your eating options and improve your health at the same.  Back off on the red, white and fowl meats.  Don’t stop by any means, but just imagine how much better they’ll taste when you aren’t eating them as often.

5 Options

Veggie Patch Products –  This is a large line of veggie and meatless products that might interest even the pickiest carnivore.  No artificial flavors, preservative and no trans fat.  These products include Meatless meatballs, chick’n Nuggets and Ultimate Meatless Burgers and many more. Click on the link to find who carries them in your area.

Trader Joe’s Meatless Corn Dogs and Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs – If you or your kids like corn dogs, try one of these substitutes and see if any one even can tell the difference. Trader Joe provide excellent products throughout their store and Morningstar is a leader in the vegan market.

Quorn –  While I’m not personally familiar with this brand, it is highly recommended.  Click on the link and check out the products for yourself.  They have meat and meatless products.



Turtle Island Foods –  I recently had my first Tempeh…. wait for it… wait for it… and I loved it.  Great texture, good flavor and cooks well with out falling apart.  Turtle Island carried Tofurky, tofurky pizza, tempeh and tempeh bacon.  I can’t yet vouch for all of these products, but the tempeh is great.

Gardein Seven – the article says about Gardein

“Gardein’s ad campaign advises consumers to “cheat on meat,” and their products make it easy to do just that. To boot, these breaded tenders contain heart healthy grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth and Kamut and have 8 grams of protein per serving”


I have concluded for myself that I am cutting down on meat and I will eat more of the products I’ve list above.  I recommend you come to the same conclusion, as I need to keep all the readers I have.  – jughandle


We ARE what we EAT – Are your kids red dye #40?

It was brought to my attention last night that I have been remiss in my reporting about food that children eat.  More like, food that parents feed children.

blue dye

I’m not a parent

Keep in mind that I am not a parent.  I am however a uncle and I love my nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, very much.  What is more important to a growing body and mind than what fuels their growth? Nothing!  Far from me to judge what a parent feeds their children.  Look what a young parent is up against.

First of all a young parent is new at everything.  There is no owners manual for a kid, only older family members, friends, self help books and human nature to provide a basis for keeping their child alive and hopefully making them thrive.  Young parents are many times, just getting married and are still learning who takes out the trash and who does the check book and whose mess is on the floor.  Then enters a child.  All bets are out the window.  Nothing matters except what is at hand; the life and well being of that new born.  What are you going to feed your baby?  You are going to go to the store, most likely hauling the child with you, and not being able to bend over, you are going to do exactly what the marketing people what you to do.  Are you going to read the label?  Hell no, not with a kid tugging at you.  You are going to buy the food on the shelf at eye level.  The highest margin products.  The colorful ones that the kids go oh, oh, oh and point at.  Maybe you’ll remember that you saw it on TV.  It must be OK then, right? Not so much.

National Advertising

National advertising from manufactures creates national peer pressure on parents.  While, I’m not a parent, I am an advertising major in school and worked with a graphic design group for several years and so is my wife.  Advertisers know exactly what children and therefore their parents are looking for.  Kids like bright colors, sweet stuff, things they see in bright loud ads but most of all, they want the stuff their friends have.

The manufactures have a responsibility to their board of directors, who have a responsibility to their share holders to make as much profit for the company as possible.  All companies have an ethical obligation to provide a product that won’t do immediate harm to its consumer and that is about as far as it goes.   But what if no studies have ever been done on an the long term effects of a food additive on growing children, but that additive has been used in the food industry for years with out many complaints?  It gets used until proven to be harmful.

Have you ever taken your child shopping with you (not really the best idea, but mostly unavoidable) and while you are picking out the product you intended to purchase, your child says, “no mommy, I want this one”?  That one is the bright colorful one right at their eye level.  Welcome to the world of consumer advertising.

You Are Responsible

You and only you are responsible for what YOU AND YOUR FAMILY eats.  Not the government.  They WILL NOT hold your hand.  I repeat.  This is on YOU!  You make the decision of what to put in your families bodies.  Contrary to many people’s belief’s, not everything for sale is good for you or even SAFE.  In this day and age of easy information, there is no excuse.  None!  I’m here to help.  Ask me a question.  please.  – jughandle

Too Much to Touch on

This topic is way too broad to even touch on all the important aspects.  What we’ll have to do is to delve into one of the most important HOT topics and move on later. Food coloring additives are a pet peeve of the Fat Farm and many of it’s Farmers.  That too is way to broad a topic to hit on so I’ll narrow it to one color at a time.

Red Dye

Red dye #40


Red Dye #40

Just to get your attention, I’m going to list just a few of the known side effects of this nasty color additive.

  • Impaired brain function
  • hyperactive behavior
  • difficulty focusing
  • lack of impulse control

Those are just the starters.  Don’t believe me?  Go to Healthy Living and read for yourself

These problems have been blamed on newly named syndromes and diseases like ADHD, ADD and others.  What came first the chicken or the egg?

If your child gets hyperactive after eating a sweet food.  Don’t blame it on the sugar any more, check out what color the food was.

Where are these dyes used?

EVERYWHERE!  Read the labels.  If you don’t have time to do the research, let me.  Send me a quick email or note on this blog telling me the name and brand of food you want me to research and I’ll do the math for all of us.  Better even than that – if you find a “good” food let me know and I’ll tell the world.  Shoot, I’ll write the president of the company and tell them we endorse their product.

What to look for


What are your kids eating for breakfast?

Breakfast, as we’ve always heard, is the most important meal of the day.  More so for children.  Research shows that children’s brain function improves up to 80% when they consume protein first thing in the morning. What are your kids eating for breakfast? A fruity bowl of sugar and Red 40?

List of Dyes and their health effects





FD&C Red No.2
not allowed in U.S.
E 123 Europe
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Ponceau, Sunset Yellow)
FD&C Red No.3
E 127 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Indigo Carmine)
Sequential vascular response
Elevation of protein-bound iodide
Thyroid tumors
Chromosomal damage
Unspecified symptoms
FD&C Red No.4
not allowed in U.S.
E 124 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Sunset Yellow)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Sunset Yellow)
Chest heaviness
Neutral Red Contact dermatitis
E 122 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet;
Red #2G
_128 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Citrus Red No.2 Cancer in animals
Used for dying skins of oranges
Allura Red AC
FD&C Red No.40
Tumors / lymphomas
FD&C Yellow No.5
E 102 Europe
Thyroid tumors
Lymphocytic lymphomas
Chromosomal Damage
Trigger for asthma
Urticaria (hives)
Hyperactivity (Rowe & Rowe, Egger, 1985)
Sunset Yellow
FD&C Yellow No.6
Urticaria (hives)
Rhinitis (runny nose)
Nasal congestion
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Ponceau)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Ponceau)
Eosinophilotactic response
Purpura (bruising)
Kidney tumors
Chromosomal damage
Abdominal pain
Distaste for food
Yellow #2G
_107 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
D&C Yellow No.11 Contact dermatitis
Quinoline Yellow
D&C Yellow No.10
E 104 Europe
Contact dermatitis
Used in several different Ritalin tablets
Fast Green
FD&C Green No.3
Bladder tumors
Brilliant Blue
FD&C Blue No.1
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Erythrosine, Indigo Carmine)
Eosinophilotactic response
Chromosomal damage
Indigo Carmine
FD&C Blue No.2
E 132 Europe
Brain tumors
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Erythrosine)
Evans Blue
CI Direct Blue 53
Patent Blue Purpura (bruising)
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Gentian Violet
CI Basic Violet No.3
Contact dermatitis
Brown FK
_154 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Brown HT
_155 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Black PN
E 151 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
E 320 Europe BHA
E 321 Europe BHT
E 211 Europe Sodium Benzoate
E 250 Europe Sodium Nitrite
E 251 Europe Sodium Nitrate
_621 MSG Monosodium Glutamate


Conclusions and Recommendations

Oh God, I could go on and on about this and I will another time, but I don’t want to lose you.  Please start by simply eliminating Red dye from your family’s diet.  What the hell, remove yellow dye too!  See if you can tell a difference.  More to come – jughandle




Tryptophan – the sleepy turkey drug?

Eat Turkey, take a nap, right?  Blame it on the tryptophan in the turkey and stick your hand in your pants and fall asleep in front of the TV while the wife cleans the house and does the dishes.  No problem, except she ate the turkey too, didn’t she?

What is Tryptophan?

Trp or W is one of the 20 essential amino acids in the human diet.  That means by definition tryptophan can not be synthesized by the body and must be obtained as part of the diet.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein biosynthesis.  Most protein based foods contain Trp and Turkey is about the same as most other poultry.

Other Sources

If you really like Trp, you can get it in pill form at your local health food store.  People use this supplement to treat low serotonin levels, depression and as a sleep aid.  But, isn’t there always a BUT.  Read this from Wikipedia

A metabolite of tryptophan, 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), has been suggested as a treatment for epilepsy and depression, although clinical trials are regarded inconclusive and lacking. Since 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and in addition is rapidly decarboxylated to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT).  However, serotonin has a relatively short half-life since it is rapidly metabolized by monoamine oxidase.

Due to the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin by the liver, there may be a significant risk of heart valve disease from serotonin’s effect on the heart.

There was a large tryptophan-related outbreak of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) in 1989, which caused 1,500 cases of permanent disability and at least thirty-seven deaths. Some epidemiological studies traced the outbreak to L-tryptophan supplied by a Japanese manufacturer, Showa Denko KK.  It was further hypothesized that one or more trace impurities produced during the manufacture of tryptophan may have been responsible for the EMS outbreak.  The fact that the Showa Denko facility used genetically engineered bacteria to produce L-tryptophan gave rise to speculation that genetic engineering was responsible for such impurities. However, the methodology used in the initial epidemiological studies has been criticized.  An alternative explanation for the 1989 EMS outbreak is that large doses of tryptophan produce metabolites that inhibit the normal degradation of histamine, and excess histamine in turn has been proposed to cause EMS

Turkey and drowsiness

Long story short, your drowsiness after a big Turkey meal is more likely a result of eating too many carbohydrates and not the turkey.  The consumption of large amounts of carbs that are high on the Glycemic index cause the bodies blood sugar to elevate and then the pancreas kicks in to off set the amount of sugar in the blood by producing insulin.  Insulin then stimulates the uptake of the large branch-chain amino acids, but not tryptophan into the muscles.  That increases the ratio of tryptophan to Branched-chain amino acids in the blood stream.  That increased ratio makes it possible for the tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier and then to be converted to serotonin.  Serotonin is later converted to melatonin by the pineal gland which then causes drowsiness.  The same thing happens when you drink or eat a lot of sweets in the morning then later “crash”.


Now that we understand that it is simple carbs and sugar that cause our sleepiness after a big meal, we need to fess up to the fact that either our wives don’t eat the same meal as we do or we are just a touch lazy.  Just my opinion, your results may vary.  – jughandle