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Baking Soda vs Baking Powder, what’s the difference – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder, what’s the difference?  When should we use one over the other?  Are there any other uses for either, than baking or cooking?

If you are a serious cook, you should be able to rattle off the answers to those questions instantly.

Baking is more of a science than an art.  Chemistry and exact proportions are very important to achieving a quality finished product consistently.

Dough Rising

The holes are formed by the expansion of CO2 as the dough rises and sets.

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, bicarbonate, and bicarb are all names for the same thing – NaHCO

It is a salt made up of sodium and bicarbonate molecules.  For a more in-depth explanation and chemistry, go to Wikipedia.  Sodium Bi-carbonate is used for many things but since our many focus is cooking, let us look at that first.

the leavening difference

without and with

Cooking

In cooking Sodium bi-carbonate is called Baking Soda.  By providing CO2, its primary use is as a leavening agent in batters and dough such as pancakes and breads, but is also used to crisp up the batter in fried foods.  Baking soda is very alkaline and in too large a quantity can leave sodium carbonate, which has a bitter or soapy taste.

What you need to remember is that Baking Soda releases CO2, carbon dioxide gas, that causes the batter or dough to rise by expanding within the lattice like structure of protein, known as gluten, in the dough.  The gluten traps the CO2 gas as it forms to make the bread or batter rise. 

Ok, now dig deeper and recall a little high school chemistry.  Baking Soda, aka: Sodium Bi-carbonate, is a base.  A base will decompose in the presence of of heat, starting at 180 deg F, but give up only half of its its CO2 leaving, proportionately, more of its bitter, soapy flavor, relative to the gas, in the final product.

You may also recall that a base and an acid have a strong chemical reaction.  In the case of Baking Soda, if you also use an acid such as a phosphate, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa vinegar or even a sourdough batter, you can create a reaction that will release much more of its CO2. Remember that unlike batter or dough that has no acid, which will only rise when CO2 is released at 180 deg when baking.  When your acid and baking soda are mixed the reaction will start immediately and you will need to hurry and start the cooking.

Additionally

You might find useful the fact that when adding baking soda to your coating for fried foods, your crust will be more crispy.  The reason for the crispiness is that the emerging CO2 leaves passages for steam to escape from the food not only keeping the breading from being soggy but also preventing the crust from being blown off during cooking.

Baking Powder

Let us now consider, baking powder.  Not the stuff with a thousand uses that you put open in the refrig, but the powder in a round can that that said
“Double Acting” on it.

Baking powder generally contains around 30% sodium bicarbonate combined with calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminium phosphate  or cream of tartar, which are activated by adding water, not needing acid.  Having both the Baking Soda and other additives make it “double acting”.

While baking soda is alkaline; the acid used in baking powder helps to avoid the metallic, bitter, soapy taste when the chemical change during baking creates sodium carbonate.

Tipsbulletin.com

Tips bulletin is a very informative site that gives tips on all sorts of different topics.  The following are excerpts from their 50+ Amazing Uses of Baking Soda

1. Clean Your Bathtub

Bathtub Cleaner Recipe

  • Baking soda (1/2 Cup)
  • Coarse salt (1 Tbsp)
  • Dish soap (1 Tbsp)
A safe and effective way to wash your bathtub, sink, and surrounding tile is by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda on a clean, damp sponge and scrubbing the tub as usual. Thoroughly rinse the bathtub and wipe it dry with a clean towel.

Baking soda also works well to clean fiberglass and glossy tiles. For extra cleaning power, you can make a paste with the baking soda for a deep-down clean.

9. Clean Furniture

Baking soda is an excellent product if you need to clean or remove marks from painted furniture or walls. Apply baking soda to a clean damp rag or sponge and lightly rub the area that you need to clean.

Baking soda works especially well to clean patio furniture. Using a clean, dry cloth, remove the residue from the furniture or wall. This method will even work for removing crayon marks from your walls and furniture.

17. Natural Fruit and Vegetable Scrub

Even if you buy organic produce, it is important to make sure to wash your fruits and veggies before consuming them. Not only can this get rid of any pesticides that may have seen use during the growing of the produce, but it can remove bacteria from your food.

Baking Soda Uses: Keeps Produce Fresh

You can make a natural produce cleaner by adding one teaspoon of baking powder to one tablespoon water. The paste is an excellent way to get rid of unwanted bacteria and pesticides from your produce.

23. Extinguish Grease Fires

If you encounter a minor grease fire in your kitchen, you can use baking soda to put it out quickly. Pouring baking soda on the fire will instantly stifle the flames. When the baking soda is heated, it discharges carbon dioxide and produces water.

The carbon dioxide doesn’t support combustion like oxygen. It smothers the fire, allowing the water that has formed to cool the fire to below the temperature needed for ignition.

31. Deodorize Recycling Bin

You can make sure your recycling bin doesn’t smell by adding baking soda to the top of the container every time you add to the container.

You can also clean the recycle bin with baking soda after it is empty. Place some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the inside of the recycle bin, followed by a thorough rinse with warm water.

And many others – Check it out – Jughandle

Is High-fructose Corn Syrup Mad Science? – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Aka: HFCS.  Is the Devil, Right?

I’m a huge opponent of high-fructose corn syrup otherwise known as HFCS.  That said, I will do my best to remain neutral and explain why.  This topic is not black and white.  There are many shades of gray.

A Little Chemistry

Our body uses glucose and Fructose (monosaccharides) as its energy sources and both are “simple sugars”.  The most important monosaccharide is glucose because it is already at the state where the body’s enzymes can initiate metabolism and doesn’t need to be processed further.  Most other more complex sugars and carbohydrates need to be processed in order to be turned into glucose by the body.  Glucose is also our “blood” sugar.  The body’s pancreas produces insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood as well as the energy regulating hormone leptin. Not so with fructose.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables.  It is also added to foods and beverages to sweeten them.  The problem lies in the metabolic pathway fructose has in the body.  Fructose is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain as is glucose and tends to be treated more like fat in the body than sugar.  Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and is more fat-producing than glucose.  More importantly, fructose does not cause insulin to be released or leptin to be produced.

Because Fructose isn’t the body’s primary energy source it builds up in the body and is stored in the liver as triglycerides (fat) while the body’s insulin response is only to the glucose.

chemistry

Chemistry

The History Of HFCS vs Sucrose

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a fructose-glucose liquid alternative sweetener to sucrose (table sugar), and was first introduced to the food and beverage industry for mass use in the 1970s.  HFCS is not meaningfully different in composition or metabolism from other fructose-glucose sweeteners like sucrose, honey, and fruit juice concentrates.

Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  There are basically two types of commonly used HFCS, HFCS-42 and HFCS-55.  42 is only 42% fructose and 55 is 55% fructose.

Food formulators quickly moved to HFCS as a replacement for sucrose, and its use grew between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Its sweetness is comparable with that of sucrose, it has improved stability and functionality, and is much easier to use because it is already a liquid.

Even though the use of HFCS today is roughly equal to sucrose use in the United States, the world’s preferred sweetener is sucrose: greater than 90% of the  sweetener used worldwide is sucrose.

Table Sugar

Sucrose

The Good

HFCS is less expensive to produce than sucrose.  Sucrose comes from countries that are somewhat unstable and the basic crop price can fluctuate wildly.  When sugarcane is processed into sucrose it is a solid gradual that must be dissolved in water to the proper concentration before it can be used.  HFCS is produced as a liquid, ready to use and is more easily transported.

Even though the product is called High-Fructose corn syrup, it has only slightly more (55%) or slightly less (42%) fructose than does sucrose which has 50% fructose.  The Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to change the name simply to “corn sugar”.  So far they have been denied.

The Bad And Ugly

I’m not going to hit you with a bunch of numbers.  All I need to say is that obesity in America is at an all time high.

Why

As I see it there are many reasons why, pick a few of these.

  • Food is easier to get
  • It is “cool” to over eat, there are even eating contests
  • Serving sizes are much larger
  • Everything has sugar or sweetener in it
  • Prepared or fast-food is now more common and easy to get when time is short
  • There are many more places to get food than ever before
  • Deserts, candy and sweet foods that were once considered a treat are now readily available at any time.
  • There are many more “snack” foods flooding the market
  • School children are NOT required to exercise for the most part
  • TV and Computers have taken over play time where playing outside and physical games once dominated
  • The general public is not sufficiently educated as related to nutrition and diet

Conclusions and Recommendations from the Farm

For the first time in modern history the average life expectancy has dropped in the US.  The reasons given mostly revolved around obesity and heart disease.  

My research has lead me to conclude that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse for us than ordinary table sugar.   The problem is that we are consuming many times the sugar than is healthy.

The chart above shows that in 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours.  We are now eating roughly 100 pounds of sugar apiece each year.

Since you are reading my rants on the Fat Farm you are doing the best thing you can to improve your health. Educate yourself.  As always don’t believe a thing I say.  Research, trust but verify.  Put in the time and do the work.  Ask questions. – jughandle

 

CNN Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

What Constitutes Organic food

What Constitutes Organic food and what foods are best eaten that way

Yesterday I posted more reasons to buy and eat organic, but I didn’t explain what organic is and which foods benefit us most to be eaten that way.

Simply, organic farmers don’t use synthetic chemicals to fertilize or synthetic pesticides to control weeds or bugs.  They use mulch as a weed barrier and natural methods to stop pests.  But of course its never that simple.

The department of agriculture says that only products can be labeled 100 per cent organic if they are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.  If the tag says only “organic” it must be at least 95 percent organic.  To confuse us more “Made with organic ingredients” are products containing at least  70 percent organic ingredients, but the official organic seal can’t be used on those products.  The USDA not only has strict standards for organic farming, it also inspects organic farms to assure their standards are being met.

The following are the 5 steps to Organic certification.- click here

Characteristics of Organic Farms:

Organic vegetable farms minimize the kind and amount of fertilizers and pesticides used to produce a crop as their overall goal. Emphasis is placed on long term planning based on information regarding crop pest life cycles, soil conditioning, extensive evaluation of ecological relationships, field conditions, and, options for management of these variables in a given field or on a given farm. According to the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, there are three basic characteristics that define an organic farm:

1. – Soil conditioning is maintained through the heavy use of composted and naturally occurring plant and animal material incorporated into the soil profile; green manure and cover crops, and, crop rotation.

2. – Soil fertility is depended upon the continuing activity of minor organisms such as earthworms and bacteria to digest organic matter and convert it to compounds available to plants.

3. – Pest control is advanced by “healthy” soil, plant resistance, selective and limited use of pesticides that poise little or no adverse effect to the soil, crop, environment and human health.

Beware of the top 10 foods most likely to retain the most pesticides- always buy organic

  1.  Strawberries
  2.  Bell peppers
  3.  Spinach
  4.  Cherries
  5.  Peaches
  6.  Foreign-grown cantaloupe
  7. Celery
  8.  Apples
  9.  Apricots
  10.  Green Beans

The following are safer because they don’t absorb much pesticide or are normally peeled before eating.  These aren’t necessary to be bought organic yet.

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Broccoli
  5. Cabbage
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mango
  8. Onions
  9. Papaya
  10. Pineapple

Organic Beef

To raise cattle organically the farmer must meet the health conditions and natural behavior of the animal in nature.  What the heck does that mean.  I call BS on that.  Many of these animals have been domestically raised for hundreds of years.  So this is a fine line but….

Organic livestock must be given access to the outdoors, frest air, water, sunshine, grass and pasture and must be fed 100 percent organic feed.  Any shelter provided must be designed to allow the animal comfort and the opportunity to exercise.  Darn, I’d like to live organically too.  Organic practices prohibit feeding animal parts of any kind to animals that by nature eat a vegetarian diet.  Yes, that is done in feed lots to increase the protein to the animal.  In fact that is what is believed to have caused “mad cow disease”.

To top that “national organic standards require oversight of production and handling systems.  Production and handling operations must undergo onsite inspections and have farm or operating plans in place in order to be certified organic.  The standards also specify feed requirements, including what is and is not allowed.

Organic production requires that livestock cannot be fed plastic pellets for roughage, or formulas containing urea or manure.  They cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones.  For an animal to be raised for organic beef its mother must have been fed organic feed for at least the last third of gestation.”

If you’d like specific information go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/standards/prodhandreg.html

Conclusions and recommendations

When I started this blog I was extremely open minded about “normal” eating practices.  Knowledge is sometimes dangerous or at least expensive.  I can’t help but to completely recommend eating organic vegetables and beef.  Actually it seems that we’d be stupid not to. – jughandle

More about SUGAR

As we’ve discussed before, sugar is the bane of our existence.  Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it.  Since almost everything either has sugar in it or breaks down in our body (carbohydrates) to form sugar, we should avoid excess sugar intake when ever we can.  I am providing the following information about sugar as a FYI blog.  This information comes from Prevention.com and a recent article written by Mandy Oaklander called “10 Sneaky Names for Sugar“.  All of the following images are from the same article.  If you only read one, read the first one.  It is enlightening. – jughandle

 

1. Sucrose

What’s the anatomy of a sugar? Let’s start with table sugar, one of the most common. The scientific name is sucrose: That’s half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). You might also know it by “cane sugar,” which is 100% sucrose.

Here’s the bad news. While glucose can be metabolized by all your organs, fructose is metabolized almost solely by your liver, writes Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, in his forthcoming book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In other words, fructose taxes your liver. And it’s in every caloric sweetener, from white sugar, to cane sugar, to beet sugar, to agave nectar. It also pops up on food labels by itself.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

2. Evaporated Cane Juice

Sounds healthier, right? Don’t believe the babble. Evaporated cane juice is little more than a dressed-up name for straight-up sugar.

In October 2009, the FDA issued a guidance statement about the term. “FDA’s current policy is that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice,” the guidance says. But in reality, evaporated cane juice isn’t even a liquid.

The FDA recommendations aren’t binding. Still, the yogurt company Chobani is under legal fire for its simultaneous use of “evaporated cane juice” and its claim of “no sugar added” products, reports Food Navigator. The lawsuit, brought by a California woman, accuses the company of violating federal law.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

3. Agave Nectar

Another “health” food favorite, agave nectar is touted as a natural sugar and is widely used in natural baked goods. But agave nectar is higher in fructose than cane sugar. In fact, says Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, agave is 85% fructose. “Agave’s probably one of the worst,” Dr. Weil says. Not only is it not healthier for you, but it also doesn’t even contain more antioxidants or minerals than other types.  However, it does have a lower glycemic load than other sweeteners, so it causes a less drastic spike in blood sugar. And the stuff is so sweet that you’ll probably use less of it.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

4. Fruit Juice Concentrate

No matter how healthy your juice looks, chances are good that added fruit juice concentrate is in there. Check labels of juice, flavored yogurt and any other processed food for grape, apple or any other kind of fruit juice concentrate: It’s all too often there. Also look for it in snack bars, applesauce, and other fruity edibles. Concentrate is formed when the water is removed from fruit juice. What’s left? We’ll give you one guess. Yup, sugar.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

5. 100% Fruit Juice

But what about an organic, natural, no-sugar-added, 100% fruit juice? No concentrate, no problems, right? Sorry to ruin your breakfast, but you might as well go ahead and skip this OJ and have a Snickers.

Whole fruit is good for you, says Dr. Lustig, because it contains lots of fiber. In juice form, which is devoid of fiber, sugar’s sugar—even if you juice it yourself, straight from fresh fruit. “It’s all the same,” Lustig writes of sugar’s many names and forms in his forthcoming book, Fat Chance. “The vehicle is irrelevant; it’s the payload that matters.” By this definition, your 100% orange juice is worse for you than soda: The former contains 5.8 teaspoons of sugar per cup, while soda contains 5.4.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Study after study has shown that high fructose corn syrup, made from processed (and usually genetically modified) cornstarch, is technically no different from sucrose. But some research shows that HFCS generates a higher blood fructose level, which could have negative metabolic consequences. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In 2010, corn refiners petitioned the FDA for permission to start calling HFCS “corn sugar.” They were turned down.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

7. The -Oses

Watch out for anything –ose, lest you sugar overdose. You’ve met sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but did you know galactose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose? They’re all sugars—some of which occur naturally but can be processed in a lab, too—that can be added to processed foods. Eater beware.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

8. Blackstrap Molasses

If you were alive in the 1880s, then congratulations! Not only are you at least 132 years old, but you remember when blackstrap molasses was the No. 1 sweetener in the United States. This natural sweetener is sugar too, but, like most things in the olden days, it was better for you. This viscous syrup contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. And just one tablespoon of molasses has about 4 times the iron as a 3-ounce white chicken breast, according to the American Diatetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Check out the other antioxidant-rich sugars, including maple syrup, here.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

9. Organic Brown Rice Syrup

With a name like that, you’ve got to deserve your health halo, right? Not according to a recent Dartmouth College study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Brown rice sugar is shilled to the natural food market as a “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it still sugar, but it may also be contaminated with arsenic. The study found high levels of arsenic, which is linked to cancer and chronic diseases, in processed foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. We’re talking energy bars, cereal bars, and even baby formula. (To protect yourself, you’ll want to take a look at our list of 10 Ways to Avoid Arsenic In Your Food.)

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

10. …and so many more

Barley malt, golden syrup, diastatic malt, diastase, treacle, panocha, sorghum syrup—we couldn’t get to all of you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not lurking in our processed foods, too.

Besides scouring ingredients lists, the key to monitoring your sugar is determining just how much each serving contains. How? Check the nutrition label for total grams of sugar, and divide that by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.) That’s how many teaspoons of sugar are really in your cookie, your ketchup, and your no-sugar-added fruit juice.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated January 10, 2018

10 Suspect Causes of Autism

Autism.  Funny, I’ve never thought of myself as an alarmist.  You know, one of those guys that runs around shouting, “look out, look out”.  I still don’t.  I picture myself as someone that sees a population ready to be hit by a bus and I’m shouting, “look out for the bus”.  God, what are we supposed to do? I’m choosing to try and make a few people aware of the problems.

I do know that there has been an 80% increase in Autism and Learning Disabilities in the last few years and it CAN NOT be just genetics.  HELLO, IT HAS TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL! – Picture me running around with my arms in the air shouting, “look out for the bus, look out for the bus”.  For those out there that are a little slow to catch my lame metaphor, the bus is the industrial chemicals being pumped into our systems faster than nature can deal with them.  The result can only be disease, birth defects and species extinction.  Just look at the so called “empty hive” syndrome with the honey bees. -jughandle

The following is a great article from Rodale.com that points out just 10 of the potential causes:

10 Suspect Causes of Autism & Learning Disabilities

Researchers name chemicals suspected of causing autism and other serious disorders in children.
BY LEAH ZERBE

Autism risk: More than just genetics?

When it comes to autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities, genetics is only part of the story. In fact, in trying to figure out what causes autism, researchers are proving that environmental factors—everything from farm chemicals to soda and shampoo ingredients—could be permanently messing with children’s brain development. Today, in an unprecedented move, some of the world’s leading experts published a new list of highly suspect chemicals and heavy metals believed to be behind the surge in cases of autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases. “We have very powerful, very sophisticated tools we can use to measure chemicals at very low levels,” explains Phil Landrigan, MD, coauthor of the list and professor and chair of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. “It’s now possible to connect early exposure to problems in childhood.”

Dr. Landrigan says the goal of the list, published inEnvironmental Health Perspectives, is to inform more doctors and nurses about the environmental triggers of autism, to increase funding for more studies, and to ultimately change chemical regulation in this country to better protect our children.

1. Lead

This heavy metal has been shown to cause brain damage to developing babies, causing a lifetime of learning and health implications. Lead is also linked to depression in young adults.

Where is it? The powerful neurotoxin is most often found in old paint, but can also leach from older plumbing. (the fat farm recommends that every household have a reverse osmosis water filter for their drinking and cooking water.)

Avoid it! Refrain from removing old paint if you’re trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, or if small children are in the house. If you fear your water contains lead, call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline for help. In the meantime, a diet low in fat and high in calcium and iron, with foods like low-fat dairy and leafy green vegetables, can help block some harmful lead exposure.

 

2. Mercury

The mercury created from coal-fired power plants winds up in rivers, streams, and oceans; the heavy metal is toxic to the brains of developing fetuses and could cause irreversible damage. (If you didn’t know, a large percentage of coal is piped into the plants via pipelines.  The coal is in the form of a slurry and something must be done with the water.  Huge retention ponds are formed to let the water seep back into the ground – yes, ground water and near by streams then carry the chemical containing water into our lakes and oceans for the fish to eat.  The older the fish the more mercury – jughandle)

Where is it? The damaging form of mercury accumulates in species of fatty fish that grow to be large and higher up the food chain; consuming these fish is the No. 1 source of human exposure. Mercury has also been detected in high-fructose corn syrup.

Avoid it! Choose healthier options from the superfish list, including wild-caught Alaskan salmon or Pacific wild sardines.

 

3. PCBs

Once used in electronics, PCBs bear the unfortunate distinction of never breaking down in the environment. And a little of them can do a lot of damage: Small doses can disrupt healthy nerve cell functioning and throw off the body’s natural calcium signaling, which could increase some children’s autism risk.

Where is it? PCBs are found all over the environment—and inside most of us. (it accumulates in the fat of our bodies and the meat we eat)

Avoid it! Eat lower on the food chain; PCBs accumulate in animal fat. Removing fish skin and trimming fatty parts of meat can help cut back on your family’s PCB exposure.

 

4. Organochlorine Pesticides

The now-banned DDT is the most notorious organochlorine pesticide, but others in its class remain in use and are implicated in birth defect and autism clusters.

Where is it? Mostly causing damage in farming communities, this type of bug-killing chemical has been linked to an increased risk in autism among children born to mothers living in high-spray agricultural areas.

Avoid it! Support organic farming to reduce your risk of eating pesticide residues, as well as to protect people who live near or work on chemical farm operations. Children’s greatest organochlorine exposure comes from conventional snap beans, tomatoes, and watermelons, so especially concentrate on sourcing these produce items organically.

5. Automotive Exhaust

Recent studies link air pollution from vehicle exhaust to memory problems, brain damage, and an increased risk of autism. A prior study found that children born to women living within 1,000 feet of major highways are twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism years later.

Where is it? In the air in areas exposed to heavy traffic.

Avoid it! Drive less or carpool to cut back on air pollution, commute during less busy hours, and if you live close to a major roadway, consider investing in a high-quality air purifier that does not produce ozone, such as IQAir models.

6. Brominated Flame Retardants

Created to slow down the rate of burning in the case of a household fire, flame retardants are largely useless and have been shown to actually hasten death from smoke inhalation. Over the long term, children born to mothers with high levels of these chemicals in their bodies have lower IQs and perform more poorly in mental and physical development testing.

Where is it? They’re found in furniture, electronics, certain sodas and sports drinks, and even household dust.

Avoid it! Avoid furniture that meets California’s TB117 law, a regulation that promotes the use of flame retardant chemicals. Be diligent about wet-mopping in the house and use a HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum to reduce flame retardant–laced dust. Opt for natural flooring materials, not carpeting and carpet padding, which could harbor flame retardants. As for the beverage aisle, steer clear of Mountain Dew and certain Gatorade and Powerade flavors that list BVO—brominated vegetable oil, a flame retardant—as an ingredient. (just another reason to limit your liquid intake to water)

7. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Carcinogens that are formed when meat is burned, PAHs are also among a category of 10,000 chemicals created from the burning of oil, garbage, coal, or wood. The compounds can damage DNA, hamper normal development, and impair fetal growth.

Where is it? Aside from burned meat, PAHs are abundant in coal-tar-based driveway sealants and anti-dandruff shampoos, cigarette smoke, and mothballs.

Avoid it! Opt for nontoxic mothball alternatives, shun cigarette smoke, and look for safer driveway sealants that are free of coal-tar ingredients.

8. Organophosphate Pesticides

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, is still one of the most widely used farm chemicals in the U.S.

Where is it? Banned from residential uses, this pesticide is still legal in agriculture, and residues have turned up on apples, bell peppers, cranberries, kale, grapes, peaches, and dozens of other foods.

Avoid it! Eat organic as often as possible. Studies have proven that pesticide levels in the body plummet when consumers switch to an organic eating regimen.

9. Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

Prenatal exposure to even tiny doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals could irreversibly alter a child’s health.

Where is it? Bisphenol A (BPA) and plasticizing chemicals called phthalates are prime suspects linked to socialization and aggression problems in children, along with stunted growth, learning disabilities, and lower IQ. These chemicals are used in hundreds of everyday products, including soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and air fresheners.

Avoid it! Keep BPA out of your system by avoiding canned foods and beverages, as well as No. 7 plastics. To reduce phthalate exposure, nix scented candles and air fresheners, and avoid personal care products that list “parfum” or “fragrance” as an ingredient.

10. Nonstick Chemicals

More studies cropping up suggest the convenience of nonstick cookware might not be worth the anticipated health costs: ADHD in children and high cholesterol and infertility issues in adults.

Where is it? In nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and certain stain-repelling fabrics used in carpeting and furniture.

Avoid it! When you start seeing scratches and chips in your nonstick cookware, replace it with safer American-made cast iron or untreated stainless steel. Also, pass on furniture and carpet treatments offering stain protection. (and never cook with your non stick pan on high- the coating will break down and become vaporized. – 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

Look for labels that say things like – ALL NATURAL; NO BINDERS, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS, DYES OR PRESERVATIVES

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

 

Sources:

 

 

DYE
HEALTH EFFECTS
Amaranth
FD&C Red No.2
not allowed in U.S.
E 123 Europe
Angioedema
Pruritus
Urticaria
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Ponceau, Sunset Yellow)
Erythrosine
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
Ponceau
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
Carmoisine
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
Tartrazine
FD&C Yellow No.5
E 102 Europe
Allergies
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)
Allergies
Kidney tumors
Chromosomal damage
Abdominal pain
Vomiting
Indigestion
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
Dermatitis
Patent Blue Purpura (bruising)
Dermatitis
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

 

 

 

The Elephant In The Room
Big boy in the room

The elephant in the room

The elephant.  Ever been in a room full of people and everyone there knows they have a “big” something to talk about but no one wants to be “that guy” who first mentions “the Elephant in the Room”?

I have come to the point where I am both “that guy” and I am also “the Elephant in the Room”, quite literally.

Recent Past

I have been posting this blog for over 3 years.  My posts have been health and quality of life related for the most part.  I have tried not to be preachy, choosing to take the high road and “suggest” that we as a group or generation, or even society, are slowly killing ourselves with our food choices and dietary habits.  I’ve tried to locate alternative choices and explore diets ranging from vegan to the South Beach diet.  I have never asked you to do anything that I haven’t tried first.  I have dug deeply into any possible side effects or physical changes that might result from maintaining any type of diet.  I have shed light on food additives such as HFCS, flavor enhancers and color additives.  I told you that if you avoid these things you could not only live a healthier life but enjoy your remaining time on earth more.   Now it is time for me to pay the piper.

hospital photo

Condition

I am not going to labor on my various physical factors that may or may not have gotten me to the point of being the Elephant.  Doesn’t matter.  I am the result of what I have eaten and have not burned off over a period of years.  Yes I, as most people in the world, have challenges that make my path to a leaner me more difficult, but that only makes my choices more interesting.

human with head in sand ostrich with head in sand

Ostrich Inflicted People Stop Here

If you have the ostrich syndrome and have your head buried in the sand or even live on the Egyptian river De-Nile, Stop reading now.  BUT before you do, take off your clothes and stand in front of a mirror and ask your self  “self, is this the way I want to look for the rest of my life?

Elephant-Friend-1920x1080

Note To Friends and Family

If you are still reading then there might be hope for us yet.

I have to say that as I have been getting larger not a single person has given me grief about my weight.  Honestly, I don’t remember a single negative remark, which tells me three things.

  1.  Either I am such a mean SOB that people are afraid to make suggestions to me of that nature
  2. My friends and family don’t care about me.  (I know for a fact this one is not true, in fact I feel that they love me very much)
  3. My friends and family see a broken, fat, old, once at the top of his game, man and feel sorry for him.

Personally I’m pretty sure it is a combination of #1 and 3.

Not a single person in the world (correct me if I am wrong) looks in the mirror and can see the real image being projected.  I’m not sure why that is, but we all tend to see ourselves as we would like us to be, with a little fudge factor thrown in.

Please don’t read into this that I am blaming my friends and family for not telling me I was getting fat.  I don’t.  In fact I totally believe in taking full responsibility for, not only our own actions, but the results of our inaction.

The Piper To Pay

My piper weighed 308 lbs as of December 11, 2013.  Yep, that is one hell of a piper and he now has his hand out and wants to be paid!

elephand eating

Method

As a result of my 3 years of blogging about diets ranging from no meat, no carbs, no protein, no soda, no starches to all soup, all protein, all carbs, all water, and many variations in between, I have become completely convinced  that the diet that will work best for all of us is a balanced diet, mostly vegetables, avoiding additives, processed food and drinking lots of water.  Ever heard that before?  One thing I feel is very important to our digestive tract is to vary our diet.  This is important because our system can adjust to almost anything and in order to flush the toxins we take in we need to surprise our system with different food on a regular basis, lol.

poop

Keeping Track

So, all of that said, I will be eating any food I would like but in balanced amounts.  I will regulate and lose weight by limiting my intake to between 1890 and 2240 calories per day.  Of those calories, 50-60 percent will be carbohydrates, mostly complex carbs.  12-20 percent will be protein and 30 percent will be fat, mostly unsaturated fats.

I will use a free on line program to track my food, water and exercises called www.sparkpeople.com

elephant-painting-itself1

Goal – Stage 1

Sparkpeople has calculated, that for me to lose down to 250 lbs, my stage 1 goal by July 1, 2014, I need an in-take of between 1890 and 2240 calories per day.  That shouldn’t be hard.  If I crave things, I will eat them, but only under my limits.

Elephant-with ball

Join Me – or Not

This is for me.  Join me, I’d love it.  Tell me your problems, challenges, successes.  Or Not.  You can blow this off as another lame jughandle blog.  (then why are you reading this)

If you see me, make fun of me, congratulate me or ignore me.  Your choice.  A ride is always more fun with a companion.

I will post pictures and stories about things I discover.  It will be another adventure!

herd of elephants

Day 1 Results

Calories – 1097

Carbs – 146 g

Fat – 38 g

Protein – 41 g

8 oz glasses of water – 5

Weight gain or loss – Lost 3 #

Current weight of Piper – 305#

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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