Lab Grown Meat Hits the Grill This Month!

Meet ‘Schmeat’: Lab-grown meat hits the grill this month

Backers hope event will boost funding to commercialize ‘schmeat’

CBC News

Posted: Jun  6, 2013   3:28 PM ET

Last Updated:  Jun  7, 2013   9:34 AM ET

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Maastricht University physiologist Mark Post is expected to grill a patty of lab-grown meat that has taken two years and €250,000 ($338,000) to produce. Maastricht University physiologist Mark Post is expected to grill a patty of lab-grown meat that has taken two years and €250,000 ($338,000) to produce. (iStock)
 
 

Shmeat: The first in-vitro hamburger27:30

 

Shmeat: The first in-vitro hamburger27:30

   
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A hamburger patty made from lab-grown meat — or “schmeat” — is expected to be unveiled and grilled later this month at an event in London that is highly anticipated by animal rights activists and other backers.

“The vision for this burger is really to attract support, to attract funding,” said social sciences researcher Neil Stephens in an interview with CBC’s The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti. “And I’m sure it will because it’s a very enticing idea for many people.”

Stephens, a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, has been studying the ethical and cultural issues around in vitro meat and has interviewed all the key scientific figures in the field.

‘In vitro meat provides a way for people to be able to eat ethically, while still kind of getting that meat fix.’—Lindsay Rajt, PETA

Among them is Mark Post, a physiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who grew the meat for the upcoming burger unveiling in his lab. The development of the 140-gram patty has taken two years and cost €250,000 ($338,000). Stephens said the funding needed to scale up the process to something commercially viable is one of the biggest obstacles right now on the journey of in vitro meat from the lab and the supermarket.

Conventional meat raises environmental, ethical concerns

Isha Datar is among those who hope the London burger event will lead to larger amounts of funding for the development of in vitro meat.

Datar is the executive director of New Harvest, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about alternatives to conventionally produced meat, and provides some funding and support to researchers in the field.

Anna Maria Tremonti, host of The Current, discussed the issues surrounding in vitro meat with Neil Stephens of Cardiff University, Isha Datar of New Harvest and Lindsay Rajt of PETA.Anna Maria Tremonti, host of The Current, discussed the issues surrounding in vitro meat with Neil Stephens of Cardiff University, Isha Datar of New Harvest and Lindsay Rajt of PETA. (CBC)

“Meat as we know it today is very environmentally unfriendly,” she told The Current.

Datar noted that a large proportion of agricultural land is used to grow feed for livestock rather than food for people. “In terms of food security, that’s not the greatest way to go.” She added that livestock are also breeding grounds for disease epidemics such as various influenza strains.

Among the supporters of in vitro meat is the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has just extended its deadline for a contest to produce in vitro chicken meat. Researchers now have until the end of the year to claim the $1-million prize for being the first to bring in vitro chicken meat to market.

Lindsay Rajt, PETA’s associate director of campaigns, said, “In vitro meat provides a way for people to be able to eat ethically, while still kind of getting that meat fix.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hopes a commercial process for making in vitro chicken meat could potentially save billions of animals each year 'from abuse on factory farms and ultimately slaughter.'
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hopes a commercial process for making in vitro chicken meat could potentially save billions of animals each year ‘from abuse on factory farms and ultimately slaughter.’ (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

The cells needed to produce in vitro meat can be harvested without harming any animals, she said, and a commercial process for producing such meat could potentially save billions of animals each year “from abuse on factory farms and ultimately slaughter.”

At the moment, however, even Post is far from making that happen.

“This burger that’s going to be launched in London is really a proof of concept, which shows just … that something physically can be done,” said Datar.

So far, she said, Post has taken cells from the necks of cows and grown very tiny quantities in petri dishes, repeating the procedure “thousands of times” to generate enough for a hamburger patty.

A brew pub for meat?

Datar envisions a future where techniques for growing in vitro meat are so advanced that it “could happen in an appliance in our own home” or in a bioreactor at a restaurant.

“Perhaps … it’s something like a brew pub and they’re brewing an in-house meat,” she said. “And we perceive that as being artisanal and unique and exciting.”

Michael Noble, head chef and owner of Calgary’s Notable restaurant, has a different perception of in vitro meat.

“I don’t get it and it scares the heck out me,” said Noble, whose restaurant specializes in gourmet burgers and aged Alberta beef.

He’s also skeptical about how lab-grown meat would taste.

“There’s absolutely no way that you can recreate the flavour of what Mother Nature and the universe creates for us in the lab,” he told The Current. “There’s no way.”

Post admits that no one knows how the conditions of culturing the meat will affect the taste or even where the taste of meat comes from.

And even if it tastes like meat, that doesn’t necessarily mean the general public will view it as meat.

Stephens said that issue is fundamental to whether in vitro meat will be able to replace conventional meat, and isn’t something scientists have the power to define or control.

“It’s something that everyone else across the world, food companies and consumers, are involved in deciding.”

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The 9 Healthy Foods to Avoid for Your Health

By Dr. Mercola

Many foods have been heavily promoted as being healthy when they are nothing more than pernicious junk foods. In the featured article, Clean Plates1 founder Jared Koch shared his list of nine staple foods that are far less “good for you” than you’ve been led to believe.

Here, I expand on the selections that are mentioned in the featured article.

1. Canned Tomatoes

Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA — a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. According to Consumer Reports’ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.

High acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes – causes BPA to leach into your food. To avoid this hazardous chemical, avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead—especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.

2. Processed Meats

As Koch warns, processed deli meats like salami, ham, and roast beef are typically made with meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

This means they’re given growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, and raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease, these meats are also filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes.

Nitrites can be converted into nitrosamines in your body, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not all. Most processed deli meats also contain other cancer-promoting chemicals that are created during cooking. These include:

  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) which are hazardous compounds created in meats and other foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. According to research, processed meats are clearly associated with an increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form. PAHs can also form when grilling. When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

The truth is, processed meats are not a healthful choice for anyone and should be avoided entirely, according to a 2011 review of more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer. The report was commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund2 (WCRF) using money raised from the general public. Therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests, which makes it all the more reliable.

It’s the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” You’re far better off ditching the deli meats and opting instead for fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats, or wild caught salmon.

3. Margarine

The unfortunate result of the low-fat diet craze has been the shunning of healthful fats such as butter, and public health has declined as a result of this folly. There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter impostors, including:

  • Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children. A US government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level.
  • Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
  • Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.

Good-old-fashioned butter, when made from grass-fed cows, is rich in a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is not only known to help fight cancer and diabetes, it may even help you to lose weight, which cannot be said for its trans-fat substitutes. Much of the reason why butter is vilified is because it contains saturated fat. If you’re still in the mindset that saturated fat is harmful for your health, then please read the Healthy Fats section of my Optimized Nutrition Plan to learn why saturated fat is actually good for you.

4. Vegetable Oils

Of all the destructive foods available to us, those made with heated vegetable oils are some of the worst. Make no mistake about it–vegetable oils are not the health food that you were lead to believe they were. This is largely due to the fact that they are highly processed, and when consumed in massive amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ideally, this ratio is 1:1.

Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol—by oxidizing it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system.

As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart disease.

So what’s the best oil to cook with?

Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the oil of choice for cooking because it is nearly a completely saturated fat, which means it is much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most unique and beneficial fats for your body. For more in-depth information about the many benefits of coconut oil, please see this special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.

5. Microwave Popcorn

Perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food and showing up as contaminants in blood. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, and when they are heated the compound leaches onto the popcorn.

These chemicals are part of an expanding group of chemicals commonly referred to as “gender-bending” chemicals, because they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” Researchers have also linked various PFCs to a range of other health dangers, such as:

  • Infertility — A study published in the journal Human Reproduction3 found that both PFOA and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), dramatically increased the odds of infertility. PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
  • Thyroid disease — A 2010 study4 found that PFOA can damage your thyroid function. Individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease, compared to those with the lowest PFOA concentrations. Your thyroid contains thyroglobulin protein, which binds to iodine to form hormones, which in turn influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis.
  • Cancer — PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers.
  • Immune system problems — Several studies by scientists in Sweden indicate that PFCs have an adverse effect on your immune system. As described in a report on PFCs by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell subpopulations studied, in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression.
  • Increased LDL cholesterol levels – A 2010 study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine5 found that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol.

I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, particularly non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn. Clearly, if you’re eating fast food or junk food, PFCs from the wrapper may be the least of your problems, but I think it’s still important to realize that not only are you not getting proper nutrition from the food itself, the wrappers may also add to your toxic burden.

6. Non-Organic Potatoes and Other Fresh Produce Known for High Pesticide Contamination

Your best bet is to buy only organic fruits and vegetables, as synthetic agricultural chemicals are not permissible under the USDA organic rules. That said, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are subjected to the same amount of pesticide load. While Koch focuses on potatoes, as they tend to take up a lot of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals present in the soil, I would recommend reviewing the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”6 by the Environmental Working Group.

Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the EWG for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:

            Apples Celery Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers Grapes Hot peppers
Nectarines (imported) Peaches Potatoes
Spinach Strawberries Sweet bell peppers
Kale Collard greens Summer squash

 

In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:

Asparagus Avocado Cabbage
Cantaloupe Sweet corn (non-GMO) Eggplant
Grapefruit Kiwi Mango
Mushrooms Onions Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)
Pineapple Sweet peas (frozen) Sweet potatoes

7. Table Salt

Salt is essential for life—you cannot live without it. However, regular ‘table salt’ and the salt found in processed foods are NOT identical to the salt your body really needs. In fact, table salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. One is health damaging, and the other is healing.

  • Processed salt is 98 percent sodium chloride, and the remaining two percent comprises man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents, and a little added iodine. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to table salt
  • Natural salt is about 84 percent sodium chloride. The remaining 16 percent of natural salt consists of other naturally occurring minerals, including trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium

Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an ancient, all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas. Himalayan salt is completely pure, having spent many thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities, so it isn’t polluted with the heavy metals and industrial toxins of today. And it’s hand-mined, hand-washed, and minimally processed. Himalayan salt is only 85 percent sodium chloride, the remaining 15 percent contains 84 trace minerals from our prehistoric seas. Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes, including:

  • Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid
  • Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells
  • Maintain and regulate blood pressure
  • Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning
  • Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange

While natural unprocessed salt has many health benefits, that does not mean you should use it with impunity. Another important factor is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and other health problems, including heart disease, memory decline, erectile dysfunction and more. The easiest way to avoid this imbalance is by avoiding processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. Instead, eat a diet of whole, ideally organically-grown foods to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.

8. Soy Protein Isolate and Other Unfermented Soy Products

Sadly, most of what you have been led to believe by the media about soy is simply untrue. One of the worst problems with soy comes from the fact that 90 to 95 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered (GE), and these are used to create soy protein isolate. Genetically engineered soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” which means they’re engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of herbicide.

The active ingredient in Roundup herbicide is called glyphosate, which is responsible for the disruption of the delicate hormonal balance of the female reproductive cycle. What’s more, glyphosate is toxic to the placenta, which is responsible for delivering vital nutrients from mother to child, and eliminating waste products. Once the placenta has been damaged or destroyed, the result can be miscarriage. In those children born to mothers who have been exposed to even a small amount of glyphosate, serious birth defects can result.

Glyphosate’s mechanism of harm was only recently identified, and demonstrates how this chemical disrupts cellular function and induce many of our modern diseases, including autism. Soy protein isolate can be found in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, soups and sauces, meat analogs, baked goods, breakfast cereals and some dietary supplements.

Even if you are not a vegetarian and do not use soymilk or tofu, it is important to be a serious label reader. There are so many different names for soy additives, you could be bringing home a genetically modified soy-based product without even realizing it. Soy expert Dr. Kaayla Daniel offers a free Special Report7, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”

Besides soy protein isolate, ALL unfermented soy products are best avoided if you value your health. Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.

The only soy with health benefits is organic soy that has been properly fermented, and these are the only soy products I ever recommend consuming. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. To learn more, please see this previous article detailing the dangers of unfermented soy.

9. Artificial Sweeteners

Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. In one of the most recent of such studies8, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar.

Aspartame is perhaps one of the most problematic. It is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. Not so with the methanol created by aspartame; there it’s not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body.

Methanol acts as a Trojan horse; it’s carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme converts it into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. All animals EXCEPT HUMANS have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn’t fully apply to people.

Guidelines for Healthy Food

Whatever food you’re looking to eat, whether organic or locally grown, from either your local supermarket or a farmer’s market, the following are signs of a high-quality, healthy food. Most often, the best place to find these foods is from a sustainable agricultural group in your area. You can also review my free nutrition plan to get started on a healthy eating program today:

  • It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
  • It’s not genetically engineered
  • It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  • It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
  • It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may still be the better option as freshness is important for optimal nutrient content)
  • It was not grown in a factory farm
  • It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  • It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

This Will make You Never Eat ground Turkey Again.

The Consumer Magazine is coming out in June and this is a featured article. It is sickening! Be Prepared. One more thing as we try and stay Healthy in Unhealthy World!     

Consumer Reports investigation: Talking turkey

Our new tests show reasons for concern

Consumer Reports magazine: June 2013
 
From barn to burger  |  A need for stricter limits  |  What you can do
 In our first-ever lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores nationwide, more than half of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria. Some samples harbored other germs, including salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. Overall, 90 percent of the samples had one or more of the five bacteria for which we tested.

Adding to the concern, almost all of the disease-causing organisms in our 257 samples proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to fight them. Turkeys (and other food animals, including chickens and pigs) are given antibiotics to treat acute illness; but healthy animals may also get drugs daily in their food and water to boost their rate of weight gain and to prevent disease. Many of the drugs are similar to antibiotics important in human medicine.

That practice, especially prevalent at large feedlots and mass-production facilities, is speeding the growth of drug-resistant superbugs, a serious health concern. People sickened by those bacteria might need to try several antibiotics before one succeeds. (Related: Read “Has Your Steak Been Mechanically Tenderized?” That report details a process that can drive bacteria like the deadly pathogen E. coli O157:H7 from the surface deep into the center of the meat.)

Among our findings:

  • Sixty-nine percent of ground-turkey samples harbored enterococcus, and 60 percent harbored Escherichia coli. Those bugs are associated with fecal contamination. About 80 percent of the enterococcus bacteria were resistant to three or more groups of closely related antibiotics (or classes), as were more than half of the E. coli.
  • Three samples were contaminated with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause fatal infections.
  • Ground turkey labeled “no antibiotics,” “organic,” or “raised without antibiotics” was as likely to harbor bacteria as products without those claims. (After all, even meat from organic birds can pick up bacteria during slaughter or processing.) The good news is that bacteria on those products were much less likely to be antibiotic-­resistant superbugs.
        
From barn to burger

Conventionally raised turkeys are fed mostly corn and soybean meal plus a vitamin and mineral supplement. They usually get FDA-approved antibiotics that may be given in low doses without a prescription. Before the birds are killed, antibiotics must be withdrawn to ensure that residues clear from the birds’ systems.

But harm may already have been done. Although the antibiotics eventually kill off vulnerable barnyard bugs, bacteria that are immune to their effects can flourish and spread. They can exchange genetic material with other bugs, further accelerating antibiotic resistance. And bacteria on turkeys can develop resistance to similar drugs that aren’t even given to turkeys.

Some bacteria that end up on ground turkey, including E. coli and staph aureus, can cause not only food poisoning but also urinary, bloodstream, and other infections.

Antibiotics aren’t allowed in turkeys labeled “organic,” “no antibiotics,” or  “raised without antibiotics.” (Sick birds may be treated, but they’re then sold to non­organic markets.) Organic birds must eat only certified organic feed and pasture, which means no genetically modified organisms; and production of those birds must not contribute to contamination of soil or water. Producers of organic and free-range turkeys must demonstrate to the Department of Agriculture that they’ve allowed birds “access to the outside,” though that phrase is not specifically defined and some birds may not venture outdoors.

Such steps are among the requirements for raising a food animal sustainably—without drugs and in a way that’s more healthful for animals and people.

Indeed, when we focused on antibiotic use, our analysis showed that bacteria on turkey labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic” were resistant to significantly fewer antibiotics than bacteria on conventional turkey. We also found much more resistance to classes of antibiotics approved for use in turkey production than to those not approved for such use. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, believes that the FDA should ban all antibiotics in animal production except to treat illness.

 

A need for stricter limits

When any food animal is slaughtered, the bacteria that normally live in its gut without causing harm can wind up on its carcass. To limit contamination, federal law requires processors to create a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan. For turkey processors, HACCP includes steps for washing and chilling carcasses throughout processing to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and contamination of the finished product.

But HACCP doesn’t require eradication of harmful bacteria. In fact, salmonella is permitted in up to half of the ground-­turkey samples that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) tests at processors’ plants. And bugs that remain can keep growing until the turkey is cooked.

                            The current salmonella standard isn’t strict enough. The USDA should allow no more than 12% contamination in ground-­turkey samples.    

In 2011 Cargill Value Added Meats Retail announced two voluntary recalls of a total of 36 million pounds of conventionally raised ground turkey—among the largest recalls of poultry meat in U.S. history—due to possible contamination with a resistant strain of salmonella Heidelberg. The superbug was traced to a Cargill establishment in Springdale, Ark. In all, 136 people fell ill during that outbreak, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one of those victims died.

“As we’ve publicly stated over the past year and a half, no stone was left unturned in our efforts to determine the originating source of salmonella Heidelberg associated with the ground-turkey recalls, yet to this day we do not know the origin of the bacteria linked to outbreak of illnesses,” said Mike Robach, vice president of corporate food safety and regulatory affairs for Cargill in Minneapolis. He provided a long list of steps that Cargill has taken since the outbreak to make its ground turkey safer.

In the wake of the recalls, the FSIS required all ground-poultry processors to review and update their safety procedures, paying special attention to the sanitation of equipment. The agency told us that it also plans to conduct a risk assessment of sal­monella and campylobacter (another food-poisoning bacterium) in ground-turkey products. The goal: a new standard for salmonella and, possibly, campylobacter.

Eight ground-turkey samples in our tests, conducted a year after the recalls, harbored salmonella that resisted three or more antibiotic classes. One of those samples came from a package of turkey processed at Cargill’s Springdale plant. It harbored a strain of salmonella Heidelberg that was not the outbreak strain but resisted the same antibiotics. Even a finding of the outbreak strain, the FSIS said, “likely would not trigger a specific follow-­up action by FSIS if steps were previously taken for the affected establishment to regain control of its operations.”

Consumers Union says the current salmonella standard isn’t strict enough, and is urging the USDA to allow no more than 12 percent contamination in ground-­turkey samples, a standard most of the industry already meets.

Any improvement will come too late for consumers such as Diana Goodpasture, 66, of Akron, Ohio. She was sickened with salmonella Heidelberg from ground turkey in June 2011 and was hospitalized for five days. “I’ve had complications ever since then,” she says. “I’m still seeing a gastroenterologist. I don’t know that I’ll ever be well.”

 

How resistant to antibiotics?

We determined whether samples of four bacteria isolated from our tested ground turkey could survive exposure to as many as 16 antibiotics at levels usually effective against those bugs. The antibiotics we tried differed with each bug and included ampicillin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and others often used to treat the illnesses those bacteria cause. Classes are groups of similar antibiotics. Three of the 39 samples of staph aureus harbored MRSA, a potentially deadly bacterium.

Bugs immune to drugs

Bacterium Samples tested Resisted one or more antibiotic classes Resisted three or more antibiotic classes
Enterococcus 178 177 144
Escherichia coli 155 135 82
Staphylococcus aureus 39 34 8
Salmonella 12 11 8

 

       

What you can do

                            Slip up during handling and you risk illness.    

Common slip-ups while handling or cooking ground turkey can put you at risk of illness. Although the bacteria we found are killed by thorough cooking, they can produce toxins that may not be destroyed by heat. Take the following precautions:

  • Buy turkey labeled “organic” or “no anti­biotics,” especially if it also has a “USDA Process Verified” label, which means that the USDA has confirmed that the producer is doing what it says. Organic and no-antibiotics brands in our tests were: Coastal Range Organics, Eberly, Giant Eagle Nature’s Basket, Harvestland, Kosher Valley, Nature’s Place, Nature’s Promise, Nature’s Rancher, Plainville Farms, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Wild Harvest.
  • Consider other labels, such as “animal welfare approved” and “certified humane,” which mean that antibiotics were restricted to sick animals.
  • Be aware that “natural” meat is simply minimally processed, with no artificial ingredients or added color. It can come from an animal that ate antibiotics daily.
  • Know that no type of meat—whether turkey, chicken, beef, or pork—is risk free.
  • Buy meat just before checking out, and place it in a plastic bag to prevent leaks.
  • If you will cook meat within a couple of days, store it at 40° F or below. Otherwise, freeze it. (Note that freezing may not kill bacteria.)
  • Cook ground turkey to at least 165° F. Check with a meat thermometer. 
  • Wash hands and all surfaces after handling ground turkey.
  • Don’t return cooked meat to the plate that held it raw.
 Hours after she grilled a turkey burger for dinner in June 2011, Diana Goodpasture, 66, of Akron, Ohio, says she felt awful. “In the middle of the night, I woke up and I was sick,” she says. “I started to get an upset stomach and diarrhea, and then it just got progressively worse from there.”

Goodpasture, a van driver, says she thought she’d caught a stomach flu, so she stayed home for a few days. But the gastrointestinal symptoms and crampy abdominal pain worsened. “It got so bad that my kids said, ‘You have to go to the hospital,’ ” she recalls. Goodpasture was hospitalized at Akron General Medical Center for five days.

Tests showed that she’d fallen ill from salmonella Heidelberg. The leftover ground turkey she’d frozen after dinner also tested positive when analyzed by the Summit County Public Health Department.

Almost two years later, Goodpasture says she’s still not completely well. “It has really messed up my intestinal system. And from what I can tell, that’s just a lifetime thing I’m going to have to deal with,” she says. “It changed my whole life.”

 

The Make Up We Wear

I just read this article about the dangers in the make we wear. It is really sad all the different bad things they are putting in our products and food. Here is the article. You read it and decide and as always try and stay Healthy in an Unhealthy world!

 Spring is in bloom, and romance is in the air. But before puckering up, you’d  be wise to consider a new analysis, which found troubling levels of toxins in  cosmetics – particularly lipstick.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public  Health detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in 32  different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department  stores.  According to the report, which is published Thursday in the  journal Environmental Health Perspectives, some of these metals were  found at levels that could have long term health effects.

As far as I’m concerned, any level of any metal found in any makeup product  is too much – particularly in lipstick or lip gloss, which are easily ingested  and absorbed, bit by bit, by the person wearing them.  The researchers in  this study noted even average daily ingestion of lip makeup, defined as 24  milligrams per day, could result in excessive exposure to chromium, which has  been linked to stomach tumors. 

High use, defined as 87 milligrams per day, could overexpose users to metals  like manganese, which has been linked to nervous system toxicity.

It has long been acknowledged, but not necessarily well-studied, that  conventionally produced makeup contains numerous carcinogens, and might be  harmful to our health. And it’s not only adults who are at risk – don’t you know  a precarious toddler or young child just dying to try on mom’s lipstick, or get  all made up for Halloween or a school play? As the UC Berkeley study found, lead  is commonly found in lip makeup, and no level of lead exposure is considered  safe for children. It can lead to decreased bone and muscle growth, nervous  system and kidney damage, speech problems, and seizures.

Lead is undeniably dangerous to children, but ingesting or absorbing products  containing lead and other metals on a regular basis can’t be good for anyone.  The study focuses a lot on “acceptable” daily intake levels of these poisonous  substances – but why is any level that is more than zero considered acceptable  at all?

Like the cleaning products industry, which is largely unregulated by the U.S.  government and does not require manufacturers to disclose ingredients to  consumers, there are currently no U.S. standards for metal content in  cosmetics.

Interestingly, and as the study authors note, the European Union considers  any level of cadmium, chromium, and lead in cosmetics unacceptable. Why don’t  we?

As the so-called “health” establishment remains lax on protecting consumers  from the dangers of metals in makeup (and toxins in other personal care  products), it is imperative to educate yourself.  The Environmental Working  Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database remains a wonderful resource for assessing  just how safe – or not – your favorite lipstick, mascara, or foundation might  be, and selecting the least harmful option. TheDailyGreen.com suggests actually  reading those tiny ingredient lists on every item of makeup you buy, and opting  for products with the most pronounceable names – they’re least likely to be  carcinogenic.  Be wary of makeup advertising two or three organic  ingredients, as the rest of the contents could be synthetic.  For more  resources, check out my website.

Use common sense, do your research, and spread the word. As fewer people buy  poisonous makeup, companies will be compelled to change its ways and adopt safer  practices if they want to make money. The power, as always, is in your hands –  or in this case, on your lips.

Note: Information provided herein is not intended to treat or diagnose any  health condition. As always, consult your health care provider with any  questions or health concerns.

Deirdre Imus, Founder of the site devoted to environmental health,  dienviro.org, is President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health  Center™ at Hackensack  University Medical Center and Co-Founder/Co-Director  of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. She is a New York Times  best-selling author and a frequent contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com, and Fox  Business Channel. Check out her website at dienviro.org. ‘e.

 

Harmful Dyes in Our Foods

Last week I was watching Dr. Oz who has been having some very informative topics, one being the yellow # 5 and yellow #6 dyes used in our foods. These 2 women who you will read about have decided to take action and their first project is going against Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. These dyes are banned in other countries and one of the interesting things they talked about is how Kraft puts cartoon characters on the box to draw the kids to have mom and dad buy these products. Please read the information in the link below and sign the petition to get Kraft to stop giving us harmful ingredients in our foods.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/16/kraft-macaroni-and-cheese-contains-harmful-dyes?cmpid=tp-ptnr-deliciouslyorganic

Aklaline Food Chart

Aklaline Food Chart

Here is chart of all the great Alkaline Foods to eat. They are so beneficial if you dealing with any illness like cancer. Eating healthy plays a big part in staying healthy.

Published in: on March 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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