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     cross-posted at annoyedomnivore.wordpress.com

The FDA recently proposed new rules that would apply to food processors and manufacturers to prevent food terrorism.  According to the FDA, “intentional adulteration of the food supply can result in catastrophic public health consequences, widespread public fear, loss of public confidence in the safety of food and the ability of government to ensure food safety.”  I realize these rules will focus on bulk storage facilities and food processing manufacturers, where poor security practices have been reported and certainly should be addressed.  It is, however, the irony of the phrase “intentional adulteration of the food supply” that rankles, not to mention “the ability of government to ensure food safety.”

The U.S. government, largely controlled by industrial demands, has proved a very weak link indeed between profit and food safety.  Current agricultural practices are designed exclusively to promote size, growth rate and pest resistance rather than nutritional and safety qualities.  A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that although American farmers have the ability to grow two to three times as much grain, fruit and vegetables as they could 60 years ago, the crops contain 25% less iron, zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C, etc.  According to this report, “you would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of vitamin A as your grandparents would have gotten from one.”

As noted by Jo Robinson of the New York Times, “USDA plant breeders have spent a decade or more developing a new variety of pear or carrot without once measuring its nutritional content.  We can’t increase the health benefits of our produce if we don’t know which nutrients it contains.  Ultimately, we need more than an admonition to eat a greater quantity of fruits and vegetables: we need more fruits and vegetables that have the nutrients we require for optimum health.”

In contrast, the EU has long made it a practice to protect the quality and safety of their food supply.  According to Heidi Moore of The Guardian, a British newspaper, “the EU looks down on American food safety and production practices…American meat production is heavily reliant on chemicals, from hormones to chlorine-bleach baths, and European officials and consumers largely reject these treatments and standards.”  She goes on to say that the “U.S. food supply lacks variety:  only a few crops dominate and major companies that determine the extent and quality of the food supply – and they often prefer genetically modified seeds, bred to withstand herbicides not fully tested in their long-term effect on human health.”

The De Dell Seed Company, Canada’s only non-GMO corn seed company, found that “GMO corn contains 437 times less calcium, 56 times less magnesium, and 7 times less manganese.  GMO corn also contains 13ppm of glyphosate.  The EPA considers anything over 0.7ppm as unsafe.”

The meat industry in the U.S. poses many public health risks, one of which is the heavy reliance on antibiotics.  The federal government has done nothing to prevent this over-use except to ask industry to voluntarily restrict themselves.  In 2011, the Director General of the World Health Organization warned of “a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and once again, kill unabated.”

Aside from the lack of nutritional benefits and potential harm we have been lately receiving from fresh food, processed foods have been willfully adulterated for increased profit.  High fructose corn syrup and a huge variety of chemicals added to processed foods continue to lead to disease, obesity and malnutrition.  The additives are deliberately present in order to increase the addictive qualities of this “food.”  When consumed, the additives trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, the same hormone that’s released in the brain of a heroin addict.  These chemicals are also definitively linked to cancer, diabetes, infertility, autoimmune disorders and  heart disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have documented the effects of foodborne illness since 1970.  In the past few years, they estimate that 1 in 6 Americans, which is 48 million people, get sick from food, and anywhere from 3,000 to 9,000 die each year.  And we were horrified over 9/11.

Recipe of the Week

I make red beans and rice once in a while, but mostly avoid it because it has ham hocks and fatty sausage.  I’ve had excellent vegetarian red beans and rice, though, and I think this recipe by Guy Fieri, which I’ve modified just a little, is excellent.  This will yield at least 8 servings, so it can easily be cut in half.  It’s easy, but takes time.

1 lb red beans, soaked over night

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup chopped celery

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

several sprinkles of hot sauce

salt to taste and lots of ground pepper

Put all ingredients in a large soup pot and cover with water – about 4 inches over the top.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 1.5 hours.  Test to see if the beans are completely cooked and then taste for salt.  Season until you’re happy with the result.  The end result should be somewhat soupy as they’ll be served over rice.  Have more hot sauce on the table for personal taste.

Originally posted to annoyedomnivore.wordpress.com on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Feature not a bug (8+ / 0-)

    Vitamin deficient people eat constantly because their bodies crave what is missing.

    This means they sell more.

    •  Rather ironic to read this comment (0+ / 0-)

      right now, as I sit here after an exhausting day, facing an equally exhausting day tomorrow, munching on Trader Joe's Chocolate Raspberry Sticks...

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 08:03:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I moved my stuff out of storage today. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        Good news I have my bed.

        Bad news I overdid it and may pay for this for weeks :(

        I managed to find a chorizo and egg burrito stashed in the fridge.
        Otherwise I doubt I have the energy to cook. That is a drawback of my diet where I make everthing by scratch practically. When I don't make the food I end up eating constantly because that boed mac and cheese and ramen just does not provide the nutrients. Neither do the foods in the frozen aisle.  What I did discover is that the meats are better at a restaurant supply and cheaper than the organic and cottage meats at the grocer. The drawback is you have to buy in bulk and repackage it to meal size.

  •  Your recipe makes me wish I could tolerate (5+ / 0-)

    chilis and hot sauces. It seems that most recipes that cut back on animal fats use sugar, salt or hot spices to make up for the lack of flavor that the fats provide.

    In this recipe, I would use low sodium/low fat chicken broth and water for soak and cooking (makes a huge difference in the taste and texture of all dried bean recipes), and 6-8 oz of diced lean ham, added at the very end, if meat is desired.

  •  curious . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29, bernardpliers
    The De Dell Seed Company, Canada’s only non-GMO corn seed company, found that “GMO corn contains 437 times less calcium, 56 times less magnesium, and 7 times less manganese.  
    What, exactly, does the GMO gene do to remove calcium, magnesium, or manganese from the plant. . . .

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:49:42 PM PDT

    •  I can't find any link on the web to this "study" (5+ / 0-)

      It seems not to have been done by any peer-reviewed scientific journal, there seems to be no raw data whatsoever available anywhere, and the ONLY places it seems to be cited are various blogs (none of which links to the actual study).

      Can someone point to an actual peer-reviewed published study?

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:08:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  more problems . . . (5+ / 0-)

        From this site:

        http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/...

        it seems as though this "study" was not even done by the seed company--it was done by a company called Pro Profit Ag. The table summarizing their results talks about things like "anaerobic biology parts per million" and "percent organic matter", which has nothing to do with corn plants but is measured in the SOIL. This leads me to believe that these measured levels given in this study (which apparently was simply released by the company, and has not been peer-reviewed or published in any science journal) were not actually measuring the levels of these various things in the plants, but in the soil they were growing in. Which would point to a fertilizing issue.

        The whole thing smells funny . . . .

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:20:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have HRed the Tip Jar since the diary cites (0+ / 0-)

          junk/fake science.

          Is this how we are supposed to HR a diary?  How is that supposed to work?

          •  my opposition to GMOs is based on social, economic (0+ / 0-)

            and political factors---GMOs are used by corporations as a weapon to eliminate competition, to establish a vertical monopoly, and to lock the entire agricultural sector into a semi-feudal dependence; Monsanto's efforts to control both the use of its products and the release of information about it are intolerable in a democracy; and I do not think ANY natural process should be patentable for private profit. And I'm all in favor of regulating the usage of Roundup and every other pesticide to levels that are not damaging to the environment--and if that means Monsanto's GM crops become impractical or not worth the trouble, then tough shit on Monsanto. (shrug)

            BUT . . .  using arguments such as "eating GMOs causes cancer!!!" or "GMOs remove nutrition from food!!" that are incorrect, factually wrong, and simply not true, does not help us. It only makes us ALL look uninformed, it hands Monsanto a big club to beat us all over the head with, and does us far more harm than good.

            There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Monsanto and its practices. We don't need to make stupid shit up.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:31:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you are wrong, but at least you are not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              an anti-science idiot.

              Every new and innovative product is intended to eliminate competition.  Whenever possible companies extend that to try to establish vertical monopolies and try to lock entire sectors into semi-feudal dependencies - look at the iPhone and Windows ecosystems as perfect examples.

              The solution for this is robust competition laws and strong enforcement of these laws, not banning GMOs or App Stores.

              •  um, I don't recall saying anything about banning (0+ / 0-)

                GMOs, or app stores.

                Please try to read what is there, not what you WANT to be there.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 01:41:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK... you say you oppose GMOs (0+ / 0-)
                  my opposition to GMOs
                  But you don't want to ban them.

                  Can you then clarify what you mean when you say you oppose GMOs?

                  •  sure, I'll repeat myself . . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    My opposition to GMOs is based on social, economic and political factors---GMOs are used by corporations as a weapon to eliminate competition, to establish a vertical monopoly, and to lock the entire agricultural sector into a semi-feudal dependence; Monsanto's efforts to control both the use of its products and the release of information about it are intolerable in a democracy; and I do not think ANY natural process should be patentable for private profit. And I'm all in favor of regulating the usage of Roundup and every other pesticide to levels that are not damaging to the environment--and if that means Monsanto's GM crops become impractical or not worth the trouble, then tough shit on Monsanto. (shrug)

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:27:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  When you are talking about plants and nutrition, (0+ / 0-)

          The soil is the womb of the seed and the resulting crop.

          So if you destroy the nutritional level of the soil, you ensure that the resulting plants lack nutritional elements.

          Not only that, but when the healthy micro-floral levels of good bacteria are destroyed and replaced by unehalthy micro levevls of bad things, the crops themeselves contain harmful bacterial matter, and fungal matter.

          What is the relevance of this? Well for one thing, farmers whose crops have high levels of fusarium cannot sell their crops for top price. In many cases, farmers cannot even sell their crops, due to bacterial, mold and fungal contamination.

    •  Nutritional value varies variety to variety (5+ / 0-)

      in all growing things. In addition, growing conditions (soil, climate, terroir) matter. The grape people know this, which is why some kinds of winegrapes grown in some places are worth ten times as much as the same variety grown elsewhere.

      I think what we see here is the tyranny and magic of small numbers. It hardly matters if a variety of corn has 437 times less calcium, because corn isn't a significant source of calcium in the first place, containing maybe 1% of the USRDA in a one cup serving at best.

      It is absolutely true, though, that typical farmers are not paid or rewarded in any way for nutritional value or flavor. Only weight. And you get weight through water. And so, there is substantial incentive to create and propagate varieties that are bigger and plumper because of water content. There is no question that this has happened.

      It further appears to be the case that applying commercial petroleum-based fertilizer also allows plants to be larger but fails to consider other nutrients that would be taken up by the plants that provide nutritional benefits. Again, this is not really tracked, let alone optimized for the end consumer.

      I suspect these changes in nutrition are orthogonal to the GMO-ness; that is, they're happening for other reasons and we have no particular way of knowing if there's something about the GMO changes or the GMO-related management practices that might also contribute.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:53:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  see my comments below--it seems that this study (4+ / 0-)

        is not actually measuring the levels in the corn plant itself, but in the soil. That is a whole different animal.

        I suspect these changes in nutrition are orthogonal to the GMO-ness; that is, they're happening for other reasons and we have no particular way of knowing if there's something about the GMO changes or the GMO-related management practices that might also contribute.
        I quite agree--it seems to me (and this is just a guess and will remain so as long as the "study" is not actually submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication) that it indicates some sort of fertilizing difference.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:01:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  again, I agree with this: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, FinchJ, suspiciousmind
        It is absolutely true, though, that typical farmers are not paid or rewarded in any way for nutritional value or flavor. Only weight. And you get weight through water. And so, there is substantial incentive to create and propagate varieties that are bigger and plumper because of water content. There is no question that this has happened.
        but would also add that shelf-life and appearance are enormously important too, and much effort (both GMO and non-GMO) has been directed towards making food look better, longer (without actually BEING any better).

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:04:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Usual Conspiracy Theory Websites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LakeSuperior

      I always get nutritional advice from infowars.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:28:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  RoundUp is a chelating substance. (0+ / 0-)

      You have been told what videos you can watch to learn about its activity.

      You refuse to do so.

      Just in case you do want real info, here is one link a second time for you:

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jkQzaCaFsY‎

      So if you combine what Huber says, with the studies** that are done by other researchers, you will indeed get the full understanding of what is going on.

      **The De Dell Seed Company, Canada’s only non-GMO corn seed company, found that “GMO corn contains 437 times less calcium, 56 times less magnesium, and 7 times less manganese.  

      •  yep, I don't watch YouTube videos from crackpots (0+ / 0-)

        Especially crackpots who refuse to release their "research data" to anyone else.

        Sorry.

        From: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/...

        Don Huber, a retired scientist from the Plant Pathology faculty of Purdue University and a favorite on the anti-GMO lecture circuit, claims he discovered years ago a novel pathogenic microbe caused by agricultural genetic engineering–a GMO time bomb of sorts that is wreaking havoc on humans and animals. It not only causes plant disease, he alleges, but also spontaneous abortions at the rate of 20-50% in animals fed the “Roundup Ready” crops and can destroy our stomachs. He describes the organism as fungal but with a size in the range of a plant virus.

        One problem: there is not a shred of empirical evidence to back up his scare claims, no peer reviewed paper, and he has refused to make this ‘explosive’ data available to any other scientist in the world to confirm–or debunk.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:51:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ps--Roundup is sprayed on non-GMO crops too (0+ / 0-)

        Feel free to explain why it removes metals from GMO-plant soil but not from non-GMO plant soil.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:53:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If Round Up is a chelating agent (0+ / 0-)

        and GMO crops contain high levels of Round Up as the diary claims, then it should contain MORE not less of the cations that are listed.

        IOW, both claims made by the diary cannot simultaneously be true.

        The diarist should pick with one, consistent route of fear-mongering (at least per diary) and stick with it.   That might be (slightly) more convincing.

  •  Food terrorism is what the agrochemical industry (5+ / 0-)

    visits on Americans when they adulterate our food without labeling it.

    I am a shameless omnivore. Great recipe but would put some bacon in. I am buying our meat now from local farmers at the farmer's market. The bacon is unbelievably delicious, and the pork chops are not these pallid greasy things we used to by at winco. And I love knowing the farmer. She gave me a free bar of pig fat soap yesterday when I bought 8 pounds of bacon.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:51:59 PM PDT

  •  THIS is indeed a huge problem, much bigger than (5+ / 0-)

    most people realize:

    In 2011, the Director General of the World Health Organization warned of “a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and once again, kill unabated.”
    In the evolutionary arms race, no one ever wins. For every weapon, a defense evolves. Today, more and more pathogens are evolving to beat our weapons, and while the widespread (and often unnecessary) use of antibiotics (not just in agriculture, but in medicine too) has not helped any, that has just speeded up a process that would have happened anyway. It was biologically inevitable that all of our antibiotics would sooner or later become useless over time as the pathogens evolve immunity to them.

    What's the next step in the arms race? Currently, there isn't one.  :(

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:00:11 PM PDT

  •  I have an issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emmasnacker, LakeSuperior

    with this diary's lack of presentation of evidence.

    http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

    by DAISHI on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:46:06 PM PDT

    •  One wonders if the decision-makers at a certain (0+ / 0-)

      West Virginia chemical facility will be held to account.

      I'm not the first to observe that if a group of foreigners had put those chemicals in our water that there would be a massive military and intelligence response.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:13:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I made red beans and rice last week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suspiciousmind

    This week I made a batch of black bean and lentil stew.

    There is Loads of great low-fat protein available from
    plant sources.

    Yes, It would be helpful if the food processors would be
    HONEST and actually tell US what we are Buying.

    I'm NOT holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

    I simply buy RAW ingredients and cook them Myself.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:53:20 PM PDT

  •  But it has electrolytes. What plants crave! (0+ / 0-)
  •  The posting does not have a link to the (0+ / 0-)

    FDA rules claimed to be about food terrorism and then the posting confuses and conflates issues of food terrorism with food safety and nutritional contents of foods and GMOs.

    The problem with this posting is that it does not actually address what President Obama's FDA has been doing on food safety, and it is not an effort to address the entire issue with legitimate and pertinent public health science.

    Much is underway in the Obama Administration on food safety:

    http://www.fda.gov/...

    http://www.fda.gov/...

    http://www.fda.gov/...

    FDA has been doing a lot of rulemaking on food safety at the production, transportation and processing level.

    President Obama has gotten much more done on food safety than Bill Clinton or G.W. Bush ever accomplished or even thought about.   This posting omits all discussion of that and thus fails to properly inform the Daily Kos community of what is going on.

  •  My Body Is Supposedly Full Of Parasites (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    .....according to the ads that I see pop up on my computer.  I don't use adblackers because I do market research and I want to see what ads are running. After visitng a few of these anti-GMO sites I've been getting an ad linking to one of those endless videos telling me that my body is full of huge parasitic worms, although they aren't too specific as to what kind.  Probably if you pay them enough they'll tell you about the UN/alien conspiracy.

    I guess it must make life seem less tedious to imagine that it's all an episode of the X-Files

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:00:21 AM PDT

    •  well, I've been to South Africa and Central (0+ / 0-)

      America---so my body probably IS actually full of parasites.  ;)

      Because we live coccooned in a wealthy industrialized country, we do not realize how protected we are here.  Even the figure cited in this diary--9,000 deaths per year from unsafe food, in a nation of 300 million people, demonstrates this. Heck, places like Bangladesh and Somalia would give their left gonads to have a death rate like that.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:13:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you - it's like (0+ / 0-)

      ObamaCare for free (and w/o the hassles of signing up!)

  •  I tipped and recommended because I agree with a (0+ / 0-)

    lot of the diary. I share some of Lenny's concerns on the GMO issue, but the diary was far broader and made an important point.

    Like and appreciate the practical recipe too.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 08:03:29 PM PDT

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