If you had trouble pronouncing the last word in the title of this article, you are not alone. It’s quite the tongue twister. In fact, it sounds like the name of an industrial chemical used in the plastics and rubber industry. Oh wait, it is. So why do I care about it? Because the same chemical is also used in the baking industry for things like hamburger buns and bread.
Commercial bakeries use azodicarbonamide to bleach the flour, making it whiter. In addition, this additive changes the structure of the dough, strengthening it and adding elasticity. Apparently, these are desired traits for Big Food companies like Subway, Sara Lee, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Arby’s and Starbucks. This issue with this chemical is whether or not it’s actually safe to consume. The US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) classifies this additive as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and allows it in baked goods and flour up to the limit of 45 part per million. Sounds like a miniscule amount; but then again, if this additive might cause respiratory issues and possibly even be a carcinogen, should there really be ANY of it in my food? The European Union, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand all think this food additive is not worth the risk and have banned it’s use as a bleaching agent.
Vani Hari, aka The Food Babe, did a little investigation and found that Subway uses the additive in at least eight of their popular sandwich breads including: 9-Grain Wheat, 9-Grain Honey Oat, Italian White, Italian Herbs & Cheese, Parmesan/Oregano, Roasted Garlic, Sourdough, and Monterrey Cheddar. It is interesting to note that Subway does NOT use this additive in their restaurants overseas because they can’t (because they’re banned!). This really got under the Food Babe’s skin, but what really pushed her over the edge was when the First Lady, the American Heart Association and several Olympic athletes began touting Subway as “fresh” and “nutritious” meals. After repeated requests for a response, she decided to launch a full-scale petition to get Subway to remove azodicarbonamide from their breads.
We give kudos to the Food Babe for launching this campaign and for pointing out the hypocrisy of Subway having two versions of the same breads (the crappy one from all us Americans and the “clean” version for those abroad). Click here to sign the petition and ask Subway to remove azodicarbonamide from their breads.
When the words ‘miracle’ and ‘crops’ show up in the same sentence, some type of genetic modification is typically involved. However, when it comes to the story of Sumant Kumar and his rice crop, only all-natural, non-genetically modified processes were used. By applying only manure and no herbicides, Kumar was able to produce the largest amount of rice on one hectare of land in history.
A modest farmer in the village of Darveshpura, Sumant Kumar never expected to create world records with his rice crop. He anticipated a good season due to the heavy rains his village had experienced, but he never could have imagined producing the amount of rice that he yielded. Through all-natural means, Kumar grew 22.4 tons of rice on just one hectare of land. To prove just how wild this amount is, this farmer typically yielded 4 to 5 tons of rice per hectare previously.
The dairy industry is in the process of making an attempt that may or may not surprise you: asking that the “artificially sweetened” label be dropped from dairy products when they contain sweeteners such as aspartame. In this day and age, it seems as though companies and industries are becoming sneakier and sneakier with the ingredients placed in their products. However, if this specific measure is approved by the FDA, serious implications could occur.
When I woke up yesterday and saw the headline, “Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds study,” I was very curious. What exactly did this study look at and how did they come up with their conclusion? Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was interested. Our twitter page blew up with comments and articles on what the study missed. Mark Bittman showed a wee bit of frustration in his tweet:
Ridiculous Study Claims Organic Same as Conventional, irritates anyone capable of thought: http://buff.ly/NaNeKI
The Standford Study, as it is being referred, is a “meta-analysis” of a few hundred previously published research papers on the topic. The researchers reviewed the studies and and summarized the results in the journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.
The Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While this sounds compelling, there was a whole lot left out. For example, two glasses of milk might be identical when it comes to the amount of vitamin D or calcium, but vastly difference when you start comparing added hormone or antibiotic levels. Also, nutrition is not the only reason why people choose organic. In the last day, I’ve read numerous articles about the Standford Study. To further understand what the study actually did and did not include, I urge you to read these three compelling articles.
5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
by Tom Philpott of Mother Jones
As an investigative journalist, Tom takes a deep dive on the study and points out the multitude of risks that pesticides both
One of our followers on Facebook sent us this infographic, How Corn Syrup Made America Fat. It contained a few tidbits I hadn’t heard before. Anyone realize that your envelopes and stamps might be sweetened with high fructose corn syrup? This stuff is seriously everywhere! The huge missing fact on this pretty infographic? Corn is one of the major agricultural crops grown from genetically modified (GMO) seeds. And while we’re on the topic of GMOs, I have to give a quick shout out to my California peeps and remind you to Vote YES on Prop 37 in November.
Full infographic below. Take a look and tell us; did you learn anything new about corn syrup or HFCS?
How Corn Syrup Made America Fat: xFirstAidKits.com
Newsflash: Corn sugar will not be the new name for high fructose corn syrup.
Back in 2010, the Corn Refiners Association (“CRA”) filed a petition with the FDA asking them for permission to use the term “corn sugar” as an alternate common name for high fructose corn syrup (“HFCS”). After 20 months of waiting, the FDA finally responded and surprisingly, they gave the CRA a big fat no.
Want to learn about what’s wrong with the current Farm Bill in under 4 minutes? It’s a three-day weekend so sit back, relax and check out this creative cartoon from Food and Water Watch:
Learn more about the 2012 Farm Bill and how to get involved, visit Food and Water Watch