On Sunday night, 60 minutes ran a story about sugar… addiction to it being at the point of a public health crisis in the United States. Take the relatively short time (14 minutes) to watch and then let us know what you think.
Laurie David & Robyn O’Brien, Huffingtonpost.com:
Last week, in the face of a just-released report by the National Cancer Institute that showed a 9.4% increase in childhood cancer between 1992 and 2007, the FDA let moms and dads all across America down. Instead of making the long overdue move to do something serious about getting rid of toxic food dyes so ubiquitous in our food supply, they instead fell back on those two simple words so often used to stall, delay and deny: “more research.”
In kitchens across this country, eight dyes, currently being used by manufacturers, can be found in everything from packaged macaroni and cheese to breakfast cereal to practically every piece of candy your child has ever put in his or her mouth. Links are being found to hyperactivity in kids (ADHD), cancer and serious food allergies.
But here is the truly crazy thing. Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart have already removed these artificial food colors and dyes from the same products that they distribute in other countries. They did it in response to consumer demand and an extraordinary study called the Southampton Study.
The Southampton Study was unusual in that it tested children on a combination of two ingredients: tartrazine (yellow #5) and sodium benzoate. The study’s designers knew that a child very rarely has occasion to ingest just a synthetic color or just a preservative; rather, a child who is gobbling up multicolored candies is probably taking in several colors and at least one preservative.
What’s amazing is that in the U.K., the federal food safety agency actually funded the Southampton Study that led to even U.S. corporations eliminating synthetic colors and sodium benzoate from their U.K. products.
And in response, a whole host of companies, including the U.K. branches of Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca Cola and the Mars candy company (who make M&Ms), have voluntarily removed artificial colors, the preservative sodium benzoate, and even aspartame from their products. Particularly those marketed to kids. Take a close look at the ingredient list for the product below.
Our American companies had removed these harmful ingredients from their products overseas — but not here!
Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart are living proof that it is possible for giant corporations to make and sell kid-friendly, family-friendly, and healthy processed food without necessarily exposing them to a chemical cocktail that might also give them allergic reactions, brain tumors, or leukemia, or the symptoms of ADHD, as the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently highlighted in their report Rainbow of Risks.
No need to go through all the numbers for increased health problems here. You’ve heard them all and it isn’t pretty. For goodness sake, no more research necessary. Lets stop poisoning our own kids. Lets start assuming chemicals are dangerous until proven safe, not the other way around.
Is it too much to ask the FDA and the processed food companies for the same value to be placed on the lives of the American kids in their cost-benefit analyses that has been placed on the lives of kids in the UK?
Moms, we can create that same change here. And with 51 million moms waking up to the dangers that toxins present to the health of our kids, our numbers are equivalent to the entire population of Spain. Time to get down to business, level the playing field for our kids, and send a message to these companies. Vote with your pocketbook today, this weekend, next month as you grocery shop for your family. Because while the American children only represent 30% of our population, they are 100% of our future. So while the FDA may not value their lives accordingly, we can.
Find Out More:
- All Things Dye In The News
- Over 1,000 Moms Are Inventing Snacks – Join The Fun!
- Avoiding Canned & Plastic-Packaged Foods Significantly Reduces BPA Levels
Written by Nick Link
Before I get into the cool science stuff, I want to take a brief moment and say that I know some of you may not give a s**t about all of this. But for those of you who want to know they “whys” and “how comes” of all this paleo/crossfit/healthy food stuff, it is important to have a basic understanding of the geeky stuff. And there really is no better place to start than to describe in simple terms what DNA is and how our human DNA has evolved and come to exist as it does today. So first, the basics…
DNA is located in the nucleus of ALL of our cells. And guess what, all the DNA is the SAME in every sing one of our cells! It is all made up of four different nitrogenous bases called Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine. With just these four different bases, DNA constructs a code of such complexity and intricacy in order to produce one of the most self-sufficient and efficient organism that exist: Homo sapiens (us). It does so by simply coding for something called an Amino Acid. There are 20 different Amino Acids that exist. All these 20 Aminos are put together in complex and divers ways in order to produce all the different cells, tissues, organs and organ systems in our body. CRAZY RIGHT! In order for DNA to code for the right protein, it must first be transcribed into RNA. Why you may ask? Well…DNA is double stranded, and therefore can never leave the nucleus of the cell (it’s just simply too big.) What happens inside the nucleus is that the code on DNA is changed into a single strand of RNA. THEN, since the RNA is lean and slim due to being single stranded, it can leave the nucleus of the cell and enter the surrounding jelly like material of the cell called cytoplasm. RNA and DNA are essentially the same and carry the same code for the same amino acid. The only difference is like I said, RNA is a single strand, and instead of Thymine, RNA has a Nitrogenous base called Uracil. Once RNA is in the cytoplasm, it goes to this thing floating around in the cytoplasm called a ribosome, which is essentially a protein factory. So, see where I am going with this? The ribosome uses the RNA as a blueprint to insert the right block (or amino acid) in order to build the right structure (protein). That’s right, amino acids are the building blocks of protein! This process of building proteins in the ribosome is called translation.
OK, so to sum it up, all it takes is four different things in DNA (nitrogenous bases) to code for 20 other things (amino acids) and make protein that eventually constructs an organism! The entire scheme of life (also known as Central Dogma) looks like this: DNAàRNAàProtein. A better way to think of this scheme is to pretend DNA as a book written in a language you do not understand (i.e. Japanese, unless you know Japanese. In that case, just pick another language you don’t know!). Someone then re-writes or “transcribes” that book into RNA (or English) for you. THEN, someone reads the book to you (assuming that you are too lazy to read yourself) and “translates” what was originally written in Japanese into verbal English so that you understand the message and meaning of the book.
And by the folks, that is pretty much what DNA does. What is super cool is that all of our cells have the same DNA. The only reason all the cells have different structures and functions, (fat cells are round and can swell up to store energy, where as nerve cells are long in order to relay messages), is because only certain parts of the DNA are being activated to build certain proteins. SEE! Not only does protein (MEAT!) taste good, our entire body is made from it and functions because of protein! Man…I love science…and protein! And have some of you heard the term “genes” before? (and no, I am not talking about the things you wear on your legs). Guess what makes up these “genes” that make us? DNA! To keep is simple; DNA is just a synonym for genes.
Now, to end this little DNA ramp, I am going to leave you with one fact about DNA and our genetic material. 99.99% of our genes (DNA) were formed before the development of agricultural! And, 99.9% of your entire DNA is similar to everyone else’s! That’s right folks, we are all 99.9% identical (can’t you see why racism and discrimination truly makes no sense at a scientific level!) That means the only .01% of your DNA separates you from everyone else! So no more excuses like “it’s my genetics” or “I can’t do what he does because I’m not as big or strong”. BULL S**T! If you need further viewing, watch the movie GATTACA. Never seen it? Here’s a taste: “He had everything, except desire.”
Before I now get into the cool stuff like epigenetics in future posts, I want to leave you with a quote from Dr. Nora T. Gedgaudas: “Our physiology is fundamentally the same as that of people from the Paleolithic Era, which refers to the human evolutionary time period spanning from roughly 2.6 million to about 10,000 years ago – before the dawn of agriculture. We are the result of an optimal design, shaped and molded by nature over one hundred thousand or so generation. In other words, we are all – biologically, genetically, and physiologically – without exception – hunters and gathers.”
I like history; it tells us why we got somewhere or at very least, gives us some darn good clues. Did you ever wonder what cataclysmic change must have occurred to produce the levels of obesity that we have today? Did we just become gluttonous, sloths, rotting away on our couches watching “American Idol” overnight? This video from UCSF Medicine captures the essence of what has happened in our country, the political winds that shaped the changed, and the biochemical reasons that it is deleterious to your health. Take the 89 minutes to watch this video when you get a chance, then commit to yourself to knock out the fructose in your life (sweetened, sugary drinks like Coke, Gatorade, and even natural juice are most problematic according to evidence).