Saturday, November 27, 2010


This weekend there are many leftovers from Thanksgiving dinners all over America. Many wrap them with plastic wrap, reheating them in microwaves. Many dinners have been prepared days prior to the holiday dinner and reheated with plastic wrap for the dinner as well.

Years ago after finishing my main course at a lovely dinner party, I felt a strange feeling in my stomach. Someone asked for seconds, so I went into the kitchen to help the hostess and to ask what ingredients were put into the dish. To my horror, I watched her take the melted cling wrap dish out of the microwave. When asked if she cooked with it all the time, she replied yes. Her husband had suffered from leukemia  for years and eventually passed away.

I have personally witnessed other people cooking with saran wrap for years. Once someone told me she cooked a turkey in a plastic bag, another said she used cling wrap to make her turkey. Their husbands either had leukemia for years or other types of cancer. If other members in those families were not diagnosed with cancer, their health was poorer in other ways.

Should we believe plastic wrap or cooking in plastic bags, dishes etc are the culprit? Perhaps or perhaps not.. Maybe other factors come in to play. But because of the controversy, are we all so smart to deny those unsafe cooking methods?

Dr. Rolf Halden, a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Services at the school's Center for Water and Health addressed his concerns over dioxins.Regarding cooking with plastics, Halden said that whenever you heat something it increases the likelihood that chemicals could be pulled out. He recommends using heat-resistant glass or ceramics for microwave cooking, just to be safe

Dr. Edward Fujimoto is the Manager of the Wellness and Lifestyle Medicine Department at Castle Medical Center in Hawaii. He said that in Japan, there has been a complete change in the way foods are packaged so that plastic is avoided. They use more glass, for example.

Let us not forget that most plastic wrap comes from China. Do we trust cooking with their plastic?

We have all heard the controversy from both sides. One is the plastic companies, the others are scientists and chemists. Each are believable. The FDA is still looking into this and their final result will take about another 20 years. Even a 7th grader did an experiment which proved plastic wrap is toxic.

To summarize, yes, harmful chemicals can migrate into food cooked in plastic containers or covered with cling wrap. The level of danger apparently is unknown, unstudied and unreported.

Will these chemicals hurt or kill you? It seems no one knows for sure, but certainly some people are more susceptible than others when it comes to chemical exposures.Why accumulate unnecessary toxins in your body?

If you have other products, glass, corning, etc why not use them just to be safe. My motto has always been " When in doubt, do without."

The same holds true for prescription drugs, foods, liquids, etc. We have to be smart and careful for ourselves and our children.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Status: Scientific controversy

Thanksgiving is approaching, which means the "turkey makes you tired because it has high levels of tryptophan" urban legend shall once again be heard at tables throughout America.

Baylor College of Medicine dietitian Rebecca Reeves debunks this legend in an interview with the Houston Chronicle: in reality, you'd need to eat an entire 40-pound turkey to get enough tryptophan to make a difference.

But her explanation of why people actually get tired after Thanksgiving dinner raises more questions such as, why do people take a nap on the couch?

Remembering my mother heading straight to the couch to lie down after a big dinner, I thought was very rude. Our guests were still there watching her nap. Now I realize her sensitive body crashed from sweets and carbs.   In my previous blog of 9/12/10, I wrote about "WHY MY SON'S BODY CRASHED AFTER ROSH HASHANAH DINNER".  He had the same food sensitivity as my mother. However, he did not go to sleep on the couch.  He just got tired suffering from headaches.

When people increase their carbohydrates, it increases their blood sugar, causing the production of sleep-promoting melatonin in the brain. Perhaps this could lead to sleepiness for some people.

Just think about it. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows, stuffing, cranberry sauce, noodle pudding and whatever else people enjoy eating at a Thanksgiving table.  And let's not forget the wonderful desserts.

So what the heck.  Let's all enjoy our scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner and worry about crashing later.  There is nothing like celebrating with family and friends enjoying one another during this happy feast.

If you have an interesting Thanksgiving day, please share with us on my website.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Be careful of what you eat - many foods in the supermarkets today are genetically modified.Whether genetically modified (GM) foods are safe or harmful is still controversial as explained in my last issue.

If you are concerned about eating genetic modified foods, buy food labeled 100% organic. The US and Canadian governments do not allow manufacturers to label something 100% organic if that food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed. However, you may find that organic food is more expensive and different in appearance from conventional products. Also, just because something says "organic" on it does not mean that it does not contain GMs. In fact, it can still contain up to 30% GMs, so be sure the labels say 100% organic.

This applies to eggs, as well. Eggs labeled "free-range", "natural", or "cage-free" are not necessarily GE-free; look for eggs to be 100% organic.  In my supermarket there are no 100% organic labeled eggs.  I am sure Whole Foods has it but it is difficult to travel there when I am rushed.

When shopping at my local supermarkets, I have not found foods labeled 100% organic,  I would love your comments telling which stores you have seen that have 100% organic labeling  I did not have the time to go to Whole Foods to see if they have it.  I am sure they do.

Recognize fruit and vegetable label numbers. So far I have not seen anything having numbers on them.  I think I will put pressure on the supermarket stores demanding they start coding.

If it is a 4-digit number, the food is conventionally produced.

If it is a 5-digit number beginning with an 8, it is GM. However, do not trust that GE  (Genetic Engineered)foods will have a PLU identifying it as such, because PLU labeling is optional.

If it is a 5-digit number beginning with a 9, it is organic.

HAPPY HUNTING! And, don't forget to comment on this website if you found GM labeling, and 100% organic.  It would be great to know which stores have those labeled. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


 Be careful of what you eat - many foods in the supermarkets today are genetically modified.Whether genetically modified (GM) foods are safe or harmful is still controversial. Most foods we eat may contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)--everything from baby formula and food to our dairy to even our meat. If you live in Europe, avoiding GM foods is easier since laws require labeling. However in the US and Canada food manufacturers are not required to label if their food is genetically modified or not.

The most intelligent comment from my last blog came from Dave S.  I will try to answer his questions briefly

The first question was "what is GM foods and what are not GMO foods?"  Please refer to this link


Resists herbicides,pesticides and diseased plants
Cold and drought tolerence, protecting our food supply
Avoids malnutrition in many countries
Reduces costs of pharmaeuticals


Environmental activists, religious organizations, public interest groups, professional associations and other scientists and government officials have all raised concerns about GM foods, and criticized agribusiness for pursuing profit without concern for potential hazards, and the government for failing to exercise adequate regulatory oversight. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about GM foods. Even the Vatican19 and the Prince of Wales20 have expressed their opinions. Most concerns about GM foods fall into three categories: environmental hazards, human health risks, and economic concerns.

Unintended harm to other organisms
Reduced effectiveness of pesticides
Gene transfer to non-target species
Allergenicity such as people allergic to peanuts
Unknown effects on human health because of added chemicles in foods
No labelling of GM foods if desired not to purchase
Economic concerns very costy to produce

For more detail information on this topic, please go to

Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world's hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. Yet there are many challenges ahead for governments, especially in the areas of safety testing, regulation, international policy and food labeling. Many people feel that genetic engineering is the inevitable wave of the future and that we cannot afford to ignore a technology that has such enormous potential benefits. However, we must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology.