You Want Arsenic with that Rice?
I came across a couple of article this week on the subject of arsenic in the food chain and more particularly as it pertains to levels in rice.
As is the case with most things like this the headlines seem rather alarming whereas the underlying story is maybe not so bad.
Don’t get me wrong, it is bad, but not as bad as you may think.
Once you begin to dissect the whole thing it boils down to a few salient facts.
First of all, yes, there is arsenic in your food.
And also yes, there is a greater possibility of ingesting arsenic in rice.
So, what’s the deal?
First of all there are two types of arsenic, organic and inorganic.
The organic arsenic is found everywhere in rocks, plants and soil but does not exist as a separate thing.
Organic arsenic always appears as a necessary part of a compound of other things and in this form is vital to creating the food we need.
Inorganic arsenic exists unto itself and comes from the environment to some degree but mostly from modern industrial processes.
In this form it is a poison and as is the case with many chemicals has found its way into our food chain mostly through water.
So there we have the arsenic story.
Organic is fine and nothing out of the ordinary, inorganic is bad.
The real problem sets in with rice because it is very efficient at absorbing inorganic arsenic from it’s growing environment and concentrating it in the seed part of the plane we eat.
In general terms at the moment the levels of arsenic in rice is nothing to be too concerned about unless you are eating it almost exclusively.
However rice products that further concentrate the rice or parts of it are of concern especially rice syrup which is a form of sweetener used in baby food.
For a complete explanation and some advice on what to do check the article below.
Coffee Pod Rant Warning!
Let just come out and say right now.
I hate these little coffee pod things or K-cups as they are sometimes labelled.
This is what’s wrong with the world all packaged into one tiny container.
Another example of clever marketing creating demand for a totally useless, wasteful and overly expensive product, the sole purpose of which is to just make money and create landfill, nothing else.
It’s certainly not for making good coffee!
It’s the horror of using plastics for no good reason, bringing a food product into contact with aluminium and convincing people that they are too stupid to be able to make a cup of coffee at a decent standard for heaven’s sake!
The crazy thing is that the coffee you get is not that good and anyone with a half a brain and a few minutes to actually sit down and read something on the subject could do so with no problem at all.
And finally… it is of course a way to wildly inflate the cost of the coffee you are consuming without you really noticing.
How Food Can Be Used As A Political Weapon
OK, when I read article like this I really think that the entire subject needs to be re-evaluated with all the emotion and conspiracy theory crap taken out.
The real problem here is that any clown can come up with some harebrained idea and put it up on the internet.
That’s fair enough because we should all be able to say whatever we want.
The difficulty is that then someone else reproduces the same thing and that pattern repeats until the original item is being cited as a fact rather than what it was in the first place, an opinion… or worse.
At some point in time parents gains access to that (now) “information” and are fearful that they are going to potentially hurt their children by vaccinating them.
They look for answers and find the internet awash with all sorts of stuff made up of facts and opinions but nothing is recognisable as either anymore.
It seems that it’s all facts and from there we are now in a situation where a disease that was effectively eradicated has made a big comeback.
I’ll give a perfect example of this in play right now regarding Tom Cruise.
A tabloid all but invented a story regarding him leaving his religion due to worry about losing contact with his daughter.
The entire thing was made up from snippets of information, opinions and just inventions.
However because they published it, it went on to the internet.
Now, five days later it is being reported in the mainstream media as a fact that he is leaving his religion.
If you carefully check these articles you find that they are quoting another article which in turn quotes another and another until you work your way back to the original article which was nothing more than tabloid rubbish.
I personally don’t give a damn about what Tom Cruise is doing but what worries me is that this process of invention or opinion morphing into reported fact is a bad thing for all of us.
How to Handle Those Strange Vegetables
Don’t know your Kohlrabi from your Romanesco?
Not to worry I think that most of us these days are taking a walk through the local farmers market and secretly thinking to ourselves, “What is that and what would I do with it?”
In fact this feeling can even extend to some of the heritage forms of fruits and vegetables on offer these days.
They can sometimes look so different to what we have come to expect a tomato or carrot or apple to look like we don’t even recognise them.
Check out this article on at least a few suggestions for dealing with some of the more exotic.
Health Tips with Humor!
This is an article I found on Cracked.com which is a satirical site that I didn’t really expect to be reporting on health subjects.
That being said I still followed the link and sure enough they were having a joke… except for the fact that at the end of the joke they were actually publishing some pretty solid information.
It’s possibly a little NSFW in the written language but they certainly do have a knack of getting to the point to debunk the myth and back it up with some good advice.
As many of us are now into the full swing of summer we all like to get outdoors a little more.
Unfortunately from a sheer convenience point of view a large portion of nature also likes to get out and about at this time too!
It also seems that some of these other forms of life (insects, I’m looking at you!) don’t appear to be all that enamoured about sharing peacefully with their fellow life forms and some even go so far as to actually bite or feed off some of us!
Personally I have no real problem with some of life’s smaller creatures enjoying a little human feasting at my expense if it wasn’t for the fact that in doing so they leave things a little itchy.
So, here is a recipe for some anti-itch spray which is relatively natural and all home made.
Just a note of caution: keep both the individual ingredients and the final product out of reach of the kids. Although there is nothing really toxic in there, some of the ingredients like witchhazel can be a bit harsh.
Healthy Eating for Your Eyes
I was watching a documentary the other about how we are being made fat by the big food manufacturers through clever marketing, increases in portion size and the addition of some very unhealthy ingredients. Anyway I was thinking about it later and realized that the perfect diet plan would actually be to have no diet plan at all. Bear with me cos’ I am going somewhere with this. You see big food only manages to make us fat and slowly kills us if we consume their products. So my new diet plan for the overweight masses is really simple. If it is a product that your great grandmother could not purchase then you are not allowed to have it. Simple! In keeping with that here are some foods that in their own way are of particular benefit to your eyes.