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Body, Nourish, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Bits

Cocktail Chatter: Livers Love Moderation

March 23, 2012

Susan Sermoneta

Moderate your alcohol intake. We’re not saying don’t drink, just don’t over do it. And here’s why…

From the lips to the brain, alcohol is absorbed in under five minutes.  Though alcohol affects every organ of the body, it’s most dramatic impact is on the liver. The liver cells normally prefer fatty acids as fuel, and package excess fatty acids as triglycerides, which they then route to other tissues of the body.  However, when alcohol is present, the liver cells are forced to first metabolize the alcohol, letting the fatty acids accumulate, sometimes in huge amounts. Alcohol metabolism permanently changes liver cell structure, which impairs the liver’s ability to metabolize fats.

Body, Nourish, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Bits

Take Your Share of the Crop – Locavore on the Cheap

June 13, 2011

Low on funds but still want to eat like a locavore? Try a CSA approach. According to the Green Schoolhouse Series, a group that builds LEED-Platinum designed schoolhouses on low-income school grounds, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way for consumers to get their weekly produce fix with locally grown vegetables directly from a farmer in their community.

For about the price of a large pizza you can buy a “share” of a farmers’ crop. In most cases the share comes in the form of vegetables, but fruit and dairy are sometimes included. The consumer can set up a plan to receive the crop once a week or even once a month during the farming season. For example, one crop share company charges about $25 for a box of 3 organic fruits and 7 organic vegetables — plus recipes and delivery.

The best part?  Both the consumer and the farmer benefit.
According to Local Harvest and the Green Schoolhouse Series, farmers are able to market their produce before the busy harvest time and receive their payment early in the season.  Meanwhile, consumers usually visit the farm where the produce is grown at least once per season and are able to develop a relationship with the local farmer who actually grows their food.

Ready for your own share of the crop? Check out these programs:

Click here to visit the USDA Community Supported Agriculture website and find other CSA farms near you.

Body, Nourish, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Bits

Beware – Chinese Chicken!

January 23, 2011

Chicken from China? Why? As we all lean towards eating from and supporting local food sources, we need to seriously consider importing this very popular food product from China. Who doesn’t love Chinese chicken salad…along with various other Chinese food dishes made with chicken, but here is a great example of exercising your rights and voice to protect your own health. Food & Water Watch has prepared a letter that has already been written, and is addressed to the proper recipient’s email address…all you have to do is sign it and press send.

If you agree share this with your friends.

Body, Nourish, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Bits

McWhat's in that Nugget?

January 4, 2011

We usually don’t put a brand or company in a negative spotlight, but when I had a discussion with a friend on “Are the Chicken Nuggets McDonalds really that bad” I had to point out just a few things that have come out in the news regarding the actual ingredients of those beloved Chicken Nuggets, which as the McDonalds website states are: made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter.

For the record, we don’t have a problem with these bite-sized deep-fried snacks/meals, as long as they are really made of sustainably-raised, hormone-free, chicken. However, only 50 percent of the nuggets from the golden arches is chicken (I’m surprised it’s that high). The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.

In an interesting article comparing the difference between nuggets sold in the UK vs. USA (UK was healthier) CNN reported that “McNuggets” in the US contain dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone and used in silly putty, as well as tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you, and one gram can make you horribly ill.

For an even deeper look at the McNugget, Organic Authority an eco-minded website, helpfully transcribed the full ingredients list provided by McDonalds:

“White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary).

Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”

So back to that conversation Dawn, Yes, I would say that those nuggets really are that bad.