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Thread: The Kitchen

  1. #676

    Re: The Kitchen



    April 4, 2012

    Arsenic in Our Chicken?

    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

    Let’s hope you’re not reading this column while munching on a chicken sandwich.

    That’s because my topic today is a pair of new scientific studies suggesting that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and even arsenic.

    “We were kind of floored,” said Keeve E. Nachman, a co-author of both studies and a scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future. “It’s unbelievable what we found.”

    He said that the researchers had intended to test only for antibiotics. But assays for other chemicals and pharmaceuticals didn’t cost extra, so researchers asked for those results as well.

    “We haven’t found anything that is an immediate health concern,” Nachman added. “But it makes me question how comfortable we are feeding a number of these things to animals that we’re eating. It bewilders me.”

    Likewise, I grew up on a farm, and thought I knew what to expect in my food. But Benadryl? Arsenic? These studies don’t mean that you should dump the contents of your refrigerator, but they do raise serious questions about the food we eat and how we should shop.

    It turns out that arsenic has routinely been fed to poultry (and sometimes hogs) because it reduces infections and makes flesh an appetizing shade of pink. There’s no evidence that such low levels of arsenic harm either chickens or the people eating them, but still...

    Big Ag doesn’t advertise the chemicals it stuffs into animals, so the scientists conducting these studies figured out a clever way to detect them. Bird feathers, like human fingernails, accumulate chemicals and drugs that an animal is exposed to. So scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University examined feather meal — a poultry byproduct made of feathers.

    One study, just published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Science & Technology, found that feather meal routinely contained a banned class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. These antibiotics (such as Cipro), are illegal in poultry production because they can breed antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that harm humans. Already, antibiotic-resistant infections kill more Americans annually than AIDS, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

    The same study also found that one-third of feather-meal samples contained an antihistamine that is the active ingredient of Benadryl. The great majority of feather meal contained acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. And feather-meal samples from China contained an antidepressant that is the active ingredient in Prozac.

    Poultry-growing literature has recommended Benadryl to reduce anxiety among chickens, apparently because stressed chickens have tougher meat and grow more slowly. Tylenol and Prozac presumably serve the same purpose.

    Researchers found that most feather-meal samples contained caffeine. It turns out that chickens are sometimes fed coffee pulp and green tea powder to keep them awake so that they can spend more time eating. (Is that why they need the Benadryl, to calm them down?)

    The other peer-reviewed study, reported in a journal called Science of the Total Environment, found arsenic in every sample of feather meal tested. Almost 9 in 10 broiler chickens in the United States had been fed arsenic, according to a 2011 industry estimate.

    These findings will surprise some poultry farmers because even they often don’t know what chemicals they feed their birds. Huge food companies require farmers to use a proprietary food mix, and the farmer typically doesn’t know exactly what is in it. I asked the United States Poultry and Egg Association for comment, but it said that it had not seen the studies and had nothing more to say.

    What does all this mean for consumers? The study looked only at feathers, not meat, so we don’t know exactly what chemicals reach the plate, or at what levels. The uncertainties are enormous, but I asked Nachman about the food he buys for his own family. “I’ve been studying food-animal production for some time, and the more I study, the more I’m drawn to organic,” he said. “We buy organic.”

    I’m the same. I used to be skeptical of organic, but the more reporting I do on our food supply, the more I want my own family eating organic — just to be safe.

    To me, this underscores the pitfalls of industrial farming. When I was growing up on our hopelessly inefficient family farm, we didn’t routinely drug animals. If our chickens grew anxious, the reason was perhaps a fox — and we never tried to resolve the problem with Benadryl.

    My take is that the business model of industrial agriculture has some stunning accomplishments, such as producing cheap food that saves us money at the grocery store. But we all may pay more in medical costs because of antibiotic-resistant infections.

    Frankly, after reading these studies, I’m so depressed about what has happened to farming that I wonder: Could a Prozac-laced chicken nugget help?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/op...ml?_r=1&src=tp
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  2. #677
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    Re: The Kitchen

    Yuck. I almost never eat chicken anymore, unless it's been battered and deep fried and hot oil to kill whatever might be in it. There is just too much creepy shit happening on those farms, even on the ones that are so-called "free range."
    Welcome to my crazy game of fetch.

  3. #678

    Re: The Kitchen

    Quote Originally Posted by JTContinental View Post
    Yuck. I almost never eat chicken anymore, unless it's been battered and deep fried and hot oil to kill whatever might be in it. There is just too much creepy shit happening on those farms, even on the ones that are so-called "free range."
    They're not farms. They're factories.

    A difference with a distinction.


  4. #679

    Re: The Kitchen

    Nicholas D. Lowry, the president of Swann Auction Galleries, often starts the bidding with a bottle of Herradura Tequila that might cost $50. He uses it to get the crowd going, and the item fetches far more than it’s worth.

    On Tuesday night, Mr. Lowry did a masterly job running the live auction at the annual gala to benefit City Harvest, at Cipriani on 42nd Street; Eric Ripert, the chef and an owner of Le Bernardin, bought the bottle for $1,100.

    It was an omen. A half-hour or so later, the dinner for 20 that Mr. Ripert had offered to prepare in the home of the winning bidder, or in the private dining room of Le Bernardin, sold for $200,000. That’s $10,000 per guest — pretty astronomical for a charity auction. (The name of the winner has not been released.)

    At last year’s auction, which earned $267,000 total for the charity, Mr. Ripert’s dinner for 12 went for $80,000. Thanks to the generosity of the crowd this year, Tuesday’s auction brought in $376,000. “I feel great about it,” Mr. Ripert said. “I’m happy that the person who bought the dinner believes in City Harvest, and I’m proud to be part of the process.”

    As for what dishes he’ll make for the dinner, Mr. Ripert was not sure. “It almost doesn’t matter,” he said. “We’ll do the best we can. And at this price I’m going to include the tips and the wine.”

    City Harvest, which was founded 30 years ago, collects unused food from restaurants, caterers , markets and other organizations to distribute to the needy.

    http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.c...etches-200000/
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  5. #680

    Re: The Kitchen

    Menu for the White House Correspondents Dinner

    Salad: Black Lentil Terrine with lump Crabmeat, Tango Green and Red Artisan Greens, Red and Yellow Tear Drop Tomatoes — drizzled with a Dill Vinaigrette

    Bread Presentation: Seven-Grain Rolls, White and Wheat Rolls; Sourdough Rolls, Flatbreads and butter

    Entrée: Texas Rubbed Petite Filet with a Calvados Demi, paired with Duo of Jumbo Shrimp seasoned with Red Curry; Roasted Haricot Verts, Baby Pepper, Patty Pan Squash; Tasso Mache Choux Risotto

    Dessert: The Galaxy — Rich Chocolate Truffle Mousse layered with Chocolate Genoise and Almond Macaroon, Ganache Truffle Center finished in a chocolate glaze, garnished with fresh raspberries


    Wines: Estancia Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  6. #681

    Re: The Kitchen

    I went to a lecture/discussion last week featuring Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin and Christina Tosi pastry chef for David Chang's Momofuku empire here in NYC. The discussion centered around food memory and it's influence on these two top chefs.

    Ripert was his usual self, hilarious, and Tosi was interesting. There was a huge difference in their food memories though: Ripert contrasted his mother's formality from table settings to what she cooked with his grandmother's on both sides who cooked in what foodies call "rustic" style. He left out all the real fun stuff he's talked about before - how he was a lazy student but loved to eat and cook and how cooking was considered a less than worthy profession back in the day but it was what he loved. He said he couldn't be a pastry chef because three directions in he'd start to innovate, something that doesn't work well with baking. He did tell a humorous story about when, as an intern, he was assigned to the pastry station. They had petit fours ready for the nights service and he figured what the hell he'd eat some since there was no way they were counting them. Of course they were and he wasn't allowed near that station again. He ate about thirty five he says.

    Tosi comes from the US, Virginia, and said that growing up she was a very picky eater. If it wasn't junk food she wouldn't eat it. Her favorite meal was a candy bar called a "whatchamacallit" that sounded like something we used eat caledl a Clark Bar. She was 18 and about to start college when she caved and ate a BLT, the first time she ever ate a real tomato. She said that was when she realized real food was interesting.

    She still bases her baking on junk food though incorporating corn flakes among other things into her cookies which are said to be very good. Maybe it's a generational thing but nothing she's famous for interests me gastronomically. Still she was entertaining.

    There was a brief q&a after the formal discussion and someone asked what was the best way to hold flavor in cooking, the implication being that since so many are into vegan and other lifestyles what can be done to make the food more tasty. After a bit of hemming and hawing Ripert said that animal fat, of course including butter, or oils, particularly olive oil impart the best taste to food. Tosi agreed. That brought the session to a close.

    The moderator was Christine Muhlke, editor of Bon Appetit magazine.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  7. #682

    Re: The Kitchen

    I eat just about any whole food fresh, fermented, and/or lovingly-prepared. Scratch cooking is the answer to all my questions. I eat industrial "food" about four times a year and only when I'm right out straight.


  8. #683

    Re: The Kitchen

    For those who can"t do without Chick Fil A

    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2...m_medium=email

    I use a brine for chicken that I saw on America's Test Kitchen. It uses equal amounts of salt and sugar and it works in an hour. I'm on a salt restricted diet and I never have a problem since I don't use any more salt on the chicken.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  9. #684

    Re: The Kitchen



    Carrots are mutants.

    Well, orange carrots at least. Originally, purple carrots were the norm, but there were some offshoots. Yellow and white ones appeared in the wild. Over time, 17th-century Dutch carrot growers managed to cultivate these yellow and white ones carrots into the orange ones we’re familiar with today.

    The purple ones still do exist, but they’re by far the minority in the world of carrot colors. Want to try some? Beware — there may be a good reason why purple carrots are now the uncommon breed: the orange ones taste better. In fact, orange carrots may be a superfood of sorts when it comes to taste. A 2010 study showed that children said foods tasted better if favored cartoon character appeared on a box, with one food excepted: carrots.



    Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/arc...#ixzz259q91d00
    --brought to you by mental_floss!
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  10. #685

    Re: The Kitchen

    I grow purple, yellow, white and orange carrots.

    Orange is the color of the royalty in the Netherlands, thus the orange carrot seed was distributed worldwide during the slave trade.

    But I must disagree with the assertion of the blog: purple carrots actually taste better than any other variety. Floral, sweet, slightly salty, even. As a bonus, they keep better than orange carrots. They are, however, orange on the inside and they lose their purple color when cooked.


  11. #686

    Re: The Kitchen

    Quote Originally Posted by craighickman View Post
    I grow purple, yellow, white and orange carrots.

    Orange is the color of the royalty in the Netherlands, thus the orange carrot seed was distributed worldwide during the slave trade.

    But I must disagree with the assertion of the blog: purple carrots actually taste better than any other variety. Floral, sweet, slightly salty, even. As a bonus, they keep better than orange carrots. They are, however, orange on the inside and they lose their purple color when cooked.
    Thanks Craig!
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  12. #687

    Re: The Kitchen




    Agricultural giant Monsanto Company has risen to the top of the corporate food chain largely thanks to its seeds. These are no ordinary seeds — they have been genetically modified (GM) to withstand and even produce herbicides and pesticides. Monsanto’s GM corn and soybean seeds have become so widespread over the past two decades that now, a new crop of “superweeds” have evolved to resist these potent chemicals. Farmers then have little choice but to buy Monsanto’s beefed up seeds in an arms race with nature.
    Now, the EPA is launching a review of one of Monsanto’s corn strains engineered to produce the natural pesticide Bt. As the agency told Bloomberg, “There is mounting evidence raising concerns that insect resistance is developing in parts of the corn belt,” where Monsanto’s corn dominates the fields. Root worms exposed to the corn’s toxin seem to have become immune to it, breeding an unprecedented colony of superworms that are bound to spread throughout the entire Midwest.

    Meanwhile, Monsanto recently released a new sweet corn variety containing the Bt pesticide. And for the first time, Monsanto will market this corn as fresh produce, rather than an ingredient for processed foods. Although Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills have refused to carry the corn, Walmart will start stocking the GM sweet corn in the coming months, without any label to let consumers know what they are buying.

    And Monsanto hopes to keep consumers in the dark. The company recently spent $4.2 million trying to kill a November ballot initiative in California that would require labeling on food products containing genetically modified ingredients. Proposition 37 would bring the state in line with Japan, China, the European Union, and Australia, which already require labels on genetically modified foods. 91 percent of Americans support GMO labeling.

    Opponents of Proposition 37 claim GMOs are harmless and would unfairly bias people toward the organic food industry. Though there has been no conclusive evidence that eating GMOs leads to health problems, the FDA does not require safety studies before approving them and Monsanto has lobbied the USDA to reject any and all outside studies when considering applications for new strains. Leaving health aside, the onslaught of superweeds and superworms alone should afford Californians the chance to decide what types of food they want to support.


    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012...-gmo-labeling/
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  13. #688

    Re: The Kitchen

    Everyone doesn't have access to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Just saying.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  14. #689

    Re: The Kitchen

    By: Life's Little Mysteries Staff

    Published: 09/19/2012 06:15 PM EDT on Lifes Little Mysteries

    Arsenic-laced rice products being reported in the news are not the result of breakfast cereals and baby foods being soaked in poison at the factory. Rather, various natural and man-made processes can cause the toxic element to accumulate in rice grains as they grow.

    Scientists have been aware for years that rice is a major source of dietary arsenic, but Consumer Reports is leveraging a new study, which found arsenic in a wide range of rice products, to urge the Food and Drug Administration to set limits on arsenic levels in rice. The findings show that inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, is present in more than 60 popular rice products, including Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Gerber baby food and multiple varieties of Uncle Ben's rice.
    So how does arsenic, the preferred poison of political assassins in the Middle Ages, get into rice in the first place?

    The toxin has both man-made and synthetic sources, and the portion that ends up in rice most likely draws from both. Arsenic, a shiny gray metalloid in its elemental form, occurs naturally in the Earth's crust and makes its way into soil and water supplies through ordinary weathering processes.

    But the element also has common industrial uses, including in pesticides and wood preservatives. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, inorganic arsenic (meaning simply a form of arsenic that has not bonded with carbon) has been shown to persist in the soil for more than 45 years.

    Because of this, even dangerous arsenic-containing insecticides that are no longer in use, such as the lead-arsenate insecticides banned in the '80s, may continue to be absorbed by crops grown on contaminated soil for decades.


    Inorganic arsenic's environmental staying power may help to explain why, according to Consumer Reports, rice grown in states in the south-central region of the United States has shown higher levels of arsenic than rice from other regions.

    Elevated levels of arsenic in rice from Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas may have their origin in that region's long history of cotton cultivation, an industry that extensively utilized lead-arsenate insecticides.

    Another possible contributor to arsenic in farm soil is fertilizer from chickens, whose feed sometimes contains arsenic.

    But none of these potential sources of arsenic are specific to rice-farm soil, so they don't explain why rice contributes more dietary arsenic than other grains grown in the United States (according to an EPA estimate, rice accounts for 17 percent of total dietary exposure).

    The basis for rice's apparently outsized arsenic capacity seems to lie in the water-flooded conditions that are used in its cultivation, which foster the absorption of water-soluble arsenic into the roots.

    As grains of rice take in arsenic, they accumulate a disproportionate amount in their outer hulls, which are stripped off if the grains are refined into white rice. This is why brown rice, which has some nutritional benefits when compared with white rice, has been found to contain more arsenic.

    The FDA, which is conducting its own survey of the arsenic content of rice, does not yet have enough information to recommend that consumers change their rice consumption. But both the FDA and Consumer Reports recommend that consumers vary the grains they eat.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1900654.html

    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/...ce-origin.html
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  15. #690

    Re: The Kitchen

    More...


    Consumer Reports underscored the urgency of the problem and said the government can’t afford to wait much longer before setting limits on arsenic in food. The group analyzed federal data and found that those who consume rice regularly have arsenic levels that are 44 percent higher than those who don’t, and that certain populations such as Latinos and Asians are predominantly affected.

    It also named a list of brands that contained the highest levels of inorganic arsenic: “Among all tested rice, the highest levels of inorganic arsenic per serving were found in some samples of Martin Long Grain Brown rice, followed by Della Basmati Brown, Carolina Whole Grain Brown, Jazzmen Louisiana Aromatic Brown, and Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Long Grain Brown,” Consumer Reports said in its analysis.
    They're forgetting that large Southern US based populations, the Gullah in South Carolina and Georgia for example are huge rice eaters. My father, who was a Gullah, always had rice at lunch and dinner and there's no reason to think that's changed.

    Still this is important information.

    http://www.boston.com/dailydose/2012...V2N/story.html




    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

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