Archive for category Food myths
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become the latest target in the war against the obesity epidemic. The very fact that it exists because it is a highly processed corn product makes it ripe for sensationalized headlines like “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.” The name of the product itself makes it sound ominous. So what is the truth? Will HFCS kill you and, perhaps, more importantly, is it really anymore dangerous than the thing that it commonly replaces, table sugar? The short answer is, no. It is almost exactly the same as regular sugar and is no more harmful than sugar when consumed in amounts that are within or below the recommended dietary guidelines.
Many new diets make claims that raw food, particularly vegetables, is better for you based on the assumption that our ancestors evolved to eat food that way and cooking destroys some of the nutrients. As I write this sentence I am neutral on the claims made of consuming raw vegetables. The claims do make sense to me because I know that heat tends to destabilize the structure of proteins, essentially rendering them inactive, and alters the structure of chemical compounds (please note I use the word chemical here in a general sense to describe naturally occurring chemicals, such as those made by plants, as well as synthetic chemicals). But I also know that the process of digestion is designed to do exactly that. With that said, does it even matter if you eat your vegetables raw if everything going down your gullet will be broken down to basic molecular units? Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this year Vani Hari who runs the blog FoodBabe began an online petition for Subway to remove an ingredient from their bread called azodicarbonamide or ADA for short. She makes statements like ADA is a component used to make yoga mats, it causes respiratory issues, and when heated ADA is linked to tumor development and cancer. Major news networks like CNN and USA Today picked up the story and ran with it, pretty much citing these claims verbatim. It becomes much less interesting when you actually look into the details but the news and people like Vani make their living by fear mongering and sensationalizing pseudoscience. I find it detestable. Read the rest of this entry »
A large source of fear stems from a lack of understanding, and a lot of people are afraid of genetically modified food. Simply injecting the word “genetic” into anything conjures up images of any number of horrific scenarios created by modern pop culture that portray an apocalyptic world created by evil scientists who went too far “playing god.” Look up any random poll online on the subject and you’ll see the majority of the public are against genetically modified food. Personally, I feel that fear is unjustified. However, I don’t have a background in this subject and I don’t exactly know the reasons people have behind the fear of genetically modified food besides the unreasonable “scientists shouldn’t be tampering with our food” argument. So I decided to start my first blog post off looking further into this topic because I find the controversy compelling. There’s a lot of ground to cover on the subject but I try to go over all the points that I feel are important, especially when it comes to dispelling all the misconceptions. Read the rest of this entry »