CHEM 181 Lecture Notes - Health Food, Sylvester Graham, Chicken Soup

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
McGill University
Department
Chemistry
Course
CHEM 181
Professor
Health food Business:
Hippocrates “let thy food be thy medicine
- visionary
False: No empirical evidence
- lettuce cools the body and curbs the passion
- pigeon droppings are great for baldness
- physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician
- flax is great for the intestines
Food and the Prevention of Disease
Sylvester graham (1794-1851)
- little progress about quality of food people too concerned about getting any food
- son of a preacher
o food for the body, not just the soul
o “Dr. No” no meat, spice, caffeine, alcohol (stimulants)
o no doctors doctors back then were not good
o no self-abuse
- should eat graham crackers made of whole wheat flour
o made to combat inflammatory factors in meat
o high in fibre low in fat
- “you are what you eat”
o using food as prevention, not just medicine
o food is the only raw material that goes into our body they make up our
molecules
Health food stores:
- rarely see any food mostly supplements, juices
o all hype
Health food terms:
Natural = no additives (no scientific definition)
- “natural” does not mean “safe”
- synthetic does not mean dangerous
- ex. Hemlock plant contains coniine
Organic
- regulations:
o no additives
o no “chemical fertilizers”
o no synthetic pesticides
o no genetically modified components
- why buy organic
1) for what it does not contain (no pesticide residues)
although most foods contain pesticides, danger depends on dosage of
residue
presence of pesticides does not equal risk
pesticide levels in food are regulated random samples
ex. EWG claims that Apples can have up to 36 pesticides no farmer in the
world would use all 36 acceptable pesticides
80% of fresh foods that are tested are residue free, 90% of processed foods
are pesticide free
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organic foods also contain pesticides
ex. Copper sulfate natural substance no safer than synthetic
pesticides
o both natural and synthetic pesticides have to pass the same regulations
parkinson’s has been linked to natural pesticide (derived from plant that
contains rotenone)
o Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins
Insecticidal protein gene cannot be inserted into organic agriculture due
to regulations
o Organic foods are likely to contain e coli. uses animal manure as fertilizer
2) for what it does contain (more nutrients)
Nutritional quality depends on
- variety type
- soil quality
- fertilizers
- crop rotations
- maturity at harvest
- transportation
no scientific studies show that organic foods are more nutritious
o scientific data can be twisted to make it seem like it is more nutritious
organic soups have 6 times more salicylic acid (0.006mg vs 0.01mg)
absolute difference is insignificant
salicylic acid is good for the body anti-coagulant (81mg in aspirin)
o organic food has significantly higher contamination
o benefits from eating organic only likely during embryonic stage and early
feeding
nervous system, brain and organs are being formed small
interventions can have large effects
3) environmental concerns
a. most supportable reason scientifically (no fertilizer run off ex.)
Is “organic” organic?
- Industry is full of fraud hard to check
- Canada
o Mainly based on honor code
o Must not have grown any conventional crops for 3 years
o Follow national organic guidelines
No one checks! Only some random inspections
Marketing Organic
Ex 1. Natural lemon flavored crème pie
- ingredients: sodium propionate, sodium benzoate, certified color, vegetable gum
natural usually means additive free how are they getting away with it?
- they are using “natural” lemon flavoring
Ex 2. Trader joe’s “all natural jelly beans”
- no artifical flavouring
Ex 3. Organic chickens “hormone free” and “soybean fed”
- chickens have hormones its natural
- what they imply is that there are no hormone additives
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Document Summary

Hippocrates let thy food be thy medicine visionary. False: no empirical evidence lettuce cools the body and curbs the passion. Physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician flax is great for the intestines. Sylvester graham (1794-1851) little progress about quality of food people too concerned about getting any food son of a preacher food for the body, not just the soul: dr. You are what you eat : using food as prevention, not just medicine food is the only raw material that goes into our body they make up our molecules. Health food stores: rarely see any food mostly supplements, juices: all hype. Natural does not mean safe synthetic does not mean dangerous ex. Organic regulations: no additives, no chemical fertilizers , no synthetic pesticides, no genetically modified components. Why buy organic: for what it does not contain (no pesticide residues) Although most foods contain pesticides, danger depends on dosage of residue.

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