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CHEM 181 (326)

The Health Food Business

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McGill University
CHEM 181
Ariel Fenster

Health food Hippocrates: Let thy food be thy medicine Lettuce cool body Pigeon droppings helped baldness Physicians need to know astrology Flax is good for intestines (alpha linolenic, fiber) Prevention of disease Sylvester Graham (1800ish): Dr No No meat = masturbation  graham cracker replacement, world’s first antisex food No spices No caffeine No alcohol No doctors You are what you eat Natural: No addatives ≠ safe eg hemlock contains conine Organic: No addatives, no chemical fertilizers, no synthetic pesticides, no GMO components Why peeps buy it? 1. What it doesn’t contain (pesticides) 2. What it does contain (more nutritious) 3. environmental concerns 36 registered pesticides registered for apples 90% of fresh food tested are pesticide residue free (80% of foods are tested) Organic doesn’t mean pesticide free Eg. Copper sulphate Rotenone: linekd to Parkinson’s disease BT bacteria: BT toxin kills off insects Levels of residues of pesticides in children’s urine disappeared after eating organic But all levels of pesticides were under regulated amount Organic does not mean more nutritious: As nutrients depend on: variety type, soil quality, fertilizers, crop rotations, maturity at harvest, transportation Good studies find that there is no difference between organic and normal foods Manure fertilizers used in organic foods contain bacteria = unhealthy? Is organic organic? Not well inspected, very easy to fake All natural? Bullshit. Just a label to up the price Chickens can’t have added hormones Fit for life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond Authors have no scientic knowledge They are bullshit too. Hippocrates diet also bullshit Herbalism isn’t completely bullshit, has a long and solid history Apothecary garden in London late 1600s: every plant known to have medicinal properties Not all herbal products are effective: 40% used on average 2.3 different herbal remedies within the last 12 months Why? Desire to improve general health Why? Because herbal is natural 40% used herbals before seeking medical help 50% didn’t tell their physicians Purple cornflower: Echinacea, used in snake oil Lots of different supplements Effective? Not according to meta-analysis, no significant effects were found Ginseng: Signature theory (God gave humans clue for what to eat, resembles the human body) Shown that it may have some cancer treating properties But is also physiological effect, hormonally active  vaginal bleeding Cold fX: Shown that people taking Cold fX have same cold catching rate is same and placebo but maybe less likely to catch a second cold American ginseng: immune boosting polysaccharides? Maybe maybe not Urination problems Saw palmetto berry: people taking this tell you that they pee less, even though it’s not true Saw palmetto has been shown not to have any effect on prostate growth Ginkgo Biloba: Improves memory? Increases circulation in the brain, results of study show that it’s bulllllsheet Garlic: Allicin (hypertension reducing properties) produced when crushed and cooked, but some dipshit said put it up your ass and it’ll clean you… A study shows that eating a lot of garlic has no effect Purity? 8/22 ginseng supplements sold in US contained unacceptable levels of the pesticides also contain heavy metals and undeclared pharmaceuticals Pregnant lady taking ginseng birthed a baby with pubic hair, turns out she was taking some kind of hormonally active Chinese compound Quian er and Ma zin dol contain a high co
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