Tag Archives: Food & Water Watch

The Hidden Salt in Chicken

Those plump breasts often come ‘enhanced’ with saltwater broth.
Most people don’t think of uncooked chicken as a significant source of sodium — but it can be, not just because most cooks use salt as seasoning.
Injecting raw chicken with saltwater solutions during processing is a widespread practice in the poultry industry. It’s also a practice that has the industry increasingly divided. Major producers who inject their products with saltwater solutions say it makes for tastier, juicier meat. Other producers promote their products as free of the additive and say that the practice is deceptive.

Granted, poultry producers on both sides of the issue are probably vying for a market edge. But marketing wars aside, the practice of saltwater plumping has ruffled the feathers of many nutrition experts too. “People believe that when they’re getting chicken, they’re getting a low-sodium food,” says Liz Trondsen, a registered dietitian at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Assn.”They need to be aware of this.”

Raw chicken breast can contain as little as 50 to 75 milligrams of sodium per 4-ounce serving. But much of the chicken on the market in the U.S. is “enhanced” — injected with a salt solution, or broth, during processing. Sodium levels often reach well over 400 milligrams per serving — nearly one-third of the maximum daily intake of 1500 milligrams recommended for people at risk of high blood pressure (including African Americans and older adults). High sodium levels can cause and aggravate high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Producers have been injecting chicken (and other meats) with saltwater solutions since the 1970s, says John Marcy, professor and poultry processing specialist at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The practice makes for more flavorful meat, he says, because “a consumer can’t put salt into chicken like a processor can.”

Processors use multiple-needle injectors or vacuum-tumblers, which force the sodium solution into the muscle. Binding agents in the solution prevent the added salt and water from leaching out of the meat during transport, in grocery stores and during cooking, says Kenneth McMillin, professor of meat science at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge.

The labels on saltwater-infused meats typically say “enhanced with up to 15% chicken broth.” They can also say “all natural” if ingredients in the solution meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of natural, says Bryn M. Burkard, a public affairs specialist with the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The Truthful Labeling Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of poultry producers that don’t enhance their products, is pressing the USDA to change that policy. “The labels [on raw poultry] are really misleading,” says Charles Hansen, executive director of the coalition. “We’ve got no objections to them adding saltwater to chicken, but why not list it prominently on the label?”

The USDA is reviewing comments on the policy, Burkard says. But though clearer labeling may help consumers avoid excess sodium in the chicken they buy at grocery stores, they’ll still encounter high sodium levels in chicken dishes in restaurants and cafeterias. “In the food services industry, chicken has always been injected to retain moisture,” Marcy says. “It’s been standard practice for decades.”

And despite the high levels of sodium in enhanced chicken, it’s still not the top source of hidden dietary sodium, Trondsen says. Consumers should generally be more concerned with the typically high levels of sodium in frozen and canned foods, processed foods, soups and condiments, she says. An 8-ounce serving of canned soup can often contain 700 to 900 milligrams of sodium, and many frozen dinners contain well over 1,000 per meal.

Nonetheless, at more than 400 milligrams per serving, the sodium levels in plumped chicken are significant. “Pity the poor person trying to cut down on salt,” says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, and the author of the 2006 book “What to Eat.” “It gets put into everything and you don’t have any choice about it.”

Nestle adds that not only does the practice of saltwater plumping add unnecessary salt to people’s diets, it also increases the water weight of chicken. Livingston, Calif.-based Foster Farms, a member of the Truthful Labeling Coalition, has estimated that consumers are paying an average of $1.50 for added saltwater per package when they purchase enhanced chicken.

“This practice manages to do not one but two bad things,” Nestle says. “It increases the water weight of the chicken so you are paying for water, not chicken, and it adds salt that you don’t need.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Top 10 Foods Your Body Needs

What do a guava, cabbage and a weed have in common? They’re all foods you should be eating. Here’s why you should add the following 10 fruits, vegetables and plants to your diet.

FRUITS

1. Guava is a slightly pear-shaped tropical fruit known for its sweet, acidic flavor and yellow or pink color. It contains such cancer-fighting agents as lycopene, known for warding off prostate cancer. And with 688 mg of potassium and 9 grams of fiber, this fruit is a must for anyone’s diet.

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2.Goji Berry   resemble raisins, taste sweet and sour, and are red in color. Eating them can help protect the liver, improve sexual function and increase circulation. They also have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating (a method of measuring antioxidant levels in food) of any fruit, according to researchers at Tufts University.

CLICK TO SEE Goji Berry

3. Dried plums,
also known as prunes, are somewhat infamous for their high fiber content. However, don’t forget that they also include high amounts of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which fight the “superoxide anion radical,” known to cause structural damage to cells, one of the primary causes of cancer.

CLICK TO SEE Rich in Antioxidants Dried Plums

4. Pomegranate juice has been consumed for decades in the Middle East as a popular juice beverage; now it’s becoming popular in the United States. Just 4 oz. a day provides 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.

CLICK TO SEE Pomegranate Juice as Good as Viagra

VEGETABLES

5. Cabbage is a leafy, green vegetable. Its benefits: a healthy supply of nutrients including sulforaphane, a chemical which increases your body’s production of enzymes that combat cell-damaging free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.

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6. Beets are a root known
for their dark red coloring and are surprisingly sweet for a vegetable. It is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine, which help to lower your blood levels of homocysteine. That’s good news because homocysteine can damage arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

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7. Swiss chard is a slightly bitter and salty vegetable. It contains huge amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant chemicals known as carotenoids that protect the retinas from age-related damage.

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PLANTS


8. Purslane
is a broad-leaved weed. It features the highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant and has 10 to 20 times more melatonin than any other fruit or vegetable.

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9. Cinnamon is a common spice most of us think of when we make cake or cookies – but don’t overlook a pinch or two on your oatmeal or in your coffee. Cinnamon’s health benefits include controlling your blood sugar and lowering triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Active ingredients include methylhydroxychalcone polymers, which increase your cells’ ability to metabolize up to 20 times.

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10. Pumpkin seeds are too-frequently tossed away during the traditional October pumpkin carving. That’s a mistake, because just 1 ounce contains 150 mg of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc and phytosterols, shown to lower cholesterol and defend against cancer.

CLICK TO SEE  PUMPKIN SEEDS

Medicinal Properties: Catarrh, demulcent, diuretic and anthelmintic.
Uses in Folklore: Pumpkin seeds have been a popular folk remedy for expelling worms and treating urinary complaints. Recent research has shown that pumpkin seeds have anti-tumor properties, in particular, for treating an enlarged prostate. Pumpkin contains the active components resin, fatty oils, proteins, glycoside curcurbitin, vitamins and minerals

Sources: http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1030

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Try To Avoid Non Organic Fruits & Vegetables

The ”Dirty Dozen” Fruits and Vegetables Containing the Most Pesticides

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has produced a new wallet-size Shoppers’ Guide listing the 12 fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated with pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen”), as well as those that generally contain the lowest amount of pesticides (the “Cleanest 12”).

The information is based on nearly 43,000 tests conducted by the USDA and FDA.

The last EWG Guide was issued in 2003, and there have been several revisions to the list. Carrots have been removed from the most contaminated list, but lettuce has been added.

Likewise, cauliflower is no longer listed as one of the cleanest vegetables, but cabbage is now one of those “clean” 12.

An analysis by the EWG estimated that consumers could reduce their exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent merely by avoiding foods on their “Dirty Dozen” list. A few members of that list include:

Peaches
Apples
Sweet bell peppers
Celery
Strawberries
Spinach
Conversely, the “Cleanest 12,” according to the EWG, only expose you to less than two pesticides per day, a huge difference from the 15 pesticides per day you’d be exposed to with the fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list. Among the cleanest fruits and vegetables you can buy at your grocery store:

Onions
Avocado
Pineapple
Asparagus
Broccoli

To stay away from pesticides that do great harm to your health, you are to download the EWG’s complete listings of the best and worst whole foods at their Web site : www.foodnews.org Remember that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic.

Pesticides can have many negative influences on health, including neurotoxicity, disruption of the endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women.

That’s just part of the reason why you should always be on the lookout for organically grown fruits and vegetables. Where traditional farmers apply chemical fertilizers to the soil to grow their crops, organic farmers feed and build soil with natural fertilizer.

Traditional farmers use insecticides to get rid of insects and disease, while organic farmers use natural methods such as insect predators and barriers for this purpose. Traditional farmers control weed growth by applying synthetic herbicides, but organic farmers use crop rotation, tillage, hand weeding, cover crops and mulches to control weeds.

The result is that organically grown food is not tainted with chemical residues, which can be harmful to humans.

The major problem most people have with organic food is the expense.

However, if you plan wisely, eating organically is actually quite affordable. A diet based on whole organic foods does not have to be cost-prohibitive for the average family or single consumer.

However, if the choice is between fresh conventional vegetables and wilted organic ones, It is recommend you choose the conventional vegetables; old and wilted vegetables lose many of the vital micronutrients that make them so healthy.

If you do buy conventional vegetables, It is certainly recommend that you go with the ones on the “Cleanest 12” list.

Help Taken From:Dr.Mercola’s web page