Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What? Leafy greens top the list of the 10 riskiest foods?

...This is my reaction with wide open eyes and mouth (as usual)...My brother relayed to me the information he reads that Leafy greens -- including lettuce and spinach -- top the list of the 10 riskiest foods. This is according to a study from a nutrition advocacy group released Tuesday (October 6).

The Center for Science in the Public Interest listed the following foods, in descending order, as the most risky in terms of outbreaks: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream (Oh no, I just recently posted it HERE that it helps losing weight:(), tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

The scientists rated these foods, all of them regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, by the number of outbreaks associated with them since 1990, and also provided the number of recorded illnesses.

The severity of the illnesses ranged from minor stomach aches to death, the center said. With leafy greens such as lettuce, the top cause of illness were pathogens like E. coli, Norovirus and Salmonella in foods that were not properly washed.

Over the past 20 years, leafy greens caused 363 outbreaks, resulting in 13,568 reported illnesses, the center said. That's compared to berries, No. 10 on the list, which were associated with 25 outbreaks totaling 3,397 reported illnesses.

"Leafy greens are a healthy home run, but unfortunately they're associated with food-borne illness," said Sarah Klein, a staff lawyer with the center who helped prepared the study.

In all, the Top 10 resulted in more than 1,500 outbreaks, totaling nearly 50,000 reported illnesses, according to the center, which added that most food-related illnesses don't get treated or reported, so the real total is likely much larger.

"Millions of consumers are being made ill, hundreds of thousands hospitalized and thousands are dying each year from preventable foodborne illnesses," the study said. "Unfortunately, the FDA is saddled with outdated laws, and lacks the authority, tools and resources to fight unsafe food."

Food producers, including the Western Growers Association, released statements criticizing the report.

"Farmers are consumers, too," the association said, in a release from spokesman Paul Simonds. "They eat the fresh produce they grow as do the members of their families, and have invested millions of dollars enhancing food safety practices in the last few years. Scaring people away from eating some of the healthiest foods on the planet, like fresh produce, does not serve consumers."

Salmonella was also a chief culprit in egg, cheese and tomato-related illnesses, the study said, in cases when eggs are undercooked and when cheese is not processed properly.

Salmonella can be difficult to remove from raw tomatoes without cooking, according to the study(this makes me sad because I love eating fresh tomatoes:()

The study also associated Salmonella and E. coli with potatoes. Klein said this generally happens when cold-prepared potato items, such as potato salad, are mixed with other contaminated ingredients.

Unrefrigerated fresh tuna deteriorates quickly, the study said, releasing harmful toxins, and canned tuna gets dragged into the picture because of mixed-in ingredients such as mayonnaise. Improperly washed oysters are at risk of Norovirus.

Rich Ruais, executive director of the Blue Water Fisherman Association and the American Blue Fin Tuna Association in Salem, N.H., disagreed with the study's "bad rap" on tuna.

"Tuna? I beg to differ," he said. "Tuna is one of the healthiest foods on the Earth. It's life sustaining; it's life prolonging."

Ruais said the tuna-based diet of Japanese citizens plays a big part in their high average longevity. He also said the FDA strictly mandates that tuna is gutted and stuffed with ice immediately after it's caught by commercial fisherman, and submerged in slush once it gets to shore, to prevent risk of pathogens.

More surprisingly, bacteria can also survive in ice cream, primarily from the Salmonella contamination of eggs, an important ingredient that is sometimes undercooked, the study said. Much of the study's blame goes to a 1994 outbreak that sickened thousands of ice cream lovers in 41 states.

The National Milk Producers Federation released a statement criticizing the report as "based on outdated information."

"Cheese and ice cream products are among the safest, most stringently regulated foods in this country," said the federation, in its release. "The cheese examples in this report mostly concern consumption of raw milk products, which neither [the] FDA nor the dairy industry recommends. The ice cream example is 15 years old and was an isolated incident."

I love to eat leafy greens. God give every green plant for food (Genesis 1:30). I just hope and pray that this "bad news" I received today will be resolved soon. We need to be more careful in preparing food and maintain proper hygiene to minimize the risk . In cooking eggs, cooked it properly and avoid eating it fresh nor undercooked. Consume tuna as soon as possible . I know that FDA will not leave us consumers groping in the dark. They will let us know if further studies will prove that leafy greens and other food that we love to eat are really risky in its nature.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wanna lose weight? Eat Ice cream!

Don't you know that ice cream when eaten as part of a healthy diet, may actually melt away fat, helping you lose weight quicker than if you abstained? This is what I recently learned from a new research . Plus a dish a day helps you get healthier in other ways according to Marsha Hudnall's book, THE ICE CREAM DIET.

But before we head out for a couple of gallons of Swensen's Ice cream, we put in our mind that that too much can find it's way to the hips, belly and other unwanted places.

I got Banana...nana for my self and for my hubby:

Choco Brownies for my brother

and Nutty chip for my sis-in-law

One of the key benefits of ice cream is that it may satisfy your cravings better than any other food. "When we tell ourselves we can't have something, we immediately focus our attention on what's forbidden, which increases our desire and chances of losing control," says Marsha Hudnall, RD, of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a "non-diet" weight control spa.

A key benefit of ice cream is the calcium it provides. Only 4% of women over 50 meet the daily 1,200 mg goal. The average female calcium intake is only 652 mg. Less than one third of men reach these same goals.

Calcium is also ice cream's "secret" slim down ingredient. In a recent study, overweight people who took a calcium supplement lost 38% more body fat than those who ate the same reduced-calorie diet without the supplement.

How does calcium help you lose? A diet low in calcium shuts down your body's fat burning ability, say experts. When your body doesn't get enough calcium, it triggers fat cells to store fat and get bigger.

So, how much ice cream is "reasonable?" The guideline is a one-half cup serving of no more than 125 calories.

These are the people who wanna lose weight by eating ice cream...LOL! Wanna join us?

By the way, you can click on the Yummy Sunday button to join our "Foodie Talk" or if you simply wanna share your yummy food this weekend.