Interesting items from my inbox …

What’s wrong with bread

A reader sent me a note that read:

I took these pictures outside of an old bread factory in Memphis. Can’t seem to recall my Italian grandmother every reaching for soybean oil and corn syrup when she made bread.

Take a look.

Now stir in the fact that today’s wheat is the mutant stuff developed in labs in the 1970s, and you’ve got yourself a nice little horror show.

Let them eat bark

You and I don’t eat grass and twigs because we can’t digest cellulose. Instead, we eat the animals that can digest cellulose. Looks like that could change:

A team of Virginia Tech researchers has succeeded in transforming cellulose into starch, a process that has the potential to provide a previously untapped nutrient source from plants not traditionally though of as food crops.

Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering, led a team of researchers in the project that could help feed a growing global population that is estimated to swell to 9 billion by 2050. Starch is one of the most important components of the human diet and provides 20-40 percent of our daily caloric intake.

Cellulose is the supporting material in plant cell walls and is the most common carbohydrate on earth. This new development opens the door to the potential that food could be created from any plant, reducing the need for crops to be grown on valuable land that requires fertilizers, pesticides, and large amounts of water. The type of starch that Zhang’s team produced is amylose, a linear resistant starch that is not broken down in the digestion process and acts as a good source of dietary fiber.

I must be missing something here. If this breakthrough process produces a resistant starch that isn’t broken down during digestion, how is it going to feed a global population? Seems to me this “good source of dietary fiber” would do more to solve global constipation than global hunger.

This discovery holds promise on many fronts beyond food systems.

“Besides serving as a food source, the starch can be used in the manufacture of edible, clear films for biodegradable food packaging,” Zhang said. “It can even serve as a high-density hydrogen storage carrier that could solve problems related to hydrogen storage and distribution.”

So you can eat your indigestible fiber, then eat the package it came in and get more indigestible fiber. Then you can head to the bathroom and catch up on your reading. If this stuff is all fiber, you may want to take a copy of War and Peace with you.

Nitrates lower blood pressure?

Remember when you stopped drinking beetroot juice because you were worried about the nitrates? Turns out that wasn’t such a good idea:

A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce your blood pressure, according to a small study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

People with high blood pressure who drank about 8 ounces of beetroot juice experienced a decrease in blood pressure of about 10 mm Hg. But the preliminary findings don’t yet suggest that supplementing your diet with beetroot juice benefits your health, researchers said.

Dangit, I was really hoping for an excuse to drink beetroot juice.

“Our hope is that increasing one’s intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health,” said Amrita Ahluwalia, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a professor of vascular pharmacology at The Barts and The London Medical School in London.

Okay, so I do have an excuse to drink beetroot juice … ?

The beetroot juice contained about 0.2g of dietary nitrate, levels one might find in a large bowl of lettuce or perhaps two beetroots. In the body the nitrate is converted to a chemical called nitrite and then to nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is a gas that widens blood vessels and aids blood flow.

Compared with the placebo group, participants drinking beetroot juice had reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure — even after nitrite circulating in the blood had returned to their previous levels prior to drinking beetroot. The effect was most pronounced three to six hours after drinking the juice but still present even 24 hours later.

In the United States, more than 77 million adults have diagnosed high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart diseases and stroke. Eating vegetables rich in dietary nitrate and other critical nutrients may be an accessible and inexpensive way to manage blood pressure, Ahluwalia said.

Uh, wait a minute … if I want to get more nitrates into my diet, couldn’t I just eat more bacon? Don’t the anti-meat hysterics warn us to avoid bacon because of the nitrates?

To de-confuse myself, I looked up an article by Chris Kesser on nitrates and nitrites. Here’s part of what he wrote:

In fact, the study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health.

It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of nitrate/nitrite exposure comes not from food, but from endogenous sources within the body. In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.

When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently.

All humor aside, there’s no reason to fear nitrites in your food, or saliva. Recent evidence suggests that nitrites are beneficial for immune and cardiovascular function; they are being studied as a potential treatment for hypertension, heart attacks, sickle cell and circulatory disorders.

Well then, as much I was hoping for a reason to drink beetroot juice, I’ll probably just eat more bacon.

How bariatric surgery “cures” diabetes

Remember when a widely-reported study touted bariatric surgery as a cure for diabetes? If so, you probably remember what I wrote about it: it’s not the surgery that does the trick; it’s the diet the surgery forces people to adopt. A new study says the same thing:

Patients with type 2 diabetes who consume a diet identical to the strict regimen followed after bariatric surgery are just as likely to see a reduction in blood glucose levels as those who undergo surgery, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

“For years, the question has been whether it is the bariatric surgery or a change in diet that causes the diabetes to improve so rapidly after surgery,” said Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, assistant professor of internal medicine and first author of the study published online in Diabetes Care. “We found that the reduction of patients’ caloric intake following bariatric surgery is what leads to the major improvements in diabetes, not the surgery itself.”

The study followed 10 patients in a controlled, inpatient setting during two distinct periods. Initially they were treated only with the standard diet given to patients after bariatric surgery, while researchers measured effects on blood glucose levels. Several months later, the patients underwent the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass bariatric surgery and followed the same diet while the UT Southwestern research team again examined blood glucose levels. Patients received less than 2,000 calories total during each of these 10-day periods, which is the customary diet after gastric bypass surgery.

Fasting blood glucose levels dropped 21 percent on average during the diet-only phase, and 12 percent after combining the diet with surgery. Patients’ overall blood glucose levels after a standard meal decreased by 15 percent in the diet-only phase and 18 percent after combining diet with surgery. The scientists said the results demonstrate that the extremely restrictive diet imposed after bariatric surgery is responsible for the rapid diabetes remission, which occurs within days of the procedure normally.

In other words, it’s the diet, stupid.

“Unfortunately, such a restrictive diet is nearly impossible to adhere to long-term in the absence of bariatric surgery,” Dr. Lingvay said. “We found that the success of bariatric surgery is mediated through its ability to control food intake, which in turn has a beneficial effect on diabetes.”

Yes, a diet designed to fill an itty-bitty pouch of a stomach is difficult to follow … but a diet of meat, eggs, seafood, green vegetables, cream and butter isn’t, and that will also lower your glucose levels. Plus if you eat bacon, you get those heart-healthy nitrates.

Diet and acne

Let’s put this in the as if we didn’t know file. Diet does (surprise) affect acne:

It’s been a subject of debate for decades, but it seems diet really does have an impact on a person’s complexion.

A landmark overview of research carried out over the past 50 years has found that eating foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) and drinking milk not only aggravated acne but in some cases triggered it, too.

Frankly, I can’t believe this has been a subject of debate. Why the heck would diet – which affects hormones – not have an impact on acne?

Acne is caused by a combination of the skin producing too much sebum and a build-up of dead skin cells which clogs the pores and leads to a localised infection or spot.

Eating high GI foods – foods that are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly – is thought to have a direct effect on the severity of acne because of the hormonal fluctuations that are triggered.

High GI foods cause a spike in hormone levels including insulin which is thought to instigate sebum production.

So we’re looking at the effects of excess insulin — again. High GI foods trigger insulin, and so does milk protein, which is why some people on low-carb diets find they lose more weight if they reduce or eliminate their intake of dairy foods.

In my late 30s, I used to wonder why the heck I’d still get zits on my face and neck, long after the age where I could blame teenage hormones. When I stopped eating grains and other refined carbohydrates, that problem went away … along with several others.

Why I left California

Okay, there are a LOT of reasons I left California, but a legislature that proposes laws like this one is certainly of them:

The State of California has one of the worst proposals of any legislature in the country this year with a new bill that would force every restaurant and food service business in the state to commission an expensive “risk assessment” test for every menu item.

Such a test could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.

In another exercise in nanny-statism, California’s State Senate Democrats want this “risk assessment” conducted to determine whether food being sold “contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic.”

The bill, Senate Bill 747, is an addition to the current health and safety codes and is currently set for a hearing on April 17. It was written and introduced by Sen. Mark DeSauliner (D, Concord).

The introduction of the bill clearly says that the law would require the food service companies to pay the state for the testing in order to fill state coffers. It notes that without the assessment, the state would have the right to shut an offending restaurant down.

As California politics watchdog Stephen Frank points out, “Pass this and hundreds of thousands of Californians are out of work on Day One–and tens of thousands of Californians have lost their investments and businesses.” The big chains could afford the cost of these tests, but small restaurants would just have to close their doors before the state’s inspectors do it for them.

Well, sure, businesses would close and people would lose jobs, but here’s the upside for the California politicians: once the unemployed people end up on welfare, they’re more likely to vote for the big-government mental midgets who propose laws like this in first place.

Cruisin’ …

This will be my last post until I return from the low-carb cruise. I need to spend the next week working on my pre-cruise roast, since I don’t like using notes when I speak. I’ll check comments until next week, when The Older Brother will take over the Fat Head chair.

For any of you coming aboard the cruise, PLEASE introduce yourself. After one of the cruises, someone in a discussion group expressed her disappointment that she didn’t get to chat with the speakers. Trust me, the speakers are happy to talk to you. It’s one of the reasons we come aboard.  But you can’t wait for us to seek you out, not with hundreds of people in the group. Come up and say hello. We won’t bite … unless you’re wearing a bacon shirt. And even then, it’s only because we want those heart-healthy nitrates.

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39 Responses to “From the News …”
  1. Lori says:

    Just what we need, more industrial food. Some tree bark is medicinal–heaven knows what might happen to people if they started eating it. (Am I the only one who feels ridiculous talking about eating tree bark?)

    If the California bill passes, I’m going to count the days until Burger Lounge moves from San Diego to Denver.

    Give it five years and dietitians will be insisting tree bark is an “essential nutrient.” Then the USDA will add a “grass and bark” section on MyPlate.

  2. Mark. says:

    “Uncured” bacon and sausage actually are cured, just that the nitrates come from celery and the nitrites from sea salt… and it doesn’t even matter, it seems.

    Doesn’t matter to me.

    • Steve G. says:

      Supposedly, the nitrates from the cured stuff come from industrialized areas and contain a lot of heavy metals in them.

      I haven’t heard that, but I haven’t really looked into it either.

  3. Any advice that begins with “Eat More Bacon” is automatically approved by me.

  4. Marilyn says:

    On the subject of diabetes, and dietitians, and such — I just saw this on a diabetes forum:

    “. . . my doctor tells me [an A1c of] 8 is too high and the dietitian i see is constantly telling me that i am wrong in having nothing to eat after 7 but a glass of milk, in fact she states i am putting my body in starvation mode. . .”

    “Starvation mode” if one has only a glass of milk after 7:00????

    That makes no sense. If you’re capable of releasing and burning body fat, you’re not starving.

  5. Jason Bucata says:

    I’m nosing around the web for post-op diets, and this particular sentence on one site (http://www.bariatric.us/post-bariatric-surgery-diet.html) stuck out to me: “The diet will focus on a low-fat protein sources and healthy whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”

    Granted, this was for the final phase, while early phases focused on high protein and low carb…

    Other sites in my search results all beat the same drum: Low-sugar but also low-fat. They, too, seem to reintroduce starchy carbs in the last phase.

    Any reactions?

    They mostly focus on getting enough protein. Unfortunately, some people have a difficult time digesting fats after the surgery … so they become deficient in fat-soluble vitamins, even if they take supplments.

  6. Pierson says:

    Which types of dairy, though? Are cream, light cream, sour cream and cheese still safe, or does this refer to standard full-fat dairy (like goat milk, goat kefir, and such)?

    It’s dairy protein that spikes insulin in some people, so if you’re talking about dairy products that are mostly fat (butter, cream, sour cream) it’s not likely to be an issue. Cheese is high in protein, so that could be a problem for some people.

  7. desmond says:

    A population dependent on indigestible fiber from bark: that’s Progress! Sounds like they will need a nutritional supplement though; perhaps Soylent Green?

  8. That California bill is quite something! Do you think it will get passed?

    It’s California. This bill is so stupid, it’s likely to pass.

  9. NM says:

    Remember too that the insulin spike you get from protein is metabolically different from that by carbs: it is accompanied by glucagon, which tells your liver to convert some stored glycogen to glucose to keep your blood sugar steady. So of the insulin is explicitly not being used in this case to store glucose (your body makes sure by balancing it out into a zero-sum game), then what’s the insulin doing? Remember, insulin is not just a blood-sugar hormone: it’s a storage enabling hormone. And in this case, it’s indicating to your body that there are some excellent amino acids available from the milk protein. That’s why body-builders get so much success from casein etc.

    True, but as Jimmy Moore discovered, some people efficiently convert any excess protein to glucose.

  10. SB says:

    I thought that we were supposed to avoid industrially made “food products” like margarine, b/c they are approximately 1-2 molecules away from plastic itself. Now they’re touting this food product as not only food, but also packaging. They’re not even hiding it anymore, and people may still fall for this “healthy” option. *shakes head*
    On the ongoing theme of “they know, but they refuse to change,” my mother knows that a low carb diet would help lower her blood sugar (currently pre-diabetic levels, which also encourages me to keep up this lifestyle for my own health), but she “can’t say no” to a big plate of fried (in vegetable oil) rice noodles. Are they delicious? Yes. Will they be worth it in the end? No. She’s even been told by a health pro (not sure if the family doc, or someone else) to low carb. It’s sad. Many have the correct information, but not all choose to use it.

    For those people, I say bless ‘em and let ‘em go. It’s the people who want to be healthy but are given bad information I worry about.

  11. Bruce says:

    About the California thing….In another exercise in nanny-statism, California’s State Senate Democrats want this “risk assessment” conducted to determine whether food being sold “contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic.”

    They don’t say based on what criteria of course. Wouldn’t it be nice if the people that want to pass this had done all of there homework (snort) and would guarantee that people would be healthier otherwise the people whos names are on the bill would be personally responsible and if I don’t get healthier I can sue them or at the very least kick them where it hurts? Nope, they’ll just give you another pill.

    On the nitrates. Good to read this. I have had the “nitrate free” hot dogs in the past. The nitrate is replaced by celery juice. The flavor of them is strange. Edible but strange. The same with “nitrate free”bacon. Not worth the frying.

    Their criteria will be whatever they want it to be, most likely designed to produce the greatest number of fines to be paid to the bankrupt state.

  12. Beowulf says:

    I noticed that my adult acne problem has virtually disappeared since I switched from vegetarian to paleo. If I eat more than a token amount of junk food, it comes right back within a week or so. Instead of going to my hips, a couple pieces of cake will go to my face.

    Fascinating information on the nitrate/nitrites too.

  13. Marilyn says:

    @Mark: I recently got some truly uncured bacon. It was just plain pork. The description of the item suggested salting and peppering it liberally. I skipped the pepper, but salted it lots and fried it up crisp. It was delicious.

  14. Marilyn says:

    @Lori: I eat tree bark — birch bark zylitol. :-)

  15. Justin B says:

    It’s difficult not to sound like a conspiracy theorist when discussing stuff like this. I mean, why is it that when they want nitrates to be bad, they come from bacon, but when they want them to be good, they come from beetroot juice? In the same way, why did a rat/observational study about carnitine make headlines, but the 13 RCT trials that showed the opposite effect were buried?

    If you’re not a little paranoid, it means you’re not paying attention.

  16. If you gave someone a bowl of white-flour, soybean oil, and corn-syrup all mixed together, they’d be revolted by the very thought of eating that crap. But mix it all together and bake it, and voila…it’s “food” for folks.

    I must confess I’m still wary of processed meats. Not because of nitrates, but rather the staggering amount of sodium they contain. We hear a lot about how asians don’t get much in the way of “western cancers” – but they DO get “Asian cancers” which are cancers if the throat and stomach. There is a theory that it’s the high levels of salty dried-fish that is doing that.

    And as someone with a strong genetic tendency to high blood pressure (I was told I had pre-hypertension) in high-school, I have found through trial and error that low carb was not enough to get my blood-pressure down to healthy level. Though it did lower it. I also had to quit eating so much bacon and sliced deli meats to get it healthy. Much to my chagrin, since I looove bacon and deli-meats.

    And on a totally unrelated note…I’m jealous of where you live, and how you live. My wife and I looked at Franklin, TN as a possible place to relocate with the idea of buying a piece of land, so we can grow some of our own food, and raise kids in a more rural setting. But it seemed like traffic as horrible, and so that kinda scared us off. Is the traffic in Franklin as bad as it seemed? But boy…what a NEAT town!

    Franklin is awesome. Great scenery, charming downtown, lots of artsy stuff happening because of the music industry, highest-ranked school district in the state.

    I’m not sure where you ran into traffic. It can get thick around Cool Springs (the mall-restaurant-shopping-business area), but elsewhere around town I pretty much fly along, especially out where we are.

    • Yes!!!! I will show this to my wife to strengthen my case for moving out there in a few years. She loved it to, but freaked out on traffic. We were only there a few hours on a weekday afternoon. Passing through on our way back “home” to hot and humid Shreveport, after taking a look at Chattanooga. And yes, it was around that area that traffic looked bad. We HATE heavy traffic. But man oh man…I just can’t get that town off my mind.

      So yes…Looks like I’ll be taking my next family vacation to Franklin, TN. Perhaps one day, all the low carb advocates can move there, and thus establish a low-carb haven in the rolling hills of TN.

      If you come to this area again, give me a shout. We’ll show you around.

  17. Elenor says:

    And if you’re a LOT paranoid, you ARE paying attention! {sigh}

    LOL. Sad but true.

  18. Suzie_B says:

    California – remember all the arguments they made about why labeling GMO foods was such a bad idea (too expensive, too complicated, raises the price of food, etc.) and somehow they think this restaurant bill is reasonable concept? By proposing something so ridiculous maybe the lawmakers are fishing for bribes from the restaurant industry to kill the legislation. Or maybe they are just that stupid!

    It could be a case of stupid people fishing for bribes.

  19. Alex says:

    The cellulose to starch technology is absolutely wonderful, but only in that it could allow sustainably produced cellulose to start replacing petroleum as an industrial feedstock.

  20. Tom Welsh says:

    As it happens, I have just been reading William Banting’s “Letter on Corpulence” (third edition, 1864), and noticed the following remark:

    “In respect to vegetables, not only should potatoes be prohibited, but parsnips, beetroot, turnips, and carrots. The truth is, I seldom or ever partook of these objectionable articles myself, and did not reflect that others might do so, or that they were forbidden”.
    http://ia700304.us.archive.org/32/items/letteroncorpulen00bant/letteroncorpulen00bant.pdf

    I strongly recommend the “Letter on Corpulence”, not only on grounds of health – its recommendations are still pretty reliable today, although salmon and pork are OK despite Banting’s condemnation – but just as a very good (and amusing) read. It’s amazing how well ordinary people could write in the 1860s.

  21. Tom Welsh says:

    Another nice bit in the “Letter on Corpulence” is where Banting lays out a typical day’s low-carb diet. Then he says that he enjoyed 6-8 hours of refreshing sleep. Considering the number of glasses of wine – and the optional bedtime “grog” – I think I would have slept for 16-18 hours! Perhaps his wine glasses were very, very small.

    Or perhaps the wine was weaker; I don’t know.

  22. Dana W says:

    I have found that dairy is a big problem for my acne. I had horrible acne on my face, chest, and back in my 20′s and early 30′s when I was eating plenty of ‘healthy’ low fat dairy products. I did not realize this was the problem until I started eating more paleo-ish and started cutting back on dairy.
    And my dermatologist insisted that acne has nothing to do with diet! Thankfully I don’t need to see him anymore since my skin is perfectly clear. It only flares up (and gets greasy) if I start eating too much cheese. The low fat dairy seems to cause the most trouble, but I have to avoid any type of milk. Butter and heavy cream don’t seem to be a problem, thank goodness!

    Then it’s probably the milk protein, or something related to milk protein.

  23. Galina L. says:

    Richard Nikoley is getting more in to the starch eating, it is a resistant starch now http://freetheanimal.com/2013/04/resistant-assimilation-resistance.html, so , probably he would appreciate the opportunity of transition from cellulose into amylose.

    I believe Richard would balk at industrially produced resistant starch.

  24. I just read the proposed legislation, and it seems to be talking about manufacturers, not restaurants.

    “Contributing product” means a manufactured product intended for consumer consumption in this state …

    he adverse impact on public health from use of the product in this state would have a fiscal impact of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) or more annually …

    I doubt any small restaurants are manufacturing products with the potential to cause $50-million in healthcare impact.

    Ahhh, so they’re trying to repeat the “Let’s make the tobacco companies fund the state’s medical costs” strategy, only with food. Lovely. They’ll peg high-fat foods as the dangerous ones and jack up the price of those, thus making them less accessible.

  25. J says:

    Thank you for the info regarding nitrates…made me do my own bang head on desk thing since I used to buy uncured “nitrate free” bacon..Just makes me shake my own head how easy it is to fall victim to reports that leave out all the facts. Had no idea how nitrates related to veggies and even my own saliva. And that 467 hot dog example was pretty much a wow.

    And I only eat that many hot dogs if I’m at Wrigley Field and drank too much beer.

  26. Gilana says:

    Hey Tom– Just wanted to say that yours is the only blog I visit to check for new posts, and then later return to read the comments. Enjoy the cruise!

    Thank you. The ongoing conversation in comments is what makes this fun for me.

  27. Wow. Only one more week until I get to see you roast the celebrities on the LC cruise.

    I understand the group is smaller this year. I’m hoping that means more time to interact with everyone, but it means a lot of folks will be missing out on some good stuff.

    Beginning, of course, with your roast. Hey, I got a new camera… if you would like, I can set it up as a backup to prevent the problems you had last year.

    Redundancy is good. I’d appreciate that.

  28. On the cured/uncured bacon issue, when I bought bacon (made from pastured pigs) at the farmers’ market last summer, I asked what the difference was.

    The person told me that the “cured” bacon was cured using nitrite salts. The USDA rules require that if natural ingredients, like celery juice (which is what these folks used) are used — which brings in the nitrites, the products MUST BE labeled “Uncured” and “No nitrates or nitrites added” on the label. Even though it’s cured. With nitrites. Step away from the desk.

    So, it’s bacon either way. I told him I wanted whichever one would tend to piss off the USDA more, so I got the “uncured.” Which was really cured. And really delicious.

    Cheers

    Thanks for warning about the desk. I had a near-miss. (I believe it was George Carlin who said they’re actually “near hits.”)

  29. Firebird says:

    Nitric Oxide…sold as a weight lifting aid. I just take an arginine supplement and let my body convert it to nitric oxide. I figure I should just let my body do what it is designed to do.

  30. Avishai says:

    So here’s a question. I’ve been low carbing for two and a half years now, to great success… except for my acne, which is, quite frankly, terrible. Am I doing something wrong? I don’t eat grains or sugars or starches… recently, I’ve been trying to keep my carbs down to 20 grams a day, in fact.

    Sugar and grains can cause acne, but they’re not the only causes. You can try giving up dairy products to see if that helps. If not, you’ll need to visit a dermatologist to see what else might be causing it.

    Good luck.

  31. Namu says:

    “I must be missing something here. If this breakthrough process produces a resistant starch that isn’t broken down during digestion, how is it going to feed a global population? Seems to me this “good source of dietary fiber” would do more to solve global constipation than global hunger.”

    This reminds me of a very sarcastic story (by Jack Vance I think) where the protagonist gets sold a magical amulet that can make any substance edible – without realising it won’t change the taste nor texture. And yes at some point he’s left to eat bark, cursing all the way through. I can’t wait to try that !

    • Cindy says:

      “Seems to me this “good source of dietary fiber” would do more to solve global constipation than global hunger.”

      My thought was that it will actually CAUSE global constipation, not ‘solve’it…..

  32. Marilyn says:

    @Namu: Reminds me of a silly thing I heard on radio about a hundred years ago. One fellow was all excited about his new invention: dehydrated water. When asked how it works, he replied, “when you need water, you simply add water.”

    Love it.

  33. Cindy C says:

    I remember reading 40 years ago that wheat would give you acne because of the high copper, and low zinc, and would even take away the zinc from your body. Here is just one article on wheat and the low zinc problem.

    http://www.harvestzinc.org/pdf/NATO-ZincProjectPaper.pdf

    Just one article on how the nutritional aspect of wheat is low.

    http://abstracts.aspb.org/pb2010/public/P08/P08015.html

    That is not the only problem with wheat.

    http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=17644

    They are working on the epigenetics of wheat, changing the gene expressions so it will be more nourishing and less, toxic, but I can still do without it.

    Ugh. I don’t want any part of a more nutritious frankenfood.

  34. Rachel says:

    Wow! well…… I think i’ll be giving bread a miss from now on unless it’s home made :/
    Thanks for the eye opening post!

  35. Danny says:

    So I’ve seen some websites claim that nitrates in vegetables aren’t as bad as in cured meat because they don’t turn into nitrosamines. Have you heard about this? At the very least, a quick search for nitrosamines showed results that made it seem like a known health risk.

    I’d refer back to Chris Kesser again:

    http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

    “Known health risks” are often based on lousy association studies.

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