Tag Archives: irradiation

Local Chicago ice cream makers may be shut down by the state for silly reasons

From Monica Eng and Chris Borrelli in the Chicago Tribune:


“A few years ago, Kris Swanberg, having been laid-off from her job as a Chicago Public School teacher, remembered she received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift. The Chicago mom fished it out of her kitchen cabinet and eventually started a new career.

Today Swanberg’s Nice Cream — on offer at local Whole Foods and farmers markets — is considered a star of Chicago’s rich and beloved artisanal ice cream scene, one that could be shut down entirely by state rules, she recently learned. Continue reading

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“Irradiation could do for food what pasteurization has done for milk”

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times:

“After the E. coli outbreak in Europe last month — which sickened more than 3000 people and killed at least 50 — it was impossible not to think about irradiation. “What if,” I asked myself, “those little fenugreek seeds had been irradiated?” Might there have been fewer deaths, fewer cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (essentially, kidney failure; there were 900), fewer tragic stories?

The answer is “yes.” But it’s not the only question.

When it comes to irradiation, you might need a primer. (I did.) Simply put, irradiation — first approved by the FDA in 1963 to control insects in wheat and flour — kills pathogens in food by passing radiation through it. It doesn’t make the food radioactive any more than passing X-rays through your body makes you radioactive; it just causes changes in the food. Proponents say those changes are beneficial: like killing E. coli or salmonella bacteria. Opponents say they’re harmful: like destroying nutrients or creating damaging free radicals. Continue reading


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Dr. Shiv Chopra (ex Health Canada) talks food irradiation, other dangers

Dr. Shiv Chopra, on food irradiation, and other health concerns:

“Almost all American and Canadian food is already being irradiated. Take note of out-of-season fruits, looking fine but with blackish and horrible tasting pulp inside. Notice also the strange looking depressions on melon skins with mush and tasteless pulp inside. It is all due to irradiation destroying fruit ripening enzymes that convert their starch into sugar. Continue reading

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The Scientific American toes the party line with story about raw milk titled — “Got E-coli?…”

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

UNSAFE OR THE REAL DEAL?: Raw milk has a loyal following, but the unpasteurized product is also linked to illnesses contracted from bacteria that may lurk in milk that comes straight from a cow or goat. IMAGE COURTESY OF CHIOT'S RUN, VIA FLICKR.COM (via Scientific American)

“…..No Germs, Less Taste
It seems like some new technology might have come along by now, an alternative to HTST pasteurization, that would make milk safe without delivering what some people think is an inferior product with less taste and nutrition. Yet, few alternatives have emerged since the days of Pasteur, according to University of Minnesota (U.M.) associate professor of veterinary public health, 
Jeff Bender. Each of the available alternatives has a downside: For example, some believe that low-temperature pasteurization (also known as batch processing) yields a tastier product. This process heats the milk up to a minimum temperature of 62 degrees C where it remains for 30 minutes, thereby taking longer than standard HTST pasteurization. Continue reading

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Food recalls — the end of real food?

Here’s an excerpt from Raine Saunders of the AgricultureSociety.com blog, on what the recent egg recalls may be a prelude to:

“For a long time I believed that with every food recall story in the media, we’d see more and more people start taking notice of what’s going on in the food system – that food produced in factory environments is harming our health because everything is completely backward and geared toward the reign of big food and corporate agriculture – and that sustainable agriculture would start to become the order of the day.

Food recalls are not doing the job they should – they are not waking people up fast enough. The more we continue to support big agriculture’s products by ignoring these problems, the more control will be given to entities (the government) and corporations (Big Pharma and Big Agriculture – companies like Tyson, Smithfield, Swift, and Cargill who control over 80 percent of the food sold in our country) to dictate the future of food growth, production, sales, and health (or lack thereof). Continue reading


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Pasteurization and irradiation

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post on the spark-a-synapse blog, dealing with questions around pasteurization and irradiation of foods, notably almonds and milk. Here’s part of what they say about milk:

“…. When it comes to milk not only are immunoglobulins important for immunity in infant cows and humans, but several enzymes are important for food digestion (lactase) and mineral absorption (phosphatase). Those are only the two enzymes I know about. I would bet there are more. I have to look no farther than my previous lactose intolerant partner who couldn’t even drink 1/4 cup of pasteurized milk and can now down 16 oz. of raw milk with no problem due to the lactase present in the milk. So when someone tells me there’s no such thing as “raw” or “whole” foods, I can either believe their pseudoscientific assertion or I can believe in my own experiences and the scientific literature.
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