Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hoodwinked and Bamboozled

long post, forgive my loquaciousness

I like how Barak Obama slipped in "You've been hoodwinked. You've been bamboozled," into his speech after his "Potomac States" win on Tuesday. "You remember that?" he said. Who ever thought a serious contender for the White House would quote Malcolm X and get away with it?

Speaking of hoodwinked and bamboozled, we certainly are being given the shaft in terms of food. This post was inspired by Sarma Melngailis' latest blog on We Like It Raw ( and her going off on Dunkin Donuts. So I decided to look up some ingredients of my own. My children love pancakes. One of the ingredients in the syrup is Sodium Benzoate. I googled it, and here is what is said on Wikipedia:

sodium title="Food preservation" preservative. It is not bactericidal, only bacteriostatic. It has fungistatic activity. It is effective only in acidic conditions (pH< title="Vinegar" vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams (citric acid), fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (vinegar), and Chinese food sauces (soy, mustard, and duck).[citation needed] It is also found in alcohol-based mouthwash and silver polish....It is also used in fireworks as a fuel in whistle mix, a powder which imparts a whistling noise when compressed into a tube and ignited.It is found naturally in cranberries, prunes, greengage plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, and apples.
In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate may form benzene[6], a known carcinogen. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed.Professor Peter Piper of the University of Sheffield claims that sodium benzoate by itself can damage and inactivate vital parts of DNA in a cell's mitochondria. "The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it - as happens in a number of diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of aging."

I won't be buying that syrup again. And I'll be honest, money is the reason why I'll get the cheaper stuff over maple syrup. And anyone who does not acknowledge the higher cost of a raw food diet is not being honest. I get around this by participating in the DC Produce Coop bi-weekly. And there is a company coming that will deliver produce to your door (but I have to keep it a secret for now...but its coming!) I do get "seconds" sometimes from my local health food store (the produce that is overly ripe. Sometimes I can get it for free).

So my mother and I were talking about preservatives and how we, as a country, are being shoveled a bunch of &^%$ to eat, for lack of a better term. For a country so well-educated, we believe that pharmaceutical drugs are really going to heal us. Are you kidding? I know for a fact that some people need pharma drugs. But drugs and surgery should be a LAST resort, not the first. Western medicine is fantastic for emergency services. If I'm in a car accident, I need to go to the ER, not see an herbalist. But you can be sure that while I'm in the hospital, I will forgoe the hospital food and have my family sneak in green smoothies.

I have spent a lot of time in hospitals lately because of my mother-in-law's multiple ailments. And she ain't trying to hear about natural remedies. She was in a nursing home briefly and the food they were served got me heated. Mashed up chicken and gravy, overcooked green beans, and rolls. What is healing about that? The population that needs clean, alkaline food the most is not getting it. And when my MIL was discharged from the hospital, she came with three slips of paper with ten prescriptions. Me and Rom were like, "what is all this for?"And based on her behavior at the hospital, those medicines were a prescription for disaster. We got four of them filled, and left the rest.

Now that my rant is over, the good news is that I was able to travel to Detroit to see my family this past weekend. I was not completely raw. My aunt Beverly made a kick-butt spinach quiche that rocked. Everything else I had was spinach salad, fruit, and raw veggies. I love the fact that my family is so open and accepting of my lifestyle. I nearly cried when I told them that I had the best family in the world. I meant it. Some folk have families who don't get it. Mine does. I will be enternally grateful.

Blogger is not letting me post pictures, so I'll post photos from my trip next time. Thanks for reading! ◦

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