A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

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SWILL MILK According to an 1860 New York Times story, the date that “swill milk,” milk polluted by cows fed with distillery runoff, got introduced to the New York population was unknown. But the effect was terrible. Babies fed the milk made by malnourished cows often died, and the backlash prompted landmark food safety hearings.

LEADED WINE As Bee Wilson chronicles in her book, Swindled, wine is a term that contains multitudes: it can be infused with fruit or honey or lead. And until the 1800s, although the evils of ingesting lead were known, there was no real effort to stop pouring it into our wine glasses.

THE SEAL OF BREAD These days, one doesn’t hear much about poisonous bread, but securing standard ingredients and measurements for bread was a top priority in the Middle Ages, according to Bee Wilson. Bakers were held accountable by actually making a seal on their loaves, an early form of fraud detection, to prevent someone dumping coarse wheat into supposed refined products. The great Bread Scandal of 1757 involved alum being added and bread fraud persisted, by the the 19th century, people regularly stuffed birch bark and twigs into loaves.

NOT-SO-GREEN-TEA: In an 1851 issue of British medical journal The Lancet, a shocking report was issued about a common beverage: green tea. In what became a scandal, it was found that green tea contained colorings and adulterants that included gunpowder. This scandal had been around for a while, as a counterfeit tea ring was prosecuted in 1818 for selling fake fancy varietals. With help from scientists, new methods were developed for testing the contents of tea.

THE GREAT LOZENGE SCANDAL: The straw that broke the food regulatory back of Britain, according to Bee Wilson, was the Bradford sweets scandal of 1858. The candies were normally made with sugar and gum and some kind of cheap filler — usually plaster but, in this case, the candy man used arsenic. Over 200 people were poisoned — and 20 people died. In 1868, the government passed regulation to keep poisons like arsenic in the hands of chemists.

Source: Mental Floss

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FoodSafety.gov offers the following information to make sure you take the risk out of eating animal products:

• Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked uncured red meats—including pork—can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.

Why the Rest Time Is Important

After you remove meat from the grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, the meat’s temperature remains constant or continues to rise, destroying harmful germs in the process.

Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures

• Ground beef, pork, veal, lamb: 160 degrees F; no rest time required

• Ground turkey, chicken: 165 degrees F; no rest time required

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb

• Steaks, roasts, chops: 145 degrees F; rest time of 3 minutes


• Chicken and turkey, whole poultry breasts, roasts; poultry thighs, legs, and wings; duck and goose stuffing (cooked alone or in the bird): 165 degrees F; no rest time required

Pork and Ham

• Fresh pork and fresh ham (raw): 145 degrees F; rest time of 3 minutes

• Precooked ham (to reheat): 140 degrees F; no rest time required

Eggs and Egg Dishes

• Eggs: Cook until yolk and white are firm, no rest time required

• Egg dishes: 160 degrees F; no rest time required

Leftovers and Casseroles

• Leftover and casseroles: 165 degrees F; no rest time required


• Fin fish: 145 degrees F, or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork; no rest time required

• Shrimp, lobster, and crabs: Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque; no rest time required

• Clams, oysters, and mussels: Cook until shells open during cooking; no rest time required

• Scallops: Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm; no rest time required

Source: FoodSafety.gov

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Newsflash: “Avoid Acrylamide”, FDA. Say what?


Another day and another BIG warning from the FDA.

Avoid Acrylamide.

Apparently multiple studies now confirms that Arcylamide causes cancer in animals.

Last week, the FDA said it was on the path to banning trans fats in foods.


Acrylamide is found in such staples as potatoes, cereals, coffee, crackers or breads, dried fruits and many other foods, according to the FDA.

It is generated during the cooking process when items are fried, overcooked, or burned. The compound is created when sugar and amino acid called asparagine combine during high-temperature cooking or heating for extended lengths of time.


Here are a few tips on how to reduce consumption of Acrylamide from the FDA and Cancer.gov

· Acrylamide is typically found in plant-based foods cooked with high heat (e.g., frying, roasting, and baking), not raw plant-based foods or foods cooked by steaming or boiling.

· Avoid frying or otherwise burning or charring foods. Fry foods as little as possible. Follow manufacturers’ recommendations on time and temperature and avoid overcooking, heavy crisping or burning.

· Boiling, steaming, and microwaving appear to generate less Arylamide.

· According to Cancer.gov, 248°F (120°C) seems to be the magic temperature, above which more acrylamide forms. On the contrary, foods heated to below 248°F or less do not seem to contain the chemical.

· Don’t eat burnt toast, since the darker the toast, the more acrylamide has formed. “Toast bread to a light brown color rather than a dark brown color. Avoid very brown areas,” advises the FDA.

· Soak potato slices in water for 15-30 minutes before cooking to reduce the amount of acrylamide it forms.

· Do not brown potatoes. “Brown areas tend to contain more acrylamide,” says the FDA.

· Potato chips and French fries contain the highest levels, according to Cancer.gov.

· Some foods are larger sources of acrylamide in the diet, including certain potato products (especially French fries and potato chips), coffee, and foods made of grains (such as breakfast cereal, cookies, and toast). These foods are all part of a regular diet. However, if you want to lower acrylamide intake, reducing consumption of these foods is one way to do so, keeping in mind that it’s best to limit intake of foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. FDA does not recommend reducing intake of healthful grain products (e.g., whole grain cereals) that are a good source of whole grains and fiber.


Source: Forbes, FDA, WHO

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If there’s one thing that consumers expect and hope not to find in their food, it’s bugs. International yogurt manufacturer Dannon, however, has recently come under fire for including bugs in its yogurt products. Specifically, Dannon has been called out for its use of bug-based dyes in its yogurt products.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit food watchdog group, Dannon uses an ingredient known as carmine to give some of its fruit-flavored yogurt products a pink color. Carmine is a bright red dye which is derived from the aluminum salt of carminic acid, which naturally occurs in the scales of cochineal insects.

40,000 cochineal bugs are needed to produce just one pound of cochineal extract for the carminic acid. In order to obtain this substance, the insects’ bodies are dried and then boiled in water.

The CSPI contends that Dannon’s use of carmine is tricking consumers, who believe that fruits are providing the color in their yogurt. They also point out numerous studies which have found that insect-based dye can put some people at risk for allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.

CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson commented:

"I have nothing against people who eat insects, but when I buy strawberry yogurt I’m expecting yogurt and strawberries, and not red dye made from bugs. Given the fact that it causes allergic reactions in some people, and that it’s easy to use safer, plant-based colors, why would Dannon use it at all? Why risk offending vegetarians and grossing out your other customers?"

CSPI says that the strawberry, cherry, boysenberry, and raspberry flavors of Dannon’s "Fruit on the Bottom" line of yogurt all contain carmine. Several flavors of Dannon’s Light and Fit Greed product and six of its Activa yogurts also use this extract. The strawberry flavor of Dannon’s Oikos brand of Greek yogurt uses the extract as well. Fortunately, the company uses natural colors in its Danimals line of yogurts geared towards children.

CSPI is encouraging Dannon to stop using insect-based dye.

Source: July 26, 2013 by Julie Kent

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Given the propensity of meat to decay quickly and with meats being mass produced, it is no wonder that we have more and more incidences of health violations.

Message for us: Think twice about adding store bought meats to our diet.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in ground turkey in 21 states, report finds

Published May 01, 2013



Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been found in ground turkey on U.S. grocery shelves across a variety of brands and stores located in 21 states, according to a report by a consumer watchdog organization.

Of the 257 samples of ground turkey tested, more than half were found to be positive for fecal bacteria and overall, 90 percent were contaminated with one or more types of disease-causing organisms, many of which proved resistant to one or more common antibiotics, Consumer Reports found.

The non-profit, independent product-testing organization said in the June issue of its magazine that the sampling marked the first time it had conducted a laboratory analysis of ground turkey, a popular consumer alternative to hamburger. It was alarmed by the results.

“Some bacteria that end up on ground turkey, including E. coli and staph aureus, can cause not only food poisoning but also urinary, bloodstream, and other infections,” said a Consumer Reports statement on its findings.

The group said it samples ground turkey from 27 different brands including major and store brands.

Turkeys, like other livestock in the United States, are commonly given repeated low doses of antibiotics in an effort to keep the animals healthy and help promote growth. But there has been growing concern that widespread use of antibiotics in animals that are not sick is speeding the development of antibiotic resistance.

The National Turkey Federation said the findings were sensationalized on a sampling that was “extremely small,” and said that blaming use of antibiotics in animals was “misleading.”

“There is more than one way they (harmful bacteria) can wind up on food animals,” said National Turkey Federation vice president Lisa Picard. “In fact, it’s so common in the environment, studies have shown that generic E.coli and MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can even be found on about 20 percent of computer keyboards.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also found widespread contamination, discovering antibiotic resistant E coli, salmonella and other harmful bacteria in turkey, ground beef, pork chops and chicken in sampling done in 2011.

The food safety regulator says resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is “a major public health threat,” and last year issued voluntary guidelines for animal health and animal agriculture industries aimed at limiting the antibiotic use in livestock. The agency has rebuffed efforts to mandate reduced usage, however.

U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, last month reintroduced legislation that would ban non-therapeutic uses of eight types of antibiotics in food animal production.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has issued a warning about antibiotic resistance infections, saying they are becoming increasingly difficult to treat and more infected people are likely to die.

“Humans don’t consume antibiotics every day to prevent disease and neither should healthy animals,” said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director of the Food Safety and Sustainability Group at Consumer Reports. “Prudent use of antibiotics should be required to stem the public health crisis generated from the reduced effectiveness of antibiotics.”