News Stories

What about OUR Food?

Milk may be dangerous in Japan, but are fish and chicken safe for US to eat? They're great diet foods, and fish is usually very healthy (depending on how you cook it), but we keep hearing that some kinds of fish contain mercury. Mercury contamination, a worldwide environmental problem, has been called "public enemy No.1" in California's San Francisco Bay, and scientists have finally discovered where all that mercury is coming from.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element, but some 2,000 tons of it enter the global environment each year from human-generated sources. Deposited onto land or into water, mercury is picked up by some types of microorganisms, which convert a small portion of it into a highly toxic form that builds up in fish and the animals---and people--that eat them. Mercury mining and gold recovery in the mid-1800s to late 1900s, combined with present day oil refineries, chemical manufacturing plants and wastewater treatment plants have contributed enough mercury to threaten wildlife and prompt a fish consumption advisory in the Bay Area.

When it comes to chicken, we have a problem with swine flu. The solution: Create a chicken that can still get the flu but can't pass it on to other poultry or to humans. Researchers have figured out how to genetically modify chickens to fit this criteria. While there are reasons to bemoan GM foods, this is one modification that may be extremely helpful.

And when it comes to food labeling, we need to know that foods labeled as "fat free" or "sugar free" might not be totally "free" of either one, depending on the portion you normally eat, so if you want to keep off unwanted pounds, you need to be a careful label reader. Nutritionist Karen Brewton warns that "the manufacturer can label a food fat free or sugar free if it has less than one-half gram per serving. It can meet the criteria for 'free' as the portion listed on the label, but if your portion is much larger, you may be consuming significant amounts of fat or sugar and therefore more calories."

Did you know that the Visitors quite often give contactees things to eat or drink? (and none of these have been poisonous yet) Follow Whitley's continuing "Communion" adventures in "Transformation"--long out of print and now available once again as a download



Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now