Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Safe is the Food you are Eating? Self-Administered Test (True or False, 30 items)

Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

Lesson: Safe food is primordial to food security

We have no control on the safety of the food we eat in canteens and restaurants.

1. Food contains natural chemicals that are essential for growth and health which include carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and vitamins. But some foods contain potentially harmful natural toxins.

2. Among the most common crops that yield natural Hydrogen Cyanide is cassava (Manihot utilissima) mainly in the bark of the enlarged roots.

3. Cassava should be harvested after one year in the field. Over mature tubers contain more of the toxin.

4. Remove the entire bark, and wash the tuber thoroughly. Cut into pieces and boil. When the pot starts to boil, remove the cover. This allows the cyanogas to escape.

5. Bamboo shoots (labong) contains a certain amount of hydrogen cyanide, like cassava it should be cooked well with the pot open to allow the gas to escape.

6. Seeds of apples and pears, and the stony pit or kernel of apricot and peaches contain a naturally occurring substance called amygdalin. Amygdalin can turn into hydrogen cyanide in the stomach causing discomfort or illnesses.

7. Nicotine in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is among the most poisonous substances in nature. Extract of the poison from a single stick of cigarette can instantaneously kill a person when injected into the bloodstream.

8. Cacao (Theobroma cacao), like coffee contains caffeine, so that moderation is required in its consumption.

9. Ricinin in castor bean (Ricinus communis)is very poisonous, for which reason the use of castor as laxative has been stopped especially among children.

10. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) contains natural toxins called glycoalkaloids. The levels are usually low but higher levels are found in potato sprouts, and the peels of potato.

11. Aflatoxin is a substance produced by a fungus, Aspergillus flavus, that grows on harvested crops like corn, rice and copra that are not properly dried and stored.

12. It is all right to eat cooked potatoes that has a bitter taste because this is just varietal, and not due to the presence of the natural toxin glycoalkaloids.

13. Today most plastics are made from petrochemicals (crude oil and natural gas), although they can also be produced from corn and other biomasses.

14. Plastic is a compound that is indestructible, even when it is melted the compound gas that is given off is very harmful to our health and environment - it weakens the ozone layer.

15. Because most plastic is produced from oil, and the world is gradually running out of oil, scientists are now developing plastics that are made from vegetable oil and other organic matter.

16. Bioplastics are designed to be composted, not recycled.

17. Environmental advocates are calling for bioplastic production based on renewable crops (such as native wild grasses) grown without chemicals. Bioplastics could also be developed from agricultural waste – which is not yet a ripe or proven technology.

18. We are now beginning to be more concerned with polluting our body with the harmful substances from plastic, rather than polluting the environment.

19. Heavy metal toxicity is occurring far more than we would ever expect, and we pick up the toxic metals principally from those that we produce and throw into the environment.

20. All heavy metals are harmful to the body.

Predators such as the squid accumulate toxic metals from their preys.

The three most common toxic metals are lead mercury and cadmium, while the most dangerous and common radioactive element is Uranium.

22. Lead (Pb) is most common of the toxic metals which we pick up from paints, plastics, cosmetics, batteries, gasoline, insecticides, pottery glaze, and soldered metals. It can be picked up also from plants that absorb the element such as kangkong.

23. The use of Cadmium has greatly increased lately. One can pick up this toxin metal from discarded cadmium batteries, soft drinks, cigarette smoke, seafood, rubber, motor oil, pesticides, and plastics. Cd can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, hair loss, high blood pressure, arthritis, kidney stones and impotence.

24. Mercury (Hg) which can be obtained from amalgam tooth filling, the absorption of which into the body is increased with smoking of cigarettes, drinking of hot liquids, gum chewing, acidic saliva or the grinding of teeth at night.

25. Hg affects the brain, heart, kidneys, and endocrine glands, and because it is cumulative in the brain and neurons, causes depression, memory loss, tremors, anemia and heart attacks. It is very difficult to get rid of.

26. Aluminum can be found in old cast aluminum pots and pans, cans and foils. Certain amounts can be picked up from drinking water, antiperspirants, baking powders, feminine hygiene products, milk, and the like, accumulating in the skin, bones, brain, and kidneys - which can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

27. Uranium is a radioactive element that disintegrates eventually into lead. So why worry with the meltdown of the nuclear plants in Chernobyl Russia and three-Mile Island in the Us?

28. Nickel can be picked up from kitchen wares, coins, dental fillings and batteries. But these can accumulate in the bones, kidneys, liver, lungs, immune system and the brain, and may cause genetic damage and cancer.

29. Arsenic is obtained from cigarette smoke, laundry detergents, beer, seafood and drinking water. It can cause headaches, confusion and sleepiness. At large amount Arsenic can damage the kidneys, liver, and lungs. Arsenic is classified semi-metallic, like selenium.

30. Barium, Beryllium and Chromium are not classified as toxic metals, besides they occur in insignicant amountsa in the environment.

There's no substitute to freshly caught fish from a known source.


False: 8,11,17,20,27,30
16, (T) The plant-based material will actually contaminate the recycling process if not separated from conventional plastics such as soda bottles and milk jugs.
30. F. Barium is found in soaps, ceramics, paper, plastics, textiles, dyes, fuel additives, rubber, paint and pesticides; beryllium is alloy metal processing; and Chromium from chromate compounds.

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