New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Additives: Look Before You Eat

Part 1: Introduction

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
Fran Lebowitz

Everything that exists is a chemical.
All foods are chemicals.
All foods are safe.
Food additives are chemicals.
Therefore, all additives are safe.
Popular myth

You walk into a supermarket. On the delicatessen counter there are some sausages whose label reads: 'not less than 100% meat'; in other words, there is nothing in them other than meat. But it also reads: 'contains herbs, preservative and colour' so, quite obviously, it must be less than 100% meat . It works like this. Say you have 5 lbs of raw meat, but after cooking it, its weight has dropped to 4 lbs. The law allows you to make up that other lb. with a cheap filler. You now have 5 lbs of the mixture and, because it weighs the same as the original meat, you can call it 100% meat!

   Asking my butcher the same question elicited a different answer. He told me that it did not mean that the whole product is 100% meat, merely that the meat that is in it is 100% meat. My local Trading Standards Department confirmed that the supermarket manager's answer was the correct one. These two answers show that even the trade is not sure what the law means. But either way, it is a fraud — and it's legal.

   Once upon a time, most of the population lived close to the land. They either had a few poultry or a pig and grew their own food, or they bought it from a neighbour whom they knew. Then came the shift from the land to living in towns and food for the urban populations was brought in from specialist businesses. The consumer didn't know the producer, and if there was a choice, he tended to buy the cheaper product. Producers, to compete, had to find ways to cut costs; but unscrupulous ones had already found ways to reduce costs to enhance their profit margins. To reduce the production costs of a loaf of bread, bakers fraudulently added such things as chalk, sawdust, and pipe clay. Used tea-leaves were collected from hotels, taken to factories and 'recycled'. The once-used leaves were dried carefully with other dried leaves from the hedgerows added, and then coloured with anything which came to hand so that they looked new. From staples such as bread, cheese and beer, to the more upmarket wines and coffee, all were adulterated. The situation became so bad that it became almost impossible to buy real, pure food. The populations of the towns were so far removed from the producers that they could do nothing about it.

   In 1820 an analytical chemist, Frederick Accum, wrote a book which became a best-seller. Entitled Treatise on the Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons , and with the skull and crossbones on the cover, the book told of the widespread fraud in food manufacture. It heralded the start of a campaign by Accum, together with the editor of the Lancet , Thomas Wakley and a number of others, which went on for over half a century, in an attempt to get government to legislate against such fraud.

   Governments dithered while the manufacturers claimed that what they put in their products enhanced the taste or made it last longer or that was the way the public liked it or if they didn't, it would have to be too expensive for people to buy. But Accum and his fellow campaigners won finally when legislation was enacted in 1875 in the form of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act which made it illegal to sell food which was not 'of the nature, substance or quality of the article demanded'. Based on the 1875 act, the 1984 the Food Act added strength to it by making it an offence to 'add any substance to food, use any substance as an ingredient in the preparation of food, abstract any constituent from food, or subject food to any other process or treatment, so as to render the food injurious to health'. Manufacturers and retailers had to comply with the Trades Descriptions Act food labelling regulations and it was an offence to sell any food which was not of the nature, substance or quality demanded.

   Unfortunately compositional standards and minimum meat contents regulations for a large range of meat products were removed at the same time. Despite improvements in labelling, Trading Standards Officers found that the meat content of 22 products had dropped dramatically from an average of forty-six percent to thiry-one. One chicken in gravy product fell from a fairly respectable seventy-five percent meat, to only forty-five percent meat.

   In 1990 a new Food Safety Act (FSA) became law, revoking certain aspects of the 1984 Act. It was an important statement of government policy and was billed as the answer to the problems which have been discussed. This Act, which is criminal rather than civil law, covers fair trading as well as safety. Under the FSA, food has to be what YOU, the consumer, expect and want it to be. In line with the 1875 act, it is an offence to sell 'any food which is not of the nature or substance or quality demanded'. (Sect.14). It is also an offence to give a false or misleading description of a food on labels or advertising (Sect 15). If food is 'injurious to health', it is an offence under Sect. 7, and the responsibility for safety is put on the producer or seller in a new 'due diligence' clause (Sect.21). This means that they have to show that they did everything in their power to ensure that a food was alright; and that if something went wrong, it was outside their control. This due diligence clause was potentially good news for consumers as it should have encouraged food traders to review their standards and improve them, particularly as both producers and sellers of food have to ensure not only that food is safe in the short-term but also in the long-term (Sect. 7.2). Consumers can use this against producers of products with known long-term health problems.

Part 2 | Part 3

Last updated 17 September 2007

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