Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hydrogenation in food

Hydrogenation is widely applied to the processing of cooking oils and fats. Complete hydrogenation converts unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. In practice the process is not usually carried to completion. Since the original oils usually contain more than one double bond per molecule (that is, they are poly-unsaturated), the result is usually described as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, that is some, but usually not all, of the double bonds in each molecule have been reduced.Hydrogenation results in the conversion of liquid vegetable oils to solid or semi-solid fats, such as those present in margarine. Changing the degree of saturation of the fat changes some important physical properties such as the melting point, which is why liquid oils become semi-solid. Semi-solid fats are preferred for baking because the way the fat mixes with flour produces a more desirable texture in the baked product. Since partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are reasonably priced, are available in a wide range of consistencies and have other desirable characteristics such as greater oxidative stability (longer shelf life), they are the predominant fats used in most commercial baked goods. Fat blends formulated for this purpose are called shortenings.

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Stolen Body Parts Scandal

Stolen Body Parts Scandal Leads to More Testing of Patients Who May Have Received Diseased Human Tissue Grafts
Date Published: Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 By Steven DiJoseph
The ghoulish tale of stolen body parts, missing persons, diseased human tissue grafts, and the possibility that thousands of innocent patients are now at risk of developing everything from HIV/AIDS and syphilis to hepatitis B and C has become a scandal of nationwide proportions that has health officials in several states as well as the FDA and CDC extremely concerned.
Reports are now appearing that almost 100 more patients (this time in the Atlanta area) have been informed that human tissue grafts they received may have been from diseased body parts that were stolen from corpses in funeral homes and never properly screened for a wide range of serious and even life-threatening infectious diseases.
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Got Ginger? Ginger Fights Cancer

By Dr. Baruch

Ginger can kill ovarian cancer cells while the compound that makespeppers hot can shrink pancreatic tumors, researchers told aconference. Their studies add to a growing body of evidence that atleast some popular spices might slow or prevent the growth of cancer.Dr. Rebecca Liu, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology atthe University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleaguestested ginger powder dissolved in solution by putting it on ovariancancer cell cultures. It killed the ovarian cancer cells in twodifferent ways. First, through a self-destruction process calledapoptosis and second, through the process of autophagy in which cancercells digest themselves, the researchers told a meeting of the AmericanAssociation for Cancer Research. There is "some support" for an association between ovarian cancer andthe consumption of milk products, Swedish researchers report in theInternational Journal of Cancer. From 1991 through 1998 in our nation’s capital, African American womenrepresented two-thirds of all deaths from ovarian cancer, while farmore cases were diagnosed in Caucasian women.Ovarian cancer kills 16,000 out of the 22,000 U.S. women who arediagnosed with it every year, according to the American Cancer Society.Ginger has been shown to help control inflammation, which can contributeto the development of ovarian cancer cells. “In multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ginger-inducedcell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-basedchemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer,” said Dr.Jennifer Rhode, who helped work on the study. Ginger Mint Dressing made with the Wholefood Farmacy’s Heart of Gold isa great way to add ginger to your daily meal plan.

Heart of Gold Ginger Mint Dressing:½ cup freshly grated ginger1 ½ cups Heart of Gold 1 ½ cups fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice1 cup finely chopped fresh mint Combine ingredients and blend for 30 seconds in a blender. Add moremint or your favorite spices to taste. Great on salads, great for tossing with steamed veggies or drizzlingover fresh veggies!

America's Fall Since the 60's-What was the Cause?

Quantifying America's Declineby William J. Bennett
The Wall Street Journal,Monday, March 15, 1993

Is out Culture declining? I have tried to quantify the answer to this question with the creation of the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators.
In the early 1960s, the Census Bureau began publishing the Index of Leading Economic Indicators. These 11 measurements, taken together, represent the best means we now have of interpreting current business developments and predicting future economic trends.
The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, a compilation of the Heritage Foundation and Empower America, attempts to bring a similar kind of data-based analysis to cultural issues. It is a statistical portrait (from 1960 to the present) of the moral, social and behavioral conditions of modern American society--matters that, in our time, often travel under the banner of ``values.'' Perhaps no one will be surprised to learn that, according to the index, America's cultural condition is far from healthy. What is shocking is just how precipitously American life has declined in the past 30 years, despite the enormous government effort to improve it.
Since 1960, the U.S. population has increased 41%; the gross domestic product has nearly tripled; and total social spending by all levels of government (measured in constant 1990 dollars) has risen from $143.73 billion to $787 billion--more than a fivefold increase. Inflation-adjusted spending on welfare has increased by 630%, spending on education by 225%.
But during the same 30-year period there has been a 560% increase in violent crime, a 419% increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorce rates; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200% increase in the teenage suicide rate; and a drop of almost 80 points in SAT scores. Click Here to See Stats: [data tabulated below]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Senate panel recommends abolishing FEMA

Disaster agency beyond repair, Senate inquiry decides

Updated: 11:06 p.m. ET April 26, 2006
WASHINGTON - The nation’s beleaguered disaster response agency should be abolished and rebuilt from scratch to avoid a repeat of multiple government failures exposed by Hurricane Katrina, a Senate inquiry has concluded.
Crippled by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot be fixed, a bipartisan investigation says in recommendations to be released Thursday.
Taken together, the 86 proposed reforms suggest the United States is still woefully unprepared for a disaster such as Katrina with the start of the hurricane season a little more than month away.
“The United States was, and is, ill-prepared to respond to a catastrophic event of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina,” the recommendations warn. “Catastrophic events are, by their nature, difficult to imagine and to adequately plan for, and the existing plans and training proved inadequate in Katrina.”
The recommendations, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, are the product of a seven-month investigation to be detailed in a Senate report to released next week. It follows similar inquiries by the House and White House and comes in an election year in which Democrats have seized on Katrina to attack the Bush administration.
Bush to visit region againPresident Bush will visit Louisiana and Mississippi — which bore the brunt of Katrina’s wrath — on Thursday.
The inquiry urges yet another overhaul of the embattled Homeland Security Department — FEMA’s parent agency — which was created three years ago and already has undergone major restructuring of duties and responsibilities.
It proposes creating a new agency, called the National Preparedness and Response Authority, that would plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters. Unlike now, the authority would have a direct line of communication with the president during major crises, and any dramatic cuts to its budget or staffing levels would have to be approved by Congress.
It would also oversee efforts to protect critical infrastructure such as buildings, roads and power systems, as well as Homeland Security’s medical officer. But the inquiry calls for keeping the agency within Homeland Security, warning that making it an independent office would cut it off from resources the larger department could provide.
The proposal drew disdain from the Homeland Security Department and its critics, both sides questioning the need for another bureaucratic shuffling that they said wouldn’t accomplish much.
“It’s time to stop playing around with the organizational charts and to start focusing on government, at all levels, that are preparing for this storm season,” said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.
Former FEMA director Michael Brown said the new agency would basically have the same mission as FEMA had a year ago, before its disaster planning responsibilities were taken away.
‘Beyond repair’“It sounds like they’re just re-creating the wheel and making it look like they’re calling for change,” Brown said. “If indeed that’s all they’re doing, they owe more than that to the American public.”
But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who led the inquiry, said the new agency would be “better equipped with the tools to prepare for and respond to a disaster.”
Describing FEMA as a “shambles and beyond repair,” Collins said the overall report “will help ensure that we do not have a repeat of the failures following Hurricane Katrina.”
Many of the rest of the recommendations were far less dramatic, ranging from creating a Homeland Security Academy to better trained relief staff, to encouraging people and state and local governments to plan for evacuating and sheltering pets during a disaster.
Most of them offered common-sense reforms, like better coordination among all levels of government, providing reliable communications equipment to allow emergency responders to talk to each other and ensuring urban evacuation plans are up to date and adequate.
Concluding that FEMA was seriously underfunded, Senate investigators called for more money for disaster planning and response at all levels of government. They did not specify, however, how much money was needed and skirted around whether the federal government should be providing all the funding.
The recommendations also called for clarifying responsibilities for levee maintenance — highlighting the structural weaknesses of the New Orleans flood walls against Katrina. They also urged better contracting procedures to avoid waste or fraud in the rush to get aid to disaster victims.
“There is no federal dollar that is spent on disaster relief and recovery for which the government is not accountable to taxpayers,” the recommendations said.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

China Looks Toward Africa

China stirs up and causes jitters globally-Kenya Times Newspaper-->BY WYCLIFFE ASALWA
CHINA is increasingly targeting its economic and cultural ‘eye’ to the ground in Africa and Kenya is one of its interest zones on the continent. In recent years, Beijing has been focusing on building ties with Africa through boosting mutual economic and strategic interests, a fact that has threatened Western influence in the continent. The Chinese balancing act is yet to be fully grasped but her determination is unmistakable. President Hu Jintao took his economic wand to Washington on April 18 and will also touch base with Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. To see complete article Click Here:

Monday, April 24, 2006

HIV's new target: Black women

By Ronnie Agnew
The story has bounced off the front pages of American newspapers and barely found a spot at the bottom of newscasts.
But the problem is no less serious and no less deadly. In reality, the HIV/AIDS crisis in America has found an anchor in Mississippi. Like the rest of the country, it's no longer out front, so people have gone about their lives without fear of the sexual consequencess.
The promiscuity, blind sexual trust and intravenous drug use that gave life to this incurable disease is just as prevalent today as when former NBA great Magic Johnson gave HIV/AIDS a recognizable face.
Jarring, isn't it? Jarring that in 2006 this health crisis still looms even though attention to it is relegated to National AIDS Week or when someone pens a new book. See Full Article: