12 March 2009

The Miracle Berry: Açaí

Photo: Andre Penner/Associated Press

Açaí. Eat or drink this berry and you will lose weight, clean your colon and your blood, rejuvenate your skin, and reverse aging. You name it. Acai does it. Who says? Oprah and Rachel Ray, two experts in health nutrition, I'm sure. But some doctors have supposedly made the same claims, based on tons of research and studies, I assume, which I have searched for, and for some reason can't find. I've contacted companies selling Açaí asking for any published studies. None responded.

Well, maybe the answer is there are no valid studies to date confirming any of the many miracle claims, except for the berries' high antioxidant properties.

This article in The New York Times, "Pressing Açaí for Answers", by Abby Ellin, explains further.

05 March 2009

Organic foods not necessarily safer

You are concerned about your diet, nutirtion, the quality of your groceries. You shop mostly at natural or organic markets, and still read the nutrition and ingredient information, and when satisfied, make your purchases. Sounds like you've made some sound and safe decisions in your food purchases. Besides usually laying out a few extra dollars for this peace of mind.

Think again: while the items purchased may be organic or natural, they are often processed in the same facilities that process pesticide-laden, fertilizer-rich, under-inspected goods. What?

"The plants in Texas and Georgia that were sending out contaminated peanut butter and ground peanut products had something else besides rodent infestation, mold and bird droppings. They also had federal organic certification."

Read the entire article, "It’s Organic, but Does That Mean It’s Safer? ", by Kim Severson and Andrew Martin, at The New York Times.

Should the retailers check the souces of what they sell, or the manufacturers of these "natural" and "organic" ingredients check their suppliers? Apparently though, at present, neither does.