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Thread: "No-Salt" and Sodium

  1. #1 "No-Salt" and Sodium 
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    Having lost much of my sense of smell, and therefore, taste, a fact eliciting shrugs from the doctors asked, I still perceive sweet and salty tastes reasonably well (I think). Knowing sodium is a contributory factor in heart disease, in that it promotes retention of water within the tissues, thereby increasing resistance to blood flow, and raising blood pressure, I began buying and using the product named "No-Salt", which is composed of Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium Chloride (table salt). The KCl seems "bitier", more salty to me, than salt.

    During a scheduled "bloodletting" visit with my Doctor, I remarked that I was using no-salt when he recommended I limit salt intake. His reaction was, as best I remember it, perhaps 10 years ago, "I wish you wouldn't. Potassium has a much "narrower window" than sodium, and that is not good".

    Gleaned from the nutritional info on a can of beans I just this evening consumed, daily recommended sodium quantity is about 2500mg, while potassium is more, surprisingly, about 3000mg. I recall reading that potassium is necessary in the system to regulate the heartbeat. This sounds important, to me. Several folks I knew were advised to take potassium supplements; my aunt stirred a vile-appearing, orange-colored shit into water and drank it several times daily. I wondered, and still do, why not sprinkle potassium chloride ("no-salt") on food intended to taste salty? I do that, in opposition to that previous doctor's advice.

    Once, while getting building supplies at a Lowe's Store, I spotted a huge pile of "Salt Alternative", in bags, intended for use in water softeners; it was labeled "Potassium Chloride, 99.8%"). $8.00 for 40 pounds, vs. $6.00 for 4 oz., packaged as "No-Salt". I bought a bag, explaining to my wife this was a lifetime supply of food salter. She thought I was nuts, both for considering eating that stuff, and for thinking it was the "same thing". It was comprised of large hunks, about the size of children's marbles. I used the brass mortar & pestle (likely now outlawed in many states!), which my grandma brought over from Czechoslovakia in 1906, to crush the stuff to powder. I have eaten the stuff since, with apparently no ill-effect. (My wife STILL thinks I'm nuts!). joc

    Edit: Incidentally, Schez, the KCl came from Canada!

    Re-Edit: I didn't know then, and still don't, WTH he meant by "narrower window".


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    Narrower window in medical terms generally means a smaller difference between the recommended effective dose and a dangerous dose.

    The narrowest windows would be for chemotherapy drugs. The most well-known and widely used drug with a narrow window is paracetamol. And there are issues with some supplemental vitamins and minerals.


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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Narrower window in medical terms generally means a smaller difference between the recommended effective dose and a dangerous dose.

    The narrowest windows would be for chemotherapy drugs. The most well-known and widely used drug with a narrow window is paracetamol. And there are issues with some supplemental vitamins and minerals.
    Thank you for this! I had to go nosing about, never having seen the name paracetamol. I hope there was no reason why you did not mention it's common name: acetaminophen, the active ingredient in a host of OTC painkillers. After reading about it, I doubt I will ever take it again, suspecting the poor condition my liver may be in! jocular
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    Paracetamol is the common name.

    You are correct that potassium salts taste more bitter than sodium salt. It is also true that potassium is needed more than sodium. However, potassium is generally rich in fruit, and especially bananas. A healthy alternative is to use sodium salt sparingly, and avoid processed food that often has lots of sodium salt added, while eating lots of fruit for potassium. Eating lots of fruit has a lot of other health benefits also.

    The harmful effects of sodium vary a lot from person to person. There is a salt conserving gene, which is common in people of African descent, but less common in Europeans. If you have that gene, then sodium salt is disaster, leading to rapid blood pressure rise. If you do not have that gene, then your salt tolerance may be OK. It is easy to test for. Simply test your blood pressure, then consume sodium salt (a level teaspoon if you can handle that), and wait 15 minutes, and test blood pressure again. If it rises dramatically, that tells you that you are salt intolerant, and need to avoid it.

    Consuming potassium salts is a strategy generally not needed, if you are sensible about salt use, and eat lots of fruit.
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    I'm in a similar boat, having lost a good share of my sense of smell over the past decade. Mildly hypertensive, one doc recommended I limit salt intake; it took it as far as not adding it to everything. Another doc (army docs switch so often it's rare to see one more than a couple times), told me only about the half the population was salt sensitive and suggested a worry a more about keeping weight down and regular exercise. I add hot spices instead of salt to just about everything to taste food.

    I'm looking forward to when we get to the point where there's better individualized information based on genetics and other factors rather than simply recommending making people's life a bit less pleasurable just in case they happen to be vulnerable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    I recall reading that potassium is necessary in the system to regulate the heartbeat.
    Na and K ions are important molecules in action potentials along all muscles. Ca is also important in this process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Paracetamol is the common name.

    You are correct that potassium salts taste more bitter than sodium salt. It is also true that potassium is needed more than sodium. However, potassium is generally rich in fruit, and especially bananas. A healthy alternative is to use sodium salt sparingly, and avoid processed food that often has lots of sodium salt added, while eating lots of fruit for potassium. Eating lots of fruit has a lot of other health benefits also.

    The harmful effects of sodium vary a lot from person to person. There is a salt conserving gene, which is common in people of African descent, but less common in Europeans. If you have that gene, then sodium salt is disaster, leading to rapid blood pressure rise. If you do not have that gene, then your salt tolerance may be OK. It is easy to test for. Simply test your blood pressure, then consume sodium salt (a level teaspoon if you can handle that), and wait 15 minutes, and test blood pressure again. If it rises dramatically, that tells you that you are salt intolerant, and need to avoid it.

    Consuming potassium salts is a strategy generally not needed, if you are sensible about salt use, and eat lots of fruit.
    I love bananas! Often wondered since they are potassium-rich: about 400 mg Of K in an average banana; the daily adult K recommend being about 3500, I could get all the K needed for a day by eating 8 or 9 bananas! But, at 105 cal. each, and 400 mg of carbs...........better not subsists on bananas! 4 g. protein each, ......I'm most concerned about insufficient protein intake daily as well as calories.

    Seems tuna fish is a very good bet for protein-intensity at about 5 cal. per mg of protein, 5 times that of bananas, but silly to eat bananas for their protein content, yes?

    Surprisingly, in my quest for good-tasting foods with good nutritional return and minimal fat, I once found the BEST all-around food to be LIVER!! More Vitamin C than citrus fruit, can one believe that? But, liver.......almost 100% (ha!) cholesterol! joc
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  9. #8 Eating Lots of Fruit 
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    But, Skep: How are we to know the fruit we consume is not loading us up with pesticides and/or other hormone-mimicking synthetic chemicals? I LOVE fruit, but LOATHE the thought of getting big teats at my age! joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I'm in a similar boat, having lost a good share of my sense of smell over the past decade. Mildly hypertensive, one doc recommended I limit salt intake; it took it as far as not adding it to everything. Another doc (army docs switch so often it's rare to see one more than a couple times), told me only about the half the population was salt sensitive and suggested a worry a more about keeping weight down and regular exercise. I add hot spices instead of salt to just about everything to taste food.

    I'm looking forward to when we get to the point where there's better individualized information based on genetics and other factors rather than simply recommending making people's life a bit less pleasurable just in case they happen to be vulnerable.
    I've decided that when an otherwise healthy individual, other than growing old, reaches some age milestone, like perhaps 70 or so, concern over long-term effects of exposure to bad shit of all kinds should take a "back-burner" over enjoying what life may be left. joc
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    We sell "No-Salt" at our store and it is a relatively slow mover. The more sensible way to reduce sodium intake yet still have tasty food is to learn to use more herbs and spices in your food preparation and use a sodium-free mixed herbs/spice similar to Mrs. Dash Original at the table. Depending on your menu choices, judicious use of various vinegars (cider, malt, Balsalmic, Rice etc.) as well as various oils (including Grape Seed, Olive, Sesame, Peanut, Safflower) can addflavor and interest to dishes. This has been my approach since hubby almost became a statistic after the heart attack in January 2009.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    We sell "No-Salt" at our store and it is a relatively slow mover. The more sensible way to reduce sodium intake yet still have tasty food is to learn to use more herbs and spices in your food preparation and use a sodium-free mixed herbs/spice similar to Mrs. Dash Original at the table. Depending on your menu choices, judicious use of various vinegars (cider, malt, Balsalmic, Rice etc.) as well as various oils (including Grape Seed, Olive, Sesame, Peanut, Safflower) can addflavor and interest to dishes. This has been my approach since hubby almost became a statistic after the heart attack in January 2009.
    Very good advice! I will test my ability to taste "sour', i.e., vinegar, as we use little of it. Early familial use was heavy, in comparison, as my mother favored the old European traditions in cooking. My Dad especially loved "sweet-sour", and could have happily eaten a vinegar/sugar mix with every meal. Now, with sense of taste depreciated away, I must admit the oils and herbs sound wonderful, but my enjoyment of them is limited. joc
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  13. #12 The "Window" 
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    For anyone interested, the "windows" shown in my case, from a recent CBC, for potassium and sodium are 3.6 to 5.0 mmol/L and 136 to 143, respectively. My readings were 4.5 potassium, 138 sodium. The potassium window, thought to be "far narrower" than sodium is actually only 20% narrower. In view of my daily use of KCl to make everything "tasty", the reading of 4.5 is right in the middle. I suppose the body effectively "throws" excess potassium as it does other nutrients in excess. joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    We sell "No-Salt" at our store and it is a relatively slow mover. The more sensible way to reduce sodium intake yet still have tasty food is to learn to use more herbs and spices in your food preparation and use a sodium-free mixed herbs/spice similar to Mrs. Dash Original at the table. Depending on your menu choices, judicious use of various vinegars (cider, malt, Balsamic, Rice etc.) as well as various oils (including Grape Seed, Olive, Sesame, Peanut, Safflower) can add flavor and interest to dishes. This has been my approach since hubby almost became a statistic after the heart attack in January 2009.
    Very good advice! I will test my ability to taste "sour', i.e., vinegar, as we use little of it. Early familial use was heavy, in comparison, as my mother favored the old European traditions in cooking. My Dad especially loved "sweet-sour", and could have happily eaten a vinegar/sugar mix with every meal. Now, with sense of taste depreciated away, I must admit the oils and herbs sound wonderful, but my enjoyment of them is limited. joc
    The world of spices, oils and vinegars is broad and the potential combinations are many. You may well find it a lot of fun to seek out and try some more exotic fare even using conventional main ingredients. Anyways, time to catch about 3 hours sleep here. I will look in again later. Good luck with diversifying your menu.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    For anyone interested, the "windows" shown in my case, from a recent CBC, for potassium and sodium are 3.6 to 5.0 mmol/L and 136 to 143, respectively. My readings were 4.5 potassium, 138 sodium. The potassium window, thought to be "far narrower" than sodium is actually only 20% narrower. In view of my daily use of KCl to make everything "tasty", the reading of 4.5 is right in the middle. I suppose the body effectively "throws" excess potassium as it does other nutrients in excess. joc
    In addition to it being a "narrower window," I think being over the reference range in potassium will likely lead to more adverse effects than being over the reference range for sodium. As you mentioned earlier, potassium is important in heart function (as well as basically any other cell in the body) and can lead to cardiac arrhythmia if in excess. If I remember correctly, the U.S. actually uses potassium chloride for lethal injection
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    To jocular

    Have no fear of eating copious amounts of both fruit and liver.

    Liver : Sure it contains cholesterol, but cholesterol in food does not become cholesterol in arteries. There was a time when nutritionists recommended eggs in limitation only, due to the high cholesterol. But finally and belatedly, someone actually did some research, and found that the cholesterol in eggs made no difference to cholesterol in arteries. It was stupid and simplistic thinking earlier. The build up of cholesterol in arteries depends on a lot of factors, and the amount in your food is not significant. So eat that liver without fear. Eat plenty since it is a healthy food.

    Fruit. Pesticides and hormones? Not a problem. Modern pesticides break down quickly, and the amount found in fruit after harvest is nearly always less than one part per million. That amount is so low as to be irrelevant to health. The first law of toxicology - "the dose makes the poison." Such a low dose is non toxic, and has no consequence for human health. Ditto for anything hormonal. Eat your fruit with confidence. The major health consequence related to fruit is the harmful outcome of not eating enough, which applies to most people. Eat more and be healthier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To jocular

    Have no fear of eating copious amounts of both fruit and liver.

    Liver : Sure it contains cholesterol, but cholesterol in food does not become cholesterol in arteries. There was a time when nutritionists recommended eggs in limitation only, due to the high cholesterol. But finally and belatedly, someone actually did some research, and found that the cholesterol in eggs made no difference to cholesterol in arteries. It was stupid and simplistic thinking earlier. The build up of cholesterol in arteries depends on a lot of factors, and the amount in your food is not significant. So eat that liver without fear. Eat plenty since it is a healthy food.

    Fruit. Pesticides and hormones? Not a problem. Modern pesticides break down quickly, and the amount found in fruit after harvest is nearly always less than one part per million. That amount is so low as to be irrelevant to health. The first law of toxicology - "the dose makes the poison." Such a low dose is non toxic, and has no consequence for human health. Ditto for anything hormonal. Eat your fruit with confidence. The major health consequence related to fruit is the harmful outcome of not eating enough, which applies to most people. Eat more and be healthier.
    I said, in essence, "Synthetic chemicals which mimic the effect upon the human body of hormones". The body takes up and stores many of the estrogen-like chemicals thinking they are actually estrogen, storing them in our fat tissues. It is estimated that such chemicals are detectable in 99%+ of all the human beings living on this earth today.

    Liver? Good stuff. Ingested cholesterol, no effect on blood cholesterol, complete agreement with you! No study has yet proved a definitive connection between cholesterol ingested and the level within the blood.

    But synthetic chemicals used worldwide? No, I disagree. Finally, PCBs, Dioxin, DDT, many are EXTREMELY long-lived. An infant breast-feeding in Europe today, will by the time it ceases such a menu, will have accumulated in it's fat tissues a LIFETIME DOSE of these hormonal chemicals. I suggest you read "Our Stolen Future". Note the chart below, somewhat difficult to navigate; I mentioned paraquat, above? Half-life in soil of 1000 days. Thus, where at least 2, sometimes 3 or 4, crops are planted per year, as for example around Phoenix, AZ, that shit will be permeating into food MANY future crops which will be sent off to an unsuspecting public. Meanwhile, during that 1000 day interval, they inject YET MORE of the goddamned stuff. Get what I mean? jocular




    Common Name/Trade Name Soil Adsorption Coefficient (μg/g) Half-life (days)
    *K oc **T1/2
    atrazine/Aatrex 100 60
    acifluorfen/Tackle 113 14
    simazine/Princep 130 60
    prometon/Pramitol 150 500
    alachlor/Lasso 170 15
    captan/Orthocide 200 3
    EPTC/Eradicane 200 6
    metolachlor/Dual 200 90
    carbaryl/Sevin 300 10
    linuron/Lorox 400 60
    diuron/Karmex 480 90
    terbufos/Counter 500 5
    norflurazon/Solicam, Predict 600 90
    oryzalin/Surflan 600 20
    azinphos-methyl/Guthion 1,000 10
    diazinon/Knox-Out, D.Z.N. 1,000 40
    phorate/Thimet 1,000 60
    chlorothalonil/Bravo, Daconil 1,380 30
    malathion/Cythion, Fyfanon 1,800 1
    benomyl/Benlate 1,900 240
    ethalfluralin/Sonalan, Curbit 4,000 60
    fenvalerate/Ectrin 5,300 35
    fluazifop-p-butyl/Fusilade 5,700 15
    chlorpyrifos/Lorsban 6,070 30
    trifluralin/Treflan, Tri-4 8,000 60
    diclofop-methyl/Hoelon 16,000 37
    glyphosate/Roundup 24,000 47
    paraquat/Gramoxone 1,000,000 1,000
    Source: SCS/ARS/CES, USDA, Pesticide Properties Database for Environmental Decision-
    Making, August 10, 1994.
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    Jocular

    You are repeating the bullshit story that many irrational greens like to spout. Sure there are many long lived, and even very toxic chemicals. Not a problem if the dose is low enough. Let me repeat the basic rule of toxicology. "The dose makes the poison." If a chemical is present in sufficiently low dose, it is not an issue.

    The most toxic chemical group ever discovered is the mixture of toxins made by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It is lethal at a dose of one ten thousandth that of the worst man made chemical ever (which is the dioxin 2,3,7,8 TCDD). Yet, in highly diluted form, botulinum toxins are injected into peoples' faces to iron out wrinkles, under the name "botox".

    Nothing is toxic if the dose is low enough. Your long list of chemicals is so much balderdash without two essential bits of extra data.
    1. How toxic is it?
    2. How high is the dose?
    Without those bits of information, what you write is pointless.

    Quite simply, the vast majority, if not all those chemicals you mention, are present in the human environment in doses too low to be of any health significance whatever. So your post is misleading. I hope it was not deliberately and dishonestly misleading.
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    The issue is that a "no salt " is capable of delivering to the human body a bolus of potassium ions, A high blood potassium level may be first noticible when it causes cardiac arrythmia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    But, Skep: How are we to know the fruit we consume is not loading us up with pesticides and/or other hormone-mimicking synthetic chemicals? I LOVE fruit, but LOATHE the thought of getting big teats at my age! joc
    too late for me!!

    Seriously, I am a fruit nut. Mainland we have 3 apples, 3 pear, three Italian Prune and 2 Cherry trees...zero pesticides..here I have papaya, mango, (from my next door neighbor) and apple banana's ...no pesticides....washing your fruit is a good idea, regardless but I really don't think the pesticides are all that high in the fruits you consume to warrant a health risk. If so, I would most likely be dead years ago from the fruits I buy to consume.
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    To babe

    Washing fruit is a good idea, but only to remove possible pathogens. The British Food Standards Authority did a test several decades back on washing fruit, and found that the levels of pesticides on the skin of fruit was insufficient, and the amount washed off too low, for removal of pesticides to be of any health impact.

    On the other hand, if you buy fruit in a supermarket, it is possible some evil grub has fondled it, and he/she did not bother washing hands after that last trip to the bog (or john, if you are American). So washing bought fruit is always a good idea to avoid gastroenteritis.
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    Skeptic: Do you understand the concept of biomagnification of long-lived hormone-like synthetic chemicals?

    Are you aware we're considering not toxins here, poisons if you will, but rather substances which do no obvious immediate harm, as do poisons?

    Are you aware that today it is virtually impossible to find a single child, let alone a large group of children, who do not already have easily-measured levels of these substances irretrievably bound to their body's fat cells, to use such children in a control group to study those who are highly contaminated?

    Does presence of PCBs in the environment upset you at all? Do you know that indigenous people in the high Arctic who still live on mainly wild food the land and sea provide have typically 7 times the level of PCBs in their infants' bodies than do infants born in Southern Canada or the U.S.? Do you know that Canadian health officials have noted, and are extremely concerned that many children in Inuit villages are being found to have abnormalities in their immune systems consistent with the known effects of PCBs? Their bodies do not produce the necessary antibodies when they are vaccinated for smallpox, measles, polio, and other diseases. Canadian health studies have shown that the people living on Broughton Island in the Arctic, have the highest levels of PCBs found in any human population except those contaminated in industrial accidents. How the hell do you suppose those folks way up there became so contaminated? Substances which have been shown to fuck-up the human immune system, are they balderdash to you?

    PCBs are damn stable chemically, very long-lived in both the environment and the human body. Unfortunately, they are not the only concern, there are dozens of others of similar impact, many of them, coincidentally, are pesticides. You see, we are not talking here of acute poisoning.

    These health effects do not show up immediately, as do those of typical poisons, but rather become more and more pronounced as more generations are produced; should that sort of thing NOT cause us concern? jocular
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    How did we jump from washing fruit to PCBs?
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    I don't know, but it makes it hard to jump back into the conversation...
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    You raise some valid concerns about the state of wild foods in the far north, jocular. Yukoners have been advised for more than a decade to limit their ingestion of certain species and especially the organs of those animals as that is where the toxins have become concentrated. Caribou and Lake Trout are two that come immediately to mind and hunters are now required to submit several biological samples for ongoing research for well over a decade now. In areas where gold has been mined and mercury and other compounds used, the berries should not be picked for a considerable distance surrounding these sites, even decades after all activity was ceased. These contaminants are persistent, especially in this climate.

    It is the long term impact that is the concern. Where profit is the motive, too many things get a green light before sufficient research has been done, in my opinion. We are a most inquisitive and impatient species and we do not seem to learn much from past errors in judgement.
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    Jocular is not raising a valid point. He is leading us down the garden path.

    Yes, jocular, I am well aware of everything you are talking about. But the concentration of those chemicals in the human body is tiny. You are like Greenpeace, who made a big deal out of the fact that there are dioxins in mothers milk. But when I looked it up, I found the measured concentration was 100 parts per quadrillion. The problem is not high levels of chemicals. The problem is that chemists are now able to detect these things at ridiculously low levels, and various idiots cannot distinguish between detection and problem.
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    You and I agree to disagree on some of these points, skeptic.

    The Yukon Education system thinks there is sufficient concern that this issue is now part of the cirriculum.

    http://www.northerncontaminants.ca/a...s/cfmBook3.pdf
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    Scheherazade

    The concentration in northern latitudes is real. However, the harm it might do is problematic.

    Several things to bear in mind.
    1. We tend to refer chemical doses to legal limits. But legal limits are usually set at 10% to 1% of the minimum dose found to elicit a physiological response. So, if something is (for example) 5 times the legal limit, people panic. But that is still a lot less than the lowest dose known to have any effect at all. A classic example was radiation levels in Japan after the recent nuclear accident. The news media delighted in telling everyone how much higher than legal limits they were, but failed to mention that they were still well below levels that might have any measurable effect.

    2. Things like PCB's are not water soluble, and are fat soluble instead. To measure how much is in the body of an Inuit, or even a polar bear, we take a biopsy of fat tissue and measure it. The meaning of that data, though, is hard to assess, since material stored in fat tends to be biologically inert.

    To summarise.
    We can measure amounts of PCB's or other chemicals in humans or in wildlife, but to claim those chemicals are doing harm is something else. I have not seen any credible data to the effect that the PCB's, in the Arctic or elsewhereare actually harming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Jocular is not raising a valid point. He is leading us down the garden path.

    Yes, jocular, I am well aware of everything you are talking about. But the concentration of those chemicals in the human body is tiny. You are like Greenpeace, who made a big deal out of the fact that there are dioxins in mothers milk. But when I looked it up, I found the measured concentration was 100 parts per quadrillion. The problem is not high levels of chemicals. The problem is that chemists are now able to detect these things at ridiculously low levels, and various idiots cannot distinguish between detection and problem.
    Maybe that's a problem, and maybe not. You fail completely to "explain away" the effects being seen and documented. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    We can measure amounts of PCB's or other chemicals in humans or in wildlife, but to claim those chemicals are doing harm is something else. I have not seen any credible data to the effect that the PCB's, in the Arctic or elsewhereare actually harming.
    Then, you did not read my post above, did you? If your definition of "harming" excludes immune system affectation, my continued scrutiny of your work has ended. jocular
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    Jocular

    I suspect you are an afficianado of crackpot web sites. Certainly there are people who make claims about harm from PCB's in the Arctic on Inuit people. But the evidence base is lousy, and you will not find such claims in peer reviewed reputable scientific journals. Merely detecting PCB's does not mean they are causing harm.

    Halogenated phenolic compounds do tend to have long half lives, and they can migrate. Due to atmospheric cycles, that can mean a level of build up in high latitudes. But that does not mean they are doing harm. Such claims do not have a sound basis. Not that the lack of basis ever stopped the rabid green movement from making catastrophic claims.

    Apart from CO2, there are no man-made chemicals I am aware of that have global harmful consequences. Human pollution tends to act at a local level. So we get an oil spill that harms an Alaskan fjord. Or chemicals that pollute a harbour. Or a city. But man-made chemicals operating on a global scale are almost zero.

    The thing about those PCB's is that they are being spread over an area that is large beyond normal human appreciation. Even with a degree of accumulation through trophic levels, their final concentration inside living tissue is too low to cause illness. The total tonnage of PCB's is simply too low to have the effects claimed when effectively diluted a billion times by spreading out over the enormous numbers of square kilometers involved.
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    By and large I'd agree with skeptic. But ...

    There are some issues which are serious and, when overemphasised by some groups, lead others into a touch of over-confidence in dismissing all such statements of risk as either unscientific or trivial or both.

    Anything that accumulates in fat has to be taken seriously when considering possible effects on pregnant women, breast-fed infants, developing foetuses and very young children. Whether you're concerned about chemicals being released and mobilised within the circulation and organs of a pregnant woman which might affect her liver or her brain (as 2 obvious candidates for concern) or you're looking at brain and neural development - in utero or when breast-fed or while children are still very young - there are issues which should be checked out and exposures monitored and/or restricted without the luddite hysteria of "OMG!! Chemicals!#!!! The sky is falling. We're doooomed."

    Perinatal exposure to PCBs may have lasting effects
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    I am finished arguing in support of points in which I believe, for no other purpose but to "convince", alter another's belief, or feign enjoyment of the practice. adelady, thank you for your informative reporting.

    And, after all, my original question was about salt, not the despoiling of the Earth. joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To babe

    Washing fruit is a good idea, but only to remove possible pathogens. The British Food Standards Authority did a test several decades back on washing fruit, and found that the levels of pesticides on the skin of fruit was insufficient, and the amount washed off too low, for removal of pesticides to be of any health impact.

    On the other hand, if you buy fruit in a supermarket, it is possible some evil grub has fondled it, and he/she did not bother washing hands after that last trip to the bog (or john, if you are American). So washing bought fruit is always a good idea to avoid gastroenteritis.
    And I sincerely do NOT Like when people fondle my FRUIT!!!!
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    I have used salt substitute for years as there is a family history of high blood pressure, and have encountered no problems so far. Potassium tends to filter inside body cells (intracellular) while sodium stays extracellular, which may help explain why potassium is the more favorable ion with respect to blood pressure elevation. The higher the fluid volume the higher the vlood volume. Of course, potassium can be dangerous in certain situations. If you have poor kidney function, it can hinder excretion of potassium and cause dangerous hyperkalemia (elevated blood potassium). If potassium is injected intravenously as a bolus it leads to fatal heart arrhythmia, as mentioned in a previous post.
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    As I said before, the best approach is to use sodium salt sparingly, not eat too much processed food (which is likely to have a lot of sodium salt), and eat lots of fruit, which is high in potassium. Bananas are especially high in potassium, and make an excellent part of a good and healthy breakfast. I am wary of the idea of using potassium chloride, or other potassium salt, since it would be very easy to use too much.
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    Apology. Double post.
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    My uncle suffers from high sodium, he is allergic to his medicines every month he has to check the sodium in his blood,last month he went to coma for 6 days because of high sodium rank , his IQ went off(i'm not sure if they called it IQ or not!!!),anyway it was really shocking!
    be careful,every medicines won't bring back your health!!!
    Hope you'd never experience these problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmpsybi View Post
    My uncle suffers from high sodium, he is allergic to his medicines every month he has to check the sodium in his blood,last month he went to coma for 6 days because of high sodium rank , his IQ went off(i'm not sure if they called it IQ or not!!!),anyway it was really shocking!
    be careful,every medicines won't bring back your health!!!
    Hope you'd never experience these problems.
    [bad medical advice deleted] there are others possibly that will work... I am very sorry for your uncles problems
    Last edited by adelady; November 6th, 2013 at 08:44 AM. Reason: see my next comment
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    We never, ever give direct medical advice on this site - and none of us should do it online on any site.

    NEVER, EVER tell anyone to stop taking prescribed medication.

    We have no way of knowing how serious someone's medical condition is nor what the medications are, nor what the mechanism of action is. We have no way of knowing what any withdrawal effects might be. People can get seriously ill or die from stopping medication suddenly.

    The only thing we can do is recommend that a person, or their concerned relative or friend, raise the issue with the treating professional. If they're having an allergic reaction to a medication they may need more urgent action than just stopping the medication anyway ... to get to an ER or ring a medical/ pharmacy/ poisons hotline or get good advice from someone who's competent to advise them correctly.
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    Interestingly, I received in the mail this day, a fridge magnet pamphlet with shopping list entitled "Shockingly Salty". This seems to be a public awareness initiative by Yukon Health and Social Services to encourage people to read labels and make informed choices regarding the amount of salt in their diet with the target of 15% of DV or less per selection.

    Personally, I think it is a good initiative as it is focused on education and does not legislate any choices away from people. As people become better informed and more aware of potential threats to their well-being, a significant percentage will begin to moderate their buying habits. Any change in purchasing creates new opportunities for producers which results in more choices for the consumer yet again.

    The healthier options movement is slowly gaining ground. My organic bananas today were the same price as the non-organic ones, down 25% in cost in 4 years as the playing fields in that area begin to level out. These are interesting times in the retail grocery sector.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Interestingly, I received in the mail this day, a fridge magnet pamphlet with shopping list entitled "Shockingly Salty". This seems to be a public awareness initiative by Yukon Health and Social Services to encourage people to read labels and make informed choices regarding the amount of salt in their diet with the target of 15% of DV or less per selection.

    Personally, I think it is a good initiative as it is focused on education and does not legislate any choices away from people. As people become better informed and more aware of potential threats to their well-being, a significant percentage will begin to moderate their buying habits. Any change in purchasing creates new opportunities for producers which results in more choices for the consumer yet again.

    The healthier options movement is slowly gaining ground. My organic bananas today were the same price as the non-organic ones, down 25% in cost in 4 years as the playing fields in that area begin to level out. These are interesting times in the retail grocery sector.
    Thus, almost 7 "feeds" of one of each selection per day, allowing variation without boringly eating the same old....sounds OK!

    So, you guys DO actually still have SOME choices available?

    What exactly is the difference between the two? Not being facetious, I really do not know. joc
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    Don't tell me you are one of those sucked in by the "organic is more healthy" myth?

    You obviously have not read the British Food Standards Authority study comparing organic and conventional foods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    Don't tell me you are one of those sucked in by the "organic is more healthy" myth?

    You obviously have not read the British Food Standards Authority study comparing organic and conventional foods.
    Skep, I have heard this more and more recently but am not privy to the implications. Will you be good enough to further enlighten? I have suspected a "monger in the woodpile" all along regarding the "organic craze". joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Interestingly, I received in the mail this day, a fridge magnet pamphlet with shopping list entitled "Shockingly Salty". This seems to be a public awareness initiative by Yukon Health and Social Services to encourage people to read labels and make informed choices regarding the amount of salt in their diet with the target of 15% of DV or less per selection.

    Personally, I think it is a good initiative as it is focused on education and does not legislate any choices away from people. As people become better informed and more aware of potential threats to their well-being, a significant percentage will begin to moderate their buying habits. Any change in purchasing creates new opportunities for producers which results in more choices for the consumer yet again.

    The healthier options movement is slowly gaining ground. My organic bananas today were the same price as the non-organic ones, down 25% in cost in 4 years as the playing fields in that area begin to level out. These are interesting times in the retail grocery sector.
    Thus, almost 7 "feeds" of one of each selection per day, allowing variation without boringly eating the same old....sounds OK!

    So, you guys DO actually still have SOME choices available?

    What exactly is the difference between the two? Not being facetious, I really do not know. joc
    I will attempt to answer your question as I interpret it, jocular. If I fail to hit the mark, just kindly rephrase your question and I will make another attempt.

    I am guessing that you are asking what the difference is between the organically grown bananas and the conventionally grown ones? Largely a matter of ideology and concern for the manner in which the fruit is grown, and the organic standards specify which compounds may be utilized in the growing. Research does not find any significant difference between conventionally grown and organic produce but subjective evaluations vary. As a gardener, I find that my own organically grown produce is far superior to most of the commercial offerings, even the organic product, most of which I attribute to the freshness and varieties grown. Commercial varieties are often selected for shelf life.

    My own preference for organic bananas is to encourage better stewardship practices so that the land remains viable for future generations, not depleted and burdened with pesticide residues. The texture of the organic fruit seems to be more consistent and even when over-ripe, it remains more firm. I have peeled bananas that the skins have gone almost completely black, yet the fruit is ripe and firm, not mushy and beginning to ferment, which seems to happen more frequently with the non-organic bananas. This is my own observation and preference and four years ago, I was happily paying $1.29/lb compared to .99/lb for the conventional bananas. In the last two years, the price of the two has pretty much equalized and on some occasions, the organic bananas go on sale for less than the conventionally grown ones.

    Therefore, the argument that pesticides need to be used for the industry to be profitable should be re-evaluated. I am of the opinion that we need to be more aware of the long term effects of pesticides getting into our soil and groundwater, their effects on pollinating insects and the food chain.

    So, the short answer to your question is that I personally find organically grown bananas to be more pleasing to my palate and I am concerned about soil management for future generations. That others may not agree with my assessment is fine but I appreciate that the market now offers a choice and that the customer is no longer having to pay a premium for this staple fruit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    Don't tell me you are one of those sucked in by the "organic is more healthy" myth?

    You obviously have not read the British Food Standards Authority study comparing organic and conventional foods.
    Skeptic, you and I have been around this bush before. I am well aware that the conventional industry is scooping up as many of the small organic operations as they can to take advantage of the public interest in organic food and carefully blurring the lines as they go. Yoplait grabbed the Liberty brand of yogurt a while back and turned it all into crap and the battle goes on.

    I was raised on wild meat, garden veggies and wild berries and I have a palate that can discern subtle differences in flavor and texture. I also am aware of certain foods that cause me unpleasant symptoms. The other night at work, I gave in and ate not one, but two pieces of strawberry rhubarb pie that was available for employees in the lunch room. I spent a miserable several hours after because I had not checked to realize that it contains red food color. I felt like I had fleas crawling on my skin for a few hours and then the effect passed. I will not soon be repeating that mistake. As regards my gluten experiment, I find that organic flours, (without amylase and several other additives now found in many flours) do not bother me, while the others definitely make my digestion unhappy.

    The organic industry has it's share of unprincipled individuals, I do not doubt, but I do a lot of research and trials and I have established a short list of products and companies that fit both my ideology and my dietary needs and I am happy to trade my sweat equity for theirs.

    I expect others to likewise do their own research and if they do not, and suffer any consequences for it, they can always turn to the pharmaceutical industry for relief. C'est la vie...
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    [
    Thus, almost 7 "feeds" of one of each selection per day, allowing variation without boringly eating the same old....sounds OK!

    So, you guys DO actually still have SOME choices available?

    What exactly is the difference between the two? Not being facetious, I really do not know. joc
    Your personal observations are well-grounded to advise the organics. I personally detest the soft mush beneath blackened bananas skins. However, organics around here are generally much higher-priced, not only bananas, but all produce types.

    You will, happily no doubt, not need to repeat the post! But I DID ask 2 questions: joc

    I will attempt to answer your question as I interpret it, jocular. If I fail to hit the mark, just kindly rephrase your question and I will make another attempt.

    I am guessing that you are asking what the difference is between the organically grown bananas and the conventionally grown ones? Largely a matter of ideology and concern for the manner in which the fruit is grown, and the organic standards specify which compounds may be utilized in the growing. Research does not find any significant difference between conventionally grown and organic produce but subjective evaluations vary. As a gardener, I find that my own organically grown produce is far superior to most of the commercial offerings, even the organic product, most of which I attribute to the freshness and varieties grown. Commercial varieties are often selected for shelf life.

    My own preference for organic bananas is to encourage better stewardship practices so that the land remains viable for future generations, not depleted and burdened with pesticide residues. The texture of the organic fruit seems to be more consistent and even when over-ripe, it remains more firm. I have peeled bananas that the skins have gone almost completely black, yet the fruit is ripe and firm, not mushy and beginning to ferment, which seems to happen more frequently with the non-organic bananas. This is my own observation and preference and four years ago, I was happily paying $1.29/lb compared to .99/lb for the conventional bananas. In the last two years, the price of the two has pretty much equalized and on some occasions, the organic bananas go on sale for less than the conventionally grown ones.

    Therefore, the argument that pesticides need to be used for the industry to be profitable should be re-evaluated. I am of the opinion that we need to be more aware of the long term effects of pesticides getting into our soil and groundwater, their effects on pollinating insects and the food chain.

    So, the short answer to your question is that I personally find organically grown bananas to be more pleasing to my palate and I am concerned about soil management for future generations. That others may not agree with my assessment is fine but I appreciate that the market now offers a choice and that the customer is no longer having to pay a premium for this staple fruit.[/QUOTE]
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    Don't tell me you are one of those sucked in by the "organic is more healthy" myth?

    You obviously have not read the British Food Standards Authority study comparing organic and conventional foods.
    Funnily enough, there is an issue with bananas being "organic" or otherwise. Though it's not about the growing conditions.

    Several years ago I suddenly started having a not-quite-but-nearly-anaphylactic allergic reaction to bananas. So I reluctantly gave them up. Then I was complaining about missing out on my favourite breakfast with one of the clients of our business. She happened to work for a greengrocer. She laughed and said that I probably wasn't allergic to bananas but to the chemicals used to retard ripening during transport and hasten it in warehouses when they were due to be sold. That's why we have bananas sold separately in Australia with the ends dipped in red wax. (Or pink wax during breast cancer awareness week.)

    As it happens, most if not all of the growers who supply through this system happen to be organic growers, though a lot of consumers think the red wax signifies organically grown. The price is usually a bit higher than the treated bananas. And back a few years ago when bananas were available only for nearly $20 a kilo (or not at all) - after a cyclone flattened the growing areas - there were no red wax bananas available at any price.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Originally posted by jocular:
    So, you guys DO actually still have SOME choices available?
    If this is the other question you mean, the answer should be self-evident. We have an abundance of choices, a dearth of misinformation and a lack of clear, concise and consistent labeling.
    We have a myriad of options but ferreting out the best ones remains a challenge for each individual to undertake...or not.

    Those are the choices that are available.
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    Organic produce is generally overpriced, and is not superior. Additives such as pesticides etc are often quoted by organics enthusiasts as a reason to eat organic, but they are present in tiny trace amounts. Normally less than one part per million, which is insignificant in terms of health.

    Actually, as I have pointed out before, organic food has, on average, substantially more pesticide in it than conventional. The reason is that plants manufacture natural insecticides when attacked. Conventional crops are attacked a lot less than organic, simply because they are protected by potent insecticides. So they make far less natural insecticide. By the time conventional crops get to market, the synthetic insecticides sprayed on them have degraded to a level a lot lower than one part per million, but the organic crops still have their high levels of natural insecticide, because once a plant is stimulated to manufacture them, it keeps right on doing so. You may think that 'natural' insecticides will do less harm than synthetic, but that is not so.

    We had, in 2002, a rash of cucurbitacin poisonings here in NZ. Cucurbitacin is a natural insecticide found in zucchinis. In this case it was organic produce that had not been sprayed, but attacked by insects, leading to a lot of cucurbitacin being made. 16 people had to be hospitalised. I cannot remember the last time a person in NZ had to be hospitalised because of synthetic insecticide on their food. A long, long time ago.

    On the business of attacking small organic farms, that is nonsense. Most organic food is grown on giant farms run by megamillionnaires. The global organics industry, last time I looked, was worth $US 34 billion per year. So much money is generated that this industry has its own 'research' institutes (Rohdale in USA and British Soil Assn.) which generate 'papers' with the express purpose of promoting organic food. This 'research' is a mega million dollar affair in its own right.

    While people of a romantic bent like organic crops, the detailed study commissioned by the British Food Standards Authority came to an unambiguous and unequivocal conclusion. There is no health benefit to eating organic, compared to the same, but much cheaper, conventional foods.
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    Big business has been gobbling up small businesses whenever they see an opportunity to take advantage of an emerging market, skeptic.

    In 1987-88, I was testing one of the first high fat, high protein kibble dog foods for a small company out of Innisfail, Alberta when I was competing in the Yukon Quest, billed as the toughest sled dog race on the planet. We had a very good product and Purina came out of the woodwork and bought the whole company. I have watched several of the smaller organic foods companies get bought out by the big corporations, their formulas changed to contain inferior ingredients and many customers none the wiser.

    There are still a few good brands to be found, at least here in Canada, so I consider myself fortunate to have choice. Recently our corporate grocer is now sending up all our beef pre-packaged out of a plant in Alberta, where previously we had cutting and grinding on location in the stores. I have changed where I buy most of my meat now because I do not want to purchase ground meat that is several days old by the time it arrives here. For the sake of avoiding bacterial growth, I want it ground within 24 hours of purchase, and once again, I am fortunate that we have several small shops that butcher on site.

    Anyways, we are side-tracking this thread on sodium, so for the record, I use sea salt sparingly, and buy relatively few processed foods, the ones I select being naturally low in sodium.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Originally posted by jocular:
    So, you guys DO actually still have SOME choices available?
    If this is the other question you mean, the answer should be self-evident. We have an abundance of choices, a dearth of misinformation and a lack of clear, concise and consistent labeling.
    We have a myriad of options but ferreting out the best ones remains a challenge for each individual to undertake...or not.

    Those are the choices that are available.
    Gosh! My apologies for being so abstract. I meant with all the choices which Canadians have had answers to predetermined by government, you do still have some available to you? Call it facetious, if you will. It is generally felt here in lower America that Canadians are far too over-regulated. But, as they say, those of similar beliefs huddle together, and my circle of acquaintances being quite small, perhaps..................joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Organic produce is generally overpriced, and is not superior. Additives such as pesticides etc are often quoted by organics enthusiasts as a reason to eat organic, but they are present in tiny trace amounts. Normally less than one part per million, which is insignificant in terms of health.

    Actually, as I have pointed out before, organic food has, on average, substantially more pesticide in it than conventional. The reason is that plants manufacture natural insecticides when attacked. Conventional crops are attacked a lot less than organic, simply because they are protected by potent insecticides. So they make far less natural insecticide. By the time conventional crops get to market, the synthetic insecticides sprayed on them have degraded to a level a lot lower than one part per million, but the organic crops still have their high levels of natural insecticide, because once a plant is stimulated to manufacture them, it keeps right on doing so. You may think that 'natural' insecticides will do less harm than synthetic, but that is not so.

    We had, in 2002, a rash of cucurbitacin poisonings here in NZ. Cucurbitacin is a natural insecticide found in zucchinis. In this case it was organic produce that had not been sprayed, but attacked by insects, leading to a lot of cucurbitacin being made. 16 people had to be hospitalised. I cannot remember the last time a person in NZ had to be hospitalised because of synthetic insecticide on their food. A long, long time ago.

    On the business of attacking small organic farms, that is nonsense. Most organic food is grown on giant farms run by megamillionnaires. The global organics industry, last time I looked, was worth $US 34 billion per year. So much money is generated that this industry has its own 'research' institutes (Rohdale in USA and British Soil Assn.) which generate 'papers' with the express purpose of promoting organic food. This 'research' is a mega million dollar affair in its own right.

    While people of a romantic bent like organic crops, the detailed study commissioned by the British Food Standards Authority came to an unambiguous and unequivocal conclusion. There is no health benefit to eating organic, compared to the same, but much cheaper, conventional foods.
    Skep, I should very much like to argue against some of these claims. But, I cannot. It's too late in the day here. How do you like my excuse? joc
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    I pretty much eat organic. Grew up that way. Grew many of our vege's and fruit. I still can't eat a major grocery store peach or nectarine's. Mom's almost 90 and Tata is 93. I'll stick to what I grew up with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I pretty much eat organic. Grew up that way. Grew many of our vege's and fruit. I still can't eat a major grocery store peach or nectarine's. Mom's almost 90 and Tata is 93. I'll stick to what I grew up with.
    But, in their day, organic was a far-off dream, no? So, they ate home-grown, you are saying? joc
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    This kinda reminds me of the weight loss thread. I posted the best research results and everyone else more or less said that they would stick with their own unresearched opinon, thank you.

    Organic food is just food. It is no better than conventional. The minor differences sometimes fall on the plus side, and sometimes on the minus, but the real experts (not you or me, Fred) have made a clear cut statement of non superiority in terms of nutrition.

    I went into a supermarket not long ago, to buy a chicken for roasting. The organic one was $20 and the conventional one $ 10. Guess what I bought? Anyone doing different I would regard as basically plain nuts!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    This kinda reminds me of the weight loss thread. I posted the best research results and everyone else more or less said that they would stick with their own unresearched opinon, thank you.

    Organic food is just food. It is no better than conventional. The minor differences sometimes fall on the plus side, and sometimes on the minus, but the real experts (not you or me, Fred) have made a clear cut statement of non superiority in terms of nutrition.

    I went into a supermarket not long ago, to buy a chicken for roasting. The organic one was $20 and the conventional one $ 10. Guess what I bought? Anyone doing different I would regard as basically plain nuts!
    Jesus J. Christ! You PAID $10 for a fuckin' chicken? My admiration for your intellectual status has just sunk even more......Was this damn bird wrapped in gold foil? joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I pretty much eat organic. Grew up that way. Grew many of our vege's and fruit. I still can't eat a major grocery store peach or nectarine's. Mom's almost 90 and Tata is 93. I'll stick to what I grew up with.
    But, in their day, organic was a far-off dream, no? So, they ate home-grown, you are saying? joc
    No they grew their own w/o pesticides....of any kind....food was usually steer manure....that is pretty organic...babe
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    This kinda reminds me of the weight loss thread. I posted the best research results and everyone else more or less said that they would stick with their own unresearched opinon, thank you.

    Organic food is just food. It is no better than conventional. The minor differences sometimes fall on the plus side, and sometimes on the minus, but the real experts (not you or me, Fred) have made a clear cut statement of non superiority in terms of nutrition.

    I went into a supermarket not long ago, to buy a chicken for roasting. The organic one was $20 and the conventional one $ 10. Guess what I bought? Anyone doing different I would regard as basically plain nuts!
    I agree on the nutrition. I would buy the Cornish game hen instead. *chuckle*
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    This kinda reminds me of the weight loss thread. I posted the best research results and everyone else more or less said that they would stick with their own unresearched opinon, thank you.

    Organic food is just food. It is no better than conventional. The minor differences sometimes fall on the plus side, and sometimes on the minus, but the real experts (not you or me, Fred) have made a clear cut statement of non superiority in terms of nutrition.

    I went into a supermarket not long ago, to buy a chicken for roasting. The organic one was $20 and the conventional one $ 10. Guess what I bought? Anyone doing different I would regard as basically plain nuts!
    Jesus J. Christ! You PAID $10 for a fuckin' chicken? My admiration for your intellectual status has just sunk even more......Was this damn bird wrapped in gold foil? joc
    that would be about the average price for chicken...here
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    The last really tasty chicken that I had was raised by one of my neighbors. I also used to raise egg layers and sell the eggs. It was a lot of work but a far superior product. I fed a lot of fresh greens to my hens and the yolks were bright yellow and great for cooking as the yolks did not easily break when you cracked them into the pan. I feel sorry for people who have never enjoyed fresh eggs or farm raised chicken, pork and beef.

    I am selective about which organic products I buy because with the large corporations jumping into the game, politics have entered the fray. People are willing to pay more for some organic foods and that has caught the interest of the money mongers, to the detriment of the organic movement, in my opinion.
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    $NZ10 for a chicken was $US 7-50. The NZ dollar has risen since. Chicken prices have not.

    I remember reading a report of neural tube defects in Mexican immigrants into Texas. They had a larger than normal percentage of new borns with brain defects from this cause. It was finally nailed down to the fact that the Mexican descent people often grew their own maize, their staple food, and grew it without sprays. This allowed more insect attack and insects carry fungal spores on their mouthparts. The maize had excess amounts of Fusarium fungus, which produces the toxin fumonisin, which causes neural tube defects. That was a case in which sprays would have increased overall health.

    I am not suggesting that organic food is particularly bad, either. That was an unusual case. But organic food is definitely no healthier than conventional, and it costs a lot more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    $NZ10 for a chicken was $US 7-50. The NZ dollar has risen since. Chicken prices have not.

    I remember reading a report of neural tube defects in Mexican immigrants into Texas. They had a larger than normal percentage of new borns with brain defects from this cause. It was finally nailed down to the fact that the Mexican descent people often grew their own maize, their staple food, and grew it without sprays. This allowed more insect attack and insects carry fungal spores on their mouthparts. The maize had excess amounts of Fusarium fungus, which produces the toxin fumonisin, which causes neural tube defects. That was a case in which sprays would have increased overall health.

    I am not suggesting that organic food is particularly bad, either. That was an unusual case. But organic food is definitely no healthier than conventional, and it costs a lot more.
    Fusarium can also be a concern with certain grasses for horses, Fescue being most prone to it, if memory serves, and the fungus also prefers certain growing conditions.

    With regard to organic food costing more, I have already made the case that bananas, trucked way all the way to the Yukon, are now at par. Loblaws is promoting organics, low fat and low sodium products and their pricing is getting very close. Our local produce grower supplies the store with potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets and turnips and the price is frequently LESS than produce that comes up the highway.

    In this neck of the woods, people are expecting and receiving a broader range of options and competitive pricing. Even locally raised bison meat, while expensive, is cheaper than New Zealand lamb or rabbits where you can pay $30.00 for one rabbit. I used to raise rabbits and sell them for $10.00 each, farm gate sales. Eggs that I used to sell for $2.50 a dozen ten years ago now sell for $5.00-$7.00 a dozen. Then again, the cost of feed, fuel and electricity has gone up considerably in that time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Actually, as I have pointed out before, organic food has, on average, substantially more pesticide in it than conventional. The reason is that plants manufacture natural insecticides when attacked. Conventional crops are attacked a lot less than organic, simply because they are protected by potent insecticides. So they make far less natural insecticide.
    Can you provide your reference for this? I would be interested in reading it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Actually, as I have pointed out before, organic food has, on average, substantially more pesticide in it than conventional. The reason is that plants manufacture natural insecticides when attacked. Conventional crops are attacked a lot less than organic, simply because they are protected by potent insecticides. So they make far less natural insecticide.
    Can you provide your reference for this? I would be interested in reading it.
    I think it's bullshit. Why? Because human beings have been eating plant material since day one. The "insecticidal" materials produced by the plants themselves have therefore also been present since day one. Any truly detrimental effect upon humans has surely been "ironed out" over thousands of generations of consumption, wouldn't you think? jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Actually, as I have pointed out before, organic food has, on average, substantially more pesticide in it than conventional. The reason is that plants manufacture natural insecticides when attacked. Conventional crops are attacked a lot less than organic, simply because they are protected by potent insecticides. So they make far less natural insecticide.
    Can you provide your reference for this? I would be interested in reading it.
    I think it's bullshit. Why? Because human beings have been eating plant material since day one. The "insecticidal" materials produced by the plants themselves have therefore also been present since day one. Any truly detrimental effect upon humans has surely been "ironed out" over thousands of generations of consumption, wouldn't you think? jocular
    Actually, rye is another grain that can be affected by ergot.

    You may find the following link an interesting read, jocular.

    Ergot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Trembling aspens and balsam poplar are said to also generate an insect repellant from the height of summer onward. I have not researched the science on the matter but there surely are fewer biting insects among the aspens than there are in the evergreen woods where I live.
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    On natural insecticides.
    My reference was a copy of AgBioView a few years back. Since it was an on-line journal, and I deleted it, I no longer have the reference. The cucurbitacin poisoning episode is easy to locate with a google search.

    To jocular.
    No, it is not bullshit. The truth is that all plant materials contains poisons. When you eat a tomato, it will have the toxin 'tomatin' present. When your dear old Ma warned you not to eat the green in potatoes, it was because the green bits contain more of the nasty poison 'solanine'. Even lettuce contains a poison. Healthy celery contains psoralins. People have died from eating experimental celery crops that had a lot more than normal psoralin.

    We do not die when we eat these veges, of course, because of two things
    1. Since those poisons taste bitter, we have bred our crops to contain relatively little of them.
    2. Evolution has equipped us to handle up to a certain amount of these plant toxins.

    I pointed out that organic plants contain more natural pesticides (toxins) than conventional plants, and explained why. I illustrated the point with a genuine case history (cucurbitacin in organic zucchini). The amounts present even in organic food are normally too small to be of significance health wise (except in rare cases) for the two reasons above. But the principle is correct.

    As a matter of interest, though not relevant to this argument, it might be worth saying that many nutritionists claim that a major reason veges are so good for us is the presence of poisons. The idea is that plant poisons have a similar effect to vaccines. They stimulate the body's mechanisms for clearing poisons, which helps general health overall. I do not personally believe or disbelieve this hypothesis, but it is an interesting idea.
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    Because human beings have been eating plant material since day one.
    And none too few have died from it.

    How do you think people worked out that starches like sago and tapioca needed processing to be safe to eat? They worked it out by seeing people get sick, and some die, when they ate it without processing or with inadequate processing.

    Those red seed-bearing fruits of potato plants look a lot like their relatives, tomatoes. But people know not to eat them - because people who did either spat them out, or got sick or died from eating them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Actually, rye is another grain that can be affected by ergot.

    You may find the following link an interesting read, jocular.

    Ergot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Trembling aspens and balsam poplar are said to also generate an insect repellant from the height of summer onward. I have not researched the science on the matter but there surely are fewer biting insects among the aspens than there are in the evergreen woods where I live.
    I thank you for this! Under Ergot, the Aspergillus fungus is mentioned. Aspergillosis, infection by the fungus is outlined in the link below. I was thought to have had Aspergillosis while in Missouri, but never actually clinically diagnosed. I thought I was going to die! joc

    Aspergillosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    We do not die when we eat these veges, of course, because of two things

    2. Evolution has equipped us to handle up to a certain amount of these plant toxins.

    As a matter of interest, though not relevant to this argument, it might be worth saying that many nutritionists claim that a major reason veges are so good for us is the presence of poisons. The idea is that plant poisons have a similar effect to vaccines. They stimulate the body's mechanisms for clearing poisons, which helps general health overall. I do not personally believe or disbelieve this hypothesis, but it is an interesting idea.
    The emboldened portions are the reason I made the remark I did. Thank you for the clarification. joc
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    Another interesting toxin is the class called patulins. These are fungal toxins produced by various different molds. They are a problem in organic apple juice, and to a lesser extent in conventional apple juice. They cause cancer and are particularly damaging to children.

    The thing is that apple juice is extracted from apples that have been rejected for the whole fruit market. A common cause of rejection is visual flaws caused by fungal growth. For this reason, fungal toxins are far more present in apple juice than in whole eating apples. Since organic apples have not been sprayed to avoid insect and fungal attack, they will have more fungal contamination than conventional apples. This leads to a higher concentration of patulins in organic juice than in conventional juice.

    Mostly not a problem. But now and again, organic apple juice is made that is significantly carcinogenic to children. Food safety authorities sample apple juice products and test for patulin presence. Sometimes whole batches have to be discarded. Guess which type is most often rejected?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Another interesting toxin is the class called patulins. These are fungal toxins produced by various different molds. They are a problem in organic apple juice, and to a lesser extent in conventional apple juice. They cause cancer and are particularly damaging to children.

    The thing is that apple juice is extracted from apples that have been rejected for the whole fruit market. A common cause of rejection is visual flaws caused by fungal growth. For this reason, fungal toxins are far more present in apple juice than in whole eating apples. Since organic apples have not been sprayed to avoid insect and fungal attack, they will have more fungal contamination than conventional apples. This leads to a higher concentration of patulins in organic juice than in conventional juice.

    Mostly not a problem. But now and again, organic apple juice is made that is significantly carcinogenic to children. Food safety authorities sample apple juice products and test for patulin presence. Sometimes whole batches have to be discarded. Guess which type is most often rejected?
    which and I didn't know that
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    There is SO much sugar in most fruit juices that I seldom buy them and use most only sparingly as part of the liquid for a smoothie. One of the grossest things I work with is when a juice container ruptures or gets damaged while stocking shelves and gets into the label tracks. If it does not get cleaned immediately and the label reprinted/replaced, the paper will be black with mold within 36 hours. Gag...aaaack....
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    Scheherazade

    I am not particularly out to attack organic foods. Just to inject a bit of scientific sanity. Organic foods are not healthier than conventional and are more expensive. They may, or may not, have been grown under more environmentally friendly conditions. But anyone who pays extra money for a swindle based on the lie that it is more healthy needs to recieve more science based educaton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    There is SO much sugar in most fruit juices that I seldom buy them and use most only sparingly as part of the liquid for a smoothie. One of the grossest things I work with is when a juice container ruptures or gets damaged while stocking shelves and gets into the label tracks. If it does not get cleaned immediately and the label reprinted/replaced, the paper will be black with mold within 36 hours. Gag...aaaack....
    I make my own
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    There is SO much sugar in most fruit juices that I seldom buy them and use most only sparingly as part of the liquid for a smoothie. One of the grossest things I work with is when a juice container ruptures or gets damaged while stocking shelves and gets into the label tracks. If it does not get cleaned immediately and the label reprinted/replaced, the paper will be black with mold within 36 hours. Gag...aaaack....
    If the mold be called "yeast", then it "brews" well. I never really thought about this before; perhaps all molds enjoy consuming sugar? joc
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    Salt seems necessary for proper brain function. But there are cultures which don't have salt intake, and they do okay. The body makes its own vitamic c when needed if it's working properly, why not salt?
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    The body makes its own vitamic c when needed if it's working properly, why not salt?
    Absolutely not true.

    Most animals and other organisms make their own Vitamin C. We're not one of them.

    Extract from wiki page Vitamin C - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ascorbate (the anion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions
    in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms; the main exceptions are ...... tarsiers, monkeys and humans and other apes.Ascorbate is also not synthesized by some species of birds and fish. All species that do not synthesize ascorbate require it in the diet. Deficiency in this vitamin causes the disease scurvy in humans


    Equally, salts are acquired from the diet, not from internal processes. Societies that don't need to add salts to their food - do so either because they have a high intake of ocean fish or because their soils provide enough salts without being so saline that plant growth is inhibited
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    Salt is present in small amounts in most plant food. There are many cultures that have no other source, and sometimes they suffer health problems as a result.
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