Tag Archives: Food

10 Million People In The USA Have Corn Allergies?

English: A display of six ears of field corn w...

Recently, some family friends of ours have been dealing with some difficult food allergies that their children have. Because of this, my interest was really piqued when I came across a little snippet in “The Stockman Grassfarmer” about corn allergies.

According to the article, there are an estimated 10 million people in the United States with a corn gluten allergy. That alone isn’t very interesting until you realize that 75% of all processed foods have some form of corn in them, and 50% of the sweeteners are made of corn. When you put all of that together, you can see that it is difficult for those 10 million Americans to find food they can eat.

This news also highlights another one of the benefits of grass-fed beef, although it is important for everyone involved to know that it is 100% grass-fed because sometimes even trace amounts of corn can cause a reaction. If you are interested in reading more about corn allergies, check out this site and its list of corn allergens. You will see that it is a very long list.

Also, if you are someone who deals with a corn allergy, I would like to hear about how you deal with it.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Health and Science


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Polyphenol Popcorn

Plain popcorn has twice as many polyphenols as fruit.  Polyphenols are antioxidants found in plants that help counter the damaging effects of free radicals, guarding against heart disease and other health problems.

Researchers at The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania analyzed polyphenol levels in two air-popped varieties and two microwave brands of popcorn. When they averaged the numbers from all four types, they found that roughly two tablespoons of unpopped kernels or three to five cups of popped popcorn (one serving) contains 300 milligrams (mg) of polyphenols, while one serving of fruit contains, on average, 160 mg. In other words, popcorn contains roughly twice the amount of polyphenols as fruit! And to get 300 mg of polyphenols from regular corn, which contains 114 mg per serving on average, you’d have to eat about two and one-half servings. Popcorn wins again—by a long shot!

Then the researchers made another interesting discovery. They found that 98% of the polyphenols in popcorn are in the hull—the plasticky part in the middle of the popped piece of popcorn that often gets lodged in your teeth. “It makes sense, because we know that many polyphenols in fruits and vegetables are in the skin, and the hull is the kernel’s original outer coating—before the kernel pops and gets turned inside out,” said Joe Vinson, PhD, a professor of chemistry at the university and a coauthor of the study.

One reason that popcorn has more polyphenols than many fruits and vegetables is because of its low water content, Dr. Vinson told me. “Polyphenols get diluted in fruits and vegetables because they contain about 90% water, but popcorn has only about 2% to 4% water,” he said.

But there is one downside. The study also revealed that almost 100% of the polyphenols in popcorn aren’t “free,” meaning that they don’t automatically get absorbed into our bloodstream. “These polyphenols are bound to fiber, and fiber needs to be broken down and released by enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract,” said Dr. Vinson. (All fruits and veggies contain some “bound” polyphenols, but the percentage varies, he added.) In other words, it’s likely that some but not all of the polyphenol content in popcorn gets absorbed by our bodies. His next study, he said, will look at exactly how much does. In the meantime, Dr. Vinson said to chew your popcorn thoroughly, because enzymes in your saliva help break down fiber and make the polyphenols more easily absorbed.

While dousing your popcorn with butter and salt may lower the glycemic index of the food, making it less likely to negatively affect your blood sugar and insulin levels, and won’t reduce the amount of polyphenols, it will raise the saturated fat, sodium and calorie content. If you overdo it, that’ll bring your popcorn down a few notches in the “healthy snack” department.

Use an air popper and for a hint of flavor spritz popcorn with a light mist of water, lime juice or olive oil and then lightly salt it—the mist helps the salt stick and won’t make the popcorn soggy if you don’t overdo it.

For non-GMO popcorn, visit or search


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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Health and Science


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Burning Calories



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Do You Eat More If Your Plate Is The Same Color As Your Food?

Pasta with pesto sauce, a traditional Ligurian...

Some researchers say changing the color of your plate can keep you from eating more.

A study in the journal of consumer research found people served themselves more food, if the plate color matched their food color.

Spaghetti with red marinara sauce seem to disappear on a red plate, but on a white plate the serving size looked bigger because of the contrast even if both plates are the same size.

Pasta with green pesto sauce on a white plate looked larger than on a green flowered plate.

The theory is: the more contrast, the less you’re likely to eat.

Researchers say the plate that helps you to eat the least amount is one that is blue, that color has the least appealing blend with food.

Just in case you don’t have a any blue dishes, just make sure you food does not match your plate.


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“Healthy” Soda?

We’ve said it before and will probably say it a hundred times more: Soda is toxic stuff. Not only is most of it full of diabetes-inducing high-fructose corn syrup, but drinking too much of the bubbly stuff has also been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It contains genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and phosphates, preservatives that have been linked to kidney disease and accelerated aging. Obviously, not something you want as part of a regular diet. But at some point, we all crave something fizzy, and that’s no reason to reach for a toxic can of kidney-killing GMO water.

We looked high and low for healthy soda alternatives, free of the worst offenders in traditional sodas, such as GMOs or artificial caramel coloring that can be contaminated with carcinogens. Nor do any of our healthy sodas come bottled in cans, which are normally lined with hormone-disrupting bisphenol A. Some do contain cane sugar, a less-processed sugar that still should be consumed in moderation, and others are flavored with other sweeteners to avoid, but they’re all far better alternatives to what’s lurking in most soda cans. Next time a soda craving strikes, try one of these eight healthy sodas.



Steaz Sparkling Green Tea

Put down the Diet Coke! If you need an afternoon caffeine fix, grab a Steaz Green Tea soda instead. In addition to the fact that green tea is loaded with antioxidants, this no-cal soda alternative is sweetened with stevia and erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol. It’s also fortified with vitamin B12, which helps improve your mood, your energy levels, and mental fog.





Reed’s Light Extra Ginger Brew

Ginger ale, or ginger beer depending on who you’re talking to, is a fantastic home remedy for nausea, upset stomachs, and even sore muscles, but 99 percent of what the big companies pass off as ginger ale contains tons of sugar and little to no real ginger. Not so with Reed’s ginger brews, which contain the most ginger of any brand out there. And the company has just introduced a new “light” variety that, at just 55 calories per bottle, is sweetened with honey and stevia.


Virgil’s Root Beer

Also from the purists at Reed’s, Virgil’s Root Beer is root beer made the way nature intended, by brewing a combination of herbs and spices naturally, rather than concocting a chemistry experiment of artificial flavorings, dyes, and additives. The ingredients list reads like the gatherings of a world traveler—anise from Spain, vanilla from Madagascar, molasses from the U.S., and balsam oil from Peru—and will get you off that artificial canned stuff forever.  However, good as it is, this soda won’t win you any favors with your waistline. At 160 calories per serving and 42 grams (g) of sugar, make it a weekly indulgence.




This German brand may be hard to find, but it’s worth it if you can get it. A naturally fermented drink made from malt and water, just like beer, this nonalcoholic soda has just 60 calories and 14 g of sugar per bottle, and it’s certified organic. The sodas come in decidedly grown-up flavors like elderberry, lychee, ginger-orange, and herb, all invented by a former beer brewer. The sodas are so popular in Europe the company even rejected a takeover by Coca-Cola.



Oogave is one of few certified-organic soda brands out there, and the line includes an honest-to-goodness organic cola alternative for people who love Coke or Pepsi. The company also has other cool flavors like strawberry-rhubarb and mandarin-key lime, the best organic alternative to Sprite or 7-Up. All the company’s sodas contain half the sugar (24 g) that conventional sodas and other cane-sugar-sweetened sodas do. Plus, none of their products exceeds 100 calories per bottle.




GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha

Not technically a soda, we had to throw in kombucha simply because it’s so good and so good for you. Kombucha is tea that’s been fermented with a probiotic culture, similar to the way vinegar is made, and the end product is low in sugar and full of healthy bacteria that aid digestion and even ward off infections. Fizzy like a soft drink, kombucha is much less sweet; these products contain just 4 g of sugar per bottle and only 60 calories. Try the slightly tart original kombucha or the fruitier citrus or ginger flavors.



Hot Lips Soda

Made to “worship the magnificent fruits and berries” of the Pacific Northwest, this fruit soda is another winner, with the brand’s lineup even changing with the seasons based on what’s locally available—apples and pears in the fall and raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and other berries in spring and summer. Some of the fruits are even organic. The company takes fruit, cooks it, adds water and cane sugar then bottles it, with much of the fiber-rich pulp intact, and carbonates it. Unlike a lot of so-called natural sodas, Hot Lips sodas contain organic lemon juice as a preservative, rather than ascorbic or citric acid, both of which can be derived from genetically modified corn and soy. For the healthiest Hot Lips drinks, grab the cranberry or pear sodas, neither of which has any added sugar.
Cranberry: 155 calories; Pear: 122 calories




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