|IF YOU SEE THIS SYMBOL ON YOUR FOOD...DO NOT BUY IT!|
All of these things we have been discussing the last few weeks, polyphenols, beta glucans, etc... more than likely derive much of their "magic" from the LIFE contained in these plant-based chemicals.
Endophytic microbes :
Endophytic organisms associated with plants are varied and complex. Endophytic microbes occupy a relatively privileged niche within plant and usually contribute to plant health. Some groups of endophytic microorganisms have been believed to be mutualists that protect plants against biotic stresses. Co-evolution may exist between endophytes and their host in resist to environmental stresses. During the last two decades endophytes have been targeted as valuable sources of new bioactive compounds.
We are now seeing that these endophytic microbes do more than protect the plant, they may also make compounds in that plant healthful to us, and without these endophytes present in our foods, we are just eating "paste".
Conventional farming practices (pesticide, fungicide, herbicide use) shown to reduce this endophytic life, as in this paper:
We obtained pesticide-free and organically cultivated (O) vegetables using water-soluble chitosan as a soil modifier and leaf surface spray (as an alternative natural insecticide) in order to investigate biofunctions induced or enhanced by such specialised cultivation practices. In addition, we purchased the same varieties of vegetables cultivated on an adjacent farm in the conventional manner (C) using pesticides and chemical fertilisers in order to examine the differences in biological activities and distribution of constituents responsible for such activities. The antioxidative activity shown by O vegetables was 120% times higher than that shown by C vegetables in the case of spinach and 20–50% higher in the case of Welsh onion, Chinese cabbage and qing-gen-cai. In comparison with C vegetables, the antimutagenic activity shown by O vegetables was higher against 4-nitroquinoline oxide (4NQO) in qing-gen-cai, Chinese cabbage and Welsh onion, against benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) in all five vegetables, against 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) in qing-gen-cai, Chinese cabbage and green pepper and against 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole acetate (Trp-P-2) in spinach only. Among all green vegetable juices tested for flavonoid composition, quercitrin, caffeic acid and baicalein in O vegetables were detected in concentrations 1.3–10.4 times higher than those found in C vegetables, suggesting the influence of different cultivation practices.
tl/dr? - This says: Veggies raised "un-organically" exhibit much less of the antioxidant properties we have come to see as healthy!
Pesticides/herbicide/fungicides kill these endophytes. But this is not good enough, for decades we have also been dropping nuclear bombs (literally) on our food, quite possibly making it useless as a healthy food source.
I've never been convinced that one must eat all organic food, or a food with an "organic" label, but this little green symbol of a healthy, plant-filled world is about as opposite from 'organic' as you can get! I have a feeling that possibly even "organic" foods can be irradiated and still be called "organic".
The vocal concerns about irradiated foods lie mainly in the dangers of the radiation itself. These concerns are probably unfounded. The elephant in the room is what this radiation does to our food...we are not meant to eat sterile foods.
Let's play a game...go out and see if we can find this symbol, and report here what it's on. I'm really curious.
But, please read more, from the FDA, and make up tour own mind.
From the FDA's website:
Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk and canning fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating the sources of radiation that are used to irradiate food. FDA approves a source of radiation for use on foods only after it has determined that irradiating the food is safe.
Why Irradiate Food?Irradiation can serve many purposes.
- Prevention of Foodborne Illness – irradiation can be used to effectively eliminate organisms that cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
- Preservation – irradiation can be used to destroy or inactivate organisms that cause spoilage and decomposition and extend the shelf life of foods.
- Control of Insects – irradiation can be used to destroy insects in or on tropical fruits imported into the United States. Irradiation also decreases the need for other pest-control practices that may harm the fruit.
- Delay of Sprouting and Ripening – irradiation can be used to inhibit sprouting (e.g., potatoes) and delay ripening of fruit to increase longevity.
- Sterilization – irradiation can be used to
sterilize foods, which can then be stored for years without
refrigeration. Sterilized foods are useful in hospitals for patients
with severely impaired immune systems, such as patients with AIDS or
undergoing chemotherapy. Foods that are sterilized by irradiation are
exposed to substantially higher levels of treatment than those approved
for general use.
Debunking Irradiation Myths
Irradiation does not make foods radioactive, compromise nutritional quality, or noticeably change the taste, texture, or appearance of food. In fact, any changes made by irradiation are so minimal that it is not easy to tell if a food has been irradiated.
How Is Food Irradiated?There are three sources of radiation approved for use on foods.
- Gamma rays are emitted from radioactive forms of the element cobalt (Cobalt 60) or of the element cesium (Cesium 137).
Gamma radiation is used routinely to sterilize medical, dental and household products and is also used for the radiation treatment of cancer.
- X-rays are produced by reflecting a high-energy stream of electrons off a target substance (usually one of the heavy metals) into food. X-rays are also widely used in medicine and industry to produce images of internal structures.
- Electron beam (or e-beam) is similar to X-rays and is a stream of high-energy electrons propelled from an electron accelerator
Did you know?
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts eat meat that has been sterilized by irradiation to avoid getting foodborne illnesses when they fly in space.
Is Irradiated Food Safe to Eat?FDA has evaluated the safety of irradiated food for more than thirty years and has found the process to be safe. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have also endorsed the safety of irradiated food.
What Foods Have Been Approved for Irradiation?FDA has approved a variety of foods for irradiation in the United States including:
- Beef and Pork
- Crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp, and crab)
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Lettuce and Spinach
- Molluscan Shellfish (e.g., oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops)
- Seeds for Sprouting (e.g., for alfalfa sprouts)
- Shell Eggs
- Spices and Seasonings
How Will I Know if My Food Has Been Irradiated?
FDA requires that irradiated foods bear the international symbol for irradiation. Look for the Radura symbol along with the statement "Treated with radiation" or "Treated by irradiation" on the food label. Bulk foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are required to be individually labeled or to have a label next to the sale container. FDA does not require that individual ingredients in multi-ingredient foods (e.g., spices) be labeled.
It is important to remember that irradiation is not a replacement for proper food-handling practices by producers, processors and consumers. Irradiated foods need to be stored, handled and cooked in the same way as non-irradiated foods, because they could still become contaminated with disease-causing organisms after irradiation if the rules of basic food safety are not followed.