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Virtual Food

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Carol H
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Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 7:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought maybe I should put an excerpt here for those waiting for my book:

As a food company employee, I was sworn to secrecy. Literally. I had signed pages upon pages of secrecy agreements in my career. I could not simply go to the media and spill what I knew. I could not work on my ideas either. I began to question the very foundations of my education. What else were they (my food science professors) wrong about? My heart was no longer into feeding the world. After all I had wound up at a candy factory of all things.

Although my mother says the world is a nicer place because of M&M’s and I’m sure you may agree, and I guess I do too, but I how did I get so far from my goal of feeding the world? I was trying to build a better M&M for Pete’s sake. Better, stronger, shinier. That had nothing at all to do with my Peace Corps ideas of feeding the world. I looked back on my career. I had worked for a consumer products company that sold aerosol can products, pesticides, air fresheners, and chemicals you throw down your sink. I was then working on candy. It was not what I envisioned for myself.

Where was I going? I had a real crisis of conscience. I was working in an industry where we were not feeding the world. We just may be unwittingly poisoning it instead. In college I remember being fascinated with the brave new world of things like fish chewies (I’ll explain someday) and laminated packaging, and ain’t it all so neat. I was like the owner of Jurassic Park as were my professors and fellow students. Well if we CAN do it – why then – we should.

Now all that optimism and gee whiz fun had come crashing down on my head. Those neat new chemicals they can put in our food, could actually kill me one of these fine days. It was a total bombshell. After that bombshell, my heart just was not in the food industry anymore. I needed to sleep at night. I needed to make a difference. I just could not do it as a candy process engineer. I needed to do something else. Just what was the big question.

Virtual Food. It is dried cheese powder. It is Quorn’s meat substitute which is created in huge vats using a non-mushroom fungus. It is hydrolyzed protein, it is guar gum, it is carageenan, it is everything not necessary to the preservation of food, just for the imitation of food. For adjusting what food scientists call “mouth-feel”. For putting back flavor elements lost because the food was abused in the first place. Our parents told us not to play with our food. They don’t have to tell us that anymore, the food scientists have already done it for us.

It is 100 years since The Jungle was written. In this book, along the way, you will learn new things about making food and laws that you won’t be too happy to find out. The main difference is – my book isn’t a novel.
Lisa Marie
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Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 11:00 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LOVE it Carol. The first paragraph and the VIRTUAL FOOD paragraphs hit the hardest. I can not wait to read it.

We here at MSG KNOW your book is not a novel. I'm so proud of all you do for us Carol. You work so hard and we appreciate it. You too Deb A!!!

msg is a virtual food. i'm not even sure it can be called that......
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Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 3:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, Bravo! Really well done! I can't wait to read it. :-)
Carol H
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Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 4:49 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks! :-)
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 4:35 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hurry up, Carol...then we need to get you on Oprah! How much longer do you think it will be before we can get a copy?
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 4:36 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Lisa Marie.
Carol H
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Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 5:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We just have one election to get through and I think I'll be able to get it out by Thanksgiving. I can give some more exerpts before then.

I have to help get my honest State Senator and Assembly folks re-elected and then I can work on finishing the book. For a little background on what I have been up to politically - go to I post as carolh there.
We are kind of in a political struggle between the honest folks and the corrupt political machine. Luckily the good guys are in power but the bad guys are trying to get back in. It's like an episode of the Sopranos right now. Anyway, the good news is, I am learning an awful lot about making laws and how the good ones do it. I find it a great coincidence that "The Jungle" ends up in a political meeting hall and the author ran for congress in NJ just after writing that book 101 years ago. I know two candidates who are running against Scott Garrett - my Congressman - who is the WORST most corporate friendly, least caring congressman in Washington. He actually voted AGAINST aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I call him "The Social Darwinist Against Evolution". Well, that is what I have been up to. Jersey politics is a national joke - but we are making HUGE progress on a state level. I really think the blogging we do here at MSGMyth is what helped me with blogging politically at Blue Jersey. Now we need to translate that internet political activism to global proportions - which I am glad to see us doing - sharing videos is the latest way - and we are on top of it - thanks to great friends at The Food Is Horrible and at and Truth-In-Labeling. We have the data and if it takes videos to share it - so be it. The Glutes won't know what hit them. They can't shut down YouTube or Googlevideo. We can all tell our stories. We should each make a video of our struggles with this poison.

We will win this war on our health. Stories are getting through:

Look at this -
Now they can't say that fetuses know who their mom is hanging with. It's the FOOD itself causing the obesity - not the portions, or the company or the psychological motivation.

It's the food it's the food it's the food.
Deb A.
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Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 4:03 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Amen, Amen, Amen! Great post, Carol. We're with you.
Carol H
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Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 7:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another little excerpt:
The “Science” of Nutrition
I am often amazed at how many books are on the market right now regarding “healthy” eating and how many food products boast “healthy” or something elusive called “complete nutrition”. I have to remind myself that the young science of nutrition began just about a century ago.

In 1897 it was found that a disease with the name beriberi - known for centuries in Asia but becoming all too common in the Dutch East Indies - was caused by eating polished rice – rice which later turned out to be deficient in a nutrient later to be called Thiamin or Vitamin B1. It was only 1906 when scientists began to search for what would be termed “vitamins”. Before this, the new idea of infectious disease was seen as a possible explanation. Scientists at first thought these diseases were caused by an infectious agent being present, not a precious nutrient being ABSENT. It was actually 1926 when thiamin would by isolated and nearly another decade before it was able to be synthesized. In 1914, in the southern US, another disease, pellagra was becoming all too common, and after the World Wars we thought we were doing Europe a favor. We sent them corn. Lots of it. Trouble was, people in Europe also fell sick of pellagra and many died. Pellagra was our first clue that corn was missing something. Something necessary for life. What would later become known as vitamin B3 or niacin.
It was only in 1932, that Vitamin C, the thing that prevented the long known disease of scurvy, was officially isolated. B12 was discovered in 1948. And so you get the idea. Nutrition is a VERY young science. Younger even than nuclear science. We had used the atom bomb before we had even discovered all the B Vitamins. THAT young.

And so I ask you, do we really know what “complete” nutrition is? Do we really yet? I say no. It is already 2007, and still I say no. We are all still discovering together. The admonition to eat a balanced diet – a diet with many different types of food makes sense – especially since we don’t yet know which foods are absolutely necessary and which ones aren’t. A diverse diet will be an insurance hedge against missing something we haven’t yet discovered we need. It was only modern methods of food production – polishing rice, growing a monoculture of corn and feeding our young country too much of one thing, that opened our eyes to diseases other than scurvy.

I was a formula baby, born and raised in a time when doctors told new mothers that formula was better for baby than breast milk. I was fed baby formula in 1965. But it was as recently as 1986 – 21 years later - when food scientists quietly began adding something else to baby formula. They added it quietly because it was something baby formula made before 1986 was “missing”. It was discovered that the amino acid called taurine was necessary for human babies but modern baby formula was deficient. And so, in 1986, they started adding taurine to baby formula. So that means that as recently as a mere 21 years ago - baby formula was still not “complete”. DECADES after doctors and formula companies sent new mothers home with a supposedly nutritionally “complete” formula to feed new babies. I find it curious that many of my contemporaries are often seen drinking a new soft drink called Red Bull. They can’t seem to get enough of this sugar water with caffeine. Each can also contains a full gram of taurine. Coincidence? Are we self-medicating now?
Deb A.
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Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 9:43 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I remember my mother telling me that the most common homemade baby formula (way back when I was born in '47) was a mixture of dark corn syrup, evaporated milk and water...simmered together first...ugh! I was breast fed, but was fed the afore mentioned on many occasions. When my first was born, my mother, who worked in the pediatric section of the hospital, was so excited to be able to bring me several cases of free ready to serve bottles of formula. I was trying to breast feed, and she, worried that the baby was not getting enough nourishment, would feed her a bottle right after my feeding. Poor Krista. No wonder she vomited all the time! And of course, that's no way to build up a mom's milk supply. Needless to say, I'm sure that many children are in a similar state, with parents trying one brand after another when their child reacts.

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