GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes


Gluten free beer

Yeah, you read right. Since I don't drink (anymore), this really hadn't crossed my mind. Then I saw an article on gluten-free beer and got interested. The bottom line is you can find gluten-free beer and other alcohol. And, they're making more of it. Here's a few examples of what's out there:

Redbridge beer is made from sorghum by Anheuser Bush.

Bard's Tale Beer was developed by the Celiac community and still is overseen by a board comprised of Celiac folks. Also made from sorghum.

Lakefront Brewery makes a gluten-free beer from sorghum and rice.

Find out more about gluten-free beers by visiting the Gluten Free Beer Festival site.

Even other alcohols traditionally made from grains can be gluten-free, such as vodka. There are many vodkas made from potatoes. One such brand from Maine is Cold River Vodka.

Wines, of course, are primarily made from grapes. Some are better for those of us trying to avoid pesticides and stay as organic as possible. LaRocca Vineyards in northern California, for example, makes wine from organic grapes and does not use chemical additives including sulfites. Bravo!

For more info, visit a few other sites, like the Gluten Free Kitchen's page on alcohol or's list.


The dangers of artificial color and preservatives

This will sound familiar to a lot of you...

Thursday, Sep. 13, 2007
Hyper Kids? Check Their Diet
By Claudia Wallis

Parents have long observed that some kids go bonkers after eating foods with a lot of artificial ingredients or neon-bright colors. Medical researchers--not to mention the food industry--have been skeptical; there was no proof of this effect, at least nothing like a double-blind, controlled study.

As so often happens, however, the parents turned out to be a step ahead of the pros. A carefully designed study published in the British journal the Lancet shows that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate--an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings--do cause some kids to become measurably more hyperactive and distractible. The findings prompted Britain's Food Standards Agency to issue an immediate advisory to parents to limit their children's intake of additives if they notice an effect on behavior. In the U.S., there hasn't been a similar response, but doctors say it makes sense for parents to be on the alert.

The study, led by Jim Stevenson, a professor of psychology at England's University of Southampton, involved about 300 children in two age groups: 3-year-olds and 8- and 9-year-olds. Over three one-week periods, the children were randomly assigned to consume one of three fruit drinks daily: one contained the amount of dye and sodium benzoate typically found in a British child's diet, a second had a lower concentration of additives, and a third was additive-free. The children spent a week drinking each of the three mixtures, which looked and tasted alike. During each seven-day period, teachers, parents and graduate students (who did not know which drink the kids were getting) used standardized behavior-evaluation tools to size up such qualities as restlessness, lack of concentration, fidgeting and talking or interrupting too much.

Stevenson found that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive when drinking the beverage with higher levels of additives. Three-year-olds had a bigger response than the older kids did to the drink with the lower dose of additives, which had about the same amount of food coloring as in two 2-oz. (57 g) bags of candy. But even within each age group, some children responded strongly and others not at all. Stevenson's team is looking at how genetic differences may explain the range of sensitivity. One of his colleagues believes that the additives may trigger a release of histamines in sensitive kids. In general, the effects of the chemicals are not so great as to cause full-blown attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Still, the paper warns that "these adverse effects could affect the child's ability to benefit from the experience of school."

The Lancet paper may be the first to nail down a link between additives and hyperactivity, but as long ago as the 1970s, the idea was the basis for the restrictive Feingold diet, popularized as a treatment for ADHD. Some clinicians still routinely advise parents of kids with ADHD to steer their kids away from preservatives and food dyes. "It matters for some kids, so I tell parents to be their own scientist," says psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, author of several books on ADHD. While a similar link between hyperactivity and sugar remains unproven, Hallowell cautions parents to watch the sweets too. "I've seen too many kids who flip out after soda and birthday cake," he says. "I urge them to eat whole foods. They'll be healthier anyway."

The food industry has responded cautiously to the study, calling for further research. The food dyes used in the study "have gone through substantial safety evaluations by government bodies," notes Cathy Cook of the International Association of Color Manufacturers.

The Lancet study will probably encourage other researchers to conduct food-additive work of their own. People with disorders ranging from autism to atrial fibrillation (a heart condition) have claimed that preservatives worsen their symptoms. "My guess is that if we do similarly systematic work with other additives, we'd learn they, too, have implications for behavior," says Dr. James Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard. "Kids drink crazy things with colors that are almost flashing," he says. The study is one more reason to cheer the trend toward less processed, more natural fare.

Read the entire article at Time by clicking here.


Autism vaccines ad in USA Today

In case you missed this, you can view the full page ad from Generation Rescue that appeared in USA Today on Tuesday by clicking here. The ad focuses on the number of vaccinations children are given. Kids weren't given nearly as many vaccines years ago. This obviously has been tied to the mercury used in the vaccinations.


Quick sorghum bread

I made this as an alternative to corn bread. It's gluten free, casein free, soy free, rice free, potato free, corn free and egg free. Still, it's good.

2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp oil
~2/3 cup water

Grease a bread loaf pan. Heat oven to 375. Mix dry ingredients. Add honey and oil. Add water. Whisk until blended. Shouldn't be too dry, like cookie dough, and shouldn't be runny like a quick bread batter. Scoop into the bread pan. Flatten with wet spatula. Bake 20-25 mins.

Gluten-casein-egg-soy free onion rings

I debated adding this recipe because it's so easy. But, I decided to offer it anyway, mostly because even the simplest foods often seem difficult to make without gluten and casein. Making fried onion rings is even more difficult without the help of eggs or soy. So, here's a really good alternative.

- Onions, cut into rings or half rings.
- 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (I use 1/3 cup sorghum, 1/3 cup corn flour, 1/3 cup tapioca)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
- 2 egg subs (I use Ener-G)
- oil

So, heat a shallow amount of oil in a frying pan. Cut the onions. Make 2 egg subs in a bowl (I use 2 tbsp powder and 4 tbsp water). Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.

When oil is hot, dip a few onion rings in the flour mix, then dip in the egg sub, then dredge back into the flour until well coated. Fry in oil until golden and down -- just a few minutes.

Pretty good stuff. I make a batch of these after making french fries on special nights.


Gluten free food industry is booming

I know, this is a press release. But, it has some eye-opening information in it about the gluten-free food industry. Worth reading.

Gluten-Free Just Keeps Getting Easier, Tastier, and More Affordable

Coeur d'Alene, ID, September 10, 2007 --( The popular gluten-free manufacturer, Namaste Foods, has released their first edition cookbook and a new website with more discounted offerings for customers.

Demand in the gluten-free market is showing no signs of slowing down. While sales in 2001 were valued at $210 million, the most recent figures show it has escalated to roughly $700 million. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, by 2010 they are expecting the market to reach a whopping $1.7 billion, primarily due to the compounding growth in the diagnosis of Celiac Disease. It has been estimated that 97% of people living with Celiac Disease still remain undiagnosed.

Yet as this special diet niche flows rapidly into the mainstream, so few companies have gotten it right. Crumbly, dry, and tasteless are terms often associated with gluten-free foods. Thankfully there is one small manufacturer tucked away in a scenic mountain town that just keeps on giving to the gluten-free community. Since 2001, Namaste Foods has been building upon their product line of gluten-free foods that actually taste good. They now boast a selection that includes eleven baking mixes (from muffins to pizza crust) and three pasta mixes.

As their products have grown significantly in popularity, appearing on grocers’ shelves nationwide, the people at Namaste have decided to expand the versatility of their mixes. Responding to customer requests, they have authored the Simple Pleasures Gluten-Free Cookbook, packed with 60 new ways to use Namaste Foods. Recipes such as the Taco Pasta Salad that follows dot this easy to use resource.

Catering further to their high level of repeat business, Namaste Foods has also redesigned their website for a new look and ease in purchasing direct, along with a host of ordering options. New customers will like the selection of trio packs, which allow you to purchase groups of three different products at a discount, while loyal customers will enjoy the bulk offerings. Every baking mix is now available in bulk sizing for significant cost savings.

Beyond the gluten-free market, Namaste Foods caters to other food allergies and sensitivities. Their mixes are produced in a dedicated facility, which is free of gluten, wheat, potato, soy, corn, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts. Namaste Foods’ baking and pasta mixes are distributed to grocers nationwide. Individually packaged mixes, bulk mixes, trio packs, and the new Simple Pleasures Cookbook are available to purchase directly from


Mini gluten free apple rolls

My kids got tired of my basic, and easy, roll recipe. I had tried to sneak in some flax seed to provide a little fiber and other good stuff for them, but it became a boring food. So, I tried to change it up on them. And it worked (well, with one child, anyway).
This recipe brings an added layer of flavor to the basic roll recipe. And, later, I'll sneak the golden flax back in.

Here's how to make them. Use your own flours, of course.

-- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
-- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
-- 1/2 cup corn flour
-- 2 tbsp sugar
-- 1 tbsp honey or syrup
-- 2 tsp baking powder
-- 2 tsp xanthan gum
-- 2 tsp egg replacer powder
-- 1/2 tsp sea salt
-- 1 apple, peeled and diced
-- 1/2 cup of water
-- 1/2 cup oil

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oven pan or use a liner. Mix the dry ingredients -- but not the apples. Put the apples in a small pot with the water. Heat to boil. Let boil 5 minutes. Pour the apple and water mix into a bowl. Using a masher or electric chopper, break down the apples. Pour the apple mush into a half cup measure. You only need a half cup. Add to the dry mix. Then add the oil. Blend together. Scoop into small rolls on the pan. Use an ice cream scoop, tablespoon measure or your hands. Bake for 12 minutes.


Extra crispy chicken wings

How do you make extra crispy wings when you can't have gluten or dairy or eggs? Well, you can, and it's not too difficult. Use your flours of choice, of course.

-- dozen chicken wings, cut and washed
-- flour mix (i use 1/2 cup sorghum, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
-- 2 egg subs (i use Ener-G)
-- oil of choice (i use canola)

Heat oil in a large pan. Cut wings. Now, toss and coat in the flour mixture. Dip into the egg sub mixture. Toss again and coat in the flour mixture. Cook in frying pan until golden and cooked through. These also could be baked.

The "regular-crispy" version of this is to not use the egg sub. Just coat the wings with the flour mix and cook.


The power of cilantro

So, are you aware of Cilantro's power to detoxify the body? How about the link between cilantro and autism? Cilantro and mercury?

It really is a powerful herb. Many people know it as cilantro, which is a common ingredient in salsas. It's green and leafy, and looks something like parsley. The plant's seeds are known as coriander.

Why am I telling you all this -- because of its detoxifying abilities, including heavy metals. If you're interested, do some research, including reading the scientific study that revealed the herb's powers - click here.

Here's a blog article on the topic that might be helpful.

And, here's a page on cilantro's healthy qualities from The World's Healthiest Foods.

Here's a snippet from the cilantro study:

"However, these mercury deposits, which commonly occur in such cases, were successfully eliminated by the oral intake of 100 mg tablet of Chinese parsley (Cilantro) 4 times a day (for average weight adults) with a number of drug-uptake enhancement methods..."
The study is by Omura, Shimotsuura, Fukuoka and Nomoto, from the Heart Disease Research Foundation, in New York.

Now, here's an easy way to store Cilantro, and for my money the best way. Harvest, or buy, fresh cilantro. Do NOT wash. Pull the leaves from the main stem -- keeping the smaller branches is OK. Place on a flat cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Pull from freezer and place the crisp leaves in a freezer storage bag. Refreeze. Great way to store. When you want to use some, pull them out and wash.

And, here's a great cilantro recipe from Health Diaries:

Cilantro Pesto
2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves (stems removed)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (my kids can't eat cheese, so i was going to try polenta or just leaving it out)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2-4 teaspoons water (depending on desired consistency)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use more or less water to get the thickness you desire.
Serves 4-6 people.


What's the harm in milk?

This is interesting stuff, especially for us Autism families avoiding the casein gene.

The devil in the milk molecule
The Press Saturday, 15 September 2007

Has a Lincoln University researcher spilt the milk industry's secret about the potential harm in its product or is it more crank science? JOHN McCRONE investigates the latest fuss over A1 and A2 milk.

Is there a health risk in drinking milk? Has there been a naughty cover-up of the facts by Fonterra and others?

These, bluntly, are the questions raised in the explosive new book by Lincoln University agribusiness professor Keith Woodford, who this week reopened a long-festering debate within the New Zealand dairy industry.

The theory, which has been around a decade, seems incredible to most people: that our brains and immune systems can literally be poisoned by poorly digested milk.

Only a certain genetic strain of milk is to blame – the A1 type. However, that is also our most common milk.

The science, put as simply as possible, is that the A1 strain breaks down to release a tiny bio-active peptide fragment called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7). The other kind of milk, A2, breaks down quite harmlessly.

In people who are susceptible, which could be as many as one in five (although this is still a guess), BCM-7 may trigger a host of diseases: diabetes, heart disease, autism, schizophrenia, infant cot-death syndrome, multiple sclerosis, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease – the woes of the Western world it seems.

Then there is the question of an industry cover-up. Read the rest by clicking the blog headline.


Frito-Lay friendly

If you haven't yet realized that not all chips are gluten-free, or soy-free, etc., you might consider Frito-Lay chips. No, I don't get money for saying this. I'm very impressed with this company. They don't make you guess about what ingredients are in the chips you're buying. It's all on the label. And, if you have questions, their Website is extremely helpful. They have an entire section on ingredient concerns that plainly shows you which chips have gluten, which have dairy, which are kosher, which have soy, etc. You can find that page by clicking here.

My kids only can eat the plain Lays, Ruffles and Fritos chips. No Tostitos because of the soy oil used in those. Until now! Frito-Lay recently started selling a Natural Tostitos chip that has no soy. It's in the photo above.

I'll also mention one other thing. No chip is healthy for you. I've tried many to find a good one, including Garden of Eatin and Bearitos -- both very good chips (I prefer the Bearitos). I should also note Terra Chips here for those that are corn and/or potato challenged. But do your own checking. The fat and sodium contents of those health-store chips aren't much less than Frito-Lay chips. Sometimes, the difference is zero. So, for my money, and because of all the saturated-fat snacks my kids cannot eat, AND because Frito-Lay makes it soooo easy for a family like ours to check ingredients, I'll buy Frito-Lay. Support the companies that help us.


Peanut butterless cookies

I personally love this recipe. Why? Because the cookies are so good. And, it takes no time at all. My kids don't eat nuts. They're not allergic. But, our doc says to avoid them. But, he says, sunflower seeds are OK. And, you can buy sunflower seed nut butter. You can also buy pumpkin seed nut butter. So, experiment. I'll show you two ways to make this recipe. The original recipes tends to be crumbly. I added a little flour to firm it up. Both are good.

1 cup sunflower seed nut butter (Once Again makes this) or other nut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg (or 2 egg subs)
1/2 tsp salt

So, I made the egg subs, added sugar, baking soda and salt, then the sunflower seed butter. Then I mixed until well combined. I rolled into balls and onto cookie sheet. I flattened slighly with a fork, making the classic PB cookie indentation.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

I also made these by adding some flour and xanthan gum to hold them together. Can't tell you how much I used. But, what I'm trying to point out is that if yours fall apart, don't give up. Try adding your favorite flour mix and xanthan/guar to hold them together. I didn't use a lot, just enough to mix through. If it looks too dry, add water until you get that cookie dough texture while mixing.


Dairy free sorbet

I like this recipe because there's no concerns about trying to make ice cream out of a dairy alternative like rice milk or Darifree. And, it has a lighter taste. Plus, it's very easy to make. Here's how.

- 1 packet of unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups boiling water
- 3 large ice cubes
- 2 cups of fruit

Dissolve the gelatin and sugar in boiling water. Add the ice cubes and stir until melted. Pull from heat.

Chop up fruit. Put in food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the gelatin mixture and puree until smooth. Add the rest of the gelatin mix and puree again until mixed.

Pour this into a 13x9 pan. Cover with foil or wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours.

Then, spoon the sorbet mix back into the blender and blend at high speed until smooth and fluffy. Pour into a loaf pan, cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Use any fruit. I tried peaches.


Allergy link

There's tons of info on the Web about allergies, autism, etc., and I come across good ones every so often. I found this today, for the Food Allergy Initiative and will be adding it to my link section.


What's in your ketchup?

Did you ever think about what's in the ketchup you put on your favorite burger, hot dog or potatoes each day? I did a couple of months ago. And it made me change what I bought for my family.

Heinz ketchup -- America's No. 1 ketchup -- is filled with high fructose corn syrup. If you don't yet know the dangers of this sweetener, read my blog entry from yesterday, or Google it for yourself.

This was very depressing, especially since I like Heinz. But, with the care we're taking to feed our kids properly, I decided to look elsewhere.

I found two quality substitutes that are gluten-free, soy-free and HFCS-free.

Annie's ketchup is pretty darn good. For me, it's a little spicier, in a sweet way, than I prefer. But, my kids loved it. And, it's organic.

Muir Glen
also makes an organic ketchup, which I prefer. I now buy this by the case. It's taste more closely resembles Heinz -- and actually is what Heinz probably tasted like 20-30 years ago when it wasn't made with the HFCS.

Do a taste test for yourself, and make your burger a little healthier.


High fructose corn syrup -- what's the big deal?

I'm sure you've heard talk about the evils of high fructose corn syrup. But do you understand the problem? I didn't. If you don't, this article is worth reading. It explains the issue well.
Sweet but Not So Innocent?
High-Fructose Corn Syrup May Act More Like Fat Than Sugar in the Body

By Sally Squires
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 11, 2003; Page HE01

From fruit-flavored drinks to energy bars, a huge array of sweetened foods and beverages crowds grocery shelves, vending machines, restaurant menus, school lunches and kitchens. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), consumption of various sweeteners, often in calorie-dense foods and drinks, has risen in the United States from an estimated 113 pounds per person in 1966 to 147 pounds in 2001.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended limiting intake of added sugars found in food and drink to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, a step the WHO said could help stop the worldwide rise in obesity that is fueling the growth of such chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes. The WHO recommendation is far stricter than any that U.S. groups have produced.

But increasingly, it's not just the growing consumption of foods with added sugars that concerns some nutrition experts. What has also changed during the past four decades, the USDA figures show, is the type of sweeteners consumed -- a trend that some studies suggest may help to undermine appetite control and possibly play a role in weight gain.

In 1966, refined sugar, also known as sucrose, held the No. 1 slot, accounting for 86 percent of sweeteners used, according to the USDA. Today, sweeteners made from corn are the leader, racking up $4.5 billion in annual sales and accounting for 55 percent of the sweetener market. That switch largely reflects the steady growth of high-fructose corn syrup, which climbed from zero consumption in 1966 to 62.6 pounds per person in 2001.

While soft drinks and fruit beverages such as lemonade are the leading products containing high-fructose corn syrup, plenty of other items -- including cookies, gum, jams, jellies and baked goods -- also contain this syrup. [For more information about which foods contain these and other added sweeteners, see the Lean Plate Club column on Page F2.]

Made from corn starch, high-fructose corn syrup is a thick liquid that contains two basic sugar building blocks, fructose and glucose, in roughly equal amounts. Sucrose, most familiar to consumers as table sugar, is a larger sugar molecule that breaks down into glucose and fructose in the intestine during metabolism.

An advantage of high-fructose corn syrup is that it "tastes sweeter than refined sugar," making it a popular ingredient for food manufacturers because it enables them to use less, says George A. Bray, former director of Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. As a liquid, the syrup is easier to blend into beverages than refined sugar, according to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA). Industry taste tests suggested that consumers liked food and drink with high-fructose corn syrup as much as refined beet or cane sugar.

In the 1980s, manufacturing methods improved, prompting a boost in production of high-fructose corn syrup and a drop in price to just pennies below that of refined sugar. "While that may not sound like much to the average consumer, when you consider how many pounds [the soft drink industry buys], it was millions of dollars if not hundreds of millions of dollars in savings," says Drew Davis, NSDA's vice president for federal affairs.

The switch made economic sense and, as Davis notes, "back then, there was no suggestion that high-fructose corn syrup was metabolized differently" than other sugars. More recent research suggests, however, that there may be some unexpected nutritional consequences of using the syrup. "Fructose is absorbed differently" than other sugars, says Bray. "It doesn't register in the body metabolically the same way that glucose does."

For example, consumption of glucose kicks off a cascade of biochemical reactions. It increases production of insulin by the pancreas, which enables sugar in the blood to be transported into cells, where it can be used for energy. It increases production of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate appetite and fat storage, and it suppresses production of another hormone made by the stomach, ghrelin, that helps regulate food intake. It has been theorized that when ghrelin levels drop, as they do after eating carbohydrates composed of glucose, hunger declines.

Fructose is a different story. It "appears to behave more like fat with respect to the hormones involved in body weight regulation," explains Peter Havel, associate professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis. "Fructose doesn't stimulate insulin secretion. It doesn't increase leptin production or suppress production of ghrelin. That suggests that consuming a lot of fructose, like consuming too much fat, could contribute to weight gain." Whether it actually does do this is not known "because the studies have not been conducted," said Havel.

Another concern is the action of fructose in the liver, where it is converted into the chemical backbone of trigylcerides more efficiently than glucose. Like low-density lipoprotein -- the most damaging form of cholesterol -- elevated levels of trigylcerides are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. A University of Minnesota study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000 found that in men, but not in women, fructose "produced significantly higher [blood] levels" than did glucose. The researchers, led by J.P Bantle, concluded that "diets high in added fructose may be undesirable, particularly for men."

Other recent research suggests that fructose may alter the magnesium balance in the body. That could, in turn, accelerate bone loss, according to a USDA study published in 2000 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

In November, however, Havel and his colleagues published a review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that examined evidence from multiple studies. They concluded that large quantities of fructose from a variety of sources, including table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, induce insulin resistance, impair glucose tolerance, produce high levels of insulin, boost a dangerous type of fat in the blood and cause high blood pressure in animals. "The data in humans are less clear," the team noted.

Others are skeptical that high-fructose corn syrup acts differently in the body than table sugar. "I don't see it as a particular evil," says Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a vocal critic of soft drinks, which he dubs "liquid candy." "It wouldn't make much difference if soft drinks were sweetened with sucrose [table sugar] or high-fructose corn syrup."

Until scientists sort out the details, many nutrition experts say it makes sense to not surpass the 10 percent recommendation of the WHO. On a 2,000-calorie intake, that works out to about 200 calories -- roughly the amount found in a 16.9-ounce bottle of soda or about eight Chunky Chips Ahoy cookies or about an three ounces of plain M&M's. (Last year, the National Academy of Sciences suggested that added sugars should not exceed 25 percent of daily calories -- about 500 calories on a 2,000-calorie intake.)

"Reducing consumption of added sugars seems reasonable to me," Havel says, "just as you should not consume too many calories from fat and you should exercise regularly."

But industry groups urged consumers not to respond by avoiding any one food ingredient. Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, notes that many of the studies used pure fructose rather than the combination of fructose and glucose found in corn syrup.

"There are many sources for the obesity epidemic," Erickson says. "There's no one single source of the obesity epidemic or the onslaught of diabetes in America. But there are many contributing factors and no scientific link to suggest that high-fructose corn syrup is a contributing factor."

Erickson says that research published in a 1993 supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that there is no evidence linking the syrup to the obesity epidemic.

What does play a role, she noted, "is the lack of physical exercise. You can not discontinue the use of any one food or beverage and expect tomorrow -- or even in 10 years from now -- to be thin without increased physical activity."

That's a message being delivered not just by the food and beverage industries, but also by the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences and the WHO, which also urged more physical activity -- an hour a day of moderate-intensity activity, such as walking -- in its report last week.•

© 2003 The Washington Post Company


Popcorn lung

Sep 7, 2007 2:50 am US/Eastern
'Popcorn Lung' Patient Ate Two Bags A Day

(CBS News) Wayne Watson loved microwave popcorn so much he would eat at least two bags each night, breathing in the steam from the just-opened package, until doctors told him it may have made him sick.

Watson, whose case of "popcorn lung" is the sole reported case of the disease in a non-factory worker, said he is convinced his heavy consumption of popcorn caused his health problems.

"You know, it's one of those things that you kind of shake your head and say, how can anybody eat that much popcorn? But it was about two bags a day every day for about ten years," Watson told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen

Popcorn flavoring contains the chemical diacetyl, which has been linked to lung damage in factory workers testing hundreds of bags of microwave popcorn per day and inhaling its fumes. The chemical is a naturally occurring compound that gives butter its flavor and is also found in cheese and even wine, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

It's been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a flavor ingredient, but hundreds of workers have sued flavoring makers in recent years for lung damage.

There are no warnings from federal regulators, nor is there medical advice on how consumers should treat news of the rare, life-threatening disease, bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung.

Watson, 53, told CBS he first noticed something was wrong about three or four years ago during church choir practice.

"My lung capacity just seemed to start diminishing and I couldn't sustain my notes like I used to be able to," he said.

That's when he sought out Dr. Cecile Rose, a lung specialist at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.

Rose said she initially didn’t know what was causing Watson's breathing problems.

"He had a lung condition that we know is related to something he was inhaling," Rose said. "And I took a very complete history, including a work history and an environmental history and found nothing. And it wasn't really until the end of his initial medical evaluation where I turned to him and asked him … was he exposed to or was he around a lot of popcorn? And his jaw dropped and he asked me how I would possibly know that about him."

Rose said that no definite link can yet be made between Watson's popcorn consumption and his lung disease.

But, she said, "I think it's very important that the industry is taking this very seriously. They've known about the fact that workers who are using diacetyl can be at risk for lung disease. And if we're right in this case that consumers who are heavy users may be at risk as well, I think that the industry needs to be responsive to that possibility."

On Wednesday, the nation's largest microwave popcorn maker, ConAgra, said it would stop using diacetyl within a year out of concern for its workers - not because of risks to consumers. ConAgra makes Act II and Orville Redenbacher brands.

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association said that Rose's finding does not suggest a risk from eating microwave popcorn.

Watson, 53, said his breathing has improved since his doctor told him to quit eating his extra-buttery microwave popcorn and lose weight. He said he's dieting and lost some 35 pounds, regained lung capacity, and his prognosis is good.

(© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )
From Our Partners


What does this tell you? Enjoy Life Foods was named to the 2007 Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the country. Enjoy Life, as many of you know, makes gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods.
Its three-year sales growth was 783%.

You can read the full release by clicking here.