Respectful Insolence

It’s been around four years now since I first wrote a post about what I now like to call the “toxins gambit” favored by anti-vaccine loons. This particular gambit consists of finding scary-sounding chemicals in vaccines, such as formaldehyde, and then trying to stoke fear of vaccines based on their presence. This gambit, whether invoked through ignorance (which is common) or disingenuousness (which, I suspect, is even more common) is a blatant appeal to fear of chemicals that depends upon the average person’s ignorance that, for example, formaldehyde is a normal byproduct of metabolism and of the basic concept of dose-response, in which small amounts of many chemicals are harmless. Even physicians are not immune to this sort of ignorance/disingenuousness, as I demonstrated when I took a certain pediatrician to the stars’ children to school when he gave an interview in which he lambasted the presence of formaldehyde in vaccines.

I use formaldehyde as an example because it’s the most obvious and easiest to debunk as a trace ingredient in vaccines used by anti-vaccine activists to instill fear into parents, but the toxins gambit is not limited to vaccines by any means. For instance, I’ve had fun analyzing an attempt to use the toxins gambit in, of all things, shampoo. Then there was McKay Jenkins and his images of us swimming in a sea of “synthetic chemicals.” None of this is to say that chemicals can’t cause health problems or that we should be blithely unconcerned about the ingredients in our vaccines or other products we put into our bodies, but rather the overblown fear mongering that a certain type of person likes to engage in based on ignorance of science and fear of scary-sounding chemical names.

Leave it to our old “friend,” The One Quack To Rule Them All, Mike Adams to take the toxins gambit to a whole new level. This he did yesterday for food in an article entitled What’s really in the food? The A to Z of the food industry’s most evil ingredients.

First off, it’s hard not to note the absolutism beloved by Adams and many other cranks. Look at the title. Does Adams say, “most worrisome,” “most harmful,” or “least healthy”? Of course not. He says “most evil.” It’s almost as though he imputes motive to the food ingredients. Even if he were correct about what he says about the food ingredients he goes on to castigate, it seems rather over-the-top to consider them “evil.” Of course, “over-the-top” is what Mike Adams is about. If he weren’t over the top he wouldn’t be anywhere at all. Even when he attacks a food additive or ingredient that might actually represent a health risk, he takes it to an extreme far beyond what is likely to be justified by science. Amusingly, though, he pulls a classic “toxins gambit” in going after common food ingredients that are not only common but almost certainly harmless. For example:

Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

Closely related (actually, it’s pretty much the same thing) is:

Yeast Extract – Hidden form of MSG that contains free glutamate and is used in many “natural” food products to claim “No MSG!” Yeast extract contains up to 14% free glutamate. You’ll find it in thousands of grocery store products, from soups to snack chips. I even once spotted it used on fresh meat!

This is just silly. Autolyzed proteins are nothing more than proteins from yeast extracts that have been partially digested by the yeast’s own digestive enzymes start to break down its proteins into amino acids and smaller peptides. The remaining non-protein, non-peptide cell components are then separated from the protein extract. In fact, it’s not a malignant process. It’s not an “evil” process. It’s a natural process. It’s simple chemistry that doesn’t even rely on those “evil,” “toxic” chemicals. All it takes is a bit of saltwater to place the yeast in with a high enough concentration of salt to make the cells shrivel up and lyse, releasing their contents into the solution. The yeast is then heated to complete the breakdown of the yeast cells, and the yeast cell walls are separated.

On the other hand, yeast extract is used to make Vegemite, Marmite, Promite, Oxo, Cenovis, and Vitam-R; so maybe Adams has a point about its being so “evil.” Alright, just kidding (sort of). I’ve never tried Promite, Oxo, Cenovis, or Vitam-R.

As for his obsession with glutamate, get over it. It’s an amino acid. Glutamate is used by the body to make proteins, along with all the other natural amino acids. Moreover, for all the fears of health affects of monosodium glutamate and glutamic acid, an association between glutamate and the symptoms commonly attributed to MSG has never been reproducibly demonstrated under rigorous, controlled conditions. The MSG syndrome appears to be largely a myth in which a wide variety of postprandial symptoms are mistakenly attributed to MSG. Basically, the various forms of protein extract, be they from yeast or other sources that Adams rants about, such as textured vegetable protein, soy protein, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are just that: protein.

And, of course, beware of that evil homogenized milk:

Homogenized Milk – The fats in the milk are artificially modified to change them into smaller molecules that stay in suspension in the milk liquid (so the milk fat doesn’t separate) (http://www.naturalnews.com/022967_m…). While it makes milk look better on the shelf, it’s also blamed for promoting heart disease and may contribute to milk allergies. Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it (http://www.naturalnews.com/029322_r…).

There is no evidence that raw milk is any healthier than Pasteurized, homogenized milk, but there’s plenty of evidence that it’s far more likely to give you a nasty infection. As Mark Crislip put it, warm liquid filled with protein, fat, and sugars makes an excellent culture medium to grow up a wide variety of bugs, and the proximity of the cow udder to cow pies guarantees that there will be an inoculum of the relevant wee beasties. Yes, I know that raw milk can be consumed safely. The point is that the risk of acquiring a food borne infection is far higher for raw milk. It’s why we Pasteurize milk in the first place.

On the other hand, if the homogenized milk doesn’t get you, maybe the hydrochloride will:

Hydrochloride – When you see anything hydrochloride, such as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride or Thiamin Hydrochloride, those are chemical forms of B vitamins that companies add to their products to be able to claim higher RDA values of vitamins. But these are synthetic, chemical forms of vitamins, not real vitamins from foods or plants. Nutritionally, they are near-useless and may actually be bad for you. Also watch out for niacinamide and cyanocobalamin (synthetic vitamin B-12). (http://www.naturalnews.com/032766_c…)

Adams is obviously not a chemist. (Now there’s an understatement!) First off, there is no evidence that synthetic forms of vitamins are inferior from a nutritional standpoint than “naturally” occurring forms. Second, hydrochloride salts are nothing unusual or dangerous, any more than the chloride salt of sodium, for instance, is dangerous. No doubt the real chemists out there will have more to say about this. Actually, I was a real chemist once; my undergraduate degree was in chemistry, and a B.S. rather than a B.A., to boot. However, that was 27 years ago.

Perhaps my favorite example of Adam’s idiocy is this, which led me to a hearty chuckle when I read it.

Sodium (Salt) – The processed white salt lacking in trace minerals. In the holistic nutrition industry, we call it “death salt” because it promotes disease and death. Real salt, on the other hand, such as “dirty” sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, is loaded with the trace minerals that prevent disease, such as selenium (cancer), chromium (diabetes) and zinc (infectious disease). Much like with bread and sugar, white salt is terrible for your health. And don’t be fooled by claims of “sea salt” in grocery stores. All salt came from the sea if you go far back enough in geologic time, so they can slap the “sea salt” claim on ANY salt!

You can get trace minerals like selenium from lots of sources, including meat, nuts, fish, eggs, and a variety of other foods. You don’t need to have it in your salt. Unless something is added to it, salt is salt. It’s NaCl, and any problem with salt likely comes far more from our consuming too much salt, which can contribute to hypertension in certain populations, than from any lack of trace minerals in the salt that we consume. At its heart, this paragraph is nothing more than a rant against processed foods, pure Luddism, which is something Adams is quite good at it. I will admit, Adams actually does make one good point, and that’s about how food companies try to disguise the amount of sugar in their products by listing different kinds of sugar as separate ingredients, but you know what they say about a stopped clock being right twice a day. Of course, with Adams, it’s more like twice a year by random chance. In any case, Adams advice on healthy eating is far more driven by ideology than science. (I know, big surprise.)

In the end, most of what Adams does here is nothing different from what anti-vaccine activists do when they scream “Toxins!” about vaccines. It’s fear of contamination of their precious bodily fluids. Perhaps I should rename Adams General Jack. T Ripper.

Comments

  1. #1 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    Hell, I’m allergic to every kind of milk except chicken’s milk!

    Brits never fall for this one, however….

  2. #2 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    For sure the chlorine in swimming polls is not usually at harmful concentrations but I, for one, was never able to enjoy my local pool because of something in the water.

    Seawater is kinder on my eyes than that highly chlorinated municipal council-pop mixed with urea that we were expected to swim in as kids.

    Does anyone else here find that their eyeballs burn up on contact with public swimming pool water?

  3. #3 jcave137
    July 29, 2011

    What happens if someone points out that “real salt” is impure?

    I mean, it’s more honest than Adams’ DEATHSALT nonsense.

  4. #4 Alexis
    July 29, 2011

    Another error: he says corn syrup is the same as HFCS. Which it isn’t. Karo and HFCS are not the same. I’ve also seen the canard that corn syrup is “frequently” in infant formula many times (by overzealous breastfeeding advocates who think formula is poison). I’ve checked labels, and standard milk based formulas use lactose. Specialty formulas use sucrose or corn syrup in order to be lactose free. One milk based organic formula was caught using sucrose, but I believe they changed it back when it made the news.

  5. #5 Vicki
    July 29, 2011

    Marmite is my friend’s secret ingredient for vegetarian cooking: a spoonful or so in a pot of soup makes the whole thing much more appealing (to omnivores and vegetarians aside) because it gives it that umame flavoring.

    As for homogenized milk, I can buy the other kind. All it means is I have to shake it first. (It’s good, fresh milk from a local farm, pasteurized but not UHT, and I do sometimes buy and shake their chocolate milk, but there’s nothing magic in that.)

  6. #6 Russell
    July 29, 2011

    I’ve noticed food manufacturers seem to be switching to sea salt, perhaps as a way to divert attention from how much salt they put into various products.

  7. #7 Poodle Stomper
    July 29, 2011

    “Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it”

    Wow, I’d love to see the smoking-gun evidence to back this statement up!

  8. #8 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    I’d need convincing that the MSG syndrome is a myth. When I was a kid, my Dad tried to take us to Chinese restaurants a few times, and I’d break out in a cold sweat, my vision would get grainy, I’d get a ringing in my ears, and I’d have to run outside to keep from passing out—and that was just from the fumes, before the food even got there!

    In later years, I learned to attribute that to MSG, and fortunately I’ve gotten over it. (I can still tell when they use a lot, though, because it makes me feel bloated.) I’m open to suggestions as to what caused this reaction if it wasn’t MSG—anybody have any ideas? And oh, yeah, Mike Adams is an idiot.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2011

    Mike, like many other woo-meisters, has a bizarre obsession with food: the DSM V will feature “Orthorexia” and Mike has already chimed in,” See, people who want to eat correctly as labelled as mentally ill!”( paraphrase). No, I think they’re talking about the *degree* of concern- when your life is taken over by great concern about food, perhaps there is a problem.

    Mike, and the other idiot I review, portray themselves as educators who *empower* their audience. However, their “informational services” usually amount to fear mongering that renders a sense of helplessness instead. Consider the following: food is regulated by a governmental agency ( which btw you can’t trust), produced by money-grubbing corporations who adulterate it with ((shudder)) *chemicals* and addictive sugars that will make you obese, vegetables and fruits will all become “Frankenfoods”- GMOs, doctors know *nothing* about real nutrition and lie to you, RDs are manipulated by the aforementioned evil government, corporations, doctors- have I left anyone out? Oh, the media- they’re in on the “fix” as well, never reporting the “Truth”.Wouldn’t want to lose all that ad money.

    To whom then can the poor afflicted citizen turn? To our publicly-concerned, altruistic nutritionists *cum laude*! Null is liable to go into great detail about how junk and fast foods are killing you slowly, telling his entranced audience that even though they don’t realise it, their arteries are clogging and cells are transforming pre-cancerously *at this very minute*! Fear the food.

    Then, they present a plan for optimal eating. Adams doesn’t go all-out vegan and allows raw milk but his diet plan is extremely restrictive: organic, GMO-free, very low fat, a great deal raw ( or cooked at ultra-low temperture to preserve enzymes). Null advocates vegan, organic, low fat, high fibre, similar to Mike on the raw issue- absolutely no gluten or caseine.

    Both often hype special magical foods: a particular chemical ( yes) is singled out as life-enhancing or curative- this ingredient is then isolated as sold as the magic elixir of life** derived from vegetables and fruits ( also sold in dried, powder form- see websites). Eating this way would involve complicated preparation, avoidance of most restaurants and supermarkets, as well as the consumption of a myriad of pills and potions daily.( I for one, can’t even begin to contemplate living like this) Becoming an organic farmer and “growing your own” is also an option that both prevaricators claim they do themselves.

    All-in-all, it’s a pretty odd way to look at food. Remember though, their world-view is based upon nutrition as cause and cure of nearly all illness, physical and mental.

    ** and I thought it was gin.

  10. #10 Beamup
    July 29, 2011

    I wonder what Adams would say if someone pointed out that every single food *he* recommends is full of chemicals?

  11. #11 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    Sorry Beamup, did you mean my PH or the pool’s PH?

  12. #12 ZDoggMD
    July 29, 2011

    I recently did a video where I interviewed my dad, a retired internist. He tried to pull the food toxin gambit on me by simply inventing ingredients he claimed were in Coke and the like, ending with the statement, “No matter what you eat you’re gonna die.” Deep. http://zdoggmd.com/2011/07/meet-zdadd-m-d/

  13. #13 Composer99
    July 29, 2011

    On Mike Adams:

    If I were the director of a major pharmaceutical company and had Mike Adams’ conscience, I would be envious of the freedom with which Mike Adams has to operate. Able to spout out any old unsupported claim as if it were settled fact and sell any product desired for almost any medical purpose, without any pesky regulation requiring clinical research, post-licensure monitoring, and supported factual accuracy.

    On MSG:

    My father has experienced similar reactions as The Reverend Battleaxe. Given the studies posted by Orac, I would also be interested in knowing what might have been the source of his reactions.

  14. #14 Elly
    July 29, 2011

    My degrees are in Food Science (that’s Food Technology) and – although I don’t work in the industry – I’m still a member of IFT.

    Since I enjoy lifting weights, I’m a member of a private bodybuilding forum… so I’ve seen (and debunked) a lot of this nonsense. I’m not a huge fan of highly-processed junk/convenience food products, but that’s because said foods are energy-dense and nutrient-poor… not because the additives used to make them are toxic.

    Love the “death salt” bit – evidently Adams fails to realize just how prevalent iodine deficiency is throughout the world. It’s a major public health problem…except in countries where iodized – aka “death salt” – is used.

  15. #15 triskelethecat
    July 29, 2011

    Oh joy, it’s a DM contamination. How lovely for you, Orac.

    @Beamup: NOOOOOOOO!! Not teh ebil chemicals in my food! How can there be chemicals in my organically free range grown rutabegas? I haz a sad now…

    (end snark)

    I try to eat a balanced, omnivore diet. If I was alone, I’d probably eat more vegetarian than not; I do love meat but am happy to have many meals without meat, just cheese, eggs, dairy. But I really don’t think I would ever go totally vegan full time. For some meals? Sure. Always? No. And I don’t really fear the chemicals.

  16. #16 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    And tears actually do taste fantastic!

    I wonder if it is possible to diagnose some illnesses by tasting or smelling tears?

    While we’re at it, what was really going on with Jesus and the Blind man? I don’t believe in miracles or woo healing and I don’t believe that it is nothing more than a story to make Jesus look all magical to the public.

    What’s the science here? Which words do I need to google? Where to even start?

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2011

    @ triskelethecat:

    Dawn, I eat what most *normal* folks would consider healthy- no red meat, no fast food, moderately low fat, no coffee ( my caffeine comes from tea), little alcohol, etc. however to the Food Police (i.e. Mikey), I’m sure I would be an example of an unhealthy life style. They’d probably attribute my evil belief system to my diet as well: hey, ” You are what you eat”**, they say.

    ** One of my most hated quotes.

  18. #18 Richard Smith
    July 29, 2011

    @Ashtanga London (#1):

    Hell, I’m allergic to every kind of milk except chicken’s milk!

    Funnily enough, for as long as I can remember, I’ve jokingly called eggnog “chicken milk”. Here in Canada, everything has English and French labeling, and the French side of the cartons always reads “Lait de Poule.” Then again, along similar lines, I often refer to the Yule log as “Christmas mouth.” Not sure why I only seem to do this regarding holiday terms. Maybe I have, as they say, la bouche de Noël.

  19. #19 Calli Arcale
    July 29, 2011

    Last time I looked for information on MSG, I found that there may actually be a genuine sensitivity issue in certain populations. It’s not an allergy, but something else. I don’t remember much from when I looked it up, but contrary to Adams/Null/et al, it isn’t something that afflicts the entirety of the human species (much as the presence of celiac sufferers doesn’t mean we really all need to go gluten-free as they claim).

    Elly nails it, in my opinion — the problem with processed foods isn’t that they’re processed or have additives, generally. It’s that they’re very energy-dense, which makes it easy to eat too much of them. Likewise, Adams thinks the problem with DEATHSALT! is that it lacks trace minerals; but the real problem is that we eat too much of it. Which means that if one follows his logic, we need to be getting our trace minerals from salt and thus eating EVEN MORE OF IT. Is he prepared to shoulder the blame for promoting heart disease in this way? (Gee, let me guess — not prepared? Yeah, probably.)

  20. #20 MikeMa
    July 29, 2011

    Far more than salt, msg or any other non-toxin he lies about, Mike Adams is a severe danger health.

  21. #21 Andy
    July 29, 2011

    Hmmm, selenium is toxic, chromium leads to cancer and DNA damage and zinc is also toxic and corrosive – according to a simplistic reading of their wikipedia pages. Why is Adams promoting salt products that contain these dangerous chemicals whilst demonising the product that doesn’t contain them? Is he crazy?!?!

  22. #22 Blair
    July 29, 2011

    I think my favorite was that Splenda contains a chlorine atom. Oh the horror! We are obviously all doomed. Chlorine is teh ebil. That’s why people immediately die when they accidentally swallow pool water. Oh. Wait. Never mind.
    Also, Mike Adams must have a very bitter diet. Since sugar, aspartame, sucralose, and all forms of corn syrup are off the table, does he ever eat anything sweet? Fruit will only sweeten other foods to a certain extent. It just seems sad to me.

  23. #23 Rory
    July 29, 2011

    I’m going to name my band DeathSalt. Thanks Mike!

  24. #24 Ktesibios
    July 29, 2011

    Homogenized Milk – The fats in the milk are artificially modified to change them into smaller molecules that stay in suspension in the milk liquid (so the milk fat doesn’t separate) (http://www.naturalnews.com/022967_m…). While it makes milk look better on the shelf, it’s also blamed for promoting heart disease and may contribute to milk allergies. Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it (http://www.naturalnews.com/029322_r…).

    Criminy, the dumb bugger can’t even get a simple mechanical process that breaks up fat gloBules, not molecules, right.

    OTOH, when a crank makes such a basic error about simle science or technology that even a layman like myself can easily spot it, it does serve a sorta-useful purpose. It’s like a flashing neon sign saying “THIS GUY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT AND IS JUST MAKING SHIT UP!”

  25. #25 Shay
    July 29, 2011

    Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it

    Because everyone knows it is in the government’s best interest to kill off taxpayers.

  26. #26 Elly
    July 29, 2011

    @Blair:

    Admittedly, I can’t speak for Adams on this point, since I do my best not to read his scribblings. But there are a range of “natural” sweeteners out there (assuming that anything purified and packaged could be said to be “natural”) that are generally acceptable to the “health-as-religion” types. For example, stevia,* lo han and xylitol/erythritol are popular low/no-cal choices; likewise, (raw) honey, maple syrup and agave syrup appeal to the earthier types.

    *but probably not the rebaudioside A sweeteners like Truvia or PureVia, since these are made by Cargill and PepsiCo, who are, of course, part of the “Big Food” cabal trying to poison us all for profit (sarcasm intended).

  27. #27 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    Anybody who advocates wasting agave syrup as a sweetener instead of letting it ferment is a heretic!

  28. #28 Yojimbo
    July 29, 2011

    @Shay

    Hmmm! That also explains the Congressional Raw Milk Bar that only congresscritters can buy from…

    One of our local dairies sells pasteurized non-homogenized milk (no raw milk here), which I bought for a while in the nice glass bottles (just like yesteryear). Sadly, it spoiled very quickly – I wonder why that was? Anyway, I was soon back to the regular stuff.

  29. #29 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    So a lot of plants concentrate sugar in their tissues…but beets and corn are Teh Eebul! Agave is all right…what about sugar cane, if you leave enough wood fiber in the sugar to be suitably chewy?

  30. #30 anarchic teapot
    July 29, 2011

    Marmite is GOOD. Phrases such as “Much like with” are EVIL!

    And homogenisation? According to the UK’s Dairy Council it’s basically milk that’s been forced through a filter to make the fat globules smaller. Nothing chemical about it, despite what that bampot Adams implies.

    Actually, I think homogenisation of bottled milk is EVIL, but only because bluetits can no longer profit from this http://www.culture24.org.uk/asset_arena/3/45/15543/v0_master.jpg on my doorstep of a cold winter’s morn. I like bluetits.

  31. #31 James
    July 29, 2011

    Don’t forget to add Bovril to the yeastie goodness products. It used to have random beef parts in it until the whole mad cow thing happened.

  32. #32 Blaise Pascal
    July 29, 2011

    I wonder if anyone using the “toxins gambit” have used/would fall for the following argument:

    Plastics, as we all know, are all around us in modern life, and a whole branch of chemistry, called “polymer chemistry” (polymer being the “scientific” name for plastics) has sprung up to synthesize new plastics and come up with new uses for existing ones.

    Processed food, it turns out, is loaded with polymers. One packaged food item I bought the other day is almost 100% polymers of different kinds. Some polymers found in foods, like polygalacturonic acid, are believed to pass through the body without being absorbed, but others, like amylose (a polymer made from the chemical (2R,3S,4R,5R)-2,3,4,5,6-pentahydroxyhexanal) are readily broken down and absorbed by the body and are known to have health effects.

    Another common polymer found in processed foods break down in the body to form a large collection of different acids, such as phenylalanine (found in Nutrasweet), glutamic acid (similar to MSG), and other similar acids, all of which are easily absorbed by your intestines into your bloodstream where they travel all over your body, affecting every major bodily system, including your brain.

    …I could go on, but I think the idea has been communicated. Of course, polygalacturonic acid is pectin, a naturally occurring dietary fiber, and amylose, aka “starch”, is a glucose polymer. Proteins break down into amino acids, which are used by the body to build more proteins, etc. But rewritten in the language of the anti-toxin, anti-chemical brigade can sound horrifying.

  33. #33 Marry Me, Mindy
    July 29, 2011

    Hmmm, selenium is toxic, chromium leads to cancer and DNA damage and zinc is also toxic and corrosive – according to a simplistic reading of their wikipedia pages.

    Shoot, don’t even try looking at the MSDS for these things. Yowza!

    Remember, chromium was the toxin that was the basis for Erin Brockovitch’s campaign. Mike should have testified for the chemical company.

    On another point:

    Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

    Being a mass spectrometrist, I recognize the existence of monopolar ionic substances in the gas-phase, but my general impression is that under equilibrium conditions, all solution-phase ions are associated by an appropriate counter-charge (Hence, MSG contains cationic sodium to balance the anionic glutamate). So I wonder, what is he talking when he talks of “free glutamate”? To me, “free glutamate” implies no counter ion, which is not reasonable.

  34. #34 Beamup
    July 29, 2011

    @ AL:

    The ‘chlorine’ smell is actually the combined chloramines which are produced when the free chlorine oxidizes organic material. Generally a sign of an UNDERchlorinated pool, because it indicates that the chlorine concentration isn’t enough to keep up with the sanitation load being placed on it.

    But skin irritation and eye discomfort generally have nothing to do with chlorine and are instead due to unbalanced pH.

  35. #35 JayK
    July 29, 2011

    I think Elly is going to fit in here, very well. I look forward to more comments from them.

    I’ve missed jsp, though.

    It also looks like McMegan hearts Mike Adams, I’ve never figured out her obsessions with “pink Himalayan salt” before.

  36. #36 Dangerous Bacon
    July 29, 2011

    “Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it”

    Shay: “Because everyone knows it is in the government’s best interest to kill off taxpayers.”

    Absolutely! It’s just the same as the Big Pharma plot to depopulate the world through vaccination, so it can make even more money selling drugs to lots fewer people!!!

  37. #37 shgstewart
    July 29, 2011

    Mmm, chemicals. Tasty, tasty chemicals.

    My problem with MSG is directly related to its method of action — it ramps up your sense of smell, and I’m already a hypersmeller, so if I ingest too much MSG, I wind up getting a scent-induced migraine from the first vaguely unpleasant- and/or strong-smelling thing I encounter afterward.

    I’m still wondering why everyone other than me thinks umami is delicious and I think it tastes like crotch sweat, or something else similarly murky and pheromone-laden.

  38. #38 surgoshan
    July 29, 2011

    Those “evil chlorides” are necessarily chlorides. The stable form of, for example, Vitamin B1 is as a dissociated salt in an aqueous system. Here’s a picture from wikipedia.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Thiamin.svg

    See the plus sign? That’s where the nitrogen has formed a fourth bond so as to create a conjugated system, making the compound overall more stable. But … at such a cost. That poor, noble nitrogen, sacrificing its own happiness for the good of the whole. snrk

    Okay, they’re not necessarily [i]chlorides[/i], but they are salts, and chloride is darn common.

  39. #39 Richard Smith
    July 29, 2011

    @anarchic teapot (#27):

    bluetits can no longer profit from this […] on my doorstep of a cold winter’s morn. I like bluetits.

    Haven’t seen any bluetits around here in Ontario during winter. Probably because everybody’s dressing warmly…

  40. #40 Venna
    July 29, 2011

    Just a couple things I had to touch on that when I heard them repeated I was so shocked with *you really believe that* that I was rendered speechless.

    A few months ago, a ‘friend’ on my Facebook, posted an anti-vaccine article listing the harmful ingredients in vaccines and urging people to not vaccinate until the government and pharma companies removed these chemicals from the vaccines. Of course formaldehyde was mentioned (to which i countered, our bodies produce formaldehyde naturally, it isn’t harmful unless it’s in large quantities, which of course was ignored) and of course my all-time favorite, vaccines containing antifreeze. Really… She honestly believed pharma companies go to their local auto store and buy antifreeze by the gallons and add them to their vats of vaccine mixtures. WTF?!? When I asked her for citation, once I got over the speechlessness, she linked to an article that was clearly anti-vaccine and was ranting about antifreeze in vaccines. I used Google and after a few minutes searching was able to find a real site that explained while antifreeze and vaccines has a few ingredients in common, one is not the same as the other. It went on to describe what these commonalities were and of course how they were NOT harmful to be put in vaccines. When I linked this article to her, she again ignored it and used the *i feel so sorry for you* gambit on me that I was so naive and gullible that I allowed pharma and government to brain wash me and not be able to think for myself. Yeah, I’m the one that’s brain washed. I should have figured I’d heard a lot of quackery from her, she is an EFT practitioner who tried to convince me I needed to become one too, not because it’s so great and beneficial, but because I can charge $200 per session and people will actually pay that. Granted the money she said she makes by peddling her woo was appealing, but I had to stop and ask myself, if this isn’t something I believe in, do I really want to take money from people to promote it? Hell no! How could I live with myself if I did that?

    My biggest pet peeve about nutritionists seems to be how so many of them are touting fat as the bad guy, along with all the chemicals that are put into food. So many promote low fat, or even as fat free as possible, diets to maintain health. Do they honestly not realize how many systems in our body are made from fat and require regular consumption of fat in order to function properly? Why our immune system is made of fat, our brains are made of fat, lack of fat can lead to immune system dysfunction and depression and inability for form rational thoughts! Which might explain why all these people believe the things they believe, they can’t think straight because they stopped ingesting fat! Fat is the best source of fuel for our bodies to maintain energy. It provides insulation against extreme temperatures to a degree (not like it does for whales or other sea mammals). It keeps us from looking like just the muscles and skeleton that is under our skin, it fills us out and makes us look normal. Of course there are good fats and bad fats and consuming too much can be harmful, but we need some in our diet in order to function. As for the vegan lifestyle, without complete protein, how will our bodies properly repair damage done by just ever day living, let alone strenuous situations where strain or injuries occur. Without protein, we can’t build and repair ourselves. Why is that so hard to believe? Say all you want about chemical additives, but leave my steak alone!

  41. #41 Elf M. Sternberg
    July 29, 2011

    Orac wrote “Salt… which can contribute to hypertension in certain populations…”

    I seem to recall a recent article in JAMA that implied that while salt regulation was necessary in people who already had hypertension, there was no evidence that a salt-restricted diet in any way retarded the development of hypertension in those who had it. Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion.

    Anyway, I have a variety of salts in my house because I’m a foodie, and yes, I can taste the difference between Utah, Alaska, Japanese North Sea, and Vesuvian salts. I doubt any of these have contributed to my health or well-being. (Well, okay, Vesuvian truffle salt is amazing and make me happy sprinkled on eggs, but that’s not what Adams is talking about…)

  42. #42 Jcs
    July 29, 2011

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Those symptoms (ear ringing, grainy vision, sweating) are classing symptoms of a panic attack, triggered by the smell of Chinese food (probably though conditioning).

    It’s possible that, in the past, you had a legitimate sensitivity or allergy to something in the Chinese food, that later resulted in this conditioned response to the smell of it. I can see how such a reaction could be helpful from an evolutionary perspective (leading to the avoidance of harmful foods.)

  43. #43 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    @ Jcs:

    I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear: those reactions were from when I was a child and had no expectations about Chinese restaurants because I’d never been in one before, and I’d never experienced symptoms like this before from any other cause. As an adult, I tried it out to see if I still reacted the same way, and even though I had my teeth clenched expecting the worst, it didn’t happen. I think the conditioning theory would require the reverse history. As it is now, I’d kill myself before I gave up Chinese food!

    To be fair, there are “no MSG” Chinese restaurants, but they seem to have declared war on color and flavor as well.

  44. #44 DLC
    July 29, 2011

    Yes, Adams is that stupid. or that big of a charlatan.
    Or possibly some combination of the two.

  45. #45 augustine
    July 29, 2011

    For all of you with MSG anecdotes:

    Moreover, for all the fears of health affects of monosodium glutamate and glutamic acid, an association between glutamate and the symptoms commonly attributed to MSG has never been reproducibly demonstrated under rigorous, controlled conditions.

    There, ORAC said it. Therefore what you experienced couldn’t possibly be caused or related to MSG consumption. Since he hasn’t experienced it himself and his bible scrolls (Mainstream accepted status quo peer review) don’t say it then it must not exist or it’s “highly unlikely” not to exist.

    It’s a just form of psychosis much like the parents of vaccine injury have experienced. You probably just heard something about neurological side effects along the way somewhere and it’s buried in your subconscious. Now stop this silly nonsense or you will be forced to hand in your SBM membership card. You will be excommunicated. Is it really worth it?

  46. #46 Beamup
    July 29, 2011

    The thing that I’ve never seen any kind of explanation for is why, if MSG causes all these symptoms, naturally glutamate-rich foods don’t do the same (e.g. mushrooms, tomatoes).

  47. #47 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 29, 2011

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – out of curiosity, how did you come to associate your symptoms with MSG?

  48. #48 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    It’s difficult to get enough essential fatty acids from a vegan diet. Walnuts or Hemp seed. Choice is yours.

    I like Eggs :)

  49. #49 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – out of curiosity, how did you come to associate your symptoms with MSG?

    Oh, just popular articles from the ’70s about “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” that seemed to describe my experience pretty well. Like I said, I’m open to alternatives. I kind of assume it had to be an allergy of some type, because people frequently get over allergies, like I did here.

  50. #50 Calli Arcale
    July 29, 2011

    Beamup — the explanation I heard, if I’m remembering it correctly, was that it genuinely behaves in a different way in the body when prepared as it is in chinese restarants. It wasn’t the glutamate precisely. I don’t remember the details, much less whether or not it was a reasonably legitimate site. This was several years ago. It was enough to make me temper my skepticism of the “MSG sensitivity” claim, though not enough to make me ignore my skepticism altogether.

  51. #51 Roadstergal
    July 29, 2011

    Yes, I love that little “It’s healthy, so the government has outlawed it” bit. It just shows what kind of mindset you live in when one naturally (heh) follows the other.

    How can we trust Mike Adams, though? He’s made of chemicals! Many of which are known toxins!

    “You are what you eat”**, they say. ** One of my most hated quotes.

    I give it a pass because I heard one gentleman gracefully reply with exactly that phrase when someone called him a pussy.

  52. #52 Beamup
    July 29, 2011

    Sorry Beamup, did you mean my PH or the pool’s PH?

    The pool’s. (The human body’s pH does not vary in any meaningful way.) Ideally a pool will be at 7.5 (not coincidentally, tears are also about 7.5), and 7.2-7.8 is the typically cited acceptable range.

  53. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    July 29, 2011

    It’s interesting that while Mike Adams is on the warpath about glutamate, salt and other horrible nasties in our food, he has been rather curiously silent about a danger constantly being harped on by alties – the presence of magnesium stearate in many vitamin and other supplement pills.

    Do an online search and you’ll find loads of alarmist nonsense about how mag. stearate (used as an anti-clumping/lubricating agent in pill manufacture) causes dire health problems. Yet Mike Adams doesn’t seem worried (from a 2009 NaturalNews article):

    “It’s worth mentioning, by the way, that I personally still take many supplements made with natural binders. New Chapter products are a good example of that: I’m not concerned about a little silica or corn starch. I don’t mind flow agents if they’re natural and the body can recognize them as food. There are lots of high-quality supplements available today that still use small amounts of stearates, silica or other such ingredients.” (bolding added)

    The above appears in an Adams article hawking a particular line of supplements that supposedly is free of excipients and fillers. According to one “natural products” advocate however, NaturalNews has endorsed other lines of supplements that do contain such additives, including mag. stearate. She is not at all happy with Mikey.

    Is it possible that Mike’s outrage over these matters can be tempered by how it affects his bottom line? :)

  54. #54 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    I knew a gentleman, as a matter of fact, my very own dear, sainted** mentor, who was very afraid of MSG. He thoroughly instructed Chinese waiters about the necessity of leaving it out of his food. It had something to do with bad headaches. Not the sort of fellow prone to un-scientific speculation- quite the reverse actually.

    ** and yes, I’m an atheist describing someone as “sainted”; “saint” is an idealisation of an extraordinary, benevolent person- apropo in this case.

  55. #55 Yojimbo
    July 29, 2011

    @beamup

    The thing that I’ve never seen any kind of explanation for is why, if MSG causes all these symptoms, naturally glutamate-rich foods don’t do the same (e.g. mushrooms, tomatoes)

    Well duh! They’re natural. Anyway, it’s teh Sodium. That stuff burns, ya know? Even in water!

  56. #56 Dangerous Bacon
    July 29, 2011

    It’s interesting that while Mike Adams is on the warpath about glutamate, salt and other horrible nasties in our food, he has been rather curiously silent about a danger constantly being harped on by alties – the presence of magnesium stearate in many vitamin and supplement pills.

    Do an online search and you’ll find loads of alarmist nonsense about how mag. stearate (used as an anti-clumping/lubricating agent in pill manufacture) causes dire health problems. Yet Mike Adams doesn’t seem worried (from a 2009 NaturalNews article):

    “It’s worth mentioning, by the way, that I personally still take many supplements made with natural binders. New Chapter products are a good example of that: I’m not concerned about a little silica or corn starch. I don’t mind flow agents if they’re natural and the body can recognize them as food. There are lots of high-quality supplements available today that still use small amounts of stearates, silica or other such ingredients.” (bolding added)

    The above appears in an Adams article hawking a particular line of supplements that supposedly is free of excipients and fillers. According to one “natural products” advocate however, NaturalNews has endorsed other lines of supplements that do contain such additives, including mag. stearate. She is not at all happy with Mikey.

    ht_tp://nha-health-insights.blogspot.com/2010/06/natural-news-article-tweaks-me.html

    Is it possible that Mike’s outrage over these matters can be tempered by how they affect his bottom line? :)

  57. #57 Prometheus
    July 29, 2011

    If Mike Adams wants to eat a “chemical-free” diet, I’d strongly encourage him to do so. I suspect that we’d be seeing a lot less of him in a matter of months.

    At my university, the safety committee years ago decreed that the only way I could enjoy my “cuppa” in the lab was to have a designated “chemical-free” zone. My reply that it wouldn’t be safe to consume beverages in a high vacuum was apparently not understood. Bowing to the irresistible powers of administration, I created a small area in the lab and marked it with the required “chemical-free zone” signs. I also added my own “extremely low atmospheric pressure when in operation: pressure suit required” sign.

    One small point: most food preparations of “autolyzed protein” are either soy-based (“vegetable protein”) or casein-based. Another source is from whey, although this has moved from a waste product to a resource now that so many people have been conned into buying it at “health food” stores.

    Yeast extract is also high in protein, but is isn’t hydrolysed and it also contains high levels of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).

    Prometheus

  58. #58 Beth
    July 29, 2011

    “You are what you eat” is a complete bastardization of the original phrase. Brillat-Savarin actually said “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” He was talking about the politics of food in France prior to the Revolution, where royalty ate one way, nobility ate another, religious orders a third and the peasantry ate whatever was left. It had nothing to do with herbicides, pesticides or chemicals!

    I love Brillat-Savarin cheese, which is gooey and smelly and just all around slighty disgusting but delicious. He also helped develop the strain of bacteria that is still used to make it.

  59. #59 Jarred C
    July 29, 2011

    Blair @19 wrote,

    I think my favorite was that Splenda contains a chlorine atom. Oh the horror! We are obviously all doomed.

    During my freshmen year of college, my girlfriend at the time took a nutrition class, and the teacher was actually spouting off this line. She showed the class what the splenda molecule looked like, pointed out the chlorine atom, and patiently waited for all the “ooh, that’s bad…” to go around the room. My gf was absolutely shocked that someone teaching a college class would be so stupid, but being the shy girl that she was, she didn’t say anything.

  60. #60 herr doktor bimler
    July 29, 2011

    According to the UK’s Dairy Council it’s basically milk that’s been forced through a filter to make the fat globules smaller. Nothing chemical about it, despite what that bampot Adams implies.

    Once you accept the homeopathists’ claim that shaking water in the right way causes subtle physical / chemical changes to the water molecules so they remember the other molecules in the solution, it makes perfect sense to talk about shaking or filtering milk as a ‘chemical’ process.

    why, if MSG causes all these symptoms, naturally glutamate-rich foods don’t do the same (e.g. mushrooms, tomatoes)

    Note that all the glutamate-rich foods — mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, salami, aged cheese — also make good pizza toppings. Which is not to say that I’m going to make a marmite pizza.

    Wikipedia cites some MSG-sensitivity research for interested parties to pursue. It also informs us that breast milk is glutamate-rich: “Humans’ first encounter with umami is often breast milk.” So Mike is denouncing breast-feeding?

  61. #61 Gopiballava
    July 29, 2011

    @Battleaxe:
    “I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear: those reactions were from when I was a child and had no expectations about Chinese restaurants”

    My son is 6. Earlier today his entire tensed up and his face looked puckered when I told him that we only had pear slices as a snack. He’s going though a “no new foods” phase; 6 months ago he ate Peking Duck at a real Chinese restaurant, and happily tried to mix and match pancakes and duck parts to make it taste great.

    Point is, kids can have some really strong food related reactions, so I wouldn’t assume you were free of those necessarily.

  62. #62 Narad
    July 29, 2011

    Love the “death salt” bit – evidently Adams fails to realize just how prevalent iodine deficiency is throughout the world. It’s a major public health problem…except in countries where iodized – aka “death salt” – is used.

    I recall one MDC mommy finally realizing that there might be a problem with “real salt” fanaticism when she managed to give her kid a goiter.

  63. #63 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2011

    @ Gopiballava:

    Except I’d start to pass out before the food got there. I never got to eat the food, or even see it. And I was looking forward to it, because I’d had frozen Chinese-esque-ish-type stuff before with no problems.

  64. #64 Eric Blood Axe
    July 29, 2011

    Blue Tits learned to drink the cream from the milk bottles during the war, they would peck a hole in the cardboard closure, and drink.
    My understanding of MSG, is that when the stomach acid hits it it becomes glutamic acid, one of the commonest amino-acids in proteins.

  65. #65 Gopiballava
    July 29, 2011

    I’m embarrassed to admit I have a bag of sea salt with a rather…special marketing blurb on the back. I bought it because it was the only large piece salt with iodine listed:
    “Millions of years ago, the salt in this pouch was part of a pristine sea…
    Long before the earth knew pollutants of any kind, a huge, ancient…”
    “At some pint during the earth’s Jurassic era, a range of volcanos erupted around the ancient sea bed, sealing the salt with layers of thick volcanic ash, protecting these precious deposits against the pollution that man would eventually introduce into the environment.”

    Their web site is http://www.realsalt.com and they respond on their blog to people asking if their salt causes water retention, high blood pressure, etc with, to paraphrase, “We don’t want to disagree with your doctor, but hundreds of our customers have written us and said our Real Salt(tm) is the only salt that doesn’t cause them those problems”

  66. #66 Composer99
    July 29, 2011

    I wonder what results Mike Adams would run up if he was assessed for social dominance orientation.

    Certainly he seems quite willing to stoke the fears and phobias of his audience, against their own interests, to line his pockets and build up his influence & standing.

  67. #67 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    @Venna.

    Not all plant sources are incomplete.

    Hemp is complete.

  68. #68 c0nc0rdance
    July 29, 2011

    Thanks, Orac! Good post.

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe:

    I did some reading on this for a YouTube video on MSG… Double-blind challenges with MSG in “susceptible people” rarely produce a consistent reaction. I would offer that this suggests that there must be at least SOME psychology to this, although exactly what I cannot say.

    J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Nov;106(5):973-80.
    “Multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-challenge evaluation of reported reactions to monosodium glutamate.”

    My own guess is that Chinese food is exceptionally salty, and that the feeling is similar to dehydration caused by excess alcohol consumption. Since, presumably, a Chinese or Thai person who was sensitive to MSG would have a lot of trouble, it appears to only affect “Westerners”.

    I can personally offer my own anecdote of getting that unpleasant feeling/headache after eating too many salty pumpkin seeds on long drives.

    It’s also possible that some spice (not MSG) used in commercial Chinese cooking is adulterated with something that is forcing your liver to do some detoxifying. Possibly one of those evil chemicals that Mike Adams courageously battles with his Sword of Truth ™.

  69. #69 Krebiozen
    July 29, 2011

    I was once annoyed enough by claims about the healthy minerals in sea salt to find out the actual amounts involved. Compared to a Big Mac (other burgers are available), light gray Celtic sea salt (LGCSS) is greatly inferior as a source of minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, copper and manganese. In fact you would have to consume 2 full teaspoons of LGCSS to get as much magnesium as there is in a Big Mac (44mg), and this would still be only a tenth of the RDA.

    Other minerals are present at even lower levels. Just to demonstrate what a feeble source of minerals LGCSS is, here are the number of teaspoons of LGCSS you would have to consume to get the same amount of the mineral as a Big Mac (clearly consuming this much salt would not be a good idea, and could make you very ill or even kill you, and a Big Mac does not provide the RDA of any of these minerals).

    Magnesium 2 teaspoons LGCSS = 1 Big Mac
    Potassium 37 teaspoons
    Calcium 42 teaspoons
    Iron 8 teaspoons
    Zinc 35 teaspoons
    Copper 2.5 teaspoons
    Manganese 5.5 teaspoons

    LGCSS also contains small amounts of aluminum, fluoride, strontium and bromide. Aren’t these scary toxins? I couldn’t find any reports of detectable levels of selenium in sea salt.

    You would have to be bat-guano crazy to rely on sea salt as a source of minerals. To prove it here is an analysis that proves that bat guano is more nutritious than both Celtic sea salt and Big Macs. I’m not sure about glutamate/umami.
    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/273/1585/439/T2.expansion.html

    Other sources can be provided on request, I haven’t linked to avoid moderation.

  70. #70 Smith Powell
    July 29, 2011

    #7 and others vis MSG

    It may have been hot peppers cooked in hot oil. The smoke from them can cause difficulty breathing (tightness in the chest), sweating, and headaches.

  71. #71 Colin Day
    July 29, 2011

    @Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    #24

    Would that also apply to people who eat grapes rather than let them become wine? Or people who eat potatoes rather than letting them become vodka, as the Flying Spaghetti Monster intended?

  72. #72 Colin Day
    July 29, 2011

    @Venna
    #37

    As for the vegan lifestyle, without complete protein, how will our bodies properly repair damage done by just ever day living, let alone strenuous situations where strain or injuries occur. Without protein, we can’t build and repair ourselves.

    Can’t humans construct complete proteins from complementary plant sources such as beans and rice?

  73. #73 herr doktor bimler
    July 29, 2011

    Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

    I volunteer to consume the champagne that Mike’s readers are unable to drink because of the yeast-autolysis products that give it the additional flavours.

  74. #74 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2011

    @ c0nc0rdance: The sodium excess would explain my mentor’s worries and relief when eating food sans MSG ( see mine @ 48). Neither of us really ate until evening- 8 pm or later : probably the food with MSG had much more sodium, so eliminating it cut down the sodium and his headaches. btw- we consumed a lot of Chinese food for 2 thin people.

    Oh, those were the days! ( sobs)

  75. #75 Vicki
    July 29, 2011

    Colin,

    Complete proteins, yes, with a bit of care. Strict vegans need vitamin B-12 supplementation (and I seem to recall that in cultures where vegans don’t get vitamins in capsules, they’re getting it from bacteria in unfiltered water).

  76. #76 Venna
    July 29, 2011

    @ Colin Day

    Our bodies actually can’t create amino acids, it uses what it gets from the protein in our diets. The protein is broken down into amino acids and our bodies can use that. Plant sources are incomplete, meaning they lack at least one or more of the nine amino acids necessary to repair and maintain our bodies. I learned that in high school biology class. It is possible to combine different plant types to get all the amino acids necessary for our bodies to continue to repair and rebuild ourselves, but the sources aren’t as rich in protein, nor are they as easily used by the body, or as readily accessible, as amino acids in animal protein. For me, fruits and vegetables are eaten for their micro nutrient content (with the exception of carbohydrates of course being a macro nutrient) but for protein and fat (proper fat) I’ll stick with animals. Besides, they are really tasty!

  77. #77 c0nc0rdance
    July 29, 2011

    @Venna 70

    We can synthesize SOME amino acids… I’m sure you meant the essential amino acids:
    phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine, (and sometimes Y, I before E except after Cysteine, or something like that).

    I will drink a glass of bacon in honor of your excellent comment!

  78. #78 delurked lurker
    July 29, 2011

    To all you marmite eaters

    You all a bunch of pommie snowflakes, get some real yeast extract into you

    VEGEMITE RULES

  79. #79 Cath the Canberra Cook
    July 29, 2011

    OT, but Orac, you must see this xkcd! http://xkcd.com/931/

  80. #80 Shay
    July 29, 2011

    Yojimbo@25:

    We buy pasteurized but un-homogenized milk from a local dairy as well (and I do mean local, twelve miles away). Love the layer of cream on top.

    So do our cats.

    We have found that it tends to go bad after a few days but only during the summer and I’ve never bothered to figure out why (I’m not a scientist nor do I play one on tv). My husband drinks his (whole milk) up fairly quickly so that’s not a problem. I can’t drink mine (2%) quite as fast so I make yogurt out of half of it and drink the rest. It makes amazing yogurt. It’s a snap if you use a thermos and you’ll never go back to the store stuff.

    I will say that unhomogenized milk that is just starting to turn can still be used in baking, in place of buttermilk. Makes good bread. There’s a reason so many pre-WWII cookbooks had recipes calling for sour milk.

  81. #81 Cath the Canberra Cook
    July 29, 2011

    Shay, you need to be careful with that. Pasteurisation kills the bacteria, so milk that goes off can have any old random airborne crap in it. You might be lucky, or you might not. Like making sourdough bread or beer without a starter yeast culture, sometimes it works and sometimes it’s really gross. (This is why people save the good cultures.) It’s safer to sour it artificially with a spot of vinegar or lemon.

  82. #82 Shay
    July 30, 2011

    Can’t I just up the limit on his life insurance?

  83. #83 Wally
    July 30, 2011

    Alexis, I’ve looked in vain in my local grocery stores for corn syrup that was straight glucose, and all of them were formulated with fructose. :( Fortunately, in a turn down the bulk foods aisle, I found powdered glucose for my glycemic index stressing morning cereal frosting bombs.

  84. #84 Mandrellian
    July 30, 2011

    Promite fucking RULES.

    That’s all I got.

    OK everyone, go back to arguing with the bevy of bored, attention-whoring trolls who are so deeply ideologically committed that, other than for the entertainment of lurkers like me, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in engaging them.

  85. #85 Mandrellian
    July 30, 2011

    Me (having not complete the comment before posting):

    OK everyone, go back to arguing with the bevy of bored, attention-whoring trolls who are so deeply ideologically committed that, other than for the entertainment of lurkers like me, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in engaging them.

    I was referring of course to you, Vegemite guy @72 ;)

    Promite is the Anointed Spread. Death to heretics!

  86. #86 herr doktor bimler
    July 30, 2011

    At its heart, this paragraph is nothing more than a rant against processed foods, pure Luddism, which is something Adams is quite good at it.

    My impression is that Mike Adams is not so much against processed food, as affordable food. The problem with ordinary salt is not so much that it is processed, as that it is, well, ordinary… a commodity… cheap.

  87. #87 Andreas Johansson
    July 30, 2011

    Ashtanga London wrote:

    Does anyone else here find that their eyeballs burn up on contact with public swimming pool water?

    I do. Caused me some trouble in physical education back in elementary school, because some exercises became, well, less than trivial when I couldn’t force myself to open my eyes to see underwater.

    I always assumed it was caused by the chlorine or some compound thereof. If it’s the pH, why do swimmingpools seemingly consistently get it wrong?

  88. #88 ebohlman
    July 30, 2011

    Smith, Rev, et.al.: Although Smith’s explanation is plausible, and one that I didn’t think of, my first guess is that Rev experienced a conditioned aversion that eventually went away. My hunch is that when he was very young (probably during the childhood amnesia phase) he smelled Chinese food (maybe his parents, but not him, were eating it) and shortly afterwards came down with some bug (maybe norovirus (“stomach flu”) which tends to come on really suddenly). At that point, an ancient survival mechanism intended to make you averse to poisonous plants and rotten meat can kick in. It’s why chemotherapy patients are advised not to eat their favorite foods for several days before treatment.

  89. #89 Denice Walter
    July 30, 2011

    @ Mandrellian: re trolls-

    It’s important to differentiate trolls – we have the “frequent flyers” @ RI- already overfed but always in search of snackfood. Engagement with them is tantamount to providing free baby-sitting, counselling, and/ or educational services ( none of which work) *plus* they are rewarded with attention and thus are more likely to become repeat offenders- hanging around here instead of doing their laundry or washing the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. However, they occasionally provide entertainment to on-lookers and I’m never one to scoff at that! It’s a harsh world and all…

    On the other hand, we have those whose ignorance can be useful in instructing on-lookers. Their bad ideas provide an opportunity for us to elucidate the parameters of reality- and perhaps get some snark in as well. I might get involved here if someone in dire straits presents but I avoid the first group like the plague.

  90. #90 Liz Ditz
    July 30, 2011

    re deathsalt, MSG & other topics

    When I was a girl (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) we kept horses, and each field had at least three salt blocks: a pinkish one (iodized) a yellow one (sulfur) and a plain white one (aieee! death salt!!).

    A popular thing to do was to lick the salt, then lick a jawbreaker or lollypop.

    Kind of like salty caramels, without the price tag.

  91. #91 Harold L Doherty
    July 30, 2011

    WHAT! People are complaining about toxins now?

    The nerve of them. Surely they know that the ingestion of toxins, and healthy products like formaldehyde, are among the great advances of modern medicine? What kind of flake would complain about ingestion of poisons into our bodies anyway? As a world renowned expert on every area of science you should set them straight Dr. Oracle. And stop being so polite, respectful and professional sounding when you do.

  92. #92 Chris
    July 30, 2011

    Mr. Doherty, are you calling salt and milk toxins?

    Do you plan to find a way to remove all the formaldehyde your cells create as part of their metabolism processes?

    Did you actually read and understand the article?

  93. #93 Andrew
    July 30, 2011

    Harold – are you mocking some particular pro-disease advocate or is your post a generic parody of their idiocy? Either way – good job.

  94. #94 Ashtanga London
    July 31, 2011

    I had an idea while doing some moving and breathing exercises this morning..

    Why can’t we make a bacteria or a nanobot or a fungus that eats lactose and excretes EFAs?

    Two birds killed with one stone, or a load of wishful troll-vomit?

  95. #95 Dedj
    July 31, 2011

    Harold, if you’re not going to play at grown-ups, you might as well not bother coming on here.

    What is your actual opinion?

    Why do you view all concerns about toxins as logically and ethically equally valid?

    I have more questions but I am obligated to wait for the inevitable errors in your response.

  96. #96 mio
    July 31, 2011

    “Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it”

    Tuberculosis is good for your health now? Who knew?

  97. #97 Alexis
    July 31, 2011

    I just looked at my bottle of Karo, and it doesn’t specify the glucose-fructose ratio or even what sugars are in there–just corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Wikipedia claims that straight corn syrup is all glucose, but we all know how reliable that is. The manufacturers say that Karo contains no HFCS. HFCS comes in various ratios, but the one used in soda is 55/45–about the same as table sugar. If you’ve ever tasted light Karo (I don’t recommend it) you know it’s not that sweet. I do know that corn syrup contains a mix of sugars, but I can’t seem to find good information on the exact mix.

    It’s not the same as liquid glucose which is used in some baking and candymaking applications, though, and which is hard to find here.

  98. #98 lilady
    July 31, 2011

    How does Mike Adams come to the conclusion that “raw milk” is good for you as opposed to homogenized milk? Now, I am really doubting Adams’ credentials as a “nutritionist”, being that he is clueless about the pasteurization and homogenization processes. And, he is totally unaware of the dangers associated with consuming raw milk; listeriosis anyone?

    Yes Dedj, let’s just wait for more commentary from Harold Doherty.

  99. #99 puppygod
    August 1, 2011

    @mio

    Tuberculosis is good for your health now? Who knew?

    For people who think that pox parties are good idea this might actually be the logical conclusion.

  100. #100 lilady
    August 1, 2011

    Adams also lauds the value of Himalayan Sea Salt as does his buddy Mercola…as opposed to table sale that is usually iodized…anyone for hypothryroidism and goiter? Gee I thought the “mid-west goiter belt” caused by salts from the Great Lakes was eliminated in the early part of the 20th century by the addition of iodine in table salt. Apparently iodine deficiency is still very problematic in many parts of the world and causes iodine deficiencies in the the developing fetus and alarming rates of children being born with hypothyroidism and lifelong severe intellectual impairments. There reportedly are increasing rates of iodine deficiencies in the United States due to restricted use of iodized table salt (possibly to the increase in “gourmet” salts being pushed as tastier and healthier) and due to not receiving enough iodine for proper thyroid function in iodine-rich foods…especially shell fish.

    No one has mentioned Kosher salt which is available plain or iodized for its wonderful “cleaner” taste (IMO). I never use anything else for the “pinch”.., handy in a shaker during food preparation and for its lighter NaCl content, measure for measure, and more importantly for not wilting the greens in salads.

    “Buttermilk” is a great substitute for a coddled or raw egg dressing (salmonella, anyone?) And, not knowing what to do with the remaining tangy drink…not a big favorite at my table, I “make” buttermilk with a teaspoon of lemon juice…works with whole milk, or fat-reduced one or two percent milk as well.

    I suspect that the MSG contained in certain Chinese foods…added as a flavor enhancer in large amounts, might have been contaminated with some other chemicals. This was before the FDA cracked down on the food enhancers being imported from Asian countries. Many prepared foods today still list MSG on their labels, not in huge amounts and probably manufactured in the USA or from other countries where the enhancer is tested for purity.

  101. #101 Rokujolady
    August 1, 2011

    @25
    Ah, the Korova Raw Milk Bar of capitol hill. It’s where all the cool legislators go to rub elbows with their big pharma droogs.
    Makes sense.

  102. #102 Midnight Rambler
    August 1, 2011

    But there are a range of “natural” sweeteners out there (assuming that anything purified and packaged could be said to be “natural”) that are generally acceptable to the “health-as-religion” types. For example, stevia,* lo han and xylitol/erythritol are popular low/no-cal choices; likewise, (raw) honey, maple syrup and agave syrup appeal to the earthier types.

    The thing I find most ironic is that they use these because they listen to people like Adams who claim that it’s the fructose in HFCS that’s poisonous (because it supposedly gets processed by your liver, thereby causing diabetes). Yet most types of honey are about 50/50 glucose/fructose, and agave syrup is almost 100% fructose!

  103. #103 Andrew F
    August 1, 2011

    It seems unfair to blame Adams for iodine deficiency when for once he’s got something partly right: pure sodium chloride not containing necessary trace minerals.

  104. #104 Alexis
    August 1, 2011

    Agave is not standardized. It can be anywhere from 55% to 90% fructose–a problem for diabetics who think it’s a safer sweetener (I’ve encountered some).

  105. #105 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    Cath the Canberra Cook:

    Shay, you need to be careful with that. Pasteurisation kills the bacteria, so milk that goes off can have any old random airborne crap in it. You might be lucky, or you might not. Like making sourdough bread or beer without a starter yeast culture, sometimes it works and sometimes it’s really gross. (This is why people save the good cultures.) It’s safer to sour it artificially with a spot of vinegar or lemon.

    Once a year, I make rommegrot (cream porridge) and it requires sour cream. I buy the highest quality pasteurized cream I can find and then sour it using acid. I’ve found that lemon juice consistently performs better than vinegar, though vinegar produces an entirely satisfactory result as well. If I let it sit long enough before actually making the porridge, it gets nice and thick.

    Andreas Johansson:

    I always assumed it was caused by the chlorine or some compound thereof. If it’s the pH, why do swimmingpools seemingly consistently get it wrong?

    Because it changes. It’s not just a matter of pouring in X quantity of chemicals and then it’ll be fine. People use the pool, after all, and with heavy use, the pH can change quite a bit — even if it’s an “ool” (“notice there is no P in it”). The pH has to be monitored regularly. A good pool operator will check it at least daily, but that takes time and expends the pH testing supplies. It also has to be done correctly; if they’re not following the directions correctly, they may not get an accurate reading. And, of course, there’s also the fact that just checking the pH doesn’t correct it; they still have to balance whatever they find, and a pool operator looking to save money might let the pH get a bit further away from ideal before correcting it.

    It’s the same reason why some pools are clear and others are cloudy with all sorts of floaties in them — not all pool operators are fastidious about maintenance. They’re human, and mileage will vary.

  106. #106 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2011

    There’s an excellent video about artificial sweeteners on YouTube (mentioned by someone on the SBM blog). It seems saccharin and sucralose are the safest available, based on the evidence. I don’t see Mike Adams reporting that somehow.

  107. #107 Jim
    August 1, 2011

    @99 We use kosher salt for all our cooking for just the reasons you mention – we do have iodized salt that we use for our Saturday night popcorn.

    We use powdered buttermilk – keeps for a long time and produces a lovely buttermilk substitute for most recipes.

  108. #108 Mu
    August 1, 2011

    I know I will never have dinner at MA’s house. He must be dipping all his food into wax and then swallow it whole to avoid the salt acid in his stomach forming the dreaded hydrochlorides from his precious bodily fluids natural vitamins.

  109. #109 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    Jim — powdered buttermilk is great in most recipes, and you usually don’t even have to mix it up first. Add the powdered stuff with the dry ingredients, and add the equivalent volume of water at whatever point you were supposed to add the buttermilk. I use it for devil’s food cake.

  110. #110 Left_Wing_Fox
    August 1, 2011

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    Actually I wonder if your reaction to Chinese food might have been an olfactory variation of “fingernails on the chalkboard” (or in my case, the sound of unglazed porcelain rubbing):

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003682X07001727

  111. #111 herr doktor bimler
    August 1, 2011

    Agave syrup:

    To produce agave nectar from the Agave tequiliana plant, juice is expressed from the core of the agave, called the piña.[2] The juice is filtered, then heated to hydrolyze polysaccharides into simple sugars. The main polysaccharide is called inulin or fructosan and comprises mostly fructose units. The filtered, hydrolyzed juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey, from light- to dark-amber, depending on the degree of processing.

    […]

    An alternative method used to process the agave juice without heat is described in a United States patent for a process that uses enzymes derived from the mold Aspergillus niger to hydrolyze the polyfructose extract into fructose.[4] A. niger fermentation is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[5]

    That’s gotta be healthier than processed cane sugar.

  112. #112 Andreas Johansson
    August 2, 2011

    @Calli Arcale: Thank you. I guess fastidious pool and swimming hall operators are in short supply around here.

  113. #113 Prometheus
    August 5, 2011

    Agave is one of the plants (onion, garlic and dandelion are some others) that use polyfructose (inulin or other fructans) as a storage polysaccharide (in contrast to plants that store a polyglucose – starch; animals use a different polyglucose called glycogen). As a result, agave syrup is essentially 100% fructose except for some terminal glucose molecules and a few other odd sugars.

    Depending on the processing method, more or less of the polymer will remain intact. Since human digestive enzymes cannot digest inulin or other fructans, only the free fructose is utilised, which makes it hard to predict what the caloric content of agave syrup might be without analysing each batch.

    Agave syrup is often advertised to diabetics as an “alternative” sweetener, but its high fructose content may increase insulin resistance and lead to more severe diabetes, especially in type 2 diabetics.

    Prometheus

  114. #114 healthy
    August 10, 2011

    First of all, table salt is PURE NaCl, as in 97-99%. Sea salt is not tampered with (hopefully) and contains natural sodium, among other minerals. But the % is way lower. So when you eat 1 tbsp of sea salt and 1 tbsp of table salt, the table salt gives you much more sodium!

    Second of all, in response to “Andy”, who is clearly dumb, minerals like selenium, zinc, chromium are CRUCIAL for our bodies! Not “dangerous”. You wouldn’t be alive without them! Only in high amounts they can be a problem but sea salt and other foods don’t contain nearly that much to cause problems!! Zinc is needed for DNA synthesis, development of bones, supports immunity; selenium is needed by the thyroid gland, for fertility, and is ANTI-cancer (look up the studies!), chromium is needed by the cell to uptake glucose (so it’s good ANTI-diabetes and I know many people who use it for blood sugar control).

  115. #115 Chris
    August 10, 2011

    And you can get those minerals in a balanced diet. They would be in in greater quantity than would be in a healthy dose of sea salt.

    (by the way, all salt is sea salt, mined salt is from former seas that dried up without industrial pollutants, but still had critters — so it is not really a big deal)

  116. #116 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 10, 2011

    “Healthy”, you clearly missed the point of Andy’s comments. He was saying that, even though those minerals are in fact necessary to get in proper amounts, you can easily make them seem scary using the exact same simplistic distortions that Mike Adams uses to make the “wrong” varieties of salt sound scary.

    As far as sea salt having less sodium than the comparable amount of table salt, they actually have the same.

  117. #117 Chris
    August 10, 2011

    Also, in regards to your reply to Andy, who you call “dumb”, go to your nearest dictionary and look up the words “sarcasm” and “satire.”

  118. #118 TBruce
    August 10, 2011

    Sea salt is not tampered with (hopefully) and contains natural sodium, among other minerals.

    I would be very interested if you could explain the difference between natural sodium and the kind found in table salt.

  119. #119 healthy
    August 10, 2011

    Sigh, let me try to explain what I was saying AGAIN. Sodium is sodium! Period. But table salt is sodium in a 99% refined manner (from the sea, from whatever, who cares, the source wasn’t my point). Sea salt has the same sodium molecule, but since it’s not REFINED (hence what I meant by natural), it is found in a lesser percentage, so you’re not ingesting as much, and it’s not just coupled with chloride, but with many minerals (which, though in small amounts, still better to ingest than not any at all).

    Get it? But hey, if you guys want to eat processed food, food additives, and chemicals over natural foods, who am I to tell you differently? They’re good for you, right? They’re only ingested in small amounts, right? They can’t possibly do any harm :)

  120. #120 TBruce
    August 11, 2011

    Gotcha.

    So what are the percentages of sodium in a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of table salt?

  121. #121 Militant Agnostic
    August 11, 2011

    “healthy”@113

    table salt is sodium in a 99% refined manner…Sea salt has the same sodium molecule

    Chemistry fail sodium is an element not a compound – do you have any idea what happens when you add pure sodium to water. The results are rather spectacular.

    Table salt is 97 – 99% sodium chloride. This makes it 38 – 39 % sodium by weight. Sea salt is 31% by weight. This is not a huge difference in terms of excess sodium consumption. As for “chemicals”, plants make all sorts of nasty chemicals naturally. Humans have been eating processed foods such as smoked and dried fish for tens of thousands of years.

  122. #122 healthy
    August 11, 2011

    I’ve taken enough chemistry in university to know what happens to pure sodium in water. When did I say sodium is NOT coupled to Chloride?? I’m trying to say that I would not choose such a refined NaCl when there is a more natural alternative. You guys are actually telling me eating table salt is better?? “Well, Patient X, you should cut down salt, but since logically you need SOME salt in your diet, I would recommend the bleached, deodorized, highly refined table salt!” And if you think that the 2 are SO similar, and perhaps you think they’re processed similarly, then why do you care which one people eat? Why are you so against sea salt?

    I’m not talking about chemicals that plants make naturally, or use against their own predators. I’m talking about how our food today is HIGHLY processed and full of preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, and additives added by MAN. I try to recommend healthy alternatives and you get so stuck on numbers and studies that you are promoting unhealthier foods and promoting the very junk foods that are making our society fat and full of diseases! Good job.

  123. #123 Chris
    August 11, 2011

    healthy:

    ? I’m trying to say that I would not choose such a refined NaCl when there is a more natural alternative. You guys are actually telling me eating table salt is better??

    It depends on what one eats as part of their total diet. If you wish to convince us that we should pay extra for “sea salt” instead of table salt, you should provide some actual scientific citations.

  124. #124 The Panic Man
    August 11, 2011

    “healthy”, if you’re not going to get the point, then get bent.

  125. #125 healthy
    August 15, 2011
  126. #126 lilady
    August 15, 2011

    IMO, anyone who refers to Dr. Oz as an “expert” in the benefits of sea salt versus table salt hasn’t seen his loaded-with-woo TV programs…or perhaps they have.

    @ Chris: I guess Oz is now shilling for Big Salt…Maine Sea Salt advertising a one pound bag of (un)iodized salt for $10.

    I think I’ll stick with Kosher Salt for seasoning and Sterling Iodized crystal salt for $1 a pound for table use.

  127. #127 Krebiozen
    August 15, 2011

    I have frequently seen claims that sea salt doesn’t cause high blood pressure like processed salt does, and is safe for those with hypertension. Mark Sircus, for example, claims that, “One can actually kill you; the other heals you. In fact, it’s essential for life”. This is potentially life-threateningly bad advice.

    There’s nothing wrong with using sea salt if you don’t mind paying extra and you like the taste. Just don’t expect it to provide any useful amounts of any minerals, be aware it contains almost as much sodium as processed salt, and that it contains a tiny fraction of the amount of iodine in iodized salt.

  128. #128 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 15, 2011

    So you’d rather get salt mixed with who-knows-what from the ocean than something that’s been purified? Not to mention the energy required to evaporate the water?

    Nothing against sea salt if it tastes better, but I can’t imagine paying 10 times the price of mined salt (which also came from the sea many, many years ago).

  129. #129 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 15, 2011

    Just to throw one out there – I have to believe the mercury or arsenic compounds released into the atmosphere from burning coal fall into the ocean. Any natural sea salt must contain some of these.

    Whereas salt from salt mines would not – particularly after purification.

  130. #130 Krebiozen
    August 15, 2011

    M O’B,
    That’s an interesting point – I have wondered about Mediterranean sea salt (available in my local supermarket). Much of the Mediterranean is filthy from industry and raw sewage. I hope there are legal requirements to test for such impurities in sea salt.

    As far as I know (digging back into memory a bit here) sea salt is generally made by evaporating sea water in the sun (so no additional energy is required) and then filtering out the salt crystals that come out of solution, a crude form of fractional crystallization which presumably removes most impurities. Nigari, the stuff used by the Japanese to coagulate soya milk to produce tofu, is made from the liquid left over from making sea salt this way, and is mostly magnesium chloride.

  131. #131 TBruce
    August 15, 2011

    Sea salt? No thanks. Fish f*** in it.

    (Old WC Fields joke, but I couldn’t resist)

  132. #132 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 15, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    in regards to evaporating sea water in the sun – true, and very effective in, say, India. There was a reference above to Maine sea salt and, well, I’ve been to Maine and have to wonder how you’d get enough sea water to evaporate there to be profitable just on sunlight.

  133. #133 healthy
    August 15, 2011

    Mercury and arsenic? Well anything from the sea including fish could have mercury and toxins. So I guess you meant you’re against eating fish too, right? And I also wouldn’t be suprised if many land vegetables contain toxins from run-off and rain that falls on the fields (not to mention dozens of pesticides). So I guess you’re against eating vegetables either because of the toxins, right?

  134. #134 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    There was a precious little prank interview about 15 years ago in my country. Most of the interviewed politicians considered it is unacceptable that 66% of the atoms in our purest water is hydrogen and concluded something should be done about it. Sounds similar.

    By the way, is there any Orac post about “aligned water” that I missed or this did not reach USA yet?

  135. #135 Rogo5
    August 16, 2011

    Isn’t “aligned water” some chemical theory that states if the water “falls out of alignment” in blood cells it’ll cause a wide range of cancers? I’ve only heard this once a long time ago and assumed it was a joke. How popular is this “theory” outside of the U.S.?

  136. #136 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    Don’t know for sure. Some of my old friends (very good ones, unfortunately) took the woo-path and they tried to sell me the theory. Because they were very convinced, I preferred to avoid the subject and save the friendship. So… did not collect too much information on it.

    As much as I understood, it has something to do with a “natural” wooistic special filter you pass your drinking water through and it becomes “aligned” and it does miracles to your body. They bought such a filter but I have seen no miracles happening (unless you count going deeper in woosands as a miracle).

    The only thing I asked is what aligned means, if the filter changes the 104.5 degree angle of the molecule in a full 180 degrees (as in the CO2 molecule) or if it affects somehow the Brownian movement and the molecules have a preferential vibration direction (being ready to ask for some evidence) but I was told that “aligned” means exactly that: “aligned”.

    Popular? I have no idea. We have so many other crazy things flying around here that I simply tend to ignore them. They are not so nicely organized as in USA or UK. Easy to dismiss, difficult to fight against since they are so scattered.

    I will try to find some more information and I will come back with details.

  137. #137 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    Oh… I found it. It is based on “magnetohydrodynamic” technology. It sounds too good to be wrong. Here you have a link to one of the products of this kind: http://safe2use.net/safe-products/agua-soft/about.htm

    As you can see, after light and heavy water, we also have soft water.

  138. #138 MI Dawn
    August 16, 2011

    I love chemicals in my food. Calcium, potassium, sodium…I love them all.

  139. #139 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 16, 2011

    Healthy,

    You stated in multiple ways that sea salt is better for you than refined salt. I merely point out that it ain’t necessarily so. If you have evidence that it is, show it.

    I personally have no issue with eating seafood, sea salt, or vegetables in moderation – even though seafood is known to have mercury.

  140. #140 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien The good thing about eating a lot of mercury rich sea salt and seafood is that if you calibrate yourself (perhaps a little gravitational alignment, or whatever it was called, would help) you will always have a good estimation of the environment temperature. You will be tuned to the Universal Harmony at least in one way.

    (sorry, I could not help it. Can we make fun of them or only serious arguments are allowed? I am new here and I did not learn the rules yet)

  141. #141 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 16, 2011

    BadDragon – that explains why I’m taller in hot weather.

  142. #142 Vicki
    August 16, 2011

    Tangential, but maybe worth noting: If you live in the United States, there’s a good chance that your ordinary table salt is not mined, but evaporated from salt water: there are a lot of salt ponds around the Great Salt Lake. I suspect it’s less interesting chemically than sea salt, but I don’t know that.

  143. #143 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2011

    @ BadDragon (#130):
    Try googling “structured water” or Ohno (Oh No!)

  144. #144 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    @Denice Walter Yes, yes, I found it. I even tried to share a link here but it went to moderation (sorry, I had no idea links are triggers for that). Hexagonal water and other mirrific theories like that.

  145. #145 TBruce
    August 16, 2011

    Can we make fun of them or only serious arguments allowed?

    One horselaugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
    – H L Mencken

    You are in good company.

  146. #146 Bronze Dog
    August 16, 2011

    The only thing I asked is what aligned means, if the filter changes the 104.5 degree angle of the molecule in a full 180 degrees (as in the CO2 molecule) or if it affects somehow the Brownian movement and the molecules have a preferential vibration direction (being ready to ask for some evidence) but I was told that “aligned” means exactly that: “aligned”.

    Funny. It’s been a while since I took chemistry, but if the magic filter could do that, wouldn’t that make the water non-polar, and thus miscible with oil? If so, that would also make it impossible to dissolve sugar in it.

    Gasoline is non-polar, which is why pouring sugar in someone’s gas tank doesn’t do anything except possibly collect in a filter or the bottom of the tank.

    Naturally, I would think that if you could replace all the polar water in your body with non-polar, it’d be fatal. What makes water “special” for living things is that it’s very polar, and our body chemistry is based on a lot of polar molecules being dissolved so they can be shuffled around.

    Of course, to do this magical feat, the magic water filter would need to change the nature of electron repulsion. Water molecules are bent because around the oxygen atom are two pairs of electrons. The hydrogen bonds (pairs of shared electrons) and the oxygen electron pairs are trying to maximize the distance from each other, forming a sort of tetrahedron.

  147. #147 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    @TBruce Thank you! Glad to be here.

    @Bronze Dog: Actually it was not about changing the angle. After I posted the comment I googled it and found how is called in English (not my native language), it is “structured water” and the process is “magnetic water treatment”. Something about making hexagonal water, whatever that means (they saw snow flakes and thought “what the heck, it is worth a try”), about more oxygen in the water (?!?!) that helps the body clean the toxic gases (?!?!) in the intestines and stop the “bad” oxygen from doing its evil job. Look for “hexagonal water” if you want more details, it looks like links go to moderation on this blog so I will refrain from putting them here.

    As for the angle of the H2O molecule it results from the geometry of the orbitals of the “binding” electrons in the molecule, the solution of the molecule’s Hamiltonian (at least as far as I remember, it’s been a while since I last used my Quantum Mechanics). Which is probably a more pretentious way to put your “trying to maximize the distance from each other” since the electric repulsion goes into the said Hamiltonian.

  148. #148 Bronze Dog
    August 16, 2011

    Ah, looks like you’re better versed than I am in the details of the real world angle business.

    I did once see some woo about changing the angle very slightly, so the idea that someone out there wants to make it 180° sounded pretty plausible. The woos I read talked about how artificial chemical reactions “force” the bonds to be at an “unnatural” angle, and they wanted to restore the allegedly natural angle.

  149. #149 Mu
    August 16, 2011

    The way to make properly aligned water is by slowly lowering the temperature of pure rain water to obtain beautiful clear ice cubes, and then slowly release its magical power by introducing said cubes to a glass of carefully matured single malt.

  150. #150 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    @Bronze Dog Well… water molecule is just that, water molecule. No matter how much prayer, meditation or whatever else you do to it, it will simply stay the same water molecule. Make it ice with the appropriate impurities in the crystal, it will probably bend it’s molecule. Liquefy it back, it will turn to the good old 104.5 degrees angle. Similarly if you put it in a strong enough electro-magnetic field, it will probably change its geometry for as long as that field is there and it will come back when the field is gone. But this is in line with the science that allows the woo-meisters to post their “curly ideas” (specific expression in my language, I could not resist translating it) on the web, using probably optical fiber and wireless to connect their laptops based on high-frequency data highways and processors containing millions of few-atoms (probably “natural” ones when the computer works and “bad” ones when it crashes) capacitors and transistors. The proof the science works is right in front of their eyes and below their fingertips.

    Actually these guys are shooting themselves in the leg. They make claims. And claims too easy to dismiss. It is as if they pretend that if you “woo” enough, the sum of a triangle’s angles will be slightly different from 180 (in an Euclidean system included, of course). It is just too easy (and frustrating, of course, since they do not get it even if it is so simple). From this point of view, I prefer the traditional religions. At least there some of the controversies are a little more subtle.

  151. #151 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    @Mu I don’t know about the rain water but I really love the second part of the proposed process. Would you mind including the beneficial presence of some oak fibers in the scheme? Let’s say somewhere around the “carefully matured”. Please!!!

    Oh, wait! Is single malt beneficial for my aura? Should I use tetrahedral malt?

  152. #152 BadDragon
    August 16, 2011

    Oh… noooo! It just came to me in the shower! We are wrong! We are using the wrong theory! That’s why all these claims seem absurd.

    Just take Qwooantum Theory and redo your thinking within its paradigm and it will all make sense. From homeopathy to aligned water.

    (I would love to stay longer to explain to you the basic principles of Qwooantum Theory, I had it all figured out during the shower, but I have only 5 hours left for sleep before a long working day so… Maybe tomorrow.)

  153. #153 MI Dawn
    August 16, 2011

    Does it HAVE to be a single malt? Can’t I just have my gin and bitter lemon? I don’t like scotch..

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