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Trivia:

October 7th… 1952, 1957… these were the opening days of related television shows that turned out to be an American classic. What were the names of the 2 shows?

Tuesday Health Controversy Tip:

The following is culled from a few different sources; Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Al Sears, and a number of commercial and non-commercial sites, mixed with some of my own wording and comments. The bottom line for me, as it is with so many other things, is – at the very LEAST- why should we continue to use something that remains controversial, and potentially harmful, when there are non-controversial, healthier alternatives?

There is something that’s been marketed for years as a “good” alternative to butter, lard, and other edible fats…but a group of chemists practically made it up from scratch. It actually isn’t found anywhere in nature. Chances are you’ve eaten a lot of it without knowing it. You’ll find it in restaurants and kitchens all over the country… it may not be so good for you, and there is a healthier alternative. What is this pretender? Canola Oil. But there are better alternatives. So why is it used in nearly everything?

There are other healthy options available, like olive oil. But olive oil is too expensive to use because it isn’t a major crop. Besides, it burns at higher temperatures, so it isn’t good for everything. And it doesn’t blend well into most mass-produced, processed foods. So the industry went looking for something inexpensive, “healthy” and plentiful that would be easy to store, transport, and include in commercial food production. That’s how rapeseed oil made it onto the industry’s radar screen. It had been widely used in Asian countries. It was cheap, easy to grow, and there was a readily available source nearby, in Canada, where it was farmed in abundance. (Canola is a made-up name – CANada OiL – because “Rapeseed Oil” just didn’t cut it with the marketing department.)

They had to greatly reduce, by bio-engineering, a toxic element in rapeseed, erucic acyd, before they could let us eat it. Furthermore, the vast majority of Canola oil is extracted chemically with hexane, a chemical used in gasoline, leather goods and roofing materials. Dr. Weil clearly advocates that if you DO choose to use Canola oil, buy the “cold/expeller-pressed” (i.e., without hexane) version that can usually only be found in health food stores.

Canola advocates will argue that Canola is safe… but why should I have to listen to debated points of view when ordering salad dressing? I’d rather go natural… especially when the industry’s own Canolainfo.org website put’s it’s best foot forward with this:

“Residual hexane in the extracted press cake and oil is easily removed by evaporation at low temperature. Solvent residues in oils and meals, when produced in accordance with good manufacturing practice, can be said to be truly insignificant.” 

Gee… pass the olive oil, please. Or, if you don’t mind more controversy, check this out…

Coconut Oil

Many voices from various parts of health and nutrition are talking about coconut oil. After being maligned in years past for the saturated fat it contains, coconut oil is making a new stand in the health world, mainly on the potential benefits it may provide. More research is needed, but what is out there looks interesting.

Cons: Contains saturated fat, so should be used sparingly (see note under Pros below). Needs to be used in its “virgin” form, not as easy to find. Lots of claims on the internet.. cures thyroid disease, aids weight loss, most of which are unsubstantiated.

Pros: Scientists agree, coconut oil allows the body to make monolaurin, a boosts immune responses to fight bad guys. Does not burn when used for frying (but you really shouldn’t be frying… period). As for the “Saturated fat” issue.. health.MSN.com weighs in this way: “Coconut oil contains saturated fat, true enough. But studies increasingly indicate that a heart-healthy diet does not exclude saturated fat; rather, an appropriate balance of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is best. Only a mixed-fat diet promotes a healthful ratio of LDL to HDL—the “good” cholesterol—and lowers the risk of heart disease..”

Bottom line, I guess, is 1) don’t assume Canola is “good”, 2) be aware of THE METHOD OF EXTRACTION of canola (and for that matter, for any oil), and, 3) be aware that oils may be (probably ARE) lurking in many of the things we order in a restaurant. So, are you as confused/disillusioned as I am? 

Tuesday Help Tip:

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Tuesday Fun Stuff:

Humans blow smoke rings but dolphins have a much healthier habit.  The attached video is of dolphins playing with rings which they have the ability to make under water. It isn’t known how they learn this, or if it’s an inbred ability.

As if by magic the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring appears in front of its pointed beak. The ring is a solid, donut shaped bubble about 2-ft across, yet it doesn’t rise to the surface of the water!

It stands upright in the water like a magic doorway to an unseen dimension.

The dolphin then pulls a small silver donut from the larger one. Looking at the twisting ring for one last time a bite is taken from it, causing the small ring to collapse into a thousands of tiny bubbles which head upward towards the water’s surface. After a few moments the dolphin creates another ring to play with. There also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.

 

 

An explanation of how dolphins make these silver rings is that they are “air-core vortex rings”. Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin’s dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin’s blowhole The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for a reasonably few seconds of play time.

 

 

Tuesday Blog Review:

Be sure to check last week’s post (September 30, a link to which is found under Recent Posts in the right hand column on this page) for comments made in the last few days which involve Blue Sharks off Padaro, designer wetsuits and Matthew McConaughey 🙂

Melody P. came pretty darn close with last week’s Trivia answers… according to my sources:

1) A nail takes 6 months to grow from base to tip.

2) A healthy human releases 3.5 oz. of gas in an average flatulent emission… unless, of course, we’re talking about the average male.. then it’s a whole lot more. (Why hasn’t there been a government funded study on THAT?)

3) Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood, after some fusing, we only have 206.

Until next week….

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