Tag Archives: cnn

In the Library: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies


fruit&veggiesThis book is an ethnographic witness to the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants. : Migrant Farm workers in the United States (California Series in Public Anthropology)

Based on five years of research in the field (including berry-picking and traveling with migrants back and forth from Oaxaca up the West Coast), Holmes, an anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, uncovers how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes’ material is visceral and powerful—for instance, he trekked with his informants illegally through the desert border into Arizona, where they were apprehended and jailed by the Border Patrol. After he was released from jail (and his companions were deported back to Mexico), Holmes interviewed Border Patrol agents, local residents, and armed vigilantes in the borderlands. He lived with indigenous Mexican families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the United States, planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals, participated in healing rituals, and mourned at funerals for friends. The result is a “thick description” that conveys the full measure of struggle, suffering, and resilience of these farm workers.

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies weds the theoretical analysis of the anthropologist with the intimacy of the journalist to provide a compelling examination of structural and symbolic violence, medicalization, and the clinical gaze as they affect the experiences and perceptions of a vertical slice of indigenous Mexican migrant farm workers, farm owners, doctors, and nurses. This reflexive, embodied anthropology deepens our theoretical understanding of the ways in which socially structured suffering comes to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care, especially through imputations of ethnic body difference. In the vehement debates on immigration reform and health reform, this book provides the necessary stories of real people and insights into our food system and health care system for us to move forward to fair policies and solutions.

from amazon.com


a message from Rep. John Lewis ~Reinstate Voting Rights Protections ~ In Memory


I’m deeply saddened.

If Congress doesn’t act, this will be the first election in 50 years without critical protections from the Voting Rights Act.

the right to vote is precious… even sacred.

That’s why in 1963, I marched on Washington with Martin Luther King for the right to vote.

That’s why in 1965, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama for the right to vote.

Folks marched for this. Folks fought for this. And some even died for the right to vote.

But today, the vital protections in the Voting Rights Act have been gutted by the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court.

Voting is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society. And we’ve got to use it!

Will you demand that Republicans fix the Voting Rights Act?

Thanks,

Congressman John Lewis

Beaver Gland Castoreum Not Used in Vanilla Flavorings According to Manufacturers ~ a follow up ?


by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

A reader wrote to The VRG in April 2011 about a comment made by British chef, Jamie Oliver, on The Late Show with David Letterman. Mr. Oliver said that vanilla flavoring in ice cream is made with castoreum, a substance derived from beaver anal glands. The reader asked us if there was any truth to this statement.

The VRG asked five companies that manufacture both natural and artificial vanilla, vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, powders, and flavors. All five unanimously stated that castoreum is not used today in any form of vanilla sold for human food use.

One company, in business for ninety years, informed The VRG that they have never used castoreum in their products. “At one time,” we were told by a senior level employee at this company, “to the best of my knowledge, it was used to make fragrance and still may be.”

Companies directed us to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which they all said they follow strictly and exclusively: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=169.175

To quote the CFR, Title 21, Part 169, Subpart B, Section175 (cited as 21CFR169.175) on this point:

“…[v]anilla extract is the solution in aqueous ethyl alcohol of the sapid and odorous principles extractable from vanilla beans. In vanilla extract the content of ethyl alcohol is not less than 35 percent by volume…The vanilla constituent may be extracted directly from vanilla beans or it may be added in the form of concentrated vanilla extract or concentrated vanilla flavoring or vanilla flavoring concentrated to the semisolid form called vanilla oleo-resin. Vanilla extract may contain one or more of the following optional ingredients:
(1) Glycerin. (2) Propylene glycol. (3) Sugar (including invert sugar). (4) Dextrose. (5) Corn sirup (including dried corn sirup). (VRG Note: spelling appears exactly as is from the original.)
(b)(1) The specified name of the food is ‘Vanilla extract’ or ‘Extract of vanilla’.
(2) When the vanilla extract is made in whole or in part by dilution of vanilla oleoresin, concentrated vanilla extract, or concentrated vanilla flavoring, the label shall bear the statement ‘Made from ___’ or ‘Made in part from ___’, the blank being filled in with the name or names ‘vanilla oleoresin’, ‘concentrated vanilla extract’, or ‘concentrated vanilla flavoring’, as appropriate…”

Section 177 of this subpart in the CFR Title 21 specifies requirements for vanilla flavoring:

“…[v]anilla flavoring conforms to the definition and standard of identity and is subject to any requirement for label statement of ingredients prescribed for vanilla extract by 169.175, except that its content of ethyl alcohol is less than 35 percent by volume.

(b) The specified name of the food is Vanilla flavoring.”

A major ingredients supplier that sells both natural and artificial vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, and flavors to many food companies told us this about some of their vanilla flavorings: “The flavor itself contains proprietary information that cannot be shared but it’s made from a combination of raw materials, such as vanillin, vanitrope, heliotropin, and maltol.” (VRG Note: All ingredients in this list are either all-vegetable or synthetic.) We were also informed by this company when The VRG asked specifically about castoreum in food ingredients: “…It’s not a common raw material that is used and we don’t use it, so I can safely say that our natural vanilla flavors do not contain any animal juices. All vanilla extracts are free of it, too, wherever you go.”

What is true is that castoreum is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and so approved for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (A few other animal-derived ingredients including ambergris (whale-derived) and musk (civet-derived) also have GRAS status and so may be ingredients in products intended for humans): http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=582.50

According to G.A. Burdock in a 2007 article published in the International Journal of Toxicology, “Castoreum extract… is a natural product prepared by direct hot-alcohol extraction of castoreum, the dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver. It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”

When castoreum occurs in a food, it does not have to be listed by its name. It is considered a “natural flavor” and may be so designated on a food package according to the CFR: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=501.22

Readers who are doubtful of a particular brand listing “natural flavors” as ingredients are encouraged to call the food’s manufacturer and specifically request detail on which “natural flavor(s)” is/are present in the food.

For updates on vanilla flavor and other food ingredients, subscribe to our free e-newsletter at http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/
Readers may wish to purchase our Guide to Food Ingredients available at http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8

To support VRG research, go to https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565

The contents of this blog, website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

– See more at: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/06/17/beaver-gland-castoreum-not-used-in-vanilla-flavorings-according-to-manufacturers/#sthash.W09gMLrl.dpuf

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

A reader wrote to The VRG in April 2011 about a comment made by British chef, Jamie Oliver, on The Late Show with David Letterman. Mr. Oliver said that vanilla flavoring in ice cream is made with castoreum, a substance derived from beaver anal glands. The reader asked us if there was any truth to this statement.

The VRG asked five companies that manufacture both natural and artificial vanilla, vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, powders, and flavors. All five unanimously stated that castoreum is not used today in any form of vanilla sold for human food use.

One company, in business for ninety years, informed The VRG that they have never used castoreum in their products. “At one time,” we were told by a senior level employee at this company, “to the best of my knowledge, it was used to make fragrance and still may be.”

Companies directed us to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which they all said they follow strictly and exclusively: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=169.175

To quote the CFR, Title 21, Part 169, Subpart B, Section175 (cited as 21CFR169.175) on this point:

“…[v]anilla extract is the solution in aqueous ethyl alcohol of the sapid and odorous principles extractable from vanilla beans. In vanilla extract the content of ethyl alcohol is not less than 35 percent by volume…The vanilla constituent may be extracted directly from vanilla beans or it may be added in the form of concentrated vanilla extract or concentrated vanilla flavoring or vanilla flavoring concentrated to the semisolid form called vanilla oleo-resin. Vanilla extract may contain one or more of the following optional ingredients:
(1) Glycerin. (2) Propylene glycol. (3) Sugar (including invert sugar). (4) Dextrose. (5) Corn sirup (including dried corn sirup). (VRG Note: spelling appears exactly as is from the original.)
(b)(1) The specified name of the food is ‘Vanilla extract’ or ‘Extract of vanilla’.
(2) When the vanilla extract is made in whole or in part by dilution of vanilla oleoresin, concentrated vanilla extract, or concentrated vanilla flavoring, the label shall bear the statement ‘Made from ___’ or ‘Made in part from ___’, the blank being filled in with the name or names ‘vanilla oleoresin’, ‘concentrated vanilla extract’, or ‘concentrated vanilla flavoring’, as appropriate…”

Section 177 of this subpart in the CFR Title 21 specifies requirements for vanilla flavoring:

“…[v]anilla flavoring conforms to the definition and standard of identity and is subject to any requirement for label statement of ingredients prescribed for vanilla extract by 169.175, except that its content of ethyl alcohol is less than 35 percent by volume.

(b) The specified name of the food is Vanilla flavoring.”

A major ingredients supplier that sells both natural and artificial vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, and flavors to many food companies told us this about some of their vanilla flavorings: “The flavor itself contains proprietary information that cannot be shared but it’s made from a combination of raw materials, such as vanillin, vanitrope, heliotropin, and maltol.” (VRG Note: All ingredients in this list are either all-vegetable or synthetic.) We were also informed by this company when The VRG asked specifically about castoreum in food ingredients: “…It’s not a common raw material that is used and we don’t use it, so I can safely say that our natural vanilla flavors do not contain any animal juices. All vanilla extracts are free of it, too, wherever you go.”

What is true is that castoreum is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and so approved for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (A few other animal-derived ingredients including ambergris (whale-derived) and musk (civet-derived) also have GRAS status and so may be ingredients in products intended for humans): http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=582.50

According to G.A. Burdock in a 2007 article published in the International Journal of Toxicology, “Castoreum extract… is a natural product prepared by direct hot-alcohol extraction of castoreum, the dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver. It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”

When castoreum occurs in a food, it does not have to be listed by its name. It is considered a “natural flavor” and may be so designated on a food package according to the CFR: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=501.22

Readers who are doubtful of a particular brand listing “natural flavors” as ingredients are encouraged to call the food’s manufacturer and specifically request detail on which “natural flavor(s)” is/are present in the food.

For updates on vanilla flavor and other food ingredients, subscribe to our free e-newsletter at http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/
Readers may wish to purchase our Guide to Food Ingredients available at http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8

To support VRG research, go to https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565

The contents of this blog, website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

– See more at: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/06/17/beaver-gland-castoreum-not-used-in-vanilla-flavorings-according-to-manufacturers/#sthash.W09gMLrl.dpuf

beever-sac-400x400Posted on June 17, 2011 by The VRG Blog Editor

VRG Research Director

A reader wrote to The VRG in April 2011 about a comment made by British chef, Jamie Oliver, on The Late Show with David Letterman. Mr. Oliver said that vanilla flavoring in ice cream is made with castoreum, a substance derived from beaver anal glands. The reader asked us if there was any truth to this statement.

The VRG asked five companies that manufacture both natural and artificial vanilla, vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, powders, and flavors. All five unanimously stated that castoreum is not used today in any form of vanilla sold for human food use.

One company, in business for ninety years, informed The VRG that they have never used castoreum in their products. “At one time,” we were told by a senior level employee at this company, “to the best of my knowledge, it was used to make fragrance and still may be.”

Companies directed us to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which they all said they follow strictly and exclusively: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=169.175

To quote the CFR, Title 21, Part 169, Subpart B, Section175 (cited as 21CFR169.175) on this point:

   “…[v]anilla extract is the solution in aqueous ethyl alcohol of the sapid and odorous principles extractable from vanilla beans. In vanilla extract the content of ethyl alcohol is not less than 35 percent by volume…The vanilla constituent may be extracted directly from vanilla beans or it may be added in the form of concentrated vanilla extract or concentrated vanilla flavoring or vanilla flavoring concentrated to the semisolid form called vanilla oleo-resin. Vanilla extract may contain one or more of the following optional ingredients:

   (1) Glycerin. (2) Propylene glycol. (3) Sugar (including invert sugar). (4) Dextrose. (5) Corn sirup (including dried corn sirup). (VRG Note: spelling appears exactly as is from the original.)

   (b)(1) The specified name of the food is ‘Vanilla extract’ or ‘Extract of vanilla’.

   (2) When the vanilla extract is made in whole or in part by dilution of vanilla oleoresin, concentrated vanilla extract, or concentrated vanilla flavoring, the label shall bear the statement ‘Made from ___’ or ‘Made in part from ___’, the blank being filled in with the name or names ‘vanilla oleoresin’, ‘concentrated vanilla extract’, or ‘concentrated vanilla flavoring’, as appropriate…”

Section 177 of this subpart in the CFR Title 21 specifies requirements for vanilla flavoring:

“…[v]anilla flavoring conforms to the definition and standard of identity and is subject to any requirement for label statement of ingredients prescribed for vanilla extract by 169.175, except that its content of ethyl alcohol is less than 35 percent by volume.

(b) The specified name of the food is Vanilla flavoring.”

A major ingredients supplier that sells both natural and artificial vanilla extracts, concentrates, distillates, and flavors to many food companies told us this about some of their vanilla flavorings: “The flavor itself contains proprietary information that cannot be shared but it’s made from a combination of raw materials, such as vanillin, vanitrope, heliotropin, and maltol.” (VRG Note: All ingredients in this list are either all-vegetable or synthetic.) We were also informed by this company when The VRG asked specifically about castoreum in food ingredients: “…It’s not a common raw material that is used and we don’t use it, so I can safely say that our natural vanilla flavors do not contain any animal juices. All vanilla extracts are free of it, too, wherever you go.”

What is true is that castoreum is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and so approved for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (A few other animal-derived ingredients including ambergris (whale-derived) and musk (civet-derived) also have GRAS status and so may be ingredients in products intended for humans): http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=582.50

According to G.A. Burdock in a 2007 article published in the International Journal of Toxicology, “Castoreum extract… is a natural product prepared by direct hot-alcohol extraction of castoreum, the dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver. It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”

When castoreum occurs in a food, it does not have to be listed by its name. It is considered a “natural flavor” and may be so designated on a food package according to the CFR: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=501.22

Readers who are doubtful of a particular brand listing “natural flavors” as ingredients are encouraged to call the food’s manufacturer and specifically request detail on which “natural flavor(s)” is/are present in the food.

 For updates on vanilla flavor and other food ingredients, subscribe to our free e-newsletter at http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/

Readers may wish to purchase our Guide to Food Ingredients available at http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8

 To support VRG research, go to https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1565

 The contents of this blog, website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

 

 

– See more at: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/06/17/beaver-gland-castoreum-not-used-in-vanilla-flavorings-according-to-manufacturers/#sthash.W09gMLrl.dpuf by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

Say it isn’t so … fun facts while folks are eating ice cream


beever-sac-400x400

So, I got an email on Monday, saying oh… , and Justin Gammill had more to share about “natural flavorings,” turns out, so do I. I was informed by my fams that ice cream more often than not was homemade and our mom only used pure vanilla extract when vanilla was needed! Whew! So, at least 20years of my life were “Vanilla flavouring,” free, though the fact is anything that has a scent probably includes … Castoreum ~~ from you know where. I also came across a 2011 article from http://vrg.org ,  was posted separately.

My first post is below … continuity for updates of course

 I was looking through my email a few days ago and came across an article about ice cream and the heading gave me the impression something seemingly vile was being put in it and had to find out. I love and eat all kinds of ice cream all year round because of its ice creamy goodness.

However, disclaimer … with cancer, things have been adjusted! please eat fruit bars etc.  I was in and felt like a reasonable and rationalization phase, thinking ok, I can find out which ice cream brands actually list all of their ingredients and omit those that have the “natural flavoring”  buying only those who don’t use you know what from you know where! A secretion sac. Then I found out that Castoreum, is used for beauty products and sadly, that was not all.

The article by Justin Gammill was well written I laughed but I cannot lie it pissed me off to find out that my obsession for vanilla was … extracted from my heart. I have been a vanilla lovin fool since my crayon days second to coconut and included in my group of extraordinary smells; I love, obsess over, and have used for years. While I love cinnamon and almond too, vanilla was … yes, was my go-to after Coconut then Shea butter for the skin the others for all things used on our skin eat and drink. I admit the article brought out feelings of sadness as well as sounds of ick, ewwww,  ugh of what must happen to the animal giving up their secretions let alone who how why did someone decide, uh um uh let’s take that beaver sac and see what we can do with its stuff. I am definitely frowning about the slap of ugly reality of “natural flavorings” knowing it had to come from somewhere and that was bad enough, but to research it a little more and read what health.com has to say:

“Where you’ll find it: On both female &male Beavers ~ Castoreum! “While it sounds downright disgusting, the FDA says it’s GRAS, meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” You won’t see Castoreum on the food label because it’s generally listed as “natural flavoring.” It’s natural all right—naturally icky.”

Today, Castoreum is used as a tincture in some perfumes[5] as a food additive, perfumes cigarettes, bee keepers use it and there are medicinal uses as well. Apparently, back in the 18th Century, they thought Castoreum induced abortions among other things and helped headaches too … goodness, don’t tell your favourite Republican because they will suggest putting that between your knees too !

All kidding aside, this stuff is worth a lot per sac.

Resources: wiki, the internet, health.com and Justin’s article

a dad’s journey to the America


Immigration … definitely not what folks describe

“Born one of nine siblings in Mexico, [my papa] worked as a teenager helping my grandpa make and sell potato chips and delivering mercancía (merchandise/goods), but he knew he wanted more. The United States called to him.”