Meat Recipes Valley AL
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Housecalls—Irradiated Meat for Kids, Safe Cookware, and How to Avoid Parabens
Don’t Expose Your Meat
Q I’ve read that school cafeterias can serve irradiated meat. Should I be concerned?
A If you belong to the better-safe-than-sorry school of thought, then yes. Granted, the FDA has deemed irradiation a safe way to sterilize food, and most mainstream experts agree. But several studies do suggest that the compounds produced when fats are irradiated could contribute to the development of cancer.
According to Michael Greger, a Boston-based physician, this research shows that irradiation can produce profound chemical changes in meat, including some that can cause chromosomal damage. “There’s concern that this genetic damage may initiate or promote tumor growth,” he says. And while irradiation won’t make foods radioactive, it can sometimes deplete their vitamin content.
The best way to find out if your kid is chowing down on irradiated foods is to ask an administrator in your school district. While grocery stores must flag irradiated meat with the flowerlike international symbol for irradiation, restaurants and schools don’t have to inform consumers. To ensure that irradiated meats aren’t served to your children, your best bet may be to get the school board to pass a resolution banning them, as has happened in several school districts.
Best Pots and Pans
Q What’s the safest type of cookware?
A For overall safety and performance, cast iron or stainless steel are optimal.
Every kind of cookware has its pros and cons. Cast iron requires little oil and is durable, though it is heavy. Stainless is lighter, but doesn’t conduct heat well. Copper and aluminum do, but may cause health problems by leaching into food. (Aluminum has been linked with weak bones and kidney damage; excess copper can cause nausea and vomiting.)
That’s why many pots and pans today are made with a combination of materials, like stainless steel interiors with copper or aluminum bottoms. These exterior finishes help conduct heat better, while keeping potentially hazardous metals away from your food.
There’s one type of cookware you should avoid: those with nonstick coatings. They’re made with substances called fluoropolymers, which, when heated to high temperatures, emit hazardous fumes that can kill pet birds and cause flulike symptoms in humans. If you do use a nonstick pan, never heat it above medium.
Q I’ve been hearing bad things about parabens; should I avoid them?
A It’s not a bad idea. Parabens, the most widely used class of preservatives, are found in shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, food, and drugs. Scientists have known for a while that in the body, they can mimic the actions of estrogen, which can encourage the growth of breast cancer. But until recently, no one thought that parabens could enter human tissue.
In a study at the University of Reading in England, however, researchers who examined cells from human breast tumors found parabens in them. These results are preliminary and no study has linked the...
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