Green Polka Dot Box

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ground Turkey--an Unhealthy Alternative to Hamburger

Do you think ground turkey is a healthy alternative to hamburger?  Well think again – a report published by Consumer Reports showed deadly bacteria in almost all ground turkey samples .  To make matters worse, many of the bacteria found were resistant  antibiotics. Some of the samples even contained the deadly virus MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

The Consumer Reports study tested for five types of bacteria within the 257 samples of ground turkey which were purchased at various stores and major retailers across the nation.  Bacteria from fecal matter was found on most of the samples, and one or more of the following types of bacteria could be found on 90% of the samples.

1. Campylobacter
2. Salmonella
3. Staphylococcus aureus
4. E. coli
5. enterocuccus

It is interesting to note that turkeys who were raised without antibiotics had less antibiotic resistant bacteria than the turkeys who received daily antibiotic dosing, a common practice by commercial turkey farms believed to promote growth.  However, even the organic and antibiotic-free samples had a high rate of bacteria contamination.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Red Meat = Heart Attack?

heart attack anatomy
heart attack anatomy (Photo credit: gandhiji40)

Consumption of red meat has a direct link to increased risk of heart attack, according to a new study.  However, in this study, the culprit is not saturated fat, but the carnitine that is abundant in red meat.  The bacteria in the human digestive tract converts carnitine into a little known substance called TMAO, which may be the culprit associated with heart disease and heart attacks.   After the liver produces the TMAO, it is released into the blood stream.  Increased TMAO in the blood stream is a proven predictor of heart attack risk.   TMAO allows cholesterol to penetrate artery walls as well as prevents the elimination of excess cholesterol.

This particular study was led by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, and published in Nature magazine.  

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