Sunday, May 21, 2017

Antibiotics in Poultry; Q Tips and Ear Injuries; Ways to Cook Rhubarb with Minimal Sweeteners

Antibiotics in Poultry
Here’s the latest from Marion Nestle, a former Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, She is currently a Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell.  She writes a weekly column called Food Politics.

The International Poultry Council (IPC) will soon issue a statement advising the poultry industry to
  • Stop using antibiotics critical to human medicine to promote livestock growth and prevent disease,
  • Only use these drugs when prescribed by a veterinarian for treatment of disease,
  • Be transparent about the amount of antibiotics it uses and why.
The poultry industry routinely uses antibiotics in feed and water despite major efforts to stop this practice.
Government agencies concerned about increasing resistance to animal antibiotics have long wanted their use stopped or managed appropriately.
  • The FDA’s policy is to do what the IPC is now advising.
  • The CDC has long complained that widespread misuse of antibiotics promotes the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists has an excellent background paper on the topic.
  • Consumers Union also has an excellent position paper.
Trying to stop misuse of animal antibiotics has a long history. The animal agriculture industry has fought all attempts to curtain antibiotic use.
The following is an addition to Dr. Nestle’s writing.  You should know that the only way to be sure that antibiotics were not used on the eggs that become organic chickens is to find the words “no antibiotics” in addition to the organic label. 
Q Tips and Ear Injuries
According to a new study from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, almost three dozen children end up in U.S. hospital emergency departments every day thanks to injuries that result from using cotton-tipped swabs to clean their ears. The injuries can range from minor to severe – about 30% of children were found to have something stuck in their ears, 25% were diagnosed with broken eardrums, and another 23% had injuries to the tissues of the ear canal. Bleeding and pain were common problems. These injuries happened at home, mainly to children under the age of 8.  "It highlights the misconception that adults and children need to clean the ear canal in the home setting," said senior author Dr. Kris Jatana, a pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon. "While cotton-tipped applicators may seem harmless, there are certainly a lot of potential risks to using them to clean the ears”.  The number of emergency room visits for ear injuries in children has decreased somewhat in recent years, but the problem remains.
Recipes for cooking Rhubarb with Minimal Sweeteners
Last week I wrote a short article on the history of rhubarb’s travel from China to the west, and the plant’s medicinal properties.  You can find it on this blog.  I promised to publish any recipes from readers on ways to prepare rhubarb with minimal sweeteners.  Here are the replies (including mine). 
Vickisa -Take rhubarb stocks about eight and cut off the leaves and the bottoms and wash them and then cut them up into small chunks, add strawberries or cut up half or whatever you like put a little bit of vanilla in there and some maple syrup to taste or maple sugar to taste cook it down till it's a little bit soft but not smushed
Put it with yogurt and cottage cheese. I like Nancy's or Wallabies. You can add cereal; you can add some chocolate sauce; you can eat it on toast; you can eat it with cheese; you could just eat it anytime you want .

Sadja – cut rhubarb stalks into small pieces, add plenty of raisins and a cinnamon stick, cover with water and cook until the rhubarb pieces are soft.  Add honey and/or maple syrup to taste while the mixture is hot.   I found I could use less honey or maple syrup this way – previously I cooked the rhubarb in honey and used a lot more to keep the mixture moist.  The raisins add their own sweetness, and taste good in the final compote.

Barbara MacDonald  also sent in a recipe for a rhubarb cake from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book .  I can’t format it correctly for this column; leave me a message if you want to see it and I will send it to you.

Sadja Greenwood MD,MPH  


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