Category Archives: Home Life

Glass of Milk

FDA Milk Prohibition

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives warnings about consuming raw milk, but the wholesome and natural food has a loyal and growing following. Until the 19th century “pasteurization” did not exist. It actually allows the proliferation of the milk coming from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOS) that can be produced in filthy conditions, and then heated until all the pathogens are gone. Not only killing the germs, but it also kills off the beneficial organisms in the milk and prevents natural souring. The FDA has begun a war against raw milk producers who are actually producing far healthier milk. This is all under the guise of protecting the public health, but in essence, they are taking away Americans’ food freedom.

The FDA is actually squeezing out the small farmers. The 10th Amendment reads “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Therefore, the FDA is in violation of the Constitution by trying to enforce raw milk bans within the states. This ban favors the industrial dairy at the expense of small family farms, according to Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center.

Hawaii, North Dakota and Alaska have introduced bills to legalize raw milk in their states. In Hawaii, this would legalize the sale of raw milk in retail stores as long as it contains a warning label about the “risks” of consuming unpasteurized milk. Farmers would also need to maintain records of everyone who purchased their raw milk. In North Dakota, farmers would be allowed to sell raw milk directly to consumers where they now have to purchase a share of the cow or herd to buy the raw milk. In Alaska, it would be legal for farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers but have a warning label.

The media continues to spread inaccuracies and reports fear-based information related to raw milk consumption. West Virginia has historically been one of the least open states to raw milk and in 2016 legalized the distribution of raw milk through herd-share agreements.

It isn’t raw milk that makes people sick, even though that happens to be the target. The majority of food making people sick is coming from CAFOs and not the small organic farmers. You can get self-serve dairy straight from the vat in New Zealand. I remember 30 years ago when we used to buy raw milk directly from a small farmer near our home. It was self-serve. After turning on the agitator to mix the milk and cream that had risen to the top, we could fill our jugs from the spigot and then left our money in a jar. Everything was on an honor-based purchase. My kids loved it and were NEVER sick from it. If only that were still available, we would be buying it there again.

The grass-fed raw milk contains healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract, has more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors and immunoglobulins, contains conjugated linoleic acid, has beneficial raw fats, amino acids and proteins in a highly bioavailable form and contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K in highly bioavailable forms.

I believe in food freedom and we should all be able to consume whatever we believe to be healthy for us. If you happen to be allergic to the milk proteins or insulin resistant, you would be better off avoiding raw and pasteurized milk. The grass-fed raw milk from a high-quality source is usually superior in nutrition and flavor. We need to demand our rights for the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Dr Fredda Branyon

ice_cream

Is Ben & Jerry’s Protecting the Environment?

ice_cream

Their ice cream sure is good but are they contributing to destroying our environment?  This ice cream icon started in Vermont in 1978 and claims to be as devoted to stewardship to the environment as it is to creating new ice cream flavors.  The friendly image propelled the brand into one of Unilever’s (their corporate owner) rising stars with revenues close to $600 million a year and growing.  They are, like many other corporate giants, actively supporting industrial dairy which is so damaging to the environment, the cows and the farmers that this system is destined to collapse.

They are still clinging to its Vermont heritage but Vermont is no longer home to an abundance of grazing cows producing rich, creamy milk that is used to make their premium ice cream. CAFO’s are becoming the norm and farmers are forced to grow their herds and increase milk production using artificial methods like feeding cows an unnatural amount of grain-based food, 24 hour confinement and increased number of milkings per day. Because of the price of milk now, the average-sized dairy farm in Vermont is operating at a loss of $100,000 a year. Farmers are only getting about $14 for 11.6 gallons of milk that costs them about $22 to produce. There is currently a petition by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to encourage Ben & Jerry’s to stop defrauding consumers and convert to organic.

The industrial dairy industry dumped 43 million gallons of milk in 2016 due to a massive milk glut.  This was the result of a 2014 spike in milk prices that encouraged many dairy farmers to add more cows to their farms.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed dairy cows increased by 40,000 in 2016 with a 1.4% increase in production per cow. This resulted in milk prices declining 22% to $16.30 with too much milk and nowhere to sell it.

Now we are at a point where dairy cows are dying at an alarming rate by suffering from burnout and disease. The U.S. dairy herds mortality rates are more than 10% a year, which is up from 3.8% in 2002.

The FDA has authority to require milk to be tested if evidence exists that drug residues may be in the milk supply.  Some dairy farms have been stopped by the FDA from selling their cattle for meat after drug residue violations; however, this does not typically extend to the milk.

Now the question is if Ben & Jerry’s will support farming the natural way!  Grass-fed dairy is a viable solution to the problems of industrial dairy.

  • When a cow eats corn and grain the pH of the rumen becomes acidic and destroys some flora and increases systemic inflammation that will inevitably shorten the cow’s lifespan and increases the risk of infection.
  • By raising grass-fed cows it requires fewer resources than growing grain crops to feed CAFO cows as well as fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • A 100% grass fed farm spreads manure over pastures naturally as the cows roam, and there is no need for environmentally destructive manure lagoons.
  • Grass-fed dairy farming works best with small herds and then helps also to support local economies and small farmers who can then claim a premium price for their premium dairy products.  

More than 200 dairy farms in Vermont have transitioned to organic and are returning their cows to a grass-based diet.  Purchasing your grass-fed milk and other foods from a local organic farm or co-op is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting high-quality food.  Try making your own grass-fed milk ice cream at home. The Campaign for Real Milk website can help you to locate a raw, grass-fed milk source near you.

Dr Fredda Branyon

rubber_ducks

Poison In Toys

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Those simple plastic toys our children are playing with every day might be posing a danger to their health and wellness. Chemicals found in toys may also inhabit your floors, kitchen storage, shower curtains and laundry detergents. Some are actually so dangerous they have been banned from use in consumer products and others are banned from their use just in children’s products.

In spite of the danger, one of the world’s largest chemical companies is fighting to continue the use of phthalates. This is a chemical with known endocrine disrupting effects, and children whose neurological and endocrine systems are still developing, are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of phthalates.

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil has spent years prioritizing corporate interests over those of consumers and the environment. In a recent report it is demonstrated that the petroleum company understood the link between fossil fuel use and warming climate as early as 1977. The company has tried to refute the idea, protecting their interest in the oil industry. Over 25% of their $16 billion net profit in 2015 resulted from the sales of other petroleum-based products that include plastics, batteries, synthetic fibers, household detergents and tires. One of the chemicals is the family of phthalates and is used to make plastic pliables.

These health risks from exposure to phthalates are significant and Congress limited or banned the use of several of these phthalates in 2008 and investigated if more should be removed from children’s products. Eight phthalates were recommended to be banned from children’s toys in a final report in 2014, but the CPSA has yet to finalize their ban. ExxonMobil continues to insist the product produces no harm and is working hard to reverse the committee decision.

Phthalates are plasticizers and added to plastics to make them more pliable. Most have a half-life of 24 to 48 hours but recent studies have detected a toxic load of phthalates in urine, blood and breast milk. A higher level is evident in those who eat from fast food restaurants as the food is packaged in plastic and/or non-stick wrappers. Small children are exposed through teething toys, plastic toys, breathing household dust and through the use of medical devices. Constant exposure to products made with phthalates guarantees the chemicals remain in the body and stored in the fat cells. When released, they contribute to the level of phthalates found in the urine.

These phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, otherwise known as chemicals that interfere with the function of your body’s endocrine system. Some changes in wildlife that have been traced to endocrine-disrupting chemicals include Baltic seal population reduction, eggshell thinning in birds of prey, alligator population decrease in a polluted lake, frog population decrease, male sex organs on female marine animals such as whelks and snails and negative effects on fish reproduction and development.

They are also linked to male reproductive problems. A study evaluated immature eggs from 50 couples undergoing in vitro fertilization. There were 761 oocytes, or immature eggs, and only 184 developed well enough to be transferred to the prospective mother. There was an inverse association between men who had high levels of phthalates in their urine and the development of high-quality blastocysts.

Scientists have also linked phthalate exposure to attention deficit disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, lowered IQ, autism spectrum disorder, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, reduced male fertility, asthma, altered thyroid function, imbalanced growth hormone, liver cancer, miscarriage and suspected carcinogen. Priority should be to reduce our exposure to phthalates to our families. Avoiding plastic food containers, plastic toys, reading labels, buying goods in glass containers, don’t microwave plastic containers or wraps, using natural cleaning products, avoiding fabric softeners and checking your tap water for contaminants are just a few of the precautions we should all be using. It’s up to us to keep our family healthy.

Dr Fredda Branyon

jasmine_oil

Health Benefits of Jasmine Oil

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Jasmine absolute oil is extracted from different jasmine species. These belong to the Oleaceae family and have more than 200 species under its genus. The oil comes from the white flowers of the plant and bears dark green leaves, usually blossoming at night and grows from summer until fall. It has a powerful fragrance and is Pakistan’s national flower. In India, it is regarded by the Hindus as a holy flower.

Jasmine absolute oil is used in making perfumes such as Chanel No. 5 and Eau de Sauvage from France. It is also used to add flavor to alcohol, confectionery and desserts as well as added to body lotions, shampoos and soaps. This is one of my very favorite fragrances!

There are many benefits of jasmine absolute oil with one being an effective aphrodisiac with seductive qualities.

Other benefits of the oil include:
· Rejuvenating skin
· Relieving menstrual problems and labor pains
· Working as an antiseptic
· Treating spasms
· Mind relaxation

This oil will work in different ways as inhaled, diffused or it can simply be applied externally. Use the oil through a diffuser by adding some drops of the essential to your diffuser to provide a relaxing and refreshing fragrance to your home. Try applying a few drops of the oil on your neck or forehead to calm and clear your mind, or to feel a surge of hope and happiness. It can also treat skin disorders and muscle spasms by applying it topically. The oil will also aid coughs and relieve nervousness and stress when it is inhaled.

Jasmine absolute oil is generally safe and considered to be non-sensitizing, non-irritant and nontoxic. It should be used in moderation as large doses can interfere with your concentration due to its relaxing property. It is not recommended to use for oral ingestion. It is also advised to avoid using if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

There are no known side effects for this oil, but it is recommended diluting jasmine absolute oil with a safe and non-toxic carrier oil. Be sure to conduct a skin patch test first to check if you might be allergic to this herbal oil. If you have a terminal or chronic illness, be sure to consult first with your doctor before applying this oil.

So get this oil out for that romantic vibe and receive all the other immense health benefits at the same time. Who can’t use a little boost in the bedroom? Can’t you?

Dr Fredda Branyon

Facebook

Facebook Lurking

Facebook Lurking

Are you a lurker?  Well, every month about 1.65 billion people are actively using the social media site Facebook.  Each user is spending about 50 minutes using the site each day, which is really more time than you realize and more than on any other leisure activity except for TV watching.  On the average the U.S. American spends 19 minutes reading every day and only 17 minutes on exercise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That makes the nearly one hour spent on Facebook as significant and around the same amount of time you spend eating and drinking!  Of course this doesn’t take into account those people, specifically teens, that spend far more time and sometimes up to nine hours a day on social media.

This lurking will cause you to be inundated with photos and posts depicting other people’s seemingly perfect families and lives.  These can induce feelings of envy and lead to unrealistic social comparisons that can bring down your mood and level of well being, and even lead to depression.

Those using Facebook expect to feel better but, in fact, they actually feel worse.  If everyone expected that to happen, they’d probably stop using it. Part of this is due to a feeling of having wasted time, according to a Computers in Human Behavior study.  They report that Facebook activity is associated with a dampened mood. I personally do not spend time on Facebook for this very reason. It’s a waste of my time that could better be spent on something productive.

Frequent posting on Facebook has also been associated with increased rumination and the users were more at risk of depression if they displayed the following:

  • Felt envy after observing others
  • Accepted former partners as Facebook friends
  • Made negative social comparisons
  • Made frequent negative status updates

The researchers at the University of Houston explored Facebook’s emotional effects and found a link between usage of the site and symptoms of depression, which among men, was associated with the tendency to make social comparisons with others.  As it turned out in a second study, social comparison was significantly associated with depression symptoms in both men and women.

Nighttime use of social media is also linked to sleep problems, lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression among the 12 to 18 year olds.  Those aged 19 to 32 were also significantly associated with disturbed sleep in a Preventive Medicine study. When melatonin is suppressed, there is less stimulation to promote sleepiness at a healthy bedtime.  

Facebook wants you to spend more time on their site and that it would become a platform that’s on all day to become basically a background for your life. They are busy cooking up ways to get us to spend even more time on their platform.  You must be aware for yourself and your children that using Facebook exposes you to a lot of advertising that is targeted to your habits and interest.

Facebook uses a sophisticated algorithm to track your interests, who you talk with, what you say, your age, gender, income level and a phenomenal number of other specifics that allow advertisers to target exactly who they believe will click on their ads.  Some are not harmless, like drug ads that can have more sinister effects.

Even though it is a wonderful platform for friends and family to socialize and share, it’s important to keep the use in perspective and use the sites that make you feel good and not worse after browsing.

Dr Fredda Branyon

surgery

Early Surgery-Risk of Death

surgery

Priority should be taken over timing to ensure that patients are healthy enough for surgery and have access to specialists.  Even though delaying surgery after a diagnosis of uterine cancer can increase a woman’s risk of death, operating too soon can be just as detrimental for some.  The Penn Medicine physicians report this information in a new study that was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The women in the study who had surgery within the first 2 weeks after diagnosis had a significantly increased risk of death within 5 years, compared with those who had surgery 3 or 4 weeks after their diagnosis.

More than 200,000 cases were investigated and examined in the U.S.  Almost 2/3’s of the 140,078 cases were considered low-risk cancers. Those patients who had surgery in the first or second week after their diagnosis had a 14% increased risk of death within 5 years compared to those who had surgery in week 3 or 4.  The 68,360 women with high-risk cancers jumped to 20%. This suggests that the risk is likely rooted in the delivery of care rather than the cancer itself. Patients undergoing early surgery in both risk groups were more likely to die within 30 days of their operation.  They were also more likely to be black, have advanced stage of the disease, have no insurance or be on Medicaid and receive care at low-volume hospitals.

According to David I. Shalowitz, MD, a fellow in Gynecologic Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania he suspects that physicians diagnosing endometrial cancer may believe that the best thing they can do for those patients is to operate as soon as possible, because the wait could cause the cancer to progress, resulting in a worse outcome.  Their results suggest that pre-surgical care and referring patients to a gynecologic oncologist may be more important.

In 2016 over 60,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer, or cancer of the lining of the uterus.  As obesity rates rise, this number is expected to grow. According to the National Cancer Institute, being obese increases a woman’s risk of endometrial cancer.  The overall survival rate is 82%.

The researchers also found higher mortality rates in women with low-risk cancers whose surgery took place 8 or more weeks after diagnosis.  Long wait times have been associated with the poorer survival outcomes in breast, rectal and bladder cancers, but past studies of endometrial cancer have produced mixed findings.  Poor access to care, insurance status and pre-existing conditions like heart disease are some factors that could delay surgeries.

As time-to-surgery increased, the 5-year survival rates worsened from 84.5% at 8 weeks to 82.1% at 11 weeks, and to 78.6% at week 15.  They found no increased risk of death for those women with high-risk cancers who had surgery after the third week, suggesting that the type and extent of disease at diagnosis contributes more to survival outcomes than progression of disease during the wait for surgery.

They now suggest that the target interval between diagnosis and treatment should be less than 8 weeks, especially for those women with low-risk cancers.  Wouldn’t it make more sense anyway to be sure the body was healthy and built up by natural homeopathic treatment prior to undergoing surgery? I would think if the body was not in the best possible health, surgery would present as a greater risk.

Dr Fredda Branyon

Holistic

Facts for Holistic Care

HolisticWhen you commit to holistic care you are treating the whole person through mind, body and spirit.  A combination of traditional, and what your doctor might call complementary medicine, is the definition of holistic care.  An example might be treating cancer with chemotherapy and acupuncture. Chemo and radiation are proven to fight the disease, but their side effects can be hard to live with. Using holistic treatment as well may help to ease some of these problems while improving your well-being.

Around a third of adults use a treatment outside of the mainstream medicine.  They won’t cure your cancer but they can improve your quality of life. There are also some science-backed ways to relieve side effects.

With acupuncture a trained therapist will insert very fine needles into your skin at specific points.  This may ease your pain and nausea. Receiving radiation for your head or neck cancers can cause dry mouth and mouth pain that acupuncture might help to relieve.

Mind-body techniques are shown through research that your mental state can affect your health.  Meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery are techniques that can help you relax and focus on something besides your pain.  Your medication side effects may also be eased.

Gentle movement and exercise can help to relieve the extreme tiredness and stress, which will help you to sleep better.  A regular exercise program may even help those with cancer to live longer, according to studies.

If you talk with a registered dietitian about the foods you need to prevent or treat nutrition problems, it might manage treatment side effects and help your body fight infection and more.

Holistic care is sometimes confused with alternative care.  Skipping standard treatments is risky and can cause unpleasant and sometimes serious side effects.  When avoiding or delaying mainstream medical treatments, you give the disease more time to grow. However, it seems to me that using alternative medicine prior to using any chemo treatments would be advisable, as it will build your body up first in preparation.  Remember that diets that claim to cure cancer are unproven, expensive and harmful.

Before choosing holistic treatment, be sure to check with your doctor, as he knows your condition and the medications you are taking.  Steer clear of any treatment claiming to cure cancer and if your doctor recommends this treatment. You should ask if this treatment has been proven in human studies and is it widely used, as well as the potential side effects and drug interactions.

Again, it is important to talk with your doctor about trying any holistic methods, as he needs to know what you are putting into your body.  A recommendation from your doctor for a complementary and alternative medicine practitioner might be possible.

Always have a list of questions about holistic treatments that you want to try to your doctor’s appointment to receive some safe choices for you.  Bring all the information concerning the specific treatment you want to try from a medical journal or government sponsored health websites. Get the pros and cons and check out the possible side effects.  Your doctor should be able to advise you which products and practices are based on false or unproven claims.

Dr Fredda Branyon

Oil

Fake Olive Oil?

Over the past 35 years the consumption of olive oil has increased more than 10-fold in the U.S.  It has gone from 29 metric tons (MT) in 1980 to 327 MT in 2015. Oil became more widely used with the popularity of the Mediterranean diet and made the oil a $16 billion a year industry.  It has also led to fraud and corruption.

Larry Olmsted, an investigative journalist and food critic reveals in his book, “Real Food/Fake Food,” a dark side of this normally healthy food.  Tests reveal that anywhere for 60 to 90% of the olive oils sold in American grocery stores and restaurants are adulterated with cheap, oxidized omega-6 vegetable oils.  Some of these are sunflower oil or peanut oil and non-human grade olive oils that are harmful to health in a number of ways. The extra virgin is often diluted with other less expensive oils as hazelnut, soybean, corn, sunflower, palm, sesame, grape seed and walnut.  They will not show on the label, but it will be difficult for most people to discern that their olive oil is not 100% pure.

We can no longer think the extra virgin olive oil if high quality just because it comes from Italy.  Most of what is now exported from Italy is not their best product. The mafia has infiltrated virtually all areas of the olive oil business, including harvesting, pricing, transportation and the supermarkets.  They’ve infiltrated the entire food chain from farm to fork. At least half of all the extra virgin olive oil sold in Italy is adulterated as well. 

Oil

In the U.S. the chances of getting the real McCoy is even slimmer, with as much as 90% of it being adulterated.  

Pure olive oil that’s minimally processed contains health-promoting antioxidants and phenolics, providing it hasn’t been oxidized. If it has been, it might already be on the verge of going bad. The “use by” or “sell by” date on the bottle doesn’t mean a lot, as there is no regulation assuring that the oil will remain of high quality until that date.  You really need to know the “pressed on” date or “harvest” date because olives go bad almost immediately after being picked. Those dates should be less than 6 months old when you use it.

Consider buying olive oil from countries besides Italy that also produce very fine, high quality oils.  Some countries are Australia, Chile, South Africa and even California produces some high-quality oils. Look for the stores, such as gourmet stores, where taste testing is allowed and encouraged.  Once you taste a good olive oil, you can never go back to the bad stuff.

Keep your olive oil in a cool, dark place, purchase smaller bottles to ensure freshness and immediately replace the cap after each pour.  Putting one drop of astaxanthin into the bottle will help to protect it from oxidation. You can identify defective olive oil by rancidity, fusty flavor, moldy flavor and wine or vinegar flavor. Some tips in choosing your olive oil are:

  • Harvest date-choose early or fall harvest
  • Color and flavor-an almost luminescent green color
  • Labeling terms-ensure it’s labeled “extra virgin”
  • Storage and tasting-find a seller who stores oil in a clean, temperature-controlled stainless steel container topped with an inert gas as nitrogen
  • Storage and use-keep in a cool and dark place, replace cap immediately
  • Bottles-those that protect against light
  • Quality seals-Organization like California Olive Oil Council and Australian Olive Association
  • Prolonging freshness – by adding the astaxanthin to the bottle.

Now that you know the facts between the fake and the real, just get out there and enjoy everything you cook with your “real” high-quality extra virgin olive oil!

Dr Fredda Branyon

Fiery Essential Oil

An oil that is packed with benefits that may greatly uplift your body and mind is Amyris oil.  It isn’t as valuable as sandalwood, but it offers amazing health perks that will make you want more of this herbal oil.  

The Amyris derives from the Rutaceae botanical family and known as West Indian/Indies sandalwood.  It originates from Haiti in the West Indies. The plant grows to 60 feet high and bears white flowers that turn into black-bluish fruits that are edible.  The bark of the dried tree is steam distilled to extract the essential oil. Amyris oil is often used as an alternative to East Indian sandalwood oil. Because of its high oil content, it is also known as torchwood or candlewood as it will easily ignite and can be used as a torch.  Fishermen frequently use it when catching sea crabs along the shore at night and farmers when traveling at night to take their wares to the city or village.

Amyris oil can help uplift your spirit and mind, in meditation and also in therapeutic massage.  It is also used as a base fixative in making perfumes and soaps, creams, cosmetics, incense and perfumes for additional fragrance.  You can use the herbal oil in a bath, inhaler, as a mist spray, in a steam inhalator and in a steam room or sauna.

Benefits of amyris oil are its antiseptic, sedative, decongestant and emollient properties.  It is especially helpful to calm your mind and as a muscle relaxant. It will help to minimize stress and tension and release anxiety along with improving mental clarity and present a feeling of peace.  It works great in skin regeneration and helps to slow down the aging process. The cooling property assists in relieving irritability, frustration and sexual tension. The oil is used greatly among poets, artists and musicians as it is purported to help improve creativity and imagination.

By adding a few drops of the essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser, it works great in relieving the mind from any anxiety or stress.   It can provide relaxation when added to therapeutic massage oils.

Amyris essential oil is considered safe, as it is non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.  It may cause irritation for those people with very sensitive skin, however. This oil is not intended for oral ingestion but before using topically, you should conduct a skin patch test to be sure there are no irritations to it.  It should always be diluted with a carrier oil. There are no other side effects known other than a possible skin irritation in those who are sensitive individuals. Seek medical advice before using if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a terminal illness.  Otherwise, enjoy all the wonderful benefits of this fiery essential oil.

Dr Fredda Branyon

salad

Oh, Those Bagged Salads!

          Robert Preidt, a HealthDay Reporter, wrote an interesting article on bagged salads.  Researchers have found that prepackaged salads may promote the growth of salmonella bacteria.  If you find even slight damage to leaves in the salad bags, they can release juices that encourage the spread of salmonella.  The juices also boost the bacteria’s ability to form biofilms, which cling tightly to the surfaces they coat and make it hard to wash the bacteria off the produce.

          The salad leaf crops are first exposed to salmonella when out in the field from sources such as insects, bird droppings and manure, according to co-author Primrose Freestone, an associate professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Leicester in England.

          Prepackaged salads are common in all grocery stores and are also what they serve in fast food places and for airline meals.  Few studies have examined how salmonella behaves in these products.

          The team’s study was published in November of 2016 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  They wanted to investigate what happens to salmonella in a bag of salad to better understand the potential risks to consumers and to inform future research on reducing attachment of this pathogen to salad leaves.

          Their study is part of their ongoing research into ways to reduce the risk of salmonella persisting and growing when it is present in bagged salad.

          I guess the next time you want to make life a little easier after a long day at work, think twice before grabbing that bagged salad mix.  I know we have all done it, but do we really want to risk the health of our family by even a slim change at salmonella? I have always thought there was a different taste to the bagged lettuce and absolutely prefer the good old organic head lettuce that I can cut up myself.  Happy and safe salad eating!

Dr Fredda Branyon