Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is soy really safer than meat?

The recent horse meat scandal has definitely dented out appetite for processed meat products, but for those who already felt squeamish about eating meat, these unsavory relations have been the last straw.

"Its enough to make you become a vegetarian" they say, which is great news for sales of vegetarian foods in general and imitation meat products.

You can buy a wide range of meat replacements, such as: lamb-style roast, meat free turkey, fish style steaks, duck pate, and veggie mince. Health food chain Holland & Barrett reported earlier this month that sales of their veggie burgers were up by 17 percent while vegetarian "beef roast" was lifted by 50 percent.

The main ingredient of these meat products is a modern type of soy, which was first manufactured for food use in 1959.

Labeled under "vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein or soy protein" it is mainly made from highly processed types of soy flour called "concentrate" or "isolate"

The use of these soy ingredients is not restricted to meat lookalikes. Even if you don't avoid meat, there is soy in a number of products, from cheese spreads, non dairy creamer, protein bars and ice cream.

If you study the label on a pre made beef burger, you will often find it contains "soy protein isolate" which is a cheap filler to bulk out the meat.

The soy bean is cultivated world wide with the biggest supplies coming from Brazil and the US. Once the oil has been extracted, the solids that remain are then processed to obtain the pure protein.

Up until the eighties, soy protein was seen merely as a by product of the soy oil industry, but then US soy companies set about making it more profitable by promoting it as a "health food," claiming that eating "soy" could give you stronger bones, and make you less likely to develop breast, colon and prostate cancer.

 These claims were largely based on research sponsored by soy companies and on epidemiological studies that show certain associations between things.

For example, because heart disease rates were lower in Asian countries than in Western ones, soy companies argued that this was because Asian people consumed more soy. Soy was soon marketed as a "wonder food" until health virtues attributed to soy, were soon challenged by researchers.

In 2006 an American Heart Association review, of a decade long study of Soy's "supposed" health benefits claimed that soy did not help prevent cancer and in 2008 it was found that men asked to consume various soy products such as veggie burgers, soy milk, protein shakes and tofu had lower "sperm concentration" than those not consuming soy.

Soy beans contain naturally occurring toxins which include phytic acid (reducing the ability to absorb essential minerals such as iron and zinc), and trypsin inhibitors which impair the bodies capacity to digest protein.

These toxins are also found in other foods such as wheat and chickpeas, but in much lower levels. Supposedly processing soy is designed to substantially reduce or remove these toxins, but traces still remain in the final product. They also contain isoflavones, which is a potent plant compound that mimic the female hormone estrogen.

In 2011, European food Safety authorities scientific panel dismissed claims made by the soy industry that isoflavarones helped hair growth and protected cells against oxidative damage, concluding that soy and health benefits "had not been established". Meanwhile there has been suggestions that eating to much soy protein can be harmful because of its hormonal effect.

In 2003 The UK governments committee on toxicity identified three groups where evidence suggested that their might be a potential risk from containing large amounts. These three groups included: women diagnosed with breast cancer, babies fed on soy based formula and people with an under-active thyroid.

But the manufacture of soy protein also raises major concerns. While some soy food such as miso, tofu, soy milk/yogurt are lightly processed, the pure soy proteins, such as the ones you might find in vegan cheese or a veggie burger are commonly extracted by washing soy flour in acid aluminum tanks. This raises the possibility that aluminum (which is bad for the nervous system and brain) can leach into he product.

Another potential concern is the chemical solvent known as hexane. Hexane (is known to poison the human nervous system) and a component found in glue and cement, used to extract the oil from soy beans.

Through repeated exposure, people can develop neurological problems similar to those experienced by solvent abuses, yet the soy industry claimed that their was only traced residues of hexane in their finished product. It is one of the eight most common food allergies according to the US food and Drug administration. As soy protein is pale, odorless and almost taste-free many manufactures rely on sweeteners, artificial flavorings, salt and coloring to make their products more appealing to consumers.

So the irony is that in trying to avoid meat, vegetarians may be buying products with as many additives and industrialized ingredients that are found in cheap processed meats.

As this ingredient has been in our diet for only three decades, there is no tack record of safe usage. Think of all those soy lattes you hear being ordered in Starbucks. Do you think they are aware at how soy is manufactured? In the meantime, I am being cautious!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pretty In Pink

Pretty In Pink

Forever New silk top
$61 -

Cape coat

Black disco pants
$38 -

Charlotte olympia shoes
$900 -

Social media linked to Plastic Surgery?

According to the daily mail more social media users are turning to plastic surgery after being utterly repulsed by the way that they look in pictures, or on video chats such as Skype and Facetime.

Surgeons are seeing such a rise in people getting cosmetic procedures like nose jobs and facelifts that some have even created specific procedures to accommodate their patients that are unhappy with closeup views of their appearance on social networking websites.

Social media images show people an alternative perspective on how they look by showing of unsightly and fatty parts of their body that they otherwise are oblivious too.

Robert K Sigal, a surgeon from California has even developed a specific procedure related to this new issue called a "Face Time FaceLift" 'People don't come in asking for a FaceTime Facelift per say,' Dr Sigal said in a YouTube posting on his practice's website. "What they'll say is: 'I don't like the way I look when I'm video-chatting. I seem full and heavy under the neck'"

"With a good degree of frequency, people will come in and say, "I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook or on my iPhone or iPad."' He continued "When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you."

A regular Skype user told Betabeat that she got a facelift after deciding that she had an "unattractive chin and wrinkles" whilst chatting with someone on a Skype video. "Going on Skype or FaceTime you definitely see it- it looks twice as big as it usually is, I just wanted a nice clean look when im conversing with someone on Skype".

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Looks can be deceiving

So before I go back to school walking and talking like a robot, I need to clear a few things up with my classmates/fellow readers. Yes, I have a cast on my nose, a gauze under my nose and tape across my face but no, I did not get a "nose job" aka rhinoplasty.

I have had a deviated septum since I was 8, and before allergy season reoccurs I finally decided to get it fixed along with two cysts in my sinuses removed. So this is one of those times when looks can be deceiving. I have to admit I am in quite a lot of pain, not being able to breathe through my nose, speak properly, and to add to the mix it also feels like two bricks are pressing against my nose! A surgery that was supposed to take an hour, ended up taking almost four.

Mauro drove me to the surgery, while we joked around in the waiting area, putting the surgical cap on him, dancing around, and replacing nerves with silliness. He acted more nervous than me, and the two things I requested after surgery was a vente coffee frappachino light, and an ice cream cone. He told me he wouldn't be able to sneak either into recovery, but after not eating since 10 pm the night before, anything seemed delicious at that point. 

Before I turned black and blue!
As it had it, the nurse told us that i couldn't have dairy after surgery, as it could make my stomach queasy. Recovery seemed to fly by, and after being wheeled out in a wheel chair all I wanted to do was fall asleep. When I was asked my pain level, I said it was an 8/10, and I was one of the unfortunate ones who bled everywhere (how lovely)!. As I wish I could sit here and say that the pain has resided, it certainly has not. Having to take pain killers, anti-nausea medicine and an antibiotic on a regular basis is no fun. Along with having half of your face covered with a bandage, and looking like a duck! 

So deciding to write about this was pretty risky-as people are quick to judge, and assume I had this, this and that done, but before people had the opportunity to do so, I wanted to pre-advise people on what actually happened. This was a mandatory operation before allergy season re-started. So that i could breathe normally. 

Today to take my mind of the pain, Mauro and I went to get my nails painted, and i had the balls to walk into Starbucks and Bath and Body Works. People were staring, kids were petrified and the women in Bath and Body Works asked me how my day was, looked at me and said "oh well that was a stupid question to ask" w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l.

 I grabbed onto Mauro a few times feeling vulnerable, and pretty much like an alien. As it's only been about 24 hours post op I'm hoping to go back to school within the next day or so. I am on a strict diet of Ice cream, Starbucks, and soup, but Mauro has been an absolute sweetheart looking after me, catering me with macaroons and manicures to make my spirits high. My little sister Trinity has even helped me an abundance of times, while Poppy went into diva mode an accidentally threw Barnbys "lamb chop" toy at me thinking we were playing catch. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling slightly better and be able to post more!
There would have been 6..but Mauro ate one!
Being silly
Pretty in Pink! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beautiful in Black

Playboy brochure from the 1960s

Not that I ever slightly considered joining the playboy bunny club circa 1960's (before I was born), but sometimes history outside of textbooks can be interesting.

 Playboy clubs were exclusive nightclubs, bars, and casinos that started in Las Vegas and expanded through New York, London and Tokyo through the 1980s. The young waitresses were the signature attraction at the clubs, wearing skimpy bunny costumes, complete ears and a fluffy tail.

A brochure promoting Hugh Hefner's Playboy clubs in the early 1960's touted glamorous lifestyles. From custom outfits, meeting celebrities, and promises that "you'll earn far more than other girls".

While some of the bunnies were former Playboy magazine models, most were aspiring actresses, models or singers, hoping to enter the "glamorous" world of Playboy. The vintage literature was first posted on the site Ex-Playboy Bunnies, and later published by BuzzFeed. It stated that"Bunnies have no standard height and weight requirements, but a Bunny must be properly portioned"also containing a checklist, asking that bunnies must have "a charming personality, a cheerful disposition and an attractive appearance".

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Oscars Fashion

...And my best dressed nominne goes to Jennifer Aniston wearing Valentino