What are the Advantages of Essential Oils?

Essential oils can benefit you in so many ways that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint any one thing that they do. They can help with the health of your body and mind, beauty care, house cleaning, can be used as pesticides, the list goes on.

Their versatility is one of the things that makes them so useful. You can buy a bottle of lavender oil and use it for at least two dozen different things which means that you get both quality and quantity from it. That totally makes up for the fairly expensive price that a bottle of quality, 100% pure lavender oil is. Or any other type of essential oil for that matter.



What Are the Disadvantages?

The only real downside is that they don’t have a very long shelf life and they also have to be kept in a specific manner or they lose even more of their already short shelf life. So plan ahead when you buy essential oils. Go ahead and get appropriate sized amber bottles and anything else that you need to keep them from losing their effectiveness. It’s another expense but it’s well worth it, and it’s only a one-time expense too. Unless you break the bottles you shouldn’t have to re-buy anything.

Also decide on a plan for where you’re going to store your oils. One good option is the fridge so that they can stay cold and away from sunlight. Heat and sunlight are what makes them lose their potency; when stored in the fridge they can stay viable for twice as long. Especially if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate in which your house probably stays very warm most of the year.

It’s particularly smart to keep citrus essential oils in the fridge as they will barely last a year even in the best of conditions.

Physical and Mental Well Being

  • Vigilance: There have been numerous studies and documentations on essential oils and vigilance. The common thread of thought is that juniper and peppermint essential oils can increase your vigilance, making you more aware of what is going on around you and increasing your observation and memory skills.
  • Sleeping: Lavender oil is often included in baby lotions because of it’s calming and sleep aiding properties. Although it’s great for adults who need to get some rest too. You can apply it to your feet or you can diffuse it in your bedroom. It smells delicious and is very beneficial in calming you down so you can drift off to sleep. Just the scent of it alone is likely to give off calming vibes to you.
  • Unwind time: Many people have trouble winding down especially if they have had a long day of hard mental work and are feeling restless or stressed. If you’re one of these people you could greatly benefit from geranium or orange oils.
  • Continued Focus: If you have trouble concentrating after spending hours on one specific task you might want to see if basil will benefit you. People with ADD may especially benefit from diffusing basil when they need to focus.

Focusing can be hard for everyone at one point or another but people with ADD have chronic focus and concentration problems; it’s not just an occasional issue for people who have ADD. Anything that can be used to benefit an ADD sufferer would be worth a shot.

Household Cleaning

While most people have at least heard of the positive effects essential oils can bring to your health, most people have never heard of cleaning with essential oils. You might ask how cleaning with them works when essential oils are so expensive, but it’s the same as when you use them for anything – you dilute them first. In this case you dilute them by adding them to your normal cleaning products.

It’s also the same in that it only takes a small amount. Don’t forget that they’re strong, so don’t underestimate their power and use more than you have to. it won’t hurt anything per se but it will be a waste of money when less does the job just as well.

Lemon Essential Oil and Cleaning

You’ve probably heard that lemon juice is a great cleaner due to it’s acidic nature. Well, the same holds true for lemon essential oil. It’s really effective on dirt, grease and stains. Just add a few drops to your usual cleaning product, get a rag and scrub away and the impurities. It will really leave your floors or counter-tops clean and shiny and will also kill any bacteria or mold that’s there.

They can improve your life in so many areas if you just take the time to do a little bit of research and start applying them where you desire!

Benefits of Essential Oils

Find the Time

Overall, people tend to just not think about essential oils even if they do have some knowledge of their benefits. It’s not at the center of their mind when they have so many other things going on. Ironically, essential oils could help you when you have a lot going on and are feeling frazzled and worn out. It’s like how eating healthy is really important at any time but particularly important when you’re worn down. Healthy food boosts your immune system and helps prevents you from getting ill.

Well, it’s the same general idea with essential oils – except that essential oils also have the added bonus of being capable of calming you, ensuring a good night’s sleep, helping you remember things, improving your focus, and so on. These are exactly the sort of things you could use when you’re doing too much and feeling the stress from it. Therefore, stop putting off getting essential oils. Put it on your to-do list for today and purchase the essential oils that you think will be most beneficial for you.

Hair and Beauty

These are just a few health and beauty tips using essential oils. There are hundreds more out there so if you’re looking for a particular fix or treatment that isn’t on the list, just do a search online. You’re sure to come up with some results.

  • Scars: No one likes to have scars. It’s always a concern when you receive a particularly bad wound, especially if that wound is on your face or another prominent area of your body. Even the littlest scar can make you feel self conscious about your appearance.

So it’s really beneficial to dab some essential oils on the wound which will aid in keeping it bacteria-free. That should prevent infection which will ensure that the wound heals quickly and, thus, decreases the risks of scarring. Tea tree, thyme, and oregano are excellent for this purpose. They have disinfection properties and will promote natural, healthy healing of your skin.

If you already have scars that you want to minimize you can try lavender or geranium oils. You will want to apply them at least a couple of times per day or as often as five times per day.

  • Eczema: One of the most annoying skin issues is eczema. In bad cases it can really start affecting your life. You might not be able to shower or wash your hands when you’d like to because of the affect water and soap can have on eczema. You might have to avoid wearing clothing that irritates your eczema and you may want to cover it up so no one can see your red patchy skin.

Many people spend an absolute fortune on special lotions, soaps, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and a plethora of other products in order to get rid of it and still nothing works! Essential oils are often very effective, however. Tea tree oil is established as an effective treatment and source of relief for eczema and lavender is also a great choice as it has anti inflammatory properties as well as the ability to soothe and moisturize your skin.

  • Acne is another blemish everyone would like to avoid. Everybody gets acne from time to time but one thing you can do to help prevent it is by mixing a carrier oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil with essential oils that are beneficial in preventing acne. Oils such as tea tree, lemongrass, geranium and cedarwood are generally effective.

Alternatively, you can directly apply tea tree or lavender oil via a cotton ball onto acne. This is one case where it’s permissible to use essential oils without diluting them. It’s a technique called “neat”. However, it can cause skin irritation and discomfort. If this occurs stop using the “neat” technique with that particular essential oil.

Add Them to Your Products

You aren’t required to solely use carrier oils to mix essential oils with, you can add essential oils to most of your existing products. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, aloe vera gel, toothpaste…just about anything you can think of! It’s wise to do a quick search online to make sure it’s safe, though.

Just make sure you don’t add essential oils to anything that would be considered unsafe. For instance, there are several essential oils that are considered phototoxic, meaning they can’t be applied if you’re going to be in direct sunlight in the next 12 hours to 24 hours due to the toxic reaction they cause when exposed to UV rays. So it would obviously not be a good idea to add, for example, grapefruit oil to your suncream.

Citrus oils are most prominent for phototoxicity but it’s important to note that not all citrus oils are. Of the citrus oils typically sold, only lemon, lime, grapefruit, bitter orange, petitgrain and bergamot are phototoxic.

What is the old or vintage “McCulloch” Chainsaw?

Background of “McCulloch” Chainsaw

The “McCulloch” is a branded name of chainsaw.  view more information best electric chainsaw .The “McCulloch” belongs to a long history. It was 1948, when Robert “McCulloch” invented the single individual chainsaw. He was the first person who brought about a revolutionary change in the field of industry and the way of logging. There is no use of two-man team group or team to chop down trees, now one single individual or operator can easily cut down trees easily. Any single individual can cut tree, log, concrete, stone, and many more things with the help of a light or powerful chainsaw. On the research of 29 years, he added a new dimension or added innovations in the chainsaw market. The year was 1964 when for the first time he began a considerable manufacturing plant within Lake Havasu Town, Arizona making American created McCullochs. Unfortunately, in 1999 January, McCullochs Company got bankrupt and sealed its doors. That was the historical close down of the American made qualified chainsaws. In 2003, a new light of hope became known. A Taiwan company bought the “McCulloch” name and since then the name has gone through many company owners. That is the real reason why you may be willing to buy a chainsaw with the name at present but you will not get highly qualified one.

Husqvarna 395xp Chainsaw

Why do you need “McCulloch” Chainsaw or not?

If you are an unique user or an excellent operator, then it will not require achieving a highly potent chainsaw. You can finish your garden work at the weekend. You may get away with finishing simple trimming, edging, and mowing to hold your front-back garden to look nice. At worst, you may require to operate a handsaw to cut down un-useful branches. Nevertheless, the individuals or groups who need to complete a paramount task, related cutting, they need such powerful chainsaws. They may need to get old “McCulloch” chainsaw. Such large groups have to perform some difficult tasks and for this old “McCulloch” chainsaw is mostly suitable for them.

chain saw

Validity of “McCulloch” Chainsaw

Sometime the parts of old “McCulloch” chainsaw are not easy to get at hand. If you get the parts of old, “McCulloch” chainsaw then you may treat for it. While operating your tasks with such old classical parts of chainsaw, you must take a great care of these parts to cut down or to complete your tasks. The old “McCulloch” chainsaw is usable repeatedly day after day and even years. However, at present the new “McCulloch” chainsaw is easy to collect from your nearest shop. With the new “McCulloch” chainsaw, you can use it just for simple amount of time and finally have to throw away.

Models of “McCulloch” Chainsaws that you may need to change

“McCulloch” generated chainsaws for over 5 decades, having many fashions. Much of the most liked ones, tend to be the Pro Macintosh, Mini Macintosh, Powerhouse, and Jumbo Pro. However, clothes only a few coming from the list. Therefore, it is important to get the unearth “McCulloch” chainsaw parts to exchange and to fix a majority of these classic chainsaws, when it is necessary.

The Basics of Machine quilting

Throughout my quilting career I have quilted on both a domestic (tabletop) and a longarm machine. I’d like to take a moment to debunk the myth that a longarm machine is a magical tool that produces amazing quilting. A longarm quilting machine does make machine quilting more convenient and efficient. However, it is not necessary to use a longarm machine to achieve beautiful quilting. Everything in this article can be done on either a domestic or a longarm machine. The quality of the quilting is dependent on you and your ability to freehand draw the designs that you choose to quilt, not on the technology of the machine that you are using.



Quilting Feet

For free-motion quilting you will need a free-motion or darning foot for your machine My favorite ones have a clear ring or oval that presses against the fabric as you sew. These are great because they enable you to see where you are going. Usually the circle on the bottom of the foot has a relatively accurate measurement of 1/4 inch in radius, which can come in handy as a spacer when you are echo quilting. Each brand of sewing machine has specific feet that will fit on it. See your local sewing machine dealer to get the correct foot for your personal machine
Your Working Style & Your Work Space
One of the biggest complaints about machine quilting is the difficulty of maneuvering a large quilt under the short arm of a domestic sewing machine. You will notice throughout this book that my working style is to quilt in continuous paths whenever possible. This enables me to roll the quilt so that just the path I need is exposed. I can start at one end of the quilt and sew one design, non-stop, until I reach the other end of the quilt. I hate to start and stop, so I try to do it as little as possible. Remember, our goal is to get these quilts finished!


Your workstation can be either fancy or simple as long as it has a flat surface behind and to the Left of your sewing machine large enough to hold the weight of your entire quilt as you sew. I quilt at my kitchen table with my sewing machine located at the front right corner of the table. When I have an especially large quilt I add another table to the back of my kitchen table to increase the surface area. I also like to use an extended base on my sewing machine when I’m quilting. This extra surface allows me to maintain better control over the area I’m quilting
If your quilt seems to be sticking to the extended base, wipe the base with a small amount of Pledge cleaner and the surface will become slicker. As you would after contact with any chemical, be sure to wash your quilt when completed to remove any residue.



Guiding Your Quilt

When free-motion quilting, you will need to make a frame using your hands. This allows you to maintain control over the space that you are quilting and holds the three quilt layers in place as you sew Always maintain a good frame with constant pressure as you quilt. Do not grab the quilt and pull it as you work, this will only distort the quilting and shift the layers out of alignment. You will need something to put on your hands to help grip the fabric as you sew Most common are quilting gloves or rubber fingertips. I also like to put lotion on my hands or use the pink finger moistener found in business supply stores. Please use these with caution and wash your quilt after it is finished to remove any oily residue.

A Meal-Making Machine

Almost halt the world’s population makes the ancient grain a staple in their diets. It is nutritious, inexpensive, versatile, and easy to Store and cook. Today, we in the United States are eating more and more of this cholesterol- arid gluten-free food—which is low in sodium, very low in fat, and rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. What’s more, unhulled (a.k.a. brown) rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber.

Rice Cooker

Eating more rice means cooking more rice in our own kitchens. The major problem with cooking rice at home is that most gas or electric stove burners do not turn down to a true simmer. So when the rice has finished boiling and it’s time to steam the grains over a small, steady heat source, most people end up burning, or at best, scorching their rice. They either misjudge when to turn down the heat source or they cannot turn the burner down low enough to steam the rice. Instead, they end up boiling it.

In the U.S.—where parboiled, dehydrated rice, frozen rice in-a-bag, or rice cooked pasta style, with lots of water that is later drained off, is often the norm—people marvel at the delicious taste, fragrant aroma, and perfect texture of rice served in Asian restaurants and homes. They wonder why they cannot duplicate that perfect rice in their own kitchen. The answer they seek, the real secret to perfect, foolproof rice, is not the cook, but rather, the electric rice cooker. Rice cooking traditionally calls for measuring X amount of rice and X amount of water and heating them together for X amount of time.


Rice cookers, also called rice steamers, make this deceptively simple process really, truly and reliably simple by handling all the Xs. A cook measures the amount of rice and fills water to the water level line corresponding to the amount of rice, puts it inside the automated counter top appliance, and pushes a button to turn the device on. The rice cooker heats the rice and water until all the water has either been absorbed or evaporated. The rice cooker takes its cues from the boiling water, which maintains a constant temperature (212°F or 1OOC, at sea level). Once cooking completes and the water is absorbed by the rice, the temperature change signals the device to keep the rice warm and ready to serve for several hours. With an automated rice cooker, burned grains on the bottom of a pot are almost impossible. Scorched rice is history.


Speaking of history, rice cookers owe their history to the Japanese, for whom rice cooking is a serious art. From its early development in the 1950s, the basic electric rice cooker has become increasingly more advanced, with the introduction of micro computerization, which allows for multiple cooking settings for multiple types of rice, as well as other grains and foods.
In Japan, the word for cooked rice is also the word for meal. It follows then that rice cookers are also meal cookers. So, we home cooks benefit from rice cookers’ ever-advancing ability to serve up perfectly hot, fluffy rice. But we may benefit even more from the devices’ versatility in cooking, not only every rice dish we can shake a wooden spoon at, but also non- rice recipes. Rice cookers also cook hot cereals, desserts, soups, and stews, as well as poach fruits, and steam vegetables and meats. Think of it: An entire meal in just one pot.

Food and nutrition

Food and nutrition

Nutrition is a subject which has firmly entered our general awareness today. From the growth of obesity in wealthy western societies to the quality of our food and the way it is produced, what and how we eat has become a subject of debate at all levels from government policy-makers to the home. Healthy eating has become just as much part of the debate around ecological lifestyles, sustainable agriculture, intensive farming and animal rearing, the value of organic foods and how we treat the planet as the overarching quest ions associated with global warming and the future of human development.


Ecological Issues

Rudolf Steiner may not yet in his day have had to grapple with wider ecological issues such as whether it is more ecologically sound to fly beans thousands of miles from Africa to European markets than to grow them closer to home in the colder European climate using hot houses which may leave just as large a carbon footprint because of the energy needed to heat them, but nutrition as a subject was well established. The investigation of the composition of foods and the effect on health of proper amounts of substances like carbohydrates, minerals, fats and proteins had started in its modern form in the mid-eighteenth century.
In 1770, Antoine Lavoisier, the ‘Father of Nutrition and Chemistry’, discovered the actual process by which food is metabolized. In the early 1800s the discovery was made that foods are composed primarily of four elements—carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen—and methods were developed for determining the amounts of these elements. In the mid-nineteenth century the German chemist Justus Liebig undertook influential work on plant and animal physiology. It is worth noting that chemistry, along with the natural sciences and mathematics, was one of the subjects studied by Steiner during his student days in Vienna.


Scientific and Medical Research into Nutrition

Yet while scientific and medical research into nutrition and healthy or harmful diets has, of course, moved on again in the 90 odd years since Steiner was lecturing on the subject, what is also clear is that one thing has not altered: the extent to which nutritional advice still keeps changing and sometimes contradicting itself as new research throws a different light on previously accepted axioms with regard to what is healthy or not so healthy for us to eat. That this was already an issue in Steiner’s day is illustrated in his example of the daily portions of protein which it is advisable to eat.
Just like the delicate balance of our external natural environment, where an action in one part may have unexpected, not to say unintended, consequences in another, the human being also represents a cohesive and integrated ‘sphere’, both as a physical and a spiritual being. In this sense any dietary recommendation may produce unexpected results, which may not always be immediately apparent. And this is where Steiner goes far beyond current nutritional research (which is largely restricted to the effect of substances at a material level) in that he investigates the effect of foods on the whole human being at a much more fundamental level, including the spiritual elements permeating the physical body. In this way he avoids the potentially unexpected consequences of a one-sided materialistic perspective.
This approach gives his results a significance that has not lost any of its relevance, and is much more subtle. It recognizes that protein, for example, may have different effects depending on its source and that not only is the physical health of the human being influenced by the kind of food we eat, but also our spiritual well-being. In this wider view, eating the right kinds of food can either promote or hinder our development as whole human beings.


In terms of its structure, the book moves from the more general view to the particular. In the early chapters, Steiner describes nutrition and substances in the wider context of the human being as a spiritual entity and, indeed, against a cosmic background. On this basis, the later chapters then describe the actions and effects of particular types of food in greater detail. These lectures were given to different types of audience; some were made up of the general public while others were mainly anthroposophists following a path of spiritual development, so the tone also varies from the more general to the more intimate.
One thing which emerges clearly in all that Rudolf Steiner says about nutrition is that he never wishes to be prescriptive.

At no point does he try and tell his audience what they should or should not be eating, whether or not they should follow a vegetarian diet, whether they should or should not smoke or drink alcohol. He repeatedly states that it is not his task to tell people what to eat or how to behave. The job of the scientist is to explain how things act and their effect—what people then do with that knowledge is entirely up to them. One reason for this may lie in the fact that the effects of a particular diet can be influenced by the particular circumstances of the individual. It may be better for a person to eat a meat diet, for example, at a certain stage of his life, and blanket prescriptions are simply beside the point because they leave the individual out of consideration.

But more fundamentally Steiner here, as elsewhere, never wishes to impinge on the freedom of the individual. Each person must recognize what is the appropriate diet for him at any given time. Although, as Steiner also points out, people in our modern age have increasingly lost the instinct for what is good or bad for them to eat, that is no reason for him to be prescriptive. It is up to each of us individually to work out what is the right course of action in our particular situation. Our diet not only determines our physical well-being, but can also promote or hinder our inner spiritual development. What Steiner wishes to do is give us the tools that can help us to understand how we can best promote our physical health and spiritual progress.

Three Bio-realms: Biotechnology and the Governance of Food, Health and Life

Netzvored Biotech Governance Interests and Democraci

The scientific disciplines, professionals, and expertise relevant to biotechnology for food, health, and human life spread out over several government and non-governmental organizations. In the language of Ottawa central agencies, biotechnology has a high degree of ‘horizontality’ or interdependence as a policy field and hence in its governance. Of course, as we have emphasized in the discussion here, such horizontality is no guarantee of easy coordination, seamless coherence in policy, or, for that matter, high priority on the federal agenda as a national issue.

Any political account of the forces driving or constraining biogovernance needs to deal with networked bio-govemance interests and democracy — the second element in our analytical framework — the key features and attributes of which include:
business interests in bio-food, bio-health, and bio-life;
• finance and capital interests and needs for biotech firms;
• NGO interests (consumer, health, environmental, social);
• individuals, identity, and public opinion;
• science as the quintessential network;
• government departments and agencies as interests;
• quasi-public-sector arm’s-length entities as interests: universities,
hospitals, foundations, and research labs and granting agencies; and
• diverse overlapping notions of democracy.

The commercialization of human genetics poses basic questions of what is ‘normal’ in our society, in a debate that organizations of and for persons with disabilities have certainly entered, along with other groups (Caulfield 1996; Prince 2009; Reiss and Straughan 1996; Turney 1998). In addition, there is the complexity of ‘interests within interests,’ such as differing perspectives by physicians from the medical associations and from Health Canada or even from within a government portfolio such as Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Thus there are changing notions of what medical power is. Doctors are still at the centre of many aspects of health-system governance but they are also increasingly networked with related health professions, with the drug industry and with health seen as an industry rather than just as a health-care sector, an ‘industry’ that includes health researchers in universities and in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and other research institutes. This extended value diversity and differentiated system of networked power is both a policy reality and a governance test to face.


NGO interest

The ‘density’ of the NGO interest in the biotechnology policy community — the number and range of types of groups involved in a given sector appears to vary across sectors of the Canadian economy. This variation in stakeholder engagement was initially evident in the sector consultations for the Biotechnology Strategy Renewal exercise done between 1996 and 1998. Some sectors, such as aquatics, forestry, and mining and energy identified in their consultation reports a limited number of third-sector stakeholders: university academics and scientists, and environmental and consumer public interest associations. Other sectors reported responses to their consultation documents from a much wider and deeper network of stakeholders, such as the environmental, agricultural and agro-food, and health sectors.

Consumer interests are a significant part of this large array of NGO interests. Indeed, they were a crucial presence in the initial evolution of the bio-food realm (Knoppers and Mathios 1998). Discussions of consumer interests in general and in later bio-governance periods necessarily bring out the ultimate complexity and nuanced nature of what actually is the modern consumer-citizen (Doern and Wilks 2007; Locke 1998; Middleton 1998). The consumer is best seen as being always hyphenated with some aspect of his or her role as citizen and as economic and social actor. These hyphenated roles range from the individual buyer-consumer to the environmental-consumer concerned about how goods and services are made, and the private and public goods consumer with views about balances between public and private goods.
In the bio-life realm, we will see how these extensions of citizenship and what the use and consumption of products might mean increasingly embrace a politics and bio-governance centered on the views and strengths of women’s groups and coalitions, and with varied kinds of individual identity. Attention is also paid to engagement through public opinion surveys, focus groups, and Internet-based mobilization and communication.

Government department

Government departments and agencies vary when it comes to which consumer groups or institutions and also smaller subgroups tend most to engage with them and criticize them. For example, in the fair labeling practices area of the CFIA, the Centre for Science in the Public Interest has been a regular participant, as have Quebec-based groups such as the Union des consummators and Option consummators. The Consumers Council of Canada and the Canadian Consumers Association have had some, but less regular, involvement. Arguably, it is in Health Canada’s institutional realm for bio-health and other mandate aspects that consumer subgroups are the most diverse and particularized. Basic subgroups here start with an overall division among patients, drug users, and special health sub-populations needing both market-based products and public services. Within and across these three categories there are any number of disease-focused groups and voluntary sector bodies dealing with bio-health and bio-life issues, as well as other issues such as AIDs, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.
In the end, there is an explicit need to examine government departments and agencies as interests. Defined broadly, this set of public sector interests also includes universities, hospitals, foundations, research labs, and federal research-granting agencies such as the Networks of Centres of Excellence program, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and its virtual reality institutes and peer-review panels.

Natural Toxins in Food

Even Vegetables Can Be Dangerous
There are many natural toxins in food. For example, many vegetables have developed natural insecticides to protect themselves from predators; after all, a plant cannot run away! Some of these substances are quite toxic. These natural toxic chemicals are more prevalent in foods like potatoes grown under “natural conditions” without the benefit of herbicides, because the plants respond by producing their own defenses.

The potato belongs to the nightshade family, some members of which contain naturally toxic substances. The skin of the common potato contains compounds called glycoalkaloids. Two examples are solanine and chaconine, which affect both the central nervous system and the digestive tract. For example, solanine is as poisonous as parathion, a synthetic pesticide, banned in the United States because of its high toxicity. These toxic glycoalkaloids are found in higher concentrations on potatoes that have been damaged or are bred to be disease resistant. For safety, any portion of the potato skin that is green should be removed. Generally speaking, though, potatoes are safe to eat. Unless you eat large amounts of peels from low-quality potatoes, these toxins are not a serious health hazard. Other food poisons result from fungi (molds) that occur on the plant under moist conditions.


Organic Foods
Organic food, promoted by “political correctness” and some scientific misunderstandings, is a booming industry, with annual revenues in the United States of about $4.5 billion. Many customers are willing to pay higher prices for organic food grown without man-made chemical fertilizers and pesticides because they believe that such food is safer, healthier, and friendlier to the environment. People are also accustomed to associating higher prices with better quality. It is furthermore true that some organically grown fruits taste better because they are picked ripe. Many conventionally grown fruits are picked while green and are artificially ripened using a plant hormone, ethylene gas.
Several prominent food scientists have pointed out that, because of the way organic food is fertilized, with compost and manure, it is actually riskier to consume than food grown with synthetic chemicals. These natural fertilizers may infect the food with deadly bacteria that are carried in animal feces. Indeed, while there are no reports of death attributed to pesticide residues, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) registers hundreds of deaths from food borne diseases each year. For example, deadly new strains of food borne bacteria such as E. coil 0157:H7 are estimated to cause
250 deaths and 20,000 illnesses per year. Consumers of organic and natural food are 8 times as likely to be attacked by this dangerous new strain than those who eat conventionally grown foods. Organic food can also contain high levels of natural toxins (e.g., aflatoxins) and allergens. The politic ally correct status of organic foods may have kept the CDC and other government groups from widely discussing risks inherent in organic foods. It is perhaps fortunate that such foods constitute only a tiny fraction of the food supply.

Certain vegetables can be dangerous, especially organic vegetables. Alfalfa sprouts, a favorite salad ingredient, have caused outbreaks of illness traced to Salmonella and E. coil in their seeds, and washing the sprouts
does not help. In healthy people, these bacteria can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and fever over several days. The danger is higher for the elderly, who may have impaired immune systems. Young children also should not be fed these sprouts. Estimates are that more than 20,000 people in North America contracted salmonella infections from alfalfa sprouts in 1995. These sprouts are believed to have been the leading source of E. coil illness, much more than tainted ground beef, which has received wider publicity. Alfalfa sprouts have now disappeared from cafeteria food lines, but you may remember eating this natural food. In 1996, a similar problem occurred in Japan, where radish sprouts used as salad toppings are thought to have caused an outbreak of E. coil 0157, killing 11 people and giving diarrhea to thousands more.
Even foods not contaminated with bacteria may be hazardous. Bruce Ames, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, de
veloped a simple method for determining whether a chemical produces mutations in the DNA of bacteria. The Ames Test has become a universal screening technique for potential carcinogens. When this test was applied to synthetic insecticides results showed a cancer- producing potential that alarmed many people. Subsequent tests on rodents established that, at very high doses, about half these synthetic chemicals could, indeed, produce cancer. This information led the Environmental Protection Agency to limit the amount of pesticide residue allowed on food to “an acceptable level of risk”—calculated as that which causes an increase of no more than one cancer death per million people over a 70-year lifetime. The Agriculture Department examined 7,328 food items and detected excesses of synthetic insecticides and herbicides in 1.5% of these samples. The greatest “offenders” were apples, celery, and peaches.

Smoked Meats and Fish
Be cautious around the smoked meats. Is formaldehyde found in food? Yes, formaldehyde is in smoked meats and smoked fish, where it serves as a bactericide. It has been used as embalming fluid because it suppresses bacterial growth. As you probably have heard, formaldehyde is toxic; it is also a carcinogen. In the past, formaldehyde was used in bathroom deodorants. Cola and beer also contain small amounts of formaldehyde, 8 and 0.7 ppm (parts per million), respectively. Even your blood has some formaldehyde, 3 ppm, as the result of metabolism, but such tiny amounts of formaldehyde are not considered dangerous. In none of the above examples is formaldehyde considered toxic. This is an illustration that It is the amount of a toxic substance that must be considered when assessing risk. The smoking process by itself is insufficient to kill dangerous organisms in meat, as the following example demonstrates.



For what is food? it is not only a collection of products that can be used for statistical or nutritional studies. It is also, and at the same time, a system of communication, a body of
images. a protocol of usages. situations, and behavior.
Roland Barthes (1979)
We start our inquiry, to repeat Paul Rozin (1999), with the most “fundamental” and “fu” aspects of food
the way food serves to express personal and group identities and to cement social bonds. These functions may be taken for granted in our modern world, where eating is often of the “grab and go” variety and where consumers are so removed from the complex and nearly miraculous means by which solar energy and chemical elements are transformed into dishes, meals, and feasts.

It is an axiom of food studies that “dining” is much more than “feeding.” While all creatures “feed.” only humans “dine.” As the French cultural theorist Barthes suggests above, what we consider “food” extends far beyond nutrients, calories, and minerals. A meal is much more than the sum of its parts, for it encompasses what Barthes calls “a system of communication, a body of images, a protocol of usages, situations, and behavior” (Barthes 1979: 166—173). People use food to “speak” with each other, to establish rules of behavior (“protocols”), and to reveal, as BrillalS
avarin said, what you are.


One way to understand the expressive and normative functions of food is through the key concept of “cuisine.” In popular language the term “cuisine” is often reserved for high-class, elite, or “gourmet” food, But here, following anthropologists Peter Farb and George Armelagos (1980: 190—98), we take a more expansive view to suggest that all groups have an identifiable “cuisine,” a shared set of “protocols,” usages, communications, behaviors, etc.

Cuisines are also distinguished by their “flavor principles” a distinctive way of seasoning dishes, These unique flavoring combinations serve as important group “markers.” For example, culinary identity in parts of China may be expressed through the combination of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, while a mix of garlic, tomato, and olive oil may signal “southern Italian,” and chili, cumin, garlic, and tomato may communicate Mexican. I o be sure, regional and personal variations in seasoning are extensive, so one must be wan of over-generalizing except perhaps if you are a mass-marketed selling stereotypical “ethnic foods” such as tacos, spaghetti sauce, or egg rolls (Belasco 1987).
Cuisines also prescribe the way food is to be eaten a set of “manners,” codes of etiquette. Barthes’s “protocols.” These socially transmitted norms of behavior establish the boundaries of acceptability. As the Victorians were particularly concerned about separating the “civilized” from the savage, their rules were particularly complex. As one 1879 rulebook put against the intrusion of’ the impertinent, the improper and the vulgar.” But all cultures have their rules. culinary historian Margaret Visser notes, for “without them food would be hogged h the physically powerful, civility in general would decline, and eventually society would break down altogether. Furthermore the specific fashion in which a culture manages eating helps to express, identify, and dramatize that society’s ideals and aesthetic style” (Visser 2003: 586, 588).

Here again notions and practices vary greatly, including the number of meals to be eaten per day, when, where, with what utensils, and with whom. Some cuisines favor pickled fish and rice for breakfast, others flaked grains with cold, pasteurized cow’s milk. Some dine on the floor, others at tall tables. Some use the fingers of one hand, others use sticks, while others use prongs. Some compliment the cook with gentle burps while others finds such expressions to be unimaginably crude. In some societies women eat after men, in others at the same time but in another room. Hierarchies of power and preference may also be expressed by the seating of guests, especially how close to the host and on which hand. Within cuisines the rules may also change depending on the importance or “weight” of a particular dining event. A casual “drink” with acquaintances entails quite a different set of protocols from a formal banquet with ones boss or in-laws. An afternoon snack may have 1iwer protocols than a wedding. And even weddings are celebrated with varying degrees of culinary attention. A nuptial dinner in Connecticut may take years to plan and cost a year’s pay (or more), while in parts of Mali a bride may not know whom she is marrying until her wedding day, and no food at all will he served at the ensuing party (Menzel and D’Aluisio 2005: 216).
Generally, however, pleasant social gatherings involve food consumption, whereas food is usually prohibited in less friendly venues, such as traffic court, or, in keeping with the classic mind—body distinction, in many libraries and classrooms. While banning food from library stacks makes some sense, for this does protect the hooks, the general proscription on eating in class seems unfortunate, especially if the learning involves teamwork. According to the concept of commensality, sharing food has almost magical properties in its ability to turn self-seeking individuals into a collaborative group. Take, for example, the classic French folk tale, “Stone Soup.” The story has many variants, hut the general theme is food’s trans-formative properties.