Roses are edible flowers. From ancient times they have appeared at feasting tables as bouquets and as food. The flavor of roses is varied as the colors. The sweet, tart or spicy petals are easy to use and popular additions to any kitchen.
Archive for November, 2010
Global burden of cancer
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. The disease accounted for 7.4 million deaths (or around 13% of all deaths worldwide) in 2004. The main types of cancer leading to overall cancer mortality each year are:
lung (1.3 million deaths/year)
stomach (803 000 deaths)
colorectal (639 000 deaths)
liver (610 000 deaths)
breast (519 000 deaths).
More than 70% of all cancer deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030.
The most frequent types of cancer worldwide (in order of the number of global deaths) are:
Among men – lung, stomach, liver, colorectal, oesophagus and prostate
Among women – breast, lung, stomach, colorectal and cervical.
What causes cancer?
Cancer arises from one single cell. The transformation from a normal cell into a tumour cell is a multistage process, typically a progression from a pre-cancerous lesion to malignant tumours. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and three categories of external agents, including:
physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation
chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant)
biological carcinogens, such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.
Some examples of infections associated with certain cancers:
Viruses: hepatitis B and liver cancer, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cervical cancer, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Kaposi sarcoma.
Bacteria: Helicobacter pylori and stomach cancer.
Parasites: schistosomiasis and bladder cancer.
Ageing is another fundamental factor for the development of cancer.
The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age, most likely due to a buildup of risks for specific cancers that increase with age. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.
Tobacco use, alcohol use, low fruit and vegetable intake, and chronic infections from hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and some types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are leading risk factors for cancer in low- and middle-income countries.
Cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV, is a leading cause of cancer death among women in low-income countries.
In high-income countries, tobacco use, alcohol use, and being overweight or obese are major risk factors for cancer.
How can the burden of cancer be reduced?
Knowledge about the causes of cancer, and interventions to prevent and manage the disease is extensive. Cancer can be reduced and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, early detection of cancer and management of patients with cancer.
More than 30% of cancer could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, according to a 2005 study by international cancer collaborators1.
Risk factors include:
being overweight or obese
low fruit and vegetable intake
sexually transmitted HPV-infection
urban air pollution
indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.
increase avoidance of the risk factors listed above
vaccinate against human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV)
control occupational hazards
reduce exposure to sunlight
About one-third of the cancer burden could be decreased if cases were detected and treated early. Early detection of cancer is based on the observation that treatment is more effective when cancer is detected earlier. The aim is to detect the cancer when it is localized (before metastasis). There are two components of early detection efforts:
Education to help people recognize early signs of cancer and seek prompt medical attention for symptoms, which might include: lumps, sores, persistent indigestion, persistent coughing, and bleeding from the body’s orifices.
Screening programmes to identify early cancer or pre-cancer before signs are recognizable, including mammography for breast cancer, and cytology (a “pap smear”) for cervical cancer.
Treatment and care
Treatment aims to cure, prolong life and improve quality of life for patients. Some of the most common cancer types, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer, have high cure rates when detected early and treated according to best practice. Principal treatment methods are surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Fundamental for adequate treatment is an accurate diagnosis through imaging technology (ultrasound, endoscopy or radiography) and laboratory (pathology) investigations.
Relief from pain and other problems can be achieved in over 90% of cancer patients through palliative care. Effective ways exist to provide palliative care for patients and their families in low resource settings.
7 Ways Food Allergies Could Benefit You (& the Earth)
posted by Samantha, selected from TreeHugger
A food allergy diagnosis can range from being a minor inconvenience — like having to read labels to check for food dye — to a major health issue (think extreme, lethal allergies to milk, eggs, and nuts).
But let’s look at the bright side for a moment: If you’re forced to pay attention to every ingredient that goes onto your plate, you could also be making better choices for your health and the environment — from choosing foods with smaller carbon footprints to defaulting to organic produce over packaged goods. In fact, we could learn a lot from the way people with food allergies approach their plate.
1. You Know Where Your Food Comes From
Whether you’re allergic to nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, or any other ingredient, a food restriction means you spend a lot more time reading labels — and figuring out exactly where your food comes from. Someone with a deadly allergy — like one to peanuts — needs to trust the source of their food.
A general awareness of what you’re eating and how it got to your plate gives you a better understanding of the environmental impact of your daily diet, from the miles traveled by those South American bananas to exactly what goes into selling tomatoes in New England in January. Once you start thinking about the production and distribution of every single ingredient, you’re more likely to make choices that are good for the Earth (as well as for your health).
2. You Read the Ingredients
People with food allergies spend a lot of time reading nutrition labels, checking for those hidden terms, key words, and “made in a factory that also processes” warnings.
There’s no doubt about it: that’s exhausting. And once you’re really looking at every ingredient in your packaged cereals, breakfast bars, chips, and snacks, you start to wonder: Is processed food really delicious enough to warrant taking in all those chemicals and preservatives? It’s so much easier to snack on fresh fruit and vegetables, add your own fruit and cinnamon to old-fashioned oatmeal instead of relying on the packets, whisk up your own olive-oil-and-vinegar dressings, and spend half an hour baking from-scratch brownies — plus, you know exactly what you’re eating.
3. You Consume Less Food Dye
Allergies to food dye don’t often get the same PR as other food allergies — most elementary schools don’t have a dye-free table like they do for peanuts — but these synthetic colorings have their risks: Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are “contaminated with known carcinogens,” according to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and can cause severe reactions along with Blue 1; and Red 3 is no longer allowed in cosmetics but still goes into Fruit Roll-Ups.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest also reports that food dyes have been linked to hyperactivity — and many of them are banned in Europe.
4. You Consume Less Wheat
People suffering from celiac disease are unable to properly process gluten — which is a protein found in rye, barley, and all of wheat’s many forms: spelt, durum, seminola, and faro, among others, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Eating gluten can cause intestinal damage in celiac patients, so many of them find themselves on a diet that restricts everything from beer and flour to cookies and pasta. But if we all consumed less wheat, we’d be cutting back on the pesticides and chemicals that go into this worldwide cash crop: Though, pound for pound, it’s less environmentally harmful than producing meat, it still requires a lot of land and a lot of resources.
5. Cutting Out Dairy Lightens Your Footprint (a Lot)
Like a gluten allergy, a dairy allergy can severely limit your food options: milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, sour cream, and other animal byproducts are all off the menu. But while it might mean skipping that luscious-looking dessert that the rest of your party is enjoying, your aversion could end up being good for the environment: According to GoVeg and Planet Green, there are 9 million dairy cows in the United States, and many (if not all) of them live in inhumane conditions, produce 120 pounds of waste each day, and end up at the slaughterhouse, where they contribute to the environmental impact of the beef industry.
6. You Don’t Have to Think About Sustainable Seafood
According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, about 7 million Americans are allergic to fish and shellfish — especially to salmon, tuna, and halibut.
If you’re one of those people, then you should avoid fish altogether (and also steer clear of certain salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce, and Asian sauces, which can all have fish as an unexpected ingredient), but that also means you’re one less eater contributing to the overfishing and black market sales of popular fish. Your doctor can tell you whether you’re allergic to all fish or just certain kinds; if you do get the go-ahead to eat certain seafood, fill your cart up with sustainable species.
7. It Rubs Off on Your Family
Every family has its chef — the person primarily in charge of packing lunches, making weekend pancakes, and getting dinner on the table each night — and that’s the person who has the most influence over how the others eat. But just one severe food allergy in a family can change the eating habits of everyone else: You’re not just cutting out dairy for one person, but for three or four or five, which has a much bigger impact on the bottom line of your family’s carbon footprint. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to give up pancakes just because mom has a gluten allergy, but it does mean that you’re more likely to make heather choices not just for yourself, but for those around you, too.
20 Ways to Never Get Cancer
posted by Rodale Nov 19, 2010
1. Filter your tap water
You’ll reduce your exposure to known or suspected carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals. A new report from the President’s Cancer Panel on how to reduce exposure to carcinogens suggests that home-filtered tap water is a safer bet than bottled water, whose quality often is not higher—and in some cases is worse—than that of municipal sources, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group. (Consumer Reports’ top picks for faucet-mounted filters: Culligan, Pur Vertical, and the Brita OPFF-100.) Store water in stainless steel or glass to avoid chemical contaminants such as BPA that can leach from plastic bottles.
2. Stop topping your gas tank
So say the EPA and the President’s Cancer Panel: Pumping one last squirt of gas into your car after the nozzle clicks off can spill fuel and foil the pump’s vapor recovery system, designed to keep toxic chemicals such as cancer-causing benzene out of the air, where they can come in contact with your skin or get into your lungs.
3. Marinate meat before grilling
Processed, charred, and well-done meats can contain cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, which form when meat is seared at high temperatures, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which get into food when it’s charcoal broiled. “The recommendation to cut down on grilled meat has really solid scientific evidence behind it,” says Cheryl Lyn
Walker, PhD, a professor of carcinogenesis at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. If you do grill, add rosemary and thyme to your favorite marinade and soak meat for at least an hour before cooking. The antioxidant-rich spices can cut HCAs by as much as 87%, according to research at Kansas State University
4. Caffeinate every day
Java lovers who drank 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 40% decreased risk of brain cancer, compared with people who drank the least, in a 2010 British study. A 5-cup-a-day coffee habit reduces risks of oral and throat cancer almost as much. Researchers credit the caffeine: Decaf had no comparable effect. But coffee was a more potent protector against these cancers than tea, which the British researchers said also offered protection against brain cancer.
5. Water down your cancer risk
Drinking plenty of water and other liquids may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and helping to flush them through the bladder faster. Drink at least 8 cups of liquid a day, suggests the American Cancer Society.
6. Load up on really green greens
Next time you’re choosing salad fixings, reach for the darkest varieties. The chlorophyll that gives them their color is loaded with magnesium, which some large studies have found lowers the risk of colon cancer in women. “Magnesium affects signaling in cells, and without the right amount, cells may do things like divide and replicate when they shouldn’t,” says Walker. Just 1/2 cup of cooked spinach provides 75 mg of magnesium, 20% of the daily value.
7. Snack on Brazil nuts
They’re a stellar source of selenium, an antioxidant that lowers the risk of bladder cancer in women, according to research from Dartmouth Medical School. Other studies have found that people with high blood levels of selenium have lower rates of dying of lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Researchers think selenium not only protects cells from free radical damage but also may enhance immune function and suppress formation of blood vessels that nourish tumors.
8. Burn off your breast cancer risk
Moderate exercise such as brisk walking 2 hours a week cuts risk of breast cancer 18%. Regular workouts may lower your risks by helping you burn fat, which otherwise produces its own estrogen, a known contributor to breast cancer.
9. Skip the dry cleaner
A solvent known as perc (short for perchloroethylene) that’s used in traditional dry cleaning may cause liver and kidney cancers and leukemia, according to an EPA finding backed in early 2010 by the National Academies of Science. The main dangers are to workers who handle chemicals or treated clothes using older machines, although experts have not concluded that consumers are also at increased cancer risk. Less toxic alternatives: Hand-wash clothes with mild soap and air-dry them, spot cleaning if necessary with white vinegar.
10. Ask your doc about breast density
Women whose mammograms have revealed breast density readings of 75% or more have a breast cancer risk 4 to 5 times higher than that of women with low density scores, according to recent research. One theory is that denser breasts result from higher levels of estrogen—making exercise particularly important (see #8). “Shrinking your body fat also changes growth factors, signaling proteins such as adipokines and hormones like insulin in ways that tend to turn off cancer-promoting processes in cells,” Walker says.
11. Head off cell phone risks
Use your cell phone only for short calls or texts, or use a hands-free device that keeps the phone—and the radio frequency energy it emits—away from your head. The point is more to preempt any risk than to protect against a proven danger: Evidence that cell phones increase brain cancer risk is “neither consistent nor conclusive,” says the President’s Cancer Panel report. But a number of review studies suggest there’s a link.
12. Block skin cancer with color
Choosing your outdoor outfit wisely may help protect against skin cancer, say Spanish scientists. In their research, blue and red fabrics offered significantly better protection against the sun’s UV rays than white and yellow ones did. Don’t forget to put on a hat: Though melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, it’s more common in areas the sun hits, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that people with melanomas on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the cancer on other areas of the body.
13. Pick a doc with a past
Experience—lots of it—is critical when it comes to accurately reading mammograms. A study from the University of California, San Francisco, found that doctors with at least 25 years’ experience were more accurate at interpreting images and less likely to give false positives. Ask about your radiologist’s track record. If she is freshly minted or doesn’t check a high volume of mammograms, get a second read from someone with more mileage.
14. Eat clean foods
The President’s Cancer Panel recommends buying meat free of antibiotics and added hormones, which are suspected of causing endocrine problems, including cancer. The report also advises that you purchase produce grown without pesticides and wash conventionally grown food thoroughly to remove residues. (The foods with the most pesticides: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, and blueberries. See the full list of dirtiest fruits and vegetables here.) “At least 40 known carcinogens are found in pesticides and we should absolutely try to reduce exposure,” Sellers says.
15. Read food labels for folic acid
The B vitamin, essential for women who may become or are pregnant to prevent birth defects, is a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer risk. Consuming too much of the synthetic form (not folate, found in leafy green veggies, orange juice, and other foods) has been linked to increased colon cancer risk, as well as higher lung cancer and prostate cancer risks. Rethink your multivitamin, especially if you eat a lot of cereal and fortified foods. A recent CDC study discovered that half of supplement users who took supplements with more than 400 mcg of folic acid exceeded 1,000 mcg per day of folic acid. Most supplements pack 400 mcg. Individual supplements (of vitamin D and calcium, for instance) may be a smarter choice for most women who aren’t thinking of having kids.
16. Up your calcium intake
Milk’s main claim to fame may also help protect you from colon cancer. Those who took calcium faithfully for 4 years had a 36% reduction in the development of new precancerous colon polyps 5 years after the study had ended, revealed Dartmouth Medical School researchers. (They tracked 822 people who took either 1,200 mg of calcium every day or a placebo.) Though the study was not on milk itself, you can get the same amount of calcium in three 8-ounce glasses of fat-free milk, along with an 8-ounce serving of yogurt or a 2- to 3-ounce serving of low-fat cheese daily.
17. Commit to whole grains
You know whole wheat is better for you than white bread. Here’s more proof why you should switch once and for all: If you eat a lot of things with a high glycemic load—a measurement of how quickly food raises your blood sugar—you may run a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women who eat low-glycemic-load foods, found a Harvard Medical School study involving 38,000 women. The problem eats are mostly white: white bread, pasta, potatoes, and sugary pastries. The low-glycemic-load stuff comes with fiber.
18. Pay attention to pain
If you’re experiencing a bloated belly, pelvic pain, and an urgent need to urinate, see your doctor. These symptoms may signal ovarian cancer, particularly if they’re severe and frequent. Women and physicians often ignore these symptoms, and that’s the very reason that this disease can be deadly. When caught early, before cancer has spread outside the ovary, the relative 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is a jaw-dropping 90 to 95%.
1. Horse Meat
For various reasons, consumption of horse meat is a taboo for most people. However, when it comes to Japan, their food concepts are radically different. Well known for consumption of raw seafood as Sushis and Sashamis, the Japanese also savor a relatively unknown raw delicacy known as Basashi or raw horse meat. Now just imagine an ice cream not only flavored with a noble steed but with real chewy stallion chunks inside. I can hear my stomach rumbling.
2. Hot Ice Cream
The delightfully named ‘Cold Sweat’ is claimed to be a concoction of some of the hottest peppers known to man. Anyone willing to try has to sign a waiver which, among many other stern warnings, mentions that “what is painful going in, may be painful upon exit”. A deadly dose can be sampled at Sunni Sky’s Homemade Ice cream, Angier, NC.
This one was perhaps an unintentional creation from a Korean manufacturer who just wanted to sell a fun ice cream for kids to suck on. Turns out that the swollen, latex coated thing which comes out of the cute turtle wrapper might not be the right shape for a kid. And, for those of you who are curious, the flavor is regular chocolate.
4. Squid Ink
The amazing Japanese inventory of seafood flavored ice creams has an array of superstars like Fish, Octopus, Crab, Shrimp, Eel and Whale but this cold black thing just takes the biscuit.
5. Foie Gras
From the ultra luxurious French ice cream specialists Phillippe Faur. Foie Gras is the liver of a duck or goose fattened by force feeding. This decadent dessert with a ‘mineraly’ kick will set you back by around $150.
6. The Sex Pistol
Although it can be found in different varieties around the world, London based “Icecreamists” have claimed to perfect the art of the Viagra ice cream. Their energizing treat contains a variety of mysterious aphrodisiacs such as Ginkgo, Biloba, Arginine, Guaranaans and is served with a shot of La Fee Absinthe. So even if you are in fine working condition, you might want to try this blend just for the awesome presentation.
Gilroy, California calls itself the garlic capital of the word and legend is that you can smell the town before you get there. Well this might also be true for the Garlic ice cream which is a popular attraction at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Despite the weirdness, this flavor actually has a good reputation.
8. Blue Cheese
This smelly, moldy and repulsive ice cream is actually quite popular, with the Blue Stilton variety being frequently encountered in recipes. Although “Seriously Stilton” is only 25% Stilton, it strongly retains the “strictly acquired taste” tag.
9. Ammonia Nastiness
This highly localized delicacy is made from Salty Licorice, a snack not generally known outside northern Europe. The ice cream has substantial amounts of Ammonia, which can rampage through your sinuses and cause nausea.
10. Pit Viper
Japanese innovation knows no limits and certainly runs wild when it comes to ice creams. By putting a poisonous reptile into an ice cream tub, they have certainly raised the creativity bar to a whole new level. Food commando Andrew Zimmern tried this vile milk-snake mash and compared the taste with “bile”. Although on the positive side, the Pit Viper is believed by the Japanese to have aphrodisiac powers.