Where Did the Strawberries Go? And other news

by DavalosMcCormack on February 26, 2008

You go to the store. You buy a product with big, colorful pictures of fruit on it. The package boasts that the product is  bursting with fruit. Fruit flavoring at least. But then you bite into it, and nothing. No fruit. Nada. Nichts. Bugger all. It’s not as unusual as you might think.

A study by the British Food Commission said that far too many products in supermarkets and stores have pictures of fruit on the label, but nothing inside. Instead of fruit the manufacturers stuff the product with artificial flavorings. For instance the Food Commission analyzed a strawberry milkshake and found it contained no strawberries at all.

Now you might say, “that’s all in England, it doesn’t affect us here”. But guess what, several of the companies mentioned in the report, such as Nestle, are international companies so the chances are that if the strawberry milkshake they sell in England has no strawberry, then the same one they sell in the U.S. probably doesn’t have any strawberry in it either. That’s like buying wine without a grape within!
It’s a reminder. Always read the list of ingredients on the back of the packet. If the first ingredient is a chemical, put the box down and back away. Chances are there’s a fruit aisle conveniently located in the same store. Check it out. You might be surprised how luscious real fruit can actually taste!

Acne Prevents People Exercising or Playing Sports
People who have bad acne and are very self-conscious about their appearance are much less likely than others to exercise or take part in sports. That’s according to a new study in the Journal of Health Psychology.

That’s probably not surprising. If you feel embarrassed by your appearance the last thing you are going to want to do is be around other people. But it’s a shame, because you are cutting yourself off from something that could help keep your acne under control.

Studies have shown that exercise can help by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to your skin; and when you sweat your body cleans out toxins in the skin, getting rid of dirt and dead cells that often help promote zits. And there’s another benefit. Exercise is a great way of relieving stress, and stress is a prime cause of acne flare-ups.

So if you do have acne, forget the embarrassment, get your running shoes on and get moving. Your skin will look better, and chances are you’ll feel better too.

Hey Big Spender!
In 2007 the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent more than $22 million lobbying the federal government. That’s up almost 25% on the previous year according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.

Why should you or I care? Well, first of all the money is going to lobby against bills that might help us, such as legislation that would allow the government to negotiate lower costs for medications, or even to buy them from Canada and other nations. This could have a huge impact on our ballooning medical costs. It can also have a big impact on people struggling to pay for medications.

Secondly they lobbied against a prescription drug safety bill. Now who on earth could be against prescription drug safety. Except of course for people who might not be making safe prescription drugs.

What can you and I do about it? Easy, write to our Congressional representatives and tell them by all means take the money, but don’t let it influence your judgement or shape your actions. Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco, when asked about the relationship of politicians and lobbyists that if you can’t take their money, drink their scotch and dine out on their expense account and then happily vote against them, you are in the wrong business.

Maybe we just need to remind our Congress folk that if they can’t do as Willie says, we, the voters will make sure they end up are in a completely different business.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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