Belcher Gastronomique

A cheerily unalphabetical dictionary of food terms

Quote of the Day 26-11-09

“The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestine”

– Phillipe Pinel, 1807, quoted in Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride

November 26, 2009 Posted by | Quote of the Day | , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the day: Vaccines risk vs benefit

Some might wonder what relevance vaccines are to matters of food. One answer, of course, would be to say that all bodily organs and functions subtly interact in a manner that is often not sufficiently recognised by the medical authorities. Another is to point out the role vaccines, and immune adjuvants, may play in increasing the sensitivity of the immune system so that it responds more readily to antigens, such as food particles, sometimes (perhaps often) leading to food allergies. Other routes by which vaccines may interfere with the digestive system have been suggested and warrant further research. Unfortunately, as the quote below suggests, those individuals who plough a lone furrow by pursuing research subjects outside of the current paradigm – individuals who would be the very saviours of science if Karl Popper’s idealistic vision of falsifiable science were descriptive of science in practice rather than prescriptive of a science not warped by the profit motive and vested interests (of reputations, career progressions within existing theories etc.) – are vociferously attacked. In the case of Dr Andrew Wakefield one of the attackers was the Times newspaper, which is controlled by a man with shares in the company with a vested interest in destroying Dr Andrew Wakefield’s reputation, GlaxoSmithKline who make the MMR vaccine.

Vaccines are a mixed blessing. They can stimulate our immune system and generate an immunity to acute disease, but they can also overwhelm our immune system and generate a susceptibility to chronic disease. The question about vaccines is not whether they work; the question is whether the cure is worse than the disease. Are we better off with the artificial immunity that results from vaccines? Or are we better off with the natural immunity that results from the usual childhood diseases of measles, mumps, and chickenpox? Let’s re-visit this question in a calm, objective manner, without polarizing, ad hominem arguments.

Hugh Mann, US Physician on British Medical Journal e-Letters page

This quote (and the others on the page) is the truth behind the hubris most recently in evidence here in Britain in a recent news story about the tragic death of a schoolgirl shortly after she was vaccinated. I was appalled to hear the statements made immediately following this story by doctors who claimed there to be no link whatsoever between the vaccine and the girl’s death. At the time these statements were being made no evidence at all had been accrued to that effect.

Reaction to this story and others can be found on the Alliance for Natural Health site.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Quote of the Day | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the day 10/10/09: ubiquity of toxic chemicals

This from an eminently sensible article from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discussing, among other things, one of my favourite bugbears every time I watch Saturday Kitchen or any other Celebrity Chef programme ie. the use of plastics in food preparation:

If you cover your food with a paper towel, the FSIS recommends using a plain “white paper towel” that does not contain inks or dyes. You can read their recommendations at the FSIS website. Critical readers may argue that white paper could be chlorine bleached and therefore potentially may contain dioxins. You see, there really is no way to completely avoid contact with ubiquitous toxic chemicals.

October 10, 2009 Posted by | Quote of the Day | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment