Saturday, April 10, 2010

Splenda® put in Salads and Arsenic in Chicken at a Restaurant Near You

Remember the days when you could walk into a Sacramento restaurant, including largely vegetarian eateries and be able to scoop salad pickings into your dish knowing the vegetables were fresh, washed, and had no other ingredients put on them unless you put them there yourself from a selection of oil, vinegar, or various salad dressings you could choose according to your body's requirements?

Those days may be over. Some buffet eateries in Sacramento and elsewhere may be putting some Splenda® into salads. But at least a few buffet places are at least listing which foods contain Splenda®. The fact is some Sacramentans and others get heart-related symptoms such as palpitations or rapid heartbeats after eating foods containing Splenda® (sucralose).

See the articles at the website, "Splenda®Sickness." Imagine eating a fresh, crisp green salad with dressing on it containing Splenda, and not realizing what's happening to you. The generic name for Splenda® is sucralose. Also see the article, "Splenda® Side Effects Under Scrutiny." Check out the article,  "The Potential Dangers of Sucralose." Also see the article, "Splenda® Case History - BL's story - Splenda (Sucralose) Toxicity." See,"Splenda news and articles."

There's two sides to every story. So also to be fair, check out the Splenda® informational site at

You'd think that with all the articles on the web for the past four years on heart-related symptoms due to this sweetener and several others as well, that someone in the restaurant industry grapevine would choose a sweetener that didn't have so many complaints online about heart-related symptoms such as rapid heart beats or palpitations. Other sweeteners have their list of symptoms also, in particular aspartame. See the Aspartame Sickness site for a list of symptoms that include panic attacks.

Also read Dr. Mercola's comment. Symptoms of a fast heart beat and palpitations also happened to another internal medicine physician and endocrinologist as we sat at a San Francisco eatery a few years ago. That doctor (Dr. K.) had been eating Splenda to sweeten salad dressings and beverages in his own home for the past year. He did not eat it at that restaurant in which the family gathered that day.

After being asked by the doctor what else could he use (as he's also diabetic) a family member pointed to another sweetener for the doctor. His choice happened to be stevia. But even stevia has warnings and side effects websites online. So what is safe? And what's safe for one person may not be for another's individual reaction to any ingredient or food. That's why there are so many individual case histories posted of symptoms after eating one sweetener or another online.

You need to choose a sweetener that is right for your own body. Or just eat foods as they come naturally. Or sweeten with fresh fruit. The problem is that not enough people can afford fresh fruit or dried fruit as sweeteners. Again, do you really need salads that taste sweet when they really should be left alone or made savory with a little apple cider vinegar? What about sweetening with honey or fruit juice? Is it too expensive for commercial restaurants?

Stevia also has sites online explaining warnings and side effects. Stevia is used as a weight loss aid; for treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn; for lowering uric acid levels; in the past centuries for preventing pregnancy; and for increasing the strength of the muscle contractions that pump blood from the heart. So perhaps restaurants should sweeten with fruit juice concentrates. The problem is cost for the restaurant. For the consumer, the issue is safety. It comes down to choose what sweetener is best for you or no sweetener in savory foods. See the articles, Stevia & Celery Lower Blood Pressure - Share The Wealth. Also check out Stevia FAQ.

How do restaurants compromise with the wants and needs of consumers versus how much a restaurant is willing to pay to sweeten a salad? Perhaps salads don't need to taste sweet. Or a few berries might be added to the salad. Should restaurants go back to serving food in its natural state and let customer's taste buds get used to how food tastes when green salads are not sweetened?

The big question is why do some Sacramento restaurants add sweeteners to salads when they present salads in a buffet-type line? Not all restaurants will tell you whether a sweetener is in the salad. Some restaurants merely add sugar to carrot-raisin salad. Even restaurants known for their so-called healthful foods add a variety of sugar to salads. Why sweeten salads at all? They taste better savory. And if it's a fruit salad, the fruit, if ripe, will be sweet enough. Why addict people to sweets in the salad to keep them coming back and spending more money?

The problem is most restaurant managers have no idea which sweeteners cause the most problems to some customers. In the old days, with some eateries, a teaspoon of sugar per serving began to be added to salads to make carrot-raisin salad sweeter. Soon sugar was being added to cole slaw to sweeten what normally would be a savory salad of grated cabbage and carrot. At home, a healthier way to make cole slaw savory is by adding a salad dressing made from two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with a tablespoon of grape seed oil mayonnaise per serving.

If restaurants would simply leave out the sweetener from salads on buffet lines and let the customer choose what kind of dressing is wanted, there might be fewer adverse reactions to fresh vegetables in any given buffet line of salads in most eateries anywhere.

Compliments go to Fresh Choice Restaurant in the Arden Fair shopping mall. Above each salad on the buffet line is a list of each ingredient in each salad. Thank you, Fresh Choice, for writing what's in each salad. That way Sacramento customers can choose from a long line of salads which salad has the ingredients that agree with that individual. For example, if you read that one salad out of a long line of many salads contains Splenda, you can avoid that salad bowl and take your vegetables from another salad bowl that has different ingredients.

Regarding sweeteners, a thank you is given to those restaurants that list what is in their salads or other foods. This helps people that get adverse reactions from any type of sweetener to avoid that particular bowl and pick something else.


On another note, folks might be aware of the high amount of arsenic in some chickens. The most common arsenic containing compound in chickens is called Roxarsone. It's in the diet of 70 percent of USA chickens. It's a benzene compound with a potential link to leukemia.

The intestinal microbes in chickens convert that benzene compound into a more lethal form which is then excreted in chicken droppings. The chicken droppings is collected and composted and then made into fertilizer pellets for home gardens and lawns. It's also used as manure on crop lands, which in turn is taken up by vegetables. It also gets into the ground water.

The compound then finds its way into the greenest of vegetable crops and into the roots of vegetables in a form more toxic than when it first had been fed to chickens. Guess how much arsenic the average person gets daily? It may be more than 30 mcg of inorganic arsenic from chicken. How much more arsenic do you get in other food products from bran to vegetable salads? And then add on more arsenic from tobacco or second and third-hand smoke.

When scientists sample chickens, they find in some samples, the chickens had more than 20 ppb of arsenic. Organic sources also had detectable levels of arsenic. What can you do? You could plant your own vegetables in a hydroponic garden, without soil. Or you could find out which chickens aren't fed food containing those toxins. For example, Tyson Foods stopped using arsenic-based compounds in chicken feeds years ago. When will consumers ask what is now being used by the food manufacturers?

Why some chickens are fed the arsenic-based compounds is to kill parasites on the chickens that cause health problems. But chickens also may be fed these compounds to improve the color of the chicken because manufacturers think that consumers won't buy enough chicken unless the chicken meat is of a specific color.
Arsenic powders also get rid of lice, but are absorbed through the chicken's skin and also get into the meat. A lot of chickens are kept close to one another. For further information, see the article, "Arsenic in chicken production, a common feed additive adds arsenic to human food and endangers water supplies," Chemical Engineer News 85; 15:34-35, April 9, 2007.

Also see the article, "Distribution of arsenic from poultry litter in broiler chickens, soil, and crops," Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 17: 1288-90, 1969. Other articles also include, "Arsenic: a roadblock to potential animal waste management solutions," Environmental Health Perspectives, 113:1123-24, 2005. And check out the article, "Biotransformation of 3-Nitro4-hydroxybenzene arsenic acid (Roxarsone) and release of inorganic arsenic by Clostridium species," Environmental Science Technology, 41:818-23, 2007.
The question consumers want to ask is what are large chicken processing plants using now and what's in it?

Also, see the detailed article "High Load of Arsenic in Chickens," in the April 2010 issue of Dr. Sherry Rogers' Total Wellness newsletter. As a consumer you deserve to know what's in the food you eat from the time it goes from farm to processor to store to you. For further information, also see the article, Arsenic in Poultry Litter: Organic Regulations.