Monday, April 30, 2007


Interesterified Oil

I've always gotten along with kids. Years ago, before I became qualified to be considered of grandfather age, many of my girlfriends had children. I used to tell them things while driving along, like, "Do you see that apartment complex over there, called Hidden Pines? Do you know why they call it that?"


"Because they had to tear out all the pine trees when they built it. The trees are all hidden now."

I had plenty of examples like that and many times, they'd pass those little tidbits on to their friends when they'd ride around together. I often wondered about Hidden Valley. Do you really believe a giant food manufacturing plant is safely nestled inside of a quaint valley, with babbling brooks and birds chirping in the hidden valley trees?

Back to reality. Fats and oils are an important part of the human diet. They contain fatty acids such as linoleic and help metabolize vitamins as well as being a source for calories. They are used to enhance the texture and flavor of foods. All oils vary in their range of melting properties.

Partially hydrogenated oils have been around since the early 1900s. Originally believed to be a healthy substitute for natural fats like butter or lard, it is cheaper to produce, performs better under high heat and has a longer shelf life. Today, we have learned all about how bad these types of oils are for you, even worse than oils found in animal fats and some highly saturated vegetable oils. Years ago, health officials touted the health benefits of partially hydrogenated oil, also known as trans fats, over saturated fat. It took a long time of studying to prove otherwise. I don't adhere to any sort of government plot or conspiracy to fool the masses and make big outfits like Archer Daniels Midland super rich at your heart's expense, but I don't think these mega-outfits care about you, either.

“They did so in all innocence, trying to do the right thing,” Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated. “Everybody thought it was safe. We thought it was safe.”

Today, researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health estimate that trans fats contribute to 30,000 U.S. deaths a year.

A relatively new oil is over the horizon. Even before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was carefully examining the ingredients on food packages. Recently, I read something new on one of those labels: interesterified soybean oil. Interesting. What is interesterified? Well, I did some research.

As food manufacturers, bakeries and restaurants move away from trans fats because of laws, such as New York City banning them, and federal labeling requirements, something has to replace it, something with the same flair, flavor and consistency that will keep these goods as close to original as possible. The manufacturing process of interesterified oils is very similar to that of hydrogenated oils - without the trans fats. Wow, lucky us! New & Improved! Now, they can put No Trans Fats on their labels and you'll think it's a healthful product, since partial and hydrogenation have become such dirty words.

Interesterified oils, in plain English, are a combination of polyunsaturated oil and fully hydrogenated oil. Simple enough to read, but a whole lot more complex and controversial than that. Technically, interesterification shuffles the fatty acids that make up each fat molecule. Like partial hydrogenation, which generates unnatural trans fats, it produces some molecules that are rare or nonexistent in nature. Science News describes this process as "...chemically or enzymatically removing fatty acids from fat molecules and transferring them to other fat molecules. Because this process recombines fatty acids randomly, chemical interesterification is sometimes called randomization." The article further states that, "To make a fat with new and useful properties, manufacturers typically interesterify blends of different kinds of fats. These blends often consist of a natural vegetable oil and a solid fat such as fully hydrogenated soybean oil. Full hydrogenation forms saturated fats rather than trans fats, which are products of partial hydrogenation."

A recent study reported perplexing changes in cholesterol and blood glucose concentrations in 30 volunteers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who had consumed an interesterified-fat–heavy diet. Fasting blood glucose levels were elevated almost 20% after a 4-week period, and was linked to relatively depressed insulin and C-peptide. In other words, interesterified fat was found to depress the level of HDL (good cholesterol) more than trans fat. In addition, it raised blood glucose levels and depressed the level of insulin. This strongly suggests that interesterified fat could lead to diabetes.

By the way, the FDA advised manufacurers, including ADM, that interesterified fats containing a stearate content of greater than 20% may be properly labeled as “interesterified soybean oil,” or “high in stearic acid” or “stearate rich.” Key words to consider on a list of ingredients, especially if you are diabetic.

In the meantime, let's start getting used to dipping our cloned and irradiated lobster in some artificially flavored, drawn interesterified soybean butter. Yum. Is this really what we want our children growing up on? Remember, it took a long time to figure out how harmful trans fats are to the human body. I guess the facts had been hidden in some valley all along, with the pine trees. Interesting, huh?


A Trans Fat Substitute Might Have Health Risks Too

Stearic acid-rich interesterified fat and trans-rich fat raise the LDL/HDL ratio and plasma glucose relative to palm olein in humans

Partial interestification of triaclyglycerols

Friday, April 20, 2007

An Intestinal Affair

When I sold advertising for a newspaper in New Jersey, the son of the publisher and I became pretty good friends. He was employed there as a photographer and was quite good. His sister also worked there, but I don't recall what she did. She used to have a crush on me in high school, but I had a girlfriend. Eventually, she ended up marrying someone else and my old girlfriend broke up with me. Too bad, she was a real cutie.

He invited me to dinner with his family one night. They lived in one of the nicer homes in town and were a relatively sophisticated family. Higher end kind of material, if you get my drift. The publisher’s wife was a published author and weekly columnist and the paper had been in her family for generations. Old money. His sister and her husband sat across from me at the dining room table which was adorned with fine linen, elaborate silverware and stemware. She was with child. We sipped expensive wine while awaiting the filet mignon treats the publisher was grilling outside. I recall it was a rather frigid night and it was very toasty inside. I must say, I have never had a finer filet in my life, to this day. It was nicely charred on the outside and pink and juicy in the middle. We all began complimenting the chef for doing such a great job. I never thought of him as being such an accomplished cook.

All of a sudden, his wife blurted out that, yes, for being in the freezer over a year, they were surprisingly fresh tasting. She had worried about freezer burns. Had she not said a word, I wouldn’t have known. Some things should be left unsaid.

"Good Bernaise," I said, as I savored the tasty meat.

"Oh, it's just one of those packaged sauces," she replied.

While feasting, her daughter began talking about her pregnancy. Mostly, it was a discussion between she and her mother, yet clearly, quite open and frank. The conversation became more intimate as she started to talk about the differences in her bowel movements since she had become pregnant. Yum. I tried to concentrate on my filet, all brown and moist, but it became less and less appetizing as it got more detailed in the bodily function department. I started a conversation with her brother and regained my compost, I mean, composure.

It didn't make me feel all tingly inside, but the intimacy they shared made me feel as if I was part of the family. At least, I knew I was no stranger in their house. And, h
aving grown up in a very middle class family, this was my first taste of the world of the elite, and I learned a valuable lesson. Even rich people poop.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


A friend e-mailed this cell phone information. I haven't tested whether these tips work or not, but I think they are interesting and may come in handy. If you have tried any of these, please let me know.

There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:


The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your cell will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell next time.

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 # (A 15 digit code will appear on the screen.) This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset s o even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Do as I say, not as I do

There's a lot of hubbub surrounding the inappropriate
remark by Don Imus calling the Rutgers University
women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" and
rightfully so. There's no room for racism in society.
Reverend Al Sharpton, among others, is demanding his
resignation. His apology is not enough.

More than likely, it is not enough, but this demand is
coming from the man who has never apologized for his
role in the Tawana Brawley hoax, and for his
hate-filled and toxic libel of an innocent man.

That man was Steven Pagones. In 1988, Mr. Pagones was
an assistant district attorney in the upstate New York
county where Brawley claimed she had been abducted.
Her story, that six white men had raped her over four
days turned out to be false. But Sharpton swore it was
true, and vehemently accused Pagones of being one of
the rapists.

"If we're lying, sue us," Sharpton taunted Pagones,
"so we can go into court with you and prove you did
it." Pagones did just that. He sued Sharpton, Alton H.
Maddox and lawyer C. Vernon Mason for defamation. In
1998 he was vindicated and the jury awarded $345,000
in damages. Maddox was disbarred following the suit.
Evidence indicated that there had not even been any
attack on her.

Sharpton is unrepentant about having incited the
Brawley hoax and the accusation against Pagones. He
still perpetuates that myth to this day.

Just when is an apology not enough? For sure, when
none is given.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Age of Enwhitenment

I wrote this last March, before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Hence, the references to imbibing a little more than I do today. Originally posted on another blog, that person turned out to be a complete, self-centered jerk and he has been struck from the records like what Ramses did to Moses.

I don't understand what is going on today. After September 11, 2001, I knew there would be an outpouring of resentment and hatred toward Arabs and Muslims. This is pretty much a standard mind reflex when hit below the belt. We were hit hard and left to bleed openly for the world to see. For a country with so much pride, we can be pretty naive. How many of us harbor distrust for all people of Arab extraction because of the events that transpired on that fateful day?

After 9/11, I wondered if the prejudice felt by many towards African/Americans would be circumvented or replaced by a much more deeply rooted hatred for our new enemies. I questioned whether blacks would climb up the social ladder or would there be a new rung added just below theirs for our new Muslim adversaries? Today, I find not much has changed. Here in the land of King Kong, Mickey and Shamu, the status quo prevails. Oh, not with you who come to visit. I'm talking about the ones who grew up here and elsewhere, where southern ideals from a lingering past still exist.

A few weeks ago, I met a friend to discuss a few things at an Irish pub. After all, St. Patrick's Day was right around the corner. This type of location would seem innocuous enough, wouldn't it? After a couple of drinks, my friend had to leave. I stayed a little while longer. In came a couple, she with a nice charm about her and he of the long hair that Hippies used to have. There's not much peaceful about his ilk these days. The conversation started out innocently. We discussed "where y'all from originally?" and a few more pleasantries. She sat between us. All of a sudden, he blurted out of nowhere,

"The best thing to ever happen to this country was when Abraham Lincoln was killed."

I was completely dumbfounded. I asked, "You mean on account of slavery and all?" Yup, that was it. I finished my drink and left, but I turned back to him and asked, "If you had sex with a monkey, could you get it pregnant?" After all, to these types, all blacks are monkeys. "If you had sex with a black woman, could you get her pregnant?"

Out the door I went. I didn't wait for a response.

Last week, I went to my regular place, where I sometimes go to relax and meet old friends. One gentleman is a bank vice-president and was not born with the same color skin as me. He's a very nice, well educated man and is faithful to his wife and honest upbringing. I stopped by briefly and stood next to him and we talked. A younger couple came in. The bar was pretty full at the time. She went elsewhere to look for a place to sit and he went into the restroom. I went in, too, not because of him, but I was leaving and I wanted to do whatever one does in a men's room before beginning a journey across town. I told him, "You can have my spot. I'm leaving. There's room for both of you."

"You mean, next to that..." Well, you can add your own racial epithet. "My woman won't sit next to a..."

"Come on, now," I responded, "he's a really nice guy. He runs a bank."

"Good thing I didn't bring my hanging rope, then," and out the door and to the bar he went. I turned the other way and left. What makes these types better in their own minds? In deference to the good, kind folks I've met through the years, most people around here are nothing like those two.

After September 11, I had a dream that times would change. We would begin to trust our brothers and sisters who stand with us, no matter what creed or race. We would ALL work together to face the evil that hit us. New leaves will turn. A revolutionary resolution would form. I was wrong. I guess I'm just one of those naive Americans.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The 9/11 Conspiracy

Here is the absolute truth on the 9/11 government conspiracy.

Everyone knows that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are deeply in bed with the oil industry. It's common knowledge. Most oil comes from Arab countries with strong ties to the Islamic faith. Consequently, Bush & Company had no problem rustling up some Arab miscreants to do their dirty work in September of 2001. In spite of the fact he had only been in office for 8 months before that fateful day, Bush had years of help and planning from a secret organization. I'll explain later.

Airlines are big business. Bush & Company are all for big business. He and the rest of the Republicans strive to reduce or eliminate corporate taxes. Heck, the administration would prefer that the government pay them to remain big and powerful. Promises were made by Bush. You supply the big jumbo jets filled to the brim with big oil company jet fuel and we'll compensate you in the form of tax incentives and other perks, like secretly flying in tons of illegal aliens at government expense. What's a few thousand lives and a handful of flying machines when the future of our great nation is at stake! We get to eliminate Saddam, take over the Iraqi oil fields, the oil companies get to jack up prices and big business wins, wins, wins!!! It's a no brainer. The loss of American lives on 9/11 and in Iraq will be replaced by illegals here. Eventually, we'll send them over there to do the work Americans don't want to do. Again, a win/win situation. We "dirty sanchez" the little wetbacks. How patriotic can you get?

As far as Bush being referred to as a Nazi, well, that's partially true. A hidden fact is that the Bush family has kept Adolph Hitler on life support since the end of Germany's reign of terror in 1945. Go ahead, Google "The Knights Preston" and the "Duh Vincheney Code" and see what you get. Don't forget to wish Adolph a happy birthday on April 20. He'll be 108 years old. Send your greetings to the White House.

Little known facts:

St. Elvis is alive and well in the minds and hearts of Minnesotans.

Walt Disney's brain is cryogenetically preserved in a hidden vault deep in the bowels of the Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I know, I live there and I've seen it.

Area 51 exists. So does Roswell. Don't get me started on life on Mars.

By the way, are you aware that, in retaliation against the Republican Machine, the Democrats have kept John F. Kennedy alive all these years and he's living on a yacht somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Massachusetts? He masterminded the midterm Democratic landslide. Google that, too. Oh, his 90th birthday is May 29th. Send greetings in care of Howard Dean. He's his doctor.