The truth is often stranger than fiction

Just a few frightening strange odds and ends from around the world:

  • Baby formula in China tainted with melamine has resulted in the death of two children and more than 1,200 others have fallen ill with hundreds hospitalized. Melamine is a trimer of cyanamide.

    Melamine has also been found in yogurt in China.

    All the more reason I’m glad I was/am able to breastfeed my children and know exactly what they were ingesting. PhDinParenting feels similarly. Makes me think I should buy my own cow though, like my sister-in-law and family have done. If only we had the land for it (and chickens, ‘cuz by golly, I still want me some chickens).

  • Dr. Phil apparently wants to make a mockery of home birth and is asking for negative home birth stories. The home birth community, rightly so in my opinion, has been in an uproar over this.From Dr. Phil’s site:

    Did you have a child at your home?

    Did you want to have a soothing experience where you were in control and could bond with your child?

    Did it not go the way you planned?

    Do you regret having a home birth?

    Do you regret using a midwife instead of going to a hospital?

    Did you have your second child the traditional way in a hospital?

    If you or someone you know regrets having a home birth please tell us your story below.

    Be sure to be specific and include details!

    A response from the home birth community: Many of us are instead using this form to a) tell our horrible hospital stories, b) tell our great home birth stories, or c) just plain let Dr. Phil and his staff how bad we think this show concept is.

    Based on the number of emails I’ve received about this, I figure everyone under the sun is probably aware of it by now, but just in case that’s not the case, I’m passing it on. I still need to weigh in over there myself.

  • The Corn Refiners Association has created several ads about high fructose corn syrup – watch them here – to prove that it’s “natural” and “OK in moderation.” I don’t know what your take on HFCS is (I’m against it), but if you check your labels, you’ll find it in just about everything. (Have you seen King Corn yet? Check it out.) Jody was shocked to come home with a loaf of bread the other day only to discover that it, too, had HFCS in it! For the record, the bread we usually buy from Costco does not have it.

    Anyway, there’s a great article over on BlogHer debunking the ads and sharing more information. And at 5 Minutes for Going Green, Beth writes that HFCS is the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” and brings up the environmental concerns as well.

What do you think about all of this? Kind of a lot to digest in one post, eh?

24 thoughts on “The truth is often stranger than fiction”

  1. My DH Hates HFCS!! It is hard to find bread without it. Thank goodness I can find some at our local store Harmons and now Target has an Archer Farms brand.
    I know there are other “wheat” type breads out there that have it but my kids don’t like it. LOL
    He has me read the labels on EVERYTHING!!!

  2. Wow what are they going to add in food!!!! I’m so glad that I breastfeed and know were all the food we eat comes from!!!! Eating from our garden and killing our own meat will soon be the only way to know what goes on our plate!!!

  3. Thank you for posting about Dr. Phil and his new show concept. I think that the idea they may be getting at is that some women have a hard time accepting the disappointment that they feel when their birth experience does not go the way they planned; hopefully he plans to help them deal with these emotions and not spread propaganda about home birth. Regardless, I filled out a form stressing my wonderful home birth and that there is ample information detailing the safety and strict guidelines midwives use in advising home birth. It is important to make sure that misinformation is not spread in the mainstream media about the choice that each woman and family can make to empower their birth journey.

  4. what do i think? i think…
    1. if there’s melamine in food in china it’s only a matter of time before it’s in our food too.
    2. dr. phil is creepy and horrible.
    3. hfcs can’t be good since it’s in everything. but like anything, occasionally you want to eat a cookie. that’s why i’m pretty vigilant about it and then if it slips in occasionally, it’s not so bad.

  5. Anti-HFCS here too. I think the Corn Refiners people are just trying to protect their wallets. I’ve noticed that HFCS appears in a lot of “comparable” storebrands, which is why they are cheaper. Kelloggs Corn Flakes, for example, do not have it, but Safeway’s storebrand version does. I’ve read some disturbing research on fructose and copper metabolism too. Copper is essential for collagen formation, so is it any wonder that kids who eat a lot of sugar/HFCS end up with joint injuries? Girls in particular are prone to knee injuries.

    I’m picky about bread. No HFCS, no white flour and at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. With those requirements, it means I either make my own or pay 4 bucks a loaf.

  6. HFCS is horrible…it is often confused with corn syrup…organic corn syrup used for cooking is a totally different product and is made from corn.
    HFCS is manufactured and toxic too your blood system. 5 years ago when I decided to go all natural, my nutritionist said the first thing to cut out in my diet and for the whole family is HFCS. She attributes it to a lot of the false ADD and ADHD issues. Eating items with HFCS is like shooting up with processed sugar. It goes right into your blood stream….wonder why kids are hyper?? Because yes, it is in everything.

    The other issues make me crazy too…I didn’t have a home birth but think it’s wonderful and why not? I had an emergency C Section…but encourage women to go natural if not home birth. Honestly, I wish I had more information and was into blogging( hehe) when I was making my birthing choices the second time around..
    Thanks for providing moms with so much information so that they can make wise choices…

    sorry for the LONG comment

  7. The corn syrups’ ads are killing me. Sadly those that are not in the know are going to believe that. I am just grateful that in Canada the use is way lower than in the US.

  8. Anyone out there have suggestions on sweeteners to add to quick breads and regular bread that are better for you than sugar?

    I have been making my own bread in the bread maker a lot lately and that really is great because you know what you put in it, but the quick breads I put in the oven (like zucchini bread, etc.) seem to have a lot of sugar in them. I like to make things from scratch, and I know I am doing better with that than store bought things with all of these crazy ingredients, but still it seems like a lot of sugar.

    There is a catch, though, I need it to be relatively inexpensive or at least available somewhere cheaply. If it is too expensive, I will not be able to sustain it in my food budget even if it is great for us!

    Oh and does anyone know if brown sugar is any better than white?

    – Megan

  9. What in the world…the media and food industries must think we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, at all.

    The HFCS thing is ridiculous, and sadly you’re right someone is going to believe that bunch of crap.

    I didn’t have a homebirth either, but I’m a DONA trained doula now and if (which is the biggest IF in the entire world) we have another child it will be at home with a midwife. Dr. Phil is an absolute moron.

    I saw the baby formula thing on Mama’s Knows Breast a few days ago and thought it was crazy then, it’s still just as odd now! I too, am thankful that I could exclusively BF.

  10. Dr. Phil is a moron. Enough said.

    Some of us aren’t able to bf, so there needs to be stricter regulations on ingredients and safety of available formula.

    As for replacing sugar in baking, most recipes can be made with roughly half the sugar called for or replacing it with things like honey, agave nectar or molasses. You can also cut down on the amount you use. It does take experimentation, though, because it can alter the chemical reactions.

    If you mean “brown sugar” as in raw sugar, it is the same as white but less processed. If you mean the stuff that is kid of moist, it is a mix of white sugar and molasses.

  11. does anybody actually watch Dr. Phil anymore? i’m glad y’all are bombarding them with positive stories!

    the formula thing alarms me too – as a mom for whom breastfeeding was pretty much a big failure despite a lot of different things being tried, i would like to think that our formula supply is safe… eek.

    i’ve been baking our own cookies & bread now for about 6 months. the content of hfcs in so many food products alarms us, and we are really vigilant about that and other food additives. what put me over the edge and made me decide to start doing our own bread was the fact that i had picked up what i thought was a really healthy loaf of bread, and noticed it as an ingredient.

  12. HFCS is the devil! It is everywhere and it pains me to read each and every stinkin’ label in the house and toss out “perfectly good” food because of it. Ugh. I have to drive over 50 miles to get bread that doesn’t have HFCS in it! Those ads make me sick! And people WILL believe them!
    And Dr. Phil, well, he and Oprah have a corner on the “freaking people out” market. Sadly, there are lots of people that will do whatever they say. My BEST hospital experience was still WORSE than my friends WORST home birth story. It goes both ways.

  13. I love the HFCS ads, especially how the it says sponsored by The Corn Refiners Industry in very small type at the very beginning of the commercial. I hate how stupid the media and large corporations think we are, that a study sponsored by an industry is in any way unbiased and reliable! augh!

  14. I’m anti HFCS too. I actually use my breadmaker a lot just to avoid it in my bread. It’s so irritating.

    As for Dr. Phil, I just can’t watch him anymore. The show is just too combative for a small child to watch. I don’t think it is fair to narrow your show to just home birth horror stories. Too one sided and not helpful to anyone trying to make an informed decision. Granted, who makes an informed decision from any of the craziness that comes off of that show.

  15. WOW. That HFCS ranks right up there with the days when there were commercials about orange juice curing cancer (though orange juice is a much better thing to lie about than HFCS.) Nice.

  16. Great post – it makes us wonder what is in most of the packaged foods we eat. The China thing is not good – especially as most things now seem to be made in China. I had to put several safeguards in place for my products that are mostly made there.

  17. Serious hater of HFCS here- I actually notice huge behavioral changes in my kids when they have it, and it makes me a total B. We’ve found the same things about food dyes, and they’ve been outlawed in our home for 7 years now. Making that one change actually helped our older son change many of his autistic spectrum behaviors. He used to kick holes in walls, have epic 3 hour tantrums. All gone. One day, it will come tolight about all the evil the USDA has perpetrated in the name of money, but I can’t wait for that day. Thank goodness for Trader Joes and Whole Fods!

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