Tuesday, 26 October 2010

101 Facts You Should Know About Food

101 Facts You Should Know about Food by John Farndon

Here are the contents:
1. The food industry annually spends over £10.5 billion on chemicals to add to food and alter it
2. The largest modern fishing trawler drags a net twice the size of the Millennium Dome in London
3. The contents of the average British shopping trolley travel 95,000 miles to get there
4. One in three kids born in America in 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes
5. The smell of raspberry comes from the interaction of over 300 different chemicals
6. It takes 5,000 litres of water to make 1kg of cheese, 20,000 litres to grow 1kg of coffee, and 100,000 litres to produce 1kg of hamburger beef
7. McDonald’s gives away over 1.5 billion toys every year
8. In just ten years, Vietnam has made itself the world’s second-largest coffee producer, growing fourteen times more coffee than a decade ago
9. A third of all the fruit and vegetables we eat contain pesticide residues
10. The world’s most delicious, nutritious food disappeared 2,000 years ago
11. Changes in farming have cut levels of vital minerals in fruit and vegetables by up to 75%
12. The UK market for probiotic yoghurts was worth a third of a billion pounds in 2006
13. 80% of ten-year-old American girls diet
14. The way fast food changes brain chemistry can make it as addictive as heroin
15. Up to 4 million people in the USA are infected by salmonella food poisoning each year
16. Natural chemicals found in onions and garlic may protect against cancer
17. Most people in the world lose their ability to digest milk when they’re young
18. The organic food industry is expanding by 11% a year
19. Avocados contain a special kind of sugar that helps prevent low blood sugar, so may be the ideal diet food
20. The temperature of food affects its taste
21. Drinking a little red wine could be good for your brain
22. Chicken breasts are often less than 54% chicken, and may even contain pork or beef
23. Studies in Australia suggest that over half the profit of big supermarkets comes from ‘contributions’ from suppliers
24. Margarine enriched with plant sterols may help guard against heart disease
25. More than a billion people around the world are classified as overweight; nearly a billion people are now malnourished
26. Beef consumption has risen 240% in China in the last ten years
27. The biggest beneficiaries of the European Union’s farming subsidies are not farmers but food manufacturers
28. Two out of every five beans grown go to waste because they’re rejected by supermarkets
29. Replacing hydrogenated fat with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils in processed
food would prevent 100,000 deaths a year from heart disease in the USA alone
30. Consumption of broccoli has risen 940% in the last 25 years in the USA
31. By 2007, 158 people in Europe had died of the disease vCJD caused by eating beef infected with BSE
32. A 350g portion of 90% fat-free pie would give a woman over half her daily recommended fat intake
33. Omega-3 oils may help to increase attention span and improve brain function
34. 75% of the salt in our diet comes from processed foods
35. ‘Strawberry-flavoured yoghurt’ may contain very little strawberry; ‘strawberry-flavour’ contains no strawberry at all
36. 47% of broiler chickens sold suffer from crippling bone disorders
37. The food industry spends $40 billion on advertising food every year
38. Cheese contains ten times the amount of the two supposed feel-good chemicals in chocolate
39. The aroma of liquorice may be a genuine aphrodisiac
40. Dessert is traditionally served after dinner because of 17th-century concerns about sugar
41. In the USA, the key tool in government advice for the general public on nutrition is the food pyramid
42. Polytunnels give Spanish lettuce growers four crops a year
43. Antibiotic-resistant GM bacteria, introduced to help make crops self-fertilising, are now widespread in American soil
44. 60% of deaths around the world are related to changes in diet and increased consumption of fatty, salty and sugary food
45. The average fourteen-year-old today is taller than the average soldier in the Boer War 100 years ago because of improved nutrition
46. Milk from cloned, genetically modified farm animals could be medicines for the future
47. It takes more than three hours to burn off the energy in a small packet of crisps
48. ‘McDonald’s food contains so many preservatives and chemicals that it doesn’t grow mould’
49. Junk food can impair mental ability
50. It takes 2–3kg of fishmeal protein to produce each kilogram of farmed fish protein
51. A strawberry milk-shake in a fast-food outlet contains at least 59 ingredients; making one at home takes four
52. Instant coffee, typically costing $25 or more per kilo, may be bought from growers at just 14 cents per kilo, a mark-up of 7,000%
53. British people buy 1.8 billion sandwiches a year
54. Trials are under way with crops genetically engineered to deliver edible vaccines
55. 90% of American milk comes from a single breed of cow
56. About 1 in 4 people in the Western world are said to be allergic to monosodium glutamate
57. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer, with annual sales of well over $250 billion
58. Honey may contain significant levels of antibiotics
59. Eating potatoes will raise your blood sugar levels more than eating an equivalent amount of castor sugar
60. Children in Europe and the USA eat more than twice the recommended amount of salt in their diet every day
61. Bananas contain a chemical called tryptophan which makes them the perfect night-time food
62. 1 in 30 or so adults and 1 in 15 children suffers from an allergy or physical intolerance to a particular food
63. France lost half of its farmers between 1982 and 1999; Germany has lost 25% of its farmers since 1995
64. One of the fastest growing sectors in the food market is for so-called ‘functional foods’ or ‘neutraceuticals’
65. Blueberries may be more effective in protecting people against heart disease than statin drugs
66. 28 million Americans are at risk of osteoporosis because their diet is not rich enough in calcium
67. The world produces and eats over 134 million tonnes of sugar a year
68. In the 1950s, around 60% of the cost of food in the shops went to the farmers. Now it’s less than 9%
69. 97% of English meadows, 60% of ancient woodland and 20,000 miles of traditional
hedgerow have been lost since 1950
70. A pound of minced beef can contain the meat from up to 400 different cows
71. Genetically modified rice could not only stop many people starving but could prevent half a million children a year going blind
72. A typical family throws away 30–50kg of food packaging every month
73. 60% of all food on supermarket shelves probably contains soya
74. The average American consumes 3,699 calories of food energy a day
75. Almost 10 million live cows, 17 million pigs and 18 million sheep are transported around the world every year
76. If a meat-packing plant has surplus meat at the end of the day, it can put a new use-by date on the pack and send it out the next day
77. The B vitamins are vital for the health of the brain
78. Pre-washed salads are typically washed in chlorine solution twenty times stronger than that in a swimming pool
79. The best way to stay young may be to eat less
80. The first GM food product was the Flavr-Savr tomato, which went on sale in 1994
81. A number of foods have been labelled ‘super-foods’ because of their supposed health benefits
82. A cup or two of coffee daily can improve mental performance and alertness
83. Simply by eating, most of us are building up a store of toxic environmental chemicals in our bodies
84. Over four-fifths of the world’s grain is marketed by just three large American corporations
85. On average, people in the UK eat out at least once a day
86. Deficiencies in essential acids in the diet can cause health problems
87. The sweetener aspartame can cause mental retardation in infants with phenylketonuria (PKU)
88. Most bread is now at least 45% water
89. ‘People who eat organic foods are eight times more likely to be attacked by the deadly new E. coli bacteria’
90. A simple lack of vitamin A makes tens of thousands of children go blind each year
91. Half of the world’s total food energy and a third of its protein comes from just three cereals: wheat, rice and maize
92. Surveys of children’s food show that a third contains azo dyes linked to asthma and hyperactivity
93. A third of all food produced in the UK is simply thrown away
94. The human body needs to take in small quantities of certain minerals regularly to stay healthy
95. Sales of chicken have increased five-fold in the last twenty years
96. Many food crops have now been genetically engineered to be weedkiller-resistant
97. Amino acids are the basic materials from which all living matter is made
98. Food filled with chemicals that counter the effect of oxygen could slow down the ageing process
99. The Glycaemic Index may give a better idea of how fattening a food is than calories alone
100. Eating dark chocolate could be good for your heart
101. In future, meat may be grown in cubes in factories without ever becoming part of an animal
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