Can BPA Make You Fat?

Can BPA Make You Fat? 

—By Tom Philpott | Wed May. 30, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

 

The food industry likes to portray obesity as a matter of personal responsibility: People who eat too much gain weight, and it’s their own fault.

That view willfully neglects the role that industry marketing, particularly to children, plays on shaping people’s food habits. Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that exposure to certain industrial chemicals in food, often at very low levels, changes the way people metabolize calories and can lead to weight gain. While no one would say that these chemicals, known as obesogens, are the sole cause of rising rates of obesity in the United States, they may well be contributing significantly to it.

One of the most common of these obesogens is bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, the ubiquitous chemical found in everything from the lining of cans to the paper that most receipts are printed on. Research suggest that it’s in the urine of upwards of 90 percent of Americans—evidently at levels high enough to cause harm.

According to University of Missouri biologist and well-known BPA researcher Frederick vom Saal, it also affects how the body deals with fat. “BPA reduces the number of fat cells but programs them to incorporate more fat, so there are fewer but very large fat cells,” vom Saal recently told Environmental Health Perspectives. “BPA exposure is producing in animals the kind of outcomes that we see in humans born light at birth: an increase in abdominal fat and glucose intolerance.”

A study released last week by University of California-Irvine researchers further implicates BPA in the obesity problem—and raises even greater suspicion about a related compound called bisphenol A diglycidyl ether, a combination of BPA and something called epichlorohydrin, this World Health Organization report explains. It’s through BADGE that BPA makes it into in food can linings. UC-Irvine biologist Bruce Blumberg, who coauthored the study, explained to me in an email that the BPA that ends up in our food through can linings gets there when BADGE breaks down into its components.

Blumberg and his team found, though, that BADGE in its whole state is an even more potent obesogen than BPA—and its effects are independent of BPA. Both BADGE and BPA can trigger preadipocytes—which are known as “pre-fat cells” because they can either lie dormant, copy themselves, or turn into fat—to become fat cells. The UC-Irvine researchers tested the effects BADGE and BPA have on stem cells, our bodies’ cellular building blocks that can differentiate into the whole variety of human cells. They found that while BADGE can turn stem cells into fat cells at tiny doses, BPA doesn’t have that effect at all. The result surprised Blumberg and his team, because they went into the study assuming that BADGE wasn’t an obesogen.

How small are the doses at which BADGE does its dirty work? Blumberg told me that the stuff can induce stem cells to become fat cells at levels as low as 3 parts per billion. That’s way, way below the level the FDA has declared the “no observed adverse effect level” for BADGE, which is 15 parts per million, Blumberg wrote in an email.

While numerous studies have measured how much BPA leaches from cans and into our bodies, very little research has been done on our exposure to BADGE in its whole state. But BADGE does appear to leach into food. Blumberg says that one study found it in humans at a level of around 15 parts per billion—significantly more than the 3 parts per billion at which his team saw fat-inducing effects.

Clearly, more research needs to be done to sort out just how BADGE turns stem cells to fat cells at tiny doses. Perhaps it’s the other ingredient in BADGE, epichlorohydrin, that has the fat-transforming effect on stems cells, or perhaps it’s the way BPA and epichlorohydrin interact. But the UC-Irvine study represents yet another bit of evidence that the FDA, which recently reaffirmed its approval of BPA in can linings, isn’t taking the threat of industrial chemicals in food nearly seriously enough. And it also strongly suggests that at least some of our obesity problem stems not from personal choice but rather from decisions made behind closed doors by the food and chemical industries, which have found it profitable to put this stuff in our food containers.

 

Article URL: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/05/bpa-fat-obese-badge-cans

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Cuban Mojo Marinade

How to Make the Best Mojo Sauce

(Cuban Marinade)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 28 minutes
Yield: Varies

The key to making mojo is in the proportions.

INGREDIENTS:

3 heads garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups sour orange juice
(In a pinch, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons oregano
1 cup Spanish olive oil
The mojo with oil marinade is best for chicken, duck, fish, and so on. The oil prevents the meat from losing fat and moisture. If  using for a roasted pig it is better to omit the oil.
Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.In a saucepan, heat olive oil to medium hot (approximately 220 degrees F) and remove from heat. Carefully whisk in the garlic-orange juice mixture (prepared above) until well blended.

Zucchini Tots

Ingredients  
Yield: 12 mini tots

  • 1 cup zucchini, grated (for me this was one zucchini, about 7 inches in length)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ of an onion, diced
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.  Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel.  Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini that you can (it won’t be much, but every little bit counts).

3.  In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

4.  Fill each muffin section to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon so it’s nice and compacted (otherwise they’ll fall apart more when you try to take them out of the tin).

5.  Bake for 15-18 minutes in preheated oven.  The top will be starting to golden.  To easily remove from the pan (without scratching it to death), run a plastic knife around the edges of each tot and they should come right out.

Notes

  • The sharp cheddar can be substituted with whatever cheese you have on hand.

 

Spot Prawns with Tomato Confit, Garlic and Chile

 

 

Spot prawns from British Columbia are on the Seafood Watch green “Best Choices” list. Their populations are healthy and abundant.

This vibrantly colored, full-flavored dish comes from Suzanne Goin’s award-winning cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table. “Serve the spot prawns with salt and lemon and a big hunk of crusty bread,” she advises. “This is a messy feast, so choose guests who will enjoy participating in a primal feeding frenzy.” If you can’t find spot prawns, use any sustainable fresh prawns or large shrimp sold in their shells.

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Ingredients

  • (Serves 6)
  • 24 large prawns* (about 4 ½ pounds)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chile de árbol
  • 1/2 cup sliced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Yellow tomato confit (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup sliced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green basil
  • 2 tablespoons sliced opal basil
  • 1 lemon, for juicing

Directions

Use kitchen scissors to cut the shells of the spot prawns down their backs, from the base of their heads to the tips of their tails. (Don’t remove the shells.) If the prawns are wet, dry them with paper towels.

Heat two heavy-bottomed sauté pans over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. (You will need to cook the prawns in batches to avoid overcrowding them.) Swirl 2 tablespoons of olive oil into each pan, and carefully place the prawns in the pans, on their sides.

Season each batch of prawns with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Pour another 2 tablespoons of oil into each pan, and cook about 5 minutes, until the shells get some color and the flesh begins to turn opaque on the first side.

Turn the prawns over, drizzle another 2 tablespoons of oil into each pan, and season the second side of each batch with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Cook another 3 minutes or so, until the prawns are just cooked. (You can peek inside the cut shell to see that the flesh is completely opaque.)

Remove the prawns to a platter and turn the heat under both pans down to medium-low. Divide the shallots, thyme, and sliced chiles between the two pans. Season each pan with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper.

Cook 2 minutes, until the shallots are translucent, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the flavorful shrimp bits. Divide the garlic between the pans and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until the shallots and garlic are soft and just starting to color.

Turn the heat back up to high and add half the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to each pan. Taste for seasoning and cook a minute, stirring often.

Add half the prawns, sliced parsley, oregano and the two basils to each pan and roll the prawns in the cherry tomatoes to coat well. This final step really helps coat the prawns in the cherry tomato sauce.

Spoon the hot yellow tomato confit onto a large warm platter.

Arrange the prawns on the platter and squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over them. Spoon the remaining cherry tomato sauce over the top.

Serve with lots of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce and juices.

* Other sustainable shrimp or prawns may be substituted.

YELLOW TOMATO CONFIT RECIPE

  • (Serves 6)
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol broken in half with your hands
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow tomatoes
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Yellow Tomato Confit Directions

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Scatter the red onion, chiles, garlic, and basil and oregano sprigs in a baking dish. Core the yellow tomatoes and place them, stem side down, on top of the onions. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and pour the olive oil and 1 cup water over the tomatoes.

Note: The tomatoes should fit snugly in the baking dish in one even layer. If there is too much room in the pan, the sauce will be thin and lose some of its intensity.

Cook the tomatoes in the oven for about 50 minutes, until they soften and blister. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.

Strain the tomatoes and onions over a bowl, saving the juice. Discard the herbs and half the chiles.

 

Hints from the Chef

  • The spot prawns should be cleaned right before they’re cooked and not any earlier.
  • Get in there and eat with your hands—peel open those shrimps and suck on them!
  • The prawns would also be great with steamed rice or over pasta.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/recipes/spotprawn_goin.aspx

Awesome Red Beans

This is a wonderful recipe for beans eaten in Puerto Rico  but you can substitute pumpkin with any squash or the spices ~ Just go with your gut instinct and enjoy !

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper,
chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
leaves
1 teaspoon annatto or achiote
powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced ham
1 (16.5 ounce) can red beans,
drained
1 cup peeled and diced
potatoes
1/2 cup peeled and diced
pumpkin
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
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Directions:
1. In a blender or food processor, puree onion, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, and annatto powder. Set mixture aside.
2. Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and saute ham with pureed mixture for 10 minutes, until browned. Mix in beans, potatoes, pumpkin, water, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 25 minutes, until mixture thickens and potatoes and pumpkin are tender.

 

Whole Striped Bass with Avocado Salsa Verde

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

Avocado, green onions, fresh cilantro, tangy lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil make a splendid sauce for this light fish. Accompany with roasted fennel, red onion and sweet potato wedges. End the meal with pecan cookies and orange slices sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

Both farmed and wild-caught striped bass from the United States are on the Seafood Watch green “Best Choices” list.

Ingredients
  • (Serves 4)
  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus 4 sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 2, 1 1/2-pound whole striped bass, cleaned, scales removed

 

Directions

Mix the oil, green onions, chopped cilantro, lime juice and chile in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the sauce to a small bowl and gently fold the avocado into the remaining sauce.

Arrange a rack 6 inches below the broiler and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Make 4 diagonal slices on each side of the fish, cutting to the bone, and place the fish on the foil. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the cilantro sprigs and lime slices in the cavity. Spread the 2 tablespoons of sauce in the small bowl over both sides of the fish, rubbing into the cuts.

Broil the fish, turning once, until the skin is crisp and the flesh is opaque when cut into with a small knife, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the top fillet from each fish by cutting along the top edge of the backbone and along the belly. Carefully slide a spatula between the bone and the fillets and invert onto plates. Starting from the tail, gently pull out the backbone and discard. Transfer the bottom fillets to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

 

Recipe by:  http://casunshine.visibli.com/share/XADGEw

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Pineapple on the Grill

Grilled pineapple with honey, lime juice and cinnamon. Pineapple is delicious on it’s own, but if you want something quick and easy to make for dessert this summer, try grilling it and serving it with some ice cream on the side. Fun for backyard parties!

Grilled Pineapple
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings • Time: 1 slice  • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 51.1 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 12.0 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein:  0.3 g • Sugar: 10.4 g
Sodium: 0.9 mg

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp dark honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ripe pineapple, cut into half inch slices

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the honey, olive oil, lime juice, and cinnamon and whisk to blend. Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill. Lightly coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the flame.

Lightly brush the pineapple with the marinade. Grill or broil, turning once and basting once or twice with the remaining marinade, until tender and golden, about 3-5 minutes on each side.
Serve warm.

Recipe by: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/05/grilled-pineapple-2-pts.html

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