Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Jalapeno Chicken Sausage with Mango, Pineapple Salsa

By: al fresco All Natural
“Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, mango, and pineapple salsa is served over cilantro rice for this island-inspired dinner.”

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package al fresco® Spicy Jalapeno chicken sausage, fully cooked, slice on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 cup fresh mango, 1 inch chunks
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1/2 cup prepared fresh/frozen edamame (soybeans)
  • 1/2 cup canned black, unsalted soybeans, rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet with olive oil over high heat. Quickly saute the jalapeno sausage for 2 minutes, add the dry sherry and cook 2 more minutes. Toss in the mango and pineapple and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh salsa, edamame and black beans, continue to cook 2-3 minutes just to heat through.
  2. Mix the chopped cilantro with the rice. Spoon the sausage and mango and pineapple salsa over the rice and serve immediately.

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Please sponsor the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection Act

From The Organic Consumers Association

Please sponsor the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection
Act. This bill establishes a set of farmers‘ rights in regards to
genetically engineered organisms and the business practices of biotech
companies.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-3555
The intent of the act is:

To provide additional protections for farmers and ranchers that may be
harmed economically by genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals,
to ensure fairness for farmers and ranchers in their dealings with biotech
companies that sell genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals, to
assign liability for injury caused by genetically engineered organisms,
and for other purposes.

Prohibited Practices

The act prohibits several practices that have become common in contracts
with biotech companies. For instance:

Purchasers of genetically engineered seed will not be prohibited from
saving seeds for next year’s crop and will not have to pay a fee to save
seeds.

Liability for any damage done by the genetically engineered organism
will not be shifted to the farmer.

Farmers will not have to allow biotech companies access to their
property.

If a genetically engineered product does not perform as advertised,
the purchaser will able to recover damages.

Preventing Cross-Pollination

Biotech companies will be required to provide written instructions on how
to grow the genetically engineered crop in such a manner as to avoid
cross-pollination.  Conventional farmers who want to sell their crops to
places that prohibit genetically engineered food and organic growers will
benefit from this provision.

Pest-Resistance to Natural Pesticides

Bt pesticides are a useful tool in an organic farmer’s pesticide arsenal.
Bt is a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills many crop pests.

Engineering crops to produce Bt toxins is common among biotech companies.
Pest insect resistance to Bt could damage a large segment of the
non-biotech farming community.

The act requires biotech companies to formulate a plan to prevent
resistance to Bt.

Additional Provisions

H.R.3555 also includes a prohibition on loan discrimination against
farmers who don’t want to adopt biotech in their fields, a prohibition on
non-fertile plant seeds (the terminator gene), and mislabeling.

Please take action to protect farmers!

Organic Consumers Association

http://www.organicconsumers.org/
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New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!

ALERTS OF THE WEEK

New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!

This World Food Day, October 16, 2011, is going to be the biggest single day of action for labels on genetically engineered food in U.S. history.

New events are being posted to the Millions Against Monsanto map on a daily basis.

Zoom in to see what’s happening in your town

Many of the Millions Against Monsanto events are of national importance. In Pleasanton, CA, activists are rallying at Safeway headquarters. Like most supermarkets, most of the food sold in Safeway contains unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients. Act in solidarity with the Pleasanton rally by sending a letter to Safeway, letting them know that 9-out-of-10 shoppers want genetically engineered foods labeled.

Another way to participate no matter where you are by posting a photo of yourself with your wittiest anti-GMO slogan in the Virtual Rally for the Right to Know About GMOs on Flickr.

 

We incorporate genetic information from the food we eat – new study

We incorporate genetic information from the food we eat – new study

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:12

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Below (item 2) is the abstract of an interesting new study which has implications for any animal or human that eats a GM food. In fact, it brings new light to the old truism, “You are what you eat”.

The study shows that we incorporate genetic information from the food we eat and that ingested nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, can have physiological influences.

The study is yet another nail in the coffin of the already discredited ‘safety assessment’ process for GM foods in the EU and elsewhere. These assessments do not consider the effects described.

Item 1 is a compilation of comments on the paper from scientists.


1. Comments on new study (below) from scientists

This is a very interesting discovery. In the light of this, a GM crop incorporating miRNA knock-down technology should be evaluated for gene expression-disturbing effects in the animals/humans who eat it. On a more general note, this makes another strong link between what we eat and our gene expression profile that could either lead to health or disease.

Micro RNA (miRNA) and short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules are part of the naturally occurring “RNA interference” (RNAi) system found in both plants and animals. miRNA and siRNA molecules bind to specific mRNA targets that results in them being destroyed with the final outcome in effect being that expression from a given gene is reduced or virtually eliminated (“knock-down”). Note: as a reminder, mRNA is the RNA copy of a gene with the information within which the cell uses to synthesise a required protein. So is you knock-down (reduce) levels of a given mRNA via binding of an miRNA or siRNA you reduce or eliminate the amount of protein product that is encoded in the gene/mRNA.

It is important to note that miRNA and siRNA are naturally occurring systems that cells use to control levels of gene expression. However, miRNA and siRNA molecules can be custom-designed for a mRNA target of choice and delivered via GM approaches to the desired cells or organism.

The totally surprising finding of the study in question is that miRNA molecules are not destroyed during digestion, and, even more unexpectedly, can enter intact into the body of the animal that has eaten it, find an mRNA target (in this case in the liver) and interfere with (destroy/knock-down) its function.

So what this new study is implying from a GM perspective is that if a GM crop has been produced by the incorporation of a gene that will express a miRNA molecule to knock-down expression of a host or pest gene (see Auer C, Frederick R. Crop improvement using small RNAs: applications and predictive ecological risk assessments. Trends in Biotechnology. Nov 2009; 27(11): 644-651), then the potential negative effect of ingesting this crop by an animal or human also should now also be considered. miRNA and siRNA molecules in the crop can inadvertently switch off (knock-down) expression of a gene system in the animal or human who has eaten it, resulting in ill health.

miRNA or siRNA molecules are prone to “off-target” effects; that is, they can bind to and knock-down mRNA that they were not designed to target! So the picture of outcomes can get very complex. It will be interesting to see if this study can be replicated by looking at other miRNA molecules in plant foods and their effect on animals who eat them.

Even more interesting would be to see if a GM crop engineered with a novel miRNA results in this molecule being taken up with measurable effects by the animal in a feeding trial.


2. Zhang L, Hou D, Chen X, et al. Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA. Cell Res. Sep 20 2011.
http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/cr2011158a.html

Our previous studies have demonstrated that stable microRNAs (miRNAs) in mammalian serum and plasma are actively secreted from tissues and cells and can serve as a novel class of biomarkers for diseases, and act as signaling molecules in intercellular communication. Here, we report the surprising finding that exogenous plant miRNAs are present in the sera and tissues of various animals and that these exogenous plant miRNAs are primarily acquired orally, through food intake. MIR168a is abundant in rice and is one of the most highly enriched exogenous plant miRNAs in the sera of Chinese subjects. Functional studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that MIR168a could bind to the human/mouse low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 (LDLRAP1) mRNA, inhibit LDLRAP1 expression in liver, and consequently decrease LDL removal from mouse plasma. These findings demonstrate that exogenous plant miRNAs in food can regulate the expression of target genes in mammals.

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:40

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Plant RNAs Found in Mammals
Cristina Luiggi
The Scientist, September 20, 2011
http://the-scientist.com/2011/09/20/plant-rnas-found-in-mammals/

*MicroRNAs from plants accumulate in mammalian blood and tissues, where they can regulate gene expression.

MicroRNAs from common plant crops such as rice and cabbage can be found in the blood and tissues of humans and other plant-eating mammals, according to a study published today in Cell Research. One microRNA in particular, MIR168a, which is highly enriched in rice, was found to inhibit a protein that helps removes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the blood, suggesting that microRNAs can influence gene expression across kingdoms.

“This is a very exciting piece of work that suggests that the food we eat may directly regulate gene expression in our bodies,” said Clay Marsh, Director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who researches microRNA expression in human blood but who was not involved in the study.

MicroRNAs are, as the name implies, very short RNA sequences (approximately 22 nucleotides in length) discovered in the early 1990s. They are known to modulate gene expression by binding to mRNA, often resulting in inhibition. With the recent discovery that microRNAs circulate the blood by hitching a ride in small membrane-encased particles known as microvesicles (see our July 2011 feature on microvesicles, “Exosome Explosion”), there has been a surge of interest in microRNAs as a novel class of biomarkers for a variety of diseases.

Chen-Yu Zhang, a molecular biologist at Nanjing University in China, was studying the role of circulating microRNAs in health and disease when he discovered that microRNAs are present in other bodily fluids such as milk. This gave him the “crazy idea” that exogenous microRNAs, such as those ingested through the consumption of milk, could also be found circulating in the serum of mammals, he recalled.

To test his hypothesis, Zhang and his team of researchers sequenced the blood microRNAs of 31 healthy Chinese subjects and searched for the presence of plant microRNAs. Because plant microRNAs are structurally different from those of mammals, they react differently to oxidizing agents, and the researchers were able to differentiate the two by treating them with sodium periodate, which oxidizes mammal but not plant microRNAs.

To their surprise, they found about 40 types of plant microRNAs circulating in the subjects’ blood—some of which were found in concentrations that were comparable to major endogenous human microRNAs.

The plant microRNAs with the highest concentrations were MIR156a and MIR168a, both of which are known to be enriched in rice and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Furthermore, the researchers detected the two microRNAs in the blood, lungs, small intestine, and livers of mice, in variable concentrations that significantly increased after the mice were fed raw rice (although cooked rice was also shown to contain intact MIR168a).

Next, the researchers scoured sequence databases for putative target genes of MIR156a and MIR168a and found that MIR168a shared sequence complementarity with approximately 50 mammalian genes. The most highly conserved of these sequences across the animal kingdom was the exon 4 of the low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 gene (LDLRAP1).

LDLRAP1 is highly expressed in the liver, where it interacts with the low-density lipoprotein receptor to help remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol, from the blood.

The researchers hypothesized that MIR168a could be taken up by the epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, packaged into microvesicles, and secreted into the blood stream, where they can make their way to target organs. Once in the liver, MIR168a binds to LDLRAP1 mRNA, reducing the protein levels and ultimately impairing the removal of LDL from the blood.

To test this hypothesis in vitro, the researchers transfected synthetic MIR168a into a human epithelial cell line and collected the secreted microvesicles. When they added these microvesicles to a liver cell line called HepG2, they found that while it did not change the levels of LDLRAP1 mRNA, it did decrease the levels of the actual LDLRAP1 protein.

Likewise, the LDLRAP1 protein level decreased in the livers of live mice 3 to 7 days after eating fresh rice or being injected with synthetic MIR168a—significantly increasing LDL in the blood. When the researchers injected the mice with an RNA sequence that bound to and neutralized MIR168a, the protein and LDL levels returned to normal.

“This microRNA inhibits this protein and increased the plasma LDL levels,” Zhang said. With higher levels of circulating cholesterol, “it can possibly increase the risk of metabolic syndrome,” he added. But more importantly, this research points to a “new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of diseases,” based on the enhancement or inhibition of exogenous microRNAs.

Although the team has still a long way to go in elucidating the mechanisms by which plant microRNAs can regulate gene expression in humans, these initial results promise to increase the understanding of how specific ingredients in food can mediate health and disease, Marsh said.

Indeed, Zhang suspects that this is just one example of many. With time, “I’m confident other people will find more exogenous plant microRNAs that can pass through the GI tract and also have effects on the host physiology,” Zhang said.

L. Zhang, et. al., “Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA,” Cell Research, doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158, 2011.

 

GE Crops in Midwest National Wildlife Refuges – Survey

GE Crops in Midwest National Wildlife Refuges – Survey

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has allowed farming of genetically engineered soybeans and corn on several National Wildlife Refuges in the Midwest Region. The Service’s Midwest Region (Region 3) is home to a rich diversity of natural resources spread across 8 states: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Center for Food Safety is concerned that, among other things, the Fish & Wildlife Service made the approval without considering the risks to the environment or wildlife posed by cultivating genetically engineered crops in these refuges. National Wildlife Refuges are important places for wildlife and serve as wintering and breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl, among other restorative purposes. Genetically engineered crops have no place in wildlife refuges, and we need your help to stop it.

We are looking for information from members who live near or visit National Wildlife Refuges in these states. NWRs are a great place for birding and other outdoor recreation.  If you have visited, or reside near a National Wildlife Refuge in the Midwest Region, or if you are an organic farmer near a Refuge we could use your help. In your email, please tell us: 1) Where you live, 2) Which refuge(s) you visit or farm near, and 3) The last time visited for each refuge.  Reply to Sylvia at swu@icta.org or call 415-826-2770. Please contact us by Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Thank you,
The Center for Food Safety

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G-RAW-NOLA My Way !


I just made granola with new ingredients and would like to share this recipe with you as it came out so delicious !

INGREDIENTS: ( I use all organic ingredients )

DRY:   Oats – Sea salt – cinnamon –  Ground Flax seedChopped Almond and PecansSesame seeds – Chopped figs – Chopped sweet prunes.

WET:   Honey – Agave – Maple syrup – Molasses – Vanilla.

I don’t give you the amounts as I don’t measure. I simply know how much I want to make and taste as I go along.

In a food processor or Mixer chop the Almonds, Pecans, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds to desired size.

In a Large bowl mix Oats with all dry ingredients;  Sea salt, cinnamon, Flax seed, Almonds, Pecans, Prunes, Figs and Sesame seeds.

Mix well with a large spoon till well blended.

In a glass or clay bowl add the Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Agave and Maple syrup and warm 1/2 minute in microwave oven. Mix well with a spoon and pour over the Oats mixture.

Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes as the sticky mix has to incorporate with all the Oats.

Place in dehydrator for 8 to 12 hours – depending on your taste of crunchiness.

Keep in sealed tight container and enjoy with your favorite milk.

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