CHEM 181 - Chemistry Of Food Topic 1, Lesson 1 - A Sampling Of Food Topics Video 1 Introduction • Science leads to conclusions. • There is a lot of nonsense out there. You can go into health food stores and find supplements that will cure any disease known to mankind. If you suffer from blocked arteries, perhaps apple cider vinegar can clean up those blockages, at least according to literature on the web. • There is a lot of excess that occurs in the world when it comes to food. • There is also confusion about what we should and should not eat. • We have a problem if there is too much to too little information as it can become overwhelming and confusing. • We want to know what is in our food - the nitrates, vitamins, minerals. • We want to know about cholesterol and calorie content. • Food is the only raw material that ever goes into our body, so in fact we are what we eat. • Chemicals are everywhere in the world: some are natural and some synthetic. It is all a question about what we know about the substance, not its origin. Video 2 Pomegranates, Laetrile, Cancer and The Media • Going back to the days of the Bible. People believed that Eve tempted Adam with an
apple, but that is not in the Bible. The Bible does not name what the fruit of the tree of knowledge is. • We think it is an apple because artists depicted it that way. Pomegranates were unknown to artists in the Middle Ages, as they grew in the part of the world since time immemorial, and apples weren’t found there until much later. • The pomegranate would have been a good choice of fruit for the tree of knowledge because it has anticancer properties. • Pomegranates contain compounds called aromatase inhibitors. Studies have shown that if you take cultured breast cancer cells and put them in a petri dish and douse them with pomegranate juice, they multiply less quickly. However, we cannot therefore assume that pomegranate has any effect on humans. It takes more work to prove that. 1 • But advertisers will often take a small amount of scientific information and blow it our of perspective. That is why pomegranate juice is advertised as a way of cheating death. • The Federal Trade Commission in the US put the manufacturers of POM in trouble as they had overstepped the boundaries by advertising it as some kind of miracle. • Pomegranates have some beneficial properties, but you have to be careful about overstating what those properties may be. • It is possible to make claims for virtually any fruit or vegetable as they all have some interesting properties. • In the foothills of the Himalayas there are a lot of dried apricots. They have nothing else so that is what they eat. One could then portray the died apricots as a miracle fruit because they contain beta-carotene which is an antioxidant.