The average American is 36.6 years old and eats 1,996.3 lbs. of food per year. The average man is 5’9” and weighs 190 lbs. The average woman is 5’4” and weighs 164 lbs.

Each year, Americans eat 85.5 lbs. of fats and oils. They eat 110 lbs. of red meat, including 62.4 lbs. of beef and 46.5 lbs. of pork. Americans eat 73.6 lbs. of poultry, including 60.4 lbs. of chicken. They eat 16.1 lbs. of fish and shellfish and 32.7 lbs. of eggs.

Americans eat 31.4 lbs. of cheese each year and 600.5 lbs. of non-cheese dairy products. They drink 181 lbs. of beverage milks. Americans eat 192.3 lbs. of flour and cereal products, including 134.1 lbs. of wheat flour. They eat 141.6 lbs. of caloric sweeteners, including 42 lbs. of corn syrup. Americans consume 56 lbs. of corn each year and eat 415.4 lbs. of vegetables. Every year, Americans eat 24 lbs. of coffee, cocoa and nuts. Americans eat 273.2 lbs. of fruit each year.

These foods include 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza and 24 lbs. of ice cream. Americans drink 53 gallons of soda each year, averaging about one gallon each week. Americanseat 24 lbs. of artificial sweeteners each year. They eat 2.736 lbs. of sodium, which is 47 percent more than recommended. Americans consume 0.2 lbs. of caffeine each year, about 90,700 mg. In total, Americans eat an average of 2,700 calories each day.


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In 1961 Americans consumed 2883 calories per person. By 2000 this had increased to 3817. Combine this with a decrease in physical activity and it’s a no-brainer; in the space of 40 years people got fatter. Not only that – they also got sicker.

What foods made up this 935 calorie increase and what effect might those foods have had on overall health?

Are we eating a lot more animal-based protein? Red meat? Or is it the increase of saturated fats that have made us sicker?

Nope!

We’ve actually been eating more poultry but less red meat, butter, and eggs. Pork consumption is about the same.

So where did all the extra calories come from? Added sugars, vegetable oils, and cereal grains.

We’ve been told to; eat less eggs, eat more margarine – avoid butter, eat less saturated fat, eat less red meat, eat more grains, use more vegetable oils.

The above statistics would indicate – that to some degree – this advice has been taken to heart.

Strange how more of us are obese than ever before and how diabetes and heart disease rates continue to climb.

Source: http://www.diet-blog.com/07/the_foods_that_made_america_fat.php

Just when I think things can’t possibly get any worse…

“Iowa State University researchers are putting flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, which may someday allow pigs and humans to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products.

“We’re trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein,” said Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the researchers on the project. “When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine.”

This collaborative effort project involves Mr. Harris and Brad Bosworth, an affiliate associate professor of animal science working with pigs, and Kan Wang, a professor in agronomy, who is developing the vaccine traits in the corn.

According to the researchers, the corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn, Mr. Harris said. The research is funded by a grant from Iowa State University’s Plant Sciences Institute, and is their Biopharmaceuticals and Bioindustrials Research Initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

Between 2003 and 2007, the FDA’s main food-safety arm lost 20 percent of its science staff and 600 inspectors. The United States gets 15 percent of its food from foreign countries, including 60 percent of its fresh fruits and vegetables and 75 percent of its seafood, but just 1 percent of all imported food is inspected.

Source: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/04/11/food_safety_for_this_century/

The CDC estimates that each year 76 million Americans get food poisoning, more than 300,000 are sick enough to be hospitalized and 5,000 die.

More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food .

The causes of foodborne illness include viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions, and the symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes.

Some proportion of foodborne illness is caused by pathogens or agents that have not yet been identified and thus cannot be diagnosed.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol5no5/mead.htm

The number of farmers markets in the United States continues to grow, reports USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reaching a total of 4,685 in August 2008. This represents a 6.8 percent increase since mid-August 2006, when AMS reported 4,385 farmers markets nationwide.

A University of Washington study of top-selling laundry products and air fresheners found the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. All six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals was listed on the product labels.

UW engineering professor Anne Steinemann’s analysis of some of these popular items found 100 different volatile organic compounds measuring 300 parts per billion or more—some of which can be cancerous or cause harm to respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems.”I first got interested in this topic because people were telling me that the air fresheners in public restrooms and the scent from laundry products vented outdoors were making them sick,” said Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs. “And I wanted to know, ‘What’s in these products that is causing these effects?'” Read the rest of this entry »