F.O.S (Fructo Oligo Saccharides)

FOS is commonly extracted from chicory roots and Jerusalem artichokes (as it occurs in relatively large quantities in these items,) but it is also found in onions, leeks, garlic, common artichokes, bananas, rye, barley, dandelion leaves, burdock roots and honey. Some presence of FOS has been noted in over 36,000 plants worldwide. FOS cannot be broken down by the human digestive system, but they can be broken down and consumed by the bacteria in the digestive tract. For this reason, FOS is considered to be a prebiotic-a substance which provides nourishment for the good gut flora.

Butter vs Margarine

Butter is rich in trace minerals, especially selenium, a powerful antioxidant. Ounce for ounce, butter has more selenium per gram than either whole wheat or garlic. Butter also supplies iodine, needed by the thyroid gland (Vitamin A is also needed by the thyroid gland.) Margarine is very high in trans-fatty acids which are carcinogenic and mutagenic. The US federal government requires the labeling of all food in such a way as to disclose amounts of trans-fat in products. Many brands label their products legally now as “zero grams” trans-fat, which in fact means less than 500 mg trans-fat per serving. I don’t know how they get away with this one.


If we were to have discovered the nightshades in today’s world, the FDA would have a law against eating them because they are too high in acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which is the substance solanaceous plants contain that negatively affects our nervous systems. . .People with the following diseases often find that eating nightshades makes their symptoms worse: Arthritis, Asthma (especially evident during sleep), Eczema and Psoriasis, Smokers (those trying to quit may have better luck detoxing by eliminating nightshades), Cystitis and interstitial cystitis, Lupus, and People who are receiving chemotherapy.

Sugar Substitutes-Suchero

I emailed asking how it was processed and got this reply: “Suchero comes from the nutritious sap of organic Cocos nucifera trees. The sap, oyster white liquid, is collected and heated to let the water content evaporate until Suchero granules are formed. The Suchero granules are further dried in convection ovens to achieve an equilibrium moisture level, then cooled and packed ready for shipment. Our process is 100% natural and organic – no additives, no artificial flavoring, no coloring, no preservatives and no chemicals. Suchero is unbleached, unfiltered and unrefined”.

Pectin Alternatives

Pomona brand low methoxyl (LM) pectin has no preservatives but Pomona pectin is made, just like its preservative-laden cousins, from the by-products of processing non-organic fruit. Low Methoxyl (LM) pectins are chemically modified so they gel with the use of calcium rather than sugar. I tried Pomona Pectin this last year during jam and jelly season and I found it a bit tricky to work with. The package directions were not that understandable. Some jams set really well, but with others I couldn’t seem to figure out how much to put into the batch and it ended up not setting well at all. Also of note, once a bottle of jam is opened it needs to be used up within a shorter time than jams/jellies preserved with other pectins,

Food Additives

A Consumer’s Guide to Food Additives: Decaf coffee anyone? It contains methane dichloride and methylene chloride if it’s not water-processed. Methylene chloride converts to carbon monoxide in the human body thus blocking the oxygen carrying capacity of the hemoglobin molecule. Methylene chloride is also used in nail polishes. Nail fungus anyone? It damages the liver, kidneys and CNS and is responsible for headaches, insomnia, nervousness and tremors.