Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Artificial sweeteners


Artificial sweeteners found in drinking water near Lake Erie

Kevin Trotman
Nature is so sweet! No, literally: Diet drinks are turning rivers into something out of Candyland. This is bad news for most of us, but good news if you’ve ever wished fresh spring water was more like Sprite.

Scientists poked around the Grand River in Ontario, Canada, which feeds into Lake Erie (so pay attention, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York). They found “elevated concentrations” of sucralose, saccharin, and two other sweeteners less fun to say.

Apparently the 30 water treatment plants that dump into the river aren’t filtering everything out. Writes the L.A. Times:
Antidepressants, antibiotics, steroids and fragrances are among the products that have been detected in surface waters. Some of the contaminants have been found in fish tissue. Some compounds not only get through sewage plants, they also survive purification of drinking supplies and have been measured in trace amounts in municipal tap water.

That was true of the sweeteners, which were detected in samples collected from homes in cities that draw supplies from the Grand, which empties into Lake Erie.

Holly Richmond ( writes and edits things for fun and money. She worked for Grist in the 1890s. Please follow her on Twitter because that is the entire basis of her self-esteem.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Michael Pollan: The Omnivore s Dilemma

Uploaded on Jan 8, 2010
Pollan discusses America's dilemma regarding food production and consumption and examines the ways in which Americans produce their food and make their meals, the subjects of his 2006 best selling book "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

Produced by Bill Matthiesen '70, Berkshire Film & Video,

Benny Goodman Camel Caravan Radio Show Sponsored by the Cigarette Brand

Benny Goodman Camel Caravan from 02/14/1939. With Johnny Mercer and Martha Tilton.

Sponsored by Camel cigarettes

 Camel Caravan














Tobacco Marketing


The Men Who Made Us Fat- Part 3

Part 3

Published on Aug 28, 2012
Jacques Peretti examines assumptions about what is and is not healthy. He also looks at how product marketing can seduce consumers into buying supposed 'healthy foods' such as muesli and juices, both of which can be high in sugar.

He speaks with Simon Wright, an 'organic consultant' for Sainsbury's in the 1990s, who explains how the food industry cashed in on the public's concerns around salmonella, BSE and GM crops. By 1999 the organic industry was worth over £605M, a rise of 232% within two years.

How did the mainstream food producers compete? Peretti speaks with Kath Dalmeny, former policy director at the Food Commission, who explains some of the marketing strategies used by mainstream food producers to keep our custom.

The programme also explores the impact of successive government initiatives and health campaigns, such as the proposal of 'traffic light labelling', the introduction of which the food industry lobbied hard against.

But in 2012, when we have an Olympic Games sponsored by McDonalds and Coca Cola, has anything changed?

License:  Standard YouTube license

Published on Sep 2, 2013
Episode 4 of 4

In the final instalment of this four-part series, Jacques Peretti asks why the world's population continues to get fatter, despite the fact that billions are spent on weight loss every year. He travels to America to investigate the parallels between food companies and the tobacco industry and meets the activists battling to introduce laws to tax fatty and sugary foods - and facing fierce resistance from industry.
Standard YouTube license

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Obesity Epidemic

Published on Aug 23, 2012
Around the world, obesity levels are rising. More people are now overweight than undernourished. Two thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four of us is classified as obese. In the first of this three-part series, Jacques Peretti traces those responsible for revolutionising our eating habits, to find out how decisions made in America 40 years ago influence the way we eat now.

Peretti travels to America to investigate the story of high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener was championed in the US in the 1970s by Richard Nixon's agriculture secretary Earl Butz to make use of the excess corn grown by farmers. Cheaper and sweeter than sugar, it soon found its way into almost all processed foods and soft drinks. HFCS is not only sweeter than sugar, it also interferes with leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, so once you start eating or drinking it, you don't know when to stop.

Endocrinologist Robert Lustig was one of the first to recognise the dangers of HFCS but his findings were discredited at the time. Meanwhile a US Congress report blamed fat, not sugar, for the disturbing rise in cardio-vascular disease and the food industry responded with ranges of 'low fat', 'heart healthy' products in which the fat was removed - but the substitute was yet more sugar.

Meanwhile, in 1970s Britain, food manufacturers used advertising campaigns to promote the idea of snacking between meals. Outside the home, fast food chains offered clean, bright premises with tempting burgers cooked and served with a very un-British zeal and efficiency. Twenty years after the arrival of McDonalds, the number of fast food outlets in Britain had quadrupled.

License:  Standard YouTube license

Part 2

Published on Aug 28, 2012
Jacques Peretti investigates how the concept of 'supersizing' changed our eating habits forever. How did we - once a nation of moderate eaters - start to want more?

Speaking to Mike Donahue, former McDonalds Vice President, Peretti explores the history behind the idea of supersizing. 40 years ago, McDonalds hired David Wallerstein, a former cinema manager who had introduced the idea of selling larger popcorn servings in his Chicago cinema. Wallerstein realised that people would eat more but they didn't like the idea of appearing gluttonous by going back for seconds. By increasing the portion sizes and the cost, he could sell more food. In 1972, he introduced the idea to McDonalds and their first large fries went on sale.

By the 1980s, we were eating more - and eating more often. Perretti speaks with industry professionals to examine the story behind the introduction of value meals, king-size snacks and multi-buy promotions. How did the advertising industry encourage us to eat more often?

The programme also explores the developments in dietary advice - by 2003, the Chief Medical Officer was warning of an 'obesity time bomb.' Peretti speaks to obesity expert Professor Philip James, who made recommendations in his 1996 report that the food industry should cease targeting children in their advertisements. He also speaks with Professor Terry Wilkin, who led a pioneering study into childhood weight gain; and former Labour MP David Hinchliffe, who chaired the 2003 Parliamentary Select Committee on Health.

Standard YouTube license

Friday, December 6, 2013

A simple mind trick to make your coffee taste even better

Study Reveals A Simple Mind Trick To Make Your Coffee Taste Better

There are a lot of tricks to make coffee taste better -- adding cream, sugar or perhaps even some pumpkin spice. But a new study published in PLOS ONE, an online journal, revealed an even simpler... 

A simple mind trick to make your coffee taste even better

The World’s Deadliest Drug: Inside a Krokodil Cookhouse

Russia, Yekaterinburg. A stage of  Krokodil's preparation. Pills of codeine are crushed and mixed with iodine, hydrochloric acid and other chemicals.
Emanuele Satolli—Parallelozero

A stage of krokodil preparation. Pills of codeine are crushed and mixed with iodine, hydrochloric acid and other chemicals.

A stage of Krokodil's preparation.
Emanuele Satolli for TIME
A stage of krokodil's preparation.

Alexey is injecting the Krokodil.  The effect of the drug is about 40 minutes.
Emanuele Satolli for TIME
Alexey injects krokodil. The effect of the drug lasts about 40 minutes.

About a decade ago, Russian doctors began to notice strange wounds on the bodies of some drug addicts—patches of flesh turning dark and scaly, like a crocodile’s—in the hospitals of Siberia and the Russian Far East. It didn’t take them long to discover the cause: the patients had begun injecting a new drug they called, predictably, “krokodil.” (Some accounts suggest the name was derived from one of the drug’s precursor chemicals, alpha-chlorocodide.)

Videos showing the effects of the “flesh-eating” drug—christened desomorphine when it was invented for medical use in 1932—quickly went viral online. There are now alarming stories that the monster could be at large in the U.S.

American drug-enforcement officials say fears of an imminent krokodil epidemic are overblown. But it’s hard not to be frightened of a drug that leaves a reptilian mark on its victims. Especially when it is so easy to make: an addict can cook up krokodil using ingredients and tools bought from the local pharmacy and hardware store. 

The active ingredient, codeine, is a mild opiate sold over the counter in many countries. Users mix codeine with a brew of poisons such as paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus scraped from the strike pads on matchboxes. The result—a murky yellow liquid with an acrid stink—mimics the effect of heroin at a fraction of the cost. 
In Europe, for example, a dose of krokodil costs just a few dollars, compared with about $20 for a hit of heroin.

But addicts pay dearly for krokodil’s cheap high. 
Wherever on the body a user injects the drug, blood vessels burst and surrounding tissue dies, sometimes falling off the bone in chunks. 
That side effect has earned krokodil its other nickname: the zombie drug. The typical life span of an addict is just two or three years.

The drug quickly became popular among Russian addicts. In 2005, the country’s counter narcotics agency reported catching only “one-off” instances of the drug; six years later, in the first three months of 2011, the agency confiscated 65 million doses, up 23-fold from two years earlier.
At its peak that year, krokodil use had spread to as many as a million addicts in Russia.

A ban on over-the-counter codeine sales that was introduced on June 1, 2012, has brought numbers down sharply, but Emanuele Satolli, an Italian photographer who has been chronicling a group of Russian addicts, says many now score that key ingredient on the black market.

For the past year, Satolli has focused on the industrial city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, a place notorious in Russia for drug abuse, photographing about a dozen krokodil addicts.

The krokodil epidemic may have peaked in Russia, but the drug’s use has already been reported elsewhere. 

In October, a report published online in the American Journal of Medicine confirmed the case of a 30-year-old addict in Richmond Heights, Mo., whose finger “fell off” and whose skin began to rot after he began injecting krokodil. 

The monster has crossed the ocean.

Emanuele Satolli is an Italian photojournalist based in Milan.

Simon Shuster is TIME’s Moscow correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @shustry.

Translation by Eugene Reznik.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Eat moe fibre for lower calorie intake...

Killer Wasps

PETA To Johns Hopkins: Stop Using Rodents In Erectile Dysfunction...

Animal advocacy group PETA called Tuesday on the National Institutes of Health to stop animal experiments related to sexual health, including Johns Hopkins studies of erectile dysfunction using... 

  22 Nov
Killer wasps in Ankang, China have already killed 42 people.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cosmetic Companies Ranked According To Harm

Canada's cosmetics companies are ranked according to harm

Cosmetic Companies Ranked According To Harm

OTTAWA - An environmental group has ranked Canada's five largest cosmetics companies based on potentially harmful ingredients in their products.The report from Toronto-based Environmental Defence... 


Synthetic Marijuana "Spice" May Cause Strokes in Teenagers

Synthetic Pot Popular Among Teens May Be Linked To Strokes

A synthetic marijuana popular among teens may cause strokes, a University of Southern Florida study found.

USF Neurologists published news of the possible link in the journal Neurology after a brother and sister, 26 and 19, suffered acute ischemic strokes shortly after smoking the synthetic marijuana street drug known as "spice" or K2. The researchers ruled out any undiagnosed genetic condition that would predispose the siblings to strokes at such a young age.

“We rigorously looked for those and didn’t come up with anything,” senior study author W. Scott Burgin said. “To the best of our knowledge, what appeared to be heart-derived strokes occurred in two people with otherwise healthy hearts. So more study is needed.”
Burgin told the Tampa Bay Times that since submitting to the journal, he has seen two more cases of stroke in unrelated patients that were likely spice-induced.

Banned in 43 states and undetectable in toxicology screenings, spice is made of a mixture of herbs doused in “a solution of designer chemicals” that mimic a cannabis high when consumed. But Burgin warned that the synthetic drug can be even more potent than real marijuana because of the more complete way its psychoactive ingredient binds to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors.

“You don’t know what you’re getting when you smoke synthetic marijuana,” Dr. Burgin said of the product sold mostly underground and without any ingredients list. “It’s like the Wild West of pharmaceuticals, and you may be playing dangerously with your brain and your health.”
This isn’t the first time synthetic marijuana has been linked to serious health risks. A study in February out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham linked the product to acute kidney injury.

In spite of the risks, the synthetic cannabis is immensely popular among teens. A 2011 survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that second to only real marijuana, it was the most used illicit drug among high school seniors.

While the chemical similarities between synthetic and real pot remain unclear, the study’s findings may inspire researchers to continue research into real marijuana’s possible link to strokes. A study out of New Zealand in February reported a possible increased risk of stroke from cannabis use, but the findings were widely considered inconclusive because the researchers did not control for tobacco use, which doubles the risk of stroke.

“In any event, if marijuana can cause ischemic stroke, and if anything pot can do spice can do better, neurologists will likely encounter increasing numbers of spice-associated strokes in the years ahead,” said Columbia University neurology professor John C. M. Brust.