Daily Archives: November 6, 2017

On Food

Prompt Two
This article definitely hit home. I am one of those people who practices ‘moderation’ and says ‘everything in moderation’. I laughed a little when I read that because of how relatable it was. After reading the example of a not-very-moderate food week that feels moderate, I was able to identify with it. What I thought was ‘healthy’ and ‘harmless’ could actually be killing me. Here’s an example of my last week (dinner only)….

Monday: Grilled steak salad with lemon garlic vinaigrette – glass of water (salad…water = healthy)

Tuesday: I made some homemade general chicken tso with steamed vegetables and some white rice, for dessert: 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream.

Wednesday: Grilled steak salad with lemon garlic vinaigrette (again) – 2 glasses of organic watermelon cucumber lemonade (salad + organic juice = healthy right?) dessert: bowl of nacho cheese Doritos with cheese dip….

Thursday: Oven baked frozen stuffed crust pizza with a glass of Dr. Pepper and 1 serving of doritos.

Friday: Vegetable spaghetti and ground turkey with meat sauce a Pepsi.

While this is only Monday through Friday, I thought I was making healthy dinner decisions but the simple fact that I drank soda instead of water or had a ‘dessert’ made my clean eating not so clean. I didn’t realize it then but now when I was trying to remember exactly what I had for dinner I was almost ashamed that I had so many chips in over the course of 5 days.

My next step is to start becoming more aware of what I’m putting into my body so that I’m not counteracting all of my better habits. I use to use an app called MyFitnessPal which basically counted my calories and daily exercise, but after moving away from home I was so overwhelmed with being alone for the first time and having to cook for myself rather than eating a cup of noodles every day that I stopped logging my meals. I also plan to drift away from the ‘occasional’ soda and instead of eating chips, have some healthy popcorn or even cashews or almonds (nuts).

Glossary Building #1

Prior to entering the public health field, I believe that the FDA conducted independent testing to determine if products were safe. Sadly, this is not the case, the FDA relies on data provided by the company or manufacturer. The FDA approval has three levels of evaluation: class 1 (high-risk), class 2 (moderate-risk) and class 3 (low-risk). Class 1 products are under the heaviest amount of review and are typically new medical devices that are not like anything on the market. Class 2 includes items which are like other already approved items on the market. Items determined as class 3 does not require any evaluation by the FDA.

There some policies in place that allow companies to avoid evaluation altogether. One such policy is: Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) is a policy which organizations use to avoid FDA approval for food additives. This is a largely self-regulated process, in which a ‘qualified experts’ outside the government can label and additive as a GRAS. Another way around evaluation is the 510(k) loopholes, this is a process used during class 2 evaluations where approval is granted based on similar items. The first problem with this is that as more items are approved, they will slowly move farther away from the original evaluated items. However, the scariest part about this loophole is that devices which were originally passed but later recalled due to safety issues are not atomically removed from the FDA approved list. This means that potentially harmful drugs and other health products can be approved based the recalled item.

FDA Approved: A product has been approved by the FDA as safe. Products that health consumer items such as new drugs, some food additives, cosmetics, some medical devices.

GRAS: Generally Recognized as Safe is an FDA policy that excuses food additives from evaluation if outside experts consider it safe.

501(k): A section in FDA summary screening that allows the approval of class 2 items based on similar previously approved items.