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Last Time We Wrote....
Because of the special importance of The Microbiology of Foods in relationship to what is striking this planet now—and will be increasing in frequency and ferocity, and the globalization of food and what it brings with it: foodborne illness, this document will be rather lengthy and divided into several sections, to be published over succeeding months.
Of major importance, throughout all this Chaos and Confusion coming, one wants to keep his health in good shape; and, if possible, improve his health. Of primary importance, one needs to know and understand something of the nature of the microbiology of foods and how to keep microorganisms under control. Food will, once more in man's history on earth, become of prime concern in having it. The food he comes by in the immediate and ongoing future demands that it be wholesome, nutritious, and relatively free of pathogenic microorganisms. If not, health will deteriorate and be difficult to maintain. We are now moving into a period modern man has never before experienced.
Up to the present, for at least the past 150 years, food became more and more easily obtained and various government bodies came into operation for judging its safety by passing laws to make food more healthy and relatively free of harmful disease producing microbes. But, some things are breaking down as more and more foodborne illnesses are being reported periodically, such as contaminated ground meat with salmonella and Escherichia coli. And we must not leave out Clostridium botulinum, the microbe that produces a neurotoxin. All are on the increase, it appears. They are making, or will be making, their debut as emerging viruses and diseases. But, when push comes to shove, these diseases will present themselves as never before because people do not know how to take care of themselves, nor what to do in food preparation, and on reheating foods.
This globalization of foodstuffs such that we can have out–of–season fruits and vegetables not only has brought us more food, but, it appears more foodborne illness. Ground meat, unless ground before your eyes from one cow, generally is produced from 300 to 500 animals from all over the world. Do not get taken in by the words Organic Produce and Meat. China has now entered the so–called "health food industry."
When we speak of food, we also are speaking of potable (drinkable) water.
As more and more people populate the land and as food supplies are strained to feed all the masses and are now beginning to diminish...you won't become fully aware of this until 2011...and as potable water diminishes for crop growing, and as the weather becomes more inclement, and as the emerging viruses and diseases against food and man increase, it is now imperative that one understands something of The Microbiology of Foods.
This projects into water purification and sterilization of foodstuffs.
...and now...we write...
Some Biochemistry Of Food
In the Biochemistry of Food, one learns that food spoilage is often caused by the microbes' own chemistry. However, with the bad comes much good.
Mankind gets a goodly amount of foods from some of God's smallest creatures. Vinegar, pickles, sauerkraut, foods that are fermented and nutritious, various cheeses, soy sauce, sausages that are fermented, cocoa, animal food called silage, acidophilus milk, buttermilk, and yogurt are some of the advantages of microbes.
There are microbes that make bread ropy (spoiled), milk sour, meats turn green, and others blackish, plus cause eggs to spoil and rot, giving off putrid odors.
In regard to green meats, this also includes bologna, frankfurters, sausages, and luncheon meats. There is a sheriff in a western American state who proudly announced that he is feeding his prisoners green bologna and is saving the state lots of money. He can feed a prisoner for 49 to 79 cents per day. He says that if "you don't like it, don't come back." He makes them wear pink and does not let them lift weights and build their bodies.
What he and the people of that state are not realizing, with the enormous amount of trans fats his subjects are ingesting, it will cost the United States of America, and that state, a huge medical bill in the future for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer that this kind of diet, not even considering the spoiled bologna, generates. The green bologna does not make one sick, but it is egregious that prisoners are fed bacteria-contaminated bologna.
Practically all states are having financial difficulties; or, are bankrupt! Some are having to release prisoners early! Many of these people released are mad. And one reason they are mad and do not know why is because of the trans fats attacking their brain functions. As for bad food, everyone knows that it is a major cause for prisoner anger and riots. Neuroprostanes are being formed and affecting their modus operandi. This translates into mad, very angry prisoners, being released upon our society.
Think of this: When The Hell Breaks, these people are/will be out there in the droves. They are coming to your house for revenge against society. They have displaced aggression! We have written about this and its consequences in the past year.
Be Prepared! You have no choice when this happens. They will give you no choice. They will give no quarter.
Some foods are highly perishable; other are semiperishable; and still others are considered by microbiologists as nonperishable.
Fish, butter, cheeses, milk, meats, fowls, and eggs are considered highly perishable, while breads, potatoes, fruits and vegetables are semiperishable. Coffee, spaghetti and pastas, beans, flour, sugar, cereals are considered nonperishable.
We give some basic disavantages of microbes here in regard to food:
Some bacteria have an affinity for the proteins of foods. They degrade the food proteins into their constitutent amino acids and then react on some of them. Most notable are cysteine and tryptophan.
When the bacteria break down cysteine, the egregious smell of rotten eggs is imparted to the end product. This is due to hydrogen sulfide formation.
When tryptophan is broken down, it forms the characterisic odor of fecal matter. This odor is due to the formation of skatol and indol.
Fungi consists of molds and yeast. They thrive nicely in/on sugars and/or carbohydrates. They cause fermentation, for instance, of apple juice forming ethyl alcohol, giving it a taste of alcohol and the rising of bread products. Often times one sees filimentous strains covering fruit or jams and jellies. Mold has made its appearance. Do not eat. Discard. Mold also attacks potatoes.
Some bacteria causes bread to be ropy. The bread develops threads of a long stringy nature and to have a soft texture consistent of a cheesy nature. This is due to some bacteria having a capsule.
Other bacteria attack carbohydrates generating an acid (sour) taste and forming gas, as in cans that swell or bulge.
Molds were once considered a nuisance, but fungi (molds and yeast) have now come into the forefront of medical science as serious health threats. It now behooves one to be aware of this.
As food gets scarce, foodborne illnessess will rise. Molds and fungi present as silken threads and/or filamentous fibers wafting over fruits and vegetables, mainly carbohydrates. They can also appear on jams and jellies. Once, people just washed the food, cut out the fungi, and ate the food. That is no longer good advice, since some molds are now associated with powerful cancers. Moldy cheese is also to be avoided or the molded parts cut out and disposed of, and the "good" cheese made into a cheese sauce.
However, molds and yeast can be quickly destroyed by heating foods with the fungi to 140° to 190° F. Boiling water heats to 212° F. This is more than enough heat to destroy the fungus and not destroy the quality of the foods.
Mold has caused serious life threatening infections in lung tissue of humans and animals. Farmers have become infected with lung diseases from working with wet hay stacks.
What Mold Can Cause
"Is it a rebellion?" asked Louis XVI of the count who informed him of the fall of the Bastille.
"No, sire," came the reply. "It is a revolution."
"In the early summer of 1789, a great wave of panic spread over France. Rumors circulated that brigands were everywhere, and many townfolk fled to the woods to hide. Peasants stockpiled weapons, and soon turned their hostility on landowners, burning homes and destroying records of their debts.
"The incident came to be called the Great Fear (la Grand Peur). After it subsided, the rich remained apprehensive. They gradually realized that the peasants had enough power to seize property and commit acts of violence. The momentum for reform soon built to a fever pitch, and on the night of August 4, 1789, the French Assembly met and voted to abolish many ancient rights of the nobility. The French Revolution was under way.
"Historians have often wondered what roused the peasants and precipitated the events of 1789. Essentially the fears were groundless: no more brigands than usual were about; and no evidence of a conspiracy existed among the peasants because the panic broke out in widely scattered communities, some separated by mountains. The episode seemed to be one of sheer wildness and not necessarily a manifestation of resentment.
"Nor did the timing seem to fit any political, economic, or sociological pattern.
"In 1984, Mary Kilbourne Matossian, from the University of Maryland, proposed a solution to the mystery of the Great Fear. She blamed the episode on ergot rye disease. Her studies of provincial records revealed a deterioration in public health in sections of France during mid–1789, and instances of nervous attacks and manic behavior. 'Bad flour' was thought to be the cause, a factor that would tie in with the ergot rye theory.
"Another important clue had surfaced in 1974, when a historian reported that the rye crop of the late 1700s was 'prodigiously' affected by ergot. He reported evidence of Claviceps purpurea in one–twelfth of all the rye. (By contrast, today if one three–hundredth of the rye is infected, it cannot be sold.)
"But why would so many peasants eat bad bread in 1789? Apparently, it was a bad year for rye, and the cold winter and wet spring contributed to widespread ergot disease. Coincidentally, the Great Fear broke out just after the rye harvest. Thus, the timing of the panic and behavior of the peasants appear to go hand–in–hand.
"In retrospect, it is clear that the peasants resembled victims of ergot poisoning. Hallucinations are common and delirium often sets in. There are seizures, jaundice, numbness, and a belief that ants are crawling under the skin. Tremors, loss of speech, and a sense of suffocation occur. During the Middle Ages, the disease was called the 'holy fire.'
"It would be simplistic to suggest that a fungus precipitated the French Revolution. Nevertheless, the evidence is substantial that ergot disease was a contributing cause. Certainly, the wild displays of the peasants must have been a terrifying sight to landowners. No doubt the fever pitch of the panic and the far–reaching consequences are better explained by the political and cultural climate of the times. Still, if the ergot disease had not happened...." — 'A Fungus And The French Revolution,' Fundamentals of Microbiology, I. Edward Alcamo, Sixth Edition, page 466.
When things get very serious and food gets scarce, there will be a mad dash to "pounce and grab" anything one can. People are not versed in such matters as preparing for a long hard seige of scarcity, especially. Hence, they will make many wrong decisions. Many will do Dry Storage of beans, pastas, spaghetti,
brown rice, quickly grabbed from supermarket shelves. If not kept dry, they will become moldy. Flour and other grains and cereals tend to keep well as the other items given. But, moisture can cause havoc with them. They can become Moldy!
Aspergillus flavus attacks grains. This is a mold. It produces aflatoxins. These toxins can be found in stored grains if conditions become ripe for them. Grains such as soybeans, corn, and peanuts including wheat have been found with such toxins in them. They are connected with colon and liver cancers in people. However, the toxins can not only be ingested in the grains containing them, but if the meat has been fed the contaminated grains, one can acquire the toxins from the meat that has become contaminated.
Rye plants have a high susceptibility to ergot poisoning (ergotism) by the mold Claviceps purpurea. Grain spoilage with ergot also includes wheat and barley. This mold, as seen earlier can cause, among other things, hallucinations and convulsions when ingested. LSD, the hallucinogenic drug, is made from the ergot toxin.
And what is in most food storage plans? Beans. Pastas. Spaghetti. Wheat. Flour. Barley. Corn, and Rye.
It behooves one to know about the cooking temperatures that are necessary to destroy mold and yeast. Most importantly, however, is the fact that one can become infected if they have allowed their grains, cereals, and legumes to become wet, and then moldy, and then they open up their packages, and voilà, they have just inhaled . . . fungi.
One thing about having this knowledge, if your brother–in–law is investigated by the police during this time for weird utterances, hallucinations, and jumping all over, and 'ants' are running under his skin, you can chime in quickly and loudly,
The Witch's Cake
During the middle ages, a lot of things happened. There was a small ice age and it was also quite damp and cold. There were brigands everywhere, it seemed. Hoards of bandits came over the horizon decimating everything in sight. They took what they wanted: women, food, animals, and made slaves out of captives. What they couldn't carry back, they often burned to the ground.
A disease made manifest that was undoubtedly present before that time, and since then. It was ergot poisoning. From the above, ergot poisoning manifested to the mind of that time as madness and/or possessions.
"Hallucinations are common and delirium often sets in. There are seizures, jaundice, numbness, and a belief that ants are crawling under the skin. Tremors, loss of speech, and a sense of suffocation occur."
And this persisted through the 1600s. It was actually in the year 1691; the month was December. The "possessions" took the form of weird speech, gestures and strange positions were taken by the persons "possessed." At one time or another, all who were possessed went into fits and convulsions. Their heads and body parts jerked suddenly and erractically, as they may have uttered backward speech.
Observers led by a minister suggested the eight girls demonstrating the odd movements and speech and frantic scratching for mysterious ants crawling under their skin, were bewitched. And since no other logical cause could explain their strange speech and odd behavior, it was suggested they be given a "Witch Cake!" This cake was made innocently from rye flour.
If witchcraft were involved, it was thought, the girls would become even more "possessed" and demonstrate convulsive fits. Eating the cake, the observers noted their symptoms became more pronounced. There was ringing in their ears and some claimed Out of Body experiences, as flying in the air. That did it. The Salem Witch trials were on. The hunt was for the sorcerer or sorcerers. They were found June 2, 1692 and the famous Salem Massachusetts trials began.
It was cold and damp for the year from 1690 to 1691. It was very cold. Rye grew like weeds whereas other grains perished, according to diaries from that period.
Teens and children eat more food per pound of body weight than adults tend to and thus, were affected by the poison the most severely.
Though some decry the ergot reasoning, and of course, other factors enter into the period, such as the psychological and social temperament of that time; but, a bad situation would not have turned very ugly had ergot not been present.
The Following Shows How Convulsions and "Fits" Were Confused As "Possessions."
Before too much longer, we may see, because our food supply may become very spoiled, convulsions and seizures. Because of our social and psychological climate today, what will we ascribe them to now?
This, and other reasons above, is why Chef Charles urges a pressure cooker for sterilization of foods that normal boiling may not achieve.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Reference:Cornell Law School]
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