Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is "Natural Flavor"?

Why do we need natural flavor if the product is already natural?

It’s at the end of many ingredient lists in processed food: “natural flavor.” But what substances fall under this benign label? What natural sources are they extracted from? If you shop in the center aisles of the grocery store, chances are those natural flavor ingredients came from an unexpected source and spent some time being swished around in a beaker.

Food science defines natural by what it is not: the FDA “has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”

This non-definition gives food companies plenty of room to tout “All Natural” on their packages even with ingredients that have been hydrolised, distilled and emulsified to taste completely different. Both natural and artificial flavors are chemicals – the distinction is whether they are completely synthetic or first derived from a natural source.

Former food marketer Bruce Bradley notes some notorious sources of natural flavors in his blog series All Natural . . . Really? One of the most cringe-worthy is shellac, the resinous secretion of female lac bugs used to glaze donuts and make shiny candy shells. Another natural flavor you wouldn’t find yourself consuming in nature is cystine, a dough conditioner derived from human hair and duck feathers. Maltodextrin derived from genetically-modified corn is also considered natural.

On a recent visit to multi-national flavor company Givaudan, 60 Minutes highlighted the use of beavers’ anal gland secretions in the manufacture of vanilla and raspberry flavors.  Please watch the video 60 minutes interview

For the discerning shopper, "natural" is little more than marketing hype. Organic foods are not always an exception since flavors constitute less than 5% of the total ingredients, and organic standards follow a 95% rule. Last year, the Organic Trade Association formed an Industry Task Force to review flavor categories and see if some flavors could be organically produced, which might be a step towards clarifying the flavor classification system.

In the mean time, food companies can enjoy using the umbrella term “natural flavors” to cover a whole range of proprietary chemical translations that make their product memorable, irresistible and, some say, addictive.

For more information on Dr. Peloquin and the Hands of Gold Chiropractic, please visit our website at

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Benefits of Chiropractic for Children

Why would a parent not take a child to see a chiropractor? The basic answer might come down to no information or incorrect information.

Here are three basic reasons why not: 1. They don’t know about Chiropractic, 2. They don’t know about the potential benefits of Chiropractic or, 3. They think that a Chiropractic adjustment might be too rough for a child and cause pain or damage.

Once a person finds out about Chiropractic and begins to understand its benefits, it is point number 3 that must be understood and dispelled, as apparently, some parents think that a Chiropractic adjustment will be “too rough” for their youngster.

Chiropractors understand that all bodies are different and tailor their adjustments and the amount of pressure required based on the individual they are treating. A big football playing man in his 20s, a little old woman in her 70s and a child of 10, will all be looked at and evaluated for their individual needs.

In this way, it could be said that a Chiropractic adjustment can be as individual as a handshake. A strong man shaking hands with another strong man will give him a lot more pressure than if the same man was shaking hands with his grandmother or the child. When parents realize this and bring their child in for an adjustment, the results can be quite remarkable. Consider this case of a 7-year-old girl.

This child had been suffering from asthma since the age of 4. By the time she came to see a chiropractor, she had been treated medically with 10 different medications. Attacks of coughs and wheezing were daily occurrences. Physical activity was almost out of the question. Emergency room visits sometimes reached 5 per year. A test of lung capacity revealed she was operating at about 50 percent of her lung capacity.

An exam by her chiropractor revealed subluxations (partial dislocations) in the vertebrae at the middle of her spine. An individual program was tailored to handle these restrictions. With just one adjustment, some of the tightness in her chest disappeared and her coughing was reduced. After just 4 weeks of treatment, she was able to put aside her inhaler and get back to participating in swimming and running sports. After 3 months, her lung capacity was just about normal and all medications were stopped.

Had her parents avoided taking her to a chiropractor because of a fear that an adjustment might be too rough and cause her pain, the child might well be on her way to a dozen more medications, further restrictions of activity and even worse breathing problems.

Is Chiropractic for children too? By all means. Miracles can occur each and every day in Chiropractic with the right adjustment, tailored to the individual’s size, age, shape and need.

For more information on Dr. Peloquin and his office please visit: Bay Ridge Chiropractor

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