The Truth Behind Pringles

I had always tried to avoid eating processed carbohydrates, such as crisps and chips, because these particular foods claim to be made out of potato which is a very starchy “vegetable”. So I was beyond shocked when I found out that certain crisps, such as Pringles aren’t even made of potato!

 
The process of making these crisps starts off by a slurry of rice, bits of wheat and corn, and potato flakes which are then pressed into shape. This forms a dough-like substance which is then rolled into an ultra-thin sheet and cut into chip and cookie shapes by a machine. Then, the crisps are placed onto a conveyor belt and pressed into moulds (this is how they get the curve that makes them fit into one another). The moulds move through boiling water and are fried for a few seconds. Then they are blown dry, carelessly sprayed with powdered flavour, and hastily flipped onto a very slow-moving conveyor belt, in a way which allows them to stack. It’s off to the innocent mouth of the customers after that.

 
Another massive concern as to why I am quite cautious when eating crisps and chips is because of the use of Acrylamide. Acrylamide is a cancer-causing and neurotoxic chemical; it is created when carbohydrate rich foods are cooked at extremely high temperatures, whether they are baked, fried, roasted, or even toasted. Many foods that are cooked or processed above one hundred degrees Celsius have a very high chance of containing Acrylamide.

 
If there is a very high dietary intake of Acrylamide then there is an increased risk of Cancer. The allowable limit of Acrlamide intake is 60 micrograms, so I was completely taken aback when I found out that a six-ounce serving of chips/French Fries could contain up to five hundred times the allowable limit of Acrylamide!

 
And my astonishment didn’t stop there, I bet you all thought baked crisps were healthier than fried? WRONG! Baked crisps can contain up to three times the level of acrylamide as regular crisp!

 
Pringles are a very popular and well-loved snack, they have a thin crisp texture and come in many mouth-watering flavours. So I am very disappointed to find out that Pringles are not only cancer-causing, the amount of potato that’s is in them is so low that it isn’t classed as potato at all!

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The Wave Review

I recently watched a German film called ‘The Wave’. It is based on a real life experiment that happened. The concept fascinated me so I did a bit of research on the actual experiment!
The story is based on a real experiment that took place at Cubbereley High school in ‘Palo Alto’ California, on the first week of April 1967.

The experiment was undertaken by Ron Jones, a history teacher. Jones wanted to show his sophomore students how powerful the pressure to belong could be, and explain fascism to his class. Fascism is when a government tries to lead you and dictate the way you live, think and so on. A common example is the Nazis. Nazis were fascists and led by Hitler up to and during the WWII.

In the experiment Jones wanted the students to realise why people would see individuality as a drawback of Democracy. Jones articulated this main point by instilling the motto: “strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.” He felt that this would practically show them how susceptible people are to such ideologies.

Jones applied the fundamentals of autocratic government (Unity, Discipline, Equality, Community) and applied them in his class, he was glued to the fact that this would show his students how prone, or at risk people are to ideologies such as this one.
Jones started the first day of the experiment with simple exercises, such as good posture, proper seating, and he also had an arranged seating plan for the students. He made the students stand to ask or answer question and they were required to address Ron as ‘Mr Jones’ He thought this would make them a little more engaged in the experiment and feel the vibe of an orderly and disciplined community.

By the third day Jones had given the group a name, and had made up a salute which he ordered class members to use and salute each other even outside of the class.
The experiment attracted lots of students and there were over two hundred participants at the end of it. The ‘third wave’ members even showed dramatic improvements in their academic areas of work! Each of the students felt as if they belonged to the movement and Jones assigned them roles such as designing third wave banners, stopping non members from entering the class etc.

However by the fourth day of the experiment, Jones brought the movement to an end as it spiralled out of control.

Does this go to show how susceptible we are to autocratic ideas? Do we really need them? Or do we just think we do? Is the feeling to belong and fit in really that powerful? Are we that close to extremism that we don’t even know it? Is it really that easy to be susceptible? To get carried away?

Why were the students so engaged with the ideas? What might it tell us about people today? About our society?

Allegory of the Cave-Plato’s theory

I have always thought about the world and the way it is exposed. Things such as how and why people don’t always think beyond what portrayed to them by media, governments, family, etc. really fascinates me. And usually if they do they are probably rejected or treated with contempt. “You Can Recognize A Pioneer By The Arrows In His Back”!

So when I stumbled across the Greek Philosopher, Plato’s theory, it took me a while to understand what he actually meant.

This is Plato’s theory:

Imagine some people living in an underground cave. They sit with their backs to the mouth of the cave with their hands and feet bound in such a way that they can only look at the back wall of the cave. Behind them is a high wall, and behind that wall pass human-like creatures, holding up various figures above the top of the wall. Because there is a fire behind these figures, they cast flickering shadows on the back wall of the cave. So the only thing the cave dwellers can see is this shadow play. They have been sitting in this position since they were born, so they think these shadows are all there are.

Now imagine if one of them manages to free himself, the first thing comes to his mind would be, where did these shadows come from, until he turns around and sees the real figures, he would be dazzled to see the sharp sunlight, he would be dazzled to see the clarity of the figures because he only saw the shadows on the wall, and if he manages to get out and climb over the wall and past the fire into the world outside, he would be even more dazzled. But after rubbing his eyes he will be struck by the beauty of everything. For the first time he will see the colours and clear shapes. He will  see the real flowers and animals that the cave shadows were only poor reflections of. But still he would be asking himself, where did the flowers and animals come from? (Adapted from ‘Sophie’s World’: p.82)

There are quite a few different understandings of his theory, a common one being that the relationship between darkness of the cave and the world beyond, corresponds to the relationship between the forms of the natural world and the world of ideas. For example, in the natural world we have pleasures such as food, music, material ambitions etc. The worl of ideas makes us think that there is something beyond this.

Metaphorically, this basically means that we live in a world of shadows, which we think we enjoy, and don’t see the reality of ideas.

Also, Plato postulated that philosophers’ role in society is to be the investigators of reality by constructing ideas from outside/beyond the box (meaning outside the cave).

I personally think of the theory as:

The people who have their feet and hands bound and have their back to the mouth of the cave are us (normal people today) and the human like creatures that walk past the mouth of the cave are the media and people in the spotlight (government, celebrities, etc) and the various figures they hold up are what they want us to believe and think (things like talent shows and beauty pageants). Lastly the fire could represent how all of these things are exposed to us, like TV, Magazines, etc. So on the whole Plato’s theory is about how we live in a world where things are shown to us and automatically we are brainwashed to accept it and believe it is the way society works.

Victoria Pendalton and Jess Varnish’s Disqualification: Olympics

So there I am sat on the couch, with a can of coke in one hand and a packet of crisp in the other (clearly betraying Gary Taubes) and enjoying one of my favourite events in the Olympics, the Keirin Cycling Sprint. This sport is for the most agile of cyclists, and in order to compete for this even, both your strength and stamina has to be at its maximum. 
 On this particular occasion it was the women who were competing (Australia vs Great Britain). It was very intense because quite a lot of people wanted “team GB” to win but were aware of Australia’s capability and how good they were. Fortunately Great Britain powered their way through the course beating Australia and it was soon announced that Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton had broken the world record! The crowd here hysterical and everyone was really proud, Pendleton was honoured and overjoyed with her effort. 
Whilst the audience were celebrating Great Britain’s success, the mood quickly vacillated (as it often does in sport) from joy to despair as it was announced that Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish had been disqualified! Why?! They gave an outstanding performance and Pendleton could have won 3 medals in one game if she had not been disqualified
 
 
So what was real reason Varnish and Pendleton were disqualified? It is believed it was due to the fact that she had set off too early, a hundredth of a second to be precise. That’s faster than the blink of an eye! This one, tiny tragedy cost both Varnish and Pendleton a gold medal. 
  
Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish World Record:

National Government and Local Council ‘Two cheeks of the same Backside?’

There is a forthcoming local election, this involves nominating a candidate to be you local councillor for the area you live in. If you have any concerns or complaints you normally hand them over to your local councillor to deal with.
One particular candidate, whom I met, is Dawud Islam; he is with the Respect party. I spoke to him briefly a couple of days ago and he told me the difference between National Government and Local Council. Basically, councillors are different to MPs and only deal with problems locally that are within their area e.g. bins, litter, building permission.

Problems in my community that affect me personally:

The “Wastefield” Bradford has not been finished yet, or even built; therefore there is no proper shopping centre in Bradford.  Where am I supposed to get my “Vans” from? Bradford kids have suffered fashionably!
I cannot swim due to the closure of local pools; yet Bradford Council are drowning in a £5.7 million surplus.
 
In the education league tables, tragically Bradford remains near the bottom.
I sometimes feel as if I’m being deprived of opportunities that other kids have.
We have given Labour too many chances which they have consistently failed in fulfilling. But are the Respect party going to make a change? Somehow I am inclined to doubt it.

English Project-Informative Peice

How people get fat-Informative piece
I have recently taken an interest in the reason why people get fat. It always seemed to amaze me why some thin people eat to their heart’s desire but do not put on weight, but some overweight people ate hardly anything yet remained overweight.
Why?
“Less food and more exercise” is apparently the way to lose weight today, as it was discovered back in 1990 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) when they thought the answer to becoming grossly obese was “sedentary behaviour and overeating.” Is this the real reason?
People are more determined to lose weight nowadays then before. In the 1980s a size 10/12 was a healthy size for many women, however, that has drastically changed over the years and a size 0/6 is considered a lot more attractive and desirable.  So people try diets, which we see advertised on TV almost all the time, such as Jenny Craig and Weightwatchers. But along with the statistics and positive reviews about these diet plans, they only work in the short term and many people end up putting their weight back on after a short period of time.
But another way that many people think helps to “lose weight” is by under eating, or eating very small portions of food. However, tests show that this type of diet only works for a few months or so, and makes you malnourished, which mean it’s not the healthiest of ways to lose weight.  Scientist Gary Taubes also mentions this in his book “Why we Get Fat and what to do about it”
However, you might be thinking exercise is the key to losing weight fast and effectively? Exercise, lose weight, prevent disease-is it all true? Well, research shows that vigorous exercise for ninety minutes a day-an hour and a half each day-will help you not to put on weight, but is not guaranteed to help you lose weight, and will probably leave you panting with exertion all day.
Paul Williams, an author of statistics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley (California) and Peter Wood, a Stanford university researcher who has been studying the effect of exercise on health since the 1970s. Teamed up and collected information on the health, weight gain, and weight loss, on approximately thirteen thousand habitual runners. The tests and statistics showed that every year the runners tended to get fatter and put on more weight, even those who ran more than forty miles a week-eight miles a day, five days a week! William and Wood came to a conclusion, that if male runners ran two more miles than their average distance each week, females three, then perhaps they could stay lean. This is because you are burning more calories each time you run the extra two miles a week. So why is it when people exercise they tend to put on more weight? It may be because people become hungrier when they are active, so need something quick and efficient to eat…carbohydrates, e.g. bread, pasta e.t.c
Dr Atkins (a controversial American Physician) made his first appearance in the New York Times. In 1972 Atkins suggested that eating fat would not make you fat, and ‘it was all a big fat lie!’ According to Atkins, saturated fat on the meat and dairy products are not the heart of the problem. But, eating to your heart’s desire with foods such as meat and steak, and stuffing your face with eggs and butter, might be a possible solution. Atkins argued for a view which was against the current orthodoxy.  
But in order to learn how we must lose weight, shouldn’t we know how the body regulates fat? Hormones and Enzymes control our growth and development, so which hormone is responsible for regulating our fat tissue? It is a hormone called Insulin. However, simple, refined and easily digestible carbohydrates are responsible for raising the insulin level, to an extent that is not healthy, and can lead to type 2 diabetes. It is at this point at which a person is very likely to become obese.
People may believe exercise burns off fat and other processed foods in your body. But it will only burn off the sugar or food you have had beforehand. For instance, if you have been devouring carbs all day, you’ll burn the carbs off instead of the fat. Consequently, if you constantly do this, your body’s ability to metabolise fat will atrophy.
Dr. Atkins and Gary Taubes (a writer who has written a number of books on the reason why people get fat) have a very fair point. Following Atkins, Gary Taubes offers us a more explanatory, seasoned approach and argues vehemently to get his voice across about the low carb, high protein diet (that will probably be more very beneficial to us). But, this matter is still yet to be acknowledged by the modern medical community.

My Weekend

The Chinese New Year dragon!
Well…I couldn’t call this weekend usual. It all started on a trip to Manchester to see the Chinese New Year Festival and what’s to come isn’t very normal at all.
I’ve been suffering from excruciating back pains for a few months, they start from the centre of my back and work out towards the bottom and sides. Yesterday (whilst in Manchester) my dad had work so we were seeing him off in his hotel room, it was when I tried to stand up the pain started again. But it wasn’t the regular sort of pain I normally get in my back, this pain was unbearable and I couldn’t move for one and a half hours! 
Eventually, my mum called the emergency services and next thing I knew a group of paramedics turned up and did a couple of tests (tested my blood pressure and temperature e.t.c) After, they gave me this gas and air, it was a mix of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) and was supposed to numb the pain in my back and make me feel slightly strange and sensational. The feeling was indescribable, it was if I was dreaming and the whole ambulance experience wasn’t real. However, it didn’t numb the pain completely and I can still feel it now as I am writing this.
When I got to the hospital the doctors carried out a couple of other tests, and weren’t quite sure what had caused it. (I am also lack of vitamin d so it might have had something to do with that) But I am going to see a Paediatrician about it very shortly, and they will look further into it.

I have to say, this has been one of the best experiences of my life. And these things don’t usually happen to me, so it was quite different. But the hospital and staff aren’t at all what they seem like in Casualty or Doctors. What was your Sunday like?

Are Non-Organic Apples Bad for you?

It always seemed to occur to me why organic products were better for you than non-organic products.

But, since I actually started eating organic apples, the answer became more and more clear. They may not look better but they certainly taste better, and when I researched about it I don’t think I could eat a regular apple again.
Apples are one of the many fruits that attract insects more than other fruits. The insects like to dig deep into the juicy flesh of an apple and destroy it, making it unedible for people. Therefore, non-organic apples are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, which are a sort of insect repellent for the apples. But these toxic chemicals destroy the real goodness of the apple, even after being washed and peeled, an apple can still contain pesticides. 4 out 10 of these pesticides can cause hormone interference, cancer, and nervous-system damage. 
Also, these chemicals make an apple look shiny and more appealing to eat. This makes customers want to buy non-organic apples rather than organic ones.

I hope you understand the real cause of what the pesticides can do. And not just to apples, but any vegetable or fruit.

The Reason Why People Get Fat

I have recently taken an interest in the reason why people get fat. It always seemed to amaze me why some thin people eat to their heart’s desire but did not put on weight, but some overweight people ate hardly anything yet remained overweight.
Back in 1972 Atkins suggested that eating fat would not make you fat, and ‘it was all a big fat lie!’  According to Atkins saturated fat on the meat, and dairy products are not the heart of the problem. But, eating to your hearts desire with foods such as meat and steak, and stuffing your face with eggs and butter, might be a possible solution.

In order to learn how we must lose weight, shouldn’t we know how the body regulates fat? Hormones and Enzymes control our growth and development, so which hormone is responsible for regulating our fat tissue? It is a hormone called Insulin. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin)

Simple, refined and easily digestible carbohydrates are responsible for raising the insulin level, to an amount that is not healthy, and can lead type 2 diabetes. It is at this point at which a person is very likely to become obese. Dr. Atkins and Gary Taubes ( a writer who has written a number of books on the reason why people get fat) have a very fair point.