Gelatin and Prions

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Gelatin and Prions – 18 May 2006

A recent issue of Time magazine ran an article about hospital food and the need to improve its healthfulness. They described the gelatin that hospitals serve as being “Low-nutrient, high-calorie, artificially colored jellied sugar water.” I was surprised that they didn’t mention what is used to “jell” this ubiquitous product. Most gelatins are made from the collagen protein found in the skin, cartilage, and bone of “food animals.” The pharmaceutical industry uses hard gelatins made from bones, while the food industry uses soft gelatins derived from hides and connective tissue.

Frank and I try to avoid anything that contains gelatin, and are amazed that so many people don’t realize what gelatin really is. When I think of animal-derived gelatin, I always wonder about the possibility of contamination with prions. And in my opinion, the promotion of gelatin as a food for children is totally irresponsible. (I believe that the only “safe” gelatin is derived from non-animal sources such as agar-agar, soy, or seaweed.)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is one of the diseases caused by prions. Since the publicity about Mad Cow Disease (BSE or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and the causative agent, prions, pathologists take extraordinary precautions in performing post mortems on known CJD cases. I should mention that since BSE can only be diagnosed in a late stage in animals, it stands to reason that diseased younger animals who show no symptoms could be slaughtered and their products distributed.

I could go on and on about this fascinating subject. More people need to take a serious look at the products they use and educate themselves about the risks involved from these gelatin-containing products that are everywhere – and where one would least expect.

For more information see:
http://all-creatures.org/health/sub-bse.html
http://all-creatures.org/health.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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