Food Additives – N & O
Food Additives – N
Nappy sterilizers – some contain hypochlorite, which contributes to organochlorin pollution. Vinegar, bicarbonate soda, lemon juice or eucalyptus may be added to the rinse water, or use hot water and sunlight to help destroy bacteria and make nappies white. 12
'Natural' – often means animal, especially in cosmetics. Avoid keratin, collagen, lanolin, elastin
Nitrosamines – compound formed in the stomach in the presence of amino acids, especially from meat. Known carcinogen. The consumption of Vitamin C with amino acids halts the reaction. 1
Food Additives – O
Oleic acid/oil – may be plant or animal fat, usually derived from tallow (inedible animal fat). Used as an inhalant in aerosol drugs including nasal sprays and Ventolin and Beconase inhalers; in cosmetics and hair dyes; and in soaps. Oleic acid was found to worsen the asthma of 20% of people in a 70 person study group when it was used as an excipient in a bronchiodilator medication. 14, 47
Olestra – Is the generic name for hexa-, hepta- and octa-esters of sucrose – trade name Olean (Procter & Gamble). It is intended as a fat substitute in foods and in processing since it is not digested or absorbed and passes through the body unchanged. Obtained from edible fats and oils (soybean, maize, coconut and cottonseed)After 25 years research involving 100 studies on animals and 98 on human beings approval was given by the US Food and Drug Administration in Jan 1996. The total cost of the development work on olestra has been estimated at $200M. In trials with the original product there was some leakage of liquid olestra due to separation in the intestine which allowed loss through the anal sphincter. anal leakage could occur with some individuals, especially at high intakes, when there may also be increased flatulence, urgency and stool softening (attributed to the lubricating effect). There is no guarantee that consumers would not gorge themselves on such foods or perhaps compensate for the reduction in energy intake by eating more of other foods.
Eating habits are not easily changed and processed foods with reduced fat content are often less palatable than the original formulations hence the development of fat substitutes over the years. These include Simplesse (microcapsules of milk proteins or egg white), Splendid (derived from pectin), N-oil (derived from tapioca) and many others. IFST
Oleyl alcohol/oil (and oleyl compounds) fish oil derivative, used in detergents, fabric softeners and medicines. 14
Olive oil – produced rom the pressing of olives. Used frequently in foods. Olive oil is sometimes used as a solvent in hair and skin products, cleansing products and suntan preparations. It is also used rarely as a medium for injectable drugs such as estrogen and progesterone, a use which can result in growths. Contact dermatiitis and eczema may result from excessive use on the skin. 47
Organic farming often using traditional methods, organic farming strives to maintain the natural ecosystem and improve the soil without modern agrochemicals.
Methods include mixed cropping which reduces crop loss by disease or insect plagues; non chemical pest control (natural predators); green fertilisers (ploughed in crops of red clover, buckwheat rye, alfalfa and others), other natural fertilisers such as seaweed, mineral salts and manure. Such methods are proven to build up the soil with humus, which improves drainage and increases moisture retention dry weather. Nitrogen fixing green manure crops make more nutrients available to subsequent vegetable crops. Organic farming does not contribute to damaging surrounding natural ecosystems and habitats of wildlife. A study published by the US National Academy of Sciences found that "Well managed alternative farms use less synthetic chemicals…without necessarily decreasing and, in some cases, increasing, per-acre crop yields and the productivity of livestock systems (which could) result in ever greater economic benefits to farmers and environmental gains for the nation" 12, 63 Studies have shown no appreciable difference in the nutritional value of organic produce, however lower levels of residues could contribute a health benefit.
See also: Canberra Organic Growers Society
Organo-chlorines – organic compounds containing chlorine. Commonly used as pesticides, eg. DDT, Chlordane and Aldrin. See Pesticides.
Organo-phosphates – pesticides, see Roundup.
Orotic acid – pyramide carboxylic acid
Overpopulation – see People.
Ozone depletion – Thinning of the ozone layer allows more UV rays to penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. Increased exposure to UV is harmful to plants and animals alike and has been linked to increased levels of skin cancers in Australia. Could lead to global warming The notorious 'hole' located over Antarctica gets larger each year. Concern for the state of the ozone layer is becoming an important force in the choices made by consumers. This is the result of findings that indicate CFCs and halons, (and some other chlorine-based chemicals) all commonly used in refrigeration and propellants, are the primary cause of the thinning of the ozone layer. Depletion, combined with continuing use of HFCs, fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emitting industries, and methane leaks from gas pipelines are contributing to a world-wide increase in temperatures: the Greenhouse Effect. We cannot stop ozone depletion (although it can replenish itself given time), but we can reduce the amount of ozone depleting chemicals we emit into the atmosphere. Alternatives to the chlorine based chemicals responsible and proper disposal of those currently in use is vital. see also, Energy consumption