April 6, 2009

I Love Research Papers!

I say that in all seriousness too. I love doing research. I love the fact that I can look up new information and educate myself on something that I was completely clueless about previously. What brought this up is because I am helping Dallin with a research paper he has to write for one of his upper level Ag classes.

There are a few reasons I am helping him out with this paper. First, he hates research papers. Loathes. Despises. Detests. Abhors. Get the picture? Second, he got terribly sick on Thursday. Couldn't keep anything down. Not even ice chips. It was so bad we finally had to take him to the ER for fear that he was getting dehydrated. And he was in a ton of pain. In a three day period, he probably slept around 48 hours. Yeah. 48 hours. It was bad. Poor guy. So, during those three days, I was scouring the internet, the BYU-Idaho Library Data Base and any intelligent scientific journaling website trying to find information. Third, I love research! :) (As stated above)

So, I am curious about peoples opinions on this subject we are researching. It seems to be a somewhat controversial topic, but I think that's just because people are uneducated about it. The topic we are researching is, the irradiation of foods. What is irradiation, you ask?

"Food irradiation is a process in which food products are exposed to a controlled amount of radiant energy to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, Campylo-bacter, and Salmonella. The process also can control insects and parasites, reduce spoilage, and inhibit ripening and sprouting."
-U.S. Food and Drug Administration

So what do you think about it? Do you feel it's safe? Would you consume irradiated foods? Have you consumed irradiated foods? Would you feel safe feeding your children these products?

In my opinion, it's just one more measure the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) are taking to make sure we as American's have safe food to consume.

Did You Know: Food-borne infections cause about 76 million cases of illness, 325,000 hospitalizations, and as many as 5,000 deaths in the U.S. annually? In other words, one in 1,000 Americans are sent to the hospital each year because of food-borne illness. Sad, huh?

If you want more information about Irradiation, the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) has created a fabulous information pamphlet about it. If you would like to check it out, just click here. (They also have some great pamphlets on Aspertame and High Fructose Corn Syrup, among other things.)

Over all, I have decided two things about Irradiation. One, there are a lot of misconceptions about it because people haven't had the chance to be educated on the subject. I commend the GMA for publishing that pamphlet, because I think that is a step in the right direction to get the American public in the know. And two, Irradiation is not the cure-all for food borne illness. It is merely another step producers can take to ensure the safety of their food. It doesn't mean they can be lazy in the steps previous though. Sanitation should be top priority throughout the whole process and irradiation the icing on the cake, just in case something happens to leak through.

And that, ladies and gents, is why I love research papers. I learn all about these new ideas and principles and policies. Who doesn't love expanding their mind?? In the Doctrine and Covenants section 130:19 19, "And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." What an awesome promise. I need to be more diligent in my personal studies and continue to further my personal education.

One day I will have to share my research paper on marriage and courtship customs in ancient Egypt with you. Super interesting!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

My dad was an egyptologist and was writing a book on Egypt before he died. I am sure he would have loved to have read your research paper :)

Thanks for the info on irradiated foods. That's something I knew NOTHING about. And I from what you have shared, I don't have a problem with it. Anything to help keep my little ones healthy!