Mothers and blogging

Mom and daughters

There was a moment during the birth of my first daughter, when my only hope was that both my baby and I survived. Since that point forward, my mothering mantra has pretty much stayed the same. My children have had life threatening experiences and have had emotionally challenging experiences. Every pain they feel, I feel. Every fear they have, I feel as well. My vision of motherhood was not what  motherhood turned out to be. What I have found out is that mothering is emotional rollercoaster and it demands great responsibility. Even though there is responsibility, I enjoy my children and the experience. Like any good experience, the years since my eldest was born have flown by. We have had close moments when I share myself and my hopes, … [Read more...]

Leave Well Enough Alone?

DSC_1645

In the August 2013 Food Technology, there is an article titled "GRAS: Leave Well Enough Alone" http://www.ift.org/Food-Technology/Past-Issues/2013/August/Columns/PERSPECTIVE.aspx.  GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) refers to food additives used in the USA.  Our laws indicate that all ingredients added to our foods must be GRAS. We add new GRAS materials to our food supply constantly and many of these additives are flavor ingredients. The consumer will not always be aware of these new additives, because they are labeled with generalities such as "flavor". The article "Leave Well Enough Alone" are the thoughts of one person in the food industry. The author, Eric Greenberg writes that "in terms of food ingredients and additives, … [Read more...]

Safety, Hunger and Our Children

Hungry Children

Last week, I anxiously checked my email waiting the response of my professor on my Food Safety Toxicology final paper. It was a paper discussing toxicology issues related to 4-Methylimidazole (found in caramel color) and  I worked very hard on this paper. Toxicology is a difficult class, but the amount of knowledge I gained was more than worth it. I opened an email from my professor to learn I received a perfect score and an A in the class, only to see another email from the school district my children attend. The email from the school district mentioned a school shooting. I logged into nbcnews.com to learn more about the shooting. When I read the details of the shooting ;"a kindergarten teacher and 18 children dead", I broke down. Those … [Read more...]

“The Sky is Falling”

On the path to recovery

Society claims that flavor chemists are "people who add chemicals to foods" and that food safety specialists are "people who worry too much". In a recent Food Safety program I attended, one professor stated "food safety professionals can be compared to Chicken Little running around claiming the sky is falling". Worry can be un-healthy, but exists for a reason. My daughter suffers from excess worry and anxiety, something normal for a child that has endured a major illness. Something normal for a child whose parent has anxiety issues. My daughter had a brain tumor at age two and  I worried excessively during her treatments. At one point I couldn't stand straight or walk because of excessive worry. Unfortunately, after diagnosis, worrying … [Read more...]

My thoughts on Children & Sugar Free Gum

Sugar free gum

I spent the last 7 years of my life primarily working on flavoring chewing gum. You wouldn't think chewing gum could occupy so much time, but it's an important market.  Chewing gum is typically composed of the following ingredients: flavors (1-3%) sweetener (60-80%) softeners (a small amount of glycerine or oil) gum base 20-30%  (rubber) As a parent and a flavor scientist who chewed 5-15 pieces of sugar-free gum a day, I have some concern over the ingredients in sugar-free gum. Sorbitol, the majority of the sweetener in sugar-free gum is my largest concern. I suffered many a day from gastrointestinal distress as a result of sorbitol. 10 grams/day for an adult  is enough to induce a laxative effect on the body. Therefore 8-10 … [Read more...]