Atomic Gardens: Salt. Pepper. Radiation?






Special to the Dougherty Report

Atomic gardening is a form of selective mutation that uses exposure to radiation in order to create useful mutations in a food. The scheme began in the 1950′s as an alternative use for fission energy. Post-World War 2 efforts of using radiation to mutate foods didn’t fizzle out the way they could have. Forms of atomic gardening are still used to this day to try to influence the growth of a certain seed or produce in a way that humans deem beneficial.

The history of atomic gardening

The idea, as mentioned, took off in the 1950′s. While scientists were exploring the effects of radiation on food as early as 1920, the farming method didn’t catch on until a few decades later.

Atomic energy has been a source of great interest ever since the end of the Second World War. Scientists and researchers believe it to have valuable potential, far away from weaponry.

In the 1960′s, Atomic Gardening had become more widespread. Europe, The Soviet Union and the United States were all doing their own forms of testing. As the years progressed, different environments were created in order to study whether or not results changed.

Over twenty different atomic farms were created worldwide. By the 1970′s, even Asia had begun their own forms of research using Cobalt-60 to try and influence favorable mutations in seeds. The goal among authorities was to create even more locations for selective breeding to take place.

But, by the mid-80′s, interest in atomic energy waned slightly, as nations explored other ways of creating mutations. While the method still has its relevance in society, it’s less commonly used now by western countries. Asia still maintains their atomic gardens, and are even increasing the amount they have. Recently, a new development in Malaysia became one of the biggest gardens in the world.

Foods that have been most affected

Genetically Modified foods are subject to heightened controversy at the moment. As people take more of an interest in what they eat, the idea of putting something in their mouth that has had its DNA scientifically altered concerns some.

DNA splicing is the modern form of the atomic garden. It acts as a cheap and easy way to produce mass amounts of crops, and maximizes company profits.

Frequent foods found in the modern day diet can be traced back to the atomic garden. Peppermint flavoring being an extremely common one. The Rio Star grapefruit, a type of grapefruit seen in Texas, also traces its ancestry back the gardening scheme. It shows how vast the mutation methods were, as 75% of all Texas grapefruits are now of the Rio Star variety.

There are believed to be thousands of foods in circulation that have had their DNA altered using this process. Different varieties of rice, corn, wheat, peas, cotton, seeds, bananas and nuts have all been altered by genetic modification. The idea was that they’d become disease resistant, and form a cheap and reliable food source for years to come.

The missing link is the lack of adequate testing and feeding studies on humans. We don’t know what these foods do to OUR DNA.


Photo/Public Domain


Special to The Dougherty Report

Scientists are at it again. They have successfully managed to transplant human stem cells into pigs. You may be wondering what it all entails. Pigs are considered to be closely anatomically linked to humans and this is why transplanting the stem cells is possible. The argument here is that pigs respond to health threats the same way humans do and that they are much closer to the size and scale of humans as opposed to other animals. Previous tests had been made with mice and rats, which were all unsuccessful and this involved stem cell therapies together with transplants and grafting of cells that eventually resulted in rejection by the hosts. So now that we know a big breakthrough has been made in the scientific world, what next?

There are some serious moral considerations at play. Where do they find these cells? Often in hospitals when placentas would otherwise be discarded and through other medical procedures. Right to life advocates have been concerned that fetal tissue may be used for stem cell therapy. Watchdog groups have remained diligent in their efforts to prevent fetal stem cells from being used for research purposes.

Researchers are excited about the possibilities in improving the “human condition”, overall.

This major breakthrough is believed to be a step closer in finding treatments for certain incapacitating human diseases. This technology may aid patients who suffer from severe immune deficiencies by developing treatments for them. Some of these diseases are considered fatal. Another reason why pigs actually respond well to a stem cell transplant is they also have compromised immune systems, which imitate that of human patients who are diagnosed with immune deficiency problems.  However, there is concern as to how to protect them from other pathogens. All this has been taken into account and after a way has been found to protect them from pathogens, they could bring immense breakthroughs. This applies to trial stem cell therapy and whole organ transplants.

In the very near future, scientists may bring an end to fatal diseases characterized by immune deficiency problems. This gives scientists and researchers a field day to work on new  discoveries that may redeem humans from a number of debilitating human diseases.


The First Man-Made Foods Are Poised To Enter The Market


Special to the Dougherty Report

One of the first synthetic foods to be lab-created was meat and the hamburger was the first in line to be tested. The scientist who created it had to have a taste of the burger, and he said it was not bad but needed seasoning. Since it is artificial beef cultured from the beef itself, one wonders if it is safe for consumption. This all depends of the level of pathogens present in the synthetic meat, but who is to say that it is safe or not safe when compared to natural beef? Suffice it to say, lab tests are still underway regarding this discovery, so do not expect to find a pound of this artificial meat in the supermarket soon!

Nano-foods on the other hand have had reports of toxins evident in them. Nano-foods are foods that don’t occur in nature as food. It has been reported that nano ingredients are being added into daily food basics such as fruit juices, cooking oil, teas, soft drinks and diet replacement milkshakes among others. These are items that are usually used in most households and it is therefore important for labels to be placed on the packaging. This would alert the consumer the product they are about to consume does contain nano ingredients, which gives them the choice of opting for them or others. Some organizations have called for a halt to the sale of nano foods until adequate testing has been done on them. This is important to show they are either safe for human consumption or not. Some of the nano materials used in the food industry include nano titanium oxide, nano silver and nano zinc. Scientists have actually gathered evidence to support the notion that most of the foods in the market exhibit warning signs of nano-toxicity, which can be toxic to both humans and the environment.

Since scientists have discovered that nano materials are unsafe for humans and the environment at large, governments should consider taking up this fight and have bills that regulate the usage of nano materials. They should also pass bills to mandate the labeling of all foods that contain nano materials in order to provide consumers with the option of choosing what they want to put into their bodies. Awareness programs should also be formed for the purpose of sensitizing consumers to the nano materials present in their foods.

Trends in GMO Labeling


Trends in GMO Labeling

Special to The Dougherty Report

Due to the controversy surrounding GMO foods, the Center for Food Safety submitted a legal petition to the Food and Drug Administration. This was in regard to the labeling of all GMO foods that find their way into the marketplace. It was to provide consumers with freedom of choice when it came to choosing the particular foods they preferred. Enough companies and organizations supported the move together with a couple million consumers who submitted comments to the government. It has since been observed that the FDA has delayed taking action, which has left many states with no other choice but to introduce bills regarding genetically engineered foods on a state-by-state basis.

These states have come to the conclusion that it is a consumer’s right to know what is in their food. This is taking place so the consumer’s rights are respected. When sensitizing campaigns are properly done regarding genetically engineered foods, consumers are able to make their own personal choices. This leads to speculation as to why FDA is delaying their call-to-action where genetically engineered foods are involved. Might there be something wrong with the GMO foods? Is there something they are not telling consumers?


The FDA should consider clearing the air on this matter to avoid a lack of transparency, which eventually leads to genetically engineered foods being discredited.

So there you have it. If at your state has not passed a bill to label GMO foods, then you know who is causing the delay. Your state might also be passing it in the next few years as it moves through the state legislatures, so do watch out for it

Making amazing pizzas at home

It is not hard to make artisanal quality pizza at home. Here are a few pointers, and then we will get to the recipes. First, buy a good quality pizza stone, or you can use quarry tiles cut to fit a rack in your oven. You can also use untreated granite tiles. Expect these to crack after a year or two, unless you can find quarry tiles. I’ve been through several pizza stones now and cracked all of my granite. It’s the price you pay for good pizza. Luckily, these items are not expensive.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Connecting Flight Between MH370, EMP’s & Solar Power

This week on The Dougherty Report, we are challenging you to think.

Is there a connection between;  (1) the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Air Flight MH370, (2) Dire warnings by former VP Dick Cheney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich that EMP (electromagnetic pulses) could destroy the electrical grid system in this country and cause widespread loss of life, and (3) the plan put forward by former VP Al Gore whose stated goal is to replace the current electrical grid system with solar and wind turbines by 2018?  Is it far-fetched to think this government itself might resort to a scheme to destroy the current electric grid to advance a cause?

Listen HERE.

Elizabeth Dougherty has been a writer for over 10 years, and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 300 episodes of radio which air each Saturday morning at 8 on the Business Talk Radio Network nationwide, Saturday afternoons at 4 on flagship WWBA AM820 News, and Sunday mornings at 8 on the Space Coast on WIXC AM1060 News, respectively. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the The Dougherty Report website and on Facebook.


St. Patrick’s Day Myths And Tasty Recipes

(Photo/Elizabeth Dougherty)

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the Leprechauns are feeling frisky!

A cozy Irish meal, a pint of Guinness (or a nice cabernet for the less brave), and a heavenly dessert will lead you over the rainbow to a romantic Irish evening.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish (and Irish-for-a-day) all around the world. There is even a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Moscow. Being Irish-Italian, St. Paddy’s Day is cause for celebration at our house. We never let the day escape without some hearty Irish fare and great conversation. One of the more controversial subjects surrounding this day is about the origin of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was born of Roman parents who were living in Scotland or Wales during that time period. He was kidnapped and made an Irish slave as a child. His visions and his teachings made him famous throughout Ireland and he is widely credited with ending slavery in that country. Although the shamrock was his trademark, he typically wore blue garb as he witnessed to people in Ireland. The Ulstermen and other groups who opposed St. Patrick and his teachings wore orange in protest. He is also applauded for removing the serpents from the countryside, however many historians say Ireland never had snakes prior to that time period anyway. He is the patron saint of the downtrodden and gave hope to many of the poor and enslaved. It is said he died on March 17th, hence the celebration of his life and accomplishments on that day each year.
With his Roman parents, one might think we would eat Italian food on St. Patrick’s Day, but he lived in Ireland for most of his life. And don’t worry about trying to cook the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage. That is just what Americans think the Irish eat, but it was more of a British dish. Irish stew, (ballymaloe or stobhach in Gaelic) is as Irish as food can get. Traditionally cooked with inexpensive cuts of mutton, the Irish now have as many recipes for Irish stew as Macy’s has paraders!
The following recipe is one I have used for years to throw together an Irish stew. This delectable dish practically cooks itself as it simmers to mouth-watering tenderness. The meat is so tender, the flavors so succulent, any Irishman will think you spent days preparing it. Put it on some rice, pasta (or egg noodles, as the Irish say) and this is a one-dish meal that is easy to prepare and even easier to clean up. Along with that, try the recipe below for a quick Irish Cheddar Soda Bread. No rising necessary.
For dessert, macerate some fresh berries with a little port and sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. (One needs this lighter dessert after such a hearty meal!) A good cup of joe with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream would end this meal appropriately.
Well, if your Irish eyes are not smiling by now, raise your glass and give your friends this Irish toast:  May the Leprechauns be near you to spread luck along your way, and may all the Irish angels smile upon you St. Patrick’s Day. Have a happy (and safe) St. Patrick’s Day!
Irish Stew
2 1/2 lbs. of lamb stew meat, cut into 2 inch squares
4 carrots, diced to 1/4 inch
4 stalks of celery, diced to 1/4 inch
1 large onion, diced to 1/4 inch
4 ounces of salt pork, also diced to 1/4 inch
1/2 cup of Marsala wine (he was Roman, after all)
28 ounces of beef stock (in the carton)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 TB organic cornstarch for thickening
1 lb of egg noodles
1 TB butter
In a large pot heated to medium heat, add the salt pork. When it begins to render fat, add the vegetables. Saute until they are tender and the onion is translucent. Remove the vegetables to a bowl (leaving the fat in the pot). Heat the pot up to medium high and add the lamb (don’t overcrowd the pot) to brown it on both sides. This may take two batches. Add vegetables and all meat back to the pot. When it begins to sizzle again, add the Marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, just enough to come about an inch above the meat, and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check the stew, and if not sufficiently thick, make a slurry with organic cornstarch and water. With the stew simmering well, add the slurry and stir rapidly to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and mix with butter. Serve stew over the noodles.
Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 cup of Irish cheddar, grated
2 TB butter, softened
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
(6 sundried tomatoes, chopped, optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or spray with cooking spray. Sift together dry ingredients. Making a well in the center, add all other ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. With clean hands, knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a round. Place on baking sheet and cut an “x” into the center about 1/4 inch into the dough. Dust the top with a little flour. Bake until browned 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with Irish butter!
Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 200 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and  other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.


Slainte! St. Patrick’s Day Myths And Tasty Recipes

(Photo/Elizabeth Dougherty)

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the Leprechauns are feeling frisky!

A cozy Irish meal, a pint of Guinness (or a nice cabernet for the less brave), and a heavenly dessert will lead you over the rainbow to a romantic Irish evening.
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