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We read and hear a wealth of information about healthy eating and dangerous food. But is it reliable? You have to consume the information about food products no less carefully than consume the products themselves. According to our public correspondent, who has learned from her own experience that some publications can be much more dangerous than bananas from China (by the way, the 2019-nCoV virus is not transmitted through fruits, because it cannot exist outside the body for more than 2 days).

One day, I saw an article called “Almost all food products focus onto («to» in the original resource «щоб» wa written with mistake instead of «щоб») make us cancer sufferers and infertile”. This text has received many views and has been widely cited by many mass media. Including our region. Let us say, on the site “Kramatorsk News” this material has received more than 2.5 thousand views. It was written according to a dental surgeonof a district hospital, who believes that “we are moving to a new technological level in which people are redundant”, and therefore we are all doomed to die untimely because of “poisoned” food products.


Six months ago, I probably would have taken on board some of the facts that struck me most in this post, especially about the health of children. Because I often interact with sick children and watch the really critical cases that parents associate with junk food. But something stopped me. Last fall, I participated in a media literacy training from the HROMADA Skhid newspaper, where they talked about various techniques of media manipulation. Due to this, I paid more attention than usual.

What embarrassed me foremost? The error made in the title. This mistake «щоб» instead of «щоб». As if it is a small, but a significant detail – I was told at the training that reputable publications have proofreaders and do not allow misprints in publications. Instead, the so-called “basin spouts” in this way attract the attention of a not-so-educated audience – as if they make the author common, “closer to people”, seemingly too agitated by a global problem to make little mistakes.

Then I paid attention to the extremely emotional presentation of the material. From the very beginning of the title, I was constantly intimidated as the reader, (hereinafter the author’s spelling reserved): “Every second pregnant woman in maternity hospitals ends up with either a miscarriage or a poorly progressive pregnancy, i.e. hypoxia inside the uterus. And they keep quiet about it. This all is not taken seriously, we watch CAMEDY CLUB or other silly TV shows, and we do not notice that we are being destroyed”. The media literacy trainer also told us this: the first sign of manipulation is emotional pressure. People turn on feelings (fear, indignation, sadness, etc.) and – turn off the mind by giving manipulators access to their brain.

I did not let mybrain turn out and asked myself: “Why an expert, being a dentist, provides statistics on gynecology? Are these related areas?” In addition, I am somewhat aware of the situation with childbirth, and according to my information, it is not so hopeless. So who is this author and why is he overloading the situation?

I searched on the Internet and at my request of the surname of the “dentist”, I got the information that the author of “horror stories” is OlehMatviichev, who is not a Ukrainian doctor at all (not without reason I reminded Comedy Club instead of Kvartal or our other popular shows), and he is…a Russian political scientist, professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He worked in many election campaigns, was the Deputy Governor of Volhohrad Region for Information Policy, a regular guest of the scandalous talk shows, where he became famous for a series of provocations.

Nowpay attention, the question is! Why does the Ukrainian language article in Ukrainian editions provide me with foreign statistics on behalf of a person who is not an expert in medicine but in political technologies? Do you have an answer?

I have, but I do not like it – someone wants to trick me. So, to refute the information that almost fooled me, I took medical books, reached out to specialists, and now I have many arguments to refute the facts in the article. Unfortunately, many of these facts are already live in the sub cortex of our brain in the form of permanent myths, and manipulators kindly use this for unknown purposes.

So, I will acquaint you with myths, their presentation in the article (with reserved spelling) and professional information, which is confirmed by medical professionals. It is up to you to decide what is more toxic to health – food or superstition.

MYTH 1. All semi-finished products are filled with toxic monosodium glutamate (MSG)

“When buying your kids sweet soft drinks, chips, crackers and semi-finished products, you make them customers of the oncology center. The more a child eats MSG, the more hyperactive child is. A child should be quiet. I would prohibit MSG at all”.

If someone thinks that this condiment was used only now, no: MSG according to the state standard (well-known GOST/All-Union State Standard/) was in the listof raw materials for canned foods and pates in Soviet times.

According to the results of numerous studies, MSG E621 has been recognized as a relatively safe food supplement when consuming in maximum allowable amount. Evidences of negative impact on human body of MSG in reasonable doses were not found.

Usually MSG is used to enrich the taste and aroma in the production of dry soups, broths, fast food products, chips, crackers, sauces, mayonnaise, ketchup, meat products, canned seafood and fish products in an amount of 0.1 to 0.5% .

The daily intakeof MSG for adults should not exceed 1.5 g, for adolescents – not more than 0.5 g. Children up to three years of age are not recommended to consume MSG products.

When eating too much food with a nutritional supplement, people get used to its rich taste, all other dishes seem flat, so as a result a man refuses to eat dishes with a natural taste, such as cereals, stewed vegetables, soups and salads. In fact, a risk is limited by this. All world-wide nutrition recommendations agree that food (not supplements) should be a nutrients source. Expensive organic gluten-free superfoods do no harm, but they are not necessarily recommended products.

MYTH 2. All cheap food productswith low fat content are dangerous

“All low fat food products contain soy, vegetable fats and extremely dangerous palm oil. The cheapest is palm oil, which is processed only at a temperature of 38 degrees. As the body temperature at average is 36.6, palm oil settles on the blood vessels walls and leads to strokes and heart attacks”.

The hypothesis of a link between palm oil consumption and cancer has not been scientifically confirmedyet. The soluble system of a person is structured in such a way that it heats the temperature of a stomach to the necessary for digestion (thus, another myth is refuted – the necessity of soups).

Adverse effects on human health have been proven only with regard to trans fats (sunflower oil which is the favorite by the Ukrainians): a diet rich with them increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 21% and premature death by 28%. The poor mostly consume these products. Trans fats should provide no more than 1% from energy in the daily ration. Therefore it is necessary to refuse to fry in refined oil. And if you still fry something, then add spices: rosemary, oregano, thyme, black pepper, ground paprika. Spices somewhat prevent the formation of carcinogens.

Instead, saturated fatty acids (SAFA) should be up to 10% of the calories we get every day from food and drinks. With their help, the body dissolves vitamins A, D, E, K. The norm of saturated fats is 20 g per day for women and 30 g for men. These are about 2.5 tablespoons of butter or 4 sausages for women and a large burger and 4 tablespoons of cream for men. Three slices of pizza contain 10 g of SAFA -a half the recommended daily ration for women and a third for men.

In Ukraine, the traditional product containing fats –is a salo (cured slabs of fatback, rarely pork belly): the ratio of saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids is the most optimal among all vegetable and animal fats. It provides a feeling of satiety and it is difficult to eat more than you need. 85 g of bacon contains about 30 g of saturated fats – a daily male dose.

Low fat food products are not useful, as there will be no fats in which the vitamins dissolve. It is best to buy yogurt with a slightly lower fat content than non-fat at all.

MYTH 3. GM foods affect cells and cause cancer and infertility

“GM foods leadsto cancer at the first breed of rats, but there is no third breed at all. They become infertile”.

Ukrainians are scared of the words GMOs (genetically modified organisms), not understanding that the results of genetic engineering have long been present in our lives. For example, these are some medicines that began developing back in the 80’s of the last century. There is nothing to say about products. Do you know that we eat a triple-mutant banana because it is delicious, but a wild banana haspits and isinedible?

In fact, transgenic technology is the same as well-known to us breeding, but accelerated. Artificially generated mutation that foresees enhancement of “ordered” qualities through DNA correction. Thus, they get more resistant wheat varieties, non-perishable fruits or rice that is not eaten by pests.

When we eat any product, it is broken up into amino acids in the body and subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream. All digestive processes occur in conformity with the law of chemistry, there are no others. Although the product is genetically modified, though ordinary – it always contains proteins-fats-carbohydrates-nucleic acids and nothing more. They decompose in the same way, but what does not dissolve – comes out with feces, so nothing extra goes to the cells of humans and never grows. In other words, if we eat fennel, it does not mean that we mutate in fennel. Or if we prefer pork – then over time we will start grunting.

At present time, there are no studies that confirm harmful influence of consumption of genetically modified products on human health.

For some reason, a man believes in something bad rather than good. Therefore, I even found thatstudy on rats, to which the author refers. This is the study of Russian researcher IrynaYermakova, who, in her opinion, demonstrates the pathological impact of genetically modified soybeans on the reproductive qualities of animals. But a review by six independent world experts found that her findings were caused by negligible care for rats. The study was considered as not to adduce evidences, moreover, “in her work, Yermakova noted that she had received transgenic soybeans from the Netherlands, although this firm did not supply genetically modified soybeans”.

Humanity controls the development of technology and tries to inform consumers of the proper labeling of products. In Canada and the USA, the marking is voluntary, while in Europe, all products containing more than 0.9% approved for use of GMOs must be labeled. In Ukraine, not only GM products but also GMO food supplements are subject to labeling. So, the choice is up to the consumer.

And while people are scared, marketing experts make the direct profit of spreading the GMO horror story who promote their products by placing “GMO-free” stickers, even where GMOs can be neither theoretical nor practical (for example, water without GMOs or salt without GMOs).

MYTH 4. Bread should be baked by yourself, because the one froma store contains dangerous leaven

“Leavened bread, buns, cakes and all that contains leaven is a slow poison. Learn to bake on your own or buy only unleavened bread or baguette”.

In fact, so scared strains of the leaven maintain their activity at 40 ℃, some strains withstand up to 48-50 ℃, but not 100-200 ℃, at which bread is baked.

And those producers who sell their bread as “unleavened bread” should honestly call it bread on combined breed. Because, in fact, that breeds on which they are baked, contain the same leaven, but with lactic acid bacteria (LAB).

MYTH 5. “Egg” cholesterol and all-all-everything

Finally, briefly about the most common myths we have been trapped in for last 20 years and which are persistently imposed by the mass media.

In order not to raise cholesterol level, it is better to replace egg consumption with egg white, and to eat yellow yolks no more than two a week. Egg yolkhas the most favorable proportion of cholesterol and its main lecithin antagonist. Recommendations for limiting the consumption of eggs due to high cholesterol content have not sufficient scientifically evidence and may concern only a small number of patients.

To eat meat often is dangerous to health. It is dangerous to eat meat every day. Whom to believe? The death rates of vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters are approximately the same. It was previously considered that vegans and vegetarians live longer, but recent researches have refuted this information. The truth is that meat should be eaten every second day and it is more available than sausage, which definitely increases the possibility of cancer. An average 100 grams of sausage or frankfurters will cost 25 hryvnias. These grams contain daily intake of saturated fats, carcinogens, advanced glycation end products, almost daily intake of salt and less protein than meat contains. Instead, raw unprocessed meat costs from 50 UAH/kg (whole broiler chickens) to 180-200 UAH/kg (beef). So 100 grams of good beef, which has a lot of iron, zinc and essential amino acids, carnitine and taurine, costs less than 100 grams of bad sausages. So eat meat for health, just choose low fat and cook it without adding fats: boil and bake it.

The liver accumulates poisons. In fact, the liver accumulates vitamins. It is quite affordable (chicken liver costs 60 UAH/kg) and thus neutralize medicines, hormones and heavy metals – it makes them soluble in water and removes with bile. The liver does not accumulate all that it neutralized and is not fundamentally different from meat. Eat it safely.

Wash down food is harmful. No. You can even wash down hot with cold or vice versa. The stomach does not care. Except tooth will be damaged.

The microwave oven destroys the good qualities of the food. Food from a microwave oven is not harmful. Microwave radiation is non-ionizing, that is, cannot alter the structure of molecules. In some cases, cooking in the microwave not only saves, but also promotes better absorption of nutrients, such as lycopene in a tomato and carotenoids in a carrot. It can only be dangerous to use plastic utensils – some chemicals may get into the food when heated.

Healthy eating is expensive products from specific stores. Healthy foods grow in every vegetable garden. For example, avocados, which have become a symbol of conscious healthy eating (it has a lot of vitamins, monounsaturated fats and fiber) can be replaced with two boiled eggs and stewed green peas. They are almost perfectly equivalent. When you will be tired of eggs and peas, eat baked potatoes and salo. The salo is quite close to the avocado in composition. Gooseberry, eggs, apples, blue grapes, buckwheat, flax, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dried prunes, greens, cherries, pears, tomatoes, pepper – are cheaper and more nutritious than goji berries, pectin, resveratrol and hydroquinone in capsules, quinoa, chia seeds, multivitamins and protein powder. You cannot compensate for the malnutrition with dietary supplements and superfoods: they do not neutralizejunk food harm.

Liubov NAIDONOVA, Deputy Director of the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Psychological Sciences, corresponding member of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine:

– The information about food is vital information for a person, that is why this topic is so actively exploited by various fake producers. For Ukrainians with a historical collective trauma of famine, the topic of food is too sensitive and even sacred. The “sensational” scandals about food toxicity are very effective “smoke screen” for those topics that need to be hidden. In addition, analysis of the distribution ways of alarming fake information makes it possible to predict how people will interact in the event of real threats. Therefore, it is very important to identify a source that allows us to understand who we are opening our reactions and our contact networksto, enhancing the capabilities of manipulators.

Our body informs us best about food. You just do not have to lose the ability to understand bodily signals and develop a psychological culture of feedback with your own body.

Nadiia Hordiuk/GROMADA Skhid No. 2 (11) 2020



When you will be horrified of the spread of GMOs, remember the Symyrenko variety that grows quietly in your yard. Does it harm our health? These apples are suspiciously long-lasting.

If we did not know that officially RenetSymyrenko variety was listed in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the USSR in 1947, we would probably have attacked him with stern control and a little panic. Because beloved by many variety of apples is really one of the first GMO samples we know.

It is believed that a tree with such apples was discovered by a gardening enthusiast, a sugar-beet grower, PlatonFedorovychSymyrenko, in his own garden near Mliiv town, Cherkasy region, in the second half of the 19th century. And his son LevkoPlatynovychSymyrenko, developed this species who became a fruit-grower in Europe (he was elected Corresponding Member of the Belgian Gardeners Society, and in 1895 an Honorary Member of the French National Aid Society). Unfortunately, in 1920 LevkoSymyrenko was murdered by KGB servicemen, his estate was nationalized, and his son Volodymyr, who in his practice disagreed with official views on genetics, was shot in 1938…

The father and son Symyrenko never claimed that they have created the variety on purpose, so the targeted delivery of the genes at that time was probably not discussed. But time goes on, and the processes of gene mutation become more complicated than replanting flowers in the garden. Therefore, they are incomprehensible to the general public and scary.

P.S. And the first apple, which almost does not darken on the cut, was invented in 1868 by 79-year-old Australian gardener Maria Ann Smith. Weknowthisvariety as GrannySmith.