This week’s classes have got me thinking about how the food we eat today is unhealthier than it ever was in the past. This is because of all the high fructose corn syrup that you can find in almost everything sold at the supermarket. The food of the past was more organic and didn’t have as much processed ingredients in them. I also started thinking about why Americans are getting fatter while people in other developed countries are still getting fatter, but at a much slower rate. Is this because we have greater access to fast food restaurants or because of the government subsidizing the farmers to grow corn, which starts the chain reaction of adding more and more corn syrup into the foods we eat?
I read an article on Food Safety News about how researchers discovered a new and more convenient way to test for foodborne pathogens. Biology researchers in England discovered that by using the chemical: Firefly luciferase, the enzyme that makes fireflies’ abdomens light up, they can pinpoint harmful bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella. They developed a device called the “Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time” (BART), which activates the luciferase, which in the presence of bacteria, will convert the bacteria’s DNA sequences into distinguishable patterns of light. This new system of spotting pathogens dramatically cuts the detection time from about a day to around an hour. Along with shortened testing times, portable versions of this device can be made: allowing for testing in animal farms. This is a huge breakthrough for the food safety sector because these devices will allow inspectors greater range of freedom and it sounds like this machine will also cut costs because the food will no longer have to be sent to a lab to get tested.