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Healthy 'phoods' Are on the Way, Chemtrails Conspiracy, Dangers from Victorian Gadgets

by David J. Hanson
April 11, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 15

Healthy 'phoods' are on the way

Food scientists are on the verge of introducing a new generation of "phoods" and "bepherages" enhanced with pharmaceuticals and designed to improve our health just by eating.

Advances in microbiology and plant engineering have nearly made it possible to incorporate pharmaceuticals into food so the food provides a specific health benefit or changes the body's chemistry to avoid diseases such as cancer.

These functional foods and drinks are seen as the next step from products common in today's stores, like calcium-enriched orange juice or vitamin D-enhanced milk. According to a report from Scripps Howard News Service, Fergus M. Clydesdale, head of the department of food science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, says that foods currently available represent only a fraction of the potential opportunities for consumers to manage their health through diet.

Future food products would claim to increase energy, improve mental alertness, or help a person sleep better. One eventually might be able to customize one's diet to counter specific genetic disorders, such as arthritis, that may have hampered one's ancestors.

Chemtrails conspiracy


These are being called chemtrails. It is the name given by some to describe funny-looking aircraft contrails that are claimed to really be some sort of secret chemical spray. The chemtrails theory apparently rose in the late 1990s and has been a big subject on radio programs and websites that deal with conspiracy theories and paranormal events.

Various reasons for this chemical spraying are put forth. Many deal with some form of atmospheric and weather modification. Some people say chemtrails are the reason for droughts or flu epidemics. Then there is the hypothesis that chemtrails are an operation to achieve a "new world order" by drastically reducing the population so the world can be controlled by a political elite. Most believe that the government, backed by secret corporate funding, is behind the spraying.

There are claims that chemical analysis of material from chemtrails has found metal particles, including aluminum, barium, calcium, magnesium, and titanium. Barium compounds also are supposed to have been sprayed in warfare, where the compound, somehow radioactive and hiding some secret poison, makes people extremely weak and sick.

This conspiracy gained some credence from a bill introduced in October 2001 by then-Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) on banning weapons in space. That bill specifically mentions chemtrails as a possible exotic weapon.

To protect yourself from the effects of chemtrails, it is recommended that you spend more time indoors and that you enhance your immune system with vitamins, herbs, and colloidal silver. Good luck.

Dangers from Victorian gadgets

The Science Museum in London has an exhibition demonstrating that the good old days presented quite a few good old hazards. It consists of various household gadgets sold over the past 150 years.

On display are food choppers just as likely to chop fingers as carrots, bath heaters consisting of Bunsen burners swinging under the tub, and the dreaded mangle (the name speaks for itself) for wringing water from wet clothes.

One item is a "teasmades," popular 100 years ago. This bedside contraption used an alarm clock to force a match to move against sandpaper, lighting a kerosene stove under a kettle. The boiling water caused the kettle to tilt so it poured hot water into a teapot. Although this was the theory, apparently having a naked flame, a flammable liquid, and boiling water next to one's bed was an invitation to disaster.

This week's column was written by David Hanson . Please send comments and suggestions to



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