Friday, January 25, 2019

Food Insecurity: short film shows how spoilage in a low-income community can be deadly

Here’s a rather alarming short with a life-saving warning. Chubbyemu posts a 6 minute short, “A Student Ate 5 Day Old Pasta for Lunch. This Is How His Liver Shut Down”.

The student, 20 years old, an African-American in California in a community college but with little money, was food insecure.  He accidentally left out a pasta and his roommate put it away in the refrigerator.

The pasta contained a common bacterium but an unusual substrain that makes a liver toxin because of slightly different biochemistry (like an extra ammonia radical or something).  The student started vomiting shortly after eating the lunch and passed out.  He died within 24 hours.  The liver toxin prevents the normal ATP metabolism from working in body cells.  The biochemistry resembles that of Reyes syndrome in children from aspirin. 
The film does show how food insecurity can be deadly in low income communities.

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