Are we being poisoned by our food? 

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Are we being poisoned by our food?

Scientists have discovered that a huge range of everyday food contains potentially dangerous levels of a cancer-causing toxin. Is this just another food scare, or should we be worrying about acrylamide?

What is acrylamide?It is a chemical that is widely used in industry, particularly in the manufacture of plastics. Highly toxic, it has been shown to cause nerve damage in humans, and has been linked to infertility. The US Environmental Protection Agency lists acrylamide, which causes tumours in rats, as a “probable” human carcinogen, and has limited the maximum permitted level in American drinking water to 0.5 parts per billion. In Europe, the permitted level for acrylamide left on food from packaging is no more than ten parts per billion.

How does acrylamide get into food?Nobody really knows, but tests suggest that it is the cooking process, rather than the food itself, that is responsible. The chemical, which is not present in raw produce, seems to be generated whenever certain foods are backed, microwaved, fried or grilled at temperatures above 120°C. the longer food is cooked at high temperatures, the higher the acrylamide content is likely to be. “I would say that boiling is the only safe cooking method,” says Dr Margareta Tornqvist, the Swedish scientist who first alerted the world to the danger.

Should we be changing our diets?At the moment, the scientific establishment is urging people not to worry about acrylamide, not least because there is no evidence that the substance is a human carcinogen. According to the WHO, the levels the average person consumes are probably lower than those found to cause nerve damage in rats. On the other hand, it would do us no harm to cut back on fatty, fried foods such as crisps and chips, and eat more fruit and vegetables. So if the acrylamide scare encourages people to do that, they will indeed be better off.

In an attempt to create nicer-looking, longer-lasting, more nutritional food, scientists have played around with the genetic structure of food such as fruit and vegetables, soya and corn.

Many products on the shelves of the supermarkets in big countries already contain genetically engineered ingredients, and many more are ready to be introduced over the next few years.

So what is genetic modification (GM)? GM food is created by taking DNA from one organism and putting it into another. Many people feel that there has not been enough research done into genetic change, and that our entire food chain could be in danger.

A leading genetist, Dr. Michael Antoniou said: “Once released into the environment, genetic mistakes cannot be cleaned up, but will be passed on to all future generations indefinitely”.


Lesson 15


Topic: Food and Meals.

It is interesting to know:


Coffee and Tea.

Coffee and tea were known in Europe two hundred years ago. People were afraid to drink them because they thought coffee and tea could kill a person. Once the king of Sweden decided to find out whether it was true or not.

At that time there were two brothers in prison. They were twins and were much alike. They had committed a crime and had been sentenced to death. The king said: “I shall let them live but they must drink coffee or tea to the end of their lives. One brother must drink coffee and the other one must drink tea every day”.

They both lived for many years. At last one of the brothers died when he was 80 years old. The other died a few years later. In this way it was proved that neither coffee nor tea is harmful to man.



Pizza has a long history. The ancient Greeks first had the idea of putting vegetables on large flat pieces of bread, and “pizza ovens” have been found in the ruins of Roman cities. But for centuries one vital ingredient was missing—the first tomatoes were not brought to Europe until the 16th century, from South America. It was the 19th century before Rafaele Esposito, a baker from Naples, began to sell the first modern pizzas. He was asked to bake a special pizza for a visit by the Italian King and Queen in 1889, and so the first pizza Margarita was created, named after the Queen.

Pizza became a favorite dish in Italy, but it was after the Second World War, when thousands of American soldiers went home from Europe, that pizza really became an international dish. Soon there were pizzerias all over the USA, and Americans spread the idea around the world.


The word restaurant was used for the first time to describe a soup invented by a French cook in the 16th century. It was a very tasty soup containing a lot of spices. Its taste gave you energy back or “restored” you. By 1760 it was very well-known. So when a French cook opened an inn in Paris he called it “Restaurant”, like the famous soup, using the French word for “restore”.


The famous spicy sauce based on tomatoes, onions, vinegar and sugar wasn’t an American invention, but was originally a Chinese sauce called “Ke Tsiap”. Ke Tsiap was brought to the West by some English sailors. Later, its taste was made sweeter by the addition of a little sugar.



The word hamburger comes from the German city of Hamburg. In the Hamburg area the Tartars first made a sort of hamburger in the Middle Ages. They used to sit on pieces of meat when they rode horses; so the meat came out flat! But the Americans invented the modern hamburger about 100 years ago. Now they forget the origin of the word—and make cheeseburgers, fishburgers, beefburgers, eggburgers …in fact anythingburgers!


Hot Dogs

Long thin sausages come from Frankfurt in Germany. They are called “frankfurters”. Put one in bread, and it becomes a “hot dog”. Why? Well, the sausage looks like a long thin German dog, a “dachshund”. Add chilli, and it tastes hot!



150 years ago in England, mothers and fathers in poor families had to go out to work in factories. There was no time to shop and cook. So they bought fast food in the street. The most popular was fried fish with a piece of bread. The in 1870s pommes de terre a la mode came from France. The English called them “chips”. Soon there were fish’n’chip shops everywhere in working class areas. They used to put fish’n’chips in an old newspaper—with a lot of salt and vinegar on top. Today fish’n’chips are still very popular in Britain—but they come in clean white paper bags!


Fast Food

Image you work in an office in New York. You are very busy, and your boss is shouting at everyone. You have just a quarter of an hour for lunch. You go out into the street. You want to order, pay, get your food, eat it, buy a newspaper, wash your hands, talk to your friends and –get back to the office. All in fourteen and a half minutes! So what do you eat? Fast food, of course – a sandwich, a burger, or a slice of pizza

The first fast food. The Earl of Sandwich was the head of the English Navy in the American War for Independence. He loved playing cards and he didn’t like stopping for lunch. So, in 1762, he invented a snack made of two pieces of bread with something in the middle. What was it called?


II. Supply the Present Perfect Tense form of the verbs in parentheses.

1. I (visit) this restaurant many times.

2. We never (be) in this café before.

3. The waiter (bring) the menu already.

4. We (order) just the drinks.

5. Mr. Brown (not decide) yet.

6. My secretary (book) a table for three.

7. I’m not hungry. I (have) a substantial meal at home.

8. They (order) steak for the main course.

9. Mr. Jackson (pay) the bill already.

Lesson 16.

Topic: Health Care System.


Active Vocabulary

a hospitalлікарня fluгрип

a health centreдіагностичний центрto fractureзламати

a policlinicполіклініка heart troubleсерцевий напад

to fall illзахворіти a physicianтерапевт

to get wellодужувати a surgeonхірург

to call a doctorвикликати лікаряa dentistстоматолог

to gargle a throatполоскати горло quinsyангіна

to treat for…лікувати від... feverлихоманка лихоманка

to catch coldзастудитися medicineлікиліки

to take blood pressureміряти тиск chemist’sаптека

a sick leaveлікарняний a pharmacyаптека

a diseaseхвороба to be X-rayedзробити рентген

a sicknessхворобаto sneezeчхати

an illnessхворобa drugstoreаптека

a headacheголовний біль to remove a toothвирвати зуб

a blood testаналіз кровіambulanceшвидка допомога

a toothacheзубний біль sore throatхворе горло

to coughкашлятиprescriptionрецепт

to measure temperatureміряти температуруreceptionistсекретар

to examine a patientоглянути пацієнтаan injectionукол

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