Wednesday, October 26, 2011

U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack calls for innovation in food supply

"There is a need for greater diversification of the American food supply and US diets need to change, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in his keynote speech at the launch of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) in the United States."

Concerning the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill, Vilsack said that money would move policy.  He hopes that agricultural research is not the place where budget cuts will be made.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2010

"A team of international public health experts argued [in a recent report in the British medical journal the Lancet] that the global obesity crisis will continue to grow worse and add substantial burdens to health-care systems and economies unless governments, international agencies and other major institutions take action to monitor, prevent and control the problem.

"Changes over the past century in the way food is made and marketed have contributed to the creation of an 'obesogenic' environment in which personal willpower and efforts to maintain a healthful weight are largely impossible, the report noted."

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Scientists find new superbug strain of salmonella

"Scientists have identified an emerging 'superbug' strain of salmonella that is highly resistant to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, often used for severe salmonella infections, and say they fear it may spread around the world."

The earliest infections were recorded in Egypt between 2002 and 2005, but now people are being infected in Europe and the United States through contaminated imported poultry and secondary infections.  Read more. . .

Get juiced with summer mocktails

"Eating fruits and vegetables is good-for-you nutritious. But did you know drinking them can be fun and delicious? To judge by restaurant menus, more and more people are imbibing fruit- or veggie-based nonalcoholic drinks, whether they're dining out or eating in."  Read more. . .

Some up-and-coming chefs are skipping culinary school

"The cautionary tale of a would-be chef goes like this: A starry-eyed youth dreams of helming a restaurant kitchen and enrolls in a $60,000 culinary program but upon graduation still qualifies only for a job as a $10.50-an-hour line cook and struggles to work off crippling school loans that, with interest, can balloon to nearly $100,000. Dream crushed."  Read more. . .

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Culinary tourism: a reflection of the destination's culture

"Culinary tourism doesn't just mean travelling to sample food at high-end restaurants; it's about enjoying the food that represents a region. 'Food reflects the destination's culture,' according to Dr. Steve Smith, a professor at the University of Waterloo who specializes in tourism with a particular love and interest in culinary travel."

Fat babies at risk to become obese adults

“'A lot of conventional thinking has been that a big baby is a healthy baby,' said Leann Birch, director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, who chaired the 14-member panel that issued the 140-page report. 'What’s happened over the past decade or so is that the evidence has been building that early overweight or early rapid weight gain places kids at risk for later obesity.'”

Calorie labels on restaurant menus don't stop diners from overindulging

"Evidence is mounting that calorie labels — promoted by some nutritionists and the restaurant industry to help stem the obesity crisis — do not steer most people to lower-calorie foods. Eating habits rarely change, according to several studies. Perversely, some diners see the labels yet consume more calories than usual. People who use the labels often don’t need to. (Meaning: They are thin.)"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

California's grape farmers support childhood nutrition program

"Hundreds of chefs and culinary professionals converged on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol this week to mark the first anniversary of Chefs Move to Schools (CMTS). This celebration also marked the creation of a new grant program for CMTS, administered by The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic arm of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, with initial funding from the California Table Grape Commission."

Thursday, June 02, 2011

At USDA a plate instead of a pyramid

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday unveiled a plate-shaped icon representing the government's new dietary guidelines, replacing the nearly 20-year-old food pyramid that was often criticized for its complexity."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Food makers resist lawmakers’ proposal for guidelines in marketing to children

“The food and advertising industries are pushing back against an Obama administration proposal that calls for food makers to voluntarily limit the way they market sugary cereals, salty snacks and other foods to children and teens. . .

“The guidelines, ordered by Congress and written by a team from the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agriculture Department, ignited a debate about the role of marketing in soaring obesity rates among children.”

A representative of the Grocery Manufacturers Association argued that de facto regulations would not solve the childhood obesity epidemic, but they would hurt business.  Why is that reasoning illogical?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When food is what makes you sick

This year one in six Americans will get sick from eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"The most troublesome combination is campylobacter-laden poultry, which sickens more than 600,000 people annually, resulting in nearly 7,000 hospitalizations. Next on the list, which was based on a decade’s worth of data about disease outbreaks, deaths and costs and a peer-reviewed survey of experts, were pork contaminated with toxoplasma and deli meats tainted with listeria. 

"The most problematic pathogen was salmonella, which appeared four times — in combination with poultry, complex foods (i.e., non-meat dishes composed of multiple ingredients), produce and eggs — and caused just over 250 deaths and nearly 16,000 hospitalizations."

“'At the end of the day, you can make sure you cook everything thoroughly and be ultra-careful about cross-contamination, but this issue won’t go away just by keeping your kitchen clean, or being vegetarian, or even purchasing local meat or vegetables and buying organics,' says Jessica Liebler, a research scientist at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services who specializes in infectious diseases in food systems.  'This is a problem for everyone who eats.'”