Category Archives: Nutrition

GMO

GMO Labels: coming to a store near you

July 1st marks the first day of mandatory GMO labeling, at least in Vermont. Although the new law only applies to food sold in Vermont, any company which sells food nationwide would either need specific packaging for Vermont or would in effect be labeling their product  everywhere. Many believe this will begin a chain reaction in GMO labeling.

Federal law makers are considering ways of putting a hold on the state law, citing concerns about its impact on US agriculture and commerce. They claim that state level laws could potentially create 50 different regulation frameworks that food product manufacturers would have to adhere to. Additionally, they claim that labeling GMOs will unnecessarily increase food prices.

The Senate has proposed a compromise law that will be voted on in the next few weeks. This law allows food manufacturers to display GMO information by either printing it on the box or having a QR code that one can scan with a smart phone. Opponents of the bill say that requiring a smart phone to read the label defeats the purpose of even having a label and helps keep US consumers in the dark about their food.

Click here to learn more.

Frozen Veggies

Listeria Again: Check your peas and mixed veggies

National Frozen Foods Corporation has recalled various packages of frozen green peas and frozen mixed vegetables due to Listeria contamination. Affected brands include: Great Value, Bountiful Harvest, First Street, Live Smart, Market Pantry, and Sprouts. These brands are associated with Walmart, Target, Schwan’s and Sprouts (among others).

Listeria can cause very serious infections that are particularly dangerous for young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Infections can be fatal.

For a full list of recalled products click here.

Fishing

Alabama Toxic Fish Advisory, you’ll be surprised

Mercury, PCBs, and PFOS are all throughout Alabama’s water system. Some of this is due to natural causes but unfortunately there’s an unsavory man-made component.

For 40 years Monsanto knowingly discharged industrial amounts of toxic PCBs into Alabama waterways, namely West Anniston Creek. To learn more, read Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution.

Due to this and other factors, Alabama takes fish samples from all over the state, determines their toxicity, and provides consumption recommendations. You will be surprised at the number of fish all throughout the state that are recommended to never be consumed due to their high toxicity.

If you plan on catching some fresh fish this summer, make sure your favorite fishing spot isn’t on the list. See the whole list here. The specific advisories begin on page 12 and continue to page 32.

Formula

Nestle Spends $100 Million to Test Baby Milk Allergies

By testing babies for milk intolerance, parents can decide to use non-allergenic formula before they have to deal with the hassle (and danger) of feeding cow’s milk to a baby with allergies.

Obviously, it’s not all for the common good – Nestle wants to sell more non-allergenic baby formula. That said, it’s hard to complain about a product that will help babies.

The test won’t be ready for a while. They have committed up to $112 million for it’s development and expect it to be ready in 5 years. It will likely be a skin patch that indicates an allergy or intolerance.

You can read more about it here.

Nuts

FDA: Nuts, Avocados, and Salmon must NOT be labeled healthy

Although federal dietary guidelines emphasize the importance of eating healthy foods (including Nuts, Avocados, and Salmon) the FDA has been preventing such food products from being labeled as “healthy”. This powerful federal agency has been operating under 20 year old nutrition science that believes that limiting certain nutrients leads to greater health – the same nutrition science that created diet soda as a “healthy” alternative.

The company currently taking the brunt of this regulatory craziness is KIND snacks. They produce fruit and nut snack bars and they had the audacity to label themselves as healthy. The FDA sent them a cease and desist letter and they replied with this thorough petition.

The FDA has agreed to revisit their definition of “healthy”. Hopefully it will reconsider foods that people normally think of as healthy, like margarine, diet sodas, and whole wheat.

beer

Disease Fighting Beer: Drink to your health!

(Fox) Beer lovers may soon have another reason to throw back a pint of their favorite brew, as researchers said they have taken one step closer to crafting a beer that can help fight disease. In data presented at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition for the American Chemical Society, scientists at the University of Idaho reported they are close to synthesizing healthful hops compounds in a lab. Previous research has linked hops, which give beer its bitter flavor, to halting bacterial growth and disease.

“When researchers extract healthful chemicals from hops, they first have to determine whether they have separated out the specific compounds they’re interested in,” project leader Kristopher Waynant, Ph.D., said, according to a news release. “But if you can figure out how to make these compounds from scratch, you know they are the right ones.”

Waynant and his team are studying specific compounds found in hops called humulones, which are alpha acids that have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and lupulones, which are beta acids that are not as well understood.

According to the release, researchers want to harness the healthful activities of the two to potentially improve consumer’s health. To do so, researchers must work to confirm humulones and lupulones are the proper target by separating the acids with high-performance liquid chromatography. However, to analyze the results, they must be compared to analytical standards that do not exist. That’s why Waynant and researcher Lucas Sass are attempting to synthesize humulones and lupulones in a lab, according to the release.

“Unfortunately, the first few pathways I proposed were not the best or most efficient,” Waynant said in the news release. “But Lucas has gone through the literature and analyzed different ways to perform each of these steps to get the best results.”

“It’s been a lot of trial and error,” Sass said in the release. “But it’s so exciting when an approach finally works.”

Source

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Is Your Grooming Routine Poisoning Your Food?

No one thinks twice before using a facial scrub, body scrub or toothpaste from the drugstore. Little do people know that there are tiny spheres of plastic called “microbeads” in many of these day-to-day products that have a devastating effect on the environment and our food supply.

These plastic beads absorb toxins and chemicals from the waste water facility

When these microbeads are washed down the drain, they pass through water treatment plants before entering the ocean. These water treatment plants are designed to clean the water before releasing it back into the ocean, but they were not designed with micro beads in mind.

These plastic beads absorb toxins and chemicals from the waste water facility. A new study shows that an estimated 800 trillion tiny pieces of plastic from beauty products are caught in sewage treatment sludge every year.

Due to it’s high amount of bio nutrients, sewage sludge is not treated like traditional waste, instead it is used as fertilizer on farms.

Not only are micro beads transporting toxins to the farms where we grow our food, but when they get washed off the fields these toxic beads are being directly ingested by fish and the toxins are working their way up the food chain.

A solution to this problem is to replace plastic in products containing microbeads with crushed nutshells, coffee grounds, sugar or salt. Although this is a big blow to big cosmetic companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), which represents 667 personal care products companies, has even dropped its opposition to banning microbeads. The reason is that the PCPC cannot reach a consensus on whether to comply or fight the movement, because the problem with microbeads is so pressing.

The state of California recently passed a bill that bans the sale of personal-care products containing plastic microbeads, starting in the year 2020. In March of 2015, there were fifteen microbead bills pending in states across the country.

Check to see if your favorite beauty products contain microbeads here!

By: Ivy Painter

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Alabama Man Loses Over 250 Pounds at Zaxby’s

John “Tiny” Likely was always large. At the age of 8, he was no longer able to play pee-wee football because he weighed more than 200 pounds. He steadily gained weight until he was wearing 8XL shirts, and industrial scales weighed him in at over 500 pounds.

Surprisingly, everything changed when he started working at (and eating at) Zaxby’s.

“Tiny” tells AL.com he still wonders how he got the job. “A 500 pound person at a fast food place is almost impossible… I couldn’t keep up.”

They gave me hope. They actually believed in me

He mentions his trouble simply standing for more than 10 minutes and his inability to fit into the team uniform.

But he didn’t give up, and neither did his boss or coworkers.

Scott Brown, who hired him, gave him a gym membership. His manager at the time became his personal trainer, and some coworkers gave him nutrition tips.

“They gave me hope. They actually believed in me.”

They even worked with his schedule so he could have multiple short shifts.

11061238_1836747816550749_8992617050896093265_n“Tiny” now walks six miles every morning and does squat drills. He  eats Zaxby’s Zalads almost every day, and has lost a staggering 250 pounds.

He has become an advocate for weight loss.

“Don’t be afraid if you can’t run a mile. Run half a mile. Or walk. I just wish someone had said to me as a child, ‘well let’s walk it together’.”

You can follow more of his weight loss on his Facebook page.

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