Treat Your Body Right: Learn to Choose Healthy Foods

Going green doesn’t just mean reducing waste and conserving water and energy, it also means choosing foods that are healthier. Foods that are organic and locally grown generally have more nutrients than those that are shipped long distances. If you want to learn more about food safety and how to choose healthy foods, check out some of the articles below!


Should Alcohol Come With Calorie Counts?

In April, the FDA released proposed rules for listing calories on menu labels (see previous post).  One surprising omission was an exemption for alcoholic beverages.  The surprise was that FDA had included alcoholic beverages in earlier versions.

The FDA’s reason for omitting alcohol is that these drinks are regulated by the Treasury Department, which proposed rules for calories on the labels of such drinks.  Yes it did, but that was at least four years ago and Treasury has done nothing since.  And Treasury has never said a word about menu boards.

Jurisdiction cannot be the real reason.  FDA does not regulate meat and poultry (USDA does) but its proposed regulations cover those foods.

If you think the FDA should require restaurants to display calories for alcoholic beverages, now is the time to say so.

I think consumers’ right to know is a sufficient reason for demanding calorie labeling on alcoholic beverages, but if you want more, the Marin Institute  lists useful talking points.

Read more…


Are U.S. Sprouts Safe?

German authorities now say that sprouts grown on an organic farm in Lower Saxony are the source of their E. coli O104:H4 outbreak, now responsible for more than 30 deaths and 3,000 illnesses, 750 of them severe kidney disease.

The epidemiological studies point to sprouts after all.

Sprouts, as I mentioned in an earlier post, are a prime suspect in microbial outbreaks. They have been implicated in many outbreaks in the United States. This is because sprouts are sprouted from minute seeds that are hard to clean.

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How to Rid Meat of Staph Contamination

By this time, you must have heard about the study in Clinical Infectious Diseases sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The study found nearly half of supermarket meat and poultry samples to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. Half of the contaminated samples were resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Staph causes awful infections. When I was a child, my mother had a Staph infection that kept her out of commission for what seemed like months in that pre-antibiotic era. Antibiotics can keep Staph under control, but not if the Staph are antibiotic-resistant. Staph resistant to multiple drugs are a clear-and-present danger. No wonder this study got so much attention.

The study provides strong support for the idea that we ought to be reducing use of antibiotics as growth promoters in farm animals, an idea strongly supported by the CDC.

Even though 80% of U.S. antibiotic use is for farm animals, the meat industry strong opposes any proposal to change its practices.

Read more…


Industry Could Undermine New Food Marketing Rules for Children

sugary kids cereal

I’ve just gotten an urgent plea from Margo Wootan at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

Please encourage everyone to write to President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and federal agencies to support the nutrition standards for marketing foods to kids.

As I’ve discussed previously, these were created jointly by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) of four federal agencies—CDC, FDA, FTC, and USDA.

Under intense pressure from the food and entertainment industries and their friends in Congress, the IWG’s proposed guidelines—voluntary, no less—are in danger of being withdrawn.

Doing that might help corporate health but would do nothing for public health.

CSPI organized 75 researchers (including me) to send a letter to the President urging support of the voluntary guidelines and expressing dismay at the campaign of disinformation aimed at getting them withdrawn.

Read more…


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