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Natural vs. GM, gluten-free label, BYOC – news to June 19 2011

Natural and organic foods are a growing market, while GM is increasingly recognized and avoided. As more products and services have gluten-free options, a gluten-free label which claims to be science-based is now available. Chicago’s public health department is pushing back against consumers bringing their own containers (BYOC) for bulk food. Inclusive packaging for aging people – is it a growing trend?  A study implies that fruit may be helpful for prediabetics to avoid progressing to diabetes.  The DASH Diet earned best diets overall honors in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever diet rankings, and a mother tells of her 10-year-old son’s eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), which restricts him to eating only about 10 foods which don’t trigger damage to his esophagus.

Organic and natural vs. GM, irradiation and additives

EWG 2011 shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce Jun-13-11 EWG
The EWG’s 7th edition of the “dirty dozen” list says that currently the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables in the USA are: (1) apples, (2) celery, (3) strawberries, (4) peaches, (5) spinach, (6) imported nectarines, (7) imported grapes, (8) sweet bell peppers, (9) potatoes, (10) domestic blueberries, (11) lettuce, (12) kale / collard greens

Natural and organic food and beverage market predicted to double by 2015 Jun-13-11 Packaged Facts
U.S. retail sales of natural and organic foods and beverages rose to nearly $39 billion in 2010, 63% higher than sales five years earlier, according to “Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition” by market research publisher Packaged Facts. Overall projections are that the market will grow by 103% between 2010 and 2015, with total annual sales exceeding $78 billion in 2015.

Products ditching GMO ingredients Jun-15-11 New Hope 360
Foods, beverage and supplements without GMO ingredients  may receive the Non-GMO Project Verified label. The organization okayed 118 new products just last month and evidence suggests continued interest from manufacturers as the label increasingly gains traction with consumers.

International food additives database Jun-15-11 Progressive Grocer
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has rolled out an International Food Additive Database to give industry members easy access to accurate, current regulatory requirements on food additives in importing countries around the world.

House vote bars GM salmon Jun-17-11 Supermarket News
The U.S. House has voted to bar the Food and Drug Administration from approving the sale of genetically engineered salmon.

Irradiation for food safety Jun-19-11 Health Key
Some experts say part of the solution to the increase in food-borne infections lies with food irradiation, which involves treating items with low-dose X-rays, electron beams or gamma rays. Others question its safety or effect on levels of food nutrition.

Gluten-free – Rice Krispies, deli, and labeling

Kellogg’s takes gluten-free Rice Krispies mainstream Jun-14-11 Food Processing
Kellogg Co. launches Rice Krispies Gluten Free cereal alongside the original variety. Rice Krispies Gluten Free eliminates barley malt (the source of gluten in the original cereal) and is made with whole grain brown rice to differentiate it from the original and for flavor.

Gluten-free deli section Jun-15-11  New Hope 360
Dietz & Watson and ACME are taking every step possible to prevent gluten from touching any product in the special deli case by adhering to strict guidelines to maintain the gluten-free integrity of the products. Shoppers will see items in a special eight-foot segregated section of the deli. The gluten-free products will have dedicated slicers separate from the other deli slicers, and deli associates will wear special blue gloves when handling gluten-free products.

Science-based gluten-free label Jun-15-11 Progressive Grocer
A new science-based gluten-free certification program is now available from organic certifier Quality Assurance International and the health care nonprofit National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. This new triple-verified gluten-free label claims to bring transparency and trust to people who need gluten-free foods as part of maintaining a healthy diet.

Food packaging – BYOC and packaging for aging and sustainability

Chicago may put lid on latest packaging eco-trend Jun-12-11 Chicago Tribune
BYOC — bring your own container — by its fans, the process involves carrying your own containers to the market to fill with bulk foods. To eco-conscious consumers, who can already shop this way elsewhere in the U.S., the practice reduces waste, avoids advertising, reuses resources, facilitates the purchase of whole foods and saves money. But to Chicago’s Department of Public Health, the practice also can mean danger and potential liability if someone gets sick from cross-contamination.

Packaging for aging and sustainability Jun-14-11 Food Production Daily
Video interview with Dr Anne Roulin, Global head of packaging and design, Nestle. Discussion includes inclusive packaging for aging people and Nestle’s methodology for sustainable packaging.

Diabetes – weddings, fruit, and GI

Tips to make your wedding diabetes-friendly Apr-11 USA Today
Find a caterer who is also a nutritionist; focus on presentation; look for healthy substitutions; notify guests ahead that there will be healthy dishes

More fruit for pre-diabetics Jun-16-11 dLife
Both pre-diabetics and diabetics are sometimes concerned about eating fruit due to its reported “high sugar content.” Are fruits wrongly lumped into the catch-all phrase “carbohydrate” and incorrectly classified as a sugar food? The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey concluded that fruits and vegetables had a demonstratively positive, protective effect against diabetes.

Glycemic index and diabetes Jun-17-11 HuffPost Food
Various studies show that the jury is still out on whether low GI foods can prevent type 2 diabetes.

Food allergies – labeling and guidelines

Allergy labeling – threshold level instead of absolute zero Jun-14-11 Food Business News
A panel of speakers at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting and food expo suggested that threshold levels for allergens on food labels need to be considered rather than the zero tolerance approach that is in effect today.

Layperson’s summary of clinical food allergy guidelines Jun-16-11 FAAN
A newly released layperson’s summary of clinical food allergy guidelines for healthcare professionals has made the highly scientific and sometimes confusing subject of food allergy accessible to families and caregivers, who can use this document to improve dialogue with their physician.

Sustainable seafood – moving away from popular fish, farmed fish

UK supermarkets ask shoppers to switch to more sustainable seafood Jun-13-11 Guardian
Currently 80% of fish bought by British consumers is one of the ‘Big Five’ staples – cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns. But experts predict that some popular species could be extinct in the wild by 2050. UK supermarkets are exploring ideas to encourage customers to eat more sustainable fish.

Farmed fish over wild fish Jun-16-11 HuffPost Food
Decline in fish density, downsides of aquaculture and how to overcome them. See also the full report.

Other – best diets, eosinophilic esophagitis, cooking sprouts, and more

10 best diets for weight loss, heart health, and diabetes Jun-7-11 US News & World Report
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet earned best diets overall honors in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever diet rankings. See Everyday Health for a summary.

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) awareness Jun-9-11 Twinburg Bulletin
Eosinophilic esophagitis is an autoimmune disease that causes a type of white blood cell to attack the esophagus, and is triggered by foods. This story and video tell of a 10-year-old boy who can only eat a few safe foods.

Cook sprouts to reduce risks Jun-10-11 Salt Lake City Tribune
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration recommends children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems avoid eating any kind of raw sprouts. The agency also recommends cooking sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness.

Foods to avoid for pre-menstrual bloating Jun-13-11 Joy Bauer Food Cures
Avoid carbonated beverages, limit gas-producing foods, avoid salty foods, limit sugar alcohols, limit fiber, avoid large meals, incorporate protein at every meal

Pepsi announces test of reduced-sugar cola Jun-14-11 New Hope 360
Pepsi NEXT was created for consumers who seek the rich taste of full-calorie cola but have decreased their consumption in order to reduce the sugar in their diet.

Low-fat, low-glycemic diet for Alzheimer’s Jun-14-11 HealthDay
The low-fat, low-glycemic diet often promoted for general health and well-being may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease if adopted early in life, researchers say.

Los Angeles removing some sugary and breaded items from school menus Jun-15-11 LA Times
The Los Angeles Unified School District removed flavored milk from its menus, part of its effort to make school food healthier and help combat childhood obesity. A menu overhaul is underway that will mean fewer meals that resemble fast food and more vegetarian offerings.

Picky eating – children and adults Jun-16-11 HartmanSalt
With the proliferation of choice, consumers will become increasingly brand averse and resistant to conventional forms of marketing. As cultural influences lead consumers more and more to customize their lifestyles on their own terms, brands must learn to empower consumers who are making decisions for the unique taste preferences for their family members.

Meatless Mondays catching on Jun-16-11 New York Times
At least 20 institutions and restaurants in Aspen are offering vegetarian choices on Mondays under a plan announced this month. The public school system embraced Meatless Monday two years ago. The Aspen Food & Wine festival is this week.

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