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Childhood allergies up, paleo diets and humane food popular – news to June 24 2011

Childhood allergies may be twice as common as previously suspected – this may lead to a rash of allergen-free products for children. Did you know that allergen advisory labels are voluntary? In a popular backlash, considerably more people said that paleo diets worked for them than the top-rated diets by U.S. News & World Report. With new requirements for showing calorie counts on menus, restaurants are revamping their dishes to bring the numbers down. Animal welfare /humane food is more popular than organic or local. Could animal testes make a comeback in the future?

Allergies – more children have food allergies than previously thought

1 in 13 U.S. children suffer from food allergies Jun-20-11 PR Newswire
According to a national survey of more than 38,000 families, 8 percent of children in the United States suffer from a food allergy – a considerably higher number than reported in previous studies.

Research on labeling will help allergy sufferers Jun-23-11 FoodBev.com
New research published by the Food Standards Agency provides insights on how people with life-​threatening nut allergies use food labels when choosing what food to buy and eat.

Other medical conditions and food

Gluten can cause GI symptoms in people who don’t have celiac Jun-22-11 Celiac.com
A team of researchers in Australia concluded that “non-celiac gluten intolerance” may in fact exist, although they were unable to discern the potential mechanism. See AJG for details.

Food advice for Crohn’s disease CBS News
Cut back on fatty food; try a reduced-fiber diet and avoid roughage from raw fruit, vegetables peels, and seed; check for lactose intolerance; eat small meals; grind or finely chop stringy foods, nuts and seeds; consider a short-term liquid diet; eat normally when you’re well.

Alcohol and rheumatoid arthritis WebMD
The lines between rheumatoid arthritis and drinking are blurry. Alcohol doesn’t promote or help cause RA like smoking does. But mixing alcohol and medications can lead to liver problems.

Calorie counting and popular diets

Finding low-calorie restaurants jun-19-11 LA Times
Anita Jones-Mueller is founder and president of Healthy Dining, a San Diego company that aims to help consumers find more-healthful options at restaurants and to help chefs create more nutritious food. She also runs Healthydiningfinder.com, which allows consumers nationwide to input ZIP Codes to find nearby restaurants with lower-calorie menu items.

Denny’s “Fit Fare” for healthy choice options Jun-20-11 PR Newswire
Denny’s has added a new range of Fit Fare® meals and menu items, which are lower in fat and calories, and higher in protein and fiber.

Paleo diets get more popular votes than DASH Jun-21-11 Food Safety News
U.S. News and World Report, a weekly news magazine with a penchant for ranking things, did not think much of the Paleo or “Caveman diet.”   It ranked the Paleo diet dead last. But in the two weeks since U.S. News issued its “Best Diets” report, more people — far more people — have gone online to say caveman-style eating worked better for them than any of the other diets they’d tried.

Restaurants revamping menus in response to calorie count rules Jun-22-11 LA Times
Restaurant chains are working to lower the calorie counts on menu items because of national rules expected by year-end that will require any restaurant chain with 20 or more locations to post calorie information.

Sustainability and humane food

UC Berkeley achieves sustainable seafood certification Jun-20-11 UC Berkeley News Center
Cal Dining at the University of California, Berkeley, is the first public university in the nation to be awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its commitment to seafood sustainability.

Humane food growing in popularity Jun-17-11 Food Channel
A Technomic study found that animal welfare is the third most important social issue to restaurant patrons, outranking buying local and buying organic by a wide margin

Other – animal antibiotics, local Chipotle, and more

Senate bill addresses antibiotics in animal feed Jun-20-11 Food Safety News
A bipartisan group of senators re-introduced a bill late last week aimed at preserving the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics by limiting their use in food animal feed.

Chipotle to increase local produce use Jun-22-11 Business Wire
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it expects to use more than 10 million pounds of produce from local farms this year, up from its 2010 goal of about 5 million pounds. Chipotle’s local produce will be grown on farms within 350 miles of the restaurants where it will be served.

The nutrition of animal testes Jun-22-11 DietBlog
Chefs around the globe are gearing up for the annual, World Testicle and Aphrodisiac Cooking Championship held in Serbia this coming September. One of the goals of the competition is to raise awareness of the health benefits of eating testicles and a call for a more responsible way to use a greater percentage of the protein provided by farmed animals.

Safety of imported foods Jun-22-11 Food Politics
In an action highly unusual for the FDA, the agency has released a new “special report” on what it is up against as it tries to get a handle on the safety of imported foods.

Why you shouldn’t break the yolks when you cook eggs Jun-22-11 Dr. Jonathan V. Wright’s newsletter
Dr. Wright: When you cook scrambled eggs, you break the yolks. Since the yolks contain most of the eggs’ cholesterol, breaking and scrambling them allows that cholesterol to be exposed to much more air and heat than other cooking techniques that leave the yolk intact. That air and heat can cause the cholesterol in the scrambled egg yolks to oxidize before you even have a chance to eat them, potentially contributing to atherosclerosis.

The foods keeping you from weight loss Jun-24-11 HuffPost Food
Potato chips and French fries — and generally any potato products — contribute to the biggest weight gain over time, according to a new Harvard study, which researchers say is the first to look at long-term weight gain pegged to specific foods.

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