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Gluten-free Subway, sustainable seafood chefs, food stamps for soda – news to August 21 2011

Subway is expanding its testing of GF rolls and brownies. Jamie Oliver and Alton Brown are championing sustainable seafood, with products and education. About a fifth of customers ask for dishes to be customized at restaurants. The Food Network bans shark meat as an ingredient after pressure related to overfishing concerns. New York City’s agencies are being encouraged to buy local foods. The USDA ruled that NYC cannot ban the use of food stamps for sugary drinks, which the city was hoping could help curb obesity.

Gluten-free and celiac disease

Subway expands gluten-free test Aug-16-11 QSR Web
Subway quietly began testing gluten-free rolls and brownies in the Dallas market in January. Those items have since made their way onto menus in a handful of Portland, Ore., outlets, with company plans to get the entire 500-plus-unit market in trial within the next month.

Gluten-free isn’t trendy Aug-17-11 Fast Casual
The writer argues that gluten-free diets are here to stay

Celiac disease on the rise in the USA Aug-20-11 USA Today
Nearly five times as many people have celiac disease today than did during the 1950s, according to one recent study. Another report found that the rate of celiac disease has doubled every 15 years since 1974 and is now believed to affect one in every 133 U.S. residents.

Celebrity chefs for sustainable seafood

Jamie Oliver launches sustainable seafood line in UK Aug-17-11 Just-Food
Young’s Seafood has teamed up with Jamie Oliver to launch a range of “sustainable” frozen products.

Food Network chef launches sustainable seafood initiative Aug-17-11 Nooga.com
Celebrity Chef Alton Brown, host of the Food Network’s “Good Eats,” will be working with Chattanooga area chefs and the Tennessee Aquarium’s Conservation Institute on a new long-term initiative to raise awareness and participation in sustainable seafood purchases and practices.

Other – customizing at restaurants, food stamps for soda, and more

About a fifth of customers customize at restaurants (pdf) Aug-2011 Amex Market Briefing
More than ¾ of customers order an item exactly as it is described on the menu all or most of the time at limited-service restaurants, which includes quick-service and fast-casual, (76%), and full-service restaurants (77%). About one-fifth order an item exactly as it appears on an LSR or FSR menu some of the time (18% and 22%, respectively), and very few never do so (5% at LSRs, 1% at FSRs).

Unsafe honey – Aug-15-11 Food Safety News
A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.

Food Network ditches shark meat recipes Aug-15-11 HuffPost Food
Until very recently, the Food Network website listed shark tacos and shark au poivre among its thousands of recipes. 30,000 petitioners asked for it to be removed, prompted by fears over the long-term survival of global shark populations. The Food Network responded to the petition within 10 days, and committed not to feature recipes for shark meat again in the future.

Kids with allergies feel excluded, stigmatized Aug-17-11 AOL Health
According to a new study conducted in the UK, families with children who are living with this potentially life-threatening condition often feel isolated, stigmatized or unfairly excluded from activities, due to the allergies.

City agencies encouraged to buy local Aug-17-11 New York Times
In New York’s latest attempt to promote the purchase of locally grown food, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed into law on Wednesday a bill urging city agencies to buy more often from the state’s farms and processing facilities.

Feds oppose ban on food stamps for sodas in NYC Aug-20-11 HuffPost Food
The U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected a waiver request that would have allowed NYC to restrict the use of food stamps to purchase of sweetened beverages containing more than 10 calories per 8 ounces (sodas, teas, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened drinks), saying it would be too large and complex.

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