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Vegan diet, food allergies, labeling, insect-cooking competition – news to September 18 2011

After a few weeks of articles on the pros of vegan/plant-based diets, a slight backlash shows some of the downslide while other articles continue to extol the benefits. Children who drink raw milk have fewer allergies; the food matrix an allergen is served in can affect the allergenicity levels. Kashi “natural” claims are questioned, and people in China protest against unlabeled GM foods. Harvard has released its Healthy Eating Plate in response to the USDA’s MyPlate. The CDC says that too many children over the age of 2 are drinking whole or 2% milk instead of the recommended 1% or fat-free milk. And an insect-cooking competition was held in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Becoming vegan and stopping being vegan

Megan Fox stops following strict vegan diet Sep-8-11 Us Weekly
“For a year and a half, until about four months ago, I followed a strict vegan diet based on raw fruits and vegetables,” she told Amica magazine, as excerpted by the Daily Mail. “No bread, no sugar and coffee. But I had lost too much weight.”

Limited vegan diet not suitable for newborns Sep-12-11 MSNBC
An Atlanta vegan couple whose malnourished 6-week-old son starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice will have to serve their life sentences for murder, Georgia’s top court ruled on Monday. Veganism may not have been the issue in this case.

Vegan diet to cut healthcare costs Sep-12-11 FoodBev.com
The World Preservation Foundation has called on the UK government to proactively promote and recommend a plant-​based diet as a solution to rising healthcare costs and rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Vegan meal options on campus not satisfying Sep-14-11 Hilltop Views
Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming rapidly more popular; therefore, it is in the best interest of universities to provide the growing population of vegan and vegetarian students with better meal choices – not too heavy or greasy, or leaving your stomach crying for more.

Many people would give up meat to improve health Sep-16-11 mLive.com
In a Michigan poll asking whether they would give up meat to improve their health and relieve heart troubles, 49% said they would make the change and become a vegan or vegetarian; 36% said they would incorporate more vegetarian foods but continue to eat meat; 13% said they liked meat too much to change their diets.

Allergies – raw milk benefits, food matrix

Kids who drink raw milk have less asthma, allergies Sep-13-11 Reuters
Children who drink raw milk are less likely to develop asthma and allergies than those who stick to the pasteurized version, according to a large European study. Those who drank boiled farm milk had no less asthma than those who drank store milk.

Food type has effect on allergen activity Sep-13-11 Food Navigator-USA
The type of food matrix an allergen is contained in may have important effects on the way it is digested and absorbed by the body, and should be considered when determining allergenicity levels, according to new research in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Labeling – natural, GM, restaurant menus

Kashi “natural” claims questioned Aug-31-11 Food Navigator-USA
It is claimed that many of the ingredients used in Kashi products labeled “natural” are synthetic or unnaturally processed

China mandates labeling of GM ingredients Sep-15-11 New Hope 360
According to the Shanghai Daily newspaper, citizens in China are up in arms over being sold cooking oils that contained genetically modified ingredients but were not clearly labeled as such. The consumers have filed a complaint with Chinese authorities because they say they try to avoid GMOs for health reasons and wouldn’t have wanted to buy the oil had they known GM soybeans were used in the products’ manufacture.

Restaurants court customers who are careful where their food comes from Sep-15-11 Inc Magazine
“In general, a lot more people care about where their food comes from,” says Dan Kluger, chef at the James Beard Award-winning (and perpetually packed) ABC Kitchen in New York City. “For us, organic is more of a sustainable, green sort of culture whether it is good animal husbandry with the raising of the meats we use or sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. But there’s definitely more knowledge and interest among diners.”

Other – dairy-free yogurt, Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, insect cooking competition, milk type for children

Dairy-free yogurt Sep-13-11 Food Navigator-USA
Haines Celestial is planning to introduce an almond milk-based yogurt

Debate grows over arsenic in apple juice Sep-14-11 Consumer Reports Health
Several tests conducted by researchers at a university and at other labs have detected arsenic levels in various brands of apple juice that were from three to five times higher than the federal limit for this carcinogen in drinking water. The FDA argue that the levels are safe, according to an article in the LA Times.

Sustainability scoring Sep-14-11 Progressive Grocer
According to a new research study by Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing, which shows health and eco-consumers want one universal green score to help them make sustainable product buying decisions.

Harvard version of USDA MyPlate Sep-15-11 Food Politics
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health have come up with a new Healthy Eating Plate as an alternative to USDA’s MyPlate released last June. Less emphasis on dairy; more emphasis on whole grain; clarification of healthy proteins

Michele Obama gets Darden’s to promise healthier meals Sep-16-11 Food Politics
For kids’ menus, Darden restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and other chains) will add a fruit or vegetable as the default side for every kids’ menu item;  Make 1% milk the default beverage;  Make milk prominently promoted on the menu and available with free refills; Illustrate healthy choices for meals and drinks on menus;  Display healthier menu options more prominently, when possible; Not display carbonated beverages on children’s menus.

Insect-cooking competition Sep-16-11 HuffPost Food
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is hosting its annual BugFest Critter Cook-off on Friday. The chefs have 50 minutes to create an appetizer, entree, dessert and mystery dish using mealworms, wax worms, crickets, super worms and a “mystery” bug. Each dish will be judged on taste, originality and presentation.

CDC says too many children drink whole or 2% milk, not 1% or fat-free Sep-16-11 HealthDay
The research, published in a CDC report titled “Low-fat Milk Consumption Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2007-2008,” showed that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).

Low-GI or high fiber diet for gestational diabetes Sep-16-11 Physician’s Briefing
Following a low-glycemic index (LGI) diet or a conventional high-fiber moderate GI (HF) diet produces comparable pregnancy outcomes for women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to a study published online Sept. 6 in Diabetes Care.


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