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Gluten-free food banks, ethical foods, GM labeling, cantaloupe fear – news to October 16 2011

October is Non-GMO Month and Vegetarian Awareness Month. With increased demand for gluten-free foods, food banks are struggling to keep up. “Fairtrade” is the most recognized ethical label. 87% of Americans want GM foods labeled. One in five Americans are vulnerable to food-borne illness, and people are currently afraid of cantaloupes. Sugar-free foods may damage teeth. A toxic by-product in heat-treated baby formulas significantly increases the risk of diabetes in infants.

Gluten-free foods: food banks, South Beach Diet, confusing recipes

Food banks struggle to keep gluten-free items in stock Oct-10-11 Celiac.com
With the economy on the rocks and the holiday season upon us, many food banks are struggling to keep gluten-free items on their shelves. Since more and more families are relying on food banks for assistance, that means more and more people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance may not be getting the food they need.

Updated South Beach Diet book is anti-gluten Oct-11-11 USA Today
One change since his 2003 The South Beach Diet: a chapter on gluten, a protein found in wheat that experts say might harm a majority of Americans. After his patients were taken off gluten, he says, their gastrointestinal problems have cleared up.

Publix clarifies gluten-free ingredient in recipe Oct-12-11 Supermarket News
The recipe called for gluten-free flour as an ingredient, though it also listed wheat germ and yeast — two ingredients that must be avoided by those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance.

Ethical eating: Fairtrade, cage-free eggs

“Fairtrade” is the most recognized ethical label Oct-11-11 Food Product Design
57% of consumers in 24 countries have seen the Fairtrade Certification Mark, and 64% say they trust the Fairtrade Certification Mark. Further, 48% of those surveyed in five countries say they are more likely to buy brands carrying Fairtrade Certification Mark.

Harvard students call for switch to cage-free eggs Oct-13-11 Change.org
Nearly 7,000 people have signed on to a petition asking Harvard University to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs. “The great majority of our eggs currently come from battery cage farms, facilities in which hens are caged and afforded an area smaller than that of a sheet of paper on which to live.”

Genetically modified food: packaged foods, labeling

GMO ingredients in packaged foods Oct-14-11 Fast Company
GMO crops are in 80% of all the packaged food in the United States – infographics.

87% of Americans what genetically modified foods labeled Oct-14-11 Treehugger.com
According to a CBS News poll, 87% of Americans want genetically modified ingredients labeled as such. The same poll says 53% of people would not buy genetically modified food. Another infographic.

Food-borne illness: 1/5 vulnerable, cantaloupes

One in five Americans vulnerable to foodborne illness Oct-10-11 Food Navigator-USA
High-risk foods include raw and undercooked meat and poultry, undercooked or precooked seafood, unpasteurized milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, products containing raw eggs, raw sprouts and unwashed vegetables, luncheon meats that have not been reheated, and unpasteurized, refrigerated pâtés.

People are afraid to eat cantaloupes Oct-15-11 HuffPost San Francisco
Retail stores are taking cantaloupes off the shelves, and growers are disking in their fruit because people are afraid to eat them. As of Wednesday, the listeria outbreak from cantaloupes was linked to 23 deaths and 116 sicknesses, making it the deadliest known outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S. in more than 25 years. The tainted cantaloupes should be out of stores now because their shelf life is about two weeks.

Other: Sugar-free foods, allergic Halloween, baby formula and diabetes

Sugar-free foods may damage teeth Oct-10-11 The Guardian
Sugar-free gum, sweets and soft drinks, marketed as healthy alternatives to sugary products, can damage teeth, cause gastric problems and are unlikely to promote weight loss, a study review in the British Dental Journal (BDJ) claims.

Vegetarian options at Subway Oct-11-11 CareTo
In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, Subway is asking for your feedback about increasing, and improving, its vegetarian options and even adding some vegan ones.

Target to stock only sustainable seafood by 2015 Oct-13-11 Star Tribune Twin Cities
Target said Thursday that its latest action will apply to all of its fresh and frozen seafood. The Minneapolis company is teaming with nonprofit organization FishWise, which works with seafood companies on environmentally responsible business practices, to help with its effort.

Halloween allergy and asthma triggers Oct-14-11 Consumer Reports Health
For millions of children with asthma and allergies, and their parents, Halloween can be a frightful time of year. Not only because of the usual suspects—candy and treats—but some more unexpected culprits as well. Costumes, makeup, and other accessories can bring on dangerous allergy and asthma symptom

General Mills under fire for partially hydrogenated oils in fruit snacks Oct-14-11 Food Product Design
Fruit by the Foot and other fruit snacks included “misleading statements that its products were nutritious, healthful to consume, and better than similar fruit snacks,” when in fact, the complaint continues, the “fruit snacks contained trans fat, added sugars, and artificial food dyes; lacked significant amounts of real, natural fruit; and had no dietary fiber.”

Toxic by-product in heat-treated baby formulas increases infant diabetes risk Oct-14-11 Food Navigator
Heat treatment of infant formula milk during processing produces elevated levels of a toxin that could contribute to a significantly increased risk of children developing health problems including diabetes, according to US scientists.

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