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Ethical eggs, BPA exposure, popular GF foods, and local food cost – news to November 27 2011

Gluten-free foods are becoming mainstream, with companies like General Mills labeling more clearly and expanding their offerings. Customers will pay more for local, sustainable food. BPA is common in canned foods. Pesticides may be linked to ADHD in children. McDonalds and Target drop an egg supplier for unethical conditions.

For Thanksgiving in the USA, many media websites had vegan and/or gluten-free recipes (BuzzFeed made light fun of people with food restrictions for holidays) – one article claimed that 9% of Americans don’t eat turkey. Others talked about how to manage Thanksgiving if you have conditions like diabetes or allergies.

Gluten-free – bread, not-quite-GF, widespread products

Gluten-free bread in colleges Nov-16-11 PR Newswire
Just-baked gluten-free bread is a new offering in colleges, as more students are asking about gluten-free options

Be careful of gluten-free menus Nov-21-11 RestaurantNews
Some establishments haven’t been properly trained around gluten intolerance and food allergies. As a result, they’re serving “gluten-free” meals that actually contain gluten, and guests are getting sick from these mistakes.

Gluten-free becoming a way of life Nov-25-11 New York Times
In the last three years, General Mills — best known for Cheerios, Betty Crocker and that wheat-filled Pillsbury Doughboy — has put gluten-free labels on more than 300 products already made without gluten, reformulated the recipes of five Chex cereals, and introduced gluten-free dessert and pancake mixes. Earlier this year, ConAgra Mills, a leading flour supplier, published a report characterizing gluten-free specialty products as a $486 million industry, not including mass-market items like Chex cereals.

Local food – growth, paying more

Local food growth Nov-14-11 Huff Post Food
A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report says sales of “local foods,” whether sold direct to consumers at farmers markets or through intermediaries such as grocers or restaurants, amounted to $4.8 billion in 2008. The department predicts locally grown foods will generate $7 billion in sales this year. According to From Field To Fork (PMA), local food supply may become an issue

Customers will pay more for local, sustainable food Nov-15-11 Nation’s Restaurant News
Diners may not select a restaurant based on its offering of local or sustainable fare, but they might be willing to pay more for such dishes, a survey by Mintel International found this week.

BPA – canned foods, foods to avoid

BPA found in Thanksgiving canned foods Nov-15-11 Consumer Reports
New product tests by researchers with the Breast Cancer Fund suggest the presence of the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in several canned foods used to prepare a typical Thanksgiving dinner.  BPA has been linked to adverse health effects such as breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early onset of puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and certain neurological disorders.

BPA contamination – foods to avoid Nov-21-11 Diet Blog
Canned soups and vegetables; canned infant formula; canned soda and anything else in a can; food in plastic containers with number 7 on the package. Humans are only consuming, on average, very low and slow doses – only pregnant women, babies, children, and women who may become pregnant need to monitor their BPA intake.

Other – pesticides and ADHD, ethical eggs

Cheese might not be so bad for cholesterol Nov-14-11 Chicago Tribune
Danish researchers say cheese may not be so bad, and probably shouldn’t be placed in the same category as butter.

Can pesticides cause ADHD in children? Nov-15-11 New Hope 360
Three landmark studies recently converged suggesting that organophosphates, the chemical found commonly in pesticides, may be linked to an increased likelihood of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a lower IQ in kids.

Consumers shun ‘diet’ foods in favor of ‘zero’ and ‘smart’ Nov-16-11 Boston Globe
The term ‘diet’ on food labels has become increasingly unpopular over the years, with consumers drawn more towards products for the ingredients they contain, rather than what they don’t contain. Words like ‘zero’ and ‘smart’ are replacing terms like ‘low-calorie’ and ‘low-fat’ in labels by savvy marketers.

McDonalds and Target drop egg supplier for animal rights issues Nov-20-11 HuffPost Food
McDonald’s and Target dropped one of the nation’s largest egg suppliers after an animal rights group released an undercover video of the egg producer’s farms in three states. See also an interesting article on the growing trend of sensivores in Food Product Design

Atkins sales up in UK Nov-21-11 Foodbev.com
Atkins has reported a 12.9% increase in the UK sales of its low carbohydrate and low sugar snacks.

Foods to avoid for asthma Nov-21-11 Everyday Health
Asthma food triggers including beer, dried fruit, processed potatoes, shrimp, and wine; food allergies

Vegan-friendly colleges Nov-27-11 MyFox Chicago
For the second consecutive year, Northwestern University has been selected by peta2, an affiliate of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as the most vegan-friendly college in the small U.S. schools category.

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