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Less-processed ready meals, gluten-free college food, sugar-sweetened drinks down in schools – news to July 15th 2012

What’s in the news about food restrictions

  • More ready meals emphasize natural and organic – TV dinners are responding to the demand for less-processed food.
  • Some consumers are trying to reduce unhealthy elements in their food – sugars, sodium, fats and oils, trans fatty acids and saturated fats – but they’re more interested in adding healthy foods than removing bad ones.
  • More colleges are offering gluten-free food, and parents of students with gluten restrictions are relieved that they don’t have to worry about them.
  • Fewer schools are offering sugar-sweetened drinks, low-calorie beverages, and high-fat milk, in the fight against childhood obesity. Low calorie beverages were also offered less. IOM-approved drinks – water, 100% juice, and nonfat or 1% milk – increased linearly.

Here are links and summaries for recent news and opinion about food restrictions.

USDA to ramp up drug residue testing for meat and poultry Jul-2-12 Food Safety News
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will announce a new, more modern testing system that allows the agency to test for dozens of drugs, pesticides, and other potentially harmful compounds simultaneously, instead of only testing for one or a handful of compounds in each meat sample.  The new testing methods will help protect consumers from illegal drug and chemical residues in meat products, not just microbiological contamination.

American fast food increasing heart disease risk in Southeast Asians Jul-2-12 American Heart Association
Southeast Asians regularly eating hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries and pizza are increasing their risk of dying from coronary heart disease and developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

More ready meals emphasize natural & organic Jul-3-12 FoodBev.com
An Innova Market Insights review of tracked global launch activity in ready meals over the past year has identified some key trends, including ongoing interest in healthy options and more authentic-style ethnic recipes. There is also more emphasis on natural, organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Wellness ingredients gain momentum Jul-3-12 FoodBusinessNews.net
According to an IFIC survey, some consumers are intent on reducing nutrients in their diet they perceive to be less than healthy, such as sugars, sodium, fats and oils, trans fatty acids and saturated fats, but they are expressing greater interest in food and beverage products that contain whole grains, fiber and protein.

Facts don’t support detox diets Jul-7-12 Reporter-Herald
While flushes, detox diets and fasts are hyped as a way to remove waste that’s supposedly “stuck” in our digestive system, there’s not a lot of scientific evidence that this is so. Bodies are designed to naturally purify themselves, experts say.

Colleges stepping up to offer gluten-free food Jul-7-12 StarTribune Health
More colleges are boosting their offerings for students with gluten intolerance. A meal plan that accommodates dietary restrictions can be a make-or-break issue for parents who have struggled to solve a child’s digestive difficulties and then managed their gluten-free diet.

Fewer schools offering sugar-sweetened drinks Jul-9-12 Food Product Design
In an effort to curb childhood obesity, U.S. elementary schools have stepped up bans of unhealthy beverages from cafeterias, snack bars and vending machines. Just one-third of elementary school students had access to sugar-sweetened drinks and high-fat milk in 2010-2011, compared to 47% in 2007-2008. The percentage of students who could purchase only Institute of Medicine approved competitive beverages—water, 100% juice and nonfat or 1% milk increased linearly.

Experts disagree over benefits of alkaline diet in fighting diseases Jul-9-12 Las Vegas Review-Journal
According to Kris Carr (“Crazy Sexy Cancer”) and other medical professionals, acidic processed foods, grains and meats ravage many Americans’ bodies. Others argue that eating fruits and vegetables is good, but not because of acid-base, and that some animal-based foods can be good for you.

CKE Restaurants commits to crate-free pork by 2022 Jul-9-12 QSR Web
CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has announced that it has committed to gestation crate-free pork supplies by 2022.

Some chains getting head start on menu transparency Jul-10-12 FastCasual
Some national quick service restaurant chains are offering data on whether their foods contain allergens and gluten.

Flexitarianism as a middle ground Jul-12-12 Voxxi
Many people are choosing a flexitarian (or semi-vegetarian) lifestyle for health benefits, animal rights, or environmental protection.

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