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Baby feeding and obesity, produce and diabetes, natural preferred to organic – news to September 15, 2013

Food choices in the newsWhat’s in the news about food choices

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

Babies’ food habits – food likes and dislikes, overconsumption

Babies acquire food dislikes before likes, study suggests Aug-29-13 Food Navigator
Basic flavor preferences are known to start developing even before birth – but revulsion may be less changeable than liking in infants, according to new research.

‘Overeating’ infant formula linked to higher risk of obesity Sep-4-13 Food Navigator
Infants that are encouraged to consume high levels of formula and foods form a young age may form habits of overconsumption and be at a much higher risk of obesity in later childhood and adulthood, warn researchers. Putting babies to bed with a bottle increased the risk of childhood obesity by 36%, while introducing solid foods too soon – before 4 months of age – increased a child’s risk of obesity by 40%.

Vegetarian and special diet options – meat alternatives, special menu items, meatless McDonalds

Meat-alternatives move into the mainstream 8/13/13 Food Navigator
While just 7% of Americans identify themselves as vegetarian, more than a third of shoppers (36%) buy meat alternatives, suggesting the category is appealing to a far broader demographic, according to a consumer survey conducted by Mintel.

Demand for special menu items Aug-28-13 Hotel Interactive
Vegans, vegetarians and people who want gluten-free meals are becoming more frequent at hotels restaurants – presenting a challenge to chefs and food and beverage directors. Requests for special meals have skyrocketed the past 10 or 15 years.

McDonald’s Canada adding 2 meatless entrees Sep-3-13 Technomic
The chain introduced two vegetarian signature wraps. McDonald’s Canada emphasized that the Veggie McWraps are a response to Canadian consumers’ desire to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.

Produce and diabetes – 2 studies

Eating more fruits and vegetables may lower risk of developing diabetes Aug-29-13 John Hopkins Health Alerts
According to a study published in Diabetes Care, people who eat a greater number of fruits and vegetables — and who eat a wide variety of foods from these groups — may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those whose diets are less fruit- and vegetable-friendly.

Whole fruits linked to lower diabetes risk, while fruit juices may increase risks Aug-30-13 Food Navigator
Eating more whole fruit may help to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while increased consumption of fruit juices may be linked to higher risks, according to new research from Harvard.

Other – natural vs. organic, eco-eating, arsenic in rice

What does “local” mean? Aug-19-13 The Food Journal
Discussion of the issues around defining and offering local foods

Cancer-fighting phytonutrients in celery and artichokes Aug-21-13 HuffPost Healthy Living
Researchers from the University of Illinois found that apigenin and luteolin, which are flavonoids found in these vegetables as well as some herbs (such as Mexican oregano), seem to have pancreatic cancer-killing capabilities in a lab setting.

Tech to the rescue for allergy sufferers Aug-23-13
Lab42′s new infographic illustrates the tremendous opportunity for food manufacturers and retail stores to leverage online offerings and tech-enabled solutions to bridge the information gap and increase their reach to the growing demographic of food allergy sufferers.

Consumers care more about natural foods than organic Aug-22-13 QSR
According to The Hartman Group, many consumers are less likely to shell out the cash to pay for items and products labeled organic. Many consumers would now prefer to have a truly natural product than one that is labeled organic but is more processed.

Eco-eating goes mainstream Aug-23-13 Food Navigator-USA
‘Eco-eating’, which encompasses everything from edible packaging trends to sustainable seafood, is moving from natural stores and fancy restaurants to the mainstream of food culture, according to a new report by Packaged Facts. Meatless family meals, tofu, edible packaging, protein-packed insects, restaurant gardens & hotel beehives, new sustainable seafood choices, grass-fed beef.

Long John Silver’s makes the switch to trans fat–free oils Aug-28-13 QSR
Long John Silver’s announced that the seafood chain has begun switching all U.S. restaurants to trans fat–free cooking oil. Long John Silver’s restaurants in states or cities with trans fat–free laws converted several years ago, and the remainder will be fully trans fat free by the end of this year.

Gluten-free seasonal meal plan vendor Aug-30-13 PRWeb
New 6-week “done-for-you” seasonal meal plans are now available at the www.NoGlutenMealPlans.com website. They include fresh, organic foods, low dairy or dairy free options, and substitutes for gluten and uses foods that are plentiful in the season, making it easy to find fresh vegetables, greens and fruits.

FDA: Low levels of arsenic in rice Sep-6-13 WebMD
The levels of arsenic found in rice aren’t high enough to be a short-term concern to consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. The agency, however, did advise people to vary the grains they eat. In addition to rice, grains such as barley, oats and wheat should be part of one’s diet. This advice includes infants and children, the agency said.

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