A number of articles this week discussed government regulations and other guidelines for sustainable fish, and Costco said it would no longer sell “at-risk” seafood. Shoppers in the USA are wary of genetically modified food, but because it’s not labeled they want the government to have more oversight. But how much would this be trusted? Two organic certifying agents are no longer accredited after not following USDA requirements. The USDA now says it’s okay for healthy adults to eat an average of one to two eggs per day, and coconut is now selling well at health food stores.
Seafood sustainability guidelines, “at-risk” seafood, and slow seafood restaurant sales
Complex guidelines for sustainable fish Mar-2-11 Wall Street Journal, reported in FMI dailyLead
New government recommendations encourage more fish consumption, and there is a wide and expanding array of guidelines for what is healthiest and most environmentally friendly. For more information, see also an article on sustainable fish guidelines in Slash/Food.
NOAA’s new aquaculture policy Mar-3-11 Food Politics by Marion Nestle
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed the nation’s first aquaculture policy, which it says it did in response to consumer demand for local, safe, sustainably produced seafood.
Costco will no longer sell “at risk” seafood Feb-27-11 Progressive Grocer
Costco Wholesale announced it will no longer carry seafood defined as “at risk” by seafood groups, including Chilean sea bass, Atlantic cod, bluefin tuna and swordfish
Seafood restaurants sales still slow Feb-28-11 Slash/Food
Though other types of restaurants are starting to see their sales increase as the USA slowly recovers from the recession, seafood restaurants aren’t on the upward trend. Consumers continue to be wary of seafood in the wake of last summer’s oil spill in the gulf (despite the fact that only 2 to 3 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from there), and prices are skyrocketing.
Eco-awareness, and fair trade – palm oil, water, EcoAware Moms, and fair conditions for workers
Kelloggs supporting sustainable palm oil Mar-4-11 Justmeans
The Kellogg company announced in March 2011 that it intends to support sustainable palm oil production by purchasing certificates from GreenPalm, a company that rewards palm oil plantations that use sustainable practices. Palm oil is a common ingredient in Kellogg’s cereals and baked snacks.
Virtual water needs for food products Feb-28-11 FoodBev.com
If you add all the water needed to grow crops and feed animals for ingredients and materials, that’s the virtual water needed for a product. Figures for 19 food products, some of which are quite startling (1,382 U.S. gallons of water needed to make a pound of sausage).
Eco-Aware Moms segment Mar-1-11 FoodProcessing.com
Almost three in four EcoAware Moms consider labels for no artificial hormones or ingredients extremely or very important; about half consider labels for BPA-free, certified organic, and GMO-free as important. They consider it extremely or very important to have green options in food (75 percent) and beverages (55 percent).
Fair farm labor standards Feb-25-11 Progressive Grocer
Florida tomato pickers will be joined by students and community activists for a protest at Trader Joe’s, where they will rally to demand that the chain join a growing partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and food retailers.
Fairtrade growth in the UK Feb-28-11 Marketing Magazine
Fairtrade products are “important” to 47% of British consumers as evidenced by grocer Sainsbury’s, which has reported a 27% surge in Fairtrade sales to £276m over the past year.
Genetically modified, organic food, and unsafe additives/chemicals
Shoppers wary of GM foods find they’re everywhere Feb-25-11 USA Today, reported in GMA SmartBrief
Organic food companies, chefs and consumer groups have stepped up their efforts — so far, unsuccessfully — to get the government to exercise more oversight of engineered foods, arguing the seeds are floating from field to field and contaminating pure crops. The groups have been bolstered by a growing network of consumers who are wary of processed and modified foods.
Organic food demand in Mexico Feb-28-11 FAS, Reported in The Food Institute Daily Update
Mexico is now considered the second more obese country in the world. As a result, a growing number of Mexican consumers are pursuing healthier lifestyles which include better eating habits. Demand for organic food products in Mexico has been growing over the last few years along with the overall trend of healthier eating, and organic foods are perceived by many Mexican consumers to be healthier than conventional foods.
Two organic certifying agencies no longer accredited 3/5/11 Food Politics by Marion Nestle
On March 02, USDA announced that it was revoking its accreditation of two certifying agencies, Certified Organic, Inc. (COI) and Guaranteed Organic Certification Agency (GOCA).
Plastic chemicals leach into food Mar-3-11 New Hope 360
An Environmental Health Perspectives study looked at chemical leaching in BPA-free plastic and reported that the majority of commercial plastic leaches chemicals with estrogenic effects.
China bans flour bleaching agents Mar-2-11 Food Production Daily
Chinese authorities have banned the production of two food additives commonly used to bleach flour in response to consumer demand for natural foods and reduced reliance on chemical modifiers, according to Chinese state media.
Foods no longer considered so unhealthful – eggs and coconut oil
Eggs ok Feb-28-11 The Food Channel
The USDA now says it’s okay for healthy adults to eat an average of one to two eggs per day. Even adults with a high risk for heart disease can average an egg a day and meet the new dietary guidelines.
Coconut oil becoming popular in the health food world Mar-1-11 New York Times Dining & Wine, reported in ProChef SmartBrief
Coconut oil, once derided for its high levels of saturated fat, is now selling well at health food stores, after scientists retracted some of their most serious criticisms and vegans discovered its baking benefits.
Sugar and sweeteners – blood pressure, diabetes, risks from artificial sweeteners
Sugar-sweetened beverages may raise blood pressure Feb-28-11 Hypertension (American Heart Association), reported in DietBlog
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions warns that any drink containing high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, honey, sugar, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, or dextrose is considered a “sugar-sweetened beverage.” Data revealed for every extra can of soda or sugary beverage drank each day, individuals had an average of 1.6 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure reading and an average of 0.8 mmHg higher diastolic reading.
Adults with diabetes drink more sugar-sweetened beverages Mar-1-11 DiabetesPro
Undiagnosed adults with diabetes were significantly more likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) than diagnosed adults. Men drank significantly more SSBs than women, and younger adults had more SSBs than older adults.
Questions over risks of artificial sweeteners Mar-1-2011 Food Production Daily
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has dismissed Italian and Danish studies that had questioned the safety of artificial sweeteners, concluding that neither paper gives cause to reconsider existing safety opinions.
Other – Vegetarian, meat eating, breast ice cream, and more
Vegetarian chili Feb-25-11 QSRWeb
Gold Star Chili has introduced a vegetarian/vegan chili variation of its famous Cincinnati-style 3-way, as well as a full line of new veggie chili menu options. The new meatless options include a bowl of veggie chili, veggie chili burrito, veggie chili burrito bowl and veggie chili salad. The items were created because of high demand.
Meatless Mondays at Boston University Mar-3-11 FoodManagement
Boston University Dining Services is launching Make a Difference Mondays, a once-a-month sustainability awareness initiative that menus foods with low carbon footprints. Make a Difference Mondays will omit the use of red meat and pork but will use sustainable fish, poultry and non-meat proteins
Encouraging customers to eat more meat Feb-28-11 FoodBusinessNews
Technomic’s “Center of the plate: Beef and pork consumer trend report” found consumers believe beef and pork menu items with descriptors such as grass-fed, lean, organic or natural will taste better than other beef and pork products that do not feature the same descriptors. Among consumers who do not eat meat regularly, health is the No. 1 deterrent.
Breast milk ice cream banned Mar-2-11 Los Angeles Times – Daily Dish and Business section
It sold out quickly (probably mostly because of the novelty factor), but was pulled off the shelves for testing for possible hepatitis contamination.
Bi-Lo nutrition shelf tags Mar-2-11 Supermarket News
Bi-Lo is rolling out color-coded nutrition tags. Categories include gluten-free, organic, sensible carbs, heart-healthy, low sodium, whole grain, good source of fiber, low saturated fat, and good source of calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Gluten-free matzos for Passover Feb-28-11 KosherToday e-Newsletter
Kedem are growing a line of gluten-free products, including Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares, Gefen Cake, Cookie and Frosting Mixes in addition to a line of Gluten Free Gefen King Krunch Cereals.
Gluten-free batters and breadings – new facility Feb-28-11 FoodBusinessNews
Bloomfield Farms, a supplier of batters, breadings and baking mixes, has opened a 15,000-square-foot facility exclusively for the manufacture of gluten-free products. The facility has the capability to manufacture gluten-free batters and breadings for a variety of products, including fish, chicken and cheese. It also may prepare mixes for baking products, pizza dough and pasta.
High corn oil diet – obesity and cancer Mar-5-11 Nutrition and Cancer
A study showed that a high corn oil diet was associated with increased body weight and had a stimulating effect on cancer. A high olive oil diet had a very small enhancing effect on cancer
Paleo lifestyle Mar-2-11 ABC News
To keep fit, a number of people have adopted the “Paleo” lifestyle — eating and exercising like our ancestors from the Paleolithic era. Those big-brained cavemen ate meat, vegetables and nuts. What they didn’t eat, besides processed foods, was bread, grains, rice or anything that is the product of agriculture. Experts seem to have no major problems with it because it balances meat with a lot of fresh vegetables.
Sales of diet- and food choice-related books in the USA and UK
No clear patterns in either country this month, according to Amazon’s bestseller lists today.