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#AFN2014 says `If Music be the Food of Love play on and this really hit’s the Soul #chefs-tips
#AFN2014 says ` Good Food Everyday ‘ #chefs-tips – #GFE
#AceFoodNews says latest reports from EWG state that a `Plastic Chemical found in nearly 500 foods sold in US, by over 130 companies.
Nearly 500 food items commonly sold in the United States contain a chemical compound also used in synthetic leathers and yoga mats, but a health research and advocacy organization is aiming to change that.
Fast-food chain restaurant Subway made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it would no longer be including that compound azodicarbonamide or ADA — as a “dough conditioner” in the sandwich bread used in thousands of locations around the globe. But researchers at the Environmental Working Group say Subway isn’t the only guilty party, and that roughly 130 other companies mass-produce and sell an array of products that should have that chemical from their recipes as well.
According to a report released by that group on Thursday this week, consumers are just about as likely to find azodicarbonamide while at the grocery store as they would be inside a plastics factory. The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has constructed a database containing the ingredients of 80,000 foods sold across the US, and say Subway shouldn’t be the only ones changing their recipes.
“This industrial plastics chemical shows up in many commercial baked goods as a ‘dough conditioner’ that renders large batches of dough easier to handle and makes the finished products puffier and tough enough to withstand shipping and storage. According to the new EWG Food Database of ingredients in 80,000 foods, now under development, ADA turns up in nearly 500 items and in more than 130 brands of bread, bread stuffing and snacks, including many advertised as ‘healthy,’” the report reads.
Among the suspect brands, the EWG report claims, are Ball Park, Butternut, Country Hearth, Fleischman’s, Food Club, Harvest Pride, Healthy Life, Jimmy Dean, Joseph Campione, Kroger, Little Debbie, Mariano’s, Marie Callendar’s, Martin’s, Mother’s, Nature’s Own, Pillsbury, Roman Meal, Sara Lee, Schmidt, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker’s, Sunbeam, Turano, Tyson, Village Hearth and Wonder.
“EWG recommends that consumers take steps to avoid the industrial additive ADA in their food. It is an unnecessary ingredient, its use has raised concerns about occupational exposure, and questions remain about its potential risk to consumers,” the group writes. “EWG also calls on all manufacturers to immediately end its use in food.”
Federal regulators, on the other hand, haven’t had a problem with ADA just yet. The US Food and Drug Administration has long approved the addition of ADA in consumable, as long as its presence doesn’t exceed 0.0045 percent of the weight of the flour used, as have the FDA’s Canadian counterparts. Elsewhere regulators have been more willing to hear out consumer concerns, however, and officials in Australia and the European Union have failed to give the okay to ADAs.
Soon that same anti-sentiment could become rampant in America: earlier this month US Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) asked the FDA to ban ADAs altogether, and other fast-food chains have been pressured to stop using the chemical in the wake of the successful Subway petition that garnered more than 67,000 signatures from anti-azodicarbonamide advocates.
The FDA approved the chemical compound as being safe-in-moderation with regards to foods meant for human consumption back in 1962, but the banning 25 years later of another common dough conditioner — potassium bromate — has increased reliance on ADA ever since.
Despite being cleared as safe by the FDA, the World Health Organization has gone the record to say that epidemiological studies in humans and animals alike have produced “abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms and skin sensitization”
#AceHealthNews says `Child Obesity looms large, with over a third of `European’ teenagers over-weight in Europe – WHO-Reports’
Up to 27 percent of 13-year-olds and 33 percent of 11-year-olds in some European countries are overweight or obese, according to the WHO latest report. It’s believed that lack of exercise, as well as the “disastrously effective”marketing of unhealthy foods, high in fat, sugar and salt, has led to a sharp rise in obesity and overweight in recent decades. Among the countries with the highest proportion of overweight 11-year-olds is Greece (33 percent), Portugal (32 percent), and Ireland and Spain (30 percent each).
From 2002 to 2010, the number of countries where more than 20 percent of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds are overweight rose from 5 to 11.
Over 30 percent of boys and girls aged 15 and over in 23 out of 36 countries are not getting enough exercise. Among adults, women’s rates of poor physical activity span from 16 percent in Greece to 71 percent in Malta and 76 percent in Serbia.
Thanks to restrictions on advertising of unhealthy foods, promoting vegetable and fruit consumption and physical activity in schools, France, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands appeared among the few champions who managed to stem the epidemic of overweight and obesity, however.
National governments should enforce legislation, and insist on informative labeling, nutrient profiling and regulated marketing, requiring the food industry to take responsibility, the WHO recommended in its report.
In Britain, where according to official statistics most people are overweight or obese, (this includes 61.9 percent of adults and 28 percent of children aged between two and 15), on average the population consumes too much saturated fat. Intakes of the so-called non-milk extrinsic sugars exceed the recommended level for all age groups, most notably for children aged 11-18, where mean intakes provided 15.3 percent of food energy, according to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
The epidemic of overweight and obesity threatens children’s health, since childhood obesity goes hand in hand with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, orthopedic problems, mental disorders, under achievement in school, as well as lower self-esteem.
“Preventing children from becoming overweight or obese is vital to their avoiding the associated, lifelong health risks,” the United Nations health agency said.
Over 60 percent of children who are overweight before puberty will be so as young adults. Such children are three to seven times more likely to be overweight adults.
“Our perception of what is normal has shifted. Being overweight is now more common than unusual,” the WHO’s regional director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, pointed out.
We must not let another generation grow up with obesity as the new norm,” she added.
Physical inactivity “coupled with a culture that promotes cheap, convenient food high in fats, salt and sugars – is deadly,” Jakab warned. Children need at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day not to gain extra weight.
“We need to create environments where physical activity is encouraged and the healthy food choice is the default choice, regardless of social group,” a WHO expert on nutrition, physical activity and obesity, Joao Breda, said in a statement released with the report.
“Physical activity and healthy food choices should be taken very seriously in all environments – schools, hospitals, cities, towns and workplaces. As well as the food industry, the urban planning sector can make a difference,” he added.
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century, the WHO says. Globally, in 2010 the number of overweight children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 42 million. Close to 35 million of those live in developing countries.
#AceFoodNews says `What a Great Idea’ #chefs-tips
You have seen me rave about the same marinated chickpea and potatoes dish a couple of times now, and I do truly love the dish, but I do struggle with the carb on carb element of the potatoes and chickpeas all in one dish, so for this week’s Fiesta Friday party held by The Novice Gardener I thought I would try out an alternative….
Introducing marinated and roasted cauliflower and chickpeas…oh yes!!! Big yum!!! It worked a treat, the cauliflower became infused with the flavours and I caught it just when it was sufficiently cooked and roasted and before it got mushy, whilst being soft enough to soak up some of the sauce as we ate it. Click back to the original recipe for the breakdown and just add chunks of cauliflower in place of the potatoes, or as well as if you fancy!
NOTE: If you follow the original…
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#AceFoodNews says `Food, Biotech Groups’ banding together to influence GMO labelling efforts’
Published time: February 06, 2014 23:16
Reuters / Albert Gea
The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food consists of 29 formidable trade groups that say they plan to lobby on Capitol Hill for a national standard that would allow manufacturers to voluntarily label food and beverage products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In recent years, voters in states such as California and Washington have narrowly defeated ballot initiatives proposing mandatory GMO labeling, though not without dragging members of the new Coalition into expensive campaigns to defeat the measures.
The group says it will seek to empower the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.” In addition, the Coalition proposes the FDA mandate labels for GMO food or ingredients that the agency deems a “health, safety or nutrition issue,” though no consumables currently fall in such a category.
The Coalition is also advocating the FDA define “natural” foods to include those consisting of GMOs.
Supporters of labeling said the Coalition has seen the growing demand for GMO labeling across the country and is now admittedly trying to pre-empt state attempts to inform consumers of scientifically dubious genetically engineered food.
“These companies spent nearly $70 million in California and Washington State to defeat GE labelling initiatives. They know that the food movement’s power is growing and that labeling is not a matter of if but when,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “These companies have failed to win over consumers who overwhelmingly support the mandatory labeling of GMOs and now they’re trying to steal away consumer choice in Congress.”
States like Connecticut and Maine have recently passed legislation on labelling. Alaska’s legislature has passed a measure requiring the labeling of GMO fish and fish products. In Connecticut, critics say its new labeling law was gutted by lobbying pressure which requires four other northeastern states to pass their own GMO-labeling laws before the state’s takes effect. Those four states must collectively represent a population of 20 million people or more.
The Centre for Food Safety says over 30 states are expected to introduce GMO labeling laws during the 2014 legislative session. In Oregon, a labelling ballot initiative is already being planned.
On the federal level, legislation requiring mandatory labeling of all GMO foods has been introduced in the Senate and House, though it is not supported by the Coalition.
A top member of the Coalition – the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a major food industry lobbying group – raised and spent the bulk of the overall $22 million that opponents of labeling sank into defeating Washington State’sballot initiative on GMO labeling last year. That total number was three times the amount that proponents of labeling spent in the state. GMA was joined in its effort by allies such as biotech giants Monsanto, Bayer, and DuPont.
“The legislation we’re proposing would prevent state legislation that conflicts with the federal standards,” GMA president Pamela Bailey said of the Coalition’s aim with the new proposals, The Hill reported.
Food industry trade groups, alarmed by the growing animosity against GMOs, began circulating plans for the voluntary labeling push in November – just days after Washington’s measure was defeated.
Federal standards like the ones the Coalition has now called for are necessary to “guard against a costly, unnecessary and inefficient state-by-state system,” a November memo among the GMA-led industry groups said. The Coalition wants an FDA-controlled system to maintain cheaper operations and avoid “the creation of a complicated patchwork of state-based labeling rules that would increase, rather than reduce, consumer confusion,” said Kraig R. Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute, according to The Hill.
Critics of the Coalition’s approach point out that a “voluntary” law means nothing, as labeling GMOs is already legal and only done by choice.
“Voluntary labeling of GE foods is already permitted under the law, but no company has ever chosen to do so because GE foods offer consumers no benefits and only potential risk,” said the Center for Food Safety’s Kimbrell.“Instead of working together to meet consumer demand, GMA is using its deep pockets to ensure that congress and consumers are misled about their food supply.”
Supporters of GMOs say adverse effects of food that come from the manipulation of an organism’s genetic material are unproven at this point.
“If there was any indication GM ingredients were not safe, we would not be using them,” said Martin Barbre, president of the National Corn Growers Association.
The US Department of Agriculture says over 80 percent of corn and over 90 percent of soy in the US are GMOs.
Yet science is also inconclusive on whether genetically engineered products can cause long-term harm to human health. At least, that is the consensus held by the several dozen countries which have banned or severely restricted their use worldwide.
“While risk assessments are conducted as part of GE product approval, the data are generally supplied by the company seeking approval, and GE companies use their patent rights to exercise tight control over research on their products,” the Union of Concerned Scientists said of GMOs. “In short, there is a lot we don’t know about the risks of GE – which is no reason for panic, but a good reason for caution.”
The organization – a broad coalition of scientists and citizens dedicated to“rigorous, independent science” without “political calculations or corporate hype” – says there are concerns about GMOs beyond the basic health problems that have been linked to their consumption.
“Rather than supporting a more sustainable agriculture and food system with broad societal benefits, the technology has been employed in ways that reinforce problematic industrial approaches to agriculture,” the Union stated.“Policy decisions about the use of GE have too often been driven by biotech industry PR campaigns, rather than by what science tells us about the most cost-effective ways to produce abundant food and preserve the health of our farmland.”