The FDA has warned consumers against drinking certain unpasteurized orange juice products because of a potential Salmonella Typhimurium contamination. Products distributed under a variety of brand names by the Florida-based Orchid Island Juice Company have been associated with an outbreak of human disease caused by this organism. “FDA is working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our state partners to identify the source of the problem and its scope,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of orange juice sold in stores is pasteurized and safe to drink.” The unpasteurized juice comes in variety of brand names and containers. The labels do not identify them as unpasteurized. Unless you freshly squeeze you own orange juice, it is advisable that you purchase orange juice that is labeled as pasteurized.
Because oranges fall into the Moderate Glycemic category, and, when juiced, is fiberless, it is best for kids to drink it moderately. Too much equates to an excess amount of sugar. Enjoy good orange juice in small amounts a few times a week.
Source: www.foodqualitynews.com, June/July 2005
Major food manufacturers are members of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA). The GMA is representing them in their effort to persuade Congress that they will self-regulate children’s marketing to prevent Congress from doing so. “We believe the self-regulatory system managed by the National Advertising Review Council and implemented through the National Advertising Division(NAD) and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has worked well over the years and ensures that advertising meets the highest standards of truth and accuracy. We believe self-regulation can be an even more effective tool and that CARU, in particular, can play a major role in that effort.” (GMA Statement Regarding Proposals to Strengthen Self-Regulation of Children’s Advertising, July 15, 2005)
Two problems with this statement: One, GMA states that NAD and CARU are short of money and staff. Two, CARU is financially supported by the food manufacturers they represent.
Many question the statement that NAD and CARU have ensured the truth and accuracy of children’s marketing in the food industry. This is why the issue is being addressed by Congress. Public demand for nutrient-filled, artificial additive-empty foods for the health of children is critical for a truthful turn-around by the food manufacturers. Only self-regulation with absolute integrity monitored by an independent group would be acceptable.
David Pimentel, professor of Ecology and Agriculture at Cornell University said, ” Organic farming approaches for these (corn and soybeans) crops not only use an average of 30 percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil, induce less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological resources than conventional farming does.” Pimentel added that the study shows organic farming can also compete effectively in growing wheat, barley and other grains. However, due to greater pest problems, it might not be as favorable for growing grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes. In this 22 year farming systems trial, conducted by the Rodale Institute, no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used. The organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years.
However, over time, the organic systems produced higher yields, especially under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the organic farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial activity and other indicators. Now there is no doubt that there are definite advantages with organic farming. The results of this longest running comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States offers a big step toward inviting farmers to move in the organic direction.
Source: www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news, June/July 2005
In its latest Health and Wellness Initiatives survey, the Grocery Manufacturers Association found that the 43 respondent companies have between them introduced almost 4,500 healthier products and sizes since 2002, representing 30 percent of food and beverage SKUs in the average supermarket. NUTRA USA ingredients.com goes on to report that twenty-eight percent of these products were completely new and seventy-two percent were reformulated with better health in mind. The top trend reformulation was the reduction or elimination of saturated and trans-fats, which was made in 2,995 products. (Reminder: By January 1, 2006, the FDA is requiring that ALL food products clearly mark trans-fats on labels.)
This GMA report goes on to say that 969 products of the new or reformulated healthy have reduced calories, sugar, carbohydrates and sodium.
Until one reads the food labels of these products carefully (especially the ingredient list), it is difficult to know how significant these changes are nutritionally. However, this appears to be a meaningful move in the right direction. Please check this website for updates.
Last week, Elizabeth White of USA Today reported the following: The breadmaker, Interstate Brands, is coming out with a 100% whole-wheat loaf. It is being made from an Albino wheat variety the has the “same spongy texture, the same mushability and pretty much the same taste as Wonder Bread.” On July 18th, this bread will be introduced in San Francisco, Kansas City, Omaha, Memphis and Little Rock. By the end of the year, it will be available nationally.
Is this whole-grain version one step better than the traditionally white Wonder Bread. Maybe. However, the following comments from Elizabeth White’s USA Today article reflect our thinking on this product:
Brian Wansink, who directs Cornell University’s food and brand lab, calls the idea of a whole-grain Wonder Bread that tastes like the original “stealth health”. Says Wansink, “It’s like whole-wheat Lucky Charms. It could succeed in bringing back the disenfranchised customer who left because they just saw white bread as sticky stuff that balls up in your stomach.”
But to Marion Nestle, a nutritionist at New York University, the long list of dough conditioners necessary to give the new Wonder Bread its distincive soft, mushy texture means it’s hardly bread at all. Bread is flour, water, yeast, salt. Period. This has something like 20 other ingredients … Why not buy your kids real bread?
Exactly. (See our Better Choices Grocery List in our book for recommendations.)
UPDATE: Sara Lee is introducing a Smooth Whole Grain White bread. It contains 30 percent whole wheat flour made up of ConAgra Ultrgrain and brown rice flour. Total amount of whole-grain per slice is 4 grams. (source: Food Navigator USA) Is this bread better than white bread, yes. Does it meet the qualifications for the Better Food Choices breads, no. It is too processed.