Scary Food

Scary Food

Mimicking Big Tobacco, Big Soda blows smoke in Philadelphia

Big Soda can blow smoke with the best of ‘em.Coke image: Andrew AtkinsonFor years now, numerous commentators (myself included) have made comparisons of the food industry with Big Tobacco. The most recent example should become the poster child for how the most egregious tactics of tobacco companies are alive and well. Last month came the announcement that the American Beverage Association (the lobbying arm of soft drink companies) was donating $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Why Philadelphia? Could a proposal to place a tax on soft drinks have anything to do with it? Here’s how the Philadelphia …

Scary Food

Spelt linked to cancer & other health problems, even as Big Ag muscles in on market [APRIL FOOLS]

Spelt is the ultimate health food, right? Not so fast. New research links it to spleen and kidney cancers. Meanwhile, Monsanto is trying to approve Roundup Ready seeds.

Solving the Ritalin

ADHD: It’s the food, stupid

Over 5 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States, and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. The study’s lead author, Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in the Netherlands, said in an interview with NPR, “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the …

Playing chicken

Study: Organic chicken carries significantly lower salmonella risk

Want it free of drug-resistant salmonella? Make it organic.Photo: sierravalleygirlThis study from the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety came out in November and has bounced around the internet, but for some reason I’m just now noticing it. It’s worth a look. The researchers looked at broilers — chickens raised for meat — from “three organic and four conventional broiler farms from the same company in North Carolina,” and tested their manure for salmonella. They also tested samples of their feed. Here’s what they found: 38.8 percent of the conventional birds were carrying salmonella, versus 5.6 percent for the …

Journalists eat sugar substitutes so you don’t have to

So maybe Tom Philpott convinced you to wean yourself off aspartame, or maybe you just think chemical-based sweeteners taste oogy. (Okay, ALL sweeteners are chemical-based, but you know what I mean.) Well, the folks at Salon have taken one for the team, eating a lot of gross cookies so you can know which sugar substitute is best. Agave syrup Stacks up to sugar: Barely any point to substituting. It has a low glycemic index — meaning it won't give you a "sugar crash" — but requires so much processing that some forms might as well be corn syrup. And it …

How much should Japan worry about nuclear food?

Japan has discovered potentially harmful levels of radiation in Tokyo tap water, and contamination levels in some foodstuffs have been high enough for the U.S. to halt imports.  Even if you live in Japan, you're unlikely to encounter these potentially dangerous eats — contaminated food is being kept out of grocery stores. But just in case you're the type who's already taking a Geiger counter to Food Lion, here are the most susceptible edibles. Leafy vegetables Why they're susceptible: The broad leaves of plants like spinach and cabbage have a lot of surface area for radioactive particles to fall on. …

De-CAFO-nated

Introducing … the Vegan/Omnivore Alliance against Animal Factories

Every day, Americans eat more than a half pound of meat per capita — one of the highest rates on the planet. The vast majority of it is produced with methods that abuse the environment, animals, workers, and public health as a matter of course. The handful of companies that dominate U.S. meat production suck in more than 40 percent of the corn grown by our farmers — that’s more than 15 percent of the corn grown worldwide. Industrial corn, of course, is our most ecologically destructive crop. In our society, I can think of two broadly defined groups that …

Meat wagon

Think tainted Chinese pork is scary? Check out the nearest supermarket meat case

Now, what dodgy stuff did Philpott say was on this? In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——— Over in China, the nation’s burgeoning pork industry has been been busted for churning out meat tainted with an illegal and quite dodgy growth-enhancing chemical, The Washington Post reports. The banned chemical, clenbuterol, is said to “reduce a pig’s body fat to a very thin layer and makes butchered skin pinker, giving the appearance of fresher meat for a longer time.” When people ingest it from eating the resulting pork, they suffer “symptoms such …

Cereal comedy

Breakfast is not so gr-r-reat when your only option is Frosted Flakes

Breakfast cub: Tony the Tiger says start your kid’s day with big bowls of sweetened corn.Photo: Jim BarkerOne in four children goes without breakfast each morning, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a tragedy to be sure — but are Kellogg’s breakfast products the solution? Last week, Kellogg announced its new project called Share Your Breakfast, part of a national advertising campaign. The project asks Americans to upload their breakfast photos to the website shareyourbreakfast.com, and Kellogg Company will donate up to $200,000 — the equivalent of 1 million school breakfasts to help feed children from food-insecure households. Feeding …

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