Food in the News/ by Shelley Lance, Blog Editor

The Health Edition:

An article in today’s Health pages of the New York Time discusses “The Challenge of Going Vegan.”  Challenges include the expense of special vegan foods as well as the difficulty sourcing them in many areas of the country, the lack of social support (ie. your family will probably make fun of you), and the battle to get your tastebuds to accept non-animal flavors and textures. (Did you know 3% of American adults follow a vegetarian diet? That figure seems low to me.  Do they all live in Seattle?)

The NPR Blog, The Salt, reports that fast food in the US contains more significantly more salt than fast food sold in other countries.  Chicken McNuggets in the US, for example, have more than twice as much salt as Chicken McNuggets in the UK.  The reporter asks:  Are Americans getting more for their money?  “More high blood pressure and premature death?”

By now, everyone has probably heard about the 20 state salmonella outbreak and the risk of getting salmonella from spicy tuna rolls.  On the Seattle Times food blog, Rebekah Denn advises you, before ordering a spicy tuna roll, to ask whether the tuna was hand chopped from whole pieces of fish, or if instead an industrial tuna-scrape product was used.  The product being recalled is called Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA.

On a more optimistic note, nutrition expert Marion Nestle gives you permission to enjoy your morning cuppa.  In her Food Politics blog, she states that she has “a thick file of papers claiming that coffee raises the risk of heartburn, cancer, heart disease, infertility, ulcers and many other health problems, but the observed effects are small, inconsistent and unconvincing.”   So go ahead and enjoy that double espresso.  On the other hand, everyone has a different tolerance for caffeine, so “if you get shaky when you drink caffeinated beverages, it’s time to stop.”

April 17th, 2012

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