Issue 12: 3 October 2008
'Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. . .Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.'
Food for thought. . .Breast milk as ice cream!'Breast milk is back in the news again today thanks to PETA. Those kooky animal lovers sent a letter to Ben & Jerry’s asking them to use human breast milk in their delicious ice cream instead of cow’s milk. . . When I first heard this I thought, “Oh great, more lunacy from those wackos at PETA.” But after reading the letter it’s not as bad as I thought. All they’re trying to do is make people aware that many of the foods we love are manufactured at a great cost to animals. Yes PETA uses shock tactics that are often ridiculous and annoying, but sometimes it’s the only way to get through to people.'Chris Genoa, offbeat American novelist and bloggist. [See his hilarious blogg, www.science4sissies.com ]
Food Industry News – MELAMINE SCANDAL
EU: EFSA on melamineChocolates or other composite products containing Chinese milk powder contaminated with melamine should not make adults ill, according to the European Food Safety Authority. Read more
US: Melamine in milk: scientific summaryA brief summary and update from Sciencebase.com on the Melamine in Milk scandal. Read more
UK: Victorian workhouse diet makes a comebackRising food bills bring renewed interest in virtues of frugality. The Dickensian delights of the Victorian workhouse, immortalised in the moment when a starving Oliver Twist dares to ask for some more watery gruel, are being brought to Britons hit by the credit crunch. The Independent. Read more
EU: Sensory deception fools the taste budsAdding odourants to foods can fool your taste buds into thinking foods are sweeter and saltier than they really are, opening up new possibilities for manufacturers trying to reformulate products, according to scientists at Dutch research organisation Nizo.
Speaking at a symposium on sugar reduction in London recently, project leader, sensory, Dr Harold Bult said adding volatile flavour compounds to foods could offer "significant sweetness enhancement". By contrast, sour-smelling odourants could reduce the perception of sweetness. Food Manufacture. Read more
UK & US: Researchers: meat no 1 source of food poisoning bugA study by researchers from Lancashire, England, and Chicago, IL, has found that 97% of Campylobacteriosis cases sampled in Lancashire were caused by bacteria typically found in chicken and livestock. Campylobacter jejuni causes more cases of gastroenteritis in the developed world than any other bacterial pathogen, including E coli, Salmonella, Clostridium and Listeria combined. Medical News Today. Read more
US: Foreigners farm for themselves in a hungry AfricaSome of the world's richest nations are coming to Africa to grow crops and export the yields, hoping to turn the global epicenter of malnutrition into a breadbasket for themselves. LA Times. Read more
US: Green consumers not practicing what they preachHow green should your products really be, if your customers talk green but don't act green at the moment of truth? Inconsistent buying behaviours among many consumers that maintain they are concerned for the environment pose a real challenge for marketers and retailers. Progressive Grocer. Read more
US: Eco-chic and eco-centric consumers are key to green marketTwo key groups of consumers, dubbed the ‘eco-chics’ and the ‘eco-centrics’, are key segments in the eco-friendly market but they show extremely different behavioral patterns when it comes to handing over their cash, says market insight provider IRI (Information Resources Inc). Foodnavigator USA: Read more
UK: Study recommends meat rationing to avoid 'climate change disaster'People will have to be rationed to a quarter of a pint of milk a day if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, according to a new government-funded report. A study by the Food Climate Network says the average Briton will also need to cut meat consumption to four small portions a week by 2050 – and dramatically reduce their alcohol, sweets and chocolate intake. Daily Mail. Read more
US: Some foods don't deserve their bad pressMaybe you think nutritionists flip flop as often as political candidates seem to do. Eggs are bad, no, eggs are OK. Switch to margarine, no, go back to butter. Drink eight glasses of water each day, no, never mind.
What appears to be conflicting news about nutrition is due to the ever-evolving nature of science, says Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine and nutrition researcher at Northwestern University. New discoveries about the composition of foods are often behind these seeming nutrition flip-flops, adds Van Horn, who serves as editor of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and is charged daily with the task of translating emerging science.
Sometimes new research reveals that certain foods fail to live up to their early hype. Yet, often we learn that foods have hidden qualities not previously recognised. Even lard doesn't look quite as bad these days compared to the trans-fat-laden hydrogenated oil that replaced it. Lansing State Journal. Read more
US: New menu item for Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut – caloriesIn a move certain to rock the restaurant industry, Yum Brands (YUM), parent company to Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, has announced plans to begin posting product calorie information on the indoor menu boards nationwide at company-owned restaurants. USA Today. Read more
US: California restaurants to count caloriesTrend-setting, health-conscious California has become the first US state to require fast-food restaurant chains to list calories on their menus. Read more
US: New book chronicles poultry mogul Don TysonThe leadership principles of Tyson chairman and CEO, Don Tyson, who transformed a small northwest Arkansas feed and hatchery business into the world's largest poultry company is the subject of a new book. Its title is "I Refuse to Have a Bad Day" which is one of Don's favorite sayings. GlobeNewswire. Read more
Beverage ingredients follow taste of Africa trendA range of African-inspired flavours for beverages are being introduced by Symrise as it taps into the growing popularity of African ingredients which offer the novelty factor as well as health benefits. Foodnavigator. Read more
UK: Size matters in the great salt debate, claims LFIAltering the particle size of salt crystals can have significant effects on consumer perceptions of saltiness, according to Leatherhead Food International (LFI). Food Manufacture. Read more
Tate & Lyle backs sucralose in soft drinksSales of some diet drinks sweetened with sucralose were disappointing not because of fundamental problems with the sweetener but because of insufficient care over formulation, Tate & Lyle has argued. Food Manufacture. Read more
New Product Stuff
SA: First cholesterol-lowering sunflower oilNola has launched Cholestro Go, the to hit the South African market. It contains plant sterols, nature’s way of reducing LDL-cholesterol (often termed ‘bad’ cholesterol as it increases the risk of coronary heart disease). Read more
US: McNeil Nutritionals launches Splenda No Calorie Sweetener with FiberThis variant no-calorie sweetener for foods and beverages offers one gram of fiber in each packet. McNeil says the product answers consumer demand for foods that offer additional value, giving them the sweet taste they crave with the little boost of fiber they need. PR Newswire. Read more
Delicious New York City tap water – now in convenient bottles!Nice bit of reverse marketing with the launch by Tap’dNY of a new bottled water that it proudly touts as being '100% New York City tap water'. Oh sure, it’s filtered.
TAP’D NY has an honest marketing strategy, which is a rarity when it comes to bottled water. Says Tap’dNY: “Year after year, bottled water companies have told us that their water was somehow healthier or better for us than our own water. They spent billions of dollars on marketing to make us believe that we needed exotic water, in sleek packaging, from far away Arctic glaciers, tropical islands, and European volcanoes. We fell for the fancy marketing gimmicks, too, and the brands we drank started to become status symbols. But we're New Yorkers and are ready for an honest change. It's time for a better way of thinking, er, drinking…” Read more
Baskin-Robbins drink a 'death shake'Baskin-Robbins is a global chain of ice cream parlors founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1945 in Glendale, California. It claims to be the world's largest ice cream franchise, with more than 5 800 locations, 2 800 of which are located in the US.
Consumerist.com recently reported that the company may be responsible for the unhealthiest beverage in the world. One large Baskin-Robbins shake contains 2310 calories, just slightly more than than daily calorie recommendation for an average woman. Miami New Times. Read more
Ice cream with mother's milk?!Animal rights group, PETA, has urged the use of human breast on grounds that it's healthier for humans and kinder to animals… but supply may be a problem. Even eccentric ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's would be hard pushed to find any takers for this stomach-churning proposition. The Independent. Read more
That's it for this week, folks!
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