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Food News

Low dairy consumption tied to risk of early menopause

Reuters | Posted on May 22, 2017

Women in their early 40s with the highest intake of vitamin D and calcium from food sources may have a lower than average risk of starting menopause before age 45, a recent study suggests.Taking vitamin D or calcium in supplement form had no benefit in the large study of U.S. nurses, the study team writes in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and there may be other substances in dairy foods that also contribute to their apparent protective effect.“Early menopause can have substantial health impacts for women. It increases their risk of cardiovascular disease and early cognitive decline and osteoporosis,” lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe told Reuters Health.In addition, as women are delaying having kids into their later reproductive years, having early menopause can have a substantial impact on their ability to conceive as they wish, which can have psychological and financial consequences, said Purdue-Smithe, an epidemiologist with the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Butterball to close Gusto pork plant in Illinois, exit pork business

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on May 20, 2017

Butterball plans to close the former Gusto Packing pork processing plant in Montgomery, Ill., it purchased in 2013, eliminating about 600 jobs, and ending production of the Gusto-branded bacon and ham products the plant was making. “With this closure, the company will be exiting the pork business both branded and private label by July 17, 2017.”

Confused about what’s healthy? A new nutrition survey shows you’re not alone.

The Washington Post | Posted on May 18, 2017

If I asked you, “Who do you trust?” you would probably name a friend or family member — unless the topic is nutrition. Odds are your nearest and dearest are not your most trusted sources for nutrition information, even though there’s an excellent chance that you rely on them to decide what to eat. Maybe that’s why Americans are getting a failing grade in nutrition literacy, according to findings from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 12th annual Food and Health Survey.We don’t consume just food, we consume information about food, and the information buffet is more loaded than ever. To varying degrees, we listen to advice from not just experienced nutrition professionals, but also from health coaches, personal trainers, social media, bloggers, television, government agencies and food companies. Is our inability to determine the best, most reliable sources of information getting in the way of the improved health we almost universally seek?Friends and family trailed only personal health-care professionals as sources of information about what foods to eat or avoid. Yet respondents ranked friends and family as low on the trustworthiness scale (health providers rated high) for information on what foods to eat and avoid. Your immediate circle is also probably the biggest influence on your decision to follow a specific eating pattern or diet — with health-care providers and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) lagging behind.

Mara Abbott: GMO debate about everything except GMOs

Daily Camera | Posted on May 16, 2017

Last December, Adrian Card ruined grocery shopping for me. Card is the CSU extension agent to Boulder County, and was the lead author of "Economic, Environmental and Social Implications of Cropping Systems in Boulder County," a 2015 briefing paper for the county commissioners. I discovered it researching the commissioners' decision to ban genetically engineered crops on county open space.It's a snapshot of data gathered from six Northern Colorado farms between 2011 and 2015, and it documented organic crops that had released six times more sequestered carbon from the soil and used 10 times more water than genetically engineered varieties. GE crops also decreased pesticide use by 80 percent compared to their conventional counterparts. I was paralyzed. I had always self-identified as a good Boulder environmentalist, and figured that meant that non-organic was a non-starter (and the organic definition excludes GMOs). Now where was I supposed to buy my kale? (Currently, there are no GMO varieties of kale.)My doubts about the GMO ban's merits blossomed. After all, the ban's loudest supporters claimed to be fighting for reduced pesticide use and more sustainable cropping methods. Commissioner Deb Gardner specifically cited researching carbon sequestration as a top priority of the transition. If on county land the currently approved GE crops could actually be making positive progress toward those goals, why was there such a strong desire to outlaw them? The open-space farmers themselves had always voiced near unanimous opposition to the ban. They explained that it would create economic instability and that it contradicted their generations-deep study of how to farm Boulder County sustainably. Many felt powerless in the debate.

Study of meat from home delivery services shows disturbing results

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on May 16, 2017

Researchers at Rutgers University and Tennessee State University who ordered and tested hundreds of meat, poultry, game and seafood items from home delivery systems such as meal kits found disturbing results relative to cold-chain integrity, packaging, labeling and pathogen loads on some of these food items. Of consumers interviewed, 95 percent believed these products to be safe. However, many of these food items arrived as unexpected gifts, increasing the likelihood the products might sit outside for eight hours or more before being opened and refrigerated. Only 5 percent of the deliveries the researchers received specifically require a signature upon delivery. Hallman said while delivery services such as Fedex, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service specifically disclaim responsibility for the integrity of perishable products, the vendors shipping through them also often disclaim responsibility if their products are delivered on the day they were promised.Further, he said only 42 percent of vendors surveyed provide any food safety information on their websites and, when they did, it was hard to find and often inaccurate.

Second-largest crop pushes many apple prices lower

Capital Press | Posted on May 16, 2017

It’s been a tough sales season for the Washington apple industry. Not as tough as 2014, when a record crop tanked prices, but still bad enough that it’s “not sustainable,” a leading marketer says.Red Delicious apples, selling below break-even, are still 29 percent of the 2016 crop and need to be more like 15 to 18 percent, says Tim Evans, general sales manager of Chelan Fresh Marketing.Reds and Gala make up more than 50 percent of the crop. Prices of both have fallen to less than profitable levels because it’s the second-largest crop in history.The crop was forecast in early August at 132.9 million, 40-pound boxes. The estimate peaked at 137.9 million boxes on Dec. 1 and now is back down to 132.8 million as of May 1. The number is adjusted from the start of packing in August through the year-long sales season, primarily for storage cullage.National fresh apple stocks were 16 percent larger on May 1 than they were a year ago, according to U.S. Apple Association.

Campylobacter now the leading germ for foodborne illness in America

Poultry Times | Posted on May 16, 2017

For the first time in 20 years, salmonella is not the leading cause of foodborne illness. Campylobacter is the new number one germ that gave Americans food poisoning in 2016, according to the CDC.

Eggs no longer linked to heart disease

Poultry Times | Posted on May 16, 2017

There’s yet another reason to enjoy eggs. Months after a study showed eggs reduce strokes, cardiologists in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered eggs, butter and other sources of saturated fat do not clog arteries. The new culprit is inflammation, more specifically, sugar which leads to inflammation. For people who have a sweet tooth, this is not good because sugar is not easy to recognize in some foods. Foods high in carbohydrates, such as white bread, may actually be full of sugar as the stomach turns certain types of carbohydrates into sugar. Inflammation can also be caused by Trans fats and Omega-6 fats, according to Lorie Johnson of CBN News. Trans fats or hydrogenated oils and also highly processed oils found in vegetable oils should be kept at a minimum.Omega-3 and Omega-6 should be consumed in equal amounts, according to Authority Nutrition, which is another reason to eat eggs as they are rich in omega-3. Americans prefer foods rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, but those types can create inflammation which can only be combatted with the other type of fatty acid.

Chinese dairy reportedly advances competing bid for U.S. organic yogurt giant Stonyfield

Market Watch | Posted on May 11, 2017

China’s largest dairy is in talks to buy America’s No. 1 organic yogurt company, Stonyfield Farm, the New York Post has learned. Yili Industrial Group Co. has bid around $850 million to buy the Danone-owned Stonyfield and is now considered a favorite in the auction, two sources close to the process told The Post.

Investors worth trillions are putting pressure on food companies to serve more fake meat

Business Insider | Posted on May 11, 2017

Seventy-one investors worth a combined $1.9 trillion are working together to put pressure on the world's largest food companies to "future-proof" their supply chains by bringing more meat alternatives to market. Founded in 2015, the FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return) initiative aims to make the food supply chain more sustainable by promoting plant-based foods, while also helping investors cash in on a lucrative new business. The substitute meat market is expected to climb 8.4% annually over the next three years, reaching $5.2 billion globally by 2020, according to Allied Market Research .