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Food News

Survey: Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Oppose Cuts to SNAP Program

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Posted on July 31, 2018

A majority of registered voters oppose recent efforts to scale back Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits and believe the government should be doing more to meet the needs of people facing food insecurity and other challenges. The survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from June 5 to June 12, explores voter attitudes on several key farm bill issues, including conservation programs designed to protect U.S. land, water and food supply. The farm bill, when passed, will replace the Farm Act of 2014, which expires this year. In addition to support for SNAP, a majority of survey respondents would like to see increased environmental regulations for the agricultural industry. The nationwide survey conducted by phone included 1,005 registered voters.Among survey respondents, almost two-thirds (61 percent) said that they were opposed to reducing funding for SNAP, more commonly known as Food Stamps. Among those opposed, over 73 percent said that they were “strongly opposed” to cuts. Registered voters are more divided on whether to cap the number of SNAP recipients in a single household.The survey also found that 85 percent of respondents support increased opportunities for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers to participate in government support programs, and 57 percent support increased funding for small- and mid-sized farms.


In America, lactose-free milk is growing twice as fast as plant milks

Dairy Industries | Posted on July 26, 2018

Powered by lactose-free innovation, dairy is challenging the dominance of plant milks, with US sales of lactose-free milk set to catch up with – and perhaps even overtake – almond milk.


Agencies warn against raw pet food

Meat + Poultry | Posted on July 26, 2018

An outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections that so far has sickened 90 people included two individuals living in a household where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets. Both the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning pet owners against feeding their pets raw food. The outbreak strain was identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys, according to the CDC. “CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets,” the agency said in advice to consumers. “Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.”


Detroit Shows How Cuts to SNAP Affect an Entire Community

Civil eats | Posted on July 25, 2018

On the east side of Detroit, 42-year-old Roquesha O’Neal is one potential target of cuts to SNAP. She relies on the program to take care of herself and her disabled, teenage son. She receives a monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check worth $750 for her son and makes an additional $150 a month babysitting and doing odd jobs for neighbors. After rent and utilities, her family is left with about $500 a month to live on. Even with SNAP, putting food on the table can still feel like a full-time job: SNAP recipients only receive on average $1.40 a meal. O’Neal gets even less than this, feeding herself and her son on $205 a month or roughly $1.13 per meal, per person. And this doesn’t include her daughter’s son, for whom she provides free childcare and also has to feed.O’Neal has had to be resourceful, visiting the local soup kitchen run by Capuchin Friars and “bargain shopping” with neighbors, making bulk purchases of staples like bread and rice to share. Luckily, O’Neal has a branch of the Aldi grocery store chain nearby, but she has to take public transportation or carpool with neighbors to get to the soup kitchen because she doesn’t have a car. She says that bus fare is her largest monthly expense.


As processor shutdown looms, nonprofit funds another month of SNAP at farmers markets

The Fern | Posted on July 25, 2018

A national farmers market advocacy group has stepped in to fund the processor’s operations for another month. The emergency funds will give markets across the country a few more weeks to figure out how to process SNAP once the Novo Dia Group ceases operations. The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) will provide 30 additional days of funding to Novo Dia, while advocates and farmers try to figure out a permanent solution to replace the processors’ services. The additional funding will allow 1,700 farmers markets across the country to continue processing SNAP through the end of August.


Dogs Dining on Patios Are Illegal Interlopers No More

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on July 25, 2018

o the delight of dog lovers, cities and states have begun passing laws to allow dogs to join patrons on restaurant and bar patios. Many diners have simply asked, “Wait, that was illegal?”Sure, the United States doesn’t have the rich history of outdoor dining of say, Paris, where pooches are almost as common as croissants at outdoor cafes. But when the weather is pleasant, it’s fairly common to see people settling in for an outdoor beer with their dog at their feet. And as U.S. culture shifts to become more pet-friendly, the numbers suggest it will only become more common.Pets are increasingly an important part of many people’s lives. U.S. spending on pets has risen from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $72 billion in 2018. The number of craft breweries also has skyrocketed since 2010, expanding the number of spots with a dog-friendly atmosphere.But in many places, health codes simply don’t allow dogs other than service animals to be present at restaurants and bars. Just nine states have laws that allow canine companionship in such places. Many proprietors across the country have been allowing dogs anyway, with owners at worst ignoring the law and at best believing they were operating in a gray area.


The Vindication of Cheese, Butter, and Full-Fat Milk

The Atlantic | Posted on July 25, 2018

A new study this week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is relevant to an ongoing vindication process for saturated fats, which turned many people away from dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, and butter in the 1980s and ’90s. An analysis of 2,907 adults found that people with higher and lower levels of dairy fats in their blood had the same rate of death during a 22-year period. The implication is that it didn’t matter if people drank whole or skim or 2-percent milk, ate butter versus margarine, etc. The researchers concluded that dairy-fat consumption later in life “does not significantly influence total mortality.”“I think the big news here is that even though there is this conventional wisdom that whole-fat dairy is bad for heart disease, we didn’t find that,” says Marcia de Oliveira Otto, the lead researcher of the study and an assistant professor of epidemiology, human genetics, and environmental science at the University of Texas School of Public Health. “And it’s not only us. A number of recent studies have found the same thing.”


Article examines former USDA inspector’s health complaints in depth

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on July 25, 2018

A story published recently by The Intercept, a news organization focused on investigative journalism, casts a spotlight on complaints raised by a former USDA inspector who believes she became sick from working around chemicals at a poultry plant. The article focuses on Jessica Robertson, who worked as an inspector in the Norbest turkey facility in Moroni, Utah, from 2002 until earlier this year. She describes symptoms including shortness of breath, a burning throat, coughing fits and bloody noses that she believes were caused by prolonged exposure to chemicals, including peracetic acid, used at the plant to remove bacteria from poultry carcasses. At one point Robertson was rushed to a hospital emergency room after she felt her chest constrict while on the job.


These foods linked to ongoing outbreaks might make you sick

Arizona Central | Posted on July 25, 2018

US health officials are warning people to avoid certain foods due to ongoing unrelated outbreaks of intestinal infections caused by bacteria, viruses and even parasites lurking in some of our food. Hy-Vee, a Midwestern grocery store chain, has recalled a pasta salad that might be linked to at least 20 people getting sick from salmonella.  Salmonella is the culprit in 90 illnesses linked to raw turkey products. Cut watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe as well as fruit salads containing these melons have been recalled in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  Federal health officials want you to toss out all boxes of Kellogg's Honey Smacks. The warning is due to an outbreak of salmonella that has left 100 people sick in 33 states.  Flowers Foods announced a recall of Swiss rolls because they may be contaminated with salmonella.  Mondelez Global LLC announced a voluntary recall of certain Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and other Ritz Bits products because they contain whey powder that has been recalled for possible salmonella contamination. As a precaution, McDonald's has stopped selling salads in 3,000 locations in 14 states to try to contain an outbreak of cyclospora illness. The FDA is investigating at least 237 cases of cyclospora illnesses linked to recalled Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays. The trays contained broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip, and they were sold in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Avoid eating fresh crab meat from Venezuela. That's the advice from the FDA due to an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.


Salmonella outbreak in 26 states tied to raw turkey

CNN | Posted on July 25, 2018

An outbreak of salmonella linked to raw turkey products has sickened at least 90 people across 26 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.Among them, 40 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.Illnesses have been reported in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the CDC.


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