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Food News

Organic foodmaker fined $22,000 by ecology

Capital Press | Posted on November 30, 2016

A maker of organic granola bars and cereals in Blaine, Wash., has been fined $22,000 for water quality violations, mostly by releasing acidic wastewater into a city sewer system, the state Department of Ecology announced. Nature’s Path Foods, based in Richmond, British Columbia, violated its wastewater permit 39 times over a two-year period that ended in July, according to Ecology.  The company violated permit conditions for flow, dissolved oxygen levels and suspended solids, according to Ecology. The agency, however, singled out acidic wastewater as the primary problem.

Precut salad may encourage growth of Salmonella

Science Daily | Posted on November 23, 2016

Small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica, new research has found. Juices released from damaged leaves also enhance the pathogen’s ability to attach to the salad’s plastic container.

Hormel posts record Q4 results, sets ambitious 2020 margin goals

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on November 23, 2016

Hormel Foods Corp. today reported record net income in the fourth quarter and all of fiscal 2016 and told industry analysts that it is working on a goal to post overall annual margins of as much as 19 percent by 2020.

McDonald’s shareholders want stricter antibiotics policy

Watt Ag Net | Posted on November 21, 2016

The Congregation of Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, a McDonald’s shareholder, is wanting directors at McDonald’s to eliminate the use of antibiotics also used in human medicine in its global poultry supply chain. McDonald’s already has adopted that policy for the chicken served in its U.S. restaurants, with the company revealing on August 1 that it had achieved its goal of removing such antibiotics from its U.S. poultry supply chain.

If you thought you were paying fair prices for chicken at the supermarket, think again

The Washington Post | Posted on November 18, 2016

In the vast and complicated U.S. economy, it is rare for an individual to exert much control over the price of a major commodity. But then there is Arty G. Schronce and the price of chicken. As director of a bulletin from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Schronce makes a weekly calculation that gives supermarkets around the country the going rate for a pound of chicken. The price average from Schronce directly affects what big retailers such as Walmart and Safeway pay for chicken — it’s often built into supermarket purchasing contracts — and that price is then passed along to shoppers. It has, in other words, affected billions of dollars in purchases. But has it been accurate? Recently, this influential estimate has drawn questions about whether it artificially inflated U.S. chicken prices and elicited scrutiny from the U.S. Agriculture Department. Now it turns out that even Schronce has harbored serious doubts about its accuracy.   Over the past two years, the price estimate, known within the industry as the “Georgia Dock,” has drifted significantly upward from other chicken price averages, rising about 20 percent or more out of line with a separate but lesser known index maintained by the USDA. A deviation in supermarket chicken prices of that magnitude would have cost U.S. grocery shoppers billions of dollars in recent years.  Food price estimates such as the Georgia Dock affect the price of many perishable products — such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and livestock — because producers rely on them to set the terms of long-term contracts. Many of the price measures, used for decades, are products of long tradition.

Mislabelled seafood may lead to more sustainable consumption

Fish Information Services | Posted on November 17, 2016

Seafood mislabelling can actually lead consumers to eat more sustainably, concluded scientists from the University of Washington (UW) broadly examining the ecological and financial impacts of the issue. These scientists found that the substituted fish is often more plentiful and of a better conservation status than the fish on the label or in the restaurant menu. Official estimates have shown that up to 30 per cent of the seafood served in restaurants and sold in supermarkets is mislabelled due to fraud, human error or marketing ploys combined with an often multicountry traverse from boat to restaurant. “One of the motivations and hopes for this study is that we can help inform people who are trying to exert their consumer power to shift seafood markets toward carrying more sustainable options,” said co-author Christine Stawitz, a UW doctoral student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program.

Children who drink full fat milk are skinnier

Dailymail | Posted on November 17, 2016

hildren who drink full fat milk are slimmer than those who drank semi-skimmed milk. Researchers think that the blue cap milk left kids feeling more full so were less likely to snack on unhealthy foods. The researchers also found that the children had higher levels of Vitamin D – the 'sunshine vitamin.' Because vitamin D is soluble in fat rather than water, the higher fat content in full milk means it carries more of the vitamin.


Does 'cage-free' mean a better life for chickens?

CNN | Posted on November 17, 2016

It's not a clear choice which of the possible living conditions for egg-laying hens -- enriched cages, cage-free systems, free-range setups -- serve them the best. The philosophical question of whether animals deserve any kind of moral consideration has been debated at least since the ancient Greeks. Cage-free and free-range systems clearly do a better job of allowing hens to express behaviorsthat are similar to those of wild jungle fowl. They can move around, and they have better opportunities for scratching, dust bathing and foraging. However, in comparison to enriched cages, hens in cage-free and free-range facilities suffer injuries simply because they move around more. Access to the outdoors often means that predators also have access to hens, and some are inevitably taken by hawks, foxes or the like.

Oregon has large backlog of food safety inspections, audit finds

Oregon Live | Posted on November 17, 2016

Nearly a quarter of the food businesses in Oregon from groceries to dairies are overdue for safety inspections, according to an audit from the Secretary of State's office.The 2,841 companies are at least three months' past due, the audit said.

High-protein diet link to heart failure in older women studied

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on November 17, 2016

Women over the age of 50 who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk for heart failure, especially if much of their protein comes from meat, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016.