February 16, 2009

'Most of What We Eat Is not Real Food'


Legendary California chef Alice Waters, who is a jury member at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, talks to SPIEGEL ONLINE about why we need to change the way we eat, Obama's support for the food movement and how to forage in Switzerland in the winter.

The "eat local" movement has become a force to be reckoned with in the United States in recent years, going from the fringes to the mainstream as more and more people become interested in eating better and minimizing their carbon footprint. The kind of locally grown, sustainable organic food that was once a California phenomenon can now be found at stores and farmers markets across the country.

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February 14, 2009

The Maggots in Your Mushrooms


Published: February 12, 2009

THE Georgia peanut company at the center of one of our nation’s worst food-contamination scares has officially reached a revolting new low: a recent inspection by the Food and Drug Administration discovered that the salmonella-tainted plant was also home to mold and roaches.

You may be grossed out, but insects and mold in our food are not new. The F.D.A. actually condones a certain percentage of “natural contaminants” in our food supply — meaning, among other things, bugs, mold, rodent hairs and maggots.

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November 11, 2008

American fast food is almost entirely made of corn


November 10, 2008

Study also shows that fast food restaurants are misleading consumers about the oils they use to cook their food products.

American fast food is almost entirely produced from corn according to a chemical analysis of dishes served at McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using a stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen to determine the origin of molecules present in hamburgers, chicken, and fries, Hope Jahren and Rebecca Kraft found corn to be the almost exclusive food source of the beef and chicken served in fast food restaurants. The researchers also uncovered evidence to suggest that fast food restaurants are misleading consumers as to the oils used in preparing french fries and that animals slaughtered for production are kept in confined quarters, rather than outdoors.

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September 18, 2006

Update on Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7


CDC.gov-As of 1 PM (ET) September 17, 2006, Sunday, 109 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported to CDC from 19 states.

Among the ill persons, 55 (50%) were hospitalized, 16 (15%) developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and an adult in Wisconsin died. Eighty-one (74%) were female and 6 (6%) were children under 5 years old.

Dates of illness onset ranged from August 2 to September 9, 2006. The states that have reported cases are California (1 case), Connecticut (2), Idaho (4), Indiana (8), Kentucky (4), Maine (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (1), New Mexico (5), Nevada (1), New York (7), Ohio (10), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (3), Utah (14), Virginia (1), Washington (2), Wisconsin (32), and Wyoming (1).

The following is advice for consumers about this outbreak:

Currently, the FDA has advised to not eat any fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach that are consumed raw.
E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. (Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.) If spinach is cooked in a frying pan, and all parts do not reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, all bacteria may not be killed. If consumers choose to cook the spinach, they should avoid cross-contamination of the fresh spinach with other foods and food contact surfaces, and wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.
Persons who develop diarrhea after consuming fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach are urged to contact their health care provider and ask that their stool specimen be tested for E. coli O157.
Persons who ate fresh spinach or salad blends and feel well do not need to see a health-care provider.
For more information about the outbreak, about the investigation, and for prevention guidance, see E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak from Fresh Spinach.

January 26, 2006

EPA Calls for End to Releases of Chemical in Teflon Process

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The voluntary effort is expected to eliminate public exposure to the widely used industrial compound.

By Marla Cone, LA Times Staff Writer

In a rare move to phase out a widely used industrial compound, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it was asking all U.S. companies to virtually eliminate public exposure to a toxic chemical used to make Teflon cookware and thousands of other products.

Although the effort is voluntary, the federal government has rarely taken such a sweeping, accelerated action against an industrial compound. The eight major companies that use it to make an array of nonstick and stain-resistant products are expected to comply, cutting releases from their plants and products by 95% over the next four years and completely soon after that.

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