Food Links March 7th 2008

From Greg Laden: Are you a locavore?

From Cognitive Daily: Can anyone learn to taste wine?

Over at Scienceblog: Nutrition Scientists say Don’t Chew Asbestos and Your Brain on Krispy Kremes

Finally visit Life Begins at 30 for some great photos of Southern California’s Spring harvest. Sigh, I have two months before my asparagus is ready.

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Food Fables

I have already mentioned the recent food recall for bagged salad; and here is some other food news for this week.

Drink tap water. An older link reiterating an old argument. Not only is tap water better regulated but you do not have the problem of plastic bottle disposal and the issue of transportation costs. I have a filter on my kitchen faucet and fill bottles with filtered tap water as my home town has to have the worst tasting water I have ever tasted. Yes, worse even than London.

Eat local. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable and Miracle. I do have some quibbles about her mildly anti-technology comments but I am finding it fascinating. This means the I am more in tune for stories on eating locally than I used to be. The only things I have bought recently that wasn’t local was orange juice and chocolate. I bought a packet of Herrs Chips but they are within 100 miles of my home so…

Regulate food advertising to kids. This is being implemented by self-regulatory body, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, and applies to radio ads in the UK. This follows on from previous restrictions on TV ads that came into effect in July.

UK food prices are not rising. After the article by John Vidal that I mentioned last time, I was interested to see that Forbes is claiming that food prices are not soaring. But New Zealanders are feeling the pinch. Is it just this month’s story?

Food Fables

This really is a mishmash of links I’ve been saving up most of the summer. I am sure that there are others just as important, but I didn’t think of saving them.

Michael Pollan’s new book?

diacetyl flavor in popcorn is a health risk

To help reduce global warming,? Janet tries to do the math to find out if it is better to give up driving or become vegetarian. I must return to being a cycling vegetarian. I haven’t ridden my bike properly since before my surgery – nearly two years ago. I felt well enough this summer, but it got too hot.

Organic farming – that old argument about it using up all the land to feed all the people.

Chocolate helps with addition reported by Grrl Scientist

I said the bioethanol would affect food prices and here is John Vidal, of the Guardian, proving that I were right. It was just published in the Guardian Weekly.

Food and Science Fables

Women see color differently to men

Fructose intake and plasma triglyceride level and a link from the comments from the article

I like to shout my mouth off. Unfortunately, the food industry does its best to make me feel stupid. I told a friend this weekend that you would not get botulism from commercially canned meat. Less than 24 h later: FDA warns food recall is urgent. Sigh! The company involved has a list of food products that it has “voluntarily” recalled.

Another problem is whether people get to hear about food recalls including stores as well as consumers. What’s lurking in your pantry?

I read a summary of this article in New Scientist, but Island of Doubt saves me having to review it. Now I have another way to gloat about being vegetarian – it is environmentally friendlier.

I’m off to the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting in Chicago. Come and visit me at the poster sessions on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

Friday Food Fables

Zuska mouthwateringly talks about California cheese.  One of my favorite foods.  If only it was as good on the East coast.

China’s FDA says that it must improve it food and drug production

NPR did a news segment about how safe is the American food supply

Is obesity caused by lack of willpower or a food addition?

There are new regulations for the production of dietary supplements. This is a good thing but does not ensure their safety.

Mercury levels in fish are a serious problem. Deep Sea News discusses the implications for sushi

Chad discusses nuking food

Some out of date links that have been sitting around in a draft post for ages.

Revere, Effect Measure, has an interesting post about benzene in soda as the Coca Cola Company come to a legal settlement concerning Fanta Pineapple and Vault Zero Products.

Jake, Pure Pedantry, on whether low carb diets increase mortality.

Food Fables

Molecule of the Day informs us about inulin. I remember being told that during World War 1, jerusalem artichokes were grown to feed the military and had a less desirable effect without providing any calories. Oops. Pity the poor soldiers in the trenches.

Carbon-based curiosities shares a study from Leeds University (my PhD alma mater) which describes the perfect bacon butty as an equation. Additional reporting by the BBC as the original NYT is Times Select (mutter, mutter).

Science To Life reports on a new method to test if food is organically grown.

Cognitive Daily discusses research on whether smaller portion sizes really helps dieters.

Friday Sprog blogging on Adventures in Ethics and Science revisits the five second rule.

The Sceptical Chymist blogs on the trial of McNeil – can Splenda’s advertising include the phrase: “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar”? Merisant, producers of Equal and Nutrasweet do not like it!

Food Network’s first ever awards ceremony

FDA take Hi-Tech to court. What did not they do to their products?

…blown up to include accusations not only of using ephedra after the ban, but also: planning to assassinate an FDA agent and blackmail an assistant U.S. attorney; spiking “dietary supplements” with pharmaceuticals; importing illegal steroids; making fake Ecstasy tablets sold on U.S. streets; and making a muscle-building drink later marketed as a cleaning solution to avoid federal investigators. These allegations are a part of the current indictment facing Hi-Tech and 11 executives and an alleged illegal Internet pharmacy operated out of Belize.

Food Fables

Beer Uses Link

Sugar substitutes and aspartame controversy

Root beer only safe soda to drink (also heard on NPR)

Meat enriched with heavy isotopes

Healthier pizza

Burger King says no to caged animals (NYT link)

Razib, of Gene Expression, is taste testing different hot sauces. Reviewed so far is Dave’s Insanity Sauce and Ass in Space

If organic food is so good for us, why don’t we all eat it?

Retinal and vision

Antioxidants: TBHQ good or bad?

Testing beef for mad cow disease – USDA

Playing with your food: Sodium alginate pearls

What makes red meat red?

Does light really mean lighter?  A two part series.