"As a chemist, I can tell you that no chemical is 100 percent safe all the time, under all conditions. Even I occasionally do a double take when I hear about the ingredients in some of our foods. But our fear of chemicals – what is often called chemophobia – needs to be tempered. [more inside]
Despite the cries of "Save the Mimolette!", the FDA has decided to ban the sale of the French cheese Mimolette over mites used in the rind. [more inside]
"Don't forget to take your vitamins!" Or not. Some say it could kill you. Will there ever be any definitive answers when it comes to nutrition?
The history of baseball stadium nachos.
What's inside your filet minion could kill you. -- Well, it probably won't, but would you order that $15 steak if you knew it was restructured out of glued-together stew meat?
Ammonia-injected centerfuged fatty trimmings = pink slime + E. Coli. Eight years ago, federal officials were struggling to remove potentially deadly E. coli from hamburgers when an entrepreneurial company from South Dakota came up with a novel idea: injecting beef with ammonia.
Foodies, gourmands, and gluttons! Courtesy of those muckrakers at the New York Times, consider this recent op-ed piece. For those still pissed about the Times cheerleading us into Iraq, skip it and just dig this handbook from your federal watchdogs to determine just how much rat shit may have been in those beanie-weenies you enjoyed cold from the can last night at 1:34a.m. Handy alphabetization makes finding your favorite processed foods easy as pie.
Our Decrepit Food Factories. Michael Pollan on what sustainability is really about. [Via Gristmill.]
In January 2006, small amounts of genetically engineered rice turned up in a shipment that was tested ... by a French customer of Riceland Foods, a big rice mill based in Stuttgart, Ark. Testing revealed that the genetically modified rice contained a strain of Liberty Link that had not been approved for human consumption. What's more, trace amounts of the Liberty Link had mysteriously made their way into the commercial rice supply in all five of the Southern states where long-grain rice is grown. Aventis Crop Science had contracted with a handful of farmers to grow the rice, which was known as Liberty Link because its genes had been altered to resist a weed killer called Liberty, also made by Aventis. Then, the French pharmaceutical giant that owned Aventis Crop Science decided to sell the U.S. biotech unit and abandon the very emotional business of reengineering the foods we eat. "We didn't want to take any chances," says a former Aventis executive. "We burned and buried enough rice to feed 20 million people." Last November, the USDA retroactively approved the Liberty Link rice for human consumption.
Melamine found in almost half of all Chinese food imports now on the banned list. The Food and Drug Administration is enforcing a new import alert that greatly expands its curtailment of some food ingredients imported from China, authorizing border inspectors to detain ingredients used in everything from noodles to breakfast bars. The FDA has also announced that melamine laced products have found their way into the human consumption cycle via poultry and pork. Interesting to note that the budget for FDA inspections is at it's lowest level ever, and that only 1% of all imports actually get inspected.
"A single test can now reveal the presence of meat from any of 32 different species in food samples, enabling a wide range of important questions to be answered. These include whether chicken has been bulked up with beef or pork extracts; whether expensive albacore tuna is really cheap skipjack tuna; whether rats, mice or even bits of people fell into the mincer when your burger was being made..."
How much trans fat is in that Devil Dog? The FDA has announced that starting in 2006 food manufacturers must list the number of grams of trans fatty acid -- very bad fat -- on food packages. This is supposed to be a big deal, meant to save lives and billions of bucks. Not so fast. I say, it is a useless addition to the already confusing line-up of numbers on the nutrition panel. Besides, the presence of trans fats is already revealed in ingredients lists on food boxes and wrappers -- look for hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. But the stuff flies off shelves anyway. I say, if the FDA really wants to tell people how bad these foods are, they should come right out with it. It's time for warning labels on junk food. THIS PRODUCT CAUSES OBESITY. THIS PRODUCT WILL CLOG YOUR ARTERIES. THIS PRODUCT MAY LEAD TO HEART DISEASE AND DEATH.
FDA now officially useless? Well, it's looking that way.. They are now about to allow unverified health claims on food labels. They say this is a good thing. I wonder... What function does the FDA have now if it's not to protect the consumer from wild and potentially false claims on their food products?