As some schools districts whore themselves out to corporate sponsors in a desperate attempt to raise funds (hey, we sympathize with them, but it’s still whoring), others are enforcing a zero-tolerance policy against unwelcome intrusions. In New Haven, Connecticut, the school district banned candy sales in 2003 “as part of a districtwide school wellness policy,” and when an 8th grade honors student was caught buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate two weeks ago, he was stripped of his title as class Vice President and suspended for a day.
We took a look at the big three burger joints—McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King to locate the most butt-blimping, ass-widening, delicious-but-probably-not-worth-it fast food burgers we could find from a top national chain.
The FDA’s announcement today that cloned beef and dairy is safe was met with criticism by several consumer groups, which isn’t surprising, and the US Department of Agriculture, which is—they say that food producers should continue to honor a “voluntary moratorium” for the indefinite future…
A new article published today in Clinical Cancer Research says that two men “developed aggressive and incurable prostate cancer within months of taking the same supplement.” The doctors examined the supplement and discovered it contained testosterone and estradiol, and “when they tested it on tumor cells in the lab, they found it fueled the growth of prostate cancer cells more potently than testosterone alone.” Either don’t take herbal/hormonal dietary supplements, they urge, or make sure you fully disclose to your doctor what you’re taking.
I ordered the Zesty Chicken Border Bowl Fresco style without dressing. On the menu at the store, it reads under 9 grams of fat but on online, it reads 13 grams of fat. Please compare your special nutrition page for Fresco menu items to the Nutrition Calculator on the Taco Bell site. I made sure that I chose “Fresco Style” on the calculator and to be advertising something as under 9 grams of fat, but really having 13 is very misleading and wrong.
Target’s in-house brand, Archer Farms, is going trans-fat free this year, announced the company today. The private label has over 2,000 products and “will be the first national store brand to eliminate added trans fats from its entire product line.”
Here’s some news you can use, especially if you work in an office and really can’t run to the bathroom every fifteen minutes without someone noticing. “Many sugar-free chewing gums contain a sweetener called sorbitol. Sorbitol is a laxative which is poorly absorbed by the small intestine.” Normally, this doesn’t matter, but if you’re one of those crazy people who takes something wayyy too far, and you tend to chew over a pack a day, you might want to switch to a different gum brand.
Snickers and Cokes would be a thing of the past at school cafeterias and vending machines if the Senate approves an ambitious amendment from Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Murkowsky (R-AK). The amendment to the Farm Bill would establish strict federal guidelines limiting the sale of deliciously unhealthy treats brimming with sugar, salt, and fat.
The nutrition standards would allow only plain bottled water and eight-ounce servings of fruit juice or plain or flavored low-fat milk with up to 170 calories to be sold in elementary and middle schools. High school students could also buy diet soda or, in places like school gyms, sports drinks. Other drinks with as many as 66 calories per eight ounces could be sold in high schools, but that threshold would drop to 25 calories per eight-ounce serving in five years.
The always feisty Center For Science In The Public Interest has released a school lunch report card and while no state received an “A”, only Kentucky and Oregon are close to the CSPI’s standards. Oregon went from an F to an A-, but it wasn’t easy:
The Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), a supplemental, easy-to-read nutrition labeling system, will be introduced on a voluntary basis next year by participating Wegmans, IGA, Hy-Vee, and Food City grocers. ONQI was developed by a bunch of nutrition and health experts and assigns products a value from 1 to 100 by scoring a number of good and bad qualities of the food. Shoppers can then compare similar products easily to see which one is more nutritionally sound.
People who have high blood pressure might want to avoid energy drinks, because a new study suggests that they might interfere directly with blood pressure or hamper the effectiveness of medications. The drinks, which have high levels of caffeine and taurine (“an amino acid found in protein-rich foods like meat and fish that can affect heart function and blood pressure”), raise blood pressure and heart rates in healthy individuals, but not to dangerous levels. However, for people who have cardiovascular disease or are taking heart rate or blood pressure medication, the increase could be “significant.”
Consumer Reports asked an expert’s opinion on probiotic supplements and live culture yogurt products geared especially toward kids. There’s preliminary evidence out there that says it can help relieve infants and toddlers suffering from diarrhea caused by antibiotics or gastrointestinal illnesses. But there’s also a chance the bacteria can cause illness in infants or those with weakened immune systems.
Americans should have more poop in their diets, writes a doctor at Slate. Like superbugs and anti-bacterial products, we’ve become too successful at cleansing our food supply of all manner of contaminants—so that kids, for example, “have zero experience with routine gut infections, and when they encounter one that has slipped past our pipes and filters, the result can be catastrophic.”
You can add another item to your special “unsafe food” list for October: chicken and turkey pot pies, including the Banquet brand and generic store brands that have “P-9″ stamped on the side, which may contain salmonella. Several cases of salmonella poisoning have now been reported in various states, and ConAgra and the USDA are asking consumers not to eat the product while they investigate.