Search this blog
- First post-grad selfie. Someone's ready for a drink... instagram.com/p/ZjFgwHm0Mf/ 6 hours ago
- Remember that time we got our MS in Clinical Nutrition? Congrats fellow grads! #steinhardt2013 6 hours ago
- Burnin' for Learnin' wp.me/pQhIQ-2qF 11 hours ago
- Last weekend as a grad student! wp.me/pQhIQ-2qz 1 day ago
- Bring Your Own Protein wp.me/pQhIQ-2qv 3 days ago
Burnin’ for Le… on Last weekend as a grad st… Jess on Last weekend as a grad st… Sadie on Last weekend as a grad st… Jess on Presentation Day Jess on Bring Your Own Protein
Tag Archives: FDA
So yeah, this hurricane thing is happening for real. Want to know what to do if the power goes out? When it goes back on? If foods gets wet? Check the FDA’s Food Safety & Other Tips for Hurricane Preparedness.
Be safe, kiddos!
In a study by the Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI)136 meat samples from 26 grocery stores in Illinois, Florida, California, Arizona and Washington D.C. were examined and analyzed for bacteria.
Much of the meat was found to be contaminated with high levels of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which causes hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year, from skin infections to respiratory infections like pneumonia.
In 96 percent of the infected samples, the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, and 52 percent were resistant to three or more types. That’s really scary.
A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said that the agency was aware of the study findings and results of similar studies, and was working with the U.S. Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the causes and effects.
Um, how about a messed up factory farming system? What about weak enforcement of food safety regulations ? Just a few thoughts…
While proper cooking and handling of meat can help prevent illness, it’s still a risk consumers need to be aware of. Aside from being conscious of killing bacteria in the meat itself, it’s also important to take measures to avoid contaminating the rest of the kitchen.
For those considering making the transition towards a plant-based diet, this and similar study findings can offer a little motivation for making your burgers out of lentils instead of ground beef or roasting some veggies instead of a chicken. While vegetarian foods are not immune, the chances of infection are significantly lower. You also miss out on all the antibiotics and chemicals in commercial meat.
Not willing to jump on the Meatless Monday bandwagon? Buy meat directly from a farmer who does not use antibiotics or hormones in their animals.
You can read more here.
Finally! On Friday, April 1, the FDA announced (if a week late) its proposed rules for calorie labeling in restaurants and vending machines. The restaurant rules apply to restaurants and fast-food establishments, bakeries, groceries, convenience stores, and coffee shops that are part of chains with more than 20 locations nationwide. For vending machines, the number 20 also applies.
One kind of odd and frustrating aspect of this proposal is that the rules do not apply to “movie theaters, airplanes, bowling alleys, and other establishments whose primary purpose is not to sell food”. Um, yeah—ridiculous. Where in the United States can you not buy food these days? The post office, perhaps? I’m having a legitimately hard time thinking of places!
For more information on these proposed rules and how you can submit a comment to the FDA, visit them online so you can tell them what you think of these proposed rules.
The FDA’s Food Advisory Committee voted 3 to 11 today that there is not enough evidence to support a link between artificial food coloring and hyperactivity in children. While it is recommended that the issue be studied further, the committee voted 8 to 6 that products containing dyes do not need warning labels on the packages. You can visit the FDA for more background info and read more about today’s vote here.
Personally, I think the less artificial crap we pump into kids the better. While I can be okay with saying that there is not (yet) any conclusive evidence to show that these dyes cause hyperactivity, I think there should be clear labeling to make it as easy as possible for parents to avoid dye-containing products if they choose to.
Fortunately, it can be very simple to add colorful foods to your diet. Fruits and vegetables are some of the most vibrant ways to “eat the rainbow,” as they say. You can also make your own food dyes at home using things like beets, turmeric, spinach, purple cabbage, and berries—no creepy chemicals needed.
Here’s a link to directions on how to make food colorings that are free of corn, gluten, and toxins. If anyone has any other suggestions for making your own food coloring, I’d love to hear about it—and to see pictures!
This is what I like to call A Big F*cking Deal. This morning, the U.S. Senate passed a major overhaul of the country’s food safety system. And it only took a bunch of major recalls and deadly outbreaks to make it happen. This bill would give the FDA more power to crack down on unsafe food products before they sicken people.
Though the bill could still wither and die due to lame-duck-session lack of time, it’s still encouraging. The new measures would enable the FDA to to recall tainted foods, increase inspections, demand accountability from food companies and oversee farming.
You can read more here.
Hey guys, sorry about yesterday’s post on the new FDA labeling—apparently, the doctor giving the speech about the new nutrition labels was misquoted.
Unfortunately, it looks like there may not yet be a clear definition of “natural” coming our way, a warning about caffeine won’t be included (good news to me, honestly, as that one seemed a little weird), and percent of key ingredients won’t be included in parenthesis.
We’ll also have to wait to find out whether anything will happen with the labeling of added sugars. I really hope they get their act together on that one, as I think added sweeteners (aka empty calories) are one of our country’s biggest dietary downfalls. We will see…
In the meantime, I took down yesterday’s post to avoid any confusion, since the last thing I want to do is add to the misinformation out there on the internet.
The Washington Post and the New York Times both reported that the FDA, in an effort to reduce sodium intake, is about to launch an initiative that will place limits on the amount of salt food manufacturers will be allowed to use in their products.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has been trying to get the FDA to regulate salt in processed foods since 1978—32 years! Its report, Shaving Salt, Saving Lives, which I found through Marion Nestle’s blog, Food Politics, shows how public health could benefit from such an initiative.
One of the biggest reasons I feel the FDA should limit the amount of salt in our foods, aside from the fact that excessive sodium intake has been linked to hypertension, which can cause heart disease, heart failure and stroke (among other things), is that Americans have become accustomed to hyper-salty tastes. You eat enough processed foods, you start to forget what “normal” tastes like. As we become conditioned to a certain degree of saltiness, we seek out more potent sources to satisfy that expectation.
Most of the sodium in our diet comes from salt added by manufacturers to pre-packaged foods, so regulating the amount of salt in those products could make a big difference for a lot of people who regularly consume them.
Consider this: a canned soup must contain 480 mg of sodium to carry a “healthy” label, but if you eat the whole can, you’re taking in around 960 mg. Couple that with, say, an organic frozen dinner that contains 590 (a pretty low amount for frozen foods) mg per serving: that’s a total of 1,550 mg. And oh yeah, the Egg McMuffin you had for breakfast has 840 mg. Right there, without taking into account everything else you eat over the course of the day, that’s 2,390 mg of sodium. It’s recommended that most people take in less than 2,300 mg per day.
If the FDA were to take action as they’re being urged to, the change would occur gradually to give people’s palates time to adjust to the reduced levels of sodium. Also, there would be different limits set for different food categories.
While sodium is an important nutrient that people need to regulate their extracellular fluid volume, many Americans are consuming multiple times what they actually require thanks to excessive amounts of salt in the food they buy. Regulating the amount manufacturers are allowed to pump into their food could really give the consumer a little more control over their health.
In recent food-recall news, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a flavoring agent used in foods ranging from soups to hot dogs, is being recalled after a batch produced by Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas tested positive for Salmonella.
Though the risk of infection is considered low (cooking is supposedly affective enough to kill the contaminants in this case), Salmonella can still cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Better safe than sorry. The recall includes products manufactured since September 17, 2009.
For some more info, here’s an article that was in today’s Times.
On Friday, the group that runs the Smart Choices labeling program announced that it will be holding off on recruiting new products as well as refrain from promoting the use of their logo while the FDA continues with its examination of the front-of-package labeling issues.
Many nutrition experts are relieved that Smart Choices, which promotes food like “better than a donut” Froot Loops as a “smart” breakfast choice with a little green check-mark on the box, is being put on hold.
You can read more about Smart Choices on Marion Nestle’s blog, Food Politics.
The New York Times ran an interesting editorial today about the proposed Food Safety Enhancement Act.
While the FDA is in charge of protecting our country’s supply, it is currently only allowed to try to convince a food manufacturing facility to voluntarily recall products after people have become ill.
The proposed legislation would help give the FDA more power and responsibility to prevent outbreaks like the Salmonella typhimurium outbreak in peanut butter and peanut-containing products in 2009.