Weekly Roundup: March 1st

Woah! It’s Friday already! Although the days at work seem really long, it feels like the week has really flown by. It seems like a lot has been going on in the news in terms of food and the like. This gave me (what I thought was) a great idea– compiling a short list of the most interesting food-related news blurbs I’ve found in the past week. Hopefully I’ll be able to make this a regular Friday post!

OxfamOn Monday, Oxfam released a report and put a new campaign, Behind the Brands, into full swing. The report asseses the social and environmental policies of the ten largest food brands in the world. Mostly, Oxfam wants to point out that the companies are neglecting the people in their supply chain that allow them to make their products and turn a profit. For example, preventing discrimination against women, paying a fair price to workers and farmers, and reducing emission and environmental impact are all on the list of Oxfam’s grievances. If you’re interested in reading a little more about this, check out the report and the Behind the Brands or Marion Nestle’s blog post about it.

Salt Sugar FatSalt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss was released on Tuesday of this week. I wrote a post earlier about the article the New York Times Magazine ran last week regarding his new book. I bought my copy when it came out and I have absolutely loved reading it. He explores the use of these three ingredients in processed foods and how the processed foods business is responding to the obesity epidemic that we now face. The most shocking part of the book I’ve found so far is the food giant’s use the Monell Chemical Senses Center, an independent research center funded in part by taxpayer’s money, to aid in product development in ways that will get us hooked on their food (such as finding the ‘bliss point’ of sweetness in sugary drinks and snacks). I’m sure as the book unfolds, even more surprising points will be touched upon. I totally recommend reading this one!

Pandora's LunchboxWhat’s more disgusting than liquid chicken? Chicken that’s a few months old and appears (and tastes!) as fresh as the day it was processed. Melanie Warner’s new book, Pandora’s Lunchbox was also released this week. There was a great article in the Huffington Post about her new release and how processed foods stay good for months without decaying… totally gross.

King Arthur FlourAt the beginning of the week, I received an e-mail from King Arthur Flour warning me of a voluntary recall of their flour (unbleached bread flour and all-purpose). This one isn’t so much news as it was surprising (we bake a lot and always buy KAF). Apparently, small polyurethane balls were accidentally packaged with the flour during the final step in the milling process. I think I’m going to start checking the FDA recall website more frequently just to make sure I’m not missing anything. I have an unopened bag of bread flour sitting on my shelf that I hope to find little blue balls in…

Last but not least, the Mediterranean Diet was found to reduce the instance of heart disease. The diet includes eating lots of olive oil, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. Things to avoid would be red meats, processed foods, sugary foods, and dairy products. Lucky for me I’ve been chowing down on lots of nuts lately and started sprouting my own seeds and beans again. Unluckily for me, my favorite food is cheese. Also, I love that Rachel Johnson was interviewed/quoted for this New York Times article. She was the dean of the University of Vermont’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences… my alma mater!

(Image credit: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108101621.htm)

Happy Friday! šŸ™‚

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