Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Take the October Unprocessed (Food) Challenge – Popular food blogger Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules! hosts a challenge for his readers each October: Can they eschew processed foods for one whole month? The parameters are flexible and forgiving instead of rigid; past participants have reported feeling better physically and becoming more conscious of their food choices.
- Trader Joe’s is Focus of Antibiotic-Free Meat Campaign – The Meat Without Drugs campaign set its sights on Trader Joe’s, the innovative grocer known for its affordable gourmet foods and fair business practices. The national retailer already sells some antibiotic-free meats, prompting the campaign to encourage TJ’s to sell only drug-free. Over 500,000 people have signed a petition urging the chain to make the switch.
- Music and Lighting Impacts Food Consumption and Enjoyment – The journal Psychological Reports published on a study from the Georgia Institute of Technology that found when patrons dined in a relaxed environment with warm lighting and slower, less aggressive music, they still ordered the same amount of food, but they ate it more slowly, consumed less of it and reported enjoying it more.
- Percentage of Severely Obese Adults Soars – A study published by the RAND Corp. found that since 2000 the percentage of severely obese adults — people more than 100 pounds overweight, or more — has leapt in the last decade. Women now have a 50% higher rate of severe obesity than men; African-Americans and Latinos have twice the rate as whites; and now the percentage of severely obese people under the age of 40 is catching up to the over 40 age group.
- Freshwater Shrimp “Caught” in Midwest Still Unprofitable – In an effort to provide local shrimp to landlocked states, many farmers in the Midwest have tried their hand (uh, net) at aquaculture to raise their own shrimp. While locals love the flavor and sustainability, the farmers are unable to compete with incredibly cheap frozen shrimp imported from Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Also, the species farmed there tends to be cannibalistic; shrimp eating each other has been a problem.
Photo courtesy of qmnonic.