Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Most Americans Trying to Eat Less Sugar and HFCS – A survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that 70% of adults are attempting to eat less sugar, and 63% are trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The study also found 70% of consumers couldn’t correctly identify that calorie consumption leads to weight gain.
- Locally Grown Quinoa on the Horizon – Nearly every quinoa seed (from the goosefoot plant) eaten in the United States is imported from South America, where almost 80,000 tons of quinoa were harvested in 2010. However, a number of American farmers have been experimenting with different varieties with growing methods. Plant breeders and scientists anticipate locally grown quinoa to enter the marketplace in a few years.
- Potential Organic Peanut Butter Shortage Looming – Now that Sunland, the New Mexico processor that owns 90% of this year’s organic peanut harvest, has had its production license revoked by the Food and Drug Administration, some stores are preparing for shortages. The FDA announced this week it wouldn’t allow Sunland to reopen the plant, as the company had hoped.
- Food and Medication Interactions Aren’t Limited to Grapefruit – Grapefruit, long known to have interactions with a variety of medications, isn’t the only food to be conscious of concerning drug interactions. Kale, a natural coagulant, can counteract anti-coagulant medicines; Caffeine hinders blood clotting and can have its effects heightened when combined with estrogen and certain asthma and anti-anxiety medications; and consuming licorice can lead to potassium overload when combined with certain blood pressure drugs.
- New Smell Discovered, Comparable to White Noise – The journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science reported that scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found that subjects were unable to determine a smell’s origins when it was comprised of a high level of compounds, and were able to create a new, unidentifiable smell they refer to as “olfactory white.” Participants rated it in the middle of the scale for “pleasantness and edibility,” though none could identify its contents.
Photo courtesy of kevin.j.