Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Consumers Spend Less on Groceries, But More on Processed Foods – While Americans spend less on groceries than they did thirty years ago, they now spend a higher percentage of their grocery bill on processed foods, which includes packaged sweet and savory snacks, canned soups and frozen foods. (Perhaps it’s no coincidence we’re having an obesity crisis?) Consumers also spend less on meat, but mainly because the cost of meat has lowered significantly.
- Japanese Composting System Could Aid U.S. Food Waste Problem – Bokashi is the modern day version of an ancient form of composting that actually ferments food waste by covering it with a mixture of microorganisms that inhibit bad odors and quickly turn it into soil. Unlike traditional Western composting, it allows for meat, dairy and fat scraps – yet doesn’t attract varmints.
- Eye Tracking Research Could Improve Food Nutrition Labels – A report in Food Policy by a multinational team of scientists found that certain aspects of food labels make it unnecessarily difficult for consumers to read and comprehend food packaging’s nutrition data. The location of the label and where nutrients are listed on the label both have a great influence on consumers’ ability to comprehend and process the information.
- City Kids Have More Food Allergies Than Country Kids – A study scheduled to be published in the July issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics determined that children in cities have more food allergies than kids raised in rural areas, even after accounting for factors like gender, ethnicity, household income, age and latitude location. For example, 3% of urban children have a peanut allergy, compared to 1.3% in rural kids.
- The Latest, Greatest Fitness Apps – Smartphones aren’t just a tool for ignoring one’s dining companions. This round up of truly useful fitness apps includes a post-apocalyptic zombie-inspired running app (um, game); a yoga app with videos for a variety of skill levels and intensities, plus meditations; and a GPS tracking app that monitors the distance, timing and pace of the user’s run, calories burned and goals to beat.
Photo courtesy of jenni from the block.