Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Bagged Apple Slices Recalled for Possible Listeria Contamination – Packaged apple slices across the country were recalled this week due to potential contamination by the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, all from one processing plant. They’re sold nationally under the labels Ready Pac, Wawa, Wegmans, Safeway Farms and Hannaford, plus fast food chains McDonald’s and Burger King. Want fries with that?
- Many Corn Farmers May Benefit From the Drought – Coverage of the drought plaguing the Midwest has focused on the negative economic impact it’s had on corn farmers, but there are many who stand to benefit: Farmers who purchased crop insurance will receive payments, and shortened supply has sent bushel prices as high as an elephant’s eye: It’s projected to hit $8.90 per bushel, compared to $3.55 per bushel in 2009.
- Orange Sweet Potatoes May Save Lives in Africa – Nutritionists working in sub-Saharan Africa twenty years ago found giving children one vitamin A capsule every six months lowered the death rate by an astonishing 25%. HarvestPlus, an advocate of biofortification, is on a campaign in Mozambique and Uganda to convince farmers to grow (non-GMO) orange sweet potatoes bred to have high levels vitamin A, instead of the traditionally cultivated white or yellow varieties. It’s working: Children eating them are showing notably higher levels of vitamin A, and nutritionists report it’s boosting their health.
- Chocolate May Help Prevent Hypertension? – A study published in the Cochrane Library found that flavanols, natural compounds found in cocoa, have potential benefits for blood pressure. Now some doctors are considering recommending small amounts of cocoa, likely in powdered form, to patients at risk for hypertension. Some experts advise caution, since small amounts seem to lower blood pressure by a few points — though for patients a few points away from hypertension, that’s a benefit.
- Ten Great Natural Uses for Coffee Grounds – SlowFood, the global non-profit, published a list of ten ways coffee grounds could be naturally repurposed, including: As a way to keep ants out of the home (they don’t like the smell), as a flea repellent for dogs, to deodorize a car or refrigerator, as plant fertilizer (for plants that like acidic soil), and more.
Photo courtesy of Architopher.