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processed food



New Legislation Could Ban Food and Plastic Chemicals From Shelves

New legislation could alter the familiar faces of the grocery store aisles, such as Chester the Cheetah or the Jolly Green Giant, in the very near future.

According to CNN.com, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts will introduce a bill later this month that would give the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences power to ban up to 10 harmful chemicals from common household and food products.

Once the NIEHS has named a chemical as “high concern,” its use is illegal after 24 months. Bisphenol A, often used in plastics and known as an endocrine disruptor, is one of the chemicals that could be on the banned list. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is also used in the lining of many canned goods, which are a staple of pantry cabinets throughout the US.

Harmful chemicals such as BPA and DES, a chemical found in cattle feed and breast cancer treatment medicine, can change how hormones operate and lead to birth defects such as neurological disorders or autism, according to the article.


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Chipotle to Raise $1 Million for Food Revolution With Healthy Halloween Contest

UPDATE [11/2/10]: Scroll to the bottom of the post to see some of the scary processed foods that turned up at Chipotle on Halloween!

Maybe I am out of the loop, but I did not realize that Chipotle Mexican Grill serves only freshly prepared and unprocessed food. Not only that, but they are turning their annual “Boo-rito” Halloween event into a fundraiser for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution with a goal to raise $1,000,000!

In years past, those who came to a Chipotle Mexican Grill dressed as a burrito, taco, or taco salad would be treated with a free burrito. In honor of the Food Revolution, they are changing the deal just a little. The challenge this year is to dress as a “horrifying processed food product” and boo-ritos, bowls, salads, and tacos are just $2 to raise funds for the Food Revolution. There is also a costume contest with prizes up to $2,500!
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Corn Sugar Versus High Fructose Corn Syrup – Understand the Difference

Just recently, the Corn Refiners Association took the legal steps necessary to change the name high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the more innocuous name, “corn sugar.”

While the approval could take as long as two years, products are already being referred to as containing corn sugar, rather than HFCS.

For those who are a bit confused over the name change, you’re not alone. Corn sugar is just another name and form of sugar, and just like sucrose, HFCS, or dextrose, it can be added into candy, pasta sauce, soda, bread and thousands of other processed products.

So, exactly what is corn sugar and how does it fare in comparison to the now demonized high fructose corn syrup?


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HFCS: Changing the Name Doesn’t Change the Product

UPDATE [9/14/2011]: Although it may take the FDA another year to decide to approve the Corn Refiner’s Association’s (CRA) request to use the term “Corn Sugar” instead of “High Fructose Corn Syrup,” groups representing sugar producers are suing the CRA over an ad campaign that promotes the idea that “your body can’t tell the difference” between the two sweeteners. The Associated Press reports that a ruling to dismiss the case will be decided by U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall soon, but a time frame has not yet been determined.

Health experts remain in disagreement over the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, but many have pointed out that changing the name won’t change the nutritional profile of substance. “Whether they decide to call it ‘High Fructose Corn Syrup’ or ‘Corn Sugar’, its the same processed sugar and 60 calories per tablespoon,” tweeted Joy Bauer, MS RD CDN,
this afternoon.

The Corn Refiner’s Association of American has decided that the negativity surrounding the name High-Fructose Corn Syrup is harming the sale of the product. As a result, they’ve moved to make the name more consumer-friendly. High-Fructose Corn Syrup will now be known as “Corn Sugar”, if the CRA has its way.

The CRA applied for an official name change on Tuesday, but the approval could take more than two years. That’s of no concern to the CRA, however, who has already created a web site and begun to refer to the product as Corn Sugar in television commercials.

Consumption of HFCS has reached a 20 year low, with consumers avoiding the product due to a concern with the products effect on the health of the nation. The CRA is capitalizing upon the consumer who looks for the words “cane sugar” and hopes to show that sugar is sugar, no matter the source.
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What You Should Know about Interesterified Fat

Now that Americans, food manufacturers and restaurant chains have made trans-fats part of their every day vernacular and a daily avoidance in their diets, enter a new unhealthy fat also found in processed foods: Interesterified fat.

A bit more difficult to pronounce than “trans fatty acids,” but equally dangerous, interesterified fats are liquid oils, rather than a semi-solid fat, like the now taboo, trans fats.

To get a jump on this new addition to the health dictionary, read on to learn where this additive may be lurking in your kitchen and how it might be hurting your health.


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