Sustainable Catch

I spent part of the summer, Thanksgiving break, as well as winter break in Lima, Peru. Something I noticed, and I liked, was that when going to different restaurants, most of them had a section in the menu called “sustainable catch.” Shrimp, salmon, tuna, and cod are amongst some of the most consumed fish and seafood all around the world.  Oceans provide many resources to humans and overexploitation of these resources could cause an imbalance of the ecosystem as well as a loss of food source for millions of people. There are several other fish species that are edible but there is no demand. I am becoming increasingly adventurous with my food choices, and I encourage everyone to be open to alternative sources of protein and nutrients. Specially if they are sustainable.


Why Sugar is Just as Bad for Your Skin As It Is For Your Waistline

While most people know that ingesting excess sugar can lead to obesity, most do not consider the ramifications that excess sugar has on the skin. Sugar however does not just mean sugar from processed foods or refined sugar, but sugar that comes from broken down carbohydrates in our system. When these foods are broken down, insulin is produced in response to the sugar, causing an insulin spike which causes overall inflammation in the body. This inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Acne and rosacea can also be increased by excess sugar intake, and insulin resistance can cause excess growth of hair and dark patches on the body. The article presents what sugars you should eat (complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates) and other ways to combat sugar’s effect on the skin. I definitely think this article presents interesting information that can potentially decrease the amount of stress induced, junk -food eating breakouts during finals week!

How A Scientist Sounded the Alarm on Sugar Back in the 1950s — But Was Ignored

One of our classmates did a midterm project on the bad effects of sugar, but the concept of excess sugar as “bad” is really a more recent finding. This article actually shows why sugar was dismissed as being a health threat back in the day. British Scientist John Yudkin published findings from more than a decade of research in “Pure, White and Deadly: How Sugar is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It” in 1972. However, at the time, the major health threat that people were focusing on was saturated fats, causing Yudkin and his research to be ridiculed and overlooked.

Now, the main reason behind the dismissal of Yudkin’s claims was an interesting one. The time around which Yudkin first theorized that sugar was a health hazard was when President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack while in office. Eisenhower’s doctor then treated him with a low – cholesterol regimen to prevent further issues, and Yudkin was very critical of this. Essentially, these two scientists had a stand-off, and in the end Yudkin lost, leading to a dismissal of his claims.

However, now findings have shied away from pointing fingers at cholesterol and saturated fat as causing health issues. Yudkin has posthumously received credit for his findings and we have learned the addictive and negative nature of sugar and the impact it has on our health.

Grasshoppers Sell-Out at Mariners Game

This is actually a pretty crazy article taken the fact that baseball is usually associated with the terms “Americas pastime” and “tradition” The Seattle Mariners have introduced a whole new dish to the stadium concession world. The Mariners this year decided to partner with a local restaurant called Poquitos and started selling their toasted grasshoppers in chill-lime salt. Surprisingly enough, they have SOLD-OUT! They ended up selling out their first 3 homes games of the season and even had to make an emergency run for more during their weekend series against the Texas Rangers. It would be interesting to see if more Major League clubs decide to hop on this train and begin to introduce new alternative foods to expand the pallet past the basic hotdogs and burgers.


A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor

This article shows how hard being a food vendor can be. It takes a toll on health and their personal life. They struggle with city codes and regulations on street vending, exorbitant fines for small violations and occasional rage of brick and mortar businesses or residents. They also have to deal with weather, the whims of transit and foot traffic, and the stress of standing long hours, alone with no real shelter.

General Mills spending more on food safety

by Monica Watrous

General Mills detailed its food safety plans in its 2017 Global Responsibility Report.

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. increased its spending on food safety to $16 million in 2016, up from $13 million in 2015. The company in its 2017 Global Responsibility Report issued April 11 said 8% of its essential capital investment in 2016 went toward projects related to food safety.

“Safety is a priority focus area for our company leadership and part of our culture,” General Mills noted in the report. “Leading with safety — both the safety of our employees in the workplace and the food they make — is one of the key operating principles that guides our work.”

General Mills has a legacy of food safety leadership, dating back to the 1950s when the company established a raw material vendor management program. In the 1970s the company developed food safety programs for quality engineers at production facilities, and in 1996 it pioneered allergen labeling on all products.

In 2016, General Mills increased training to support compliance with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Preventive Controls Rule.

“General Mills played a key role in providing industry perspective during development of the FSMA — the most sweeping change to U.S. food safety regulations in 100 years,” the company said. “To prepare for the FSMA requirement that each food safety plan be reviewed by a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), 125 of our employees participated in PCQI training, four employees were trained as lead instructors and one person was certified to train the trainers, helping us to scale this knowledge across the organization.

“We continually refine our training approach through our global centers of excellence focused on key food safety requirements, such as sanitation, quality engineering and auditing. We provide comprehensive, consistent instruction through our global online training academy with materials in English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.”

In fiscal 2016, General Mills said it conducted Auditor Academy training sessions attended by 194 participants from 14 countries. The sessions helped improve the company’s ability to identify and fix issues, as well as prevent food safety problems from occurring, General Mills said.

One of the food safety goals General Mills has set is to achieve Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification for all General Mills-owned facilities by 2020. Providing an update on the company’s progress toward that goal, General Mills said 80% of its company-owned facilities are GFSI certified. Additionally, 80% of co-production sites and 55% of ingredient supplier sites also are GFSI certified.

General Mills conducted 10 voluntary recalls in fiscal 2016, including some for the company’s Gluten-Free Cheerios, flour and cake mix products.

To help ensure the safety of the raw materials the company uses in its products, General Mills has expanded the number of supplier and co-producer audits it conducts globally. The company conducted more than 800 supplier audits and more than 40 co-producer audits in 2016 and trained more than 50 suppliers through supplier schools and webinars during the year.

European Union food again found largely free of pesticides

The study done and published by the European Food Safety Authority on pesticides in foods in the EU, found most foods to be either free of pesticides or within the legal limits. 93% of the food tested, was within the legal limits, while 53% were free of residue. Some of the products that have been tested include aubergines, bananas, broccoli, virgin olive oil, orange juice, peas, sweet peppers, table grapes, wheat, butter and eggs.

The EU is very concerned with quality of food, as seen with the bans of GMOs.

Some key facts:

  • 97.2 percent of the samples studied fell within the limits permitted in EU legislation. 53.3 percent of the samples tested were free of quantifiable residues while 43.9 percent contained residues not exceeding legal limits
  • Legal limits were exceeded in 5.6 percent of the samples from non-EU countries, down from 6.5 percent in 2014.
  • Of the samples of foods intended for infants and young children, 96.5 percent were free of residues or residues fell within legal limits.
  • For organic foods, 99.3 percent were residue-free or within legal limits