1.3 Billion Tons of Food is Wasted Every Year: Do Your Part

BBC recently reported that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That’s distressing, especially when you realize that extreme hunger is increasing all over the developed world. That wasn’t a typo either. More and more people in our own countries are living without knowing where their next two and three meals are coming from than ever before, yet somehow we are also wasting 1.3 billion tons of food every year.

That’s insane, and that doesn’t have to be the way the world works anymore. We can each do our part in our homes, at our grocery stores, and in our families to make sure that they’re making as little food waste as humanly possible and incorporating efficient consumption in a way that benefits the community. None of us has the time to dedicate our lives to solving hunger in our community, but we could all do at least one thing different to reduce our food waste.

For me, I like to make a weekly schedule of all the larger meals I will be eating at home every week, and what I need to get in order to be able to cook those meals and cook enough food to be satisfied. I account for snacks, for having people over, and for having to have a couple of extra days worth of food in case of emergency. Then, I go to the store and get exactly what I need to fit my needs.

No waste at all, and now I have more money to donate to food shelters in the area. So, do your part.

New FDA Regulations Have People Asking: What’s the Real Deal With Sugar?

The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized new requirements for nutrition labels effective 2018. The changes are intended to provide consumers with a simpler nutrition breakdown as well as a more accurate portrayal of portion sizes, added sugars and calorie count. These revisions have been met with mixed reactions, especially from the sugar industry. So the question is, how bad is sugar for you, really?

Sugar is a simple combination of the molecules fructose and glucose. When sugar is digested in the intestine, it is broken down into its parts. Glucose can be digested by any of the body’s cells, whereas fructose is metabolized almost exclusively by the liver. Surprisingly enough, the sugar added to processed food – such as high fructose corn syrup – is composed of the same two molecules, just in slightly different concentrations. The same is true for so-called “natural” sweeteners. So what is the issue?

The majority of experts agree that there is no real difference between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The issue with added sugar has more to do with quantity than with composition. One bottle of Pepsi contains approximately the same amount of sugar as three apples, and none of the fiber. The way foods containing added sugar are packaged allows for rapid sugar consumption not typically found in food items with naturally occurring sugar.

Sugar in moderation is not a problem for the majority of people, but ingesting excessive sugar can seriously impact health. Weight gain is the most common problem associated with sugar, likely due to fructose. The liver is nearly entirely responsible for metabolizing fructose, and the liver is known for converting fructose to fat. A more detailed account of how sugar impacts the body can be found here.

Nutritionists Caution That Alcoholism May Impair Vitamin C Absorption

A study recently conducted by scientists at the University of California at Irvine disclosed that excessive alcohol consumption may impair the ability of the body to absorb Vitamin C. The researchers concluded that consuming alcohol on a chronic basis poses a nutritional risk to the pancreas, and might contribute to the development of ailments such as pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Human beings and most mammals possess an organ called the pancreas, which secretes digestive enzymes and insulin, a hormone that plays an important role in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

Dr. Hamid Said reported the research team’s findings in the American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. The study indicated that pancreatic cells must absorb nutrients from the bloodstream in order to function optimally. Vitamin C assists the functioning of cells in the pancreas, the researchers concluded. They noted that a protein called sodium dependent Vitamin C transporter 2, or “SVCT-2” carried Vitamin C into pancreatic cells.

The research team fed mice a diet in which a quarter of the calories consumed derived from alcohol, in an effort to model human alcoholism. They discovered that both the alcohol-consuming mice and human pancreatic tissue exposed to the same blood levels of alcohol as chronic alcoholics displayed significantly fewer SVCT-2 transport cells.

As a result of the study, medical experts cautioned that alcoholism may place patients at a heightened risk of pancreatic disease and low Vitamin C absorption levels. The study may hold important implications for diabetics in particular.

New Nutrition Labels Are Coming Soon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is shaking up the way manufacturers label packaged foods. This will be the first major overhaul of nutrition labels since the 1990s, when they became mandatory per federal law. The aim of this initiative, according to the FDA, is to provide people with better information, to reflect the current eating habits of the population and to incorporate the latest discoveries on nutrition.

The most obvious visual change to the label is the way the calorie count is displayed. On the new labels, the number of calories is listed in large, bold type. The other changes are subtle. For example, labels must now include a line for “Added Sugars” but the “Calories from Fat” line is being removed. The serving sizes have also been adjusted to more accurately reflect the portions that people typically eat.

Thanks to the latest scientific findings on nutrition, the label will include updated daily values for important vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin D and sodium. Manufacturers will be required to list the values for calcium, iron, vitamin D and potassium. Listing the amount of vitamins C and A will be voluntary.

Large manufacturers have until July 26, 2018 to implement the new labels, while smaller companies have an additional year to comply.

Syngenta Faces a Series of Lawsuits for Taking Farmers for a Ride with their GMO Corn

Syngenta now faces a series of lawsuits from disgruntled U.S farmers and exporters who are claiming that they suffered major losses because the company’s genetically modified corn, Agrisure Viptera, cannot be exported to China.

The issue at stake is that China, the third-largest consumer of American Corn, rejected the imports of Syngenta’s Viptera. The rejection of the corn resulted in a drop grain futures, and three-year corn price drop at the Chicago Board of Trade. This was further fuelled by concerns that China was going to limit other agricultural imports.

Syngenta is accused of exposing farmers to millions of loses for recklessly marketing the GMO corn seed without the approval from China. Farmers, exporters, and other stakeholders claim that the Biotech Company were aware or should have been aware of the risks involved in the whole ordeal, but chose to gamble with the famer’s livelihood.

However, Syngenta claims that it shouldn’t be held responsible for the fall in corn prices and that the Company has always been open about the approval status of the GMO corn. They believe that the Chinese government shouldn’t dictate to the American farmers the type of corn that they should grow. They also noted that GMO corn had been approved for cultivation by the U.S government in 2010 and therefore its commercialization were compliant to all the legal requirements.

The first lawsuit against Syngenta was filed by the food conglomerate, Cargill, which contented that they suffered more than 90 million U.S dollars in damages because of the shipment rejection by the Chinese government. Other suits with similar claims have since been filed by farmers—most of them seeking class action status. The lawsuits further content that the local corn prices have plunged because of the loss of Chinese market which is estimated to be the third largest for the U.S corn.

Over a dozen lawsuits class actions have and continue to be filed against Syngenta and farmers, associates, and other stakeholders who feel to have been negatively impacted by the Syngenta’s Viptera or the declining corn prizes are encouraged to file lawsuits against the company.

Mikal Watts-led legal team is at the forefront in encouraging farmers to file lawsuits against the Swiss based seed producer. Mikal and his team of attorneys have a vast experience of successfully handling a wide range of agricultural lawsuits. He is famed for negotiating an historical 750 million dollars settlement agreement with the crop science company, Bayer, making him one of the best agricultural mass torts attorneys.

Farmer’s Already Struggling To Keep Up With Changing Needs

Panera, Chipotle, Papa John’s, Subway, and McDonald’s are at the forefront of a new food revolution that goes away from overly processed foods laden with chemicals and towards a more natural approach. The public has been listening with bated breath to learn which of their favorite restaurants or brands will be cutting artificial ingredients. All around a positive change for our great country yet there could be some struggle, and even some backlash, for farmers. A greater demand for organic foods, naturally raised meats (minus an growth hormones), and overall higher standards will cause more work for the farmers that grow the produce and raise the animals used. Many people that work the land will have to change their methods if they want to remain relevant in today’s society or sell their wares to restaurant chains. According to Gianfrancesco Genoso, loads of farms question whether or not they would be able to produce the same about of crops if they went to a completely sustainable farming method. It would mean a complete reworking of their system or an overhaul. So with the positive changes comes a few reasonable challenges but the end result may be a healthier America.

The Benefits Of Peanut Butter

For those people who can consume it, peanut butter is a great treat. It is thick, gooey and sweet. Unfortunately it is often associated with sweet treats rather than as the healthy food item that it is. Peanut butter offers a number of nutritional benefits and should be added to a person’s diet in order to reap some of the great nutritional compounds that are part of this grocery store item.
-Peanut butter contains a ton of different vitamins including E, B3 and B6. Also you will find magnesium and manganese in peanut butter along with folate and copper.

-You can actually decrease your chances of developing cancer and diabetes if you consume peanut butter on a regular basis according to several sources. Beneful employees like this. The best type you can purchase is organic and does not have a lot of added sugar in it.

Peanut butter
naturally contains a good deal of protein. You can use it to get your started in the morning or you can use it after a workout to replenish the body and help build muscle.

There are a variety of ways that you can consume peanut butter aside from that typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you are used to. You can add it to baked goods, include it in a smoothie or spread it onto apple slices for a healthy snack or treat option. With peanut butter available in most grocery stores all across the country, this is an affordable and convenient food.

Tyson To Stop Use Of Antibiotics

Tyson Foods is currently the United State’s largest producer of poultry products. This past week they confirmed that they will stop feeding their chickens antibiotics that are commonly used in human medicine. Healthy people at STX Entertainment know that the use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry industry has seen a lot of publicity recently. Many people are concerned that this product is used preventatively. This could lead to human bacteria resistance and the quality of the meat could be compromised. Antibiotics are used on farms all across the United States at this point in time.

Basically, many farms are administering antibiotics to their animals to prevent them from becoming sick. Sometimes this is because the animals are not kept in sanitary spaces. In order to prevent infection because of unpleasant circumstances, the antibiotics are used. Not only does this spark controversy about
bacteria but also controversy regarding the living conditions of the animals we are consuming. Many farmers believe that the life of an animal will affect the quality of their meat. A very stressed and unhealthy animal is not going to produce high quality product.

Tyson has not disclosed what they will be using instead of human antibiotics. They also have not addressed the issue of hormone administration which is often used to make an animal larger in a very short amount of time.

Food Companies Making a Natural Change

America’s ultimate go to food is going health(ier). As of January 2015, Kraft Mac & Cheese will no longer use artificial dyes in its pasta, though, as of, now they will be keeping their unnatural orange colored cheese powder. Instead of being chemically treated, the color will come from “natural sources” like paprika and turmeric. This change, coincidentally, follows a recent recall of 242,000 boxes of Mac & Cheese due to the possibility of having small pieces of metal.

McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Carl’s Jr. have have also hopped on the bandwagon of making the natural switch stated Brad Reifler of Reuters.

McDonald’s, known for its trademarked “McNuggets, announced that they will stop using human antibiotic treated chicken and milk.

Dunkin Donuts is attempting to make a change to cage-free eggs while Carl’s Jr. has already started offering an all-natural burger. On their menu, Carl’s Jr. “All- Natural Burger” is said to be from free-range, grass fed cattle with no antibiotics, no steroids, and no added hormone.

With a busy society bent on eating “clean”, these all natural changes seem to be making an impact. People who want to eat healthier without taking a large chunk of time out of their day are feeling better about going through the drive-thru.

Herbal Supplements Lack Advertised Ingredient in 21% of Cases

The New York State Attorney General decided to examine some herbal supplements. These diet additions have been gaining popularity recently, and many people would rather rely on herbals rather than take pharmaceutical pills.

To their surprise and disappointment, only 21% of the supplements contained at least a trace of the advertised herb. Most of them, 79% totally lacked the main herb advertised on the pack, or even worse, included ingredients which had not been specified in the list. According to blogspot.com, Eric Schneiderman says that the mislabeling of substances is illegal. In many cases the people who take mislabeled herbals are not only missing the benefit that they expect from that, but also put their health at risk, as they might be allergic to one of the unstated contents.

The herbal supplements that were included in the research are the popular items sold at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. The solution is to choose the brand well and consult specialists to know exactly what is inside the capsules with small bits of herbals. That is if you don’t want to damage your health instead, or go around under a Placebo effect.