COVID cases skyrocket mysteriously prior to the election while the mortality rate sharply declines

This week we look at the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases prior to the Election (Data Analytics), while mortality globally continues to naturally decline with many modern countries now reporting few to no related deaths. In addition, we pull in the Census.Gov Household Pulse Survey Data to review pandemic lockdown hardships. #covid19 #pandemic #dataanalysis Sources: covidtracking, OWID, U.S.Census

Vit. D the Most underutilized COVID tool, Low Income Households Crushed by Lockdowns, Plus Data

This week we look at how bad the lockdown is affecting low-income families, and ask why after so many months Vitamin D has been ignored. As well as Low Dose Aspirin has a powerful benefit against COVID. #aspirin #covid #lockdown Study finds over 80% of COVID-19 patients have vitamin D deficiency Death rates among people with severe COVID-19 drop by a half in England New study: aspirin use reduces risk of death in hospitalized patients

Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression

Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression

Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression

The objective of this study is to determine which foods are the most nutrient dense sources of nutrients demonstrated by human studies published in the current scientific literature to play a role in the prevention and promotion of recovery from depressive disorders.

LaChance LR, Ramsey D. Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression. World J Psychiatry 2018; 8(3): 97-104

Lung Function Decline Dramatically Slowed with a Flavonoid


Lung Function Decline Dramatically Slowed with a Flavonoid

Lung Function Decline Dramatically Slowed with a Flavonoid

Previous research has shown that the plant-produced chemicals known as flavonoids have beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins, the type of flavonoid investigated in the current study, have been detected in lung tissue shortly after being ingested, and in animals models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The plant chemicals appear to reduce mucus and inflammatory secretions.

Dietary Intake of Anthocyanin Flavonoids and Ten Year Lung Function Decline in Adults from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) V. Garcia Larsen, R. Villegas, E.R. Omenaas, C. Svanes, J. Garcia-Aymerich, P.G.J. Burney, D. Jarvis, and ECRHS Diet Working Group B23. ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN ASTHMA. May 1, 2018, A2797-A2797

Anthocyanin, Flavonoids, COPD, FEV1, FVC, lung, Lung Age, Lung Decline, Lung Function, Remedy, Food

Trans Fats make brain go Hmmm?

Trans fat consumption is linked to diminished memory in working-aged adults
– For those eating the highest amounts of trans fats, this translated to an estimated 11 fewer words (a more than 10 percent reduction in words remembered), compared to adults who ate the least trans fat. (The average number of words correctly recalled was 86.)
* American Heart Association Meeting Report Abstract 15572 NOV 2014 Continue reading “Trans Fats make brain go Hmmm?”

Organic fertilizers and Crop intensification can be a long-term solution to perennial food shortages in Africa


Chemical Fertilizers degrade the soil and reduce food production over time


Growing more food on the same size of land is key to increasing food production in Africa to meet the needs of an ever-growing population

Farmers in Africa can increase their food production if they avoid over dependence on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and practice agricultural intensification – growing more food on the same amount of land – using natural and resource-conserving approaches such as agroforestry.

According to scientists at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), crop production in Africa is seriously hampered by the degradation of soil fertility, water and biodiversity resources. Currently, yields for important cereals such as maize have stagnated at 1 tone per hectare. Climate change and increasing demand for food, animal fodder and fuel is likely to worsen the situation. Continue reading “Organic fertilizers and Crop intensification can be a long-term solution to perennial food shortages in Africa”

2.5m people will have to take out a loan just to afford central heating this Christmas (U.K.)

Shocking figures revealed as winter fuel costs are hiked by up to £120

Simon Read

Monday, 9 December 2013

Some 2.5 million people will have to borrow money to heat their homes this Christmas. The shock statistics are published as energy users are hit this month with winter fuel hikes of up to £120.

Research published today by affordable property group Circle Housing suggests that around seven million people will be forced to take out a loan to cover extra costs this Christmas.

While four million people say the loans will be to pay for festive food and drink, more than a third of borrowers will use the cash to pay their winter energy bills. Continue reading “2.5m people will have to take out a loan just to afford central heating this Christmas (U.K.)”

Food poverty in UK has reached level of ‘public health emergency’, warn experts

The Government may be covering up the extent to which austerity and welfare cuts are adding to the problem

Charlie Cooper

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hunger in Britain has reached the level of a “public health emergency” and the Government may be covering up the extent to which austerity and welfare cuts are adding to the problem, leading experts have said.

In a letter to the British Medical Journal, a group of doctors and senior academics from the Medical Research Council and two leading universities said that the effect of Government policies on vulnerable people’s ability to afford food needed to be “urgently” monitored.

A surge in the number of people requiring emergency food aid, a decrease in the amount of calories consumed by British families, and a doubling of the number of malnutrition cases seen at English hospitals represent “all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventative action,” they write.

Continue reading “Food poverty in UK has reached level of ‘public health emergency’, warn experts”

McDonald’s to employees: Break your food into small pieces to feel full and sell your Christmas presents for cash

A worker cleans a sidewalk outside of a McDonald's restaurant on July 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (AFP)

By Travis Gettys

The fast-food giant McDonald’s is urging employees to break up food into smaller pieces to feel full or sell their Christmas presents for extra money.

The restaurant chain made the recommendations on its “McResource” employee website to help workers manage stress, health and finances.

Continue reading “McDonald’s to employees: Break your food into small pieces to feel full and sell your Christmas presents for cash”

Children’s medicines contain banned additives linked to hyperactivity


Charlie Cooper

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Some of the most popular children’s medicines contain E numbers that have been withdrawn from food and drink products because of links to hyperactivity in children.

Products from leading brands such as Calpol and Boots are among 52 children’s medicines that have at least one of the “Southampton Seven” – a group of additives that were proven to increase hyperactive behaviours in a landmark study five years ago.

In 2008, the Food Standards Agency imposed a “voluntary ban” on the six E number colourings included in the Southampton study, a move which led most supermarkets and food manufacturers to withdraw them. Synthetic colourings in food and drink targeted at children under 36 months old are subject to a European ban.

However, medicines fall under a different regulatory regime, and the substances are still commonly found in products for children. An investigation by the campaign group Action on Additives found that four of the six colourings – quinoline yell (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122) and Ponceau 4R (E124) – are used in children’s medicines, including products for infants as young as two months.  It called on the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (Mhra) to ban the additives from food and medicines altogether.

“We’re not advising parents not to buy these medicines,” the group’s spokesman, Lizzie Vann Thrasher, told The Independent. “But if these additives have been taken out of food and drink for all children under 36 months, and there’s been a recommended withdrawal in food and drink for older children, why do we still have them in children’s medicines that can be given to children as young as two months old?”

The agency said it was aware some additives could cause “an unwanted reaction”, and urged parents to report concerns about medicine safety.

A three-year study carried out at the University of Southampton found that children who were given fruit drinks containing a mixture of the seven additives showed higher signs of hyperactivity – including fiddling with objects, changing their activity, and interrupting, than children who were given a placebo. On average, the children displayed 10 per cent of the level of symptoms of a child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Manufacturers and the regulatory body pointed out that the quantities of the additives ingested via medicines would be comparatively small compared to food. But Ms Vann Thrasher said a normal dose of Calpol taken over several days amounted to a third of the level of additives used in the Southampton study.

Johnson & Johnson, makers of Calpol, said: “Carmoisine (E122) and sodium benzoate are contained in many medicines which have been approved for use by the Mhra in the UK.”

Boots said: “The colourants and other additives that have been mentioned are commonly present in medicines which have been approved for use by the Mhra… one of the Mhra’s roles is to assure that colour and other additives used in medicines are safe and that the products containing these ingredients are appropriately labelled.”

Dr Sui Ping Lam, the Mhra’s acting director of licensing, said: “The quantities used in, and consumed from medicines is […] comparatively small compared to foods.

“We encourage anyone who has had an adverse reaction to report it to us through our Yellow Card reporting Scheme.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesman said: “It is important to remember that hyperactivity is also associated with many other factors in addition to certain additives, so dietary advice may help manage hyperactive behaviour, but may not be the total solution.”

Desperation Mode: Yunanistan (Greece) to Sell Expired Food to citizens

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

In just a few years we’ve seen the country of Yunanistan (Greece) go from being a popular tourist destination in one of the world’s largest economic regions, to being on the brink of complete and utter collapse. With untold billions (officially $400B) in private and public sector debt, the situation in Greece (and other debt laden European countries like Spain and Italy) has devolved to such an extent that some EU member nations are mobilizing their military personnel in preparation for full spectrum meltdown across the entire region.

Jobs are so scarce that many have been forced into underground barter economies and family farming to make ends meet. From massive austerity spending cuts that have torn to shreds the government social safety net, to shortages in critical life saving medicines and the near breakdown of the nation’s power grid, Yunanistan is experiencing all of the overt signs of a nation on its last leg.

Now, with food prices rising to unattainable levels for the majority of the Yunanistani population, the government is taking the desperate step of allowing merchants to sell expired foods, presumably at cheaper prices, so that poverty-stricken Yunanistanis have at least something to put on their tables, regardless of the health risks posed.

The regulations exclude meat and dairy from the list of perishables that can be sold and sets a ceiling dates you can continue marketing. Thus, foods in which the expiration date is indicated by the day and the month, may continue on the shelf for another week. In the event that the “best before” only month and year point, the sale may be extended for one month, and in the event that the date indicated year alone, the sale date may be extended by one quarter.

Though Moraitakis Efe declined to specify the reasons for this decision and merely noted that the legislation already existed, consumer groups and even government agencies have criticized the measure. “Virtually admit their inability to control prices,” Efe reported Tsiafutis Victor Consumers Association ‘Quality of Life’, one of the oldest in Yunanistan (Greece).

Food Inflation

In the Greece of the crisis, the wage and pension cuts and rising unemployment, food prices and commodities has not stopped rising. Between August 2012 and August 2013, the price of sugar shot up 15%, the eggs, 6.8% for butter by 3.2% and that of coffee, 5.9%, according to data from the Statistics Authority.

“It is an immoral act,” criticized Tsiafutis. “Instead of taking initiatives to control prices, allow the sale of food past the expiration date.”

Moreover, from the National Food Agency gets even concerned that the measure serves to something. “It is doubtful that these foods are to be sold at low prices, because the price control mechanisms have failed,” said Yannis Mijas, president of this organization linked to the government. Indeed, the measure of how much states must be the initial price reduction, which is at the discretion of the merchant.

To Mijas, selling expired food is also a moral dilemma, to divide consumers into two groups: those who can afford basic food and those who, because of poverty, “are forced to resort to dubious quality food.”

Counting calories is ‘virtually meaningless’ because we all digest food differently

  • 170 calories labelled on a serving of  almonds can be closer to 129 calories
  • However, calories in processed foods can  often exceed the labelling
  • This is because people digest differently  due to the type bacteria in their gut
  • Instead of reading labels for calories, a  more reliable approach to lose weight may be to  stick to raw or wholefoods  which are harder to digest

By  Nick Mcdermott, Science Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:09 EST, 20  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:34 EST, 20 August 2013

Don’t rely on counting calories if you want  to lose weight, scientists warn.

Much of the nutritional data on labels is  based on outdated 19th century science.

And the way food is cooked – as well as an  individual’s metabolism – can make a  dramatic difference to how many  calories  are absorbed.

A nutritional label 

Scientists warn the number of calories on nutritional  labels can differ wildly from those we actually absorb. One reason is that many  foods simply pass through the body undigested, as we lack the tools to break  down seeds and tough fibres


A study found that instead of the 170  calories in a one ounce serving of raw almonds, only 129 calories are taken in.

In contrast, when eating processed foods such  as sugary cereals, the number of calories often exceeds the labelling.

Mice fed raw sweet potatoes lost more than  four grams of weight, while they  gained weight when given the same amount of  cooked food.

Another problem is that even if food is  cooked in the same way, each individual digests it differently thanks to the  type and abundance of bacteria in  their gut.

The obese may  have an over-abundance of  certain types of gut bacteria, making them  more efficient at absorbing  calories. Biologist Rob Dunn from North  Carolina State University said the  current system of calculating calorie labels is outdated.

Writing in the journal Scientific American,  he said: ‘In the end, we all want  to know how to make the smartest choices at  the supermarket.


A study last year found that instead of 170 calories in  a one ounce serving of raw almonds, closer to 129 calories are actually taken in  – a 25 per cent difference


Merely  counting calories based on food  labels is an overly-simplistic approach  to eating a healthy diet – one that  does not necessarily improve our  health.’

For those intent  on losing weight, instead  of reading the calories, a more reliable  approach may be to stick to raw or  whole foods which are harder to  digest.

A cheese sandwich  made with wholewheat bread  is harder to digest than one using a white  loaf. As a result, the former has 10  per cent fewer calories.

Food experts also warn that calorie labelling  has for years ignored the  energy content of fibre. This means that dieters have  been ‘unknowingly’ eating more calories than they thought in their muesli or  porridge.

As a result, an average bowl of bran cereal  contains an extra 20 calories, they claim. The calorie content of protein has  also been exaggerated by up to 20 per cent because the current system does not  take into account the extra energy used in chewing.

Young woman eating 

In contrast, when eating processed foods such as sugary  cereals, the amount of calories we receive can exceed the labelling. For those  intent on losing weight, instead of reading the calories, a more reliable  approach may be to stick to raw or wholefoods which are harder to digest, claim  scientists

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The shocking list of foods readily available in US grocery stores that are BANNED in other countries for containing dangerous chemicals

  • In Singapore, you  can get sentenced to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for using a chemical  in food products that’s common in frozen dinners
  • Mtn Dew and  products used to keep carpets from catching on fire are made from the same  chemical
  • A chemical  found in Chex Mix is known to cause cancer in rats

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 22:06 EST, 20  June 2013 |  UPDATED: 01:00 EST, 21 June 2013

If you enjoy snacks and drinks like Mtn Dew,  Chex Mix, Hungry Man frozen dinners, or roughly 80 percent of all the packaged  foods sold in your average, American grocery store, you may want to sit down  before reading this.

Many of the chemicals found in America’s most  common foods are considered to be so unhealthy that they’re actually ILLEGAL in  other countries.

A new book on nutrition lists six food  additives that are found in a wide range of popular groceries sanctioned by the  Food and Drug Administration, but foreign governments have determined to be too  dangerous to allow their citizens to consume.

Extreme! Mt. Dew is made with a chemical that also is used to prevent carpets from catching on fire 

Extreme! Mt. Dew is made with a chemical that also is  used to prevent carpets from catching on fire


Bubble gag: Bubble Yum contains a chemical that is known to cause cancer in rats 

Bubble gag: Bubble Yum contains a chemical that is known  to cause cancer in rats

Rich Food, Poor Food‘ by Doctor Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a  certified nutritionist, features a list of what the authors call ‘Banned Bad  Boys’ – a list of the ingredients, where they’re banned and what caused  governments to ban them.

One of the most common ‘Bad Boys’ is  different variations of food coloring, which actually is made from petroleum and  is found in everyday items like soda, sports drinks, mac and cheese, cake, candy  and several other common, American products.

The chemicals used to make these different  dyes have proven to cause various different cancers and can even potentially  mutate healthy DNA.

Olestra is a fat substitute. It also causes a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids  

Olestra is a fat substitute. It also causes a dramatic  depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids


Petroleum Loops: fruit loops are delicious - and made from a product that's made out of the same stuff that makes gasoline 

Petroleum Loops: fruit loops are delicious – and made  from a product that’s made out of the same stuff that makes gasoline

European countries like Norway, Finland,  France and Austria all have banned at least one variation of  petroleum-containing food coloring.

Another common additive banned in other  countries but allowed in the U.S. is Olestra, which essentially is a fat  substitute found in products that traditionally have actual fat.

For example, low-fat potato chips like  Ruffles Lite, Lays Wow and Pringles fat-free chips all contain Olestra – which  is shown to cause the depletion of fat-soluble vitamins. Different brands of  fat-free ice cream and mayonnaise at one time also contain the chemical.

Olestra has been banned in several countries,  including the United Kingdom and Canada.

In 2003, the FDA lifted a requirement forcing  companies that use Olestra in their products to include a label warning  consumers that the food their eating could cause ‘cramps and diarrhea,’ despite  the fact that the agency received more than 20,000 reports  of gastrointestinal complaints among olestra eaters.


Do you like citrus drinks, like Mt. Dew,  Squirt or Fresca? Then you also like brominated vegetable oil, which is banned  in more than 100 countries because it has been linked to basically every form of  thyroid disease – from cancer to autoimmune diseases – known to man.

In Singapore you can get up to fifteen years in prison and penalized nearly half a million dollars in fines for using an ingredient found in common U.S. bread products 

In Singapore you can get up to fifteen years in prison  and penalized nearly half a million dollars in fines for using an ingredient  found in common U.S. bread products


Hungry? 1 1/2 pounds of food (and chemicals used to make bleach and rubber yoga mats) 

Hungry? 1 1/2 pounds of food (and chemicals used to make  bleach and rubber yoga mats)

Other products made from bromine: chemicals  used to keep carpets from catching on fire and for disinfecting swimming  pools.

Other food products made from brominated  vegetable oil include New York brand flatbreads, bagel chips, Baja Burrito wraps  and other bread products.

Of brominated vegetable oil, the FDA says it  is approved ‘for flavoring oils used in fruit-flavored beverages, for which any  applicable standards of identity do not preclude such use, in an amount not to  exceed 15 parts per million in the finished beverage.’

Then there’s things like Hungry Man frozen  dinners, which will fill you up – with azodicarbonamide, a chemical used make  things like bleach and rubber yoga mats.

Most frozen potato and bread products – like  different varieties of McCain brand french fries – contain the chemical, as well  as several store brand bread products.

Azodicarbonamide is known to induce asthma,  and has been banned in Australia, the U.K. and most other European countries. If  you were to use it as a food ingredient in Singapore, you could face up to 15  years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to the FDA, Azodicarbonamide is  ‘approved to be a bleaching agent in cereal flour’ and is ‘permitted for direct  addition to food for human consumption.’

The final chemicals on the list – butylated  hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) – are found in everyday  products like Post, Kellogs and Quaker brand cereals, as well as Diamond Nuts,  Chex Mix and gum brands like Wrigley’s, Trident, Bazooka and Bubble  Yum.

Both BHA and BHT are waxy solids made from  petroleum and are known to cause cancer in rats. It’s banned in Japan, England  and several other European countries.

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Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins

Contact: Press Office 34-914-251-820 FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

             VIDEO:   This video discusses the detection of excessive levels of mycotoxins in apple juices and cereals.

Click here for more information.     

Researchers from the University of Granada (Spain) have analysed the presence of patulin, a type of toxin produced by fungi, in several commercial apple juices. The results show that more than 50% of the samples analysed exceed the maximum limits laid down by law. They have also discovered a sample of rice with more mycotoxins than permitted. For their part, researchers from the University of Valencia have also found these harmful substances in beers, cereals and products made from them, such as gofio flour.

They are not very well known, but mycotoxins top the list of the most widespread natural contaminants in foodstuffs at the global level. They are toxic and carcinogenic substances produced by fungi, which reach the food chain through plants and their fruit.

Now new analytical techniques developed in universities such as Granada and Valencia (Spain) show that some foodstuffs exceed permitted levels of these harmful compounds.

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have used their own method of ‘microextraction and capillary electrophoresis’ to analyse concentrations of a kind of mycotoxins, patulin, in 19 batches of eight brands of commercial apple juice. They differentiated between conventional juice, organic juice and juice designed specifically for children.

“The results show that more than 50% of the samples analysed exceeded the maximum contents laid down by European law,” as explained to SINC by Monsalud del Olmo, co-author of the study, which is published this month in the magazine ‘Food Control‘.

The maximum levels of patulin established by the EU are 50 micrograms per kilogram of product (μg/kg) for fruit juices and nectars, 25 μg/kg for compotes and other solid apple products and 10 μg/kg if those foodstuffs are aimed at breast-fed babies and young children.

However, some samples of conventional apple juices had as much as 114.4 μg/kg, and one batch labelled as baby food had 162.2 μg/kg, more than 15 times the legal limit.

Patulin is produced by several species of fungi of the Penicillium, Aspergillus and Byssochylamys varieties, which are found naturally in fruit, mainly apples. They are transferred to juices during processing because of their solubility in water and stability.

The neurotoxic, immunotoxic and mutagenic effects of this substance have been confirmed in animal models. “Even then, it is not one of the most dangerous mycotoxins for health and it is included in group 3 within the categories laid down by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),” Monsalud del Olmo pointed out.

This WHO agency classifies mycotoxins and other compounds in four groups according to their carcinogenic potential for humans: 1 (carcinogenic), 2 (probably or possibly carcinogenic), 3 (not classifiable as carcinogenic, although it has not been proven that it is not) and 4 (probably not carcinogenic).

Mycotoxins in rice and beer

Some mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, are in group 1 and can be found in dry fruit, such as peanuts and pistachios, and cereals. UGR scientists have also detected concentrations of this compound above the permitted levels in a sample of rice, and they have already informed the relevant authorities of this.

Other toxins from fungi, such as fumonisins and ochratoxins, are also included in group 2. They are found in maize, other cereals and even beer, as researchers from the University of Valencia (UV) have proven.

A team from that university has used a new technique – called HLPC-LTQ-Orbitrap – to detect the presence of fumonisins and ochratoxins in samples of beer in Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Poland and Spain. The study is also published in ‘Food Control‘.

“They are minute quantities, although we cannot determine whether they are important because beer is one of the drinks which is not directly included in European law on mycotoxins,” said Josep Rubert, UV researcher and co-author of the study.

“What this study does show is that merely controlling the raw material – barley, in this case – is not enough,” added Rubert, “and that these toxins are present throughout the technological process, where it has been proven that mycotoxins that are legislated for can become hidden by joining wit glucose, so this needs to be taken into account for future research”.

The same Valencian team has also analysed 1250 samples of cereal-based products from Spain, France and Germany to see whether there are differences between organic and conventional foodstuffs in the case of fumosins.

One of the most striking findings is that samples of gofio flour, commonly used in the Canaries, had concentrations of this mycotoxin in quantities greater than 1000 μg/kg, the limit established by European law. A couple of years ago, those researchers also identified a consignment of wheat flour with concentrations of ochratoxin above the permitted level.

When the limits laid down by the EU are exceeded, scientists inform the relevant authorities, especially the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Then the contaminated batch must be withdrawn.

The results of the study of cereal-based foodstuffs show that almost 11% of the organic products examined contain fumosins, whereas in conventional products this percentage is reduced to around 3.5%. This data has been published in the magazine ‘Food and Chemical Toxicology‘.

“The explanation could be that organic foodstuffs do not contain fungicides or other pesticides, so fungi may have a more favourable environment and increase their toxins. However, in any case, there are other important factors such as climatic conditions – heat and humidity benefit these microorganisms – and storage conditions which also influence the production of mycotoxins,” said Rubert, who recognises that analysis must be done on a case-by-case basis.

In fact, in the study of apple juices, the opposite happened, and the organic products had fewer mycotoxins than the conventional ones. What the researchers do agree on is the need to keep defining the toxicity of each of these harmful substances, studying their effects on health and developing more and more exact methods of analysis.



María Dolores Víctor-Ortega, Francisco J. Lara, Ana M. García-Campaña, Monsalud del Olmo-Iruela. “Evaluation of dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction for the determination of patulin in apple juices using micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography”. Food Control 31: 353-358, 2013.

J. Rubert, C. Soler, R. Marín, K.J. James, J. Mañes.” Mass spectrometry strategies for mycotoxins analysis in European beers”. Food Control 30 (1): 122, 2013.

Josep Rubert, José Miguel Soriano, Jordi Mañes, Carla Soler. “Occurrence of fumonisins in organic and conventional cereal-based products commercialized in France, Germany and Spain”. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2013.

Chewing gum could make you FAT because the minty taste makes sugary food more tempting

  • The  chemical responsible for the minty flavour in gum makes healthy food  unappealing
  • People who  chew gum eat fewer meals – but not less calories – because they chose unhealthy  foods

By  Emma Innes

PUBLISHED: 08:59 EST, 29  March 2013 |  UPDATED: 08:59 EST, 29 March 2013



It may  well give you minty-fresh breath, but chewing gum could also cause weight gain,  new research suggests.

Scientists have discovered that people who  chew gum eat more high calorie sweet foods.

This is because the chemical responsible for  the minty flavour of gum makes savoury foods, especially fruit and vegetables,  taste unpleasant.

Co-author of the study, Christine Swoboda, a  doctoral candidate in nutrition at Ohio State University, told LiveScience: ‘The chemical  change is the same reason why when you brush your teeth and then drink orange  juice, it tastes bad.

Scientists have discovered that people who chew gum eat more high-calorie, sweet foodsScientists have discovered that people who chew gum eat  more high-calorie, sweet foods

‘We were also interested in seeing whether  this helps with weight loss.’

To carry out the study, Ms Swoboda and her  colleague Jennifer Temple of the University of Buffalo, enrolled 44  volunteers.

Each candidate was asked to play a game in  exchange for food.

Some played for pieces of fruit, while others  played for crisps and sweets.

Before taking part in the experiment, half of  the volunteers had chewed either fruit gum or mint gum.

It was discovered that those who had chewed  mint flavoured gum were significantly less likely to play for as long to win  fruit as they were to win the junk food.

Those who had been eating fruit flavoured gum  were also found to be less interested in the fruit but the results were not as  conclusive.

The researchers also discovered that people  who chew gum tend to eat fewer  meals  – but that this does not translate  to fewer calories.

People who chew gum tend to eat fewer meals but that this does not translate to fewer calories 

People who chew gum tend to eat fewer meals but that  this does not translate to fewer calories

They determined this in a second experiment  during which the volunteers were asked to keep a food diary.

For  part of the time, the volunteers were asked to chew mint gum before meals, while  for the rest of the time they were simply asked to note down their food  intake.

The food diaries showed that while chewing  gum, people ate fewer meals but that they did not consume fewer calories as a  result.

Ms Swoboda said that the explanation could be  that the menthol in mint interacts with nutrients in fruits and vegetables to  create a bitter flavour and that this was making healthy foods seem  unappealing.

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Plastic packaging containing chemical BPA ‘harming brain and nerve cell growth in babies’


Steve Connor

Monday, 25 February 2013

A chemical widely used in plastic packaging and food containers may be toxic to the central nervous system by interfering with a key gene involved in the development of nerve cells, a study suggests.

Scientists have found that bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in a variety of consumer products ranging from fizzy-drink cans to food mixers, affects the function of a gene called Kcc2 which is involved in the growth of neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain and spinal cord.

The study, based on rats and human neurons grown in the laboratory, found female nerve cells more susceptible to BPA than male neurons. This might explain why certain neurodevelopmental disorders in humans are more common in females, such as Rett syndrome, a severe form of autism found only in girls, the scientists said.

“Our study found that BPA may impair the development of the central nervous system, and raises the question as to whether exposure could predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Wolfgang Liedtke of Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina.

“Our findings improve our understanding of how environmental exposure to BPA can affect the regulation of the Kcc2 gene. However, we expect future studies to focus on what targets aside from Kcc2 are affected by BPA,” said Professor Liedtke, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Other scientists have, however, criticised the study for exposing neurons to relatively high doses of BPA that would not normally be encountered by the human body. They believe that suggestions of a link between BPA and human disorders are not supported by the evidence when it comes to realistic exposure levels.

“Interesting though the effects are from a mechanistic point of view, they have no relevance to human health because the concentration of bisphenol A used exceeds human exposure by about 100,000 times – and this is probably a conservative estimate,” said Professor Richard Sharpe of Edinburgh University.

“This study is reminiscent of many similar studies with bisphenol A in vitro or in animal studies. Many show convincing effects on various biological processes relevant to human health, but they always involve doses that are in a different ballpark to human exposure,” he said.

Despite many scientists’ claims that there is no evidence that BPA is toxic at low doses, the European Commission banned the chemical in baby bottles in 2011 and the US Food and Drug Adminstration followed suit last year.

BPA is known to mimic oestrogen, the female sex hormone, but fertility experts such as Professor Sharpe have dismissed suggestions that it could explain the rise in male infertility, along with many other disorders, because it is quickly broken down in the body.

“Although we are all exposed to BPA, the rapid inactivation of BPA in the gut and liver means that exposure elsewhere in the body is so low as to be immeasurable. So although it appears we’re exposed, effectively we are not,” Professor Sharpe said.

Professor Andrew Bartholomaeus of the University of Canberra in Australia, said that any BPA consumed in food or drink is completely metabolised before it enters the blood stream, which means that cells within the body are not exposed to “free” BPA.

Bisphenol A what it’s used in

Food and drink containers

Many food and drink cans are lined with a BPA resin, some glass jars include the chemical inside their lids, and many plastic bottles use the substance too.


BPA is in the casings of many products including CDs and DVDs, telephones, televisions, laptops and personal computers, printers, cameras, shavers, hairdryers, irons, food mixers, microwaves and kettles.

Sports equipment

Sports helmets, ski goggles, binocular housings and equipment used  for golf and tennis can all  contain BPA.

Till  receipts

BPA is used to make ink visible on thermal till receipts. Some people have  raised concerns about  shoppers handling the paper  and then touching their mouths  or their food.


Beef to the rich, horsemeat to the poor? “We can’t just throw away good food” – Germany’s Minister

Feb 24, 2013 00:36 Moscow Time

мясо конина мясо лошадь

Photo: EPA

Horsemeat-tainted food should be given to the poor, Germany’s development minister Dirk Niebel suggested. The opposition dismissed the idea as absurd, but a priest said it should be considered, although horsemeat may contain drug phenylbutazone which may be harmful to people’s health. Traces of horse DNA have been found in six tonnes of minced beef and 2,400 packs of lasagne bolognese seized from a company in Italy.

German Minister Niebel said there were 800 million people in the world who were hungry. “Even in Germany, unfortunately there are people for whom it is financially tight, even for food. I think that we can’t just throw away good food here in Germany.”

The opposition has dismissed the idea and called it “absurd” and an insult to poor people, but Prelate Bernhard Felmberg, the senior representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany, has backed the proposal. “We as a Church find the throw-away mentality in our society concerning. How and whether to distribute the products in question would have to be examined,” the priest said. “But to throw away food that could be consumed without risk is equally bad as false labelling and cannot be a solution.” Without risk?

To make the story even more scary, France’s agriculture ministry said several horse carcasses containing the drug phenylbutazone, also known as bute, had probably entered the human food chain in Europe.

Phenylbutazone, often referred to as bute, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for the short-term treatment of pain and fever in animals. In such countries as the United States and United Kingdom, it is no longer approved for human use, as it can cause severe adverse effects such as suppression of white blood cell production and aplastic anemia.

On Friday evening, Germany’s consumer affairs ministry announced that it had now found traces of horse DNA in 67 of 830 food products tested.

BBC, Wikipedia


Macedonia to jail individuals producing or selling GM Foods

Saturday, 23 February 2013
While the Serb Government has promised to find and punish individuals and organizations repsonsible for spreading false stories natural milk was poisonous in order for the population to favor the import of GM milk, Macedonia went a step further and enacted laws that not just bans GM foods, but to jail those who use GM seeds to grow their products.


– We have changes laws whose purpse is protection of the quality of our seeds and natural pesticides which allows us to   protect our farmers, at the same time regulating a dangerous industry that can easily damage the health and safety of Macedonia’s citizens through usage of phytosanitary products – stated Government spokesperson Aleksandar Georgiev.


At today’s Government session, penal laws were changed – an individual caught selling GM seeds will be fined monetarily and if the individual did not have a license to sell issued by the health Ministry the fine will be increased ten times. Five to ten years jail time is predicted on top of the monetary fine.


For organizations who break the law and sell and or produce GM foods, apart from the high monetary fine are facing five to twenty years jail time.



Greeks scrabble for food handouts in streets

Free fruit and veg – even the rich are queuing up

07 February, 14:27

People wait in line for a free meal in Athens (archive)
People wait in line for a free meal in Athens (archive)


(ANSAmed) – ATHENS – When a group of farmers handed out free fruit and veg in front of the Ministry of Agriculture in Athens Wednesday, they couldn’t have predicted the ensuing chaos.       In just two hours hoardes of hungry Greeks scrabbled to get their share of 50 tons of hand-outs, which led to skirmishes in the streets and comparisons with Nazi occupied Greece in the 2nd World War.
Families and the unemployed queued up to catch rations given out from vans.       “Look”, an old man gestured on local TV, “they’re pulling supplies out of the trucks. It’s like war time.”      “My pension is worth 600 euro”, said another elderly woman, “and me and my three unemployed kids have to live on that”.
A former electrician said, “I’ve been out of work for three years. I’ve done everything possible to find a job. A bag of tomatoes and some broccoli will last me and my wife a week”.
Aside from those Greeks who are open about their new found poverty, a separate social group called the “kryfoptochi” is emerging. The kryfoptochi are too embarassed to even admit to friends that they are poverty struck, and rather than heading for soup kitchens, forage for food in dumpsters in the dead of night.       In evidence of the fact that the crisis is hitting everyone hard, Giorgos Apostolopoulos, former chief of the Athen’s homeless body, said that well known artists and even women from rich areas of the city come to get food handouts too.
“Some pretend that they’re collecting food to give to the poor”, he said.       But a silent form of solidarity is taking shape. Those who can afford it hang baskets of food on their bins for the poor.

‘Food waste is probably one of the worst things for global warming’ – expert: “almost half of the world’s food production is thrown away”

Feb 1, 2013 16:00 Moscow Time

Бефстроганов еда обед

© Photo: Pittaya Sroilong/cc-by

More than a third of the world’s entire food production is lost or wasted annually. Both the European Union and the United Nations have, separately and unanimously opted to launch their own campaigns to raise awareness of the issue. On top of that, many NGOs are already tackling waste. However, there is only one-way to go: make sure that the food gets from the farm to the fork.

A report published by the UK’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in January 2013 has found that almost half of the world’s food production is thrown away, something in the order of 1.2 to 2 billion tons of food never even makes it to a plate.

It’s not just spoilt food that goes to waste but the good, fresh and nutritious kind; it simply doesn’t meet the standards of physical appearance that retailers think we want to see on the shelves, or fails to reach the consumer because of strict, and often over proscriptive, “sell-by” dates.

Most of the more developed countries in the world produce 3 to 4 times more food than their populations actually consume. It is not just food that is wasted, but also water, energy, fertilisers and labour. According to the IMechE report, 550 billion cubic meters of water are wasted around the world by growing crops that never reach the consumer.

There is also a significant environmental factor as 10% of the richest countries’ greenhouse gas emissions are from food waste. “Food waste is probably one of the worst things for global warming,” Simon Heaps, Director of the British company “Eco Food Recycling” explained to us. Actually, losses occur right the way through the food supply chain from the farm, all the way to the plate.

In the US, 40% of the food produced is never consumed, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010). In an interview with the ‘Voice of Russia’ he told us that America creates 72 billion kilos of food waste per year, which represents an estimated loss of $250 billion USD.

In Europe, the situation is hardly any better. In France, for example, every citizen throws away about 20 kilos of food a year including 7 kilos of packed food and 13 kilos of spoiled food as well as fruit and vegetables that have been allowed to go bad. In the UK, 6.7 million tons of food is wasted every year. The food that currently gets thrown away in Europe every year is enough to feed 200 million people.

However, global concerns over food waste are rising. In Europe, the major initiative is called “Fusions”, a 4-year program, funded to the tune of 4 million Euros by the European Commission, which hopes to learn more about food waste across the Union. As Tristram Stuart, who was awarded the 2011 Sophie Prize for his work on the global food waste scandal, said in an interview with the ‘Voice of Russia’: “It consists of a partnership primarily of large institutions, like research universities and large research organisations.”

Nevertheless, the concerns go way beyond Europe; Tristram Stuart continued on food waste: “It is a totally global concern. I went to Malaysia last year for a conference on food waste. A group in Kuala-Lumpur wanted to organise a “Feeding the 5000.” There are strong food waste movements in Argentina, in Brazil; people in the Middle East are also interested in the issue. We do live in a global food system. The reality is that there is a global dynamic already, but there is no Kyoto conference on food waste.”

Although the concern is growing, there is still a long way to go to reduce the sheer quantity of food that is wasted every year, as illustrated by the figures. Indeed Jonathan Bloom has noticed that in the US, “the average citizen isn’t as concerned about reducing food waste as they are about recycling. Most people don’t think of food waste as an environmental problem.”

However, concerns for the environment and food waste are connected, as Stuart observed: “Increasing global food demand is the main contributor to deforestation internationally, for instance in South America, Central Africa and South East Asia.”

On January 22, the United Nations, including notably the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN Environmental Program, launched a global campaign titled “Think, Eat, Save” to accelerate awareness and promote action on food waste.

Lots of non-governmental organisations are developing interesting initiatives to improve the situation. Tristram Stuart launched in 2009, in London, the project “Feeding the 5000” . As he described it: “The objective is to promote local solutions to the global problem. We do this by feeding 5000 people with food that otherwise would be wasted and by inviting any member of the public to come and join us. What we’re saying is that the solution is to eat and enjoy food instead of throwing away.” “Feeding the 5000” has already been organised in a number of European cities, but is also being set up in Nairobi and New York soon.

Moreover, Tristram Stuart and his team created a gleaning network in the UK. “It consists of bringing together volunteers and taking them to farms where farmers have left fruit in their fields. We then give that food to charitable organisations,” said Stuart. The network addresses one of the main defects in the current food system: the unnecessary focus on food appearance (size, shape, colour, gloss) by retailers. In the UK, where the project is carried out, an estimated of 20 to 40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected before they reach the shops, mainly because of excessivelly (perhaps even obsessively) strict cosmetic standards.

The food waste issue has also inspired commercial projects, like food recycling. Simon Heaps, Director of the British company “Eco Food Recycling”  describes what his group does: “We are a carrier. We just collect commercial food waste from hotels, restaurants, pubs, universities, shopping centres. It’s all commercial food waste, but only commercial. We collect about 40 thousand tons a year. It then goes to anaerobic digester plants that create renewable energy.”

There are multiple ongoing initiatives to raise awareness and stop the wastage of food but the easiest solution is as simple as eating the food produced. In Stuart’s mind: “The solution to that problem is nothing more complicated than eating food rather than wasting it; and the solution is, generally speaking, compatible with the business models of enterprises. It is compatible with the global recession when people want to save money.”

Some simple actions such as buying less, freezing more and eating up your leftovers, could save considerable quantities of food that would otherwise be wasted. Feeding the world’s growing population, when so many are, quite literally dying of starvation has to be a better outcome than good, wholesome food ending up in the dumpster.


Eating Foods High in Fructose from Added Sugars Linked to Hypertension




Washington, DC (June 25, 2010) — People who eat a diet high in fructose, in the form

of added sugar, are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure, or

hypertension, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the

American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that cutting back on foods

and beverages containing a lot of fructose (sugar) might decrease one’s risk of

developing hypertension.


Hypertension is the most common chronic condition in developed countries and a major

risk factor for heart and kidney diseases. Researchers are striving to identify

environmental factors that might be responsible for the development of hypertension,

and they suspect that fructose may play a role. Over the past century, a dramatic

increase in the consumption of this simple sugar, which is used to sweeten a wide

variety of processed foods, mirrors the dramatic rise in the prevalence of hypertension.


To examine whether increased fructose consumption has contributed to rising rates of

hypertension, Diana Jalal, MD (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center)

and her colleagues analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination

Survey (2003-2006). The study involved 4,528 US adults 18 years of age or older with no

prior history of hypertension. Study participants answered questions related to their

consumption of foods and beverages such as fruit juices, soft drinks, bakery products,

and candy. Dr. Jalal’s team found that people who consumed a diet of 74 grams or more

per day of fructose (corresponding to 2.5 sugary soft drinks per day) had a 26%, 30%,

and 77% higher risk for blood pressure levels of 135/85, 140/90, and 160/100 mmHg,

respectively. (A normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mmHg.)


“Our study identifies a potentially modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure.

However, well-planned prospective randomized clinical studies need to be completed to

see if low fructose diets will prevent the development of hypertension and its

complications,” said Dr. Jalal.

Cesium in trout 110 times over limit

Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012


A mountain trout caught in the Niida River in Fukushima Prefecture contained 11,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, more than 110 times above the government limit for food products, a survey by the Environment Ministry showed.

Presenting its findings Friday on cesium in fish and insects in rivers, lakes and sea in Fukushima, the ministry said it also detected 4,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium in a smallmouth bass and 3,000 becquerels in a catfish caught at the Mano Dam in Iitate.

The maximum threshold for food items is 100 becquerels per kilogram.

It is only the second time the ministry has conducted such a survey, after undertaking a study between December and this February. The first data were published in July.

“Like the previous survey, concentrations (of cesium) tended to be higher in rivers and lakes than in the sea. We want to grasp the extent of pollution by continuously conducting the survey,” a ministry official said.


Who ordered the sweet and sour pussies? Moment truck crammed with FIVE HUNDRED cats was stopped en route to restaurants in China

By David Baker

PUBLISHED:16:55 EST, 1  November 2012| UPDATED:17:16 EST, 1 November 2012


These pictures show the disturbing moment a  truck crammed with 500 cats was stopped during a routine check – as it made its  way to restaurants across China.

The neglected and hungry cats were piled  together in cages as the truck seemingly made its way to food outlets to sell  the pets as meat.

Luckily, the animals, some of which had been  cruelly stuffed in bags, were rescued thanks to vehicle checks in Xuzhou, in the  eastern province of Jiangsu.

Disturbing: When the cats were found some had been struggling to breathe through small holes in burlap sacks 

Disturbing: When the cats were found some had been  struggling to breathe through small holes in burlap sacks


Caged animals: Many of the 500 cats were crammed together in tiny cages as they made the trip in the back of the truck across China 

Caged animals: Many of the 500 cats were crammed  together in tiny cages as they made the trip in the back of the truck across  China

Having pulled over the truck in what they  assumed was a run of the mill stop, officers were shocked to find the horrific  haul.

Officer Sun Hai, who helped rescue the  terrified felines along with a colleague, said: ‘The driver said it was a full  load of rabbit.

‘But after we instructed him to uncover the  load we were shocked to find a full load of living cats.’

Intercepted: The felines were rescued thanks to routine vehicle checks, before they were sold as food 

Intercepted: The felines were rescued thanks to routine  vehicle checks, before they were sold as food


Helping hand: Volunteers rushed to give the cats water, before they were transferred to an animal centre for treatment 

Helping hand: Volunteers rushed to give the cats water,  before they were transferred to an animal centre for treatment

Horrifying: Some of the cats had been stuffed into bags with barely enough room to breathe 

Horrifying: Some of the cats had been stuffed into bags  with barely enough room to breathe

Following the find the pair informed  volunteers from a local animal protection centre who quickly arrived on the  scene.

They cut open the bags with keys and knives  to save the animals from suffocation and also bought water and  food.

It is believed that the owner of the load  refused to reveal where the cats had come from and it even took seven hours of  negotiations to get him to hand them over to rescue teams.

The cats have now been transferred to an  animal rescue centre at Tangzhang County, where they are being  treated.

As a nation of pet lovers Brits have long  been condemning the treatment of animals in China, where cats and dogs are  believed to be widely sold as food.

Previously cats and dogs have be seen  squeezed inside cages with no room to move, many of them diseased, in a live  animal market in Nanhai, China.

Lucky escape: Fortunately the haul of cats are now being cared for at an animal centre 

Lucky escape: Fortunately the haul of cats are now being  cared for at an animal centre

The Three Birds Market, where cats live in  small metal baskets, is deemed to be operating as a poultry market in southern  China

Dog meat is also thought to be a staple food  in this area of China and  people believe it is the best meat to keep them warm  during winter.

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New infant formula safety advice could prevent infant suffering

2009 release posted for filing
Contact: Lucy Collister

Published in Letters in Applied Microbiology

Wheat-based infant follow-on formulas are better reconstituted with fruit juice and should be stored in the fridge at 4°C to prevent growth of meningitis bacteria, according to recent research.

The results of a study, published today in the Society for Applied Microbiology journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology, have shown that Cronobacter species do not grow in wheat-based infant formula stored at 4°C.

Cronobacter is a recently defined genus of bacteria and was previously known as Enterobacter sakazakii. Cronobacter species have been frequently isolated from the environment and various food products including infant formula. These bacteria have been associated with infant meningitis, enteritis and septicaemia, so prevention of infant’s consumption is vital in maintaining their safety.

These bugs will grow at 25°C or 37°C, but less so when the formula is made up using apple or grape juice than when made up using water or milk.

“This is valuable information for parents, infant formula producers and regulators and should be used when preparing and storing the reconstituted wheat based infant formula. It is also important that formula is prepared hygienically” said researcher Tareq Osaili.

47th Health Research Report 06 JAN 2009 – Reconstruction


Editors Top Five:


**Holiday Light Version


In this issue:


1. Common food additive found to increase risk and speed spread of lung cancer

2. Another reason to avoid high-fat diet — it can disrupt our biological clock

3. Nutrigenomics — developing personalized diets for disease prevention

4. Grape-seed extract kills laboratory leukemia cells, proving value of natural compounds

5. USC dentist links Fosamax-type drugs to jaw necrosis

6. Antioxidants offer pain relief in patients with chronic pancreatitis

7. Childhood trauma associated with chronic fatigue syndrome

8. Pneumococcal vaccine does not appear to protect against pneumonia

9. Low-carb diets prove better at controlling type 2 diabetes

10. New infant formula safety advice could prevent infant suffering

11. Coffee may protect against oral cancers


Health Technology Research Synopsis

47 th Issue Date 06 JAN 2009

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano


Why your banana may not be vegan – Warning to those allergic to Shellfish

by Caren  Baginski in New Hope 360 Blog

It’s a no-brainer, right? Vegans and vegetarians don’t have to think twice about eating fruit and vegetables because they don’t contain animal products.

But at Natural Products Expo West this year, I met the folks of One Degree Organic, who introduced the concept of “veganic” agriculture—a type of organic farming in which no animal byproducts are used.

So, that loaf of bread I thought was vegan? Technically not, if the wheat was grown using manure.

And now, a new spray-on coating that could delay the ripening of bananas for 12 days could also turn my vegan banana into, technically, a non-vegan one.

The spray coating is made from chitosan, which is derived from shrimp and crab shells.  Vegans forgo the consumption of fish and crustaceans, making this spray a no-no.

What else is in our food?

According to ScienceDaily, chitosan is gaining attention for keeping fruits and vegetables fresher longer due to how it kills bacteria that causes produce to rot. Until now, however, it has not been used to slow the ripening of bananas. The coating could potentially be used in supermarkets or by consumers at home.

While it’s not a commercial reality yet, if such a spray were used in stores, consumers would be none the wiser.

I’m not a stickler when it comes to the perfect vegan diet. In fact, I eat organic, local honey. But like screening for GMOs, I want to know what my local grocer is spraying my food with—vegan or not—so that I can be an informed shopper