I’m keynoting the launch of the 2022-2023 Dr. Rogers Prize at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1000 Burrard Street, 6:00 pm reception, my talk is at 7:00 pm. I’m not getting the $250,000 prize (alas), I’m just celebrating it. It’s for a Canadian doing complementary and alternative medicine.
Food Production Daily, my source of much interesting information about European production of functional foods, today reveals the bitter truth about chocolate. It quotes an article in The Lancet revealing that most of the beneficial antioxidants in cocoa are removed during processing. But a spokesperson for the chocolate industry says (my emphasis): “Anyone already on a healthy and balanced diet should be able to indulge occasionally in one or two squares of dark chocolate and benefit from a few health benefits as well.”
But of course. As I am always saying, promoting the health benefits of chocolate is about marketing, not health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says physical activity is increasing among U.S. adults. At least that’s what U.S. adults say they are doing. It’s almost as hard to get good information about activity as it is to get information about diet. The latest results could be true. They are consistent with some studies, but not others. If so, it’s good news but doesn’t this mean that weight gain must be due to overeating, not to too little activity (at least across the population)?
I am indebted to OrangeClouds115 who writes a diary for the Daily Kos (here’s an example) for telling me about Function drinks, this one called “House Call.” The Function website says: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away? The docs at Function think that’s slightly rude.” House Call keeps the doctor away? Um, maybe not. Orangeclouds115 reports: “You should see the ingredients. It’s sugar water. They sell 4 for $5.” As I say in What to Eat, functional foods are about marketing; they are not about health. Alas.
According to rumors, the FDA is about to approve the use of cloned animals for food. The rumors originate from the Wall Street Journal, which warns everyone to “get ready for a food fight over milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring.” When it first approved cloned animals, the FDA asked producers of the cloned animals not to do this until consumers got used to the idea: “we are continuing to ask producers of clones and livestock breeders to voluntarily refrain from introducing food products from these animals into commerce so that we will have the opportunity to consider the public’s comments and to issue any final documents as warranted.” I guess they’ve done that and the time has come?
Coca-Cola and Cargill have teamed up to start marketing the sweetener, Stevia, in countries that allow it, places like Brazil and China. Europe and the U.S. do not allow it as a food additive although the U.S. permits its use as a dietary supplement. The FDA says companies have not produced evidence that the substance is safe; it considers Stevia an “unsafe food additive” and any product containing it to be adulterated. The entry on Stevia in Wikipedia explains most of what all this is about. Concerns about the safety of Stevia have not stopped Coca-Cola from filing 24 patent applications or petitioning the FDA for approval. Interesting, no?
Jack of Food and Bottle sends along this notice of the TV Food Network’s top 100 recipes of 2007. As he puts it, “Two Mac ‘n Cheese recipes to start you off…27 chicken recipes,7 casseroles, 2 soups, No stews, No ethnic food. (a couple of make-believes, though). Okay, so it is the worst Top 100 List I’ve seen. But hey, their millions of viewers must lop it up. Have a great 2008!”
Yum. Oh well. As someone on the TV Food Network once pointed out to me, food cooked on TV has no calories.