Reading List: Candy Tax in Washington, Misleading Food Allergies Info and Rachel Ray’s Food Fight

by in Food News, May 14, 2010

chocolate bar

In this week’s nutrition news: Check Twitter and Facebook before your next visit to the farmers’ market, food allergy testing to be standardized and meet the White House pastry chef.

Candy Tax Begins Next Month
If you live in Washington State, you’ll be shelling out more for candy starting June 1. In reality, if you’re a Kit Kat or Milky Way lover you’re lucky—according to the government’s definition you’re not really eating candy. So why are Three Musketeers taxed and Kit Kats (my favorite) not? It depends on the ingredients—if flour was added then it’s not really a candy. A little ridiculous if you ask me. What’s your take on the new candy tax?

White House Pastry Chef Scales Down
Meet Bill Yosses—he’s the 57 year old chef in charge of making desserts for the White House. Many question what he’s been doing since Mrs. Obama requested that dessert be an occasional treat and only served in small portions. Besides making pastries for morning meetings in the West Wing, Mr. Yosses fills his busy 12 hour days by taking on additional tasks—including beekeeping, weeding and creating the perfect pie crust (which I’d love to try!).

Misleading Information on Food Allergies
Have you noticed the sudden increase in food allergies? So has the federal government—so they dug a little deeper to find out why. Although about 30 percent of the population believes they have food allergies, in reality not all do. Many folks who were diagnosed as a child shed their allergies as an adult or it’s been found that tests like finger pricking and tiny injections are only 50 percent accurate. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is on a mission to create one standard for food allergy testing—they expect to write up a draft by June.

Rachel Ray Lobby’s For School Lunch

Rachel Ray was in Washington D.C. this week using her “big Sicilian mouth” to ask government for better school lunches. This includes reauthorizing the Nutrition Act which determines how much schools are given for meals (she’s asking for a 70 cent increase per child). She’s also asking for a nationwide trans-fat ban in school cafeterias. Will Rachel Ray’s star power have some influence on Capital Hill—what do you think?

Check Twitter and Facebook Before Heading To the Farmers’ Market

Before packing up your re-usable bags and heading to your local farmers’ market, you may want to check your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Farmers are using these free social media tools to announce weekly specials. Do you use Twitter and Facebook to follow your local farmers?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (7)

  1. Guest says:

    Students-and the poorest students especially-have cause for a class action lawsuit against many school districts for predisposing so many of them to juvenile and type II diabetes. Despite knowledge of better nutritional practices, we continue to serve preformed frozen chicken nuggets, french fries, and pizza with corn on a daily basis,We serve french toast sticks with syrup, sausage biscuits, and potarts for breakfast when oatmeal is quick and so much healthier. Our milk is flavored and has many teaspoons of added sugar. When asked, officials say that they lack the time, staff, and money to present students with a salad bar even one day per week. The current state is worse than the previously identified evils of asbestos and lead paint and second hand smoke-COMBINED. Please do something NOW to assure that our children do not die at a younger age than their parents and grandparents. Jamie Oliver cannot do it all.

  2. Kim says:

    I live in washington state. The state constitution says tax on grocery store food items is illegal and it was upheld by the state supreme court in the 1970s. This is an end run around the state law. The definition of candy (according to them) is anything that contains a sweetener (including artificial and honey) and does not contain wheat flour and does not need refrigeration. Granola sweetened with honey is classified as candy for taxation purposes.

    According to how the law is written – raspberry jam, peanut butter with honey, sweetened instant oatmeal, chocolate covered dried strawberries are candy but chocolate covered pretzels are not.

    One power bar owner that uses oats, honey, nuts and all natural ingredients was informed her product is candy. Apparently the department of revenue has no concept that oats are also a grain.

    NOBODY – especially the state – can redefine what food is in order to place extra taxes on it – especially since the state constitution forbids it. Also – the state law does not prohibit taxing soda and it has always been taxed – although the state is now placing an extra 6.5% on it (on top of the 10% tax already on it) this includes diet soda – but not soda manufactured by a company that makes less than 10 million dollars a year – tax is exempt on their products.

    The tax will be on SOME beer – but not all. Mass produced beer will be taxed but microbrews will not be (giving unfair advantage to state breweries)

    And for those who thinks water is free – bottled water will also be taxed.

    These taxes violate the washington state constitution and will hopefully be overturned. Socialist idiots have absolutely no right to redefine what food is in order to place taxes on items they do not wish others to consume – what others choose to eat is none of their business.

  3. Zona Armes says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  4. Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  5. tongkat ali says:

    Hola nuevo en el foro, así que pensé id decir Hola. Pregunta para todos ustedes, ¿quién es la mejor persona para hablar sobre un proyecto que he realizado en este campo en particular.

  6. Hi, My name is Kennedy Im from Colorado. I just retired from the army. I enlisted young and retired young. Im seeking a new career path in this field. Hope you professionals can advise me how can i start please

  7. tongkat ali says:

    Salut tout le monde, j’espère que tous sont bien! Posté mon premier sujet ici aujourd’hui, probablement au mauvais endroit, lol. Je se cachent ici et là et appartiennent à un petit nombre de sites, pensé qu’il était temps de faire l’un des em. Merci pour avoir cette place ici que moi et d’autres peuvent profiter et bénéficier.

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