Reading List: Spices Cut Cancer Risk, Chefs Adopt A School and Healthy Video Games

by in Food News & Trends, May 28, 2010


In this week’s nutrition news: Overseas food suppliers to receive food safety training, anti-obesity video games and slathering spices on your meat can help reduce cancer risk.

Spices Help Cut Cancer Risk
We’ve told you safe ways to decrease cancer risk when grilling, but a new study shows that certain spices also help cut the cancer risk. Scientists at Kansas State University reported that three spices — rosemary, turmeric and fingerroot — helped prevent the formation of HCAs (heterocyclic amines) — the cancer-causing compounds that form when foods are grilled or barbecued. So next time you’re in the mood for a BBQ, don’t forget to add some spice! Next up: The scientists are moving on to marinades.

White House to Chefs: Adopt a School
The White House is calling for chefs to join its new  “Chefs Move to Schools” Program, which gives culinary experts the opportunity to adopt a local school (similar to what Jamie Oliver did on his TV show Food Revolution). Chefs will be paired with local schools and will help teach about food and cooking techniques. The purpose is not only to educate students, but also to deliver the message to food service employees, school administrators and teachers.

Consumer Group Pushes For Calorie Listing on Alcohol
Have you ever tried to figure out how many calories are in your glass of wine or bottle of beer? A coalition of consumer groups is pushing to require all alcohol beverages to carry a nutrition label. Currently, there is no standardized format for labeling alcohol and those calories add up fast! In the meantime, check out our post on choosing better beer, wine and cocktails.

TELL US: would you be for or against calorie listing on alcohol?

Cross-Border Food Safety Training
Of the 15 percent of the U.S. food supply that’s imported, less than one percent gets inspected at the border.  Dangerous microorganisms are crossing the border, but simply trying to inspect more food is too costly.  Instead, the FDA is establishing an International Food Safety Training Laboratory  to conduct food safety training in the Asia-Pacific region. All I can say is — it’s about time!

Healthy Video Games: Will High Scores Equal Lower Weights?
Counterproductive, or a good idea: A video game designed to help teach kids about healthy eating?  New health-themed video games are modeled after simple games like Tetris and Facebook’s FarmVille, which can be played in small bursts of time. It’s an opportunity to get healthy eating ideas across to tech-focused kids, but will it transfer to the dinner table and help combat childhood obesity?

TELL US: How do you feel about a healthy eating video game?

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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