Reading List: Controversy Over Olive Oil, Cloned Food + Adult Picky Eaters

by in Food News, August 13, 2010

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In this week’s nutrition news: Meatless Monday makeover, study shows label readers eat healthier and Europe faces cloned food controversy.

The Adult Picky Eaters Club
It’s not just kids who only eat hot dogs and potato chips — there’s a group of picky adults that claim their long list of  hated foods is a disorder, not a choice.  The group Finicky Eating in Adults has more than 2000 members who  report their eating habits have cost them their loved ones and even jobs. The site has a support forum and information for those living with food limitations.

TELL US: Are you are an adult picky eater?

Cloned Food Debacle

As if cloning wasn’t controversial enough, what about eating food derived from the cloned animals? In the UK, meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals is being sold to customers without proper labeling. Many aren’t sure if this was by accident or not. Even scarier, the European Union doesn’t know if this is legal.  Health and food safety experts say these foods are safe to eat, but many folks are skeptical. The European Commission is working on clarifying the guidelines when it comes to eating offspring from cloned animals. Why do I have a feeling the U.S. may be dealing with the same issues in the near future?

TELL US: Should food derived from cloned animals be legal?

Meatless Mondays Makeover
Meatless Mondays have been on the radar for some time as one way to help lower cholesterol and heart disease. But if  lowering disease risk isn’t a motivator for you, would you eat less meat to help the environment? The movement is making over its message to attract younger, environmentally-conscious localvores that care where meat comes from and how it’s raised. Want to go meatless on Mondays?  We have 4 Mondays-worth of meatless meals here, plus get 25 more vegetarian meals.

Not-So-Virginal Olive Oil

As if olive oil labels weren’t confusing enough, a recent study conducted at the University of California found that 69 percent of the imported oils claiming to be “extra-virgin” didn’t meet international standards for the term. Top Chef contestant David Martin and other California restaurateurs filed a lawsuit alleging 10 major brands were misrepresenting their products. The North American Olive Oil Association says their tests revealed that only one percent of samples have issues. The lawsuit comes as the USDA develops standards for products labeled  “virgin” and “extra-virgin.”

Label Readers Eat Healthier
Label readers, stand proud!  New data from a national survey found that more than 60 percent of the respondents read the nutrition facts, 51.6 percent check out the ingredients, 47.2 percent read the serving size and 43.8 percent review the health claims at least some of the time when choosing which food to buy. Research also revealed a significant difference in total calories, fat, sodium, fiber and sugar between label readers verses non-readers. So to all you label readers — keep it up! Want more info about what’s in your food? Check out our label decoder series.

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 (1)

  1. Susan says:

    I've been watching the news reports about the cloned meat that made it's way to the public in the UK. I watched them interview a U.S. cattle breeder/rancher who said he's working on engineering the best steak for us to eat. I think anything genetically modified that we eat (whether cloned meat or engineered tomatoes) need to be watched closely and for a long period of time to determine any risks. I think the American public knows little about what's being done to our food and it's a bit scary. There was a conference, a few years ago in our city, on genetically modified food and someone talked about combining fish DNA with tomatoes…yikes!

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