Lead in Food

Lead in Food: A Hidden Health Threat

Moms Clean Air Force

BY ON June 15, 2017

Our core issues are air pollution and climate change, but in our work to protect children’s health we were surprised to learn that food is a source of young children’s exposure to lead.

New research from Environmental Defense Fund, our parent organization, explores the problem of lead in baby food. We are reposting their article about the research here in full because we think it’s so important. No safe level of lead has been identified. Even very low blood lead levels can lead to behavioral problems and lower IQ.

Lead has no place in a child’s diet! Please call the customer service number of the company that makes your baby food. FDA allowable levels are not good enough.

Here’s what you can say: “I don’t want lead in my baby’s food – no matter what FDA says is permissible. Can you assure me that you have tested your food for lead and that it meets the guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics for no more than 1 ppb of lead?”


Food is a meaningful – and surprising – source of young children’s exposure to lead.

No safe level of lead in blood has been identified. In children, even very low blood lead levels can cause behavioral problems and lower IQ. Protecting children’s ability to learn and thrive demands that we find effective ways to reduce exposures to lead from all sources.

EDF analyzed 11 years of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and found that food, and baby food in particular, is a meaningful – and surprising – source of lead. If it were eliminated completely, we estimate the societal benefits at more than $27 billion annually.

Key findings

EDF‘s analysis of 11 years of FDA data found:

  • Lead was detected in 20% of baby food samples compared to 14% for other foods.
  • Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40% of samples.
  • Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions.

EDF also found that more than 1 million children consume more lead than FDA’s limit. Eliminating lead in food would save society more than $27 billion annually in total lifetime earnings from saved IQ points.

What we did

EDF evaluated data collected and analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2003 to 2013 as part of the agency’s Total Diet Study (TDS). Since the 1970s, the TDS has tracked metals, pesticides, and nutrients in food. While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead.

What we found

Overall, 20% of 2,164 baby food samples and 14% of the other 10,064 food samples had detectable levels of lead. At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food analyzed by FDA had detectable levels of lead in it. Lead was most commonly found in the following baby foods types:

  • Fruit juices: 89% of grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, mixed fruit (67%), apple (55%), and pear (45%)
  • Root vegetables: Sweet potatoes (86%) and carrots (43%)
  • Cookies: Arrowroot cookies (64%) and teething biscuits (47%)

We also found that the baby food versions of apple and grape juice and of carrots had samples with detectable lead more often than the regular versions.

Juice with detectable level of lead

Recommendations

Both FDA and food producers can and must do better to reduce lead in food, especially baby food.

EDF recommends that FDA:

  • Ensure lead is not added to any food contact material where it is reasonably expected to get into food;
  • Make clear that the international standards for fruit juice are inadequate;
  • Update its limits and food safety guidance to reflect current scientific understanding of lead risks that better protect children; and
  • Encourage manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food and take enforcement action when limits are exceeded.

Manufacturers need not wait for FDA to act. EDF recommends companies:

  • Set a goal of less than 1 ppb of lead in baby food and other foods marketed to young children;
  • Continue to prioritize lead contaminant minimization when sourcing ingredients;
  • Test more frequently during processing to identify additional sources of lead and take appropriate corrective actions; and
  • Publicly commit to consumers to drive down lead levels through health-protective limits and robust product stewardship.

In the meantime, parents of young children should consult with their child’s pediatrician to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure. They should also check with their favorite brands to ask whether the company:

  • Regularly tests its products for lead; and
  • Ensures that, especially for baby food, there is less than 1 ppb of lead in the food and juices they sell.

Healthy eating requires safe, nutritious food. (Tweet this) Lead has no place in a child’s diet.

Download the report [PDF]

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TOPICS: Children’s Health, Politics, Toxics

US RECALL NEWS

Conagra Brands Recalls Hunt’s Chili Kits Due To Potential Presence Of Salmonella In Spice Packet

APRIL 2, 2017
BY THE FDA LEAVE A COMMENT

FOODS_RECALL_HUNTS

Conagra Brands, Inc., announced today it is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of Hunt’s Chili Kits due to the potential presence of Salmonella in the chili seasoning packet contained in the kit. The chili seasoning used in the packet originated from a supplier who informed the company of the potential presence of Salmonella in a raw material used in the chili seasoning. Although no Salmonella was found in the finished product supplied to Conagra Brands, the company has decided out of an abundance of caution to recall the product.

There have been no reports of adverse reactions or injuries due to consumption of this product to date. Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

The product covered by this recall was distributed in retail stores, military commissaries and online nationwide in the U.S.; the specific product information is listed below. The product code information is stated on the bottom of the kit below the barcode. No other Hunt’s products or Conagra Brands’ products are impacted by this recall.

Item Description UPC MFG/Lot Code Best By Date

HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534619500 Apr 04, 2018
HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534622200 May 01, 2018
HUNT’S CHILI KIT 44.8OZ 20-0-27000-42063-2 3534619600 Apr 05, 2018

Consumers who have purchased this item are advised not to consume it and return it to the store where originally purchased. Conagra Brands is cooperating with the FDA on this recall and is working with customers to ensure the packages are removed from store shelves and are no longer distributed. Consumers with questions should call our Consumer Affairs hotline at 1-800-921-7404, open 9 am through 5 pm CDT, Monday through Friday.

Link:  https://www.usrecallnews.com/conagra-brands-recalls-hunts-chili-kits-due-to-potential-presence-of-salmonella-in-spice-packet/

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FYI: “A Pear A Day!”

‘Bye Apple! 5 Reasons Why You Should Eat A Pear Every Day

FOODS_PEARS

December is National Pear Month, the perfect time to celebrate the abundance, variety, and deliciousness of USA Pears. During the holiday season, you can use pears to create festive appetizers and holiday feasts, gifted fresh, preserved as jam or chutney, and as portable, healthy snacks.

More than good taste, this versatile fruit packs a powerful nutrition punch. Pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C. They are low in calories, sodium-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free. Eating a variety of fruits—including pears–is part of the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Here are 5 more reasons why you should eat a pear every day.

1. Weight Management

Studies suggest that adding pears to the diet aids weight loss. In a study women who ate three pears or three apples every day had more weight loss compared to women who ate very little fruit. Likewise, women eating fruit had a greater reduction in calorie intake overall, likely due to greater satisfaction after eating. Eating 3 servings of fruit per day may decrease your overall daily food intake.

Another study showed that eating 3 pears or apples every day satisfies better than eating cookies that have the same amount of calories and fiber. Women added 3 oat cookies, 3 pears, or 3 apples to their daily diets for 10 weeks. The women eating the pears or apples significantly decreased calorie intake and lost more weight than the women eating cookies.

2. Gut Health

A healthy gut is key to a healthy immune and nervous system. Pears contain prebiotic fiber that helps promote intestinal health by providing food for beneficial probiotic bacteria. As fiber travels through the digestive system it acts like a sponge, absorbing water and removing waste and toxins. Pears are one of the leading fruit sources of fiber. One medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber. That’s about 24 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. The majority of the fiber in pears is in the skin, so be sure to enjoy the skin!
3. Cancer Prevention

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In a study comparing people diagnosed with colorectal adenoma (growths) to those with no diagnosis, researchers found fruit and vegetables to be somewhat protective, but the strongest protection came from fruit. Those who ate almost 6 servings of fruit daily had 25 percent less risk of colorectal adenoma compared to those who ate just one serving of fruit daily. Researchers believe fiber, as well as other nutrients in fruit, play a protective role against cancer development.

4. Heart Disease

Pears are a heart healthy food. They are a sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free, a good source of vitamin C and are rich in fiber. Researchers have found that pears and apples are the most protective against heart disease, compared with other common fruits. There are many factors such as diet, activity level, age and genetics that contribute to heart disease. However, according to the American Heart Association, eating more fruits and vegetables may also help fend off a heart attack or stroke.

5. Hypertension

Lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, decreasing sodium while increasing potassium are helpful when it comes to blood pressure. Also, weight loss—if you are overweight, may reduce blood pressure. Pears are a good source of potassium. Eating foods rich in potassium tend to reduce the bad effects of sodium on blood pressure. And replacing high-sodium, high-calorie foods in your diet with low-calorie, sodium free foods such as pears can help reduce sodium intake even more.

Posted on December 12, 2016   blackdoctor.org/508368/health-benefits-of-pears/

Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE,CDN

Cocoa Uses

10 Creative Ways to Use Cocoa Powder

 

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Following are 10 delicious and creative ways to add cocoa – which is heralded for its numerous and wide-ranging health benefits – to your daily life this winter and beyond:

1. Cocoa-fy your coffee

Want to give your cup of joe a boost of beneficial antioxidants? Add one tablespoon of cocoa powder to a mug of hot brewed coffee and sweeten as normal. Warning: Your morning java just became even more addictive.

2. Sprinkle over fruit

Chocolate and fresh fruit are a perfect pairing. They not only complement each other flavor-wise, they’re both rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of cocoa powder over a bowl of nature’s candy and prepare to indulge in an even sweeter treat!

3. Boost your salads

Can’t handle the idea of another boring salad? We don’t blame you! End the monotony by adding some partially ground cocoa beans, known as nibs, to a mixture of lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots and any other veg you have in your repertoire.

4. Enhance trail mix

Those same cocoa nibs that took your salad to the next level also make an excellent addition to homemade (or store-bought) trail mix. Simply combine them with nuts, dried fruit and other tasty ingredients such as yogurt-covered raisins for a smart and satisfying snack.

5. Amp up cereal

Move over berries and banana slices. There’s a new topping in town! It’s cocoa powder, and it could be coming to a cereal bowl near you. A few tablespoons can make any morning better – and healthier, to boot!

6. Elevate your yogurt

If you’re yogurt fan (and really, who isn’t?), cocoa powder is a wonderful way to top off the tasty treat. And if you want to get creative, consider layering cocoa powder, fruit and yogurt to create a delicious, nutritious parfait.

7. Improve smoothie recipes

Gather your favorite smoothie ingredients, a few tablespoons of cocoa powder (or some nibs) and your blender. You know what comes next… a creamy, chocolatey smoothie that will leave you wanting more.

8. Make peanut butter better

Most of us would like to personally thank the culinary genius who first realized that peanut butter (or any nut butter) and chocolate are a delicious, decadent flavor combination. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to your creamy (or crunchy) spread and prepare to enjoy the ultimate peanut butter sandwich. And it’s okay to throw in some banana slices for good measure!

9. Make your own exfoliating scrub

Mix a tablespoon of cocoa powder with equal parts coconut oil, honey and sugar until a paste forms. Apply the blend to your face, and allow it to set for approximately 20 minutes. Gently massage your skin while you rinse off this delicious DIY mask, and kiss those dead skin cells goodbye!

10. Smell it

Trying to stave off your sweet tooth? According to Health.com, taking a quick whiff of cocoa powder may help you combat cravings for sweet treats. That’s because the scent of the stuff activates the same neurotransmitters that are stimulated during chocolate consumption.

FYI: The Site that Simplifies Meal-Giving in Pressing Times – Johnny Jet

Meal Train isn’t a travel website per se, but it’s nonetheless useful tool for anyone who has loved ones far away and who can’t be close to support them during a pressing time. One of the nic…

Source: The Site that Simplifies Meal-Giving in Pressing Times – Johnny Jet

FYI Recall

By Chase Erwin
Sunday, September 4, 2016 at 01:27 PM EDT
 
 

Check your pantries for certain items in the “Little Bites” snack cake line from Entenmann’s – they could be part of a wide-reaching voluntary recall.

The company announced the recall this week after learning that some items could have been contaminated with small pieces of plastic.

At least one injury has been reported in connection with the recalled items.

Company officials say the presence of plastic was due to a manufacturing failure at an Illinois bakery.

The recall affects chocolate chip muffins, variety pack muffins, and fudge brownies with a “sell by” date between Sept. 24 and Oct. 8.

All affected products are being removed from store shelves nationwide.

Consumers who purchased the recalled items are asked to return them to place of purchase for a full refund.

Those with questions pertaining to the recall should phone 1-800-984-0989.

Link:  http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/news/2016/09/4/entenmann-s-recalls-little-bites-muffins-and-brownies.html

FYI: TUMERIC POWDER RECALL!

Update: Gel Spice, Inc. Issues Expanded Recall of Ground Tumeric Powder Due to Elevated Lead Levels

FOODS_TUMERIC7

Posted: 08 Aug 2016 03:52 AM PDT

Gel Spice, Inc. is expanding its recall of ground turmeric powder to include additional brands because of elevated lead levels. Lead can accumulate in the body over time. Too much can cause health problems, including delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Pregnant women, infants and young children especially should avoid exposure to lead.

The post Update: Gel Spice, Inc. Issues Expanded Recall of Ground Tumeric Powder Due to Elevated Lead Levels appeared first on US Recall News.

THEY SAY “NO GMO!”

First Scotland Then Germany Now Greece Has Kicked Out Monsanto As GMO Bans Sweep Through Europe  http://www.healthfreedoms.org/first-scotland-then-germany-now-greece-has-kicked-out-monsanto-as-gmo-bans-sweep-through-europe/

FOODS_GMO-NO2

First Scotland and Germany booted GMOs from their countries, citing fear of GMO crops contaminating their food supplies and concern over putting their food and beverage industries in jeopardy. Now, Greece and Latvia are telling Monsanto exactly what they can do with their genetically modified crops. The tide is turning. A tipping point just became evident through the actions of two additional European countries who have had enough of the Biotech strong arm.

Latvia and Greece have opted out of GMOs, as are Germany and Scotland, as part of the new allowances indicated in legislation that recently passed for EU countries.

The geographical opt-outs specifically target Monsanto’s MON810 GM Maize, which countries may choose to grow or refuse in the next several months. This is currently the only genetically modified crop allowed to be grown within the EU at present – but only when countries give specific permission.

As Sustainable Pulse explains, “while the European Commission is responsible for approvals, requests to be excluded also have to be submitted to the company making the application i.e. Monsanto for MON810.”

If additional member states deny Monsanto, we can be assured that the biotech company will try to find other ways to force their GM crops on the world (e.g. the Trans Pacific Trade partnership) but as we collectively say NO, upholding bans, and demanding labeling, we will rid this planet of the plague that is genetically modified food.

Source(s):

getholistichealth.com
reuters.com
naturalsociety.com
sustainablepulse.com
politicalvelcraft.org

Food Budjet

When Your Food Budget Is Critical
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13aug05f.cfm

A Family Food Crisis

FOODS_BUDGETING2

Going Beyond Cheap Recipes to Reduce Grocery Bills
—————————————————————
“My problem is beyond frugal!

I only have $100 to feed my family of three for the next month.
I’m not a great cook and just don’t know what to do. Can you help
me to get through the month without starving my family?”

Jana
—————————————————————
Your problem may be beyond normal frugal living standards, but it’s not unsolvable. And, many common frugal shopping tips can help you keep your family from starving this month. Let’s examine a few.

Begin by checking your existing inventory. You may not have a lot of food in the house, but you’ll want to use everything that you do have.

If you’re not sure how to use some of the things on your pantry shelf, check out recipe sites. Most will allow you to put in ingredients and they’ll return a list of recipes that use them.

Don’t worry about not being an excellent chef. Recipes sites have articles and videos covering any cooking skill you’ll need.

Next, consider other sources for food besides the grocery store. Many are need based so you’ll have to admit that you want help. There’s no shame in that. Almost all of us have struggled at one time or another.

Find out about local food pantries. Most contain a variety of staples. If you don’t know of any in your community, check with a local church. They should be able to provide contact information.
One Hundred Dollar Plate photo from Shutterstock

Depending on your income level, government assistance might be available. SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), commonly called “food stamps,” is meant to help families who need help with groceries. You’ll find more information on their webpage.

Contact your children’s school. You’ll find lunch assistance programs available. An added bonus is that most school lunches are well balanced, which should make your job easier.

It’s also possible that you might be able to work for some food. That might sound strange, but it can’t hurt to ask at local fruit/veggie stands and farms. Also ask them what they do with produce that’s overripe and can’t be sold.

One big key to your success is meal planning. You’ll want to select recipes that allow you to use whatever inventory you have and don’t require you to buy expensive ingredients. Stick to simple recipes.

When you do go to the grocery store, stay away from processed foods. Whole potatoes are cheaper than the instant mashed ones. The closer foods are to their natural state the cheaper they will be.

Basic food is relatively inexpensive, especially beans and starches. A five-pound bag of rice can be the basis for many meals for pennies. Sticking to the basics will stretch your food dollar.

If your spending has put you in debt, take the first step to financial freedom!

Expect to have some meatless meals. Look for markdowns when you do buy meat. And only buy cuts that you can spread across multiple meals.

Use beans to provide protein for your meals. Raw beans are inexpensive and not that hard to cook. Check the web for “how to” videos.

Take advantage of in-season vegetables. They provide good nutrition. Often they’re flavorful. And, if they’re locally grown, they can be found very cheaply.

Blend in some soup or salad meals. A head of lettuce along with a tomato and a bit of salad dressing makes an acceptable meal.

Make sure that nothing you buy goes to waste. Whether it’s the last few pieces of meat or a half of a potato, make sure you use it before it spoils.

You’re facing a tough challenge, but not an impossible one. For the next month, your menu options may be limited, but your family need not go hungry. You’ll pick up some frugal living skills that will continue to save you money.

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He’s been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. You can follow Gary on Twitter or visit Gary Foreman on Google+. Gary is also available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

Take the Next Step: (http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13aug05f.cfm)

DOZENS of Food Crops Treated with Pre-Harvest Roundup

DOZENS of Food Crops Treated with Pre-Harvest Roundup (it’s not just wheat!)
by Sarah Green Living

ENVIRONS_ROUND-UP7.jpg
Glyphosate spraying Pre-harvest application of herbicides as a (toxic) drying agent on wheat is an established practice on many conventional farms. The method was first suggested as early as 1980, becoming routine in North America over the past 15 years or so. Use is also widespread in the UK.

Applying herbicides like Roundup 7-10 days before harvest is viewed as especially helpful for wheat that ripens unevenly, a common occurrence. It is also considered a helpful tool to initiate an earlier harvest when weather conditions threaten plant viability. Other benefits are earlier ripening for earlier replanting and reducing the green material in the field. This puts less strain on farm machinery during harvest.

Farmers euphemistically call the practice “desiccation”. When used during wheat harvest, it can result in slightly greater yield by triggering plants to release more seeds.

The result? Most non-organic wheat in North America is now contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and similar herbicides.
WHO: Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen

A March 2015 report by the World Health Organization identified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Several EU countries have banned it as a result with more in the works.

However, in North America, glyphosate use shockingly continues to remain a popular farming tool.

And, as it turns out, use of Roundup as a drying agent on wheat prior to harvest is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dozens of other food crops are subjected to glyphosate dousing prior to harvest as well.
But Wait! Isn’t Roundup Just for GMO Crops?

It is well known that Roundup is sprayed directly on GMO crops like corn and soy because they are genetically engineered to withstand the toxic onslaught without withering. So much Roundup is used on GMO crops, in fact, that herbicide-resistant “superweeds” are now a huge problem little more than a decade later (1).

“If Roundup kills plants that aren’t genetically modified to resist it, then why use it on nonGMO crops?”

“Wouldn’t glyphosate kill a nonGMO crop?”

“Why would a farmer do this?”

Indeed, these common consumer questions indicate the ultimate irony of using Roundup for desiccation purposes on a food crop producing farm. Killing the crop and/or the greenery around it is actually the whole idea. For crops like wheat, it evens up the field, allows for an earlier harvest, protects machinery and/or increases profit.

The  Bottom Line?

Pre-harvest treatment of crops with glyphosate helps farmers to harvest their crops more efficiently and at less cost (2)

Crazy as it may seem, Roundup is used everywhere in the North American conventional food supply and not just on GMO crops or to kill weeds!

Glyphosate is applied directly to dozens of nonGMO food crops, in many cases, right before they are harvested. This is the worst possible time to apply a herbicide because it causes the glyphosate to be absorbed into the food crop directly. In other words, the glyphosate can’t be washed off later as it has become part of the food. This toxin will then be ingested by those who consume it either directly as a “whole food” or via processed foods that contain it as an ingredient.

According to the Cornucopia Institute:

Ubiquitous in food production, glyphosate is used not just with row crops like corn, soybeans and wheat but also a range of fruits, nuts and veggies. Even spinach growers use glyphosate (3).

Desiccating crops with herbicides before harvest is catching on in the UK as well where summers are wet and crops may ripen ripen slowly and unevenly. This can potentially lead to reduced yields and a lower quality crop. For example, 78% of the UK oilseed rape crop (similar to canola) is desiccated before harvest, but only 4% in Germany (4).

(READ FULL ARTICLE)

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