April 2018 News Round-Up

Ban on ‘misleading’ vegetarian product names

Long ago the EU decreed that soya “milk” had to be labelled as soya drink as it was misleading to imply that it contained milk (or had similar nutritional value for that matter); so now the French – famed for their gastronomic savvy – have decided to apply the same rules to other vegetarian simulacra. So, vegetarian sausages, bacon and other faux meat products will have to remove their meat-alluding labels. The European Court of Justice ruled earlier this year that dairy-related terms, such as “milk”, “cream”, “chantilly” and “cheese”, are only allowed to be used on products made with real animal milk. (The Week Apr 20)

TOP READ: Mid-Victorian ‘peasant diet’ – Britain’s original Mediterranean Diet?

One of the most influential books on traditional diets – Weston A Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, praised the simple wholesome fare of traditional people all over the world. An article in the Telegraph (Mar 12) supports this position reporting on a study that “explores the impact of regional diets in the Victorian era. It shows that the labouring population in remote areas such as the islands of Scotland and the west of Ireland enjoyed a more nutritious diet and a lower mortality rate than city dwellers, despite their relative poverty.”

Pregnancy and Childbirth

A recent review emphasises the need for both parents to improve their diet and lifestyle YEARS before conception to avoid detrimental health effects on their offspring. (DailyMail, Apr 17) Parental nutrient deficiencies, excess weight and poor sperm quality can all have long-term effects on children researchers say, and call for education as most parents-to-be are unaware of the issues.

On a different point, a study has found that caffeine consumption during pregnancy is linked to later weight gain of children. (TechTimes, Apr 24)

Our Favourite Polyphenols

Coffee, despite the caffeine, is good for the heart study finds (DailyMail, Apr 16). Energy drinks, however, not so good.

Chamomile tea has anti-diabetic properties: an interesting article linking plant die conservation work to herbal medicine research (Independent, Apr 23)

Dark chocolate, (70%+ cacao) good-news studies:

Nut consumption was linked to lower risk of heart failure and irregular heart beat in a Swedish study (The Sun, Apr 17 or iNews, Apr 16)

Say ‘Cheese’ :)

Brexit? Hard Cheese!

This month The Telegraph (Apr 6) explains that British cheese is now seen as a status symbol in the US and Japan helping fuel export demand, contributing to an overall 23% increase in UK cheese exports since 2016 (FarmingUK, Apr 26) showing the way for a post-Brexit cheese trade. Meanwhile The Independent (Apr 12) suggests that the recent surge in interest for cheese fondue in the UK is a sign of ‘”Remainers longing to bond with the rest of Europe.” (!)

Continuing the weird confluence this month of Brexit and cheese, The Economist (Apr 26) explains why Irish cheesemakers fear Brexit and are thinking of diversifying into mozzarella.

Meanwhile, The Guardian (Apr 18)  awards ‘Blue Brain’ cheese (above) the dubious title of Britain’s mouldiest cheese.

On a more serious note, a study has found that men who eat cheese three or more times per week have stronger spines and hips (The Sun, Apr 11) In the Harvard study cheese appeared more effective than other dairy products at promoting bone health.

If you are lactose intolerant all this talk of cheese is probably a bit irritating If so, pop over to Bonappetit (Apr 27) who have an article just for you: “A Lactose Intolerant’s Guide to Loving Cheese Again”

Meanwhile, the British love affair with cheese continues with announcements of Cheese Festivals and Markets all over the UK, including events in Birmingham, Reading, Leicester, Bournemouth, Melton Mowbray, Liverpool, Glasgow, Beaconsfield, Bristol… to name just a few.

On a related note, concerns about plastic waste may be helping the return of milk in glass bottles. The Financial Times (Apr 13) explains why and has some nice words to say about raw milk too.

Junk Food – about the bad stuff

The health problems associated with fried foods have been found to apply only to people eating foods fried outside the home, but not to those who only ate foods fried at home. Researchers found that when foods are fried at home, oil temperatures are typically kept lower, frying times shortened, and most opt to pan fry rather than deep fry. (Medical News Bulletin, Apr 17)

A study of 400 patients treated for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head or neck found that those who consumed the most total carbohydrates and sugars – in the forms of sucrose, fructose, lactose and maltose – in the year preceding cancer treatment were at greater risk of mortality from any cause during the follow-up period. (ScienMag, Apr 12)

Fructose – a monosaccharide in table sugar – raises uric acid levels in the blood. A recent study has confirmed that the increase occurs even after eating fruit, which may have implications for patients suffering gout, and kidney disease. (Medical News Bulletin, Apr 26)

Sleep

  • Lack of sleep leads to obesity in children and adolescents – study (Scienmag, Apr 16)
  • “Night Owls” have higher risk of early death – study (Scienmag, Apr 12)

E. Coli outbreak

The US has suffered recently with outbreaks of E. coli infections coming from salads – particularly chopped romain lettuce. (DailyMail, Apr 19). In our post Raw milk risks; putting them in perspective we concluded that there were risks of food borne infections from all fresh produce – raw milk, salads and seafood. Time to start pasteurising our lettuces?

Odds and Ends and Weird Stuff…

  • Why Women prefer to marry men with a strong hand grip (Telegraph, Apr 27)
  • High dose vitamin B6 before bed increases lucid dreams (Scienmag, Apr 27)
  • “Eat your Greens… NO, not the green potatoes!.. Too late: He’s poisoned himself” (Scienmag, Apr 27)
  • Because we love the animals we eat, here’s a heart-warming story and video: Highland cows make a breathtaking journey to uninhabited Scottish island to give birth (Independent, Apr 6)
  • Millenials so squeamish about handling raw meat it is to be sold in touch-free packs (Telegraph, Apr 15)
  • Study finds 4 out of 5 rubber ducks are dirty and crawling with bacteria (TechTimes, Mar 27) Phew! Thanks for that, because I couldn’t tell…

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