Ignorance is bliss, but it's not very good for your health. U.S. News Health reports that 76% of 1,000 American polled agreed with the statement "wine can be good for your heart." Hey, the good news is: That's true, but only if you consume two glasses per day if you're a man and one glass if you're a woman. Otherwise -- and here comes the really bad news -- excess drinking can lead to all kinds of problems like irregular heartbeat, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
Not only that, but Americans are also ill-informed about sodium, believing (56% of those surveyed) that ordinary table salt is the primary source in our diets. (61% believed, incorrectly, that sea salt had less sodium than regular salt.) All you have to do to understand that most of our sodium comes from processed foods-soups, snacks, condiments and canned foods like tomato sauce (why do you think they taste so good?) -- is to pick up a container of seemingly harmless cottage cheese and read the label. It will show that an eight-ounce serving contains about 720 milligrams of sodium, or half your daily recommended intake.
Americans are also famously bad at geography, but there's no word yet on whether young people are having trouble locating Napa and Salt Lake City on maps.
Filed under: Food News
Photo: Getty Images
Though there's no immediate need to turn your PB&J's into jelly-only sandwiches, there is a chance that peanut butter may contain the carcinogen aflatoxin. The soft and porous shell that encases peanuts can allow fungus with aflatoxin to penetrate into the nut, explains Organic Authority.
Although aflatoxin has yet to be proven to cause cancer in the United States, it has been documented as causing liver cancer in developing countries where corn, peanuts and grains are grown without strict soil quality regulation. Currently, all commercially-produced peanut butters must be tested for aflatoxin, but grind-your-own peanut butter may actually be at a higher risk because the peanuts sit around the longest without refrigeration, allowing more mold to develop, according to Organic Authority. Planet Green also adds that natural peanut butters may be more susceptible since "they are less processed and have a shorter shelf life, therefore the mold is more likely to thrive."
This alarm bell has been sounded before. In an informative write-up, Celeb doc Andrew Weil explains that the Consumers Union found the exact same results about a decade ago, when it was discovered that supermarket brands like Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy contained the less afloxtin than natural brands. Consumer Reports has researched aflatoxins since 1972, but still says peanuts are worth eating for their health benefits.
There's a simple precaution if you're concerned. Refrigerate your peanut butter -- it'll keep out the mold.
Photo: Getty Images
Get the full list of the 10 Fattiest Chain Restaurant Meals at the Daily Meal.
And when is a Slurpee like the hammer of a Norse god? The Blue Lightening Blast Slurpee, says 7-Eleven, is "inspired by Thor," the upcoming movie, that is. You're prompted to "drop the hammer on your tongue... for a thunderous taste." We're still waiting for the Kryptonite Krush Slurpee.
Find out about more great shakes and frozen drinks coming this spring and summer.
Photo: BrewDog Beer
All the Royal Wedding food-related hoopla is just about at its boiling point (though props to the Papa John's employee that created this "beauty"), but finally, something...more stimulating. The folks at craft beer company BrewDog, known for other beer-related stunts such as the world's strongest beer and beer served in taxidermed animals, have created a limited edition "Royal Virility Performance" beer with "Viagra, chocolate, Horny Goat Weed and 'a healthy dose of sarcasm'." Only 1,000 bottles will be made, and the beer will ship on April 28, the day before the Royal Wedding. BrewDog explains:
With this beer we want to take the wheels off the royal wedding bandwagon being jumped on by dozens of breweries; The Royal Virility Performance is the perfect antidote to all the hype. A beer should be brewed with a purpose, not just because some toffs are getting married, so we created something at our brewery that will undermine those special edition beers and other assorted seaside tat, whilst at the same time actually give the happy couple something extra on their big day...There is more to brewing and tasting beer than putting a royal wedding label on it, so we're showing everyone just how ludicrous it is.
BrewDog claims they have sent Prince William a complimentary bottle.
View of BP oil spill on June, 7, 2010. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, and caps a very tough year for Gulf fishermen. Many are still struggling to stay in business while being dogged by lingering consumer doubt over the safety of the very seafood they're harvesting.
Images of dead dolphins and sea turtles that washed ashore earlier this month fueled concerns over just where the estimate 200 million gallons of crude oil and 1.8 million gallons of dispersants ended up. In the meantime, plenty of Gulf residents continue to harbor anger over the spill. At BP's annual meeting last week, protesters, including Gulf fishermen, rallied to be heard.
Bryon Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen Association, told The Guardian, "We've not been made whole: our fishing grounds have been depleted, our oysters are dead and we're not receiving the funds we need to support and sustain ourselves. We're seeing money going everywhere but at ground zero."
And, one year later, long-term effects of the oil spill are still unclear.
Filed under: Food News
Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images
Organic Valley, the nation's largest name-brand marketer of organic eggs, is being accused of misleading consumers about the living conditions of its California hens, and for violating federal organic standards, according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The bombshell was dropped by the California-based organic watchdog group Cornucopia Institute, which says the hens at the Petaluma Egg Farm were confined in screened "porches" and not allowed to forage naturally in pastures with direct sunlight.
"The federal organic standards clearly state that 'year-round access for all animals to the outdoors' is a requirement," says Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst with the group in a release on their website.
The Cornucopia Institute has filed a legal complaint with the USDA over the matter. The current dust-up may be prompted by the USDA's National Organic Standards Board meeting scheduled for the end of April, where the board is expected to address whether "porches" meet the definition of access to the outdoors.
Photo: weelibrarian, Flickr
People can't tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine, says psychologist Richard Wiseman after conducting a survey of 578 drinkers at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, reports The Guardian. The participants sampled a variety of red and white wines in a blind taste test with prices ranging from about $6 to $50. The results concluded that people could only tell the difference between cheap and expensive white wines 53% of the time, and 47% of the time for red wines.
In other words, it's about the same percentage as if they merely guessed. The Claret was the hardest to pinpoint, with only 39% getting it right, despite the price tag differences of about $5 for one bottle and $23 for the other. The Journal of Wine Economics backs up Wiseman's findings. Its 2008 study, "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?" reported that:
Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we ﬁnd that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.Maybe it's time to add some swill wine to that expensive Bordeaux collection.
Photo: Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo
What's lurking in the meat you're buying for your family? Plenty of bacteria, according to a new study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Almost half of all the beef, chicken, pork, and turkey bought in five U.S. cities and sampled by researchers, was found to contain drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, reports CBS News.
"Staph" bacteria is nothing to fool around with-it can cause everything from a rash to life-threatening sepsis and endocarditis. And because we've consumed so many antibiotics, the staph bacteria isn't easily controllable by drugs. In fact, in the tests done by study researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, 47 percent of the meat contained bacteria resistant to three types of antibiotics.
Sure, you can kill "staph" by cooking the meat, but one contaminated cutting board is all it takes to set the bacteria in motion for many cooks. How many ways can we say it's time to give up the steak tartare?
Photo: Kramchang, Flickr
At last! There's no reason for all those ex-New Yorkers living in Southern California ever to return to the dreary winters and crowded subways on the East Coast. It was really only one thing they missed anyway (aside from cynicism): Papaya King hot dogs-juicy, plump, ever meaty, and never really about papaya anything. (Bah, humbug. You can take all the taco trucks and drive them into the Pacific.)
Eater reports that Papaya King is finally opening in L.A., in the heart of Hollywood, probably by June. Until then, PK will operate a truck (how L.A. is that!) to circulate throughout SoCal, making occasional appearances and distributing free hot dogs. It all sounds good, but will the new Left Coast branch of Papaya King be able to perfect the art of service, New York-style? "Have a nice day" just isn't the same as a barked-out "Next!"