Food news for April 15th




–Milk labeling Controversy?  Milk is served with school lunches, and many schools serve chocolate milk.  Kids like it.  Some people think it’s better to serve chocolate milk, that kids will drink, instead of plain milk they just throw away.  Many school districts

high quality protein without meat. photo: Donna P Feldman

high quality protein without meat.
photo: Donna P Feldman

have banned sweetened flavored milks completely.  Now dairy producers want to sweeten the chocolate milk with artificial sweeteners to make it more acceptable to parents and school administrators.  But they don’t want to label that milk “reduced calorie” or “diet milk” because that’s a turn off to the kids.  It could also be a turn off the adults.  The usual suspects object to this end run around labeling laws, and there’s a petition to enforce standard labeling of milk cartons with “reduced calorie”.    Adding to the confusion, plenty of people avoid artificial sweeteners and wouldn’t want to serve their kids this stuff; they’d rather just have real sugar-sweetened chocolate milk.  It will be interesting to see which side wins out: the calorie vigilantes or the labeling vigilantes.  If you feel strongly one way or the other, the FDA would appreciate your opinion.

–Research has proven what we already know: it’s hard to stop eating yummy food.  The scientists call it “hedonic hyperphagia” but we call it “bet you can’t eat just one”.   It’s an occasional thing for some people, but a chronic recreational behavior for many, who end up obese.  A new study on this behavior, using rats, failed to indicate a definite cause or solution, but it did hint that in fact when rats ate potato chips, the reward centers in the brain lit up.  Eating boring rat chow, or even a mix of fat and carbs that mimics potato chips didn’t have the same effect.  So there’s something about potato chips, but what?  Best solution: don’t even eat one.

–It’s Meatless Monday, so let’s talk about meatless sources of protein.  People are obsessed with protein, and when someone gives up meat, the first question is usually “how will you get protein?”  Actually, it’s not at all hard to get plenty of protein from non-meat sources.  The top non-animal sources for quality protein:

  1. soy beans and products made from them, like soy milk
  2. tofu, tempeh
  3. legumes (kidney beans, lentils, etc)
  4. nuts and nut butters
  5. whole grains

Note that nut-based “milks” are in fact very low protein.  They are not a good substitute for kids, who need protein for growth.

But if your Meatless Monday or meatless lifestyle includes non-meat animal products, you can choose from these very high quality protein sources:

  1. eggs
  2. milk
  3. yoghurt
  4. cottage cheese
  5. cheese

Think meatless is boring.  Not at all, the the Meatless Monday website now has tips on wine pairings with featured meatless meals.

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