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For millennia, humans have preserved food through fermentation: sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, cheese, and miso are all preserved by allowing bacteria to partially break down the food, which forms a byproduct called lactic acid. Lacto-fermentation expands a food's flavor profile, keeps disease-causing bacteria at bay so the food lasts, and has been shown to improve human gut health. According to some studies, eating lacto-fermented food may reduce your risk of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and some cancers. I'm thinking roasted Brussels sprouts with kimchi sauce for dinner tonight.
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The FDA wants to align food products claiming to be "healthy" with current nutrition science. Good move! Under its new proposed rule, for example, breakfast cereal labeled "healthy" would need to include 3/4 ounces whole grains and no more than 1 gram saturated fat, 230 milligrams sodium and 2.5 grams added sugars per serving. The rule would also encourage using the "healthy" claim on more plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. Score one for healthy eating.
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Mars Inc, the company behind the famed Skittles candies, has been sued in a class action lawsuit in Oakland, California. Jenile Thames, who filed the suit, states that the product contains dangerous levels of titanium dioxide (TiO2), an additive the company promised to drop from the production process in February 2016. Later that year, the company confirmed that the colorant was being removed in a Mars company e-mail, according to Center for Food Safety. The lawsuit finds that this compound has harmful potential risks for human health such as damage to the brain, organs, and even DNA, while it was also recently banned by food safety regulators in the European Union, which will take effect next month.
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Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is an allergic reaction that can arise after being bitten by a lone star tick. Skin rashes may be accompanied by aversions to beef and pork. The meat allergy can range from mild tingling and mouth soreness to full-on anaphylactic shock. Named for the white dot on the back of adult females, lone star ticks were historically located in the southern US but are now being found in the northeast and midwest. Headed outdoors? Apply insect repellant.
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The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating Lucky Charms cereal after dozens of customers complained of illness after eating it. The FDA has received more than 100 complaints related to Lucky Charms so far this year, and several hundred people have posted about the issue on food safety websites.
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