Food for Thought

Stevia Sweetener Safe or Not?
Just as soft drink companies are poised to introduce new products sweetened with Stevia-derivative rebiana, a new 26-page report by toxicologists at the University of California, Los Angeles showed in several laboratory tests that the sweetener causes mutations and DNA damage, which raises the prospect that it causes cancer. Based on the report, Center for Science in the Public Interest is urging the FDA to not approve the sweetener until further tests are done. Interestingly, the tests sponsored by Cargill, manufacturer of the new sweetener, did not have similar results.

Junk Food Still Available in Schools
Marion Nestle contemplates the recent CDC report showing that, despite the childhood obesity epidemic, about 80% of public schools still sell snacks or sodas to kids during school hours.

Making Safer Beef Illegal
A federal appeals court says the government can prohibit meat packers like Kansas Creekstone Farms from testing their animals for mad cow disease, despite the fact that the USDA only performs limited testing. The rationale? Fears of an “unfair” competitive advantage that their meats can be labeled safe, forcing the meat packing industry to perform expensive testing.

More Reason Corn Ethanol Just Doesn’t Make Sense
Agriculture Research Service in Alabama and Maryland showed that sweet potatoes yield two-to-three times the amount of carbohydrate for ethanol production over corn. The numbers came close to the minimums even of the highest yielding crop for ethanol production, sugar cane. Sweet potatoes also require less pesticides and fertilizer inputs than corn.

  1. Rob

    Go and look up Stevia at Google. It was repressed by the owners of Aspartame precisely because it was not in their control. It has been used for donkey’s years in Brazil and Japan with no causes for concern.

    Everything you read about Stevia from now onwards is being fabricated and leaked by the owners of Aspartame, Acesulfame and Sucralose, all of which have been proven dangerous to one extent or another.

    Stevia is a natural plant like sugar and is not chemically created. Of course we always have to be careful with foods and additives but do not listen to reports sponsored by companies with a vested interest (on either side of the fence).

    Instead take a look at all the tests and studies done in Brazil and Japan where billions of liters of drinks containing Stevia have already been consumed.

    – Rob.

  2. Robin Shreeves

    Even in schools where junk food is not allowed – like the one my boys attend – the lunches are still horrible. The lunch the first day of school this year was chicken nuggets, tater tots and a dinner roll. What is that?!

    I only let my boys buy twice a month – they circle their choices on the calendar. I send them in with healthy lunches the rest of the time. I feel bad for the kids who buy every day.

  3. Beth Bader

    I pack my kid’s lunch every day. For fun, contrast a US school menu to one in Europe! It’s amazing. Not a tater tot to be found.

    re: stevia, I wonder if it is the derivative/process of making the sweetener that was linked to issues and not the natural state? We’ll see what unfolds, thanks for the tip. I’ll read more.

  4. mysti

    I also suggest doing your own research on stevia, if you’re interested, and keep in mind that the study above found *rebiana* (an artificial derivative) dangerous, not the stevia plant itself. I’ve been using dried stevia leaves as a sweetener in my tea for awhile now.

  5. cheryl ann

    You should SEE the junk food my school serves! Yucky pancakes with syrup for breakfast, all kinds of sweetened cereal and “fruit” bars (full of sugar and presertavies) for breakfast…YUCK~lunch? Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza. NOTHING nutritious! AND they sell cookies in the cafeteria for $1.00 EACH! No wonder the kids can’t sit still in class! They are so full of sugar, processed foods, and preservatives they can’t concentrate!

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