Natural Foods Merchandiser

Food Bites

Orange You Glad You Eat Organic?
Organically grown oranges contain as much as 30 percent more vitamin C than those grown in conventional orchards, according to chemical analysis conducted at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Because conventional oranges are larger and have a deeper orange hue, Theo Clark, the visiting professor who did the study, hypothesized that they would contain higher vitamin levels. "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges," he said.

The findings were reported in June at the Great Lakes regional meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Nico Water Down the Drain
Innovation in the bottled water category has led to vitamin- and nutrient-enriched products that deliver added value for consumers looking to augment the nutritional benefits of proper hydration (See "Make Waves with your Water Category," NFM, March 2002). But one company tried to lower the bar.

QT5 Inc. in Westlake Village, Calif., bought the rights to market a bottled water with added nicotine. The peppery tasting water, which used the same type and dose of nicotine found in patches and gums, was supposedly not designed to help people quit smoking. Promoters said it was designed for smokers who wanted their nic fix in places such as restaurants or airports where they couldn't get it.

Federal regulators disagreed. Officials from the Food and Drug Administration said the product was a drug and banned its sale because it contains the same type of nicotine found in smoking sessation products. The company tried and failed to convince the FDA their product was a dietary supplement.

In Hindsight, Refined Starches Unhealthy
The stripped-down grains and refined starches that are prominent in conventional breads and cereals could be contributing to increasing myopia among children. Shortsightedness, the inability to see things that are far away, is on the rise in developed countries around the world.

According to Australian nutrition research reported in New Scientist magazine, diets rich in refined starches lead to increased insulin levels, which affects how eyeballs develop. The eyeball elongates, leading to vision problems as the lens fails to focus a sharp image on the retina. Jennie Miller, a scientist at the University of Sydney, found that processed grains increase the speed of starch digestion, in turn prompting the pancreas to pump out more insulin.

Whole-grain foods contain all three parts of the grain kernel—the bran, germ and endosperm—and digest much slower. Their positive impact on myriad health issues, including heart disease, some cancers and diabetes, has been widely reported.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 8/p. 20

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