Natural Foods Merchandiser


What you ?sea? is what you get
Consumers who want to incorporate the omega-3s and other nutritional benefits of fish, but would rather do without mercury and PCBs, can take heart. A scientific advisory panel, along with Environmental Defense and two independent labs that test for contaminants, is launching Seafood Safe, a label designed to help consumers understand how much of any given species of seafood it is safe to consume each month. The label, which will first be available on EcoFish frozen seafood products, will take a conservative approach, basing its recommendations on the Environmental Protection Agency?s guidelines for women of childbearing age.

Henry Lovejoy, founder and president of EcoFish, says, ?Mercury and PCB contamination in seafood is a serious public health issue, and consumers deserve access to a credible testing program.? To carry the label, samples must meet strict quality assurance guidelines for each species and be tested randomly. The label will be available to the entire seafood industry this fall.

Sufferin? succotash
Children raised on vegan diets may face significant developmental delays, according to Lindsay Allen, director of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service. Allen said the damage begins in utero and continues as long as the vegan regimen does. She looked at 544 African children raised largely on corn and beans. They were born quite small and grew very slowly. She began supplementing some children?s diets with enough meat to provide vitamin B12, zinc and iron. Two other groups received either a cup of milk a day or an oil supplement with the same caloric level.

The children who received the meat, and to a lesser degree, the milk, grew more, were more active, and performed better on tests of problem-solving ability and intelligence. Allen said it took only two teaspoonfuls of meat daily to achieve these improvements. ?There?s absolutely no question that it?s unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans,? she told attendees at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the BBC reported.

Vegan proponents countered, noting that a diet of corn and beans does not constitute a healthy diet, vegan or otherwise, and noted that the study had been partially funded by the National Cattlemen?s Beef Association.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 4/p. 30

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