Natural Foods Merchandiser

Fishing for Mental Health
The latest tool in the treatment of mental illness isn?t something dreamed up by a pharmaceutical company. Instead, researchers have discovered that eating large amounts of seafood strongly correlates with a lower lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder, which is most commonly diagnosed during a person?s teens or 20s. The benefit became noticeable in people who ate more than 50 pounds of seafood each year (and, therefore, had higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids), according to Dr. Joseph R. Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and Dr. Simona Noaghiul of Columbia University in New York. The report was published in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. The researchers were unable to confirm any similar link between seafood consumption and schizophrenia.

Pumped Up on Pomegranates
The new year is only a month old, but perhaps you?re already seeing movement in the areas that Mintel predicted would be hot in 2004. The consumer research group forecast an emphasis on smaller package sizes; gluten-free foods; fortified foods, especially those containing prebiotics; and trans fat-free foods. Pomegranate and lemongrass are expected to be the flavors of the year.

Please Don?t Squeeze
It?s easy enough to tell when strawberries are ripe: The rich, red color and the intensely sweet smell give it away. But with other fruit, the best way to determine ripeness has been the time-tested squeeze. Now, a New Zealand horticultural research group has developed a sticker that may eliminate all that grocery groping. By measuring the gases that fruits emit, the sticker changes color to indicate ready-to-eat status. The sticker is being tested on pears in Portland, Ore. The Horticultural and Food Research Institute plans to develop stickers for kiwis, avocados and melons if test marketing goes well.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 2/p. 38

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