Natural Foods Merchandiser


Vegetables: Uncut
Time-crunched consumers may love the convenience of precut vegetables and fruits, but their bodies know the difference. A study by Britain?s Consumers? Association found that the nutrient levels in produce declined significantly in the hours after the food was harvested, cut and exposed to sunlight. Precut runner beans had only 11 percent of the vitamin C their fresh counterparts had, while precut melon slices had about half the amount an uncut version would have.

But not all processing proves detrimental to foods? nutritional content. Canned blueberries, it seems, retain more of their nutrients than fresh or frozen berries. A study commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance and conducted by Oregon Health Sciences University and the USDA found that the canned blueberries had the highest levels of antioxidants and flavonoids.

Food In Fashion
Now kids with allergies—or those born to vegan parents—can wear their food preferences on their sleeves. Jeeto!, a company that sells art and clothing for children and infants, is marketing T-shirts and one-piece outfits with slogans such as ?No Peanuts, Please!? and ?Dairy & Egg Free.? The T-shirts sell for $17.95 and the onesies for a dollar more at A portion of the proceeds goes to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Orange You Glad?
Move over, Pythagoras. A mathematician at the University of Pittsburgh has solved one of retail?s most vexing problems: how best to stack oranges. Professor Thomas C. Hales has concluded, using a series of computer calculations, that a pyramid is most efficient. That way, each fruit can nest in the spaces created by the layer below it. And while thinkers since at least the 1500s have intuited this, it wasn?t until Hales did the math that its truth could be proclaimed.

Even now, not everyone is convinced. Hales completed his work in 1998, but his proof is just this year being published in The Annals of Mathematics. That?s because academicians like to check such proofs manually, but they found the calculations Hales used are too many and too complex. So for now, they have to take it on faith that the computer programs Hales used were bug-free.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 8/p. 18

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