Beans lift off with health benefits
Beans, beans, they?re good for your heart ?
It?s not just a vulgar childhood refrain anymore. Now it?s a dietary guidance message, too. Soon, foods containing beans may carry the slightly more genteel message that ?Diets including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.?
?It?s what the natural products industry has promoted for years,? said Amy Barr, a registered dietitian in Carbondale, Colo. ?You?ve got the fiber, antioxidants, low fat, decent protein. [Beans are] high in folic acid, B vitamins.? Barr also noted that aside from soybeans, which have a vastly different composition than dry beans, the category has remained free from genetic modification.
A dietary guidance message is based on accepted scientific research, but does not link any particular nutrient or substance—such as fiber, omega-3 fats, etc.—to a health benefit. Rather, a DGM is more general and correlates a class of foods to health benefits.
The only other DGM in use applies to fruits and vegetables.
How America eats
Bon Appétit magazine?s eighth annual ?How America Eats? readers? survey suggests that America?s eating habits are increasingly including organic and health-promoting foods. Some results: 73 percent of those polled said eating organic food is a trend ?on the rise;? 79 percent named fresh fruit as their favorite healthy snack food; and 56 percent named spinach as their favorite vegetable. The readers? least favorite healthy snack was rice cakes and least favorite vegetables were cardoons, Italian winter vegetables similar to artichokes. Readers? tastes appear to be growing more adventurous as well; the readers? cooking motto this year is ?I?ll try anything once.? The complete results of the survey can be found in the March issue of Bon Appétit.
Web site aims to be go-to spot for consumers
Visualize The Matrix?s Laurence Fishburne, but more like a cow. Meet Moopheus, the bovine star of sustainabletable.org. The Web site encourages Americans to eat, learn more about and advocate for foods produced naturally and with respect for the environment, independent farmers, farm workers and animals. Sustainable Table is produced by New York-based nonprofit Global Resource Action Center for the Environment. GRACE is also behind eatwellguide.org, factoryfarm.org and themeatrix.com, where Moopheus takes Leo, a na?ve, rural farm pig, on a nightmare tour of a factory farm in a short animated film.
—Kelly Pate Dwyer
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 3/p. 15