In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites

A roundup of news clippings we're reading that affect the way we eat.

Ikea Recalls Meatballs; Mark Bittman's Op-Ed; Celiac Disease

K├Âttbullar (Meatballs)

  • Ikea is the latest in a number of food retailers to recall beef products that were found to contain traces of horse meat. In this case, it was Ikea's iconic meatballs that were implicated as the most recent victims of the horse meat scandal. In the past few weeks, products were recalled across Europe and the U.K. after DNA testing revealed their shockingly high horse meat content. One Tesco burger contained a whopping 29% horse meat. The contaminated meats were traced to an Irish meat supplier called Silvercrest Foods. Burger King has cut off their relationship with the meat supplier, and Nestle has also recalled some products from European shelves.
  • In his most recent op-ed, Mark Bittman calls for the U.S. Surgeon General to take a stronger stand on issues of diet and obesity. He points out that few Americans can name the Surgeon General, let alone know her opinions on healthy diet. Regina Benjamin said little of regulating corporate behavior in her most recent report on nutrition and health, instead focusing on individual behaviors - such as limiting television and soda consumption - as the main drivers for dietary change in the U.S. Bittman would see her hold food corporations accountable to higher standards rather than blame individuals for the obesity rate.
  • The rate of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that manifests as an intolerance for gluten, has more than quadrupled in the last 50 years in the U.S. But doctors aren't sure why. This op-ed digs into the science behind various theories to explain why more and more adults are being diagnosed with celiac. Different countries have dramatically different rates of the disease, suggesting that there may be an environmental aspect to its prevalence.

About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.

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