Wednesday, November 30

Botanicals

Industry Welcomes GM Food Disclosure Standard Proposed Rule
Botanicals, Diet, Genetically Modified Foods, Wellness

Industry Welcomes GM Food Disclosure Standard Proposed Rule

The publication of a proposed rule that would provide consistency in the disclosure of information regarding bioengineered or genetically modified foods was welcomed by representatives of the food industry. According to Sarasin, FMI’s efforts in this cause include joining with farmers, manufacturers and retailers “to provide accurate, simple and unbiased information to our customers,” with a focus on consumer education through such means as SmartLabel. Food Ingredients News has reported, however, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t expect to meet the July deadline to create the new rule, with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue admitting that “we’re not as close as I’d like” to doing so. The holdup appears to be due to the White House Office of Management & Budget...
New Study: High Fruit Diet Could Help Women Conceive
Botanicals, Diet, Wellness

New Study: High Fruit Diet Could Help Women Conceive

Researchers who looked at more than 5,500 women from Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand found those who consumed the least fruit were 50 per cent more likely to be infertile. Similarly, compared to women who never or rarely ate fast food, women who consumed fast food four or more times a week took nearly a month longer to become pregnant. Their risk of infertility also doubled from eight to 16 per cent. Professor Claire Roberts, of the University of Adelaide, Australia, who led the study, said: "These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant." For the study pregnant women were surveyed by midwives on how long it had taken them to become pregnant, ...
Better Diet Data Via Tooth-Mounted Sensors
Botanicals, Diet, Genetically Modified Foods, Remedies, Wellness

Better Diet Data Via Tooth-Mounted Sensors

In First World countries, where famine is unheard of, people are instead eating themselves to death. Oftentimes, diet studies rely on self-reported surveys and journals that are hostage to the whims of each participant. People forget. People feel self-conscious about their food choices and may fudge (pun intended) the data. However, a new sensor that fits on a person’s tooth could cut out this unpredictable variable—human nature— altogether. Researchers from Tufts University School of Engineering designed a tiny sensor that, when stuck to a tooth, can wirelessly relay precise information about glucose, alcohol and salt intake. When the device comes in contact with salt, for example, its electrical properties shift, causing its other components to absorb and transmit different radiofr...
A Diet High In Fat Is Best – With The Right Kind Of Fat
Botanicals, Diet, Genetically Modified Foods, Remedies, Wellness

A Diet High In Fat Is Best – With The Right Kind Of Fat

This is the time of year we tend to consider a change in diet. There has been a lot of confusion in recent years about what constitutes a healthy diet, with many people advocating and espousing a ketogenic diet, similar to the Atkins diet: a low-carbohydrate, high-fat/high-cholesterol diet (HF/HC). Since most North Americans will die of a heart attack or stroke if they don't die young from another cause, this is a big mistake. In 2016, there were large headlines trumpeting that "we can eat cholesterol now; the new U.S. guideline says so." But that's not what the guideline said. It said that there were insufficient data on which to base a specific limit to daily cholesterol intake, as in the past, but the intake of cholesterol should be as low as possible within the recommended eating pa...
Is GMO Opposition Immoral?
Botanicals, Diet, Genetically Modified Foods, Remedies, Wellness

Is GMO Opposition Immoral?

Evaluation of GMO crops that emphasizes independent science — rather than nonpublic research by pesticide companies — reflects that in 2015, the research arm of the World Health Organization analyzed all published glyphosate studies and determined the pesticide was a probable carcinogen. That finding prompted California to add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals. Escalating use of GMO crops and glyphosate has triggered the growth of glyphosate-resistant superweeds across nearly 100 million acres in 36 states. To combat that, pesticide companies are now pushing the use of the highly toxic, drift-prone pesticide dicamba on a new generation of GMO crops that tolerate both dicamba and glyphosate. I have long been perplexed that so many people continue to condemn foods made...
Popularity of Botanical in the U.S. Market
Botanicals

Popularity of Botanical in the U.S. Market

Botanical dietary supplements continue to be popular in the United States. The American Botanical Council (ABC) recently published the Herb Market Report 2016, which listed a number of reasons behind the current interest by consumers. Botanicals that are believed to be beneficial for overall health—rather than a specific health condition—showed greater increases in sales. In alignment with this is the uptick in sales of a number of adaptogens--substances that allow the body to better resist various stress factors. Plants in this category include ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, mushrooms and Rhodiola. The increased interest in herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine has also been obvious by the fact that Boswellia, turmeric, and fenugreek posted some of the largest gains in 2016. But the success...
Botanical Transparency: How DNA Technology Can Complement Traditional Identity Tests
Botanicals

Botanical Transparency: How DNA Technology Can Complement Traditional Identity Tests

There has been a great deal of focus on transparency both in finished products and raw materials at the worldwide level. This debate followed actions by the New York Attorney General’s, who after an agency investigation found four out of five tested herbal products did not contain any of the herbs promised in their labels, called for the producers to conduct advanced genetic testing. These tests are intended to ensure the herbal products actually contain the ingredients promised on the label. For plants, there is no universal DNA testing methodology and the choice of a particular technique is often a compromise that depends on a number of factors. Each plant needs a dedicated method, developed on its own genome. DNA sequencing-based tests are emerging as highly reliable and powerf...
Drinking Kava Becoming Popular with Tongan Women
Botanicals

Drinking Kava Becoming Popular with Tongan Women

For Tongan women drinking kava tea with others is becoming more popular, but does require them to break with tradition. For Ikanamoe Ma'u, that is exactly what she has been doing for almost two decades. She proudly calls herself a heavy kava drinker. "I can drink kava all night and drink more cups than men," she says proudly. Now living in Aotearoa, it was a pleasant surprise to notice a shift in female kava consumption on a recent trip back to Tonga, she said. "I went home and was surprised to see a lot of young females as kava consumers and they do drink the kava." She said when she started drinking kava heavily in the late 1990s, she hadn't heard of any other Tongan women who also did it. By tradition, the Tongan fai kava or practise of drinking kava is usually done...
Botanicals

Southeast Asia’s Kratom Leaf Draws Controversy

Throughout the course of botanical history, there have been two distinct types of people: those who want to ingest plants for their medicinal and psychoactive properties, and those who want to make those plants illegal. Most recently, the debate has centered on the Southeast Asian leaf kratom, a natural painkiller ingested to treat chronic illness. But the plant, which comes from a tropical evergreen tree, also has several recreational benefits. In low doses Kratom can act as a stimulant. At high doses it can act as a sedative, similar to a narcotic. The substance, which many say is more “subtle” than marijuana, is banned by the military and is illegal in six states. In 2014, the FDA began seizing Kratom coming into the U.S., and in 2016 the DEA announced its intentions to regulate the ...
Botanicals

Could Oregon ban the herbal supplement Kratom?

More than a dozen bills have already been proposed in the upcoming Oregon Legislature dealing with marijuana, but there is also one bill about a lesser-known herb unheard of by many, fiercely adored by some and almost banned by the DEA. For millennia, people in Southeast Asia used the leaves from the tree Mitragyna speciosa — more commonly known as kratom — to combat fatigue and as a traditional medicine. This herb is often sold as a kratom powder or extract. The herb's modern proponents claim it can help with opioid withdrawal, pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Its detractors decry it as an "imminent hazard to public safety," citing 15 kratom-related deaths in the United States during a two-year period. Read the full story on Statesman Journal