The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more careful in the wake of deadly peanut, leafy greens and cantaloupe outbreaks.
(Some of the regulations include making sure that animals stay out of fields, farmers’ hands are washed and that irrigation water’s clean; food manufacturers will have to maintain clean operations and facilities and submit food safety plans. Many are already doing these steps.)
While the new regulations could cost businesses nearly half a billion dollars yearly to implement ( for large farms, the cost could run $30,000 a year; for manufacturers, an estimate of up to $475 million yearly) they’re also expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths (and an estimated 2 million illnesses) a year from foodborne illnesses.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last summer’s recent food outbreaks (of mangoes, cantaloupe, cheese and peanut butter) have been linked to more 4,000 illnesses and seven deaths.
It could take several years, however, to determine if the new rules are actually preventing outbreaks (farms would have at least two to three years to enact the legislation; smaller farms would have an even longer time. And the rules are geared only for certain fruits and veggies that pose the greatest risk (berries, melons, leafy green veggies and other foods that’s usually eaten raw.)
The farm and manufacturing rules consists of only one part of the food safety law (more surprise FDA inspections will be allowed, there’s additional power to shut down food facilities and there will be stricter standards on imported foods).
All this will change the focus of the FDA, from an agency that tracks down outbreaks after the fact, to one that works on the prevention of food contamination
Source: Associated Press
Remember the Mother Goose rhyme, “Little Miss Muffet”? Many of you may recall that she sat on a tuffet (which is a bunch or turf of grass) eating her “curds and whey.“ For years, I always thought this was a type of porridge!
According to the World Book Dictionary, it turns out that curds are the thick part of milk that separates from the watery part when milk sours (cheese is made from curds). And whey is the watery part of milk that separates from the curd when milk sours and becomes coagulated (whey‘s market value increases dramatically when the protein‘s separated from the less valuable lactose, minerals and fat; liquid whey is then pasteurized and usually dried into a powder ). Curds and whey were traditionally not considered “high cuisine”, so to speak-they were the often discarded by-product of cheese making.
But that has changed.
In recent years, curds and whey (particularly whey protein) is becoming a global food essential, appearing in everything from infant formula and protein supplements to sports drinks and nutrition bars.
The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (University of Wisconsin-Madison) was recently given a $1 million grant from the U.S. Dept .of Commerce to develop higher-value whey products for export, particularly for the fast-growing Asian markets. Another developing project involves working on healthier dairy-based alternatives for school lunches in the U.S.
Whey was initially was dried and sold as a relatively inexpensive protein filler and fed to animals (this filler is permeate-the lactose-mineral mix that’s left after the protein’s separated from whey), but recently, researchers have been working on developing permeate into a healthier alternative to salt (permeate has a salty flavor).
Additional Benefits and Functions
The extra nutritional and functional benefits of whey protein are:
It has a clean, neutral flavor. (when it’s used in food manufacturing, it adds little or no taste-so the flavor of what you’re adding it to stays intact!)
Whey protein is the most nutritionally complete protein known; it’s used by body builders for muscle building and repair, and recovery after strenuous exercise.
Products that have whey protein as a major protein source will have the terms “whey protein concentrate”, “whey protein isolate” or “hydrolyzed whey protein” near the beginning the of the ingredients (or contents) list. Look for this in smoothies, soups, sauces, oatmeal, dips and baked goods.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Commercial brands of whey protein are now available; two of them, Body Fortress and Six Star Elite Series, both come in 2 lb jars or containers. Body Fortress retails for $15.98 each (chocolate flavor), while Six Star sells for $18.97 each (vanilla and chocolate). For more info, go to www.bodyfortress.com and www.sixstarpronutrition.com/products.