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More Info on Icky “Pink Slime”

From The Daily:  “Aisle Be on the Safe Side”

School districts nationwide will be able to opt out of serving “pink slime,” after the USDA announced March 15 that beginning next fall, schools involved in the national school lunch program will have the option of avoiding the product.

From ABC News:  “Where to Get ‘Pink-Slime’- Free Beef

1. Safeway “Safeway is committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality products.  While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product.  Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef.”

2. Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant) “Stores operated by the divisions of Ahold USA do carry ground beef made with Finely Textured Beef, although we are not purchasing any fresh ground beef that includes Finely Textured Beef produced using ammonium hydroxide. Finely Textured Beef is 100 percent  lean beef and is absolutely safe for consumption. To make the product, beef companies use beef trimmings, which are the small cuts of beef that remain when larger cuts are trimmed down. These trimmings are USDA-inspected, wholesome cuts of beef. This process has been an industry standard for almost 20 years. Alternatives to the conventional ground beef supply, in the form of Certified Angus Beef and Nature’s Promise  ground beef products, are available to customers in stores across the divisions of Ahold USA. These products do not include the use of Finely Textured Beef. Customers are being encouraged to ask any meat associate should they have any questions or would like to be directed to meat that does not include Finely Textured Beef. Our labeling is in compliance with USDA regulations. Finely Textured Beef is USDA tested and approved ground beef and therefore does not require labeling.”

3. Costco Costco told ABC News it does not use “pink slime.” “Anything that we sell at Costco we want to explain its origins, and I personally don’t know how to explain trim treated with ammonia in our ground beef,” Craig Wilson, vice president of quality assurance for Costco, told ABC News. “I just don’t know how to explain that. I’m not that smart.”

4. Publix “We have never allowed the use of LFTB (pink slime) in our meat. It’s 100 percent ground beef with no LFTB.”

5. H-E-B “All our ground beef sold at H-E-B is 100 percent  pure with no additives.”

6. Whole Foods Whole Foods told ABC News it does not use pink slime.

7. Kroger “Kroger carries ground beef both with and without lean finely textured beef. For customers who choose to avoid it, we offer a variety of options including Kroger’s Private Selection Angus Ground Chuck, Round and Sirloin; Private Selection All Natural Ground Beef and Private Selection Organic Ground Beef solid in 1 lb. packages, labeled 80 percent  lean and above; Laura’s Lean Ground Beef; and ground beef prepared in store. All ground beef you find at your local Kroger is USDA-regulated, inspected and approved for food safety and quality. That includes beef products made with lean finely textured beef.”

8. Tops Markets Tops Markets told ABC News it does not use “pink slime.”

9. SUPERVALU “Effective today, SUPERVALU has made the decision to no longer purchase fresh ground beef containing finely textured beef for any of our traditional retail stores. These stores include Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save  and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.  We are currently working with our suppliers to implement this change. While it’s important to remember there are no food safety concerns with products containing finely textured beef, this decision was made due to ongoing customer concerns over these products. All current beef products in our stores meet strict safety and quality standards approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

10. Food Lion “Food Lion has made the decision to no longer carry fresh ground beef products that contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT) as a result of current consumer preferences and feedback. We are currently working with our suppliers on an immediate transition plan based on product availability.  In the interim, we encourage customers who wish to purchase ground beef that does not contain LFTB or BLBT to choose our 80 percent lean ground beef, which we guarantee is free of LFTB or BLBT. While we understand that both the USDA and food industry experts agree that LFTB and BLBT are safe and nutritious, Food Lion is committed to offering high-quality, wholesome products for our customers based on their preferences.”

11. Walmart and Sam’s Club “We spend a lot of time listening to customers and adjusting our product assortment to ensure we have the right products at the right prices. Recently some customers have expressed concerns with lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and, while the USDA and experts agree that it is safe and nutritious, Walmart and Sam’s Club will begin offering fresh ground beef that does not contain LFTB. We’re committed to providing our customers with quality products at the right prices.”

Lactose Intolerance Increasing?

On Blast:  Should we ditch the dairy?

“Calcium deficiency has also become a greater concern among parents as awareness of lactose intolerance increases.

First of all, amen to the article, sans the aforementioned quote.  It’s not that lactose intolerance awareness is increasing, rather that it is being increasingly misdiagnosed/self-diagnosed.  Ethnic minorities are more likely to believe they are lactose intolerant than Caucasians.  For example, African Americans are actually less likely to be lactose intolerant than any other ethnicity but show the highest lactose intolerance through self-diagnosis. 

People often mistake symptoms of celiac, IBS, or maldigestive disorders with lactose intolerability. Poor dairy intake increases sensitivity when dairy is consumed, manifests as lactose maldigestion.   Lactose intolerance is the suspected culprit and dairy is then permanently removed from the diet.  By removing dairy from your diet, you remove the #1 bioavailable source of vitamin d, calcium, protein, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

While there definitely are people who are truly intolerant to lactose (experiencing diarrhea, nausea, cramps, bloating, and/or gas), most people are NOT lactose intolerant.  True lactose intolerant people may be lacking the enzyme that breaks down lactose (a sugar present in dairy products), recipients of bowel surgery, inflicted with celiac sprue, or have small intestinal infection(s) that damage the cell lining.  If you believe yourself to truly be lactose intolerant, you should seek advice from a Medical Doctor or Registered Dietitian.

In order for us to comfortably digest lactose, we need to feed our digestive tracts continuous sources of lactose.  Your body is so amazing that it can relearn how to digest lactose in as little as 2-3 weeks!

Reintroducing dairy to our diets

  • Start with yogurt or hard cheeses.  These products may be easier for you to digest.
  • Eat dairy with other foods and in small amounts throughout the day.
    • Use small amounts of milk or cream in cooking.
    • Take a Lactaid pill before eating any dairy foods.
    • Add Lactaid powder/drops to milk and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before using.

Dairy foods that might be easier to digest:

  • Butter Milk
  • Lactaid Milk
  • Sweet Acidophilus Milk

This is a great resource for further information.  It is a compilation of information regarding lactose intolerance in minorities.

Verdit:  Take your dairy with a grain of [Lactaid]. 

If you have trouble with dairy, try soy milk or see if you can reintroduce it to your system.  Give it a try!

Should Athletes be Hunters and Gatherers?

On Blast:  Recommending Paleolithic Diet for Athletes?

Also known as the “Caveman Diet” or the “Stone Age Diet,” the Paleolithic diet is constructed of mass amounts of lean meat, fish, vegetables, roots, fruit and nuts.  Omitted, when compared to Western diets, are our friends:  low-fat dairy and whole grains.  Below you will find the Paleolithic Diet Pyramid.

According to Dr. Lindeberg of Sweden, his paleo diet consists of 15-35% of energy derived from protein and “is not necessarily low in carbohydrate.”  He also notes that energy intake from carbohydrate within his observational population of Kitava was nearly 70%.  The majority of this was in simple carbohydrates, rather than complex carbohydrates.  Dr. Lindeberg also expresses little regard for the nutritional quality of “whole grain cereals or beans” as they “provide no known benefit but may increase the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.”  Unfortunately for him/us/anyone spending time reading his article, he does not reference his inference (cannot call it anything but inference, as the benefit of beans and whole grains is well-documented).  Additionally, Dr. Lindeberg feels that the exclusion of dairy merely decreases calcium intake (I think he forgot about protein, carbohydrate, vitamin D, riboflavin, and P+).

In direct contrast, Dr. Dan Benardot’s publication, Advanced Sports Nutrition, acknowledges the USDA’s carbohydate DRI of 130g/day in average adults (and that’s just to maintain brain function!).  He suggests a carbohydrate intake of 55-65% of total calories for athletes.  Dr. Bendardot details the necessity of athletes to consume enough carbohydrate in order to meet the tremendous energy need of their training programs and necessary muscle glycogen store restoration.  Post workout (up to 4 hours), he recommends athletes consume “1.0-1.2g of carbohydrate/kg of body mass per hour.”  Remember, no grains in paleo diet…so how many cups of peas (higher starchy vegetable) would you need to eat in 4 hours?  About 7!  Or 6 cups of fresh carrots.  Additionally, he explains that carbohydrate intake prior to training should be of the complex carbohydrate category and that simple carbohydrates should be ingested during work outs or immediately after, when needed.  For the athlete’s recovery, Dr. Benardot’s typical carbohydrate recommendation is 7-12g/kg of body mass daily.  Pretty hard to do without grains in our diets.

While this diet seems to work well in Papua New Guinea (one of the most rural places in the world) amongst the Kitavans, I would avoid it at all costs. 

Verdict:  Svaret är nej!  Which is Swedish for “The answer is no!”