Food News Today Transcripts for the week of October 24th, 2011

October 28, 2011

How to feed the world while protecting the planet, Halloween and food allergies, and do men eat more when they dine with women? For October 26th 2011 This is Food News Today.

Good Morning. We are now streaming both on our SupermarketGuru Facebook fan page and on Food News Today -dot- com. Today's show is pre-recorded, so if you have any thoughts or comments shoot me an e-mail, tweet me -@phillempert- or send me a note on Facebook.  

Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news.

Today is a very special Anniversary... ours! Food News Today is one year old! A big thank you to all of you who have supported our show for the last year.  We look forward to many more years. (VAMP)

It's now time for today's useless food history fun facts. Today is national mincemeat pie day!... yum? Well for a more interesting fact ...maybe… we go back to the disco days of 1979  when the largest bluefin tuna was caught in Nova Scotia - it weighed 1,496 pounds.

 Speaking of big fish and our environment, an international team has crafted a plan to feed the world and protect the planet. 

Can we feed the more than 9 billion people anticipated to live on this planet in 2050 without destroying Earth’s life support systems? In an article that appeared as the cover story in the Oct. 20 print issue of Nature, a team of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Germany conclude... we can – and earlier this week I interviewed Paul West, one of the authors of the study to find out what we can be doing to lessen our impact and assist in the movement.


Thanks Paul! That’s incredible.  

Just a quick note, an online version of the article will be available starting today at Nature . com

>Our next story is a spooky one … Halloween and Food Allergies.  It can be said that most parents are affected in some way by food allergies – whether it’s their child directly or their child’s classmates, there is no escaping the dangers of food allergies.  In fact, only 16 percent of the SupermarketGuru consumer panel said there was no concern for food allergies in their household.

With the spooky holiday just around the corner we surveyed the SupermarketGuru consumer panel to find out how they were planning to deal with the upcoming parties and especially trick or treating and food allergies.

One third of consumers said they were purchasing Halloween candy as usual because for them food allergies were not an issue -  to the contrary just over a quarter of consumers said they will be purchasing a combination of regular candy and allergen-free candy incase they encounter a child with food allergies.  Surprisingly a similar amount said they would only purchase allergen-free candy.

But there is a catch! The majority of shoppers said they are not aware of allergen-free candies – and for that reason 89% of respondents say they would like stores and manufacturers to make it clearer which candies are allergen-free – preferably directly on the package.

So what are parents planning to do at Halloween parties? 46 percent feel that schools and private parties should be careful to make sure allergen-free foods are provided and clearly designated, while less than 40 percent feel that it is the parents and food-allergic child’s responsibility to make sure they do not consume foods that may be threatening.  Only thirteen percent feel common allergens should be banned from parties and school functions.  

And... here are some pumpkin fun facts since Halloween is just around the corner!

Pumpkins can be found in different colors, like orange, green and white.

Morton Illinois is the "pumpkin capital" of the United States but there is a lot of debate on this topic!

When you're at the pumpkin patch, choose pumpkins with a smooth, hard skin free of bruises or blemishes

If you're buying canned pumpkin, look for pumpkin puree over sugar-filled pumpkin-pie filling.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin.

Did you know? Pumpkins are in the same family as cucumbers and watermelons. 

And on that note – don’t forget the annual SupermarketGuru Halloween costume contest- all you have to do is post your picture of you dressed up as food or a food related costume on our Facebook fan page, SupermarketGuru.

 >Speaking of the holiday season, we all know that after Halloween, the other holidays come rolling in so you may want to hear about this study before you mindlessly indulge when out with friends and family – because a new study found that eating habits around men or women depending on your gender may not be so mindless after all. 

So, do you notice you eat more around your guy friends than around your girlfriends or vice versa? Well a small observational study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that eating choices and portion sizes varied depending on the gender of the people eating together.


Maybe this doesn’t surprise you but, women eat less (about 100 calories) when they're around men and more when around women - and when men eat with women, they also tend to load up their plates with more calories – an average of 200 more than when they are eating with other guys.


Participants reported that they did not consciously note the gender of their eating partner when filling up their plate.  – So there is something subconscious at work here! The study suggests that both men and women are influenced by unconscious scripts about how to behave in each other's company.

The study’s authors said in interviews that they expected women would choose to eat less food when they ate in the company of men, since cultural norms in the West tell women to peck at their food in the company of men.

 They also say the point of the research was to get people to realize that context mattered. So now that you are aware that you could be unconsciously influenced in your dining choices, you can certainly make eating decisions more deliberately – especially this holiday season!

>We talked about the listeria outbreak last week and I just wanted to share some fruit and vegetable washing suggestions from our facebook page -  Kym Janisch says “Use baking soda and water to scrub lemons. Gets the waxy stuff off.” – and Kristina Hudson  says “Brushes are ok but I like to use the green scrubbie pads. They're a bit too rough brand new but once they've been used & softened up a little they're good for cleaning fruits & veggies that need a little extra work- especially potatoes.”

To join this discussion and more check out SupermarketGuru on Facebook.

Well that's our show, thanks for watching!  Be sure to tweet me @phillempert or visit our SG Facebook page and post your comments on any of today's segments.  You can also send me an e-mail -  Have a terrific food week.