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Health Buzz: Government Role in Food

Health news from around the web for December 16, 2011.

Ultimately, you decide what food you eat at each meal, but the government can play a big role in how that food gets to your table. Recently, we've been hearing a lot of rather concerning news regarding nutrition standards and food safety. In this episode of Health Buzz, our host Jamie Yuenger takes a look at stories that show how the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Congress play a role in America's food supply. Plus, another great recipe and Ask Mary segment.

Arsenic in Your Juice

This past September, Dr. Oz tested several different types of apple juice for arsenic on his show. Although there's no standard for how much arsenic is permissible in fruit juices, the levels the doctor found would be considered impermissible in drinking water. The FDA responded by criticizing Dr. Oz for sensationalizing the issue, because he failed to differentiate between organic arsenic (which is nontoxic) and inorganic arsenic (which is a known carcinogen). However, this study from Consumer Reports may change the agency's mind.

Reconditioning: The FDA's Dirty Secret is Out

Reconditioning is the process by which defective foods are reprocessed and repackaged, to avoid waste and protect profits. Sometimes, this is as benign as grinding misshapen pasta back into semolina so that it can be used anew. However, some of the the other FDA-approved tactics are more upsetting. The practice of reconditioning recently came under fire when a manufacturer of food sold in school lunches was permitted to eradicate moldy applesauce and release it to the market.

Congress Throws Children's Health Under the School Bus

Pizza is vegetable? You may have heard that congress says it's OK to call the tomato sauce a serving of veggies, but this story takes an in-depth look at how this particular school lunch legislation got passed. The USDA was charged with bringing national school lunch standards in line with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but congress rejected their modest proposals.

Ask Mary

This week, registered dietitian Mary Hartley answers the question, What is the best way to lose weight while breastfeeding?

New moms are often eager to get back to their pre-pregnancy weights, however, getting proper nutrients is important for an infant's growth. Mary discusses the best approach.

Recipe: Breakfast Tacos

Getting a protein-rich breakfast has been shown to help people make better food choices throughout the day. This quick breakfast for eggs in tortillas fits the bill and is full of flavor. Just scramble some eggs, warm up tortillas and cheese, and throw it all together with some salsa. Yum!

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