Quick Press | 26 May 2010

This is what has been going on this week in the food world:

Slow Fast Food: Chipotle

In 2002, Chipotle started serving naturally raised chicken at certain locations and in 2003 Chipotle opened in New York with only naturally raised meats. Now, the large restaurant chain purchases some of its produce from local farms, serve sour cream free of the synthetic growth hormone rBGH, and use organically grown black and pinto beans. As of May 2010, Chipotle is the largest restaurant buyer of locally grown produce. Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience.

CDC Says to Avoid All Raw Sprouts

The federal Centers for Disease Control said last week the alfalfa sprouts appear to have sickened at least 22 people in 10 states, including a baby in Oregon. Eleven of those sickened were in California. Caldwell Fresh Foods sold the raw sprouts to Wal-Marts in 15 states. This is the second large multistate outbreak in fresh produce announced this month. Twenty-six people were sickened by an outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

Beer Belly Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

A US study of more than 700 adults showed that being overweight is associated with smaller brain volume, a factor linked with dementia. The results showed that as BMI increased, brain volume decreased – a finding that has been reported in other studies. “It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to keep weight in check. What’s good for our bodies may be good for our brains,” state Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

The Future of Seafood and Oil

Fishing is a $2.4 billion industry in the Gulf States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has closed nearly 20 percent of the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area because of the spill. Seafood shortages are starting to plague markets in New Orleans and throughout the country. The spill is especially affecting shellfish such as oysters, shrimp and crawfish.

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