Romaine’s Woes Are Great News for Other Kinds of Greens

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“Prices for iceberg, green leaf and other types of lettuce are soaring as demand surged in the wake of the romaine recall. A carton of iceberg lettuce at wholesale markets in California fetched as much as $60 this week, U.S. government data show. That’s up from as low as $24 on Nov. 19, the day before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to consumers about romaine.

The same holds true for other salad staples: the price of Boston lettuce surged 175 percent, while green leaf lettuce gained 160 percent, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Even kale, a member of the same family as cabbage, was not immune, rising to as much as $16 a carton from a low of $12.

“It’s uncertain how long it will last,” said Trevor Suslow, the vice president of food safety for the Produce Marketing Association, referring to the price spike. “I would imagine it will stay high for a while because of the understandable disruption.”

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The Top 10 Food Trends For 2019, According To Whole Foods

“Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner. (…)”

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Green Giant Debuts Riced Cauliflower Stuffing

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“Thanksgiving will always be a day of over-eating, but there are ways to make your meal a smidge healthier and still enjoy all the holiday favorites. Our kitchen team has come up with plenty of paleo, keto, and vegan-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, if you follow one of those particular diets. And now, Green Giant is throwing low-carb eaters a bone with their new Riced Cauliflower Stuffing.”

“Green Giant confirmed the new, healthy side will be coming to select retailers in November, and will roll out nationwide in January. According to the brand, it is “an ideal way to cut carbs and reduce calories by 45 percent.” Best of all, it can be cooked in just eight minutes, making meal prep ridiculously easy.”

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Coffee Can Extend Longevity for People with Kidney Disease, Research Shows

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“According to the researchers, approximately 89 percent of the U.S. adult population drinks caffeine in some form daily, while 14 percent of Americans have chronic kidney disease.”

“The reduction in mortality was present even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases and diet,” Miguel Bigotte Vieira, one of the study’s lead authors, wrote, addressing the medical community “These results suggest that advising patients with kidney disease to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial.”

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An Apple a day for a Baby’s Brain

We’re all aware that fruit is a recommended part of the daily diet.  However, new research suggests that fruit may be even more important for expecting mothers by increasing the intelligence of a normal, healthy baby.

The University of Alberta study found that each additional serving of fruit the pregnant participants consumed corresponded with an increase in cognitive scores for their children a year after birth. The results from 688 children tested are preliminary and best seen as a suggestion for future studies.  However, the data is interesting because only fish has been linked to enhanced cognitive development.

After analyzing the data, Piush Mandhane, an associate professor of pediatrics at University of Alberta and one of the two senior authors of the paper, was so surprised that he sought out a colleague to double check the results using fruit flies–which yielded similar results.

What’s perhaps less surprising is that half of the pregnant women surveyed did not meet the US government’s guidelines of 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit a day.  This is roughly equivalent to an apple and a large banana per day.

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