Microbiologically safe isn’t on the list: Whole Foods predicts food trends for 2017

On Tuesday, Whole Foods released its predictions for 2017’s hottest food trends—a list that’s compiled by experts who track consumer behavior at more than 400 of the chain’s stores.

poop-cakeHere’s the list of the top eight potential food trends of 2017:

– Wellness tonics: Ingredients include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar.

– Byproducts: Whole Foods says brands like Atlanta Fresh and White Moustache are using leftover whey from yogurt production to create probiotic drinks.

– Coconut everything: Think: Chips, ice cream, butters, etc.

– Japanese food beyond sushi: Like dried kelp, wakame, and Japanese-style pickles.

– Creative Condiments: Such as black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, and black garlic purée.

– Alternative pasta: Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas will be on the rise.

– Purple foods: Also will include black rice, elderberries, acai, and purple corn and cereal.

– Oven-ready meal kits: Fresh oven-ready meal kits and vegetable medleys will be on the upswing.

Is “There’s an app for that.” the new “That’s what she said.”

Being an Office fan, "That’s what she said" has not jumped the shark for me; but being an iPhone owner, "There’s an app for that" has.

I’m not all loaded up with apps, and tend to stick with the low risk free ones. Today I splurged and spent $.99 on Poop the World (thanx Gonzo for the suggestion).

I just downloaded it and the opening screen says "Get started! Track your bowel movements in real-time, share with friends, and strive for recognition in a fun and civilized manner!"

Okay. You had me at bowel movements.

This app is a bit like playing Tony Hawk, there are achievement levels like "The Daily Quad" (4 poops in a day) and "Sir Deuce-a-lot" (20 poops in a week).

The poop database is also sortable. So I’ve got that going for me. If you wish to follow, I’m at Defender of the can.

It appears that you can follow the poops at pooptheworld.com. While it’s all fun, maybe there is a google analytics/flu tracking aspect to this. Poop the world might be an early indicator of a national foodborne illness outbreak.

New York teen left kitten in oven to die

Associated Press is reporting a New York City teenager has admitted that she failed to let a kitten out of an oven after a friend put the animal inside and left it to roast to death.

After pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty and attempted burglary on Wednesday, 17-year-old Cheyenne Cherry confronted a row of animal activists outside the courtroom. Cherry stuck out her tongue and told the activists that the kitten named Tiger Lily was dead.

Authorities say Cherry and a 14-year-old friend ransacked a Bronx apartment before putting the cat in the oven, where it cried and scratched before dying.

The 14-year-old was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and burglary in the May 6 incident.

Cherry will serve a year in jail under a plea bargain.

Top Five Records presents Top 10 food safety issues – 2008

Casey Jacob’s been working full-time with me for the past six months. We got  a bunch of papers coming out and she’s developing into a fairly decent writer. So here’s Casey’s version of the Top 10 food safety stories of 2008.

1. Salmonella in tomatoes/peppers – problems with tracing sources of produce
Companies that can provide efficient traceability systems for their products provide an advantage to the retail food service sector during recall and outbreak situations.

2. Melamine in Chinese infant formula – know your suppliers
Buyers need to know their suppliers, the risks that might be associated with their products, and how they should be managed. Suppliers should be able to demonstrate the safety of their products and processes, and have programs in place to manage risks.

3. Listeria in deli meats and soft cheeses — should vulnerable populations be warned?
Beginning in July, 20 Canadians were killed and dozens were sickened by an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in deli meats produced by Maple Leaf Foods.
Most of the deaths were related to the consumption of deli meats in places like nursing homes that were unaware of the recommendation that immunocompromised individuals avoid deli meats to reduce the risk of Listeria, unless they are thoroughly heated. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid unheated deli meats, soft cheeses, and other refrigerated ready-to-eat foods that can foster the growth of Listeria. Warnings for vulnerable young, elderly, ill, or pregnant. people on product labels or menus may provide information for those populations to make informed choices.

4. Restaurant inspection disclosure systems on the rise
The food service sector should recognize that certain diners are interested in the information provided by inspection reports and summaries. This increase in transparency highlights the importance of maintaining or improving. compliance with food safety regulations during inspections.

5. Downer abuse in California –poor animal welfare can impact business
It’s not enough for a producer or processor to say they are doing the right thing; they will have to be able to prove it using techniques like video surveillance. It is expected that proof of actions will become increasingly demanded and adopted over the next year.

6. Patrons use cell phone cameras to document food safety issues
Public health authorities in Toronto, Canada, shut down one of Chinatown’s most prominent restaurants after a passerby took a photo of rats on a countertop in February.

7. E. coli O157:H7 linked to UK butchers – no food safety culture and lax inspection
Creating a culture of food safety within an organization where all members from executives to front-line staff. have a set of shared values around risks will be come increasingly important for the foodservice sector.

8. Pot pies and chicken thingies – the danger of microwave use and the difficulties of consumer communication
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert in March advising the public of a salmonellosis outbreak associated with frozen, stuffed raw chicken products in Minnesota—the sixth of its kind since 1998.
 It may be prudent to blatantly inform consumers through product package labeling that if products contained are raw and should, therefore, not be prepared in the microwave.

9. Outbreaks at several universities — outbreak communication strategies

Several outbreaks of illness occurred at university campuses where communication departments were slow to take responsibility.

10. Sourcing locally – don’t make assumptions about safety

Organizations and individuals are making commitments to utilize local food sources. However, there is little discussion surrounding the microbiological safety of such food.  All foods, regardless of the location, should be sourced from trusted sources that provide evidence of safe practices, and claims regarding the safety of food should made in conjunction with sound data.

Food safety and sex appeal: top trends for 2008

J.M. Hirsch, the food editor at the Associated Press, writes that the proliferation of foodie culture and its obsessive desire for provenance, coupled with growing worries over food safety — have combined to create a whirlwind of information about food and drink.

Here are the top trends for 2008:

• Local foods

Organic has jumped the shark. Locavore was named word of the year by The New Oxford American Dictionary. But local does not equal safe.

• Varietal

Consumers now want to know the specific varieties of ingredients and breeds of animals it was produced with.

• Food safety

Unlike government, marketers work quickly. For example, some toy catalogs already labeled their products "lead-free" in time for the 2007 holiday season.

Expect food companies to be as nimble, touting new and increased safety measures.

Over a year after I started promoting it, maybe food companies will get serious about marketing microbial food safety and leave the food porn in the gutter.

List season begins: Top 10 food trends for 2008

Mintel has kicked off the top-10 list season with its predicted food trends for 2008:

1. Clean labels: Clean labels — ingredient labels that read like a home recipe.

2. Transparency throughout the system — where ingredients come from, how they are manufactured and how they are packaged.

3. Junk-free foods —  additives, preservatives, colors, flavors or otherwise unknown ingredients listed on food labels.

4. Salt, a positive and a negative — sea salt rather than mineral salt, and "place" salts, like Hawaiian red clay salt.

5. Faux genomics — products designed to be consumed all at once, like a supplement, and deliver a very specific single benefit will become increasingly popular.

6. Experiential shopping –more in-store dining, warmer lighting and familiar display fixtures at the supermarket.

7. Carbon footprint — manufacturers will start discussing their company-wide environmental initiatives instead of just focusing on the carbon footprint of a particular product.

8. Fairtrade expansion — more Fairtrade and Fairtrade-certified products appearing in the United States, Latin America and Asia.

9. Ancient and sacred grains — such as amaranth and quinoa moving from niche markets to mainstream.

10. Bottled water backlash — consumers will become more aware of the environmental impact of shipping water from remote locations to local supermarkets.