Inside this Food Report

VOLUME 1
ISSUE 1


JANUARY 1, 2010

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Happy New Year and welcome to our new monthly report

The Intelligent Food Report!

December was a busy month at Noon International, however the Noon staff did find time to enjoy a fabulous dinner at the Crab Pot in Seattle where they literally dump entire pots of crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, cob corn, and potatoes directly onto your table. The only utensil provided is a wood hammer to crack the crab and a small wood board to use as your dish. As everyone began to hammer open their crab and devourer the succulent shrimp I could not help but think about how much bacteria could be hiding in the small wooden board. A wood cutting board worn with many cracks and crevices is not sanitary, however the next day everyone seemed in fine health.

Food safety is a major concern and in the months ahead we will be exploring different aspects of food safety and all the latest developments on this important issue. But don't worry, we will still be bringing you all the latest updates of crops around the world and many other interesting topics as it relates to our food industry.

Wishing you health, joy and prosperity in the New Year and always!

Lily Noon and Betty Johnson

 

CropVeggies
Mexico:
Broccoli and cauliflower from Mexico is in peak production. The weather in Mexico was generally warm and dry throughout December.

Mexican strawberry growers are making efforts to increase the fresh and frozen consumption of their product in the United States and Canada. In order to realize this goal The National Strawberry Council in Mexico is trying to implement research projects in the state of Texas to find ways to increase United States interest in Mexican strawberries.

Guatemala: December weather in Guatemala recorded as cool in the morning with significant warming in the afternoon, without much rain. Broccoli production is winding down as melon, sugar snap peas, and Brussels sprout harvesting begins.

Argentina: Blueberry harvest near Concordia, Argentina is in full swing but is not without problems this season. Steady rain in December has been reported every two days followed by one day of sun, making harvesting efforts particularly difficult and causing some “splits” in berries which soak up too much water. Harvest will continue through the beginning of February and that leaves lots of time for conditions to improve.

New Zealand: The middle of December lashed Canterbury, New Zealand with powerful hail and windstorms. Hail the size of golf balls was reported in some places and wind up to 70 mph was also observed. The weather has caused damage to the region’s pea and grain crops but has not had much impact on berry and tree fruit crops. The damage to pea and grain crops has been estimated upwards of $100,000 for some individual farmers.

Unsafe food is a risk to everyone. In our report, “Navigating The Food Safety Maze”, we explore the most current and popular auditing choices, the difficulty in choosing the right one, and the direction of food safety in the future. You can read the report by clicking on the link below.

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Potatoes
The durable root known as the potato started its life in the Andes Mountains in South America and is believed to have been first cultivated there around 7,000 years ago. Western man did not know about the potato until the 1500’s when it was first brought to Spain and then introduced to England in 1580 by English pirate Sir Francis Drake. Long considered a food of the lower classes, the potato would not gain prominence until the 1780’s when the Irish adopted it as a rugged crop which could be easily grown in rocky Irish soil.

In addition to a long history, the potato also contains almost all the vitamins needed for survival, including B vitamins, C vitamins, and potassium, as well as carbohydrates. In fact an average 5 ounce potato includes 45% of the daily value for vitamin C and 620 mg of potassium, almost the same as a comparable serving of spinach. And all this comes with a very low calorie price as a 5 ounce potato only has 110 calories and is devoid of fat.

However healthy the potato, with the development of French fries came the introduction of pairing potatoes with fat. Although this development has expanded the popularity of potatoes worldwide, it has been said to have contributed to our widespread obesity in the U.S. and around the world. In the United States alone about ¼ of vegetables consumed are prepared as French fries. It is said that the average American eats 30 pounds of French fries a year! In recent years more healthy type oils such as canola and soy are being used to fry the potato in order to combat the high fat and calorie content of the French fry.

 

Melamine Problems Continue to Plague China

On November 24th, 2009 two dairy executives, Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping, were executed for their involvement in selling melamine contaminated milk powder which Chinese authorities claim killed 6 babies and made 300,000 people sick in September 2008. The contaminated milk powder had repercussions which reached consumers as far away as he European Union and the United States. Melamine is a white powder used in plastic making. Melamine is low cost and rich in nitrogen. Adding melamine to watered down milk makes the milk protein level appear higher which is a standard by which the milk quality is judged.

More recently, on December 12, 2009 three more men from the Shaanxi Jinqiao Dairy Company were arrested by Chinese police for adding melamine to powdered milk. While there is nothing to indicate that the powdered milk was ever exported out of the country, the arrests highlight the worldwide food safety concern with milk products coming out of China.

In response to these recent events, the Chinese media announced in December that the Chinese government has put together a panel of 42 experts in the field of agriculture, food, nutrition and hygiene in order to assess food safety risks. Also in December senior Chinese food safety officials traveled to New Zealand where they completed a 2 week food safety exchange program.

Eat your healthy greens

A recent study at the Hallym University College of Medicine in South Korea found that women who ate higher amounts of foods high in folate such as spinach and broccoli had a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer.

 


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