Are The Foods You Eat Making You Sick?

Some foods may give you a feeling of sickness after consuming them. Common signs of food allergies are hives or even rashes. Other people experience itchy hands and fingers, there may even be a tingling sensation. Food allergies are not particularly rare as over ten million people in America alone suffer from these ailments. Most food allergies are mild afflictions, but some allergic reactions can be fatal. Hundreds of people die each year from severe allergic reactions to foods.

Children are at the most risk because they are not fully developed yet. Also parents do not know about what food allergies their child may or may not have until one has occurred. Often times your child will out grow his or her allergies to most foods. As they grow older their body will adapt to many different kinds of foods. Keep in mind however that not all children will grow out of their food allergies. Some children will even carry these childhood food allergies into adulthood. A child that retains their ailment as they become an adult will most likely keep it with them during their entire life.

Eating at a restaurant if you have allergic reactions to some foods can be dangerous. This is because there really is no telling what exactly was put into the foods being offered. If you know what kind of food affects you, then be sure to ask a waiter or a cook what ingredients the dish you plan to order has in it. Taking this precaution could very well avoid an unwanted trip to the hospital.

Packaged foods can also be a danger for those with allergens. The key to eating packaged foods is to learn to read the labels. It is not always as easy as it sounds as some words for ingredients on labels can be different from what you know them by. You could ask a clerk for help if you are new to reading nutritional information and need to know if a certain ingredient is included so that you can avoid it.

Statistics state that eight percent of all children are or will be affected by food allergies. Adults are affected at four percent because most children grow out of their allergies as stated earlier.

One of the most common food allergens is peanuts. Foods that contain peanuts almost always warn people with food allergies whether or not the product contains them. You can find the warning usually right on the nutritional information section of the label. Also foods that are made in the same factory as peanuts will have a warning that their product may contain parts of peanuts.

Taking the proper precautions is the best way to avoid allergic reactions to foods. Just watch what you eat and read labels to make sure you are avoiding foods that can cause your body harm.

Growing Global Population Can Be Fed But Only With Radical Reforms of Food Production

As the global economy struggles to recover from the financial crisis of 2008 it is becoming increasingly evident that something radical has to change if food scarcity and skyrocketing prices are to be prevented.

It is suggested in a number of recently-published studies that leaving food production and distribution in the hands of a small number of global agribusinesses in the private sector and at the mercy of commodity price speculation helps no-one from the small farmer right through to the consumer.

According to Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, there has been chronic underinvestment in agriculture for the last 20 years alongside trade liberalisation, which together have resulted in low productivity and a reliance on cheap food imports in the developing world.

The result has been local farmers struggling to get a decent price for their produce in the face of competition from often subsidised cheap imports. Local farming declines, more people leave the land adding to urban populations and governments try to maintain political stability by keeping food cheap.

It is a vicious circle that leaves developing countries at the mercy of global commodity price speculation – and leaves huge numbers of people either starving or malnourished. Where profit rules, people, especially those on low incomes suffer.

Paul Polman, boss of Unilever recently gave a speech in the UK in which he argued that the focus on subsidising producers of biofuels may have been well-meaning in the context of finding alternatives to the carbon-based technology that is contributing to climate change. But he called the policy misguided in diverting land and food crops from use for food to use for biofuels.

The Foresight Report (UK) and the Agrimonde Study (France), both recently published scientific studies, suggest that it is possible to feed the 9.2 billion people expected to be the world population in 2050, but both say only if there is a revolution in food production and distribution, alongside increasing yields sustainably and reducing waste.

That might mean encouraging changes in diet in the developed world, away from the production of high-energy foods such as meat, which requires more land and diverts grains from people to animal fodder. It also means eating and throwing away less food.

It may also mean governments intervening to create larger reserve food stocks to try to cushion people from the effects of commodity price speculation on prices

The Foresight Report, particularly, says that the current system must be radically and urgently redesigned and calls for governments to put food much higher up their political agendas, co-ordinated with action on climate change, water and energy supplies.

The authors of the report contend that new research and innovative technology, including GM technology, should not be ruled out and that GM technology should be moved from the private sector to public funding to take it out of the “stranglehold” of large agribusiness companies.

Biopesticides Developers have long argued that getting their innovations, like biopesticides, biofungicides and low-chemical yield enhancers, through the testing and licensing regimes in various parts of the world can take years and involve huge costs.

Arguably this pushes these small, innovative organisations into the arms of agribusiness, which has the resources to cover the development and licensing costs. However, that could mean the end products are also beyond affordable reach for the small, developing world farmers who could most benefit from them as well as the training they would need to use them properly.

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

Instagram’s Effect on the Food Industry

Everyone loves looking at pictures. Whether they are photos of nature or wildlife, photos of family and friends, cooking experiences, or even pictures of fun events, people take pleasure in living vicariously through other individuals via these photographs. This has come to include the interest of seeing a delicious meal that another food enthusiast was able to sit down and enjoy. Over the previous few months, I have really begun to see the affect that Instagram has had on the food industry, whether it is home cooking, eating out or trying new restaurants, people’s photographs have proven to be a unique promotional tool for anything food related. Often times, I have had to make a mad dash towards the kitchen cupboards in order to satisfy my cravings after seeing one of these mouth-watering photographs. Chefs that are cooking from home or individuals that have visited a certain restaurant are able to snap quick photos from their phone and post them to social media resources like Instagram for the world to see. As a result, it can spark another’s interest in trying that recipe, visiting that food establishment or it may just simply activate that person’s hunger for any food.

I have been on Instagram for about one year now and during this period I have really enjoyed seeing the lives of friends and family through pictures and short videos. However, during this time frame, one trend that has really stood out to me was how proud these cuisine fanatics were about their food orders they put in or the meals that they had prepared. Eating is one hobby or activity that is going to be a part of everyone’s life and why not share your favorite recipes or cooking experiences with the social world? Any individual with access to the internet can snap photos of their appetizers, main dishes, desserts or even fancy beverages that they were able to consume, upload it to Instagram and within seconds, that tasty photo will be potentially visible to thousands of followers on some of the largest social media resources around the world. In addition to that, there are numerous different apps that will enhance these photos or even dozens of filters that will make the food and beverage item look even more mouth-watering. Even the most unappealing of food items can be made appealing through some of these fancy advancements in technology.

Another fun perk of using Instagram for meals is that this photo app also works with another app called Foursquare, which allows the user to share their location on a map with their followers. Individuals can “check-in” at certain food venues, buildings or other locations to let their friends know what they are up to. From this partnership, I see Instagram as being a unique marketing tool not only because restaurant goers and food consumption specialist are able to take appealing photos of their food and drinks, but they can also attach a location with that photo so if other interested parties want to experience that same menu item then they know right where to find it. Even if Instagram is not considered one of the most effective forms of media right now, I would recommend the free application to any chef, group or small business owner that is looking to promote any product or service.

Over the past year, this unique photo-related application has at times, proved to be sort of a motivator for me by seeing others accomplishments, it has helped me better engage in people’s lives that I do not see on a regular basis and it has even brought some awareness to me on certain things like local events or charity information. For example, I have found myself saying things like “well I didn’t know they served that food there”, or “wow that healthy meal plan has really paid off for that person” or maybe even “dang, I did not know that bar had that fun promotional there last weekend!” and by seeing photos of individual’s experiences in this situations, it has lead me to want to try new things, get more involved or not miss another similar event. Now is this going to be the feeling that everyone has who sees these photos? Not likely, but for being a free tool that anyone can use, why would groups and businesses not want to use Instagram as a marketing method? It definitely would not hurt the business or group at all!

Instagram can be a fun tool to utilize for any small business or non-profit that may not be looking to spend tons of money on marketing. For example, I began a kitchen related retail business recently with a blog, Twitter and Facebook page and as a fun marketing method I created a separate Instagram account from my personal account that was strictly for this ecommerce business. It allowed me to upload unique photos to all my other web sites as a way of interacting with my followers and visitors and my website has seen an increase in activity and engagement because of it. Now showing fancy photos of recipes that I prepared or menu items that indulged in will not necessarily sell products or make me a ton of money, but it can promote user engagement on all my pages and that is something that I want for my business.

The promotional photo options are endless and that is why I would really recommend including this resource in one’s marketing plan. Business owners like myself can snap and upload pictures of basically anything associated with their business, such as people having a great time using their products, the reactions of individuals tasting new foods, specials or discounts that are being offered for a period of time, or just photos of all the different menu items or product lines that managers and owners want to promote more. In my opinion, Instagram has not become as utilized of a free marketing tool as Facebook and Twitter, but I do think it could eventually reach that point, especially with the ease at which these users can integrate their Instagram with these other major social media sites. From all of this, restaurants and bars can promote their menu options through their visitors at no cost as long as those hungry patrons enjoyed their meal.

Food Chemicals in the Food Processing Industrial Marketplace

Food manufacturers often make use of additives or chemicals to add more value to a certain product. There are some issues and controversies linked to these chemicals. Food, as others see it, is better when natural rather than utilizing artificial ingredients. While this is the case, a lot of manufacturers claim that there are a lot of food additives coming from natural origins.

In a more general sense, the United States FDA defines additives as those that alter the physical characteristics of a certain substance. Such may either change the food’s color and appearance. Internally, though, there are other things one may enjoy from these chemicals. Food and its shelf life will be extended because of these additives. As consumers, you may want to learn more about other facts on food additives.

Functions of additives for food

Apart from what is mentioned above, there are still other functions you may derive from food additives. At times they are valuable in food preservation activities such as air entrapment and maintenance of flow properties in the product. It may also add fragrance, flavor and sweeten goodies. Additionally, it acts in demulsifying, fermenting and enhancing the food served on your tables.

Among this listed functions of additives, you will see why it has been accepted by a lot of individuals. As it maintains the consistency of the product, it is also able to maintain its nutritional value. This is done by adding some sort of vitamins and minerals in the food. The preservatives in food additives also results to maintaining the palatability of the food thus making more people enjoy the use of these chemicals. Food additives are also capable of controlling the acidity of the products you eat.

Types of food chemicals

In order to address the issues related to food additives, manufacturers considered using other forms to enhance the quality of food. Artificial additives are of course ever popular. These are manmade chemicals. Natural additives on the other hand are those extracted from natural sources and does not require too much processing for these chemicals.

Additives in food may also be organic and inorganic. Types of organic chemicals are alcohols, esters, halogenated hydrocarbons, glycol ethers and waxes whereas the most common inorganic food additive is salt. Food additives may be further classified according to how it is formed. Some examples of which are flakes, chunks, pellets granules and other crushed materials.