Thought for Food Blog

Insights from the MSU Global Food Law Conference

Posted by Joanna Becker

15-Aug-2018 13:22:32

Our Regulations & Compliance Executive, Joanna Becker, attended the Michigan State University's Global Food Law Conference in June. The conference brought together thought leaders from across the food law world, providing a platform for sharing knowledge and information around current issues internationally. 

Presentations spanned a variety of innovative topics, from GM crop technology used in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce vitamin deficiencies, to meat-free alternatives such as “bleeding” plant-based burgers.

The food community is vast and global, so conferences such as this are invaluable, allowing professionals to network, discuss and share experiences and knowledge with each other and ultimately impact and influence legislation for the better.

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Topics: food security, food safety, genetic modification (GM), food economics, vitamins and minerals, zinc, meat, novel foods, milk and milk substitutes, insect foods, supplements, caffeine, organic, labelling, pet food, nutrition, sugar and substitutes, animal welfare, Escalex

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: central nervous system, neuroscience, mental health, gut health, bacteria, cognitive function, fermented foods, immune system, dairy, supplements, amino acids, tryptophan, sleep, zinc, nuts, meat, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fatty acids, fruit, cereals, fibre, soy

Edible Insects – The Food of the Future?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

10-May-2017 08:30:00

The eating of insects, or entomophagy, is not a new concept. In fact, insects have been eaten around the world since prehistoric times.

 

A history of insect consumption

Stable carbon isotope analysis of the bones and dental enamel of australopithecines, for example, has shown that they were significantly enriched in isotope 13C, suggesting that the diet of these people was largely composed of animals feeding on grasses, including insects. Termites are reported to have been included into the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet, and an analysis of fossils from caves in the USA and Mexico showed that coprolites from caves in Mexico contained ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks and mites, providing further evidence for entomophagy in human history. 

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Topics: protein, nutrition, Africa, Asia, vitamins and minerals, allergies and allergens, cholesterol, environment and sustainability, fatty acids, food safety, food security, pesticides, texture, insect foods, nutrients, amino acids, magnesium, zinc, calcium, enzymes, consumer behaviour, novel foods

How Does Food Affect Sleep?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Sep-2014 15:50:00

Sometimes, we all have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Stress, noise disturbances and too much stimulation before bedtime can all contribute to us having difficulty drifting off. Sleep is essential for maintaining mood, memory and cognitive functions, and as well as having a negative impact on these factors, a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences for our health. Not only is it crucial for normal functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, a lack of sleep has also been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Some dietary components have long been known to have a disruptive effect on sleep, but evidence is emerging of other interesting foods that may help us on the way to the land of nod.

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Topics: sleep, caffeine, coffee, alcohol, magnesium, amino acids, immune system, obesity, diabetes, mental health, cognitive function, hormones, tryptophan, protein, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, zinc, milk and milk substitutes, fruit, vegetables, cereals, enzymes

Do Organic Food Consumers Really Know What They’re Buying?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Jul-2014 13:10:00

Organic foods often come at a higher cost than their non-organic counterparts. Yet, some consumers consistently choose to buy them above conventionally-produced foods. Evidence suggests that there is often some discrepancy between what consumers believe organic foods offer and the reality. So what exactly are organic foods, and what motivates consumers to buy them?

Organic food: a definition

Organic foods are those produced by organic farming methods, which aim to reduce negative impacts on the environment. The exact standards producers must meet vary slightly between countries, which set their own guidelines, but there are a few core principles that are shared by all of the various regulatory bodies.

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Topics: organic, animal welfare, agriculture, regulations and guidance, retail and marketing, environment and sustainability, pesticides, meat, consumer behaviour, zinc, nutrition, food safety, cancer, food quality, flavour

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