News Feed: Fasting, Ugly Fruit and Raw Milk's Revenge

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Raw milk or raw luck?

Oh, the irony! Just weeks after passing legislation making it legal to drink raw milk in West Virginia — despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration that unpasteurized milk may “pose a serious health risk” — members of the state’s House of Delegates celebrated by drinking raw milk. Guess what happened? A bunch of the lawmakers fell ill. Some of the delegates, including some of those who drank the milk and the guy who distributed it to his colleagues, insist that one had nothing to do with the other, blaming the illnesses on a stomach bug that was going around. “There’s nobody up there that got sick off that milk,” Delegate Scott Cadle, who sponsored the legislation and shared the milk, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “It’s just bad timing, I guess.” The West Virginia Bureau of Public Health is investigating.

Inglorious tomatoes

The aisle of misfit fruits

Funny-looking fruits and vegetables are getting their moment in the spotlight — and soon, in major grocery stores. Whole Foods and Giant Eagle supermarkets are joining the growing waste-prevention movement to rescue produce that doesn’t conform to conventional standards of beauty from the compost bin or garbage heap and instead offer it for sale at discount prices. Whole Foods is partnering with a supplier called Imperfect Produce for its ugly-fruit and -veggie initiative, which it will begin to test in April at a few California stores. Giant Eagle is working with a local company to sort through its existing produce stock and pull out cosmetically challenged specimens, which it will then sell at a significant discount. “It’s the taste that matters,” a Giant Eagle spokesperson told NPR’s The Salt.

Dieters are going fast

Fasting is speeding into vogue. “In a culture in which it’s customary to eat three large meals a day while snacking from morning to midnight, the idea of regularly skipping meals may sound extreme,” The New York Times notes. “But in recent years intermittent fasting has been gaining popular attention and scientific endorsement.” Endorsed by celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Kimmel, fasting is also gathering support from the scientific community, where research is underway to explore whether intermittently halting food intake —during the course of either a day or a week — may be beneficial to our health and longevity by reducing the risk of a variety of diseases and promoting weight loss. Fascinating. Or should I say … fast-inating?

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.