Reading List: Candy Tax in Washington, Misleading Food Allergies Info and Rachel Ray’s Food Fight

In this week’s nutrition news: Check Twitter and Facebook before your next visit to the farmers market, food allergy testing to be standardized and meet the White House pastry chef
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Chocolate candy bar

Chocolate candy bar

Pieces of Chocolate,

In this week’s nutrition news: Check Twitter and Facebook before your next visit to the farmers' market, food allergy testing to be standardized and meet the White House pastry chef.

Candy Tax Begins Next Month
If you live in Washington State, you’ll be shelling out more for candy starting June 1. In reality, if you’re a Kit Kat or Milky Way lover you’re lucky—according to the government’s definition you’re not really eating candy. So why are Three Musketeers taxed and Kit Kats (my favorite) not? It depends on the ingredients—if flour was added then it’s not really a candy. A little ridiculous if you ask me. What’s your take on the new candy tax?
White House Pastry Chef Scales Down

Meet Bill Yosses—he’s the 57 year old chef in charge of making desserts for the White House. Many question what he’s been doing since Mrs. Obama requested that dessert be an occasional treat and only served in small portions. Besides making pastries for morning meetings in the West Wing, Mr. Yosses fills his busy 12 hour days by taking on additional tasks—including beekeeping, weeding and creating the perfect pie crust (which I’d love to try!).

Misleading Information on Food Allergies

Have you noticed the sudden increase in food allergies? So has the federal government---so they dug a little deeper to find out why. Although about 30 percent of the population believes they have food allergies, in reality not all do. Many folks who were diagnosed as a child shed their allergies as an adult or it’s been found that tests like finger pricking and tiny injections are only 50 percent accurate. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is on a mission to create one standard for food allergy testing—they expect to write up a draft by June.

Rachel Ray Lobby’s For School Lunch
Rachel Ray was in Washington D.C. this week using her “big Sicilian mouth” to ask government for better school lunches. This includes reauthorizing the Nutrition Act which determines how much schools are given for meals (she’s asking for a 70 cent increase per child). She’s also asking for a nationwide trans-fat ban in school cafeterias. Will Rachel Ray’s star power have some influence on Capital Hill—what do you think?
Check Twitter and Facebook Before Heading To the Farmers' Market
Before packing up your re-usable bags and heading to your local farmers' market, you may want to check your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Farmers are using these free social media tools to announce weekly specials. Do you use Twitter and Facebook to follow your local farmers?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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