Reading List: 12 Dangerous Supplements, Gulf Seafood Safety and Wine-Fed Cows

In this week’s nutrition news: Healthy foods that can be deadly, Gulf seafood deemed safe to eat and study finds dorm cafeterias bad for the waistline
Related To:

In this week’s nutrition news: Healthy foods that can be deadly, Gulf seafood deemed safe to eat and study finds dorm food bad for the waistline.

Healthy Foods That Are Dangerous

I have taught food safety for many years and one topic that shocks many students is the fact that certain foods can be deadly—even healthy foods. Some of these dangerous foods include apricot seeds, “green” potatoes, uncooked red kidney beans and rhubarb leaves. Many of my students were shocked to learn that red kidney beans are toxic—but it’s only when they’re raw. My colleague Kyle Shadix, RD (who I taught with for many years) explains how you can eat these foods safely.

Is Gulf Seafood Safe?

A few weeks after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the FDA deemed seafood safe to eat. But local residents aren’t bringing home the fish just yet. Seems inspectors have been using “smell tests” to determine if the seafood is safe---meaning, sniffing for chemical odors. The FDA claims these smell tests turned up barely detectible levels of toxic substances. But many are demanding that more thorough testing be done before declaring it safe.

TELL US: Would you eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico?
Dorms with Cafeterias Are Worse For Waistline

We've all heard of the start-of-college "Freshman 15," but a new study found that an in-house dining hall hurts waistlines even more.  Sure, you can eat breakfast in your PJs, but the Journal of Adolescent Health study found that females with in-dorm cafes weighed almost 2 pounds more and exercise 1.43 times fewer than those who had to walk further for food.  Men ate 1.5 more meals and almost 3 additional snacks per day when the dining hall was in house. The study concluded that location does matter, even when it comes to health.

Wine-Fed Cows

The things folks will do for some good red meat!  I’ve heard of kobe beef where cows are massaged, but on this farm in Kelowna, Canada the cows are given wine regularly. They’re called Sezmu meats (after the Egyptian God of wine), where the wine is given to help relax the cow. These bovines spend 90 percent of their final days sipping on wine — about a liter a day. These cows are free-range, medication-free, hormone-free and purchased locally—and if they’re given wine to help them relax, I’m all for it.

Dangerous Supplement Ingredients

Many of my clients and friends are popping supplements. Hopefully, they’ll read this Consumer Report before taking that next pill. The report found 12 common supplement ingredients (including those that claim to enhance bedroom performance, increase athletic abilities or slim down waistlines) can actually harm your heart, kidneys or liver. Some of the ingredients mentioned include bitter orange, coltsfoot, country mallow, kava and lobelia. Although warnings have been put out for some of the listed ingredients, Consumer Reports argued that the FDA has not used its authority to ban them.

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

Keep Reading

Next Up

Reading List: Hot Trends For 2010, Controversial Anti-Soda Video & A Caffeine-Alcohol Warning

In this week’s nutrition news: Check out how airline food stacks up, a wellness supermarket tour, and hot food trends for 2010.

Reading List: ConAgra Cuts the Sodium, Alcohol Warnings & Men Aren't Washing Up

In this week’s nutrition news: Revamping school lunches menus, examining health claims of alcohol, and a closer look at the “Smart-Choice” label on Cocoa Puffs

12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Wine (in Festive Packaging)

When you give wine as a gift this year, make it extra special by wrapping in a simple, festive way.

Holiday Drinking Strategies

This December, don’t guzzle down hundreds of empty calories at holiday parties. Instead, review these helpful tips before heading out to your next shindig.

Make Your Own Mulled Wine (or Cider)

This holiday favorite is guaranteed to get smiles out of your guests. If you’re a mulled wine virgin, no worries -- it’s super simple to whip up a delicious batch in no time.

Why You Should Drink Port

In world of Unicorn Frappuccinos, port is like grandpa yelling at the grandkids to put their phones down and have some darn respect.

10 Thanksgiving Wine Tips And Pairings

Be the wine hero of Thanksgiving by bringing the perfect bottle — use our tips and wine pairing ideas.

Target Is Now Selling Wine for 5 Bucks

The “cheap chic” discount chain has introduced a new line of wines that retail for $5 a bottle.

How to Taste Wine — Outsmarting Wine

Learn how to taste wine by using these three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary.

Cold-Weather Wines

"Septembral" is a poetic word for autumn and the cooler weather and richer, earthier food that come with it. These six wines fit the Septembral theme (and beyond).