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NEWS
September 8, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Margarita was recently yanked from the shelves of Whole Foods markets for purportedly having a non-natural preservative thought to be sodium benzoate. Though the bottle reads "all natural," the grocery chain wasn't OK with it. TMZ reports that a class action lawsuit has also been filed against the parent company alleging misleading claims about the product being natural. What is sodium benzoate, and should you be worried about ingesting it?
ARTICLES BY DATE
FOOD
April 26, 2014 | Noelle Carter
Rabbits "are helping win the war," proclaimed a Los Angeles Times article from 1943. Touted as a patriotic food during World War II, rabbits were raised by thousands of Americans in their backyards. Along with victory gardens, rabbits helped put food on the table when much of the nation's supply was shipped to soldiers overseas and ration stamps provided less at home. But even though rabbit consumption spiked during the war, it all but disappeared afterward. Think rabbit today and your thoughts probably veer to cartoon characters, cereal mascots, Easter and adorable pets.
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BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The high-stakes battle over labeling foods with genetically engineered ingredients is back. Less than two years after California voters narrowly turned down a labeling ballot measure, the state Senate is grappling with the issue. The 2012 campaign cost the food industry $46 million to fight, five times more than the amount spent by the measure's proponents. By a 5-2 vote last week, the Health Committee approved Senate Bill 1381, by Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based company that co-produced Hollywood films including "Iron Man 3" and "Transcendence," is in the process of going public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The move will see DMG enter the exchange through a reverse takeover with meat-processing company Sichuan Gaojin Foods. The deal still needs regulatory approval. According to DMG and Sichuan Gaojin, the deal values DMG at $970 million. That's three times the value of Gaojin at the end of 2013.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Manischewitz, the largest maker of matzo and other kosher foods, has been sold to Sankaty Advisors, a division of Bain Capital LLC, for an undisclosed amount, the two firms said Tuesday.  The premium kosher foods company, founded in 1888, is the No. 1 baker of matzo and produces other baked goods, pastas and gefilte fish under brands that include Manischewitz, Mishpacha and Guiltless Gourmet. "This transaction will allow Manischewitz to continue its storied tradition of producing the highest quality kosher products...
HEALTH
April 6, 2013 | By Martha Rose Shulman
What's a healthful food and what's a healing food? Is there a difference? At least since the mid-19th century, when the Battle Creek Sanitarium opened its doors and people flocked there to follow John Harvey Kellogg's regime of whole grains, nuts and frequent enemas, many Americans have sought food as medicine. I have a shelf of books with titles such as "Food - Your Miracle Medicine" and "The Food Pharmacy," and my smartphone is filled with snapshots of the "super foods" on display at a trade show: acai and goldenberry, chia, coconut and flax, goji berries and hemp, maca root and other berries, nuts, seaweeds and roots I've never heard of (yacon, lucuma, camu, maqui)
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Karin Klein
Let's forget, for the moment, whether it's a good idea to require foods that have been genetically engineered to show that on the labeling, as Proposition 37 on the November ballot would do. There's a curious provision in the initiative that's causing more immediate concern. The wording has to do with when foods can be labeled "natural," and though it requires a bit of scrolling back and forth from one provision to another to determine which foods are targeted in which provisions, it wouldn't be utterly crazy to read the wording as saying that processed foods - whether they contain genetically engineered ingredients or not - could not be labeled as natural.
NEWS
December 21, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A recent study found that kids may develop a taste for salt early on, a recent study finds, if they're fed starchy foods that contain sodium.   What foods are we talking about? Things like soft breads, cereals and crackers, items that many parents probably think nothing about handing to their kids. In the study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , infants tried out different concentrations of salt solutions and water to see which they preferred.
NEWS
July 26, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Just how many calories are in that meal? Last week, more than 35 public health organizations joined forces to petition the Food and Drug Administration to create a public database that would give consumers access to current and comprehensive information about their food. The American Heart Assn., Chicago Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, New York City Department of Health and Pennsylvania Department of Public Health were among the agencies that supported this initiative.
NEWS
July 5, 2012 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
A crew of six people has been chosen for a simulated Mars mission to test ways to feed astronauts on space trips that last years. Wolfgang Puck was not among them. Thursday's announcement came from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Cornell University, which selected the crew from more than 700 applicants. Nine people took part in an intense testing and training session in June, with six chosen for the mission and the three others serving as the reserve crew. Their mission, called HI-SEAS - for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation - is to figure out how to make food and what foods will taste good enough to take on long missions.
OPINION
April 24, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Something stinks in Irwindale. In recent months, officials in the largely industrial San Gabriel Valley city have appeared to be on a crusade to shut down Huy Fong Foods, the company that makes a wildly popular Sriracha sauce, for emitting chili and garlic odors that bother some neighbors. While a city should protect residents from harmful and/or unpleasant fumes, Irwindale's aggressive and unreasonable tactics have threatened to drive a home-grown enterprise out of state and bolstered California's unfortunate reputation as a bad place to do business.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration plans to begin regulating electronic cigarettes for the first time, banning sales to minors and requiring manufacturers to put health warnings on the nicotine-delivering devices that have become a multibillion-dollar industry, according to officials who described the agency's proposal. But the agency will stop short of steps that many public health advocates and some members of Congress have called for, including restrictions on television advertisements and flavorings, such as pumpkin spice or chocolate, that may target younger consumers, officials said.
WORLD
April 22, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
The World Food Program gives out most of its food aid to Syria in government-held areas, with only a quarter of the distributions occurring in rebel-controlled territory, according to latest figures from the U.N. agency. The findings underscore the obstacles facing the WFP, which is the major distributor of food aid in Syria, in getting help to rebel-held areas. Many of those zones are under frequent bombardment by Syrian forces, making access dangerous for aid workers and their drivers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014
Hamish Maxwell Philip Morris Cos. CEO Hamish Maxwell, 87, who steered Philip Morris Cos. in its purchase of General Foods Corp. and takeover of Kraft Inc., milestones in transforming the tobacco company into a consumer products conglomerate in the 1980s, died Saturday at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. He had bladder cancer, said his daughter Graham Russell. Maxwell spent 37 years with Philip Morris, culminating with his tenure as chairman and chief executive officer from 1984 to 1991.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Hillshire Brands Co., the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage links and Ball Park franks, said Monday it will pay $165 million to buy Van's Natural Foods from Catterton Partners, a private equity firm. The deal will add a line of healthful, frozen breakfast and snack foods to Hillshire's existing brands, which also includes Sara Lee foods. The addition is expected to generate net revenue of $60 million in 2014, the company said in a statement. Van's Natural Foods, based in Phoenix, makes gluten-free pancakes and whole-grain waffles.
TRAVEL
April 19, 2014 | By April Orcutt
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - "Don't dip your head into the dark chocolate," a male voice behind me said. Dark melted chocolate swirled in 2-foot-wide pots, filling the air with the scent of cocoa as our group toured the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Kailua Kona on the Big Island. During our weeklong trip to the Big Island in October, my husband, Michael, and I had decided that when we weren't snorkeling, we would explore its back roads, an investigation that soon turned into a do-it-yourself foodie tour of the Kona Coast.
FOOD
February 5, 1997
Whether it's the year of the Ox, Rat or Tiger, there are certain foods that are always considered lucky in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Chinese communities. If you're visiting friends over the new year holiday, pick the right gift or cook the right foods and you'll increase your chances for good luck during the rest of the year. "Many foods in a Lunar New Year menu are included because their names, in Chinese, sound auspicious," says feng shui consultant Jenny Liu.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Trader Joe's, the most innovative grocery store? That's the case Atlantic Media Fellow Alessandra Ram has made, pointing to how the supermarket continues to evolve by listening to its conscientious shoppers. “Trader Joe's has graciously succumbed to requests to alter its 'farming' and sustainability practices, and has pledged to dedicate itself to sustainable alternatives, after a vocal component of its consumer population demanded it do so,” writes Ram, continuing: “Their decision to sign the Fair Food Agreement signals an awareness to better the lives of workers and consumers alike.” Whole Foods deserves credit too, for more than just supporting local farmers, organic produce and health generally but for turning it into a lifestyle that's easy to practice -- well, for those who can afford it. As Tom Roston writes in an amusing rant on Food Republic, Whole Foods has turned its devotees into submissives.
SPORTS
April 18, 2014 | By Chris Dufresne
The NCAA president railed against the past Friday by uttering the contracted sentence many have been waiting to hear. “That's absurd,” Mark Emmert said on ESPN's “Mike & Mike” Show. The words didn't cover the gamut of inane NCAA practices but, hey, one absurdity at a time. Emmert, the NCAA's embattled leader, was only speaking to a ridiculous rule that defined when a bagel changed from a snack to a meal. Thank goodness that issue has finally been resolved -- too bad it only took 23 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By Russ Parsons
It's hard to believe that only 50 years have passed since Julia Child set foot on the new continent of American Foodlandia. And yet in that short period, it seems we've already seen the full cycle of colonial development: discovery, exploration, exploitation. Three books on recent food history offer glimpses of each stage. Luke Barr's "Provence, 1970" describes the beginning; Colman Andrews' "My Usual Table" hits the middle period; and Allen Salkin's "From Scratch," a pulp history of the Food Network, covers the descent into decadence.
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