The problem: A half billion eggs possibly tainted with salmonella and 2,000 people sickened.
Smart shopping tip: Properly handled eggs are a great source of protein. Always choose organic over conventionally farmed and consult this scorecard from The Cornucopia Institute for the most reliable producers. Plus: Find out what you need to know before you buy organic.
2. Ground Beef
The problem: A company using an ammonia treatment on low-grade scraps of beef to destroy E. coli 'to an undetectable level' then sold it to companies to add to ground beef.
Smart shopping tips: Grind you own beef for burgers or follow these tips for safe handling:
1. At the store, choose a ground beef package that is not torn and feels cold.
2. Enclose it in a plastic bag so leaking juices won't drip on other foods.
3. Make ground beef one of the last items to go into your shopping cart.
Read more tips from the USDA.
3. School Lunches
The problem: One woman's expose on school lunch turned into a popular blog uncovering some less than healthy--read nasty--menu items offered to kids.
Smart diet tips: Some schools offer menu items you can choose ahead of time, which makes it easier to plan healthy additions to your child’s lunch. If this isn’t an option at your child’s school, talk to your kids about making healthier choices in the cafeteria.
Packing your child's lunch is the best way to make sure he is getting the right nutrition. Try these Speckled Spirals and pack them with fresh fruits and veggies. Keep the menu interesting with these 9 delicious lunches.
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The problem: Lack of understanding about which fish to eat. From genetically-engineered salmon and concerns about mercury levels in seafood to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fish have had a tough year.
Smart eating tips: The FDA warns 4 groups to watch their intake very cautiously: pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and very young children. Here are the rules they (and others worried about contaminants in our diet) should live by.
1. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.
2. Eat no more than 12 ounces (2 average meals) of seafood a week.
3. Choose Pacific, Alaska, or wild salmon over farmed or Atlantic salmon: Fewer chemicals contaminate these varieties – and that means fewer in your body.
4. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in neighborhood lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.
Read more about keeping healthy fish in your diet.
5. Corn Syrup
The problem: The Corn Refiners Association is lobbying the Food & Drug Administration to replace high fructose corn syrup on food labels with corn sugar. Some research suggests that high fructose corn syrup is more harmful than regular table sugar. But Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, contends the two are about the same.The more important issue, she says, is that we need to reduce our overall sugar consumption.
Smart eating tips: The old adage still stands with anything sugary: moderation. One great tip for lowering sugar is to go half and half. Mix half a carton of sweetened yogurt with half a carton of plain yogurt.