Interesting Items And Then Some – Edition #1


Interesting Items And Then Some – Edition #1

Often I come across interesting items worthy of some attention. So when that hopper fills up or the federal government shut downs and reopens or whenever else it is appropriate, I will compile them for you under the “Interesting Items And Then Some” heading.  Here is the first edition.

Serious Concerns About Yerba Mate Drinks. There continues to be growing interest among researchers about the safety of Yerba Mate teas and drinks.  Despite being marketed as a health drink, a number of credible studies link the use of this herb tea to cancer and other possible illnesses.  See Noted science, health and food blogger, Melinda Wenner Moyer, has written about this topic in the past.  After one of her posts, an executive from one of the leading Yerba Mate drink manufacturers responded to the claims that connect the drink to cancer.  For that perspective on this issue see Melinda’s post at

Bacon & Nitrates To The Rescue?  If you are a meat eater, perhaps you might take some comfort in a recent blog by meat scientist David Hayden regarding the use of sodium nitrate in processed meats and in particular bacon.  Sodium nitrate is what gives processed meat its attractive pinkish color and is a meat preservative to prolong shelf life. David recently posted a blog regarding studies that exposure to nitrites are beneficial to immune and cardiovascular function.  To bring home the bacon, check out his blog at

Oregon State To Take Over the Regulation of Seeds?   Legislation has been introduced in Oregon to require that state to get into the business of regulating seeds.  Opponents of this legislation fear that it will prompt an attack on Oregon’s organic and heirloom seed providers in favor of national corporate seed providers like Monsanto.  The legislation has been dubbed “Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act” and would prohibit any local laws or regulations regarding pretty much all aspects of seed issues, including seed production, handling, storage, labeling, transportation and many other aspects .  See

Should I be surprised or just sad?  Stéphane Horel and Martin Pigeon recently published their research that concludes that more than half of the members of the European food safety authority’s expert scientific panels are subject to conflicts of interest.  See

Wine-tasting: it’s junk science?  Robert Hodgson owns a small California winery and puts them into competitions around the state. He also has a significant background in statistics.  He has concluded through a four-year statistical study that so-called wine experts consistently have a poor track record at judging purportedly good wine.  If you believe his study, then wine medals are essentially given out a random. Perhaps I need to talk to Rick Hood, our store’s owner, about starting a store wine label and entering it into wine competitions? On second thought — maybe not. We take pride in our wine selections for our customers. See

Do you have something of noteworthy to share?  It can be a study, an article or any other useful information of interest. If so, please send them to me.  Thanks.


Kirk Schroder / Food Advocate /