Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:

* The USDA school lunch subsidy pro-
gram is functioning as a dump for choles-
terol-laden meat and dairy products, the con-
sumer group Public Voice for Food and
Health Policy charged September 16.
Approximately 20% of each of the 4.1 billion
school lunches served in 1991 consisted of
free food supplied by the USDA—but cheese
and butter made up a third of the $10.2 billion
total, almost all of the potatoes had fat added,
and only 3.4% of the fruit and vegetables
were fresh. The Public Voice report was
endorsed by American School Food Service
Association spokesman Kevin Dando, who
agreed, “There’s entirely too much butter
available, and schools would like to have
more fresh fruits and vegetables.” From 1979
through 1991, the USDA spent $7.2 billion to
supply schools with meat and dairy products,
but spent just $2 billion on fruits, vegetables,
and grains.

* The agricultural conglomerate
Conagra Inc. plans to test market a line of
vegetarian frozen dinners during 1993 in
Colorado and northern California. The new
line, called Life Choice Special Nutrition, is
based on the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet
advocated by Dr. Dean Ornish, director of the
Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the
Univ. of California, San Francisco campus.
* Canadian researchers are beginning a
five-to-ten-year study of 3,000 to 4,000 chil-
dren to test indications that an immune
response to certain proteins in cow’s milk
may trigger juvenile diabetes in infants with a
genetic predisposition toward the illness. A
preliminary study of 400 sufferers by the
University of Toronto Hospital for Sick
Children reported the apparent linkage in The
New England Journal of Medicine issue of
July 30.
* A study of 13 fatal or near-fatal allergic
reactions in children conducted by Dr. Hugh
Sampson and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine has concluded
that many or all were preventable. Such reac-
tions are often caused by food additives that
include proteins from milk, eggs, nuts, and
* The Soros Foundation and the
Hungarian National Institute of Health i n
August taught 500 Hungarian schoolteachers
the essentials of nutrition, including ways to
make traditional ethnic meals with significant-
ly less animal content.
* The Vegetarian Resource Group has
published a Vegetarian Vacation Guide,
including the addresses of 49 camps that offer
veggie meals. Send $3.00 to VRG, P.O. Box
1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.
* U.S. wrestler Chris Campbell turned
vegetarian in 1980 and a year later won the
world championship. Twelve years later, old
enough at age 37 to be the father of many fel-
low competitors, Campbell won a bronze
medal in the recent Barcelona Olympics.
* Hot dogs and luncheon meats failed to
make a list of the best processed foods for
children recently published by the Center for
Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI
nutritional staff recomended 58 foods from a
total of 19 categories, only three of which
included meat as either a primary ingredient
or major condiment.
* The Food and Drug Administration
seized $1.5 million worth of fish due to
alleged deceptive labeling during the first 10
months of fiscal year 1992, up from just
$454,000 during all of fiscal 1991. Common
violations include selling decomposed fish for
human consumption; substituting one species
for another; and including excessive amounts
of ice, water, or bread crumbs in prepared
fish packages.
* Pressured to include one vegetarian
option per meal last school year, the
University of Pennsylvania dining service
found the options so popular that four vegetar-
ian options per meal are available this school
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