Eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Eating unprocessed beef, pork or lamb appeared not to raise risks of heart attacks and diabetes, they said, suggesting that salt and chemical preservatives may be the real cause of these two health problems associated with eating meat, Reuters reports.

The study, an analysis of other research called a meta-analysis, did not look at high blood pressure or cancer, which are also linked with high meat consumption.

"To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating," said Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation. "Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid," Micha said in a statement.

Based on her findings, she said people who eat one serving per week or less of processed meats have less of a risk.

The American Meat Institute Foundation quickly issued a response to the study. AMIF President James H. Hodges noted that this is an epidemiological study, which by itself is not sufficient to establish cause and effect. Rather, this type of study allows researchers to identify associations that may merit further study. Even the authors of the study state in the paper that “Associations of processed meat consumption with diabetes mellitus or CHD could relate to generally less healthy diet or lifestyle rather than causal effects of processed meats.”

“Too often, epidemiological findings are reported as ‘cased closed’ findings, as if a researcher has discovered the definitive cause of a disease or illness. But epidemiological studies look at a multitude of diet and lifestyle factors in specific volunteer human populations and use sophisticated statistical methods to try and tease out relationships or associations between these factors and certain forms of disease. This method of comparing relationships has many limitations which are widely recognized by researchers in this field. More often than not, epidemiological studies, over time, provide more contradictions than conclusions,” Hodges said.

He also noted that epidemiological studies use “odds ratios” to estimate the strength of an association between the disease and the risk potential of a measured variable, such as a specific food or lifestyle choice. An odds ratio of “1.0” means particular variable was statistically neutral in its effect. When the number falls below “1.0,” the finding suggests that variable may protect against a disease outcome. When the number is above “1.0,” a factor may need to be examined more closely related to its risk profile.

While complicated statistical models are used to establish the "level of significance", a general rule of thumb within the field of epidemiology holds that an odds ratio below “2.0” is not viewed as a strong relationship and may actually have occurred merely by chance. Epidemiological studies thought to have truly uncovered significant associations and cause for concern – like studies looking at tobacco and lung cancer -- found odds ratios in the 10-25 range.

“This study did not achieve the standard threshold that would generate concern,” Hodges said. “At best, this hypothesis merits further study. It is certainly no reason for dietary changes.”

Sources: Reuters, AMI

#*$&!@!! Gordon Ramsay owes meat supplier $190,000

Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef and the foul-mouthed star of “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares,” has been accused of not paying his bills to his food suppliers. Two wine suppliers filed lawsuits against Ramsay last week, claiming that he owes them $40,000 each. Following that, Endicott Meats, a Bronx meat purveyor, is claiming that Ramsay owes the company $190,000.

"Just like with the wine guys, he basically stopped responding to me in November," said Michael Braunschweiger, owner, to the New York Post. Endicott Meats sells to Zabar's and Dean & DeLuca restaurants.

"He racked up this enormous bill for all sorts of things for his restaurant at the London/NYC Hotel. Tenderloins, duck breasts, racks of lamb, sweetbreads, bacon . . . Then he skipped out on the bill and doesn't answer calls."

Braunschweiger, who says he plans to sue, adds, "For a guy who goes on TV and tells people how they should be running their business, maybe he should first learn how to run his own."

Source: New York Post

Applegate Farms presents “Lunch Line” documentary

A new documentary, Lunch Line, which is presented by Applegate Farms and premieres at the national Farm to Cafeteria Conference, hopes to empower Americans to be part of solutions that can help build a better lunch for future students.

"Lunch Line reveals the National School Lunch Program's surprising history and the unexpected ways it has grown and changed over the years to feed more than 31 million children every day," said Michael Graziano, who co-directed the film with Ernie Park, his partner at Uji Films. "The film pulls back the curtain to reveal, through school lunch, how large-scale social change can work," said Park.

Lunch Line follows the personal story of six high school students from Chicago who enter a cooking contest to create a healthier school lunch and end up serving their winning meal to congressional leaders and touring the White House with executive mansion chefs. The tale of the students from Tilden Career Community Academy High School is interspersed with archival footage and interviews with current leaders from both ends of the lunch line, including government officials, school foodservice experts and activists.

The Tilden students were challenged to create a meal that exceeds United States Department of Agriculture standards and use only $1 per meal for ingredients - the average amount spent on food per child for the National School Lunch Program, according to Rochelle Davis, executive director of the Healthy Schools Campaign, the non-profit organization that holds the "Cooking Up Change" contest that the Tilden students won. "These students were faced with the challenges faced by foodservice directors across the country," said Davis. "Yet, they also seized the opportunity to learn about school food systems and the need for change."

"The story of the Tilden kids is what hooked me, and I hope they will inspire other young people to be active in their school community," said Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate Farms, the company presenting the film. "By participating in the process and speaking up about the need to improve funding for the National School Lunch Program, the Tilden kids showed how we all can get involved to make real and lasting change."

Inspired by Lunch Line and the Chicago students, Applegate Farms, a leading provider of natural and organic meats and cheeses, created a resource, The website uses art, music and dance to empower kids to eat better, learn about real food and understand how they can create change in their own "lunch lines" at school.

The filmmakers and McDonnell agree that Lunch Line's debut at the Farm to Cafeteria Conference is very timely given the dialogue about child nutrition.

"Childhood obesity rates continue to rise but we believe obesity is a symptom of a much larger problem," said McDonnell. "People need help understanding where their food comes from, how it's made, and how their choices affect their health. If we can help young kids understand how food affects their lives from the farm to their bodies, it's more likely that they'll enjoy healthier and more active lifestyles into adulthood."

Source: Applegate Farms

Boar's Head launches Facebook recipe contest

Boar's Head has announced "EverRoast Dare 2 Prepare," a national contest to identify original recipes utilizing Boar's Head EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, the company's recently introduced deli slicing, roasted chicken. Facebook users can now submit their recipes via the Boar's Head Facebook page through June 1, 2010 at Dare 2 Prepare. A prize valued at $500 will be awarded to the grand prize winner and three finalists will have their creations posted on the Boar's Head Facebook page, YouTube Channel and

EverRoast Dare 2 Prepare is the first recipe contest that Boar's Head is holding entirely via its Facebook page. Participants enter to win by creating a recipe using EverRoast as a main ingredient, naming their creation, and uploading a photo of the completed dish to Facebook. More information and rules can be found at:

"EverRoast Chicken is a flavorful meal ingredient that offers cooks unlimited possibilities for creativity," says RuthAnn LaMore, Boar's Head director of communications. "We are thrilled to connect with our fans via Facebook as they create exciting recipes to share imaginative ways to incorporate EverRoast into their meals."

The first 150 entrants will receive a hand embroidered, limited edition, Chef's apron displaying the Boar's Head EverRoast Chicken Breast logo. The Grand Prize winners and three finalists will be chosen and notified via Facebook Messages within 30 days of the close of the contest.

Source: Boar’s Head Provisions Co. Inc.

Tornados reach 100,000 Facebook fans

The number of TORNADOS brand snack food Facebook fans increased by 7 percent to 100,000 in 24 hours through their “100,000 Fan Chowdown” viral Facebook promotion. When Tornados reached the milestone 100,000 fans, it released 100,000 Free boxes of Tornados to fans in the form of a Buy 1 Get 1 Free e-coupons.

The promotion generated the following engagement figures:  
• 880 user submissions  
• 28,591 submission views
• 20,428 comments and votes
• 461 wall publishes

Beginning May 13, Tornados Facebook fans were encouraged to participate in two ways:
(1) submit a potential slogan for Tornados and optional photo of themselves enjoying Tornados
(2) rate or comment on submissions by other Tornados Facebook fans to earn points redeemable in the Tornados Chowdown prize vault.

The vault included tens of thousands of dollars in prizes including digital video cameras, Tornados-branded merchandise, NASCAR tickets, racing school passes, and a meet-and-greet with NASCAR’s Ryan Newman.

Source: Ruiz Foods