FDA announces ‘Closer to Zero’ plan to reduce toxic elements eaten by babies and young children

Janet Woodcock, the acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Susan T. Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Thursday announced Closer to Zero, a new action plan for reducing exposure to toxic elements in foods commonly eaten by babies and young children to the lowest possible levels.

Their comments associated with the announcement included the following:

“Although the FDA’s testing shows that children are not at an immediate health risk from exposure to toxic elements at the levels found in foods, we are starting the plan’s work immediately, with both short- and long-term goals for achieving continued improvements in reducing levels of toxic elements in these foods over time.

“We recognize that Americans want zero toxic elements in the foods eaten by their babies and young children. In reality, because these elements occur in our air, water, and soil, there are limits to how … Read more

It’s Time to Forget the Old Rules of Wine Pairing

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Because drinking what you like shouldn’t be hard

On any given night in the pre-pandemic days, there was a four-top at a restaurant with a small-share-plates-so-order-several-items-and-I’ll-course-it-out-for-you type of menu, and, inevitably, someone in the group would want the sommelier to recommend a wine to pair.

Many times that sommelier was (or is) me, and often in that moment, I’ve hesitated. You want to know what I, a stranger, think you should have with your meal, with no clue what you actually like? Sometimes I just want to look you in the eye and say, “This is your dinner; it’s not about me.”

There is a long history of the all-knowing wine guru telling you that you absolutely must have X with Y. Sommelier courses like the Wine and Spirit Education Trust train and test students on traditional, tried-and-true pairings, maximizing the enjoyment of food and wine. This skill … Read more

The Best Homemade Lemonade

There isn’t anything quite as refreshing as this Homemade Lemonade recipe, it’s the BEST!  Summer is going to be so cool, with a glass of this by your side.

Anything with lemons in it is just fresh and energizing, it adds so much zing and flavor. Here are more lemon loving favorites, like these Scallops, Chicken Piccata and Brownies.

A pitcher of homemade lemonade with lemons.

Easy Homemade Lemonade

Just thinking about this recipe makes my mouth water. Imagine a hot day and you are parched. Now reach into the fridge and pull out this pitcher of ice cold lemonade. It’s perfectly balanced between the sweet and the tart. You take a gulp and the world is all better. Seriously, it’s that good! And the reason it’s so good is because it’s so easy! You may never buy lemonade from the store again. Make a double batch, I promise it will not go to waste!

Nothing artificial, … Read more

National hepatitis A outbreak mostly over in West, but continues in East

The national hepatitis A outbreak has not yet burned out. Since 2016, 35 states have reported 38,476 hepatitis A cases. Through April 2, 2021, 61 percent or 23,373 of the stricken have required hospitalization, and 365 have died.

The Division of Viral Hepatitis at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2017 has actively assisted state and local health departments with hepatitis A cases. Nine states, mostly in the West, have declared their Hepatitis A outbreaks as over.

Person-to-person transmission of hepatitis A remains a problem in 26 states. Several groups continue to be more likely than others to become infected with hepatitis A. These include:

  • People who use drugs, injection, and non-injection.
  • Homeless people or those who are experiencing unstable housing.
  • Men who have sex with men. (MSM)
  • People in jail or recently incarcerated.
  • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B or C.


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Yelp’s Latest Tool Functions to Support Asian-Owned Restaurants

Photo: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Business owners can opt into feature, while the app promises to monitor for racist harassment

Yelp users can now search for restaurants and other businesses that are Asian owned, thanks to a tool that the reviews platform announced today. According to the company, Yelp searches for Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 130 percent in February 2021 compared to the same time last year, suggesting that consumers are actively and increasingly looking to frequent those kinds of businesses.

Similar to how women, Black, and Latinx business owners can add those attributes on their Yelp listings, Asian business owners now have the option of self identifying if they log into their accounts and follow a few steps. In its announcement of the feature, Yelp notes that the company will seek to protect businesses who mark themselves as Asian owned by “proactively monitoring business pages for hate speech … Read more