Food in the news: the FDA Fish Fight, New Agriculture Secretary, and Burger King Cologne | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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Food in the news: the FDA Fish Fight, New Agriculture Secretary, and Burger King Cologne

--The Washington Post mentions the inter-agency controversy brewing over whether the government should discourage moms and kids from eating certain types of fish. The FDA thinks the benefits of consuming brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acids may outweigh the risks of mercury contamination, but the EPA...

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--The Washington Post mentions the inter-agency controversy brewing over whether the government should discourage moms and kids from eating certain types of fish. The FDA thinks the benefits of consuming brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acids may outweigh the risks of mercury contamination, but the EPA's not so sure. I'm intrigued, so I plan to read up on this issue and post more about it soon. (As an aside, Grumbles is a pretty great last name for a source, isn't it?)

--The Obama administration revealed its pick for the new Secretary of Agriculture: former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack. Sustainable food advocates like Michael Pollan weren't thrilled, while many farm groups loved it. Everyone agrees on one thing: Vilsack will have a lot on his plate.

--A bizarre medical case is solved: In Britain, swallowing sandwiches and soda made this young woman faint. Doctors finally diagnosed her with a very rare condition called "swallowing syncope," meaning that her swallowing reflex causes her heart to stop for several seconds at a time. Never heard of that one before!

Also, a few stories to spread holiday cheer and chuckles:

--Meditations on the culinary philosophy of Dwight K. Schrute (a character on The Office, my favorite TV show), which I stumbled across on a great blog called Cheap Healthy Good.

--If you missed my co-author Hugh's fun post about Recipes from Rock Stars, check it out and suggest your own musically-inspired menu!

--Over at The Ethicurean, visions of what the biotech elves could be crafting in their workshops this season. (For the gullible among us, it's important to note the byline on that post: Barry Foy, author of a book I'm looking forward to reading called "The Devil's Food Dictionary: A Pioneering Culinary Reference Work Consisting Entirely of Lies.")

--And speaking of satire...I hope...is this blurb on Chow.com for real? Burger King's selling a Whopper-scented body spray?
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About Amanda Bensen

Amanda Bensen is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.

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