Here are a few food headlines that caught my eye this week:

Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap
If you follow our blog, you may remember a recent post, Is ANYTHING Good For Me?, where salt was a source of much contention. It appears I’m not the only one trying to understand the sodium dilemma. In this article, Kristin Wartman explains why sodium is not all bad and why you should mainly consume unrefined sea salt. Read the full story on Grist.org

Pediatricians Warn Against Energy and Sports Drinks for Kids
Gatorade commercials are pretty compelling. Picture the mega athlete dunking a basketball and then sweating out droplets of brightly colored “dew.”  Healthy? Many moms think so. Unfortunately, sports drinks are loaded with sweeteners, artificial colors and extra calories and are not suited for children. Don’t even get me started on energy drinks.  If parents are allowing their children to drink something, that by definition, will give them “energy,” the kids need more sleep. Read the full story on NPR.org

Severity Of Europe E. Coli Outbreak Stuns Experts
It looks like the US is not the only country with foodborne outbreak issues. A serious strain of E.Coli has attacked Europeans causing 16 deaths and 1,000 illnesses so far (400 of which have severe and potentially fatal symptoms). European food officials are scrambling to determine the magnitude and source of the problem, which has disproportionately and mysteriously attacked women. Officials suspect the culprits are cucumbers which may have originated in Germany or Spain, but tests have not been conclusive. This is scary stuff and it is only a matter of time before we see our next outbreak here.  Read the full story on HuffingtonPost.com

Mushrooms Can Break Down 90% of Diaper Materials Within 2 Months
As a mom, this headline was an eye-catcher. Researchers at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City cultivated a certain strain of oyster mushroom that can break down 90% of a disposable diaper in 2 months and completely degrade it in 4 months. Think this article is not food focused? Check this: the mushrooms can be safely EATEN after they digest the nasty chemical diaper and your baby’s poop. I can see the future already: Pampers now with backyard mushrooms for easy clean up. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Go Mexico! Read the full story on Treehugger.com

Hooked on Meat
Let’s see if I can condense Mark Bittman’s superb article into a few sentences. Here goes. Humans once ate meat only when it was hunted. Because the meat provided rare nutrients, humans evolved to crave meat. Evolution is slow compared to the revolutionary changes in meat production over the past 50-100 years. We still crave meat and biologically think we need to eat it anytime it is available. Meat consumption soars.

“We’re crack addicts with a steady supply. Beyond instinct and availability, there’s a third factor: marketing. When you add “It’s what’s for dinner” to the equation, you have a powerful combination: biology, economics and propaganda all pushing us in the same direction.”

We need to focus on reducing consumption and only eat meat that is worth the bother.

“…“why bother?” — holds true for at least 90 percent of the animal products we’re offered, no matter what their form. They’re produced badly, they cause immeasurable damage to both our bodies and the earth, and — compared with the real thing — they don’t taste that good.

No one says it quite like Bittman. Read the full article on NewYorkTimes.com

Image: DRB62 via Flickr