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The Wizard of Lightbulb Moments

The Wizard is constantly scanning industry news to maintain our trend forward stance. These “Lightbulb Moments” are quick insights on critical shifts in trends, research, and other happenings impacting food and beverage companies.

FDA issued a consumer update regarding CBD in food

The agency reiterated adding CBD to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement remained illegal, and noted the limited data about CBD safety indicated risks that needed to be further studied. The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.  The FDA will continue to update the public as it learns more about CBD.  

  1. CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.
    • CBD can cause liver injury.
    • CBD can affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects.
    • Use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  2. CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced.
    • Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
    • Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
    • Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
  3. There are many important aspects about CBD that we just don’t know, such as:
    • What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
    • What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
    • What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
    • How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
    • Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?


Lightbulb Moment: Don’t be blinded by the hundred of companies producing CBD containing products or States passing legislation legalizing it.  It is illegal at a Federal level.  At any point the FDA could come and shut it all down.  However, there is a glimmer of light – The House Judiciary Committee just approved the MORE Act to Federally decriminalize Cannabis – so stayed tune!

Want to keep up on the latest government, industry, and consumer research on cannabis? Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Warning letter shows FDA still enforcing status quo on CBD

FDA is continuing to crack down on the legality of CBD when a case comes across its desk despite a call for an official enforcement discretion policy. FDA does not seem to be out there looking for CBD cases, but when one comes over the transom, it will enforce based on its current reading of the law. 


Lightbulb Moment: This article was kept short for a reason.  It doesn’t matter what company the FDA went after, the point is they could go after them.  The FDA could shut down operation across all states because it is not a federally controlled product.  Feeling strong? You shouldn’t.  Want to keep up on the latest government, industry, and consumer research on cannabis? Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Clean-eating obsession can lead to eating disorder

So-called “clean eating” can become an obsessive disorder known as orthorexia nervosa and is reinforced culturally by the rise of celebrity diet advisers and beautiful food photos on social media.  Diets that restrict followers to a short list of foods lack adequate nutrition and calories and could become hazardous.  Orthorexia is a fairly recent phenomenon.  The rise of celebrity diet gurus and glamorous food photos on social media reinforce the idea that eating only certain foods and avoiding others is a virtue — practically a religion.  In the case of orthorexia, it centers around eating ‘cleanly’ and purely, where the other eating disorders center around size and weight and a drive for thinness.  Sometimes these problems overlap, and some people who only eat “clean” foods miss critical nutrients from the foods they cut out or don’t consume enough calories.  A 2018 review of orthorexia studies published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders finds no common definition, standard diagnostic criteria, or reliable ways to measure orthorexia’s psychological impact.  Orthorexia is not listed specifically in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but that doesn’t mean it’s untreatable. 


Lightbulb Moment: This is a frightening condition precisely because it is newly discovered and there is no clear definition, diagnosis, or treatment.  They will come, it is just in its infancy.  Too much or too little of anything can lead to trouble.  Want to keep up on other diet trends? Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Glenlivet creates edible whisky pods

The Glenlivet has unveiled edible pouches containing whisky in an effort to bring glass-free cocktails to consumers.  Each biodegradable pouch in the limited “Capsule Collection” holds 23 milliliters.  A first of its kind for a spirit brand, the edible capsules are 23ml in size, fully biodegradable and provide the perfect flavor explosion experience.  The capsules are popped in the mouth for an instant burst of flavor, and the capsule is simply swallowed.  There is no need for a glass, ice or cocktail stirrer.  The seaweed used grows at a speed of around 1m per day and actively contributes to de-acidifying our oceans.  If discarded, the capsules biodegrade in 4-6 weeks, faster than fruit peel. 


Lightbulb Moment: I rarely comment on a product but this one is fabulous!  The capsule is simply brilliant! Think of the potential with other products.  Want to keep up on technologies like this?  Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Gluten doesn’t cause GI symptoms in people without gluten disorder

People without a gluten-related disorder did not experience gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming gluten flour, according to a double-blind, randomized, controlled study reported in the journal Gastroenterology.  This is the first research to demonstrate that consumption of gluten-containing flour does not generate symptoms in healthy volunteers, according to the University of Sheffield.  The results support the view that gluten does not appear to cause symptoms in individuals who do not have a physiological susceptibility to it.  Mean symptom scores decreased in the gluten group at the end of the trial, with only one participant in the gluten group reporting a worsening of some symptoms without improvement in others.  There was no significant difference between the groups with respect to changes in any of the symptoms.


Lightbulb Moment: This has been shown over and over again.  The most likely culprit is one of the sugars in grains, not the protein gluten that is causing non celiac distress.  The good news is that, if it is a sugar, then it would be possible for an enzyme to be developed to allow consumers to enjoy their baked good.  Just as lactase is added to milk so lactose intolerant individual can drink milk, an enzyme may be added to baked goods so individuals affected by the grain sugar can enjoy their grain treat.  Interested in keeping up on the science behind this research?  Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Plant-forward diets may reduce greenhouse gases, but to meet nutritional needs, emissions would increase

The study examined how nine different plant-forward dietary patterns across 140 countries would impact individual- and country-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and freshwater use and found there was no one-size-fits all diet that could simultaneously address climate change, obesity and undernutrition, as key underlying drivers.  The researchers not only considered which foods were consumed, but took into account their impact on greenhouse gas, blue and green water footprints, the health of the population, and import pattern and associated difference between the production of foods in different countries of origin.  The researchers found that the most greenhouse gas intensive food source “by far” was ruminant meats, including cows, sheep and goats.  Plant foods were generally the least GHG-intensive overall, even after accounting for GHGs associated with deforestation for palm oils and soy.  The researchers found that while a vegan diet had the lowest environmental impact, not everyone needs to give up all meat to have a positive impact.  Rather, it found that diets with protein predominantly from low food chain animals, were nearly as low as a vegan diet in terms of environmental impact.  Similarly, adopting a ‘two-thirds vegan diet’ generally had a lower impact than a traditional vegetarian diet that includes eggs and cheese.  Another wrinkle in the findings comes when the researchers considered nutrition guidelines for countries.  This variable showed that even when a low red meat or meatless day diet was adopted by all countries alongside nutrition goals to account for under and over consumption, there was still an average net increase in diet-related greenhouse gas and water footprints.  Most of this impact came from populous countries where under consumption is a significant problem.


Lightbulb Moment: Humans are omnivores, can you be a healthy vegetarian, yes of course.  But don’t think you are saving the planet by doing so.  Promote meatless products to support meatless consumers but don’t add fuel to the fire by saying it is more sustainable.  Especially when many products are highly processed and not notionally complete.  Want to keep up on the plant protein trend? Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Cutting meat consumption may cause ‘serious harm’, academics warn

According to a paper that contends there are a wide range of benefits delivered by meat that are not always easily obtained from plant materials.  The bald claim that red meat is an ‘unhealthy food’ is wildly unsupported.  A major asset of meat is of course its high protein value with especially lysine, threonine, and methionine being in short supply in plant-derived diet.  It brings in B vitamins (with vitamin B12 being restricted to animal sources only), vitamins A, D, and K2 (particularly via organ meats), and iron, zinc, and selenium being of particular importance.  Plants are a suboptimal source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA present in animal sources.  Meat also contains various bioactive components such as taurine, carnosine as well as conjugated linoleic acid, carnitine, choline, ubiquinone, and glutathione.  In the elderly, sufficient meat intake can prevent or improve malnutrition and sarcopenia, also improving health-related quality of life.  Avoiding animal products is a ‘risk you shouldn’t be taking’.


Lightbulb Moment: Yes, you can follow a vegetarian diet and be healthy, as a Dietitian myself I know, but you must be educated and practicing synergistic protein combining.  So, when a company says “we use soy, it is a complete protein” understand they are wrong and though soy may have all the essential amino acids, they are not in the correct amounts.  Don’t get caught in this trap.  Want to keep current with plant protein trends?  Schedule a Capabilities meeting with us and see what we can do for you.

Petition seeks to prohibit non-GMO claims on labels

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation takes issue with Non-GMO Project’s safety assertions. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has filed a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration that seeks to prohibit the term “non-GMO” on consumer foods and goods.  The petition said such claims, particularly the butterfly logo from the Non-GMO Project, are “false or misleading” in that they imply non-bioengineered/non-GMO products are healthier than bioengineered/GMO products.  The Non-GMO Project butterfly campaign deceives consumers through false and misleading claims about foods, food ingredients, and their health and safety characteristics.  The campaign constitutes misbranding under the law, and the FDA should act in the best interest of consumers and protect them against the confusion spread by these false claims.  The petition cites the National Academy of Sciences in stating that the fact that something has been genetically engineered/bioengineered/genetically modified/mutated, either in the lab or in nature, tells one nothing about the safety of the resulting product.


Lightbulb Moment: There is nothing to argue here.  The FDA instills labeling when there is a safety or health issue at its heart.  GMO represents neither so to have a “no GMO” label – it unjustly vilifies GM products.  Want to know more about GMOs? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.

US House Passes SAFE Banking Act

The banking reform bill now goes to the US Senate, where passage is less certain. The US House voted 321-103 to pass the SAFE Banking Act on Sept.    H.R.  1595 will provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that work with cannabis business clients, effectively opening the door to formal banking relationships in the fragmented, federally illegal cannabis industry.  The vote count touched on a rare moment of bipartisan support in Congress.  Across the industry, banking reform has been hailed as a vital step forward in the development of legal cannabis businesses. 


Lightbulb Moment: Great first step for legitimizing the movement that is sweeping state by state.  Now let’s wait for the other states to fall – oh look, there goes Illinois!  Want to keep up with Cannabis movement? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc.  comes in.

GM crops ‘will need to be part of the solution’

An industry group promoting the use of controversial GM crops is urging Europe to embrace new crop techniques.  Europe risks ‘becoming the museum of world agriculture’ if gene editing and GM technology ‘continues to be stifled’, according to Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC).  Its ‘Cultivating the Future’ report, published to mark the 20th anniversary of the commercialization of GM crops, claims innovative crop technologies are needed to meet the challenge of a growing world population and increased impact of climate change on agriculture.  GM crops, it argues, are just one of the many technologies that will need to be part of the solution to the challenge facing agriculture in the coming years.  It adds we are on the verge of a new range of tools developed from advances in genetic knowledge and technology.  The report complains that a ‘prolonged and shallow debate’ around GM crops in the last two decades is unsustainable, and risks imposing a great cost on farms and on the environment.  With consumers predicted to demand 70% more food by 2050, the authors warn that there is no time to waste.


Lightbulb Moment: If ignorance and fear are allowed to continue to fuel this topic, and industry does nothing to correct the narrative, we will be further behind than we already are.  Interested in keeping up with the GMO conversation?  That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.

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