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Friday Food News “Feed”

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What a week. We couldn’t think about much besides getting our new web redesign off the ground. But hey – the world kept turning, and news kept happening regardless. Without further ado, here are some of the most interesting news stories to cross our desk this week:

Where Do You Rank?: The Annie E. Casey foundation this week released its annual study on the well-being of kids across the United States. New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Vermont ranked at the top, while Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi rounded out the bottom three. One warning sign: The number of children living in poverty has increased and is likely still on the rise.

Family Eating: Eating meals as a family is not only good for your family, it can be good for your kids’ grades too. According to a University of Illinois study, children ages seven to 11 who spent time eating meals with their families did better in school compared to those who ate in front of the television or at different times. Researchers say family meals also contribute to eating larger quantities of fruits and vegetables and less junk food and soda.

Cheeseburger Zoning: Wisconsin’s new 10-year public health plan, released Wednesday, suggests that municipalities use zoning regulations to limit the number and density of fast-food restaurants, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. Responses have been – predictably – mixed.

School Lunch Bill: Time is running out for the renewal of the National School Lunch Program, known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate. Even if the Senate does pass it, they will have to reconcile it with the House version, which calls for more funding increases. If passed, the legislation will authorize much-needed increases in the reimbursement rate for school meals (meaning healthier food for kids).

Food Safety: “Fast Food Nation” author Eric Schlosser wrote convincingly in the New York Times this week about the need for the Senate to pass new food safety legislation that would give the F.D.A. power to order the recall contaminated foods. Children – especially those under age 4 – are among the most vulnerable to risk from food-borne pathogens like salmonella and listeria.

Energy Drink Dangers: Doctors are warning about the dangers of energy drinks – especially those with large amounts of caffeine – for children and teens during the summer months. Extreme workouts, coupled with these caffeine-laden energy drinks, can actually cause dehydration because the caffeine acts as a diuretic.

Last but not least, don’t forget that there’s still time to enter our giveaway for a $50 gift certificate at Pear Tree Greetings. Just leave a comment on the “Welcome to the New Jolly Tomato” story and you’re entered.

Stay cool and hydrated this weekend, and happy Friday to all!

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