No More Brominated Vegetable Oil in All Coca Cola Drinks

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

soda drinks, BVO, food safety

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ryan via Flickr

  • No more brominated vegetable oil in all Coca Cola drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is a synthetic chemical created when vegetable oil is bonded to the element bromine. BVO is often found in citrus drinks since it prevents the flavors from separating. However, if consumed in large amounts over a long period of time, it can build up in the body and cause toxic effects, such as neurological damage. Under the pressure from consumer petitions, PepsiCo finally announced last year, that it will eliminate BVO from its Gatorade drinks, and Coca Cola followed this year with Powerade. Actually, Coca Cola has recently announced its plan to remove BVO from all of its drinks. While BVO is banned in many countries, about 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States including some Fanta and Fresca flavors contain this chemical.
  • USDA allows schools to delay whole grain foods requirement: Based on the current requirement for US school meals, 50 percent of all grain products must be whole-grain rich. And this requirement is set to go up to 100 percent in the next school year. However, USDA announced that schools can delay this requirement for up to two years, if they can prove “significant challenges” in preparing whole-grain meals since many schools have complained that the whole-grain pastas don’t hold together well when cooked. Although many students have adapted easily to whole grain breads and rolls, school nutrition directors claim they are having a harder time with pastas, biscuits, tortillas and grits, which are all popular lunch components. According to Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services: “Schools raised legitimate concerns that acceptable whole-grain rich pasta products were not available. We worked to find a solution which will allow more time for industry to develop products that will work for schools.”
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