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The Food Magazine issue 77 

April/June 2007

Food Magazine 77Child labour in cocoa industry
People around the world love chocolate, but behind some of the friendly wrappers lies the exploitation of workers. Much of the world’s cocoa is farmed in West Africa where thousands of children are forced to work to produce the beans which are the main ingredient in chocolate.

Eat less salt
The Food Commission is leading a pioneering project in south east London which aims to improve the health of thousands of tenants and staff of the Sydenham-based Hexagon Housing Association. The 'Healthy Hexagon, Eat less salt' project will provide healthy eating advice to over 3,000 households, showing the residents and staff of Hexagon how to reduce their salt consumption.

Through the mincer
Two research surveys from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have hit our desks; one is on minced meat composition and labelling and the other on ham. Among the surprising facts about mince is that the word 'lean' is allowed to be used largely indiscriminately, appearing on products with as little as 5% fat and up to 20%. Products described as 'ham' can actually contain up to 30% water, as we reported in FM69; but only just over half of people surveyed were able to calculate that ham which was labelled as being 80% meat would have a maximum of 20% added water.

Junk food advertising
Momentum is gathering behind the campaign to insist that the Government properly protects children from junk food TV advertising through the introduction of a 9pm watershed.

Findus & Beckham push supplements for kids
Food manufacturer Findus has linked with The David Beckham Academy to promote yet another range of omega 3 supplements. The supplements have yet to appear in the shops, but can be purchased from a website which makes some highly misleading claims about the benefits of omega 3 oils.

What does seasonal mean?
The Food Commission has become increasingly concerned about the apparent abuse of the word ‘seasonal’ by many food manufacturers and retailers.

Bottled water
Plastic water bottles account for a significant proportion of the estimated half-a-million tonnes of plastic we throw away every year. Collection of waste plastic is patchy at best – only about 17% of plastic bottles produced are recycled in the UK – and there is still little market for recycled plastic here.

In support of sport
“We need more girls to come through so they can be sporting heroes for a new generation of athletes.” Dame Kelly Holmes talks to Yvonne Wake of The Food Magazine.

Not even in the running
Physical activity is essential for everybody's health. But does sports coverage in the national newspapers promote equal participation for both men and women? Jessica Mitchell reports.

Additives and 'unwanted effects'
In the last Food Magazine we revealed that many over-the-counter children’s medicines contain additives which are banned from food and drink for the under-threes. Here we reveal what the labels do (and don't) tell us.

All abuzz about bees
Honey bees are a protected species, so what do you do when a swarm sets up home in your house? Jessica Mitchell reports.

The honey bee was once one of the most familiar insects around. But, it is now in severe decline in the wild. Cally Matthews reports.

Overfished and in need of protection
Many of the world's fish stocks are in crisis. We find out how consumers can get the information they need to decide what to buy.

Fish eating habits die hard
The leading recipe magazines sell millions of copies and feature many fish recipes. Could they be hastening the destruction of endangered fish stocks?

Carbon labelling storm
Can carbon labels help steer consumers towards a climate-friendly diet, or are we heading into a storm, every bit as messy as the furore over nutrition labelling? Kath Dalmeny reports.

SOS: save our seeds
Have you ever heard of, or tasted the Sub-Arctic Plenty tomato or Mrs. Fortune’s Climbing French Bean or the Carlin Pea? The Heritage Seed Library hopes to ensure that vegetable varieties such as these do not become extinct.

Advertising rulings
Cadbury ad meets a sticky end.
Saucy cooking claim for probiotics.