Does caramel coloring cause cancer? Cola industry says claim falls flat
March 7th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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This week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit Washington-based watchdog group on nutrition and food safety, once again pushed the Food and Drug Administration to look at the chemicals – or “caramel coloring” – that turn cola brown.

The CSPI’s petition asks the FDA to ban caramel colorings that are produced by an ammonia or ammonia-sulfite process and contain 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MI). The petition, originally filed on February 16, 2011, claims both 2-MI and 4-MI are “carcinogenic in animal studies.”

The animal studies linking 4-MI to cancer in lab mice and rats prompted the state of California to officially list 4-MI as a carcinogen on January 7, 2011, under California’s Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. There have been no studies thus far on the chemicals’ risk to humans.

The most recent call to arms from the CSPI comes after the watchdog group found a sampling of colas, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, surpassed the allotted 29 milligrams of 4-MI per day under Proposition 65.

March 7th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
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Steven Weinberger is a Senior Systems/Software Developer at CNN and maintains Follow him on Twitter @KosherDIY.

The darndest things show up on our desks. Usually they're edible or drinkable (no, thank YOU, makers of smooth, elegant Courvosier Connoisseur), but few make us as giddy as a flash drive loaded with pictures of the latest creations by our resident Kosher kitchen wizard Steven Weinberger.

We didn't get a whole lot of details this time - "The pictures speak for themselves," he e-mailed. But when he materialized later, he mentioned he'd augmented these hamantaschen (which he'd actually made during Hanukkah, and which are also spelled "hamantashen") with a batter made from some funnel cake mix purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond, sticks and 375°F Wesson vegetable oil.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Holiday • Purim • Recipes • Religion

Box lunch: Homemade Hostess cakes and pricey popcorn
March 7th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • A tale of Oreos and Fauxreos: Recreating Twinkies, Fritos and other nostalgic junk foods at home. - New York Times

  • One small step for man, one giant leap for moviegoer kind! A Michigan man does what we've all wanted to do: Wage war on movie snack prices. - Detroit Free Press

  • "I'm kind of a big deal." How to get the VIP treatment at restaurants. - Grub Street

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

National crown roast of pork day
March 7th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

A crown fit for a serious fan of the other white meat - March 7 is National Crown Roast of Pork Day!

Turn your normal meal into a royal feast with this white-capped crown of pork glory.

Known as the crown roast, pork loin is gathered into a circle with the rib bones pointing upwards like the peaks of a crown. Usually, this contains two rib racks, or 12 ribs from one pork loin, tied together with twine. This also means "Frenching" the ribs - slightly cutting and cracking the bone so they can be molded into a crown.

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