Tag Archives: region

Shuttered New Mexico plant resumes making peanut butter

The eastern New Mexico peanut butter plant shuttered eight months ago after a salmonella outbreak is back in production, and company officials say their coveted natural and organic butters could be back on store shelves within a month. Sunland Inc. Vice President Katalin Coburn says the company last week got the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration to restart peanut butter operations at its factory in Portales. It is currently in a test phase of production, she said. “The restart of the plant is not as simple as turning on a switch,” Coburn said Thursday. “Hopefully we will be back in full production in the next few days.” The Food and Drug Administration shut the plant in late September after its products were linked to 41 cases in 20 states. Most of those were linked to natural peanut butter the company made for Trader Joe's. The shutdown of the country's largest organic peanut butter processor left many stores scrambling for months to find alternative natural peanut butters. The company processes Valencia peanuts, a sweet variety of peanut that is unique to the region and preferred for natural butters because it is flavorful without additives. It makes peanut butter under a number of different labels for retailers like Costco, Kroger and Trader Joe's. It also makes nut butter products under its own name. When the FDA shuttered the plant, it was the first time it used new authority granted under a 2011 food safety law to shut food operations without a court hearing. Many in the conservative farm town of Portales denounced the FDA's tactics as unfair and unnecessarily heavy-handed. Coburn said consumers and retail partners alike have been supportive throughout the shutdown. “Obviously they were as frustrated as we were with the length of time,” she said. “They were saying, `We want Valencia. We want you guys. We want organic. So hurry up.'”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/24/shuttered-new-mexico-plant-resumes-making-peanut-butter/

Olive Oil 101: How to choose oils with the most health benefits

It is well known that extra virgin olive oil is good for the body – boosting heart health and even lowering the risk of certain kinds of cancer.  But not all olive oils are created equal. According to Nicholas Colman, the chief olive oil specialist at Eataly in New York City, olive oil has to be fresh in order to maintain its health advantages. “Even the best producer in the world – if their oil is old, you’re not going to reap the health benefits from it,” Coleman told FoxNews.com. Coleman said it’s important to pick your oil like you would pick your wine – taking into account when it was bottled, the kinds of olives that are in it, and the region from which it came. “When you taste a really, really great olive oil, you might notice a peppery finish build in the back of the throat – this tingle,” Coleman said. “And what causes that is oleocanthal, which is an antioxidant.  The more of that peppery burn you feel, the higher the presence of antioxidants in the oil and the healthier it is for the body.” Oils from Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily have the most antioxidants of the Italian extra virgin olive oils, Coleman said.  And price is an important factor too: Cheap olive oil from the grocery store may not cut it. “Usually they take olives from all over the world, and they buy oil that is left over at the end of the year,” Coleman said. “And they blend it all together and ship it to America.” While the oil’s color doesn’t affect its health benefits, Coleman said the bottle’s color does.  He advised picking a dark, glass bottle or tin, so the oil doesn’t photo-oxidize and degrade. And when you finally cook with your newly purchased olive oil in the kitchen, make sure to warm it slowly to preserve the antioxidants. For more information on how to choose the perfect olive oil, visit http://www.eataly.com/.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/19/olive-oil-101-how-to-choose-oils-with-most-health-benefits/