Cheesecake-Flavored Ice Cream Bars of Cheesecake Factory in the U.S.






No Cow Needed: Oat and Soy Can be Called Milk, FDA Proposes

Jonel Aleccia wrote . . . . . . . . .

Soy, oat, almond and other drinks that bill themselves as “milk” can keep using the name, according to draft federal rules released Wednesday.

Food and Drug Administration officials issued guidance that says plant-based beverages don’t pretend to be from dairy animals – and that U.S. consumers aren’t confused by the difference.

Dairy producers for years have called for the FDA to crack down on plant-based drinks and other products that they say masquerade as animal-based foods and cloud the real meaning of “milk.”

Under the draft rules, the agency recommends that beverage makers label their products clearly by the plant source of the food, such as “soy milk” or “cashew milk.”

The rules also call for voluntary extra nutrition labels that note when the drinks have lower levels of nutrients than dairy milk, such as calcium, magnesium or vitamin D. They would continue to allow labels that note when plant-based drinks have higher levels. Fortified soy milk is the only plant-based food included in the dairy category of U.S. dietary guidelines because of its nutrient levels.

The new guidelines are aimed at providing consumers clear nutrition information, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a statement. The draft rules do not apply to nondairy products other than beverages, such as yogurt.

The National Milk Producers Federation, an industry trade group, applauded the call for extra nutrition information on drink labels, but said they rejected the FDA’s conclusion that plant-based drinks can be called milk because it’s a “common and usual name.”

The Good Food Institute, a group that advocates for plant-based products, objected to the extra labeling in a statement, saying “the guidance misguidedly admonishes companies to make a direct comparison” with cow’s milk, even though key nutrients are already required to be listed.

In recent years, the number of plant-based drinks has exploded to include dozens of varieties, including cashew, coconut, hemp and quinoa-based beverages. Although the drinks are made from the liquid extracts of plant materials, they are frequently labeled – and described – as “milks.”

In the U.S., almond milk is the most popular variety, but oat milk has been seeing the fastest growth. Still, nondairy sales are dwarfed by traditional milk. Sales of refrigerated cow’s milk grew to $12.3 billion in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 28, compared to $2.5 billion for nondairy milk, according to NielsenIQ.

In the past, lawmakers in dairy states have tried to get bills passed that would require the FDA to enforce a federal standard that defines “milk” as the product of “milking one or more healthy cows.”

The agency will accept comments on the draft guidelines through April 23.

Source: AP





In Pictures: Food of Sichuan Moon (川江月) in Macau, China

Fine Dining Creative Modern Sichuan Cuisine

The 2022 Michelin 2-star Restaurant





Muscle–Organ Crosstalk: The Emerging Roles of Myokines

Mai Charlotte, Krogh Severinsen and Bente Klarlund Pedersen wrote . . . . . . . . .


Physical activity decreases the risk of a network of diseases, and exercise may be prescribed as medicine for lifestyle-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. During the past couple of decades, it has been apparent that skeletal muscle works as an endocrine organ, which can produce and secrete hundreds of myokines that exert their effects in either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine manners. Recent advances show that skeletal muscle produces myokines in response to exercise, which allow for crosstalk between the muscle and other organs, including brain, adipose tissue, bone, liver, gut, pancreas, vascular bed, and skin, as well as communication within the muscle itself. Although only few myokines have been allocated to a specific function in humans, it has been identified that the biological roles of myokines include effects on, for example, cognition, lipid and glucose metabolism, browning of white fat, bone formation, endothelial cell function, hypertrophy, skin structure, and tumor growth. This suggests that myokines may be useful biomarkers for monitoring exercise prescription for people with, for example, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative diseases.

Essential Points

  • Myokines are defined as cytokines and other peptides that are produced, expressed and released by muscle fibers and exert either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine effects
  • Myokines mediate communication between muscle and other organs, including brain, adipose tissue, bone, liver, gut, pancreas, vascular bed, and skin, as well as within the muscle itself
  • Myokines exert their effects on, for example, cognition, lipid and glucose metabolism, browning of white fat, bone formation, endothelial cell function, hypertrophy, skin structure, and tumor growth
  • The myokine IL-6 mediates the exercise-associated anti-inflammatory effects both acutely with each bout of exercise and as a consequence of training adaptation, including reduction in abdominal adiposity.
  • The identification of new myokines and their specific roles may lead to novel therapeutic targets
  • Myokines can be useful biomarkers for monitoring the type and amount of exercise that are required for the prescription of exercise for people with, for example, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative diseases

[ . . . . . . ]

Muscle–Cancer Crosstalk

Epidemiological studies suggest that physical activity in leisure time reduces the risk of at least 13 different cancer types. People who are physically active after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer have a higher survival rate than physically inactive people suffering from the same cancer types.

It is obvious, that many cancers are accompanied by systemic low-grade chronic inflammation and that such inflammation may drive tumor progression. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory effects of physical training may mediate some of the protective effects of exercise on cancer development.

Pernille Hojman and her team explored the effect of exercise on tumor growth in preclinical models. She first established a B16F10 melanoma model and randomized tumor-bearing mice to voluntary wheel running or control. Running mice demonstrated a marked reduction in tumor volume and incidence across 6 different tumor models. The effects of exercise on cancer growth were mediated via a direct regulation of natural killer cells by a mechanism that involved epinephrine-dependent mobilization of natural killer cells to the circulation and an IL-6-dependent redistribution to tumors. Blocking IL-6 signaling during exercise abolished the exercise-induced inhibition of tumor growth. The findings in mice indicate that IL-6 may have a role in mediating anti-cancer effects.

A few mechanistic studies have demonstrated a potential role of other myokines, including Oncostatin M, irisin, and SPARC in the suppression of breast and colon cancer growth.

[ . . . . . . . ]

Source: NIH (Full text)

Read also:

Myostatin Decreases with Aerobic Exercise and Associates with Insulin Resistance . . . . .

Sizzling Rice Cake with Shrimp


225 g shelled shrimp
120 g rice cake
50 g green pea
4 green onion
3 slices ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil

Shrimp Marinade

1/2 Egg white
2 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt


2 cups stock or water
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt

Thickening Solution

2 tbsp each corn starch and water


  1. Wash and dry shrimp. Mix with marinade ingredients and set aside for about 20 minutes.
  2. Cut rice cake into 3 cm squares.
  3. Add 6 cups oil to a wok. Heat to 320°F (160°C). Deep fry rice cake until golden. Place on a large platter.
  4. Blanch shrimp in oil (248°F/120°C) until cooked and remove.
  5. Heat 3 tbsp oil in the wok. Stir-fry green onion and ginger until fragrant. Add sauce ingredients and green pea. Bring to a boil. Mix in shrimp. Thicken the sauce with the thickening solution.
  6. Drizzle sesame oil and pour shrimp with sauce over the rice cake. Serve immediately.

Source: Chinese Sichuan Cuisine

Today’s Comic