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Archive for July, 2012

How Does The “Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 help us

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Act of 2004 (know as FALCPA) is a safety devise that helps the consumer understand what harmful allergens may be in the food they are purchasing.  The major food allergens of this ACT are: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustaceans shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.  Note that fish and Crustaceans are listed separately.  Fish will include: bass, flounder, cod and others.  Crustaceans shellfish includes only: crab, lobster or shrimp.  Mollusks are not considered a food allergens.  They include: Oysters, Clams, Mussels, and Scallops.  Tree nuts are listed separately from “Peanuts”.  Peanuts are legumes that grow in the ground while “tree nuts” obviously grow in trees.  In the FDA list even tree seeds such as “pine nuts” are under this list.  Wheat is one of the eight major allergens of the FALCPA.  The types of wheat listed are: common wheat, club wheat, spelt, semolina, Einkorn, emmer kamut and triticale.  All of these wheat’s contain the protein “gluten”.  It is extremely interesting where one can find wheat in a food product.  Some unusual examples are: soft corn tortillas from Mexico, honey Dijon mustard, chicken broth, “chicken of the sea” chicken.  These and others are weird examples where  you will may find wheat in foods. Sometimes the allergen is not listed properly according to FALCPA, that makes shopping for allergen foods challenging.

To be continued……

Will Obamacare Affect Our Eating Habits

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

At this time the answer to that question is up in the air.  Some individuals expect that the “taxes” caused by Obamacare will cause employers to lay off more people.  It will also cause employers with 50 or more employees to end their health-care benefits and cause them to go into the “Affordable health-care system”.  21 new taxes will start in 2013, while the coverage will not start until 2014, no one is exempt from this taxes except the illegals immigrants.  Here is a list of just 9 of these taxes. 1. Individual Mandate Tax: Individual base tax for singles will now be $695, and for families it will be $2,085.  2. Medicine Cabinet Tax: This tax prohibits reimbursement of expenses for over the counter medicine except for insulin.  3. Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Cap: Starting in 2013 this tax imposes a cap of $2500 per year on amount of pre-tax dollars for these accounts.  These accounts are used for special education children.  Normal tuition for special needs children is usually $14,000 per year. 4. Medical Itemized deduction Hurdle:  this hurdle was 7.5 of adjusted gross income, now it is 10% of adjusted grow income. 5.  Health Saving Account Withdrawal Tax hike:  Increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdraws from 10% to 20%.  6. Indoor Tanning Service Tax: 10% excise tax of people using tanning salons.  7. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans or “Cadillac” Health Insurance Plan Tax.  These plans are for extensive coverage, example if your mother had breast cancer, you might want to have extensive coverage.  This provision imposes a 40% excise tax on taxpayers covered by such plans by 2018. 8.  Tax on Medical Devices Manufacturers begins in 2013.  This tax places a 2.3% excise tax on all items retailing for over $100.  So test items for Diabetes and Obesity will increase.  If you have a operation this tax will cover all items used during the operation and you will be taxed for laying on the operating table. 9. Taxes on Biofuels.  I do not know for how much.  Most of these taxes affect the middle class something Obama promised would never happen.  He also promised that illegals would not benefit from Obamacare.  Again he broke his promise.  Last week the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was funding ObamaCare cash to 67 community health centers for migrant farm workers.  HHS also said immigration status of the workers would not be ascertained.   Your options for health care may be limited due to the newly formed IMAB Independent Medicare Advisory Board.  This is a non-medical group of appointed bureaucrats that will decide if you need certain medical options.   We as patients are referred to as “units” not patients.  Doctors are not allowed to have their own hospitals and all doctors will be paid the same rate.  In other words a heart specialist will be paid at the same rate as a family physician. You may not want to change your eating habits, but I am eating that extra serving of brocolli and staying far away from Obamacare.

One last tax I forgot to mention, we will be taxed on the sale of our homes starting in 2013.  The 3.8% tax will be on homes, capital gains, stock dividends and all other investment income.

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