Does anyone else wonder if the recent closings of numerous Food Lion stores (Delhaize will close 113 under-performing Food Lion stores)    take away some of the active support Food Lion's leadership - particularly Cathy Green and Teri Miller - have given to the Produce Traceability Initiative? That is not to say that the two are related, only that Food Lion corporate leadership must be pulled many different directions right now, leaving less time for causes like PTI.

 Condolences to Jim Prevor, who noted the passing of his father Michael Prevor in the Jan. 17 edition of the Perishable Pundit.

Check out the latest Consumer Price Index here. For the entire year, the report showed a 4.7% increase for all food in 2011 compared with 1.5% in 2010. The index for at home food rising 6% in 2011 compared with just 1.7% in 2010. Consumer prices for fruits and vegetables rose 2.3% for the year, BLS reports.

 Word from a well-connected source in Washington, D.C. indicates the updated school nutrition regulation could be released Wednesday next week, with  First Lady Michelle Obama expected to play an up and center role in the news conference.

Kenya fresh vegetables exporters are soft pedaling a new EU carbon tax on airline freight.  The aviation industry - central to Kenya's export efforts  -is included in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme since Jan. 1, and are charged a tax based on carbon emissions, according to this report.

 More good news on the health front. Research indicates that plant compounds may lessen heart disease risk. The gist: older adults with the most flavonoids (how do you say that word, anyway?) were found less likely to die of heart disease or stroke than those who consumed the least. More blueberries, please!

Check out recent USDA FAS reports, including an update on EU food labeling, Chile's record exports, potential new import requirements for U.S. apples and other pome fruit in India and  Danish priorities for EU farm policy, 

A research report looks at EU consumption of fruits and vegetables, and asks "Do Europeans get enough?" We already know the answer to that question, don't we? The report does contain some interesting  observations about the problems of even defining what commodities are in fact fruits and vegetables, the differences in fruit and vegetable consumption statistics by country and other demographic variables. The gist, as you suspected, is that a majority of European don't reach World Health Organization recommendations on fruit and vegetable consumption of 400 grams per day or more. Higher consumption rates were noted in southern EU regions compared with northern EU regions.

Join the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.Check out the stats from LinkedIn on the growth of the group. Facebook link here.

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E-mail me at tkarst@thepacker.com