Paleo-friendly baby food line debuts: Is it healthy?

Sep 19, 2017 9

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A Texas couple who claim their health was improved by following the paleo diet — eating the same foods as our ancestors — have created a line of paleo-inspired baby foods.

Joe Carr, 36, and Serenity Heegel, 40, started their company, Serenity Kids, last year after they talked about having a child themselves and saw that most baby foods were made using fruit and were higher in sugar than they expected.

Heegel, who lives with Carr in Austin, quit her corporate job to become a health coach after she says the paleo diet greatly improved her health. Carr began following the diet as an adult because he believes it helps his high-functioning autism, with which he was diagnosed as a child.

The paleo diet follows the premise that we should eat today the same foods as our Paleolithic ancestors, primarily meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seafood. Foods that are nonorganic, high in sugar or processed are discouraged.

After being surprised that there were few to no baby foods on the market focused on those principles, Heegel and Carr partnered with local farmers from Missouri to California to make their meat-based baby foods using all-organic products.

“We kept asking ourselves the question, ‘Why is no one doing this?’” Heegel told ABC News. “We realized that babies do not really need to eat any different, that eating vegetables, meat and nuts is good for them too.

“Another response we thought of is, ‘Well, maybe babies won’t eat it,’” she continued. “But they do.”

Serenity Kids began presales of their baby food products online last month. The line currently includes three flavors: Free-range chicken with organic peas and carrots; uncured bacon with organic kale and butternut squash; and grass-fed beef with organic kale and sweet potato.

The 4-ounce pouches are sold online in a six-pack for $26.95. The individual pouches will sell for around $4.99 each when they hit store shelves later this year, according to Carr.

“Serenity and I are paleo-inspired and we came from that mindset but it’s much bigger than the paleo community,” he said. “There are lots of parents who want to give their kids meats and vegetables, but they’re limited to fruits.”

’Keith Ayoob, associate professor emeritus of pediatrics at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said parents do not need to spend $4.99 per pouch to give their children high-quality food and a balanced diet.

“I work with a lot of parents who will never be able to afford this food,” Ayoob told ABC News of the Serenity Kids line. “It is not an option for them and it doesn’t have to be.”

He continued, “It’s produced perhaps differently but I haven’t seen any evidence that it’s going to be any better for a baby.”

Ayoob, who has worked in pediatric nutrition for over 30 years, said developing children need to eat from all five food groups, including grains, dairy and fruits.

“Grains, fruit and dairy are a huge nutrient package, especially for the first few years of a child’s life,” he said. “There’s a reason that we have those food groups and excluding them could put your kid at a disadvantage nutritionally.”

Ayoob takes issue with Serenity Kids’ assertion, as described on the company’s website, that sugar from fruit in baby food products could cause inflammation and even a blood sugar crash in babies.

“In 30 years of working in pediatrics I don’t think I remember any case of a baby having a blood sugar crash from eating a jar of strained pears,” Ayoob said. “I really find it a concern when they demonize intrinsic sugar, the sugar that is naturally present in fruit and dairy foods.”

He continued, “And fruit is so loaded with antioxidants it is pretty anti-inflammatory.”

Serenity Kids’ baby food pouches are intended for babies six months and older. The USDA recommends that beginning at six months of age, babies eat 4 to 6 tablespoons of iron-fortified infant cereals, 3 to 4 tablespoons each of vegetables and fruits, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of protein-rich foods like meats and legumes per day.

Carr and Heegel plan to wed in November. They still plan on having a child together, after seeing through the growth of Serenity Kids, which they jokingly refer to as their first child.

“It’s not always easy and on those hard days, I just think about those babies we’re helping,” Heegel said of creating Serenity Kids. “If they’ve got a busy parent who doesn’t have time to make baby food, they’re going to get whatever is put on the shelf.”

Carr echoed that he and Heegel are not suggesting parents rely solely on their products to nourish their children, but just want to give parents another option on the market.

“It’s not our job to tell parents how to feed their kids,” he said. “We understand that meats and vegetables are the most nutritious foods and we noticed that no one was making those available for babies and we wanted to do that.”

Heegel, who tested the recipes with Austin-based babies and parents, said the response they hear the most often from parents about the line is, “Finally, thank goodness.”

“Feeding babies usually isn’t a parent’s favorite chore,” she said. “Every spoonful you manage to get in, we want it to be packed with maximum nutrient density.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Apple CEO Tim Cook 'encouraged' by President Trump's movement on 'Dreamers'

Sep 19, 2017 10

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is “encouraged” by President Donald Trump’s discussions with Democrats to protect the status of “Dreamers,” the thousands of young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

“I think it’s really important for everybody to understand, these folks came to the country when they were very young,” Cook said on “Good Morning America.” “These kids, if you talk to them, they deeply love this country. They have great jobs. They pay taxes. These guys are our neighbors. They’re our coworkers.”

Cook spoke out in support of Dreamers, 250 of whom are Apple employees, earlier this month when the Trump administration announced its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

He said Tuesday that Apple will do “everything we can” to encourage Congress to make the bipartisan Dream Act — legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children if they graduated high school or obtained a GED — permanent.

“We feel it’s essential that we not only allow them to stay in our country, but we welcome them; that we desire that they be here,” Cook said. “I hope everyone reaches out and meets some of the ‘Dreamers’ because it will really warm your heart in meeting them.”

‘Profound Day’

Apple will now allow iPhone users to update their devices to iOS 11, a development that will bring an augmented reality (AR) feature to hundreds of millions of Apple devices.

“This is huge because it’s the first time that hundreds of millions of customers will be able to use AR for the first time,” Cook said. “We’re bringing it to mainstream.”

The AR feature will allow users to overlay the virtual world on the physical world. For instance, according to Cook, someone in the market for a new car could go inside the car using AR from home rather than having to visit a car dealership showroom to see inside.

“It’s a fantastic way to shop. It’s a fantastic way to learn,” he said. “We’re taking the complex and making it simple. We want everybody to be able to use AR.”

Cook called the deployment Tuesday of AR to Apple users a “profound day.”

“The thing that’s very different about Apple is that in one day we can make AR available to hundreds of millions of people,” he said. “This is a day to remember.”

Cook made history last week when, 10 years after the first iPhone was introduced, he announced the release of iPhone X. Cook called the phone at its launch a “new generation of the iPhone and a huge step forward.”

Face ID will be used to unlock the iPhone X, which features an edge-to-edge screen and glass on both the front and back. Users will simply have to look at the phone to unlock it.

Cook reassured potential users that they do not need to be concerned about privacy with Face ID technology.

“Once you place your face in the phone, it’s in the phone. Apple doesn’t have it,” he said. “We’ve encrypted it on your device. You make the decisions about who has it, not us.”

“We believe that privacy is very important in this world that there are hackers everywhere trying to steal your information,” he continued. “We want it to be yours. It is not ours.”

The iPhone X, which has a case made of stainless steel, is priced at $999. Cook called it a “value price” when compared to the amount of technology included in the phone.

“When you look at it, the iPhone in particular has become so essential in our daily lives, people want it do more and more and more,” he said. “So, we’ve built more and more technologies into it to be able to do that.”

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X launch was held at the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California.

Cook said he “could feel” Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, in the theater with him during the launch because Jobs’ DNA is still the DNA of Apple.

“We don’t sit and think about, ‘What would Steve do?’ But, we think about the principles that Apple is based on,” he said. “A values-based company that is making insanely great products that are simple to use, where the technology takes the back seat, not the front seat.”

“The user experience is top for us,” he said. “We want users to be happy.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Controversial fight decision prompts Las Vegas refunds

Sep 18, 2017 15

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — Large bets for for Gennady Golovkn’s title fight against Canelo Alvarez have to be refunded after a controversial decision left bettors and bookmakers disappointed.

Oddsmakers believed Golovkin had won the fight heading into the decision. But when the decision was announced, judge Adelaide Byrd had seen things differently. She had Alvarez an easy 188-110 winner which was a difference from the cards from judges Dave Moretti and Don Trella. The fight was ruled a split draw.

After the decision was given, lines formed at sportsbooks, with bettors looking for refunds. Straight bets on the winner of the fight were refunded in Las Vegas. Wagers on the method-of-victory props were not refunded.

There were some long lines, with some of the customers happy to get their money back and others disappointed,” Frank Kunovic, director of specialty games at Caesars Palace, told our partners at ESPN. “They weren’t yelling at us, but I think they were frustrated like we were about the decision.”

Caesars reported taking a six-figure loss on the draw.

Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology said it took more than a million dollars in bets on the fight, including five wagers on Golovkin ranging from $50,000 to $80,000. The largest bet the book took on Alvarez was $20,000.

Statewide, bookmakers estimated $20 million to $30 million was bet on Golovkin-Alvarez in Nevada, roughly one-third of how much was estimated to have been bet on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

“A lot of people got refunds,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “But thank God it wasn’t a Mayweather-McGregor draw. We’d be refunding for a week.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

What is the National Flood Insurance Program?

Sep 18, 2017 18

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the nation grieved as images of emerged of homes submerged up to the eves, abandoned pets perched on debris and household belongings molding on street curbs.

In the days that followed, tens of thousands appealed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for money to rebuild — but the majority of Harvey’s worst-hit families discovered that although they qualified for small assistance payments, they lacked the type of insurance coverage that would allow them to recoup what they’d lost in the floods.

As Texas and Florida struggle to navigate through a web of government agencies and charity organizations, we asked: What is FEMA flood insurance, who gets it, and why — and who’s really footing the bill?

A Little History

Championed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, was created by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, after disillusioned private insurers abandoned the market when they realized flood insurance wasn’t profitable.

According to Congressional analysts, NFIP policies “transfer some of the financial risk of property owners to the federal government” and, in return, requires flood-prone communities adhere to certain building codes and implement flood mitigation strategies.

Who’s eligible for coverage?

Only those living in one of the nation’s 22,000 “NFIP-participating communities” — neighborhoods at risk of significant flooding that have adopted flood mitigation strategies — can purchase NFIP policies from the government through their insurance agent.

Some property owners, especially those in high-risk areas, may be required to buy flood insurance, while others, usually those in moderate-risk locales, may be offered an optional policy. Premium rates, some of which are partially subsidized by the federal government, are based on the area’s degree of risk and the property construction and elevation.

Who Pays, and How Much?

Though NFIP collects about $3.5 billion in premiums annually, the program is nearly $25 billion in debt, according to reports from the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service. It accrued the bulk of this debt in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season, following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, and after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, both agencies note.

“Whether or not FEMA will ultimately be able to pay off the debt is largely dependent on future insurance claims, namely if catastrophic flooding incidents such as Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina occur again and with what frequency,” congressional analysts wrote in a report released in July — just one month before Harvey made landfall.

Its solvency in question, the program has endured criticism from groups like the National Resources Defense Counsel, which claim the NFIP has wasted money repeatedly rebuilding vulnerable homes when it would have been cheaper to help homeowners move to higher ground. It’s also drawn flack over its policy of “grandfathering,” or allowing property owners to pay premiums based on outdated flood maps.

The good news, financially speaking is that according to FEMA, the building codes and flood mitigation strategies implemented because of the program save the nation $1.87 billion each year.

Who’s in charge?

NFIP is run by FEMA, but must be reauthorized by Congress every five years.

Along with a host of other federal government programs, the current authorization, passed in 2012, was set to expire at the end of September. But H.R. 601, the continuing resolution passed last week, extended that authorization through December 8.

After that date, key authorities of the NFIP — such as the authority to issue new contracts, and the ability to borrow large sums from the U.S. Treasury — will lapse, and it will be up to lawmakers to ensure the program’s future.

What it’s not

Many flood victims confuse FEMA flood insurance payments and FEMA assistance.

Unlike flood insurance, FEMA assistance doesn’t require recipients to purchase a policy before catastrophe strikes — it’s simply handed out to disaster victims to cover critical expenses like food and temporary lodging. However, assistance isn’t meant to restore properties to their pre-disaster state. FEMA assistance payments are capped at just over $33,000 maximum per household — and the actual payout is generally much lower than that.

“FEMA assistance is really only designed to be a life-vest, it’s not designed to be an insurance policy,” a former FEMA official told ABC News.

For example, assistance payments won’t pay to replace your house — or, in some cases, even refinish damaged drywall in unused bedrooms.

FEMA flood insurance, by contrast, is designed to make victims whole, financially — and because it’s partially funded by premiums, the payouts are much, much higher. Following Hurricane Katrina, for example, the average assistance payment was around $6,300, according to FEMA. The average NFIP payment? More than $97,000.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Peacock photobombs wedding photos for Indiana couple

Sep 17, 2017 23

Darryl Hammond/Hammond Photo Design Studios, Inc.(DYER, Ind.) — When an Indiana couple posed for photos after their nuptials in August, they didn’t expect a colorful peacock to steal the spotlight from them.

Tamatha and Emile Conway exchanged vows Aug. 25 inside Meyer’s Castle in Dyer, Indiana. The estate, located on 10 acres of land just 35 minutes outside of Chicago, is home to two colorful birds.

Bride Tamatha Conway told ABC News the peacocks just weren’t in the wedding spirit.

“They weren’t participating,” she said. “I was literally trying to get pictures with them, and they kept walking away. They wouldn’t keep still.”

Darryl Hammond/Hammond Photo Design Studios, Inc.

That was until after their nuptials, when the wedding party posed for the customary photos.

“It was so weird, because at that moment, it walked through the pic,” the 47-year-old bride recalled, referring to the peacock.

The photobomb also took photographer Darryl Hammond by surprise.

“Out of nowhere, the peacock just sort of walked across,” he told ABC News. “I kind of stepped back a little…because I saw the peacock at the bottom of my camera and I just kept snapping.”

Hammond, who’s been a professional wedding photographer for over six years, said he could hear some of the 110 wedding guests laughing, but he didn’t know why. Later, when reviewing his photos, he understood.

The junior bridesmaid, Kaitlyn, who is also the groom’s daughter from a previous relationship, is making a hilarious face that expresses her shock during the moment.

“This was the most bizarre but fun shot that I’ve taken. It was epic,” Hammond said. “It was an epic moment for me, and for the couple as well.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wisconsin lawmakers approve Foxconn deal

Sep 17, 2017 17

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wisc.) — Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn.

This comes with a clause that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer must invest approximately $10 billion in the state and build a factory that could hire up to 13,00 workers.

The legislation is now on the desk of Republic Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Google sued for alleged gender pay discrimination

Sep 17, 2017 22

Google(SAN FRANCISCO) — Three former Google employees are suing the company for allegedly paying women less than men for similar work.

Filed in a San Francisco court, the lawsuit alleges that Google discriminates against female employees through limited promotion, lower pay and fewer advancement opportunities.

Kelly Ellis, one of the three women filing the suit and a former software engineer at Google, said she hopes the case will force Google and other companies to change. The lawsuit states that in 2010, she was hired at a lower level than a male coworker who had similar levels of experience.

About 70 percent of Google’s employees are men, according to the company.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carnival worker falls from malfunctioning Ferris wheel

Sep 16, 2017 23

Brittney Smith/Facebook(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — A tense moment was caught on camera at a North Carolina fair Friday night as a Ferris wheel malfunctioned, leaving two children clinging to each other inside a tilted carriage as a carnival worker fell from the ride while trying to help.

The accident occurred at the Central Carolina Fair in Greensboro at 9:45 p.m. after the Ferris wheel operator had to temporarily shut down the ride when one of the carriages “began to tilt out of its normal position.” The operator “followed safety procedures to safely unload all passengers,” the Central Carolina Fair said in a statement released on Saturday.

An employee with Michael’s Amusements sustained minor injuries while attempting to adjust the gondola car back into place. He was treated on scene before being transported to a local hospital and has since been released, according to fair officials.

The Greensboro Police Department said the worker sustained non-life threatening injuries when he fell from the malfunctioning ride.

Video of the incident taken by eyewitnesses shows the worker falling to the ground as he attempts to fix the malfunctioning carriage.

One eyewitness told ABC News that two little boys were on the Ferris wheel at the time of the incident.

Brittney Smith, 28, of High Point, North Carolina, was at the Central Carolina Fair with her family Friday night when the ride malfunctioned. Smith told ABC News the boys were riding in the same gondola car together when it suddenly tilted sideways.

Smith, who was watching the incident unfold from below, said the boys were holding on to each other, “trying to protect one another from falling out,” while carnival workers climbed up the Ferris wheel to help.

As one of the workers climbed onto the tilted carriage the boys were in, the car suddenly flipped back into place and began swinging back and forth, causing the worker to fall off the ride. The other workers then pulled the Ferris wheel down so the boys could exit the ride, Smith said.

Smith said the employee who fell had a cut on his leg, but didn’t appear to have other injuries.

“Everyone was OK for the most part. I think maybe the little boys probably suffered from shock,” Smith told ABC News in a telephone interview Saturday. “They were pretty shaken.”

Central Carolina Fair spokesman Andrew Brown wouldn’t confirm whether any children were in the tilted gondola car at the time.

“We are waiting on the report from state officials with other details,” Brown told ABC News in an email. “The worker was attempting to adjust that carriage so the wheel could be safely rotated to unload all the passengers safely.”

The gondola car was restored to “proper working condition” Friday night and was re-inspected by officials from the North Carolina Department of Labor. State officials approved the Ferris wheel ride to return to use Saturday, according to the Central Carolina Fair.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Equifax says fewer than 400K people affected by data breach in the UK

Sep 16, 2017 22

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images(LONDON) — The Equifax data breach may have reached beyond U.S. borders.

The company said fewer than 400,000 consumers in the U.K. had their personal information accessed in the breach.

This number pales in comparison with the number of Americans who were affected — 143 million.

Between mid-May and July, “criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.” As a result of the breach, personal data — including “names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers” — could have been retrieved by the hackers, the company said.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating how the data was stolen.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wall Street hits new records as tech stocks climb

Sep 15, 2017 22

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street closed in the green on Friday, led by technology stocks, despite North Korea’s latest missile launch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 64.86 (+0.29 percent) to close at 22,268.34 for a fourth record close.

The Nasdaq jumped 19.38 (+0.30 percent) and finished at 6,448.47, while the S&P 500 closed at a new record of 2,500.23, 4.61 (0.18 percent) higher than its open.

U.S. crude oil prices remained flat at about $50 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Apple Inc. climbed 1.01 percent after the company’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders began.

A weak earnings outlook for Oracle Corporation caused shares of the computer software company to tumble 7.67 percent.

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