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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

I'd like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love

June 17-July 24, H-E-B customers can help support SAMMinistries by adding a donation of $1, $3, or $5 to their purchase total. SAMMinistries assists an average of 500 homeless individuals and families every day with emergency and transitional shelter and support services. For more information call 340-0302.

Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves

For those of us who already enjoy wandering Whole Foods Market's aisles in search of great samples, Saturday, July 9, from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. the grocery will partner with the Texas Department of Agriculture to host a Texas growers and food producers sampling festival. Participating vendors include Kitchen Pride Mushrooms, Jimmy O's, Soy Sister, Miles of Chocolate, Mojo Tea, Nile Valley, Two Sisters (shrimp), and many more. Whole Foods' kitchen will also set up special samples for the event. For more information call 826-4676.

I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company

Forget the potato chips and ice cream: Diet soft drinks may be ruining your diet like a greasy slice of Pizza Hut's finest. A new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, suggests that diet-soda drinkers are more likely to become overweight than those who drink regular soda.

Sharon P. Fowler and her colleagues at the Health Science Center conducted the eight-year study, which included 1,550 Mexican-American and non-Hispanic, white Americans. One third of the 622 participants, who were of normal weight at the beginning of the study, became overweight or obese by the end. Fowler told WebMD that there was a 41 percent increase in risk of becoming overweight for every soda consumed. The data showed that a person drinking two cans or more of diet soda each day had 57.1 percent risk of becoming overweight or obese; a person drinking two or more cans of regular soda each day had a 47.2 percent risk. The study did not, however, suggest that diet soda causes obesity; it only implied that diet soda and obesity are connected. No word yet on whether Diet Coke will increase in Weight Watcher's points.

- Compiled by Heather Holmes and Melissa Santos


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