by Marion Nestle

Feedback

Have a general question or comment? This is the place. I’d love to hear from you (the Feedback box is at the bottom of the page).

  • Daniel Factor
  • October 24, 2012
  • 3:32 pm

I’ve just been reading your website for the first time and have some questions and comments for you…

1. Why do you and so many healthy eating campaigners think that penalizing people through taxation is the way to get them to eat healthier?

2. In your coverage of the soda tax debate little mention is made of personal liberty. Presuambly you do not think this to be important.

3. Many of the reports favouring soda taxes advcate increasing the average families shopping budget in order to get them to reduce or even cease consumption of a certain beverage. Do you think it should be the role of government to police people’s buying habits.

4. You claim most of the opposition to soda taxes us funded by the soft drinks industry. This is a typical tactic of the food police..”If you don’t agree with taxing people for consuming products we disaprove of you must be in the pay of the makers of those products”.
I would guess there are many ordinary people who do not agree with this tax.

4. What do you think should happen to McDonald’s? Shut down?

  • Sonya
  • October 24, 2012
  • 10:08 am

Hello Marion,

I’m sure you’re already on top of this, but I just couldn’t help but share this with you from Canada:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/23/mds-accused-of-demonizing-fatty-surgery-foods-after-call-for-graphic-junk-food-warnings/

Thank you for all you do!

  • Liesel
  • October 21, 2012
  • 2:51 pm

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/a-simple-fix-for-food/?smid=fb-share

Hello, Dr. Nestle!
I frequent your blog and, as a healthcare worker serving the sickest of the sick, see the results of our food culture on a daily basis. It’s my feeling that many, many of the political woes we have in this country really would be best addressed by fixing our food problems and, specifically, the amount of influence big ag, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have on policy. In any case, the article I pasted above is just another example of the simple, obvious things we’re NOT doing that make me want to pull my hair out. I’m sure you’ve seen it, just passing it along. The best solutions are often ignored…

Thanks for all you do,
Liesel Bauer

Hi Marion,

First, I want to thank you for all the amazing writing you have done to support local farm communities. I have been a long-time reader and fan. I am a beginning farmer in the Hudson Valley and am actively interested in what’s happening with the 2012 US Farm Bill – I work with the organization National Young Farmers’ Coalition (www.youngfarmers.org). I’m sure you are aware that the writing of the next Farm Bill has been delayed again and again in Congress and – despite the fact that the last Farm Bill expired on September 30 – we’ll be lucky to get even an extension during the lame-duck session.

We have seen an explosion in recent years in interest in local, sustainably-grown food, yet at the same time the average age of the American farmer is increasing (currently about 57 years old) and we are facing a looming gap in farmers and ranchers of the next generation. I am currently in a program called Farm Beginnings, which provides business education for beginning farmers. This program and many like it are funded in part by the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which was first created in the 2002 Farm Bill to address this issue.

As of right now, the program has no funding for 2013 and it’s likely that it will be slashed permanently to save money for subsidies and other programs in the next Farm Bill. We are working to advocate for the continued funding for this program, given that our country needs desperately to bolster its younger generation of farmers and ranchers. We feel this is an issue that goes hand-in-hand with your advocacy, and we would be very grateful if you were able to mention it and the encourage people to support the efforts by joining together on this petition: http://www.youngfarmers.org/save-the-bfrdp.

Thank you so much for the work you do!

Wes

Hi Marion,

I’m actually a Ph.D. candidate at Steinhardt in music performance, but I’m writing to say that I’d really love to see you write about the food safety article which graced the cover of Bloomberg Markets this month. This has been covered in lots of other places, but it was a surprising choice for Bloomberg, since the magazine tends to be very biased towards wonky articles about finance.

I just thought it might be a nice break from your current beat of calories (great book, by the way), to touch on the issue of food safety. I realize this is, theoretically outside your bailiwick, but I certainly would love to have your take on it.

All the best,
Joe Drew

Dear Marion

It would be great if you could take a look at this campaign in Indiegogo. It’s about an animation series to teach toddlers some eco basics and we need as much help as possible to reach our goal.

http://www.indiegogo.com/ecolilis

You can also view some info in our web page http://www.ecolilis.com

Thanks.
Gonzalo Raineri

I just found this worrisome article, are mothers really breastfeeding less?????:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/771919?src=mp&spon=38

Hi Marion,
Portland, OR, where I live, is the last US major metropolis to drink plain water, without Fluorosilicic acid added for “fluoridation.” Recently, despite wide protest, City Council voted to add F. Acid in 2014. Some astonishing facts re: Water Fluoridation:
1. F. Acid is the scrubber liquor retrieved from phosphate fertilizer factory pollution control screens.
2. It comes from Florida in liquid form and China in dry form.
3. It is only tested for safety by the National Sanitation Foundation, a privately funded, private industry group. No government body oversees their tests.
4. 43% of NSF samples of F. Acid found mercury, arsenic and lead.
5. The EPA says it is illegal to dump this industrial pollutant in our rivers, but it is fine for drinking water.
6. The EPA lists Fluoride as a “substantially documented neurotoxin.”
7. We bioaccumulate F. In our bodies and environment. Adults excrete only 50-60%, children only 20% and babies and seniors and others with impaired renal function, even less.
8. It is widely substantiated that overexposure to F. is linked to dental and skeletal fluorosis, kidney and liver failure, thyroid and endocrine disruption and other health concerns. The Harvard School of Public Health’s meta-analysis of Chinese children over-exposed to Fluoride links F. With lowered IQS.
9. KY. Has fluoridated 90% of its water for over 30 years, and has the nation’s highest rate of toothlessness, and ranks very high in childhood and baby cavities.
10. F., the 17th most common element, is in virtually all foodstuffs, pesticides, many fruit juices, dark teas, gasoline, a number of pharmaceuticals, coal, naturally occurs in some water bodies and soils, is in some cleaning products, etc.
11. So everyone’s intake of F varies widely, influenced by level of physical activity (hence drinking more F water), living in polluted areas, eating processed or non-organic foods, cooking with F. Water, eating crops that take up F, etc.
12. Babies drinking formula ingest 50-100 times more F than breast-fed infants.
13. Most of the world bans F. added to water.
14. Bees are very sensitive to F., which is in many pesticides and rodenticides.

Hope you can look into this further, soon. I will be happy, if you like, to send you my documented research citing the CDC, EPA, WHO, DHHS, etc. on this topic.

Warmly,
Jen Davis
Founder:We All Need Bees Coalition,
Farmers, gardeners, chefs, food purveyors and eaters working to protect bees.

Dear Marion,

I am writing as a U.S. student pursuing my MPHN at the University of Eastern Finland. I am debating thesis ideas and am circling around one topic I believe you may be of help. I am interested in studying food policies (or one!) that have actually shown a positive, measurable effect on its population. Do you know of any policies or countries that have been successful in food policy?

We have a lot of food policies and nutrition recommendations and we are all getting fatter and sicker. I believe I read an example in Food Politics but I can’t find it. Any of your expertise would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy Norway (I’m not too far away!)

Kind Regards,

Trisha Mandes

  • Jen M.
  • September 26, 2012
  • 5:13 pm

Dear Marion:

Any thoughts on the King’s No Hungry Kids Act, H.R. 6418, which would eliminate new USDA guidelines that say children in kindergarten through fifth grade can be served meals containing up to 650 calories, while meals for sixth through eighth graders can have 700 calories, and meals for those in high school can have 850 calories.

It seems like when we are finally making some progress to help school officials design reasonable and (hopefully) healthy school lunch programs U.S. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to do away with it.

Private question to Marion Nestle:
Marion would you be willing to tell us your birth year? My co-author, Dietitian Brenda Davis and I are quoting you in our update for `Becoming Vegan“ –one of your great quotes
and for others we are quoting we list birth years.
We certainly appreciate your work.
Brenda and I had a meal with you once–in Kansas City or Philadelphia as I recall, I think during a dietitians convention`.
Thank you
Warm regards, Vesanto Melina, co-author of Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Raising Vegetarian, and 8 other vegan nutrition classics now in 8 languages

Marion Nestle
  • Marion
  • September 23, 2012
  • 4:40 pm

@Tracy: the official site for accredited MPH programs is http://www.ceph.org/. CEPH is the Council on Education in Public Health. I replaced the old link with this one. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • tracy
  • September 23, 2012
  • 4:21 pm

Hi! I have a question about a link on your FAQ page – the privately run website you say lists accredited MPH programs (http://www.mastersinpublichealth.net/), it only seems to list a few online colleges – it doesn’t seem like a legitimate site – maybe these online schools paid for this like an ad? Can you recommend a better site that discusses different accredited MPH programs?

Thank you!

  • Jason
  • September 23, 2012
  • 12:18 pm

The quantity of organic foods discussion on the internet is exhausting. Perhaps what should be discussed more often are the simularities of organic and conventional. Refrigerated atmosphere or not, do you honestly believe that the trucks transporting your food, whether ogranic or conventional, are EVER sanitized? This FACT places the same contamination levels on the surface of both products or the ingredients used in the production of both types of products.
Laboratory results on reefer (refrigerated) trailer contamination levels are staggering. I’m talking about staph, ecoli, yeast, and mold off the chart. This contamination is blown around in the reefer trailer by the refrigeration unit and coats the product in the trailer. The product is handled to unload. Handled to storage. Stocked or shipped to other wharehouses. Stocked onto store shelves. Placed in a shopping cart. Falls out of a shopping bag and rolls around in the car on the way home. Is placed on your shelf in your house by your hands. Noone ever sanitizes the packaging on their food.
Maybe we should just sanitize the reefer trailers? -Jason, Director of Food Safety, SQFLogistics.com

A note thanking you for asking Laura Shapiro to conduct the oral history with Cecily Brownstone. I am a historian of food journalism and that kind of material is so valuable. (I just received the history from the Fales Library.) I am presenting papers soon about Cecily and NYT food editor Jane Nickerson – who has been so overshadowed by Craig Claiborne. I also love your blog – we use it in the Food Reporting class I teach. Best, Kim Voss (Assoc. Prof. at the Univ of Central Florida)

  • Ellen
  • September 14, 2012
  • 10:18 pm

Marion,

Why ask for feedback if you never answer our questions? So frustrating!!!

Organic Milk.

Marion,

I have been purchasing Organic Milk for several years.

While it’s nice to consider the absence of hormones, pesticides, etc., my reason is different and very practical.

For a long time, I thought I was lactose-intolerant. I tried Lactaid – it did nothing.

Then, for a reason I can’t remember, I tried Organic Milk.

With Organic Milk, — G.I. problems GONE!

My opinion for the remarkable difference can easily be observed by examining the Expiration Dates. Organic typically is about 6 weeks; Regular is about 2 weeks. The Organic Milk is ultrapasteurized, AND sealed with a very effective cap. Regular Milk is pasteurized to a lesser extent, AND typically sealed with a poor-fitting cap. The poor-fitting cap on Regular Milk allows a finite percentage of “leakers”. Try purchasing 6 to 8 Regular Milks, put them in your shopping cart upside down, and check for the mess. One problem (to me) with the finite percentage of “leakers” is that when squeezed, air is let out of the container; and when the squeeze pressure is released, external make-up air is introduced. The combination (in my opinion) of the lesser extent of pasteurization, combined with the introduction of make-up air, can lead to microbial growth and G.I. upset, possibly appearing similar to lactose intolerance.

So, I’m fine with Organic Milk — in spite of the higher price.

I would also be happy with Regular Milk if it were ultrapasteurized (and supported by a 6 week expiration date) and well-sealed. But until Regular Milk processing and packaging is upgraded, I think this constitutes a valid reason for purchase of Organic — in this limited circumstance.

Edward W. R. Casper, Ph.D.
09-11-2012

  • Kathy Downing
  • September 9, 2012
  • 4:19 pm

Dear Marion,

What are your thoughts on the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis, M.D.? I’m having difficulty finding expert commentary on it. I would value your thoughts highly.

Thanks,
Kathy

  • Jane
  • September 8, 2012
  • 6:46 pm

Did the Stanford study address the health of the workers in the fields? I am so eager to know if health conditions in an organic field are better than in a field with pesticide use.

  • Marcy
  • September 7, 2012
  • 8:52 pm

Marion -
Since What to Eat was published, are there any exceptions to ALL farm-raised salmon is dyed?
Farm-raised Atlantic is listed as “Avoid,” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, yet tank-raised Coho is recommended as “Best Choice.” That confuses me. Surely they wouldn’t want us eating any fish that has ingested dye?
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=49
Thank you,
Marcy

  • Allannah
  • September 7, 2012
  • 7:50 pm

Hello,

I have been following your site, foodpolitics.com, for some time and would like to offer a guest post.
I currently have an article on Home of the Official Clambake available for posting.
Please let me know if this topic would interest you and your readers and I would be happy to send you a draft.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Allanah

  • Lynley Lapp
  • September 6, 2012
  • 9:31 am

What is your take on the Wheat Belly book/concept (author William Davis, M.D.)? I thought wheat and whole grains were supposed to be healthy. Thanks for sharing your expert opinion!

Dr, Love your books and columns. Fodder for thought: There is NO healthy and organic food served on military bases or ships at sea. The majors control all food items served: Ariant, Sysco, US Food Service, Kraft, General Mills etc. Our service personnel do not have access to healthy and organic food either on their duty stations or aboard ships. This is deplorable and unacceptable. I have waged a one man war against the VA Canteen in San Francisco and have won several skirmishes with moderate success in having the Manager implement more healthy food choices even though it falls short of what I consider to be a healthy and well balanced menu. Your thoughts appreciated and keep up the great works!

  • Ken
  • September 3, 2012
  • 1:41 am
  • Virginia Yohe
  • August 28, 2012
  • 11:17 am

Sorry – meant to say “thank you” before hitting the send button.

Virginia

  • Virginia Yohe
  • August 28, 2012
  • 11:16 am

Dr Nestle:

Your book What to Eat was very interesting and helpful. I got a lot out of it and even quoted it once or twice in conversation.

Do you know of a source for flashy, colorful, attractive nutrition posters? I’m looking for posters to put up at our local YMCA, in the area where mothers and grandmothers of young children drop off the kids for day care. As you probably know, the YMCA provides a great deal of the childcare in America and ours at least is very open to the idea of encouraging better eating habits. The idea here is to target the mothers, who are the people doing the grocery shopping and actually putting food in the kids’ hands.

Hi,

I am reaching out to let you know about a site I have made http://projectmanagementdegree.org/ , which caters to incoming students pursing degrees and aspiring professionals looking to start their careers. I was hoping you could take a look at my site and if you agree that the information could be useful, could you post a link to it on yours? I feel that it would be a great resource for your visitors, and if you have any additional feedback or questions please feel free to ask!

Thanks,

  • Katie
  • August 21, 2012
  • 2:08 am

Dear Marion,

Have you seen this recent Canadian study which suggests that eating egg yolks may be as harmful as smoking cigarettes?

http://www.globalnews.ca/health/health/6442696486/story.html

In my opinion (I’m a nutrition graduate student at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden) it seems crazy to compare a nourishing whole food to smoking cigarettes. I’d love to know what you think about it!

KT

  • James Manley
  • August 13, 2012
  • 9:38 am

Long time fan: I sat in on a class you taught in Berkeley with Lia Fernald about 6-7 years ago and have followed you since.

A couple of things: first, I wanted to share a research report I just saw. Researchers (http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/agsaaea12/124806.htm) looked at the effect of a 5.5% tax on soda in Maine and didn’t see changes in behavior. Maybe 10 cents on a 2 liter bottle isn’t enough? Looks like Bloomberg’s way is the only chance of actually affecting behavior.

Also, a more practical question. In the throes of fat-phobia, nutritionists used to recommend that little children slowly be weaned from whole milk to skim. As an adult I eat cereal with milk and use it for cooking. (I am over 40, not on any kind of diet, and I don’t drink it regularly.) I’ve long used skim milk thinking it was better nutritionally, but now that carbs are suspect, I’m wondering which type of milk you recommend for adult consumption.

Thanks for all your work!

Dear Marion,

Awesome Food, the Food Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences wants to help you pull off your ideas for improving our current food system, or changing the way we think about food.

More information and the application can be found here: awesomefood.maker.good.is. The deadline is August 22 at noon PT.

The top-voted idea will win a tour of the Food Network and lunch with an Awesome Trustee. All submissions with 50 votes or more will advance to the final round of judging by Awesome Food’s Trustees for a chance to win a $1,000 grant.

Looking forward to seeing your submission! http://awesomefood.maker.good.is/

Best,

Catherine Uong
Challenge Assistant, GOOD Maker
@GOODmkr

PS If you’d like to continue to be notified of future GOOD Maker Challenges, let us know here: http://bit.ly/yYlwXS

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