Food Politics

by Marion Nestle
May 8 2015

Milan Food Expo: The James Beard American Restaurant

Along with the U.S. Pavillion at the Expo, the James Beard Foundation organized a pop-up restaurant at the top of the Galleria.  It opens today.

Here’s the view:2015-05-03 18.49.39

The location is spectacular, and the restaurant carries out the themes of the US Pavilion–red, white, and blue throughout.

2015-05-03 20.05.04

Chefs appear on a rotating basis with a schedule set up in advance.

If you are in the Galleria, it’s worth a visit!

 

May 7 2015

Milan Food Expo: The Coca-Cola pavilion

Coca-Cola is not a sponsor of the US Pavilion.  PepsiCo is.

Coca-Cola has its own pavilion:
2015-05-02 13.22.18

To enter, I registered for a key chain with a personalized chip.  Holding the chip to the exhibits gives me personalized information:

 

Picture1

Much of the Coca-Cola exhibit was devoted to the company’s commitment to the environment and to physical activity.

It also sold bags and items made from flip tops, some costing as much as 190 Euros (a Euro is about $1.20).

Visitors have to look elsewhere* for information about the effects of sugary drinks on health or about Coca-Cola’s long-standing opposition to bottle recycling laws or about who made the expensive flip-top bags and how much they were paid.

* My next book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) comes out in October from Oxford University Press.

May 6 2015

Milan Food Expo: The Slow Food pavilion

Many of the Milan Expo country pavilions featured gardens or promoted sustainable agriculture.  I liked the one run by Slow Food International.

It’s the last pavilion of all if you come via the red-line subway.  Or, it’s the first if you come by taxi to the East entrance..  2015-05-02 18.15.10

Its raised-bed gardens are lovely in early spring:

2015-05-02 12.57.06

They came with instructions:

2015-05-02 12.55.54

I particularly liked the hefty guy made out of corn.  He reminded me of Kara Walker’s Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby.

Picture2

One side of the open-air buildings is devoted to tastings of artisanal products (all pavilions are supposed to serve food).  Another houses a place for lectures.

I’m sorry not to be speaking there, but I will be speaking on the terrace of the U.S. pavilion on May 12 at 4:00: “Cooking Up Change: the American Food Movement.”

May 5 2015

Milan Food Expo: promotion of physical activity (unstated)

Getting to the Milan Food EXPO by subway is not for the out-of-shape.

From the subway stop at Rho Fiera, the walk to the security gates is short.  But then!

Up the escalator to the walkway over the railroad tracks:

2015-05-02 11.55.20

Then to the next overpass to the fairgrounds:

2015-05-02 11.57.10

Continue to the end of that overpass:

2015-05-02 11.59.10

Enter the fairgrounds:

2015-05-02 12.01.02

Walk all the way to the end of that section.

Counting the walk to the subway station, it’s been 2 miles to that point (by step-counter).

At last!  The main drag of the Expo, the mile-long Decumano with the country pavilions aligned on both sides.

2015-05-02 12.05.17

The U.S. Pavilion is almost at the end, on the left, just after Kuwait’s.2015-05-02 16.19.08

By then, it’s been nearly 3 miles.  And just getting started!

To get to the U.S. Pavilion with less effort, take a taxi to the East security entrance.

May 4 2015

The Milan Food Expo: food politics in action

The slogan of the Milan Food Expo, May 1-October 31, is “Feeding The Planet, Energy for Life.”

The U.S. has a gorgeous pavilion framed by an undulating wall of vertical vegetables.

2015-05-02 13.07.19

A video featuring President Obama greets guests.  Check out what he says:

ObamaEven more, he adds:

USAP_quotes_twitter_potus-01

Good, safe, healthy food for all!

Creating sustainable food systems!

Yes!

More to come…

May 1 2015

Weekend reading: The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Darra Goldstein, editor.  The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.  Oxford University Press, 2015.

Full disclosure: I have two entries in this book, one with Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Simon DB, Nestle M.  Soda lobbies.  In: Goldstein D.  The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.  Oxford University Press, 2015:681-682.
  • Nestle M.  Soda.  In: Goldstein D.  The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.  Oxford University Press, 2015:623-624.

With that out of the way, I can only think that the editors of this book, Darra Goldstein and Michael Krondl, must have had the best time pulling this together.

The encyclopedia starts with an elegant introduction by Sidney Mintz, author of Sweetness and Power, the one book that tops everyone’s list of must reads in food studies.

The remaining 800 pages or so are devoted to entries by 265 authors on matters as diverse or arcane as dulce de leche, nanbangashi (“southern barbarian sweets”), syllabub, and whoopie pie (look them up).  I especially like the Appendixes: lists of films featuring sugar and chocolate, songs about sugar and candy (often as a metaphor), and museums.

The illustrations are lavish, especially the two sets of gorgeous color inserts.  Subtlety: The Marvelous Sugar Baby, alas, is gone from the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, but it lives on here.  For that alone….

Apr 30 2015

Due May 8: Comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines

You still have time to file comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report.

Here’s where and how.

I’ve just been sent the comments from

Yours don’t have to be lengthy, formal, or cover everything.

You just need to identify the issue, state your opinion, and indicate what you want the guidelines to do or say.

Your opinion counts.  Do it now!

Apr 28 2015

Is the food movement winning?

Brian Lehrer asked me a question this morning that is well worth pondering.

The gist: Are the recent actions taken by food companies an indication that consumers are having an effect at the expense of science—and at the expense of focusing on more important food issues such as too much sugar, obesity, and diabetes?

He cited these recent events:

  • Tyson’s says it will phase out human antibiotics in broiler production.
  • McDonald’s says it will source chicken that has not been treated with antibiotics.
  • PepsiCo says it is taking aspartame out of its diet sodas (it’s the #1 reason given for not drinking diet cola).
  • Chipotle says it will source GMO-free ingredients.
  • Nestlé says it is removing artificial colors from its chocolate candy.
  • Kraft says it is taking the yellow dyes out of its Mac n’ Cheese.

To all of them, I say it’s about time.

None of these is necessary in the food supply.

There are plenty of scientific questions about all of them, although some—antibiotics, for example—are more troubling than others.

If voting with your fork can achieve these results, they pave the way for taking on the much more difficult issues.

These are big steps forward.  They matter.

They should inspire other companies to do the same.

Page 10 of 304« First...89101112...Last »