So after all that fuss about nutrition standards in the Farm Bill (see previous post on the topic), the Senate dropped them from its version. So now advocates for school nutrition are back to square one. Here’s what the Washington Post has to say about this fiasco. On the bright side, this failure to act gives advocates a chance to get to work at the state level and put even better standards in place. Onward!
One industry’s tragedy is another person’s dream. In this case, the tragedy is performance-enhancing drug use by baseball players (say it isn’t so). But look what the dietary supplement industry has to say about that problem: what’s bad for baseball is good for us!
Here’s another great piece to read on a cold, snowy day. Michael Pollan’s latest is a beautifully constructed synthesis of the meaning of two bad things that happened this year: Bee Colony Collapse Disorder and community-acquired Multiple Resistance Staphylococcus aureus. Both, he shows, are the result of industrialized agriculture. Bees are migratory workers? No wonder they are stressed. The question, Pollan says, is “not whether systems this brittle will break down, but when and how.” Read it and get busy.
My colleague Ellen Fried knows that I love to read articles about functional foods–the food industry’s hope for survival and growth. It’s a wet, snowy Sunday in New York and a great day to curl up with some good reading. Here’s what the Guardian Unlimited has to say about functional foods. Here favorite is Detox in a Box. I think mine may be the irony. The very companies that brought us junk food now want to put neurotransmitters in it. Can’t wait.
The USDA says it has just released the data from its “What We Eat in America” survey on nutrient intakes from foods for 21 gender/age groups by race/ethnicity and family income. USDA has also posted historical materials from past USDA surveys and analyses dating back to the 1894. It’s great to have all of these in one place. They are always a lot of fun to read and play with. Enjoy!
According to a group that tracks this sort of thing, the leading generators of food sales are (more or less in order): soft drinks, refrigerated milk, ready-to-eat cereal, fresh bread, bottled water, cookies, chocolate candy, and potato chips. Soft drinks are #1. A sufficient explanation for America’s weight problem?
Here’s something worth reading: The Economist‘s take on food prices. This business magazine minces no words. The rise in prices is the result of “America’s reckless ethanol subsidies.” Higher food prices, it says, can do good or harm depending on how governments deal with them. The issues are complicated. This is one way to look at them. Are there others?
So ten big food companies have promised to stop marketing to kids under age 12. According to a report about this promise, its purpose is to head off a ban on marketing to kids throughout the European Union. Will they really do it? Will the E.U. fall for this ploy. Let’s all stay tuned.