Flying around the Internet is a press release from Kellogg announcing its new method for promoting the nutritional benefits of its products. Like PepsiCo’s Smart Spot and Kraft’s Sensible Solutions, Kellogg products will now have icons–based on the company’s own nutritional criteria, of course–indicating which products are “better for you.” Even better, you can participate in the launch of the new program. Register online for a panel discussion explaining how it all works. When Congress forced the FDA to permit health claims on food packages in 1990, it opened a Pandora’s box. I think we’d all be better off if companies weren’t allowed to do this. Surely, all the different methods of self-evaluation must be confusing, no?
My son Charles, who lives in Los Angeles, sends this interesting site on which a photographer, Jon Huck I presume, has taken pictures of people posed with what they eat for breakfast. The breakfast project is along the lines of the spectacular books, Hungry Planet among them, done by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, and for which I wrote the introduction. These are fascinating takes on what people really eat (as opposed to what they tell nutritionists). Enjoy!
Update: Turns out you can join this project. Take a camera with you to breakfast and send the results to Jon Huck. He will post your entry.
This time it’s E. coli in bagged salads from Dole. I recently visited the packing plant where the contaminated spinach originated a year ago and could not believe the state-of-the-art testing and holding prodedures that company put in place. Everybody needs to be doing this sort of thing. This is why federal regulations, imperfect as they are, so badly need to be instituted.
Looks like the food industry has just discovered that regulations might be good for business, especially if the rules get passed now while Bush et al.–devotedly against strict regulations–are still in power. Seems to me that regulations do three good things for business: they level the playing field, they instill confidence in consumers, and the are the right thing to do. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal has to say about this new move, and what the New York Times said about it yesterday.
If you have some time, take a look at Gary Taubes’ thoughtful piece on epidemiology in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. His new book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, comes out in a couple of weeks and I am eager to read it. I’m just keeping fingers crossed that it doesn’t start another low-carb craze the way his “Big Fat Lie” piece did in the New York Times magazine five years ago.
Why am I not surprised to read in today’s New York Times that the Beverage Association has “adjusted” its promise to take sugary soft drinks out of schools? Promises, schmomises. As long as you can keep selling drinks in schools. My opinion: let’s get the vending machines out of schools altogether. They didn’t used to be there. They don’t have to be there now. Bring back water!