Currently browsing posts about: Eating Liberally

Apr 29 2010

Living Liberally Annual Celebration May 1

I am being honored by Living Liberally at the group’s annual celebration.  Come celebrate with me!

When: Saturday, May 1st – 7-11pm
Where: The DCTV Firehouse, 87 Lafayette St, between Walker & White, in lower Manhattan

How: Get tickets here.

What Living Liberally is about:

For the past 7 years, Living Liberally has been creating progressive social communities across the country. In New York, you’ve enjoyed happy hours, comedy shows, film screenings, forums, guest speakers and so much more.

Around the country, people need this type of liberal network more than ever. As we hear about the Tea Baggers in the news, many of us ask,  “Where is OUR Tea Party?”

Well, the fact is there are liberals in over 300 cities that are drinking something stiffer than weak tea. Drinking Liberally chapters are often the first stop for candidates trying to reach progressive audiences and for local advocates looking to recruit for their campaigns.

In some cities, it’s the only event that welcomes “liberals,” providing a necessary destination for those who want to create a more progressive future for our country. The Liberally team is only able to create this network with your support. Each year, the Annual Celebration gathers allies, honors partners and pulls in the necessary resources for the work ahead.

This year, we’ll be honoring the Service Employees International Union, a great ally to the progressive grassroots; and Dr. Marion Nestle, a food policy activist who helps us all Eat and Live Liberally.

At the event, we’ll also enjoy great sustainable food from Eating Liberally, toast with an open bar and celebrate in terrific political company.

May 7 2009

Oprah, KFC, free advertising, oh my!

This week, Eating Liberally’s kat wants to know what I think about Oprah’s free pass to KFC for adding grilled chicken to its fast food menu.  Here’s what I told her.  The moral: watch out for health auras!

Apr 27 2009

Swine flu, CAFO’s, Smithfield, China: connecting the dots

Eating Liberally’s ever curious kat connects the dots between the current swine flu crisis (getting worse by the minute) and China’s interest in buying America’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods.  She wonders what I think about all that.  See the latest Ask Marion: “Who needs bioterrorism when we’ve got manure lagoons.”

April 29 update: Here is Grain’s report on these connections.

Mar 22 2009

Food marketing: cartoons, scholarship, and action

First, the cartoons: this week’s question from Eating Liberally’s kat has to do with whether it makes sense to put cartoon characters on eggs or, for that matter, fruits and vegetables.  I vote no, of course, and the illustrations alone explain why.

Next, the scholarship: The latest volume of Annual Reviews of Public Health contains excellent reviews of studies of the influence of the food marketing environment on child and adult health.

Sara Bleich et al explain why obesity has become so common in the developed world.

Kelly Brownell’s group reviews the effects of food marketing on childhood obesity.

David Katz discusses school-based obesity interventions.

Mary Story et al describe policy approaches to creating healthy food environments.

And the American Association of Wine Economists (a group new to me, but interesting) forwards its Working Paper #33:

Janet Currie et al on the effect of fast food restaurants on obesity.

Finally, the action: Perhaps in response to all this, language inserted into the congressional spending bill asks the Federal Trade Commission to set up an interagency committee to set nutritional standards for products allowed to be marketed to children age 17 or under.  According to Advertising Age, the food industry thinks this is not a good idea.

Mar 20 2009

The Obama’s garden: happy news!

By this time everyone in the world must know that the Obama’s are planting a vegetable garden at the White House.  Today’s New York Times not only covered it, but on the front page yet.  Planting a garden is front-page news? Indeed it is.  What strikes me most about the reports is how excited everyone at the White House is about it.  The staff can’t wait to start planting and picking.

In the meantime, Slow Food and friends are in Atlanta talking to the CDC about the importance of agriculture to food, nutrition, and health, especially as it bears on school food.  This also could be a great sign.

And if you care what else the Obama’s are doing about food, check out Obama Foodorama, where bloggers cover what gets cooked, what gets eaten, and what’s important about food in deep, daily detail.

March 21 update: Another photo of the Obama garden project appears on the front page of today’s New York Times along with a lauditory editorial (this really is big news), and Eating Liberally’s kat has a comment on farming on 5th Avenue.

Feb 24 2009

A post from 36,000 feet: Kathleen Merrigan

I know I’ve already posted today but I’m on an American flight to L.A. connected to GoGo and can’t resist checking out the WiFi.  It works!  And they aren’t charging for it on this flight!  And anyway, we have terrific news today: Kathleen Merrigan’s nomination as USDA assistant secretary.  Here’s what I told Eating Liberally about it.   Enjoy the day!

Jan 25 2009

Eating Liberally: peanut butter

Eating Liberally’s kat wants to know what the deal is on Salmonella in peanut butter.  The list of recalled products gets longer every day and now some members of Congress want the FDA to ask for recalls of all peanut butter, even that in jars.  The CDC reports nearly 500 cases of illness and, perhaps, as many as 7 deaths.  If you want to see something amazing, take a look at the FDA’s recall list.  Where will this end?  Here’s what I said to kat.

Jan 6 2009

Did Dickens exaggerate?

Last week’s New York Times science section reported a study from the British Medical Journal arguing that Oliver Twist had plenty to eat and Dickens greatly exaggerated the poverty and inadequacy of poorhouse diets. The BMJ article said poorhouse diets gave kids a few ounces of oatmeal a day along with “modest servings of bread, potatoes, meat and cheese.”  This diet, the authors said, provided 1,600 to 1,700 calories a day, “dull and monotonous, to be sure, but adequate…in a real Victorian workhouse, Oliver would probably not have had to ask for more. He would have had just about enough.”

Here’s my response, published in today’s Science Times  letters.  Enough?  Hardly. The whole point of welfare institutions is to give recipients just enough to stave off starvation, but not so much that they become complacent and dependent on state largesse.  But children are dependent, and British poorhouses were for-profit institutions.  Far too much factual evidence demonstrates that poorhouse diets were barely adequate and strongly associated with childhood malnutrition and death.  What were these authors thinking?

January 7 update: Eating Liberally points out that the basic elements of poorhouse diets have much in common with today’s fast food.  How, kat asks, did fast food get to be so respresentative of America?  Here are my additional thoughts on this matter.

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