by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Food

Nov 17 2014

Brazilian dietary guidelines are based on foods, food patterns, and meals, not nutrients

Brazil has just released the final version of its Dietary Guidelines for the Brazilian population in English as well as in Portuguese (I wrote about the draft version in an earlier post).

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As explained in the press release (also in English), the guidelines include ten steps to health diets

  1. Make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet
  2. Use oils, fats, salt, and sugar in small amounts when seasoning and cooking natural or minimally processed foods and to create culinary preparations
  3. Limit consumption of processed foods
  4. Avoid consumption of ultra-processed products
  5. Eat regularly and carefully in appropriate environments and, whenever possible, in company
  6. Shop in places that offer a variety of natural or minimally processed foods
  7. Develop, exercise and share culinary skills
  8. Plan your time to make food and eating important in your life
  9. Out of home, prefer places that serve freshly made meals
  10. Be wary of food advertising and marketing

Traditionally, families based their diets on natural and minimally processed foods.  The guidelines are based on the actual, traditional dietary patterns of a substantial proportion of the Brazilian population of all ages and classes throughout the country.

Carlos Monteiro, the Brazilian nutrition professor listed as the technical formulator of the guidelines, was in Washington DC last week to speak at a conference on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.   Monteiro’s speech is here.  Tweets sent during the meeting are here.

I hope everybody listened.

Aug 31 2014

Happy Labor Day Weekend: Eat!

It’s the end of summer and time to contemplate, if not visit, State Fairs selling increasingly imaginative deep-fried treats.  Apparently, deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried butter are so last year.

The Wall Street Journal tells us that the Great New York State Fair—in Syracuse, right now—has a better one: “Twinks.”

And what, pray tell, is a Twink?

The recipe:

  • Take one Twinkie.
  • Stuff with a Twix candy bar
  • Wrap in bacon.
  • Dip in batter.
  • Deep-fry.
  • Sprinkle with sugar.

The damage?  Just south of 1,000 calories.

And from Montana, Daniel Schultz sends this photo of the latest grocery store deal.  If you buy a soda cake (soda cake?) for $4.99, you get 2 liters of your favorite soft drink to wash it down, free.

Soda Cake

Drive carefully.

Dec 7 2012

Holiday weekend idea: visit a food exhibit!

If you happen to be in Washington DC, take a look at FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950–2000 at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

 

Julia Child’s kitchen is the featured exhibit, but the history of the industrialization of the U.S. food supply is well worth a look.

I especially like quirky collections of food objects.  Here’s one from the exhibit:

 

If you are in New York City, you can see Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture at the American Museum of Natural History and check out the New York Times review so you know what to look for.

Also in New York is Lunch Hour at the New York Public Library.  If you can’t get there, the library has an online version of the exhibition.

If you happen to be in Switzerland and anywhere near Lake Geneva, Nestlé’s Alimentarium in Vevey has a special display of quirky collections: sardine cans, sugar cubes, and fruit wrappers, for example.  You can find it easily from its fork stuck into Lake Geneva.

Food exhibits seem to be the current Big Thing.  I’m trying to take advantage of them while they are around.  You too?

Oct 25 2012

An honorary degree from Transylvania University: I’m honored!

Self-promotion alert:

I gave a talk on food politics at Transylvania University  on Tuesday and was given an Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.

I’ve never gotten an honorary degree before.  In the academic world these are a big deal, so this feels really special.

Want to see what one looks like?  As you might imagine, I like the inscription.

Transylvania University is a small (1,000 students) liberal arts college in Lexington, Kentucky and there’s no point in making vampire jokes.  They’ve already heard them all.

Jun 12 2009

Food, Inc. is out at last!

Today is the official release date for Food, Inc., the latest film about our food production system and its discontents.  This one has generated tons of interest, and for good reason (I’ve seen it twice).  For one thing, it is star-studded: Eric Schlosser!  Michael Pollan!  For another, it takes a hard look at the less savory aspects of industrial food production for a purpose: to make you think before you eat.

To that end, the film comes with:

And, not least,

  • Its very own anti-Food Inc. website, a contribution from meat and poultry trade associations eager to provide a point-by-point rebuttal of every scene in the movie.

Here’s my favorite quote from the review in the New York Times:

one of the scariest movies of the year, “Food, Inc.,” [is]an informative, often infuriating activist documentary about the big business of feeding or, more to the political point, force-feeding, Americans all the junk that multinational corporate money can buy. You’ll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch.

Go see it and decide for yourself!