Earlier this month, a group of registered dietitians (RDs) sent some unusual tweets. “How can a soda tax help Americans get healthier?” asked one, linking to an article on a website created by the American Beverage Association (ABA), a group that lobbies on behalf of beverage producers.

“I agree: food & beverage taxes are regressive. Here’s why,” said another, with a direct link to the ABA website.

Then, public health advocacy group Ninjas for Health connected the dots and reached a worrisome conclusion: the soda industry was paying dietitians to tweet against proposed soda taxes. Read more

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Today’s big food and agriculture companies work hard to protect their images. Companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Monsanto spend a lot of time and money diverting attention away from negative science related to their products and associating themselves with groups that promote healthy food and families.

For a long time, those tactics appeared to be working; but several of this year’s developments suggest that they might not work for much longer. In fact, you might say that 2015 was the year transparency re-entered the picture. Here’s a timeline of what happened.

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When the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced on Monday that processed meat causes cancer in humans, and all red meat “probably” does, the internet lit up with expressions of shock and horror.

Everything you love wants to kill you,” read one blog. “They’re coming in their black helicopters for your bacon,” wrote New York Times science editor Michael Roston in a tweet. Read more

In her new book, Soda Politics, New York University nutrition professor and author Marion Nestle takes an in-depth look at the sociopolitical, economic, cultural, and public health forces shaping today’s soda industry. Nestle masterfully deconstructs the industry’s stratospheric rise to power as a global behemoth and gives a detailed account of the current era of increased scrutiny and amped-up soda lobbying. Read more

The dairy industry is in crisis mode. Milk consumption has declined by almost a third over the past 40 years, and sales of fluid milk are at their lowest level in 30 years. Meanwhile, the market for non-dairy “milk” has grown by around 10 percent every year since 1999.

Consequently, the industry has tried all sorts of tactics over the past several years to salvage its market. Read more

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported on a new collaboration between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and Kraft Foods. According to the article, Kraft Singles will soon begin carrying a nutrition seal that reads “Kids Eat Right” from AND on its packaging. While Kraft told the Times that the Academy had endorsed the product, the Academy “emphatically denied” the endorsement, saying instead that it was using the seal “drive broader visibility to KidsEatRight.org,” a website the organization created to be “a trusted educational resource for consumers.” Read more

Most people know Eva Longoria as an actress, but she has also become a fierce advocate for our nation’s farmworkers.

Longoria also has cred in both food and politics. She owns Beso, a restaurant which opened in in Hollywood in 2008, and she is an active democrat. As co-chair of President Obama’s fundraising committee, Longoria created the Latino Victory Project, which raises funds for Latino candidates.

Along with Eric Schlosser, Longoria served as the executive producer of Food Chains, a documentary that focuses on the brutal conditions farmworkers face, and shines a light on migrant tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida. Read more