The dust is beginning to settle on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). And while the final guidelines turned out to be very similar to those from years past, they came close to changing in some very significant ways—including a recommendation that Americans consider sustainability when deciding what to eat. Read more
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.
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.
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
Nothing important changes without a fight. And in the world of food politics, 2014 brought quite a few battles and a respectable amount of real-world change for the better. Behold, the year’s top food fights:
1. Big Mayonnaise vs. Eggless Mayo 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
When it comes to nutrition and public health, the U.S. can learn a lot from Latin America. Over the past year, Mexico, Brazil, and several other countries in South and Central America have passed some very progressive policies, often placing public health interests above those of the food industry. This is particularly impressive given the expensive politicking the food industry has engaged in in Latin America against public health policies. Here are five recent efforts we should all be watching: Read more
Welcome to round 3,752 of the Diet Wars. This week’s opponents have been battling it out for decades, each with hordes of devoted fans. In one corner: carbohydrates. In the other: fat. Both have taken their share of punches throughout the years, and they are back for more following the release of a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
A much-cited New York Times article on the study titled “A Call For a Low-Carb Diet” reads: “People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades.” Read more