Remember that Stanford study last year that claimed organic foods were no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts? It made national headlines seeming to vindicate critics of organic farming practices and confirming to skeptics that organics are nothing more than a marketing scheme. I criticized that study when it appeared as did many others but it damaged the reputation of organic farming in the minds of many Americans.
But a new study, led by Washington State University researcher Dr. Charles Benbrook, examined nearly 400 samples of organic and conventional milk over an 18-month period, and found that organic milk contained significantly more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. The researchers also found that whole milk was even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than low fat or fat free versions. Read more
At least two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is either overweight or obese and that number is expected to increase to 75 percent by 2015. Childhood obesity is also widespread, afflicting 17 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 (Wang and Beydoun, 2007).
While many factors can contribute to the development of obesity, perhaps one of the biggest is diet. With food playing such a large role in the obesity epidemic and its related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, and certain cancers, should it not follow that our centers of healthcare provide the healthiest food possible for healing?
Is it possible that the very institutions trusted with making us healthy might, in fact, be putting us in the hospital?
I’m writing this as my parents and my in-laws are about to descend upon our tiny household for Thanksgiving. This is the first year we are hosting and my husband’s parents decided to make the trek from upstate New York for the occasion and to bond with our 15-month-old daughter before she becomes a teenager. Read more
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a proposed ban on trans fats, decades after the science first implicated the artificial fat in causing arterial damage and increased risk for heart disease. Scientists first started sounding alarms about the dangers of trans fats in the 1980s, some 30 years after they were introduced to the American food supply. Read more
While public health advocates have sung the praises of tap water for years, Coca-Cola has been focusing on its own covert assault on the affordable, healthful, and refreshing beverage. Unbeknownst to many in the nutrition and public health world, the soft drink giant launched a “Cap the Tap” program–aimed at restaurants–in 2010, described in the following manner on the Coke Solutions Web site: Read more
Growing up in a small town in northern Michigan, I learned that big, important things happen in other places. Sitcoms and movies did not take place near our cornfields or cherry orchards. The news was always about other places, unless it was about people losing their jobs. Being successful meant leaving town. Read more
Last week, a Philadelphia student, about seven years old, cocked her head at a piece of fruit in the cafeteria. There was something strange about this pear — its stem was still attached to a small branch, and there was a leaf dangling to boot. Read more
At an August 2013 press conference, a frustrated President Obama stated, “I don’t know a law that solves a problem 100 percent.” He was referencing the painful fight over immigration reform. But food reformers should take his comment to heart. There’s no such thing as a perfect food policy or solution and those who pursue perfection are not only destined to fail, they may also unintentionally harm the cause in the process. Read more
Most Americans think of Canadians as their nice northern neighbors, prone to superfluous apologies. Sorry (yes) to burst that bubble, but we also have a deep self-congratulatory streak. Among ourselves we can be smug, extoling the virtues of our kinder, gentler social safety net. These hard-won achievements are worthy of a few pats on the back, sure, even though as in most other nations in the industrialized world, that net is growing taut and frayed. Read more
Cutting Food Stamps? No GMO labeling? More ethanol subsidies? Last Farm Bill five years ago? Congress can’t get their act together, but young people can. Real food policies must start from the ground up and today on Food Day, students are making that happen. Read more