There’s a memorable scene in the documentary In Defense of Food that could change the way some Americans look at food. In it, a group of hunters from the Hadza tribe in Tanzania are tracking a kudu, a member of the antelope family, through the bush. The animal stops, giving one tribesman a clear shot. He places an arrow—its tip coated in a potent poison—onto his bow, silently draws the string back to his ear, and lets go. From the trail of fresh blood in the dirt, the tribe knows the kudu has been hit, and their hunt comes to an end when they finally spot the animal, lying dead with the arrow in its side. Read more
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On the 12th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan, just two blocks from the chaos and noise of Penn Station, a few teens are gathered around a heavy wooden table, snacking on tortilla chips and salsa. It’s quiet in here, and the smell of couscous and vegetables simmering in a crockpot fills the space. This the Whole Person Kitchen, the main room of the headquarters of the Reciprocity Foundation, a holistic wellness center for homeless youth. Read more
When Gina Mullins learned she had breast cancer, she put on a brave face for her daughters and didn’t cry. The former staff support associate at the University of Kentucky only broke down and wept, she says, after she bought two of her favorite restaurant meals to go, brought them home and threw them both away after one bite. Chemotherapy had ruined the experience of eating for her. Read more
We all know that hunger is a problem in America, but it can be difficult for many of us to fully grasp its effects, especially when it comes to children.
Almost 50 million Americans are food insecure, and 15 million of them are children. Technically, the term “food insecure” means lacking adequate access to a sufficient and healthy diet. While that doesn’t always translate directly to simple hunger, it does mean that parents are often unsure of the source of their children’s next meal. Read more
First, the bad news: Native American children face approximately twice the levels of food insecurity, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes relative to all children in the United States.
The good news is that many communities are working to shift these statistics using traditional food, agriculture, and education. As Alena Paisano, a member of the Laguna Pueblo community who works with Farm to Table New Mexico, puts it: “These lessons go back hundreds of thousands of years. This is in harmony with our creation stories.” Read more
For years, whenever author and New York Times food systems columnist Mark Bittman was considering his next move, he’d ask himself a similar question. After writing and talking about the nation’s most pressing food system problems, demystifying home cooking, and proselytizing about the benefits of eating more plant-based foods, he decided to get up from his desk and start doing more to help engage people in solutions. Read more
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.
McDonald’s has come under fire in recent years for its incursion into schools through various charitable, educational and anti-bullying programs. While the company says these programs promote “children’s well-being,” critics see them as stealth marketing tools for a captive, impressionable audience. Read more