Recent Articles About Nutrition

After much public debate and anticipation—including Congressional hearings, nearly 30,000 public comments, and letters to cabinet secretaries from health professionals and elected officials—the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines were finally released yesterday.

And, as it turns out, they look a lot like the 2010 guidelines. As well as just about every other set of guidelines that have come out for the last 35 years.

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It’s one of the great ironies of the holiday season: Many of us donate food this time of year, but it’s not usually the type of food that improves the diets of food-insecure folks.

Patrick O’Neill, the founder of a new crowdfunding site called Amp Your Good, estimates that upwards of 75 million people make donations to food drives around the country every year. “All those people are well-intentioned,” he says.But it’s often the wrong kind of food.” Think boxed macaroni and cheese, canned fruit in heavy syrup, and other canned and processed options. 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.

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The holidays are a busy time—but many of us also paradoxically read more this time of year, thanks to travel, time off, and a slowed-down inbox. If you’re looking for your next big read or a gift for a food-minded friend, look no further. We asked our editors and contributors to recommend some of the books they enjoyed most this year. Read more

Say you’re making spaghetti and red sauce and you want to avoid eating processed foods. Which of these would you choose?

1. A jar of a branded sauce dubbed “Organic Traditional,” with an extensive “all natural” ingredient list that includes soybean oil, sugar, and Romano cheese.

2. A can of organic tomato puree, with a label that reads “organically grown and processed tomatoes.”

3. A quart of crushed tomatoes that your neighbor preserved in jars using a water bath canner. Read more

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

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