Berkeley voters overwhelmingly passed a “soda tax” yesterday despite a well-funded campaign battle by the soda industry. Hailed as an historic event, the approval of Measure D is being called a win for parents, public health organizations, and community food activists concerned with the link between rising Type-2 diabetes in Americans born between 2000-2011 and the consumption of sugary drinks. Dozens of communities, including New York, have tried (and failed) to take on the soda industry, but Measure D is the first of its kind in the nation to win. Read more
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Back in January, I called out Gatorade’s Bolt! mobile game, which told young players to “Keep Your Performance Level High by Avoiding Water.” The game had players maneuver Olympian Usain Bolt’s character through a course in the fastest time possible, gathering Gatorade along the way and avoiding drops of water. Read more
An order of French fries may be bad for your health in ways that extend well beyond the outsize calorie count. According to a new study out today by scientists at the University of Missouri, people who used hand sanitizer, touched a cash register receipt, and then ate French fries were quickly exposed to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely used to coat receipt paper. Read more
If you’re on the hunt for a fresh, ready-to-eat meal in Detroit, the best place to find it just might surprise you. Take the Sunoco station on Fort Street or the Victory Liquor and Food store on Warren Avenue. Amidst the Hot Cheetos and snack-sized Chips Ahoy cookies, you’ll find a cooler stocked with everything from fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits and spicy feta and hummus wraps to Thai chicken salads made with fresh, green lettuce—not the wilted iceberg you might expect. Read more
Editor’s note: The following post comes to you from the creators of Gastropod, the new podcast that looks at food through the lens of science and history.
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time before refrigerators, before long-distance trucks and ships. Most people had to survive on food from their immediate surroundings, no matter how poor the soil or challenging the terrain. They couldn’t import apples from New Zealand and potatoes from Peru, or rely on chemical fertilizer to boost their yields. Read more
Jonathan Lewis, a writer who lives with his wife and daughter in the isolated town of Alamosa, Colorado, has received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), benefits, AKA “food stamps,” since February of this year. Before he and his wife had a child, they were able to afford the food they needed. But after becoming a parent, he says, “I never quite made enough to pay all the bills and make sure all three of us were fed.” So Lewis turned to SNAP “to bridge that gap.” Read more
In 2010, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), whose members include PepsiCo, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and many other large food manufacturers, voluntarily pledged to collectively sell 1 trillion fewer calories in the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion fewer by 2015. Read more
“In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” The opening quote of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck may sound like it was pulled straight from the blog’s expletive-laden homepage. But it’s actually a quote from Julia Child, originator of kitchen irreverence and inspiration to whimsical cooks worldwide. Child was one of the first cooks to encourage her audience to truly start from scratch in the kitchen, encouraging those with few skills to step up to the stove. The co-founders of the popular website Thug Kitchen (TK) use a millennial approach to this same philosophy–taken to the extreme. Read more
If you meander down the DIY road long enough, you will end up doing things that are far from easy or convenient. You stop thinking about the time it takes to complete a project and begin focusing on the value to the end result, liker the integrity in knowing that your entire dinner can be traced back to your own property. Part of the DIY thrill is that the steps encourage you to keep digging deeper. What starts one year as a nice gift to your neighbors of dried, home grown herbs might result in the decision to add salt crystals you harvested from local seawater to the next batch.
When it comes to baking, the next DIY frontier is grinding whole grains into flour. Read more
When Mark Abbott’s son was in fourth grade, his local elementary school recruited students and their families to participate in a fundraiser for the school. After successfully selling cookie dough and candy to friends and family, Abbott’s son remarked that he had just sold $400 worth of things the family would never eat at home. “It’s too bad we couldn’t try something healthy like apples,” said his son. Read more