Recent Articles About Nutrition

“Eat food…mostly plants,” Michael Pollan has written. Now, an Oxford University study out today confirms once again that this advice might not only extend our lifespans, but it also has huge repercussions for the planet and the global economy.

If everyone ate less meat and other animal products and followed guidelines already recommended for healthy eating—more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and less meat, salt, and sugar—it would reduce global mortality by up to 10 percent and reduce food-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 29 and 70 percent, based on predictions for the year 2050, write Marco Springmann and colleagues in their paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And, for the first time, they have directly linked what people eat to both health and environmental outcomes and the economic costs of those outcomes. Read more

It can seem like no one cooks anymore. Most grocery stores (and even some gas stations) have a wealth of pick-up options for hungry people at the end of a long day of work. Processed meals have made it into the organic aisle with brands like Amy’s and Annie’s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that since 1970, the number of meals eaten away from home has risen from 25 to 43 percent of total food spending per household.

And if Michael Pollan’s new documentary series, Cooked, which begins streaming on Netflix today, is any further evidence, the spread of processed foods and Western diets is taking out cooking, one family at a time. Read more

For the third year in a row, a bill that would have put warning labels on sodas and other sugary beverages sold in California will not be considered by the state Legislature this session. Senate Bill 203, the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, this week met the same fate it did in 2015, failing to move out of the Senate Health Committee despite widespread support among voters. Read more

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