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So Sweet it’s Spooky: Get Special Interests out of School Lunches

In Washington, DC—and some state capitals as well—special interest politics have a way of grinding down good ideas. This almost happened to the Affordable Care Act, and it could happen to a less well known but highly important law—the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Read More

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Kids Need Healthy Food, Not Halloween Every Day

Most people I know—young and old alike—love Halloween. Roaming darkened streets in disguise is fun and exciting, and candy (let’s face it) is delicious. Still, you probably don’t don a zombie get-up or send your kid to school as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle every day of the year. And your kids don’t pig out on the equivalent of a respectable Halloween haul on an average day. Or do they? Read More

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Going Beyond Investigative Bench Science to Support Community Nutrition

Guest Bogger

Megan Meyer, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

In 2013, nearly 15% of US households, or in 17.5 million Americans, were food-insecure. According to the USDA, food-insecure households are defined as those that “have difficulty providing enough food for all family members due to lack of resources.” With this large domestic problem, many communities have developed programs to alleviate food insecurity. Read More

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Redefining Food Narratives: Thoughts and Reflections of a Rising Black Fooducator

Guest Bogger

Myeasha Taylor, Small Farm Unit Apprentice, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Goldsboro, NC

I remember growing food in the third grade during garden club at Twin Oaks Community Garden in D.C. I grew onions, collard greens, and mustard greens. I’d bring my harvest home for my family to eat. My mother taught me how to wash them. My pencil legs towered over running water as we removed each stem from the leaves before dunking them into cold water. My greens tasted better than the canned Glory Greens my family bought, like the expensive loose leaf ones in the produce section of the grocery store. Read More

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Choose Healthy Food Policies, Not Just Healthy Food

It is not uncommon to hear people decry the endless array of junk food in front of us in nearly every store and public place. But what do we do about it, other than sometimes search high and low for something other than sugar, fat and salt to snack on? Read More

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Yes, Actually There Is a Bright Way Forward for Midwestern Agriculture

Picture this bright future: Farmers large and small, commodity groups, conservationists, government agencies, university researchers, federal funders and private philanthropies all agreeing on one thing. And that one thing is how you can practice agriculture while reducing environmental impact, improving water quality, protecting wildlife and producing alternative energy. Read More

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Breaking News: USDA and EPA Clearly Enlist™ to Ignore Science and Protect Industry Profits

In the worst kept news since the disclosure that Israel keeps an arsenal of nuclear weapons, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week its widely expected approval of Enlist Duo™, the latest class of herbicide designed for use with herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans. Read More

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The Not-So-Sweet Relief: How The Soda Industry Is Influencing Medical Organizations

Guest Bogger

Richard Bruno, MD and Kevin Burns, MD
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Baltimore, MD

With increasing scrutiny over the dire health consequences of sugar-sweetened beverages, soda manufacturers have turned to obscuring the science, confusing the consumer, and sponsoring medical organizations whose recommendations influence both providers and patients. Unfortunately these corporate partnerships are conflicts of interest that undermine the credibility of the organizations and stymie reform. Read More

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3 Ways of Looking at a Peanut Butter Sandwich—Or, the Challenge of Avoiding Added Sugar

If you haven’t yet seen the movie “the food industry doesn’t want you to see,” now—as the kids are heading back to school—is the perfect time. Preceding our Lewis M. Branscomb forum on science, democracy, and food policy last May, UCS hosted a pre-release screening of Fed Up that left audience members setting aside their sugary drinks and greasy tubs of popcorn in awe.   Read More

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Connecting the Dots: Drought, Climate Change, and Groundwater Regulation

UCS California Climate Scientist Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith provides this guest blog that celebrates today’s signing of historic California legislation to require regulation of groundwater, and offers some thoughts about the need for climate-resilient water management going forward.

Although California is known as a leader when it comes to climate change, its approach to groundwater has been more reminiscent of the Wild West. Groundwater provides around 60 percent of the state’s water supply in dry years, but it has remained largely unregulated since the Gold Rush era. Today, California took a major leap forward into the 21st century as Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aimed at protecting groundwater for current and future generations. Read More

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