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Who’s Against Healthy School Lunches for Kids? (No Really, Who Is?)

Debates about child nutrition and the quality of taxpayer-subsidized school lunches are heating up in the nation’s capital. Last week, the Partnership for a Healthier America (the non-profit spin-off of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative) held its annual summit here. And this week, the School Nutrition Association, a trade group representing 55,000 school food service professionals, is holding a DC conference complete with “lunch ladies” lobbying members of Congress. Sounds great, right? Read More

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Lessons from the Lunchroom: What Do We Know About School Lunch and Kids’ Diet?

This week was the release of my first co-authored report at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Lessons from the Lunchroom: Childhood Obesity, School Lunch, and the Way to a Healthier Future details the extent of America’s childhood obesity crisis and how school meals play a role in influencing diet. Read More

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Counting the Benefits of Agroecology: We Have the Tools, Let’s Use Them

With global challenges such as diminishing environmental quality and public health, combined with accelerating climate change, we need more than ever to know how to confront many problems at once. Since plants inhale carbon dioxide and soils store carbon, there are numerous reasons to expect agriculture to play a significant role for improving the human prospect. Indeed, scientific research documents that we have tools to achieve ecological and climatic sustainability, but here’s the catch—we have to use them. Read More

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Big Sugar Is Watching You: Four Ways the Food Industry Is Trying to Rig the Game

Most of us ask a doctor for advice about our health. We consult a dentist about care for our teeth. No one queries General Mills, the maker of sugary Lucky Charms and Betty Crocker cake mixes, for the latest science on diabetes or cardiovascular disease. And no one in their right mind calls up Coca-Cola or PepsiCo for evidence-based guidance on sugar and dental disease. Read More

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Obesity and Vaccine Efficacy

Recently, there has been an eruption of stories in the media about vaccination, and no wonder. Between this season’s flu strain and the once previously eradicated measles, this has been a bad winter for vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. A number of factors contribute to vaccine effectiveness—most obviously, the rate at which people get vaccinated. However, it may surprise you to know that obesity can also play a role. Read More

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Regardless of the Groundhog’s Shadow, Farmers and Scientists are Planning for Spring

With much of the country blanketed in snow, Groundhog Day comes around routinely as a happy reminder that spring is around the corner, plus or minus a few weeks. Even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted that we have more winter ahead of us this year, farmers and agricultural researchers are already busy planning for green pastures and fruitful fields. Read More

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If You Build It, Will They Come? The Relationship Between Healthy Food Access and Consumption.

Over the past several years, the term “food desert” has become prevalent in nutrition research and policy and is used to describe areas with a lack of access to fresh, healthy foods. The United States Department of Agriculture defines food desert as “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.” Read More

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Big Sugar Bad for Babies, CDC Scientists Say—but Food Industry Disagrees

A new CDC study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, tells us something about infants and sugar that is worrisome, though not especially surprising if you’ve been following the food industry’s efforts to mislead the public and influence the science and policy on added sugar. Read More

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You Are What You Eat—And What It Eats Too

Guest Bogger

Liz Carlisle
Fellow, Center for Diversified Farming Systems

Berkeley, CA

A dozen years ago, a New York Times Magazine article titled “Power Steer” changed the way Americans thought about meat. “We are what we eat, it is often said,” wrote author Michael Pollan, “but of course that is only part of the story. We are what what we eat eats too.” Read More

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Introducing Food Access: A Tale of Two Grocery Shopping Trips

Sunday is grocery shopping day.

As I sit on the couch sipping my morning coffee, my husband walks over and asks, “What do you want to make for dinner this week?” I reach for a pen on our coffee table and a piece of paper. Before we head out to the store, we make a list of what we’re cooking for dinner each night of the week. Read More

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