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Americans Agree School Lunch Isn’t Broken (So, Congress, Don’t “Fix” It)

With a presidential campaign upon us, many Americans will no doubt soon tire of hearing about poll results. But this week brought news of an interesting national survey that has nothing to do with the current crowded field of presidential candidates, focusing instead on a closer-to-home topic: the quality of school lunches. The poll’s results? By large margins, Americans think school cafeterias serve better and healthier food than they did just five years ago, and almost unanimously agree that healthy school lunches are important to children’s future success. Read More

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Humanity’s “Need” for “Food” in 2050

Perhaps the most viral meme in the discussion about global food and agriculture has been that we will need to produce at least 60% more food in 2050. This statement has been repeated hundreds and perhaps thousands of times in the past decade, often as the introduction to articles, speeches and web postings explaining why it’s necessary to raise agricultural production, whether by using GMOs, clearing forests, or totally revolutionizing the global food system.

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Drought of Sight, Drought of Mind: Agroecology, not Amnesia, to Survive the Droughts of the Future

Do you remember: (a) Where the Olympic Games were held in 2012? (b) the name of the hurricane that devastated the East Coast that year? (c) who won the 2012 World Series? (d) What percent of the US was covered by the 2012 drought? or (e) out of the top 100 costliest US disasters recorded, where that drought ranked? Read More

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Labeling Added Sugar: 3 Reasons to Support FDA’s Proposed Rule to Include the Percent Daily Value

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was amending its proposed rule on updating the Nutrition Facts label to include a recommended maximum percent daily value (%DV) for added sugar. The original proposed rule, announced in March 2014, included a line for added sugar separate from total sugar but provided no context for people to understand the implications of the amount of added sugar in a given product the way they could for protein, fat, and sodium. Read More

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No More Excuses: School Lunches Can Be Healthy!

Over the last several days on this blog, a colleague and I have documented some of the silliest excuses used by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) to turn back new healthy school lunch rules. But we’ve saved the best most cynical excuse for last. Read More

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Waving a White Flag on Whole Grains in School Lunch?

Today’s blog post features Excuse #4 in the School Nutrition Association’s silliest excuses for rolling back school food standards (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3):

Excuse #4: Students won’t eat whole-grain rich foods.

Last March, the School Nutrition Association featured a North Carolina school district’s celebration of their whole-grain waiver with free biscuits and gravy for students and staff. Even the Superintendent of Haywood County Schools in North Carolina had to clarify that the celebration wasn’t a joke: “To celebrate the temporary waiver, we are planning ‘Butter Biscuits are Back’ activities at each school on April 1st. No fooling, pun intended.”

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Lobby Group Puts the “Salt” Back in Salt Lake City (and School Lunches)

Today we continue our look at the School Nutrition Association’s silliest excuses for rolling back healthy school lunch rules (see last week’s Part 1 and Part 2). As the association’s leaders and members hob-nob with their food industry benefactors in the land of the Great Salt Lake, I thought it would be appropriate to look at SNA’s statements on sodium. Read More

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School Lunch: Have Healthier Standards Driven Up Food Costs?

Yesterday, my colleague Karen Perry Stillerman debuted our blog series on the School Nutrition Association’s excuses for why Congress needs to roll back healthier school food standards. Read More

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Excuses, Excuses: The School Nutrition Association’s Dumbest Reasons for Rolling Back Healthy School Lunch

“The dog ate my homework.” It’s an overused excuse, and pretty transparent, but you can forgive children for inventing creative excuses for not doing their work. When grown-ups do the same, it’s harder to swallow. Such is the case of the School Nutrition Association—an organization purportedly run by adults, ostensibly to guarantee nutritious food for kids at school. Yet SNA is employing an impressively ridiculous list of reasons the nation’s schools should be allowed to keep serving unhealthy junk food. Read More

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We’ve Got More Than Enough Corn

Nowhere is the power and prowess of agricultural science so evident as in the Midwestern Corn Belt. More of this nation’s economic success and global dominance is due to the corn plant than most Americans realize. In fact, the reason most of us can be oblivious to that very fact—as we busily flit about our non-agricultural lives—owes to the crop’s exceptional productivity and its congenial malleability to our purposes. Read More

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