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Scientists Say “Yes” to Investment in Sustainable Agriculture

Suspense. In early July, UCS launched a statement from 36 leading agricultural scientists calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Congress, and the nation’s agricultural universities to shift their focus and research priorities toward a redefinition of the nation’s agricultural vision. These three dozen science heavyweights outlined the benefits of the modern science of agroecology, and called for greater investment of public resources in our nation’s long term interest. But would other experts join them? Read More

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Healthy Food and Hospitals Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

Recently I visited Helsinki, Finland, where in midsummer locals and tourists alike buy fresh peas at the outdoor market, shelling and eating them out of the pod while walking down the Esplanade. I’ve never seen so many people—young people, old people, even babies in strollers—snacking on raw vegetables on the street. Read More

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Bio-what? Organic Waste Can Provide Clean Energy

Before I became president of UCS, I served as Massachusetts’ environmental commissioner, and I pushed hard to turn an environmental problem (food waste) into a clean energy solution (biogas). It is great to see that the federal government has signed on to this idea.

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Sickly Sweet: Fighting Our Addiction to Sugar

Guest Bogger

David Wallinga, MD
Founder and Director, Healthy Food Action

St. Paul, MN

It’s no secret Americans eat (and more often, drink) too much sugar: about 20 teaspoons worth per day, on average. By contrast, recommendations are that women eat no more than about 6 teaspoons worth, 9 teaspoons for men. Read More

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Sugar, Science, and Your Summer BBQ

With the FDA’s comment period on proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label—including the labeling of added sugar—coming to a close August 1, I find myself reflecting a bit on the sugar many of us have been consuming over the course of the summer picnic season. Read More

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The Opportunity for Agricultural Residues and Manure to Fuel a Sustainable Future

Not all ethanol is created equal. The benefits, or consequences, of this ubiquitous ‘home-grown’ fuel that is blended in nearly every gallon of gasoline sold across the country vary depending on how it is produced and what it is produced from. As my colleague and uber biofuels-wonk Dr. Jeremy Martin has explained, ethanol produced from food, like corn or soybean, does little to reduce the carbon intensity of our transportation fuel and, in some cases, can actually be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to gasoline. Read More

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Too Many Food Companies Still Attack Science, Despite Push for Greater Transparency

In the age of Twitter and online petitions, food companies are doing more to respond to consumer demand for information about what we’re eating, according to Ad Age. But too often, companies are still sidelining and attacking science at the root of consumers’ concerns. It doesn’t have to be this way. Read More

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5 Steps to Decode a Cereal Box—or, Where Hidden Added Sugar Lies

While the health conscious among us may take pains to avoid sugary foods and beverages, a major problem with avoiding added sugar is that it lies hidden in places where we wouldn’t expect to find it—like yogurt and granola bars. Sugar is added to not just obviously sweetened products like soda and cookies and Froot Loops but to seemingly healthy ones, too—some of which are the worst offenders. Read More

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Now What? Scientists Call for a Better Way to Invest in the Future of Agriculture

Iowa State University, April 2005. I stood at the front of the classroom, a veteran of 25 years of teaching at one of the nation’s front-line agricultural institutions, and I was trying hard not to show my disbelief. The young man who had just spoken was a superstar student and, like most agriculture students in Iowa, came from a farm. He’d just heard a team of fellow students report on the grass-fed beef system of the Argentine pampas, and his first reaction was to ask: “Cattle can really eat grass?” Read More

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Five Things Sugar Interests Get Wrong about FDA Added Sugars Labeling

Last week, I spoke at the FDA public meeting on Proposed Rules on Food Labeling: Nutrition Facts Label and Serving Size. I spoke in support of an added sugars label on those proposed rules, carrying with me the support of 170+ medical, public health, and nutrition experts, 600+ scientists and other technical experts, and an additional 23,000+ citizens. Read More

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