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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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Does Domino Sugar Want You to Swallow Sugar-coated Science—All for a Good Cause?

A smoker-friendly tobacco festival to prevent lung cancer. A car rally to reduce air pollution. A mud wrestling contest to improve hygiene. Or, how about a bake sale to solve malnutrition and hunger in America? Read More

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Sugar Association Sweet-Talks Attendees at a Diabetes Conference

“Sugar gets a bad rap.”

According to the Sugar Association, this was, apparently, the sentiment expressed by a majority of the attendees that stopped by the trade group’s booth earlier this summer at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting. Read More

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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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