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Blind Faith vs. Insight: Employing Media Literacy to Reject Policies that Harm Human Health

Guest Bogger

Melinda Hemmelgarn, Registered Dietitian
Food Sleuth Radio, KOPN

Columbia, MO

As a dietitian who attempts to connect the dots between food, health and agriculture, my first job is to help my audiences think ecologically—to understand ripple effects—or how one influences others. Read More

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Sugar-coating Science: How the Food Industry Misleads Consumers on Sugar

When I was growing up, my parents strictly limited the amount of sugar I was allowed to eat. I remember one day throwing a tantrum in the grocery store—I must have been 4 or 5—because my mother wouldn’t buy me Froot Loops. I shook the box up and down, transfixed by the big, colorful cartoon bird on the front, and wailed, “But I waaaaant it!” She snatched the box, “No way! The first ingredient is SUGAR.” Read More

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More Herbicide, or More Innovative, Sustainable Farming?

As another growing season begins, production agriculture is confronted with important choices. Among them is whether the farming community and policy makers will heed the clear warnings from herbicide-resistant weeds that industrial monoculture farming methods are not sustainable. Read More

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Global Agriculture As Part of the Climate Solution

For quite a while, agriculture was dismissed as a possible way to mitigate climate change, because it’s where our food comes from, and we can’t live without food. From this obvious fact came the misinterpretation that we couldn’t cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions without threatening food security. Read More

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Building Healthier Food Environments: Seven Organizations Making a Difference in Minnesota

What will it take to transform the food system we have in the United States today—with all its misaligned priorities, junk food, and diet-related diseases—into a healthier one for all Americans? That’s the subject of “Science, Democracy, and a Healthy Food Policy,” which UCS will co-host with the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in Minneapolis on May 6-7. Read More

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Transforming Food Policy Through Science from Coast to Coast

From Let’s Move! to farmers markets, the conversation about how public health science is informing and leading to healthier food policies and food environments is growing. And at every level, good things are happening. Leading up to the May 6 Science and Democracy Forum on “Science, Democracy, and a Healthy Food Policy,” we asked for examples of people using scientific and public health evidence to improve food environments. Here’s a flavor of some of the work highlighted in your responses: Read More

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Cows Are the Real Hogs: The IPCC and the Demand Side of Agriculture

One small but important breakthrough in the new IPCC report on climate mitigation, released Sunday in Berlin, is that the chapter on agriculture, forest, and other land use (AFOLU) looks at the demand side, not just supply. In other words, it not only asks how we can create less global warming pollution in producing food and wood products, but also what kinds of food and wood products we ought to be producing and consuming if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Read More

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Death, Taxes, and Food

The taxman cometh. At my house, the 1040 is signed and the check is written, joining millions of others in the mail this week. Recently, the U.S. Treasury Department reported that improvement in the U.S. economy is leading to rising revenues from federal taxes. But just what are our tax dollars buying? Read More

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The Long Road to Healthier Living

In February, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published data in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggesting that obesity rates for pre-school-aged children are declining. On Monday, a different team of scientists published a study in JAMA Pediatrics which found no such decline, and also that rates of severe childhood obesity are climbing. Both studies agreed that overall child obesity rates have stalled for the last decade. Read More

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Science, Democracy and a Healthy Food Environment

There is a clear connection between diet and major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, and dental cavities. So, I keep asking—why doesn’t the science of public health undergird food policy in the U.S.? Read More

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