WIC


Photo courtesy Jenn Vargas/Flickr

Reasons to Be Thankful—8 Food and Farm “Good News” Stories

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Sometimes gratitude feels like a stretch, and this fall has been one of those times. We’re in the home stretch of a difficult year. Bad news abounds, and even the holiday that many of us will celebrate this week is complicated—a day of thanks that also evokes loss and grief for many Native people, along with expressions of resilience. With Thanksgiving approaching, I went looking for hopeful stories, scanning the news of food and agriculture for signs of progress and promise. And though I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface, I actually found quite a lot. Here’s a roundup of good news food and farming stories. Got more? Share ‘em in the comments.

And happy Thanksgiving. Read more >

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Photo: US Air Force

USDA Focus on Nutrition Program “Integrity” is a Smokescreen

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

The US Department of Agriculture has announced it will hire a new “chief integrity officer” to oversee federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). The integrity of SNAP in particular has been a popular topic among those in the Trump administration, including USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, who argue that SNAP enables a “lifestyle of dependency” and seek major program reforms in the upcoming Farm Bill. But these arguments have been conjured from very little science and a whole lot of smoke—and have the effect of distracting the public from more pressing issues at hand.

Read more >

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USDA Nominee Perdue’s Connection to Coca-Cola is Deeper Than Georgia Roots

, Lead science and policy analyst

Agriculture secretary is the last Cabinet post to be filled by the Trump transition team. The delayed nomination of this position says a lot about the administration’s interest in the agency, which is incredibly important considering that the USDA is responsible for the production, distribution, and safety of the food we eat. Read more >

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For Healthier Kids, US Policies Need an Added Sugar Fix

, Lead science and policy analyst

I’m not a parent, but I know from conversations with colleagues and friends who are that getting children to eat a healthy diet is a top priority when you have a little one. Yet, children’s health isn’t exactly at the top of the priorities list for the food industry. Instead, food companies have been capitalizing on children’s inherent attraction to sweet foods and beverages and the likelihood that early exposure in childhood will hook them on sugars into adulthood. Read more >

Photo: m01229/CC BY 2.0, Flickr
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Sugar Cuts in Day Care Meals: A Public Health Victory

, Lead science and policy analyst

The Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) is one of the nutrition safety net programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and state agencies, and serves over 4 million eligible children every day. The program reimburses day care centers for nutritious meals and snacks (largely following the Dietary Guidelines) for children from low-income households. However, the guidelines hadn’t been revised to reflect changes in nutrition science since 1968, lagging behind the national school lunch and breakfast programs which made sweeping positive changes back in 2010. Read more >

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