Aug
04
2010
0

New Dirty Words

California and other states are considering legalization of marijuana.  Generating new taxes, this action can bolster diminishing finances.  Simultaneously, health groups and consumer activists are demanding restrictions on the sale of soft drinks, especially in schools.

We can only imagine playground toughs enticing kids with whispered ‘want Coke?’ offers, then proffering Coca Cola in unmarked cans

Written by mschorin in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
Apr
12
2010
0

Food Safety - Traceability

Check out the report from the Institute of Food Technologists on product tracing at http://www.ift.org/cms/?pid=1002160.  IFT reported its findings to FDA.

Although we want to know where each ingredient comes from, challenges arise from unexpected contaminants in water, fertilizer, or even nearby crops.  Our current system can certainly be improved.  However, this report helps to understand future research needs and the challenges of implementing a comprehensive traceability system.

Apr
12
2010
0

food safety

It’s time to pass comprehensive food safety legislation.  HR875 addresses key issues from farm to fork.  Traceability is key, given recent outbreaks.  As our food supply has become more global - something like the auto industry in which components come from different nations - we must have the ability to track food ingredients backward.

In 2009, 31% of shoppers stopped eating certain foods because of safety concerns - significantly higher than 2008.  Let’s get behind this effort and strengthen FDA’s and USDA’s efforts to maintain a safe food supply,

Written by mschorin in: Food supply | Tags: , , ,
Apr
07
2010
0

Child Nutrition Act

I support the Child Nutrition Act authorization for providing more money to school lunch.  Yes, we should also remove the vending machines from schools.

Unless kids are more active, we will have to keep cutting down on the amount of food they eat.  That’s the wrong approach.  Control the environment — give them lots of activity AND lots of good, nutritious foods.

Apr
06
2010
0

Calories on Menus

My letter to the Editor of Louisville Courier-Journal is found at

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100330/OPINION02/3300307/Readers-Forum-|-Eat-healthfully

It details some caveats regarding menu labeling

Written by mschorin in: Menu labeling | Tags: , , ,
Apr
06
2010
0

Soda tax

Who are we kidding?  A tax on soda will not get rid of obesity in kids!  Kool Aid and other powdered drinks were plentiful long before the rise in bottled and canned drinks.  We’ve got to get kids moving (adults, too!) so that they burn off the calories they get from drinks.

Written by mschorin in: Children, Physical Activity, soft drinks | Tags: , , , , ,
Dec
12
2009
1

Obesity impacts life expectancy

A new study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that, if trends in obesity and smoking rates continue (obesity increasing, smoking rates declining), the net effect is that obesity will significantly impact life expectancy in the next 15 years.  That doesn’t even take account of the lower quality of life — difficulty in walking, fitting into airplane seats or even behind the wheel of an automobile, or doing other mundane tasks.

We really have to find a solution to this increasing problem.  Some say we pay too little for food. If food were more expensive, I’m not sure that people would eat less.  Maybe we need to find better incentives.  In the health care debate, why can’t we create positive incentives to attain or maintain a health weight?

Economic factors seem to play an enormous role in our eating habits.  Let’s find ways to reduce costs for healthy foods and pay dividends for exercise.

Oct
28
2009
0

Smart Choices program suspended

Too bad food manufacturers are suspending the Smart Choices program.  Sure, it permitted a check for Froot Loops, but overall, considerable research was done to find a program that conformed to dietary guidance.  The truth is, we eat foods, not diets, so it’s difficult to determine which specific foods can fit into a healthy meal plan.  They all can — but in moderation.

Now, I’m afraid we’re going back to the truly regressive traffic light system (green light for supposedly ‘good’ foods and red lights for those considered ‘bad’. )  We get no education from this system, just a simplistic and non-informative label.  Bah!

Oct
23
2009
0

Eating green this season?

Sweden’s new dietary guidelines that attempt to combine advice for healthy eating and for limiting global climate damage admirably try to show us how to eat responsibly.  However, I believe we could make the guidelines simpler by considering which processes put a load on the environment and pairing these with general categories of food to encourage — more fruit and vegetables.

Ironically, this may force some purists to acknowledge that canned and frozen foods may be more beneficial than fresh, which must be transported and consumed soon after harvest to derive the ultimate nutrition benefit.  Some food zealots don’t want to know that processed foods may be nutritionally superior to fresh foods.  If you add the climate benefits, you may scare some consumer activists out of their natural and organic shelters.

Those that want to scare us about the supposed ills of our food supply may find more comfort in Halloween’s black-and-orange colors than in the environmentalist’s green!

Oct
12
2009
0

Soft drink taxes

It’s way too easy to vote in soft drink taxes and expect changes in American eating habits.  Price-conscious Americans may avoid drinking some soda, but they won’t choose juice or milk.  We have made the choices simplistic, but human behavior is more complicated.

Let’s think this through to avoid unintended consequences.

Written by mschorin in: Healthy Eating, soft drinks | Tags: , , ,

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