From the category archives:

Bureaucratic

Agribusiness, politics and policy

The mom label

February 20, 2014

This list is making the rounds this week. It features some remarkable food activists, including a couple I count as friends and colleagues. And it was developed with input from another colleague who is a champion of activism and reform at every level. And I don’t want what I’m about to say to diminish them or their […]

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Tell McDonald’s: Back off our kids

May 8, 2013

I’m always up for a day of action, especially when the target (McDonald’s) uses marketing purposely designed to get kids to nag parents to death. And that marketing is everywhere: on TV, in movies, on computer games and websites, on children’s products, even in school. “Pester power” or “the nag factor” is how marketers describe […]

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The truth about the aspartame and milk petition (and why errors hurt food activism)

March 14, 2013

Chances are you’ve heard about the dairy industry petition addressing artificial sweeteners in milk. And chances are that what you’ve heard is wrong. Here are the facts: 1. Food producers already can add artificial sweeteners to milk and other dairy products. 2. The petition, from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) — which was submitted in 2009, […]

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Power of the pen: Let’s rock this food-dyes petition from 100 Days of Real Food and Food Babe

March 5, 2013

I’ve written at length about the travesty of artificial food dyes (in short: all risk, no benefit). And about how U.S. food manufacturers have substituted better ingredients overseas while still using artificial, non-nutritive and even dangerous ingredients here. Why have they cleaned up their act elsewhere? Because of public pressure, government support and something called the precautionary principle: the idea that if something could harm the public […]

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Kids and factory farming: Yes, tell them the truth

February 27, 2012

We have a living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who take you right back to the 19th century. During one visit, I was in the kitchen of a home churning butter with my daughter and chatting with another visitor, telling her we’d seen a pig-slaughtering pen being built at the village’s teaching farm. The museum, […]

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“Food Inc.”: Family viewing?

August 9, 2011

PBS is showing the movie “Food Inc.” tonight. So I’m pulling out a review I wrote when the movie debuted. Have you seen the film? Planning to watch tonight? Maybe recording it to watch later with your kids? (See more about kid viewing below.) You’ll never look at food the same way again. I promise. So watch […]

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Orthorexia vs. chocolate milk:
Will the real eating disorder please stand up?

June 1, 2011

Have you heard of an eating disorder called orthorexia? Translated literally, it means “correct appetite” or “correct eating,” and it’s when people obsess over the “right” foods to the point that it controls their lives and wrecks their health. Orthorexia isn’t new, nor is it recognized as an official disorder. But it’s gotten a lot […]

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A dye-free future? We decide.

April 22, 2011

In the weeks since the FDA passed the buck on artificial food dyes, there’s been a lot of talk about the studies. Studies that elicit dismissive words like “inconclusive” and “inconsistent.” Or my favorite: “urban legends.” The FDA’s advisory panel, while weighing warning labels for foods containing fake dyes, did acknowledge ill effects in some kids with behavioral problems, and called for more research. […]

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is back

April 12, 2011

The other night I watched Jamie Oliver on the “Late Show.” At one point, amid cooking, pitching his newest “Food Revolution” and tweaking David Letterman, Oliver got serious and said (to paraphrase): With what we know about food and health, we ought to be doing better by our kids. Anything less is a crime. Lots of […]

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No fooling:
Girl Scouts are green and the FDA is making us blue

April 1, 2011

I really shouldn’t post on April Fools’ Day, since the interwebs go a little nuts today. But it’s been a colorful week, so I’m ignoring the date and carrying on. Which brings me to the news that the FDA, after two days of hearings, has decided to do exactly nothing about artificial colors in our […]

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