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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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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 (and propaganda) at the state fair

September 17, 2010

I realize that state-fair food is a category unto itself, a passionately defended paean to Americana and summertime. And to criticize it could cause a distracting uproar. Some might even offer me their fried-fave-on-a-stick with instructions to make it disappear right up my behind.      So I’ll just say that we did not partake of the many fried delicacies […]

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School food: Beyond swapping white for wheat

August 26, 2010

We all know Jamie Olivers in the making. A parent, a teacher, a student. Someone who’s making noise. School-food reform is big news these days, the stuff of TV shows, government campaigns and blog crusades. And even before all the hoopla, plenty of parents and others were working below the radar to get better food in their kids’ schools. But what about […]

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The assault (and insult) of children’s menus

May 29, 2010

One of our favorite local restaurants lists grilled cheese on both its regular menu and its children’s menu. Same price. Same bread options (wheat, rye, sourdough). But where the regular menu touts “aged” cheddar, the kiddie version offers “mild” cheddar.   The first time I noticed this, I asked the server about the difference, thinking […]

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Let’s ban the phrase “picky eater”

April 13, 2010

It goes like this: Kids are picky eaters. They won’t eat food that’s green, brown or good for them. They are strong-willed little creatures who cannot be swayed. We must give up, give in, and feed them nothing but juice, crackers and white-bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Sigh. Is anyone else as tired of the term […]

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“You can’t tell that to a kid”

March 29, 2010

Can kids handle the truth about industrial meat? We have a great living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who make you feel like you’ve slipped back to the 19th century. During a visit last year, I was in the kitchen of one of the homes churning butter with […]

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