Archive for September, 2010

Why are healthy food advocates stumping for Pepsi?

As I wrote last month, it can get pretty annoying when your friends harass you to vote for their favorite cause to “win” a grant from the now-ubiquitous Pepsi Refresh Project.

Continue reading →

While we battle over ingredients like HFCS, Big Food is winning the processed food war

If there was Twitter for food only, today’s trending topic would have been the Big News that the Corn Refiners Association (yes, there are lobbyists for people who refine corn) is asking the Food and Drug Administration to rename high-fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS) “corn sugar.” This, the latest in the corn industry’s attempts to restore the tarnished reputation of its omnipresent by-product. Tara Parker-Pope, health blogger for the New York Times, quotes Audrae Erickson, president of CRA, who explains: Continue reading →

Tweet Responsibly: Tips for being an effective food activist (or any other kind) on Twitter

First of all, I am no Twitter expert. But after about 6 months I’ve noticed a few things that drive me nuts. Because 140 characters is insufficient to explain, I’m airing my concerns in this longer format. I’ve been writing about the food industry, food policy, and the politics of food for about 14 years now, and as a lawyer, I take pride in being accurate about policy, as well as industry practices. While I am used to writing in long format, I also appreciate the fun of saying things quickly and succinctly.

What I love most about Twitter is sharing with, and learning from, my fellow food activists, writers, experts, parents, and just anyone who cares about the politics of what’s on our plate. I love the up-to-the-minute news, blog posts, action alerts, and even the waxing sentimental about whatever local food is in season. Continue reading →

Why is McDonald’s listed a resource for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

I am not a fan of any sort of “awareness” month as I find the concept trivializes important health issues. Are we only supposed to care about heart disease, diabetes, etc, during that one month of the year? And I rarely see anything of substance come from the month-long activities, just the usual ineffective educational campaigns, instead of meaningful public policy reforms. Plus many issues tend to crowd themselves into certain months, so it all becomes background noise. September is one such month. Among other causes (e.g., “cholesterol education”), September has been proclaimed “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month” by Congress and President Obama. Continue reading →

Back to school with PepsiCo stealth marketing?

I recently blogged about questions regarding how PepsiCo’s voluntary beverage guidelines, announced in March, would be implemented in schools given that contracts are made at the local level. Now with back- to-school in full swing, I have even more questions about how PepsiCo may be using stealth marketing techniques to gain access to that coveted captive K-12 audience.

Today, the company announced a new program it calls Score for Your School. From the press release: Continue reading →

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