Archive for February, 2012

A Budget Cut Only the Produce Industry Could Love

You’ve probably never heard of the Microbiological Data Program (MDP) but if you eat fresh produce, you should, because it’s currently on President Obama’s budgetary chopping block. The MDP is a small ($5 million annually) pathogen monitoring program tucked away in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It tests fruits and vegetables for deadly bugs like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

PepsiCo: Master of Corporate Spin?

When I ask people to name the largest food company in America, most don’t realize the answer is PepsiCo. You may just think soft drinks when you hear the name, but PepsiCo actually owns a dizzying array of food and beverage brands across five massive divisions: Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Tropicana, and Quaker Oats. As I recently told CNBC for their documentary, Pepsi’s Challenge, perhaps the leading maker of sugary drinks and salty snacks should bear some responsibility for America’s bad eating habits.

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New Policy Consultant for Center for Food Safety

I am thrilled to announce that I am now working part-time with the Center for Food Safety. I’ve admired the work of CFS for years to expose the dark side of the industrial food system (long before it became popular). CFS is an effective organization that’s not afraid to take on the most powerful players in the food industry. Their True Food Network has been a compelling force speaking out against the likes of Monsanto for contaminating the food supply with genetically-modified ingredients. And by utilizing the power of the court system, CFS has won important legal victories. This powerful combination of law and grassroots support is exactly what we need to fight the huge multinational corporations that have far too much control over what we eat and how food is produced.

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SNAP: the Other Corporate Subsidy in the Farm Bill?

As Enrollment Increases, USDA Should Require Purchase Data from
Food Stamp Retailers to Better Evaluate Nutrition Intake

This week Congress begins hearings on the 2012 farm bill, the massive piece of legislation that gets updated about every five years and undergirds America’s entire food supply, but that few mortals can even understand. As nutrition professor Marion Nestle recently lamented, “no one has any idea what the farm bill is about. It’s too complicated for any mind to grasp.”

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February Speaking Engagements

If you live in the Phoenix area, come and see me give a keynote address at the 7th Annual Building Healthy Lifestyles Conference hosted by Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion on February 17-18 at the Memorial Union, on ASU’s Tempe campus. Details.

On February 23, I am speaking on “Control State Politics” at the 2012 Mental Health Symposium hosted by Utah Valley University. My talk will explain how big-box retailers like Costco and Walmart want to dismantle state regulation of alcohol and why this trend is dangerous to public health. Details.

Want me to come and speak in your area? I am available to give keynote talks, workshops, class lectures, and more. Visit Eat Drink Politics for details.


Protein propaganda: It’s what’s for dinner

Most vegetarians are tired of being asked, “Where do you get your protein?” by a seemingly concerned family member, friend, or even stranger. I know many vegetarians and none of us have come close to suffering from Kwashiorkor. Never heard of it? It’s a form of malnutrition from lack of protein, found in areas of famine and extreme poverty. Protein deficiency is rare in the developed world, despite a significant portion of the population eschewing meat. So where did this idea come from that vegetarians and vegans are doomed to a life of protein deficiency? Read rest at Grist…

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