February 6, 2019
Last week, a Harvard professor made headlines after calling coconut oil “pure poison.” I can’t help shaking my head at such an outlandish statement. The idea that foods can cause cancer—or the opposite, that one superfood can cure disease—is a false claim we see time and again in news. We see it particularly in headlines, serving as “clickbait.” Food is neither a pure poison nor a panacea.
With 47 percent of the U.S. population projected to be obese by 2030 – and more than 2.1 billion people expected to weigh in as overweight or obese - it’s no surprise that governments worldwide have waged war on a health crisis which not only causes 5 percent of all deaths every year, but also has a $2.0 trillion economic impact annually. So what new measures can be taken that haven’t already been tried?
As conversation hearts and boxes of chocolates start to appear across America this week, we’re reminded that candy plays a very special role in our celebration of Valentine’s Day.
We found some recent developments in the confectioner industry worthy of note this Valentine’s Day.
By Ali Schklair, Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow
It isn’t news that obesity is an urgent problem in our country. According to a recent study by the CDC, over one third of US adults are obese. Education and health professionals have presented numerous strategies to combat this growing epidemic. Still, in order to enact real change, there needs to be a greater focus on how overweight and obesity affects specific populations.
Monday, the president released his budget and with it, a proposal to create one single federal agency focused on food safety. The proposal came days after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced bills to create an independent federal food safety agency. Both the budget and this legislation seek to reallocate food safety inspections, labeling, and enforcement into a single agency cutting government costs and overlap.
A new year is upon us and once again the time has come for New Year’s Resolutions. Making goals can be a rewarding or loathsome experience based on your ability to achieve them. By making extreme resolutions you could be setting yourself up for failure. It might not be feasible to exercise every day or never eat another cookie. Instead try making small changes and staying committed to those changes. By devoting yourself to something that doesn’t seem like that big of a change for a whole year, you can make a huge difference in your health.
Many of us take for granted the ability to make trips to a full size grocery store. For 23.5 million Americans, accessing a full-size supermarket is a challenge. In some areas, small corner stores are often the only source of food for underserved communities. They act as the main source of groceries, which can be problematic, considering many corner stores stock mainly processed foods that are high in calories, fat, and salt.
Did you know fish accounts for 17 percent of the world’s protein intake? That may not seem like a lot, but by 2050, farmed fish production is expected to more than double to meet global demands. Fish are the most environmentally-friendly animal protein to produce, efficiently converting feed into meat while generating a fraction of the greenhouse gasses of livestock production. But as it stands now, our earth’s rivers, lakes, and oceans are fished to their limits.
When you think of controversial policies, school lunch isn’t the first thing that should come to mind. As a nation fighting a childhood obesity epidemic, school lunches play an important role in getting us back on track. Schools provide one, and sometimes two, of the three meals kids eat each day, packing the biggest punch for kids who depend on these meals for nourishment. How can we justify serving anything but wholesome, nutritious food when that is the case?