food politics

Food Safety News just presented their annual Naughty and Nice List. Indeed, some of the Naughty nominees should get far worse than a lump of coal in their stocking, and the nice ones should get much more than a pat on the back. While I agree with some of the nominations I take issue with several.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is ubiquitous in our environment. It is used to make polycarbonate plastic found in many toys, cooking utensils, and food packaging materials such as plastic containers and the lining of metal cans. It is also found in the paper used for credit card receipts that most of us touch on a daily basis. Since infants are rapidly developing and weigh so little, the effects of their exposure to BPA is much more critical than adults.

Supplements are At Risk: Please Help post image

In July the FDA proposed a new "Guidance" initiative that would require all dietary ingredients introduced into the marketplace since 1994 to undergo drug-like safety testing prior to marketing. The tests could cost millions of dollars for each new ingredient.These requirements would not make supplements any safer than they are today and would require supplement makers to pay out more than their profits in order to conduct the tests.The consequences are dire for the industry and the economy.

Join the caravan of raw milk freedom riding moms who will deliberately cross state lines in possession of raw milk, in defiance of FDA interstate commerce and food safety law on raw milk. The moms are headed for a demonstration right outside FDA headquarters in Maryland, and will be serving milk and cookies. This symbolic action is in support of farmers across the nation who are willing to supply fresh milk to mothers across state lines, while putting their businesses at risk.

From Subsidies to Junk Food

While Monsanto markets it's GM crops as the solution to world hunger, it should come as no surprise that a new study released from the US Public Interest Research Group shows that the majority of USDA subsidized produce is used to produce junk food.

The study, aptly called "Apples to Twinkies," showed that between 1995 and 2010, out of the $260 billion spent on subsidies, 17 billion went to four common food additives: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soy oils.

Celiac: Inherited or Acquired?

In the past 50 years celiac disease has increased from 1 in 700 to 1 in 100. While many think it is mainly an "inherited" disorder, the pattern of inheritance is complicated. Additionally, there is a lot more involved than inheritance. It's easy to blame a disease state on inheritance. So, what then is causing this increase in gluten sensitivity? There are several reasons listed below which I will explain further:

Healthier GM Soybean?

Healthier GM Soybean? post image

Our friends at Monsanto have been busy genetically engineering a new version of their GM soybean. This one will be healthier for the consumer as it is engineered to produce oil that is lower in saturated fat than "real" soybeans.

In a press release today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the "New York Fresh Connect Farmers' Markets" (FreshConnect) program, which launches new farmers' markets and expands others around the state of New York. This is great news and real progress for farmers in New York.

Cargill, a giant United States meat processor, is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey produced at an Arkansas plant. The meat has been linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella food poisoning. This, in the face of a raid and three arrests at Rawesome, a natural foods buying club where no one has ever gotten ill.

After writing my blog post Changing the Sad American Diet, I realized how complex and controversial a topic this was. Just go to the comments on my blog post to see what I mean. I may never understand or know all the complexities of this issue, but I do know one thing, we need to do something different than what has been done in the past. The Farm Bill is coming up for reauthorization in 2012 and WE HAVE TO ACT NOW.

Changing The Sad American Diet (SAD) post image

In an op ed, written by Marc Bittman for the Sunday New York Times this week, he elaborates on the value of taxing unhealthy foods -- particularly sugary drinks. While I agree with him that these are certainly unhealthy and contribute to the epidemics of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes in this country, I disagree with some of his dietary recommendations and would expand upon his proposed solutions.

Vending Machines Go Healthy

This was my idea and someone took it! I Have a friend who is in the vending machine business. One day we were discussing his business and I suggested he find a way to replace all the junk food items (everything in the machine) with healthier snack foods. Now there is a company that has done just that but it could be healthier still...

Please join us for Chefs and Foodies Celebration Party with the Filmmaker, Movie Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

5:00pm -- Party at Jimmy's No. 43 Restaurant, 43 East 7th St.

Enjoy Appetizers: Artisinal cheeses, beer sausages, Shisito Peppers, Wine, Beer or Sparkling Water, then walk to the theatre to enjoy the show.

If you live near NYC and have not gone in to see this great movie, you still have a chance! Due to popular demand the one week premier showing has been extended to July 21. The reviews have been excellent. This is a really in depth look at how the government treats our small independent farmers. Instead of supporting them, they hassle and harass them. I'm going to make it there this week!

A senior representative from Monsanto Corporation traveled from Mumbai to the nearby village of Munjala to investigate reports of crop failures of Bt cotton seed. When he denied any problems with the crop, (even though they had clearly not grown) he was severely beaten up by the farmers. Don't you just love this?

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