As we search through the dozens of top health news sites, newspapers and magazines for daily updates, every now and then we stop and realize we’re finding tons of GOOD news. Starting with a N.Y.Times op ed piece, we run down the line today and discover that the movement is strong in so many areas. You can even “go to class” today via two great educational pieces on food marketing and the global economy, discover some new ways to think about protein (and pesto!), and more. Have a great week, Warriors!
Words to Live By
“None of this happened by accident, and the lesson is that policy works.”
— Mark Bittman, from his “Some Progress on Eating and Health” op-ed
More Good News for Food
“Is there a food movement?” seems to be a perennial question posed by those who are fighting for the health of our country like Tom Colicchio and Michael Pollan. Our answer is, yes! We are all a part of it and it is having an impact! For instance, in his latest op-ed piece, Mark Bittman, highlights the big “wins” at the federal level last week. Here’s a good roundup of the news about the latest trends in obesity, the new rules for junk food advertising in schools, and the new nutrition labels, or even if you did, check out his summary and analysis.
More Good News for Food in Schools
We can add one more piece of news to the list! Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the 2012 federal standards to increase healthy food lead to increased fruit and veggie consumption in school. The study was done mostly by analyzing food waste before and after the standards went into place, which combats the argument that these federal standards lead to more wasted food. More proof that policy and advocacy with passion and persistence works!
Celebrating Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day last Saturday provided a forum for some of our favorite organizations to highlight the powerful work that so many women are doing throughout the world. Check out Food Tank’s showcase of women who are fighting the good fight in the food movement ... and Moms Clean Air Force’s list of women who are fighting for clean air. Also, while these women empower the world, we have the opportunity to empower and help women around the world. Check out the compelling video explaining the importance of clean-burning cookstoves starring Julia Roberts, and then check out our “Get Involved” section to see what you can do to help!
Clean Cookstoves for the World
If you watched the Julia Roberts video above then you know that almost 3 billion people in the world still rely on primary natural resources (solid fuels like wood or dung) to cook their food over primitive stoves. Though this once was a sustainable practice, current global populations can no longer be supported in this way. Currently, over 2 million people die each year as a result of the toxic smoke. The stoves also cause many other health, environmental, and social problems. Join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and help them achieve their goal of reaching 100,000 million households by 2020!
Keep on Pushing for no Azodicarbonamide
The success of Vani Hari’s Food Babe campaign -- to get Subway to remove azodicarbonamide from their bread -- was just the beginning! Other groups are following suit and we want to continue to pressure big food producers to take this (and other) harmful chemicals out of food. Add your voice to the movement by taking a moment to sign the Environmental Working Group’s petition to some major brands!
The Fast Food Frontline
Teens and Energy Drinks: Two New Studies
Energy drinks generate hype, both in our bodies and through their advertising approaches. This Health Corps article (a great organization started by Dr. Oz) explains a study that found wide misinformation about energy drink use amongst teens. Another similar study found a correlation between energy drink consumption and increased risk for other drug use amongst teens. The bottom line is that these drinks are not the safest and we would do well to educate teens (and adults) to this end.
Soda Summit to Subvert Sugar!
We know that sugary beverages are a big problem for our health. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has long fought this issue and they are hosting a summit this summer to continue their work. The summit promises ample education, advocacy, and networking to help unite the fight. If you are interested in learning more about this issue, or are already fighting it in your community, please consider attending...or follow it online!
The Ups and Downs of Protein
A new study released last week may require us to rethink how and when we put protein in our diets. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone derived from the protein we put into our bodies, it turns out, has a lot to do with risk for disease and death … with age a factor. The study showed that high levels of IGF-1 negatively correlate with health in younger folks, but positively correlated with health in older folks. Find out more about this study, how protein needs may change as you get older, and get a little practical diet advice from the NPR story below.
What We're Watching
Health and Capitalism
The Edible Schoolyard Project’s collaboration on Edible Education 101, a class exploring issues in the food movement (history, challenges, future progress, etc.), is in full swing and we’re tuning in as much as we can to soak up all of the knowledge. Appropriately timed with Michelle Obama’s recent crackdown on junk food marketing in schools, the latest class focused on food marketing, bringing up ethical quandaries, policy possibilities, and the role that the food industry plays in our health. This episode’s teachers include Columbia professor Dr. Joan Dye Gussow, plus Michael Moss, the author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Got Us.
The Global Food Economy and the $200 Hamburger
Raj Patel is yet another strong voice in the food, health and sustainability movement. Annabel Adams, blogger of Feed Me I’m Cranky, got a chance to interview him this past weekend. Adams fields some great questions and Patel gives some very eloquent answers on the sustainability of our current free market, carbon sequestration, local food, government regulation, the future of our industrial food system, organizing activist movements and the $200 hamburger! It’s definitely worth a listen.
Pistachio: Not Just a Snack
Dr. Oz was excited about pistachios this week. Apparently, not only do they exhibit all of the healthy qualities of all nuts, they also can help with inflammation and lowering cholesterol! This pesto recipe looks and tastes divine, and if you are feeling particularly nuts about these nuts, then check out the other 4 recipes that the good doctor posted this week.
Pesto with a Pistachio Twist
Makes 1 cup, or 8 servings (Serving size 2 tbsp)
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 1 cup packed basil leaves and tender stems, well washed and dried
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
Purée all ingredients in a food processor and serve as you like. Serve over pasta or fish, or even as a crostini topping. Get creative!