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Book Review: FoodSmart: Understanding Nutrition in the 21st Century

7. December 2009

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Book Review: FoodSmart: Understanding Nutrition in the 21st Century

The book FoodSmart: Understanding Nutrition in the 21st Century is a new title from award-winning author Diana Hunter that is designed to help navigate the complex world of nutrition. It explains basics like terminology and types of food with ease and, yet, is still able to present the various sides of much more complex topics like of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and what it means to be "organic" to a nutrition newbie. All and all, it's not a bad book, especially if you're just starting out in the world of nutrition and want a strong understanding of what is being talked about by everyone else. For me though, this book had its ups and downs.

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Seafood Watch Super Green List

19. November 2009

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Seafood Watch Super Green List

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has released a new 'super green' list of the best seafood choices you can make as a consumer. We have the list annotated here for you.

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Making the Connection Between Sustainable Seafood and Nutrition

18. November 2009

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Making the Connection Between Sustainable Seafood and Nutrition

You have a lot of choices as a consumer. Those choices alter the marketplace. You influence what kind of movies Hollywood produces when you stand in line to buy tickets, debating between an action thriller and a romantic comedy. And the choices you make when it comes to your dinner, particularly which fish you pick for the 16 pounds of seafood the average American eats every year, drive the fisheries hauling in over 11 billion pounds of fish annually. Choices make a difference, not only from an economic perspective, but from a nutritional and ecological one.

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Understanding Our Bodies: The Role of Antioxidants

26. October 2009

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Understanding Our Bodies: The Role of Antioxidants

Are antioxidants good for you? To answer that question, you have to understand reactive oxygen species, or ROS. And to do that, you have to understand how your cells produce energy. In this article, we uncover the processes of oxidation and explain it in the context of your health and well being.

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Food System 2.0: Can New Approaches Make Local Food Happen?

9. October 2009

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Food System 2.0: Can New Approaches Make Local Food Happen?

What is the price of food? $3.99 for a gallon of milk? $0.99 for an energy bar? Complex market and policy forces make those prices. Its a process that starts far from the point of sale. Centralizing our food into fast food chains and supermarkets causes the farms that feed the system to scale up into mega-sized operations. The idyllic, diverse farms of American lore were long ago converted into monocrop fields of staple grains, hog farms with hundreds of thousands of head and distribution centers bigger than football fields. But how do you make food scale back to something more reasonable, a new system in which communities connect with the food being grown there? Is it even possible, nay desirable? We saw a couple examples of new approaches to these questions in the San Francisco area during our Tour of America recently. One deals with technology while the other with community. Both are necessary components in what should become Food System 2.0. (Thanks to Flickr User Fazen for the cool shot).

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Does Sugar Make You Violent?

6. October 2009

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Does Sugar Make You Violent?

If you read the nutrition science headlines, you might have seen these: "Giving in to pester power can make your child a thug" or "Daily sweets 'linked to violence'". They refer to a new paper that just came out which claims that eating sugary snacks every day as a child has an impact on your behavior as an adult. The idea seems impossible. I mean, sure, we all have thought about slugging that really slow guy in the line in front of us at the ice cream parlor when we're craving a nice, double scoop of Death by Chocolate. But giving my child a piece of chocolate after dinner every night can't make him into a violent person... Or can it?

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Nutrition Wonderland Travels to the Intermountain West

5. October 2009

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Nutrition Wonderland Travels to the Intermountain West

Nutrition Wonderland marches eastward towards Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado after an incredibly interesting time in California learning about development + agriculture in Oxnard, food safety in Monterey, sustainable farming in Watsonville, and a few other stories we are still putting together.

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Book Review: The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

30. September 2009

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Book Review: The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

When looking for books about nutrition and eating, it's hard not to stumble up Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. But this is not a review of those books. While both interesting and worth the a read by anyone nutrition-conscious, it is one of Michael Pollan's other books that is one of the best books I've ever read, and simply I cannot bring myself to discuss In Defense of Food or Omnivore's Dilemma when there is a more stunning work to be mentioned. Published in 2001, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is . It looks at the interplay between humans and plants. It's not a nutritional guide, it's an exploration of our own nature and, more importantly, the plants that exploit it.

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Can Biodiversity and Agriculture Coexist? How Super Metrics Made Wildlife Enemy #1 on the Farm (Day 4)

29. September 2009

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Can Biodiversity and Agriculture Coexist?  How Super Metrics Made Wildlife Enemy #1 on the Farm (Day 4)

Think back to a time before agriculture existed. Hawks pounced on squirrels, coyotes chased field mice and bison roamed the Great Plains. Then came Homo sapien. As super hunters, we first decimated the populations of any large animals we found in Africa. It's from that background we begin to examine a tough question – can biodiversity exist in a world of monocrop staples like corn and rice, amphibian crushing pesticides, and food safety protocols that explicitly make farmers keep sterile fields free of small animals? The answers are varied from those we have spoken to on the Nutrition Wonderland Tour of America.

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Food Safety as a Marketing Tool: USDA Monterey Hearings on NLGMA (Day 3)

25. September 2009

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Food Safety as a Marketing Tool: USDA Monterey Hearings on NLGMA (Day 3)

Nutrition Wonderland is now up in Monterey, CA as part of our Tour of America and today we are attending the first of the USDA's hearings on nationally adopting the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA). This new proposal, dubbed the NLGMA, would extend the existing agreement that covers California and Arizona across the entire nation – even extending into Canadian and Mexican imports.

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