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GMOs: Frankenfood or Evolutionary Advance?

10. February 2010

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GMOs: Frankenfood or Evolutionary Advance?

Why are crops and animals being modified? What GMOs are currently on the market? What new GMOs are being created? Good questions... (thanks to klar!! on flickr for that cool art.)

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Is Childhood Obesity the Parent’s Fault?

14. January 2010

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Is Childhood Obesity the Parent’s Fault?

Childhood obesity is becoming a hot topic in health circles, even to the point of being called an epidemic. Experts estimate that 20% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight, predisposing them to terrible diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Why have the world's children ballooned over the past hundred years? (photo by photomequickbooth from flickr).

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California First State To Ban Trans Fats

6. January 2010

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California First State To Ban Trans Fats

Effective January 1st, 2010, California became the first state to ban restaurants from using trans fats in restaurants.

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The Truth About Organic Farming

22. December 2009

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The Truth About Organic Farming

Certified organic sales are now $52 billion/year, worldwide. The large market is fueling a lot of myths out there about organic foods and there is even more propaganda supporting these organic methods that is rarely understood. It's like your mother used to say: just because everyone is jumping off a bridge doesn't mean you should do it, too. I only want to point out that not everything is as it seems. So here are some of the myths of organic produce, and the realities behind them.

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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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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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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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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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David vs. Goliath: A Maasai Warrior, Regional Food Crisis & Agricultural Innovation (The Backpack Farm Program)

23. September 2009

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David vs. Goliath: A Maasai Warrior, Regional Food Crisis & Agricultural Innovation (The Backpack Farm Program)

Welcome Rachel Zedeck of the Medea Group who explains to a Western Audience some of the problems going on in Eastern Africa, specifically how an inadequate agricultural system fails its own people. She puts forward a new solution - the Backpack Farm Program - and explains how it could help the people. It was late in 2007 when I first arrived in Southern Sudan by way of Kenya, to research a new model of socially responsible agricultural development. Within a year and half, I was emotionally raw and physically exhausted. My personal battle with African development models had taken its toll. Even with several years of field experience in post conflict countries, I was ready to quit and crawl home.

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