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Yes, no, and “later” foods: Why Wal-Mart depresses me as a parent

We went to Wal-Mart yesterday. It was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong: I understand why people shop at Wal-Mart. I live in a rural community that is mostly poor or working class. I see hundreds of people ride the bus to Wal-Mart daily because the store is one of the few places they can afford to shop. The...

Dispatch from APHA: Seeding local food in schools

As I write this, the day's far from over at the American Public Health Association's annual conference "Public Health Without Borders," but my brainpower is fading fast. Before I give up on knowledge intake and shift to taking in some of the great local San Diego eats suggested by readers, I'll share a few...

Twisted logic from Coke’s [dumbass] exec lets soda off the hook for obesity

Editor's note: This post contains adult language and a dangerous quantity of righteous indignation. So, earlier this week, the top honcho at Coca Cola urged the beverage industry to rage, rage against the unfair claims that soda bears any blame for the nation’s rising obesity problem. It is time, claimed...

Canada’s current food-safety crisis

Canada is gearing up for a shift in its food system. Two things have happened to spur this possible upcoming shift in Canadians' buying and eating habits. First, Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest food processor, has announced that some of their products contain a strain of listeria bacteria. There have...

Carrots v. Cupcakes: An Olympic question

By Debra Eschmeyer The carrots with which we entice our children to perform well have morphed into colossal sugary carrot cupcakes, as highlighted in the Los Angeles Daily News this morning. The article portrays the debate over the appropriate incentives to get children to read as pitting one responsible...

Americans are swimming in calories, USDA data shows

Last Sunday's New York Times looked at some recently released data from the USDA Economic Research Service showing that between 1970 and 2006, the amount of food available to the average American grew by 1.8 pounds of food per week. Among the increases were meat and egg consumption (+0.2 pounds per week),...

Ain’t nobody here but us pigs…

At the rate food prices are increasing, maybe we don't need to worry about people overeating, but a report by Youfa Wang, Lan Liang, Benjamin Caballero and Shiriki Kumanyika released today says 86 percent of Americans are going to be overweight or obese by 2030. Their study, "Will All Americans Become...

Something good for a change: USDA increases info access on meat recalls

Score one for access to information. The USDA announced today that starting next month, it will publicize the names of retail stores that have received shipments of recalled meat and poultry. Up until now, recalls were issued for slaughtering or processing companies; consumers were informed that meat...

Industry’s high fructose corn syrup campaign leaves a sour taste

By Debra Eschmeyer Earlier last week the Corn Refiners Association launched a multimillion-dollar media campaign to defend high fructose corn syrup as a "quality" sweetener, in the face of mounting public perception that this cheap, ubiquitous compound has played a not-so-sweet role in making Americans...

Everything looks better when your head’s in the sand: The USDA stops tracking pesticide use

When I was four, I ate my mother's houseplant. (I claimed to have thought it was salad.) As any responsible mother would, she freaked out and called poison control. The friendly folks at the 800 number — who must get these kinds of calls all the time, poor guys — immediately asked her the two most important...

Gary Nabhan wants you to go native for SOLE food

Could native foods be the next big thing in eating? Some people, Gary Nabhan in particular, are working to push things in that direction. Nabhan, a noted conservation scientist at the Northern Arizona University, is a founder of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance and may be the original...

Smells like a free ride: EPA wants to let CAFOs off on emissions reporting

In an excellent 2000 report titled "The Price We Pay for Corporate Hogs," researcher Marlene Halverson of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy recounts the following stories: On July 26, 1989, five farm workers in one family died after consecutively entering a 10-foot deep liquid manure...

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