2013 Food Trends Favor the Tech Savvy Consumer

In its Food Trends 2013 predictions, Food+Tech Connect, with insight from the work of Phil Lempert, CEO of The Lempert Report and author of SupermarketGuru.com, created a list of themes they see trending and probable to grow in 2013. Top themes include an increased use of technology to aid people in making smarter food choices, greater attention paid to health and diet-related illnesses, an increase in alternate or plate-based forms of protein, and lastly, greater efforts at sustainability and reducing food waste.


Buy Newark: A Guide to Promoting Economic Inclusion Through Local Purchasing

A new guide from PolicyLink aims to help any purchaser or retailer that wants to start a buy-local program. This guide is designed for buyers in Newark, New Jersey, but it is also useful for anyone seeking to improve local buying power. The guide explores how small, local businesses can supply anchor institutions, such as hospitals, universities, libraries, government agencies, and other large, locally rooted employers, which spend millions of dollars on supplies and services annually.


New Farmers Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

A new guide written by Shelly G. Keller and Randii MacNear of the Davis Farmers Market addresses the need for training and marketing assistance, especially for beginning farmers. The guide covers nearly every aspect of selling at farmers markets and includes worksheets to help farmers evaluate prospective farmers markets and budget for the costs of selling at farmers markets.


Learn to Shop for Healthy Affordable Food on a Budget

The Shopping Matters Program, sponsored by the non-profit Share Our Strength and managed by Chef Greg Silverman, is a guided grocery store tour that teaches individuals how to read labels, compare unit prices, and compare various forms of fruits and vegetables. Tours are led by experts in the field, including culinary and health professionals, and challenge participants to buy groceries to make a healthy meal for a family of four with only $10.


Eating Healthy on the Go: What to Avoid at Fast Food Restaurants

Kim Brodie, a health specialist at the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Phoenix-Raleigh has created guidelines for making healthier choices when eating at fast food restaurants. For example, Brodie recommends ordering whole wheat or whole grain bread instead of white bread and ordering plain mustard in place of mayonnaise, ketchup, or barbecue sauce. Learning from this, we can begin to explore how to meet people where they are to help them progress toward healthier eating.


F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Health

Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the ninth edition to the annual report F as in Fat, which examines the state of obesity in the US.  The report includes an analysis that forecasts 2030 adult obesity rates in each state and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs. 


School Nutrition Programs Effective in Creating Behavior Change

A recent Kaiser Permanente study showed positive behavior change from school interventions by following the Healthy ONES (Healthy Options for Nutrition Environments in Schools) Program for three years. The researchers noted that having a robust plan for stakeholder engagement and having the initiative be community driven were keys to success.


Is Convenience Making Us Fatter?

A study from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control shows that convenience plays a larger role than poverty in the obesity epidemic.  The study found that of the 72.5 million adults who are obese 41 percent earn at least $35,000, while 20 percent of the obese are considered poor

Prescriptions as Incentives to Purchase Produce

Last month Unity Health Care Upper Cardozo in Washington, DC, began writing prescriptions for $1 per family member per day to be spent at any of five participating District farmers markets. Similar incentive programs are gaining popularity nationally.


Pop-Up Grocery Store Model Expanding Nationally

From San Francisco to Seattle and Chicago, pop-up grocery stores are providing healthy options to low-income consumers in food deserts. Studies show that they can be successful in changing eating habits if quality is proritized and health education is provided. 


James Beard Foundation Announces Leadership Awards

The James Beard Foundation is in its second (2012) year of honoring leaders who are “visionaries creating a more healthful, sustainable, and safe food world.” This year's five recipients include Wendell Berry, author; Dr. Jason Clay, senior vice president of Market Transformation for the World Wildlife Fund; Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Food Lab Advisory Board; and Malik Yakini, HUFED grantee and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.


Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Farm Economy

The Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council, and the USDA prepared a report that details progress made in the agricultural economy in terms of innovation, exports, clean energy, new industries, and community investment. It accompanies an announcement by the Obama Administration to invest nearly $2 billion by 2016 to help small, rural food businesses expand, modernize, and hire.


USDA Launches Toolkit Aimed for Latinos

In May 2012 the USDA launched a new, interactive Spanish toolkit, La Mesa Completa. The toolkit aims to help community leaders and faith-based communities become knowledgeable on the many ways they can work with USDA to ensure Latinos have access to nutrition programs; it includes links, best practices, and video testimonies. A recording of the webinar that launched the toolkit is available in Spanish.


Webinar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_3vgSeOqnI&feature=youtu.be

Unhealthy Food Promotion to Children in Supermarkets

A study published in the most recent Indiana Health Law Review entitled "Extending the Fantasty in the Supermarket: Where Unhealhty Food Promotions Meet Children and How the Government Can Intervene" looks at the effect on children of in-store packaging, promotions, and displays by food and beverage companies. These companies spend approximately $195 million annually on such promotions to children and adolescents.

Increasing Food Access Through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

New research published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found a positive influence on the revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and food packages on access to healthy foods. The revised program included cash-value vouchers for fruits and vegetables, new whole-grain products, lower fat content in dairy foods, and reduced juice quantities.