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.
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.
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.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) released a marketing guide for small farmers. The manual is geared toward helping farmers develop and implement a marketing plan that will work for them, their farm, and their products.
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.
How Far Have We Come in Reducing Health Disparities? summarizes the Institute of Medicine's 2010 workshop and explains the progress in the field since 2000.
A report from USDA’s Economic Research Service examines the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of more than 6,500 food desert tracts in the US to see how they differ from the census tracts and the extent to which these differences influence food desert status.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A bipartisan group of former U.S. cabinet secretaries released a comprehensive and actionable plan to improve America's physical and fiscal crises. Former Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Ann M. Veneman and former Secretaries of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala and Mike Leavitt released the recommendations, calling needed attention to mounting health care spending, which is expected to reach $4.6 trillion dollars annually by 2020 and consume 19.8 percent of GDP.
Dr. Oran Hesterman is the founder of Fair Food Network and a strategic advisor to the HUFED Center. He has worked in the business of sustainable food and food justice for decades and has helped shape food system language and thinking. This interview tells the story of what inspired Dr. Hesterman to pursue this work, how he defines a sustainable food system, and why food justice is an important component of sustainability.
In the U.S. nearly all people consume enough calories daily but they are not necessarily getting the nutrients they need for long-term health. Malnutrition, meaning bad nutrition, is most likely to occur among the poor. Organizations working to help the hungry are trying to address individual nutritional needs and provide healthy alternatives such as fresh fruits and vegetables, often with the help of local farmers.
The organic industry experienced 9.5% growth in 2011, showing that consumers perceive organic food as value-added products worth the premium. At the same time, the price gap is narrowing for some organic products, such as lettuce, making it easier for the budget-minded consumer to choose organic over conventional products.