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.
With food prices continuing to rise, creating inexpensive meals that are also healthy can be a challenge. Here are tips for creating meals that cost less than $3 per serving.
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.
Medical researcher Ramzi Omri responds to the question “What Are Some Hypothetical, Aggressive Ways To Deal With National Obesity?” Questions were generated by Quora, a question and answer website, and Omri offers some solutions, from banning high fructose corn syrup to consumer education and better food labeling and packaging.
A new film Food Chain explores abuses to farm labor and pathways to eradicate this exploitation. It features dozens of workers; advocates including Dolores Huerta, RFK Jr., Barry Estabrook, and Eric Schlosser, and legislators including Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis and Rep. Barbara Lee.
How fairly or ethically food is produced is often overlooked in sustainable food system discussions. Yet, farmworkers are dying every year from thirst and heat exposure due to lack of water or shade. Further, toxic pesticide exposure sends up to 20,000 farmworkers to the hospital annually.
Burger King Corp. pledged to transition its U.S. supply chain to 100% cage-free eggs by 2017 and to only purchase pork from suppliers who demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs. Gestation crates are used in intensive pig farming to confine a female breeding pig during pregnancy; pigs are unable to turn around and the crates can be detrimental to animal welfare.
In this video a group of students from the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University address how to encourage healthier food choices in food deserts using a human-centered design. They discover that the availability of healthy food does not necessarily cause a shift in eating habits; education about how to prepare healthy, inexpensive meals is key, and making it fun is particularly important when trying to engage and educate youth.
Potawot is a clinic in California and one of 17 American Indian organizations nationwide that received a $100,000 grant from the CDC’s Native Diabetes Wellness Program. The clinic is using the money to develop a comprehensive Food as Medicine program trying to re-establish the traditional ways American Indians think about food.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a training curriculum for new and aspiring business owners: Money Smart for Small Business. FDIC and SBA will also form a Training Alliance for organizations that support small businesses through training, technical assistance, and/or mentoring.
Consumers are asking more questions about their food and where it comes from. In response, grocery stores are trying to meet consumer demand for more information and have changed the way they present food to their customers. Even McDonald’s is starting a ‘Meet our Suppliers’ campaign. Yet, price still remains a powerful factor in food choice.
The Washington Post’s U.S. Congress Votes Database is a searchable database that documents every vote and member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate, and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a brief “Making the Connection: Linking Policies that Prevent Hunger and Childhood Obesity” that outlines the relationship between food insecurity and obesity. Policies discussed in the brief include establishing healthy food financing initiatives to increase access to nutritious foods, supporting farm to institution and farm to school programs, and increasing free and reduced-price school meals.
According to a report by Trust for America’s Health, obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and health care costs in the country. Reducing obesity rates by 5 percent could lead to more than $29 billion in health care savings over five years, $158.1 billion in 10 years, and $611.7 billion in 20 years.
The National Restaurant Association’s 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast ranked the top 10 food trends for the year, with several geared toward children’s meals. The top five are healthful kids’ meals, fruit and vegetable sides in kids’ meals, gluten-free items, low-fat or nonfat milk and 100% orange juice options in kids’ meals, and locally sourced produce.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the launch of a food hub guide, a new USDA tool to bolster expansion of market opportunities for small and mid-sized U.S. producers. This resource was developed in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the National Good Food Network, the National Association of Produce Market Managers, and the Project for Public Spaces, as part of the National Food Hub Collaboration.
A study completed by the NPD Group in March found that 85% of U.S. consumers say price is the leading factor in deciding where to shop, trumping sales, special deals, customer service, and convenience. Setting the right pricing strategy, therefore, is a competitive advantage for retailers and manufacturers but it is also more difficult today with changes in shopping habits and the soft U.S. economy.
A long-term study completed by the Harvard School of Public Health and published by Archives of Internal Medicine finds that eating any amount and any type of red meat significantly increases the risk of premature death. The study examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for 20+ years. Substitution of other healthy protein sources, such as nuts, is associated with a lower mortality risk.