“Healthy-ish, as a concept, isn’t new. In fact, it’s the food industry’s equivalent of your mom telling you to finish your broccoli before you dive into the Twinkies, only dressed up with a sexy hyphenated coverline and some mouthwatering photos of chicken seared in a cast-iron skillet. “Healthy-ish” shouldn’t feel revolutionary. By its very definition it’s something of a big old foodie shrug—an acknowledgment that if we can’t all subsist on steamed fish and vegetables all of the time, we can at least offset the steak dinner for having salad for lunch. It is, as per Pollan at least, a philosophy that everything is best enjoyed in moderation, including moderation.”
“Darren Seifer, a food and beverage industry analyst at NPD Group, recently told Marketplace’s Annie Baxter that consumers are increasingly focused on clean and pure foods. And when it comes to corn, that means fresh, locally sourced organic sweet corn, not high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found in a wide range of processed food that has been linked to obesity and diabetes.”
“Food and climate change are inextricably linked: global warming and changes in rainfall have a major impact on our food security, and our diets are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural emissions are thought to account for around 30% of global emissions, with livestock responsible for half of these. Although there is a role for improved farming practices to reduce emission intensity, dietary patterns will need to change to avoid catastrophic consequences.”
“Unable to afford the fertilizers and pesticides that 20th-century agriculture had taken for granted, the country faced extreme weather events and a limit to the land and water it could use to grow food. The rest of the world will soon face many of the same problems: In the coming decade, according to the OECD, we’ll see higher fuel and fertilizer costs, more variable climate patterns, and limits to arable land that will drive cereal prices 20 percent higher and hike meat prices by 30 percent—and that’s just the beginning. Policymakers can find inspirational and salutary ideas about how to confront this crisis in Cuba, the reluctant laboratory for 21st-century agriculture.”
Cuban officials faced the crisis clumsily. They didn’t know how to transform an economy geared toward sweetening Eastern Europe into one that could feed folk at home. Agronomists had been schooled in the virtues of large-scale industrial collective agriculture. When the “industrial” part became impossible, they insisted on yet more collectivization. The dramatic decline in crop production between 1990 and 1994, during which the average Cuban lost 20 pounds, was known as “the Special Period.” Cubans have a line in comedy as dark as their rum.
“Lawmakers and consumers are turning against big sugar, and soda companies are reeling.
In early November, the Food and Drug Administration announced that Americans should eat and drink no more than 50 grams of sugar — roughly the amount in a can and a half of Coke — each day.”
“Liver damage caused by the typical “Western diet” – one high in fat, sugar and cholesterol that’s common in developed countries such as the United States – may be difficult to reverse even if diet is generally improved, a new study shows.”
“In a bid to reduce leftovers and thus household food waste, campaigns encourage individual consumers to stop and think before preparing food and take portion caution. Overemphasis on the action of individuals fails to appreciate the ways in which social, material, economic, and cultural factors shape and constrain the performance of eating and food-related practices”.
“The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government’s influential advice compendium, took more than a year to compile. It cites hundreds of scientific papers. It is built on the recommendations of an expert panel. The book shapes what millions of people eat.
Yet ever since it was published last month, a very public, very caustic spat has been waged among experts over the quality of the science behind the recommendations and the extent to which any of the advice can be trusted.”
“As health conscious consumers, we continue to read more about allergens and contaminants in the food we buy at local markets and food chains. So how does one avoid that eating what might make us sick? Enter Clear Labs, a team of software engineers and genomic scientists that are indexing the world’s food supply in order to help set worldwide standards for food integrity.
“What do you do with a problem like unhealthy foods? After all, junk food is easily available, it’s cheap, and it’s advertised harder than other kinds of foods. It’s also (usually) delicious. How can you fight that?
Two options are gaining support. In the U.K., the public supports a ban on junk food advertising to children. Specifically, a ban on TV advertising before the 9 p.m. “watershed,” after which U.K. television assumes kids are tucked up in bed, away from a screen, and only consenting, junk-food-loving adults are awake to be marketed to.”
“The food industry is in the midst of a major transformation. In 2015, the upheaval was marked by a more conscious consumer who continues to demand transparency into the foods and beverages that the line the grocery store shelves. We also saw greater integration of technology into the food experience – whether it be dining out and using mobile payments, or dining in and using one of the many meal delivery services. Where 2016 goes is anyone’s guess, but here are four trends the experts predict for the coming year.”