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Kiko’s Food News, 1.22.15

Deb Eschmeyer, whose FoodCorps today places 200 service members into schools nationwide to promote healthier eating, has replaced Sam Kass as executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy adviser for nutrition policy: (Politico)

Chipotle suspended purchases from a pork producer that ran afoul of its animal welfare rules, an admirable stake in the ground that bolsters its reputation with diners but threatens sales and profits: (Reuters)

Despite what Paleo-heads may say, the microbiome’s ability to respond to our diet is why our bodies can adapt to so many different ways of eating–regardless of how long it might take for our genes themselves to change: (Huffington Post)

From policing deceptive labeling to protecting food workers, here’s a roundup of last year’s legal victories for food issues, in honor of my legally minded fiancé! (Eat Drink Politics)

Studies showed that students who ate lunch after recess consumed 54% more fruits and veggies than those who ate before–maybe because they weren’t rushing to playtime, or maybe because movement stoked their appetite for the healthy foods: (NPR)

Who else is thirsty for radlers (beers made with citrus juice) and Lambrucha (part lambic beer and part kombucha)? Guess I’m one of those health-conscious women to whom US beverage makers are targeting their new low-alcohol drinks: (New York Times)


Kiko’s Food News, 1.8.15

In 2015, if you’re not into fat you’d better leave the kitchen. So next time you’re left with a chicken carcass or beef bones, consider making the food trend and health silver bullet du jour: bone broth, which is like stock but with a higher proportion of bones to meat: (New York Times)

Similarly, schmaltz has long served as the backbone of Jewish cooking, but is making a comeback with home cooks who realize that lard isn’t such a bad-for-you ingredient, after all: (Huffington Post)

How cool that a publisher exists to put out only children’s books about healthy eating? Its latest title is Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious: (Civil Eats)

We knew gut bacteria was necessary for physical health, but a new Oxford study suggests that its presence dictates our mental health, too; prebiotics may have an anti-anxiety effect, as they alter the way that people process emotional information: (Huffington Post)

Yes the economy is improving, but this means about 1 million people will lose SNAP (food stamps) in the coming year as states re-impose the three-month limit on benefits to unemployed adults who are not disabled or raising children: (CNN)

An increasing number of food nonprofits are relying on Walmart to fund their programs, but this author encourages them to consider how what is good for one organization may not be good for the food movement as a whole: (Civil Eats)


Kiko’s Food News, 12.27.14

While most of us had our eyes on the holiday prize, Senate cleared and Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill; tucked within it was a provision prohibiting the government from requiring less salt in school lunches and allowing schools to obtain exemptions from whole-grain requirements: (New York Times)

Last week at a friend’s dinner table, we noticed the wine label said “contains milk and eggs”; hard to understand, until I came across this article: (Civil Eats)

Tech advances in tuna catching are a boon for commercial fishing, but without more regulation, they could end up killing off the stock: (The Guardian)

A UC Berkeley study showed how methods like crop rotation and polyculture are much more productive than bare-bones organic farming, testament to the fact that simply eliminating pesticides does not make a farming system agroecological: (Civil Eats)

And research demonstrated that we feel less full when we think food has less calories; the hormonal response to this perception can sabotage diet attempts:(Forbes)


Kiko’s Food News, 12.11.14

Here’s proof that fast food chains can be profitable while paying workers $15 per hour: one burger group in Detroit expects all of its workers to be jacks-of-all-trades, which keeps them engaged enough to stay in their job and saves the company from losing money to employee turnover: (NPR)

Sam Kass, the White House chef and head of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, is leaving his post to follow his new wife to New York City; I’m curious what private company he’ll join up with to promote cooking and health next: (Wall Street Journal)

Although cooks of centuries past knew that foods change over time, today an ingredient’s life is thought to have ended once time has altered it in any way; this article celebrates uses for chips, bread, milk, and more that are past their prime: (New York Times)

An alliance of six of the largest U.S. school districts announced that its members want antibiotic-free chicken to serve in their cafeterias; if suppliers can’t meet the “no antibiotics ever” pledge, they’ll be required to write a plan for meeting the goal: (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Could American and European citizens’ individualism trace back to the wheat-based agrarian society of our forefathers, whereas Eastern cultural tendencies to think interdependently are rooted in a history of rice farming? (New York Times)

None of us want to consider that our parents could be malnourished, but a study found that 60% of patients age 65 and up were under-nourished when they checked into a hospital for other reasons; depression, immobility, and lack of income are factors that put the elderly at risk of not taking in adequate sustenance: (Next Avenue)


Kiko’s Food News, 12.5.14

Don’t lose hope if your clan can’t often make it home for dinner together–families are making breakfast the new bonding meal: (Wall Street Journal)

Starting next November, menus in American restaurants, theaters and beyond will have to list calories; but whether menu labeling works for calorie reduction remains to be seen, partly because those who change their ordering behavior tend to be outside of the target population: (New York Times)

Since healthfulness isn’t typically a food donor’s top concern, food banks–increasingly focused on the nutrition they provide to those in need–are coaching the public on the kind of low sodium, low sugar, high fiber nonperishables they actually want: (NPR)

The Ebola crisis is exacerbating food shortages in Liberia, as a lack of labor hinders production; hungry rice farmers are eating the seeds they’d normally hold back for planting next season: (Bloomberg)

A group of employees at a popular SF Chinese restaurant joined Bay Area legal groups in announcing a historic $4 million dollar settlement with the restaurant’s owners; it involves back pay for 280 employees, as well as a 5% raise for non-tipped workers: (Civil Eats)

It’s a crazy point in a farm family’s life cycle when a professional “succession planner” needs to be called in, but that’s what’s happening at some of the roughly 30% of U.S. farms wrestling with parents reaching retirement: (Fast Company)

Friday night wine date at…Starbucks? Looks like they’re taking a cue from the great European-style coffee houses that transition seamlessly from morning to night as they aim to double food sales: (Wall Street Journal)


Kiko’s Food News, 11.14.14

Four food movement leaders argue that we need an official national food policy, since our national agricultural policy sacrifices public health by boosting the productivity of American farmers that churn out a surfeit of unhealthy calories: (Washington Post)

Talking about proactive public health policy, the landslide passage of a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Berkeley will encourage other cities to pursue similar initiatives—but not effortlessly, as a 2-cent tax was rejected across the bay in San Francisco on the same day: (USA Today)

And as soda gets out of the way, I’m stoked to see Hint Water—an unsweetened drink alternative—getting distribution in food service settings like universities and hospitals: (Fast Company)

I ate up Mark Bittman’s credo that the solution to hunger, which today takes the form of obesity and diabetes, is not to produce more food but to eliminate poverty: (New York Times)

Whole Foods has started issuing ratings for its fruit, veggies, and flowers—even those flown in from overseas—to measure the quality of farming practices; fresh food is color coded as “good,” “better,” and “best”: (Grist)

The student of innovative retail that I am, it was fun to read this story of how the great idea of doubling SNAP bucks to buy produce was carried all the way from farmers market activists to national legislators: (NPR)


Kiko’s Food News, 10.30.14

Californians may know a tri-tip steak cut like the back of their hands, but most Americans are confused by the names of cuts at the meat counter; a move to standardize labels on 350 cuts of beef and pork might help: (New York Times)

The new Meat Collective Alliance joins groups popping up around the country to connect local livestock and poultry farmers with consumers interested in bulk purchases of meat: (Modern Farmer)

Far too often, all isn’t solved once a struggling household gets something to eat; food comes at the expense of other basic needs that no one should have to live without: (Huffington Post)

The FDA is planning a revision of the current nutrition label; the new label would separate added sugars from naturally occurring, and highlight the number of calories in the amounts of food people actually consume at a sitting: (New York Times)

The Japanese government is trying an experiment to repopulate a farming town losing young residents to the cities; this means sayonara to small farms, as local authorities will consolidate abandoned land for use by private companies: (Washington Post)

 


Kiko’s Food News, 10.16.14

At what point do we learn to act fancy around fancy food? Lucky for us, these kids haven’t gotten there yet: (New York Times)

San Franciscans will soon vote on whether to make their city the first to tax sugary beverages; the American Beverage Industry is on the defense with high-priced lobbyists and PR firms placing billboards and expensive ads on radio and TV stations in the area: (Mother Jones)

A new ingredient that looks like blood, has a metallic taste, and is derived from hemoglobin is being tried in veggie foods to make them appealing to meat eaters: (Wall Street Journal)

Brunch may seem like a harmless combo of eggs, mimosas and a hangover, but it has its haters too: (New York Times)

With hemp milk, cashew milk, rice milk and other non-dairy alternatives increasingly showing up at coffee bars, I found this chart comparing them to be helpful; goat milk packs a nutritional punch! (Huffington Post)


Kiko’s Food News, 10.10.14

We Americans may be stuck in a cereal rut, but children around the world eat some pretty colorful things for breakfast! Here’s some inspiration to try new flavors in the morning: (New York Times)

School lunch in America is a case study on the influence exerted by the USDA, Let’s Move, the School Nutrition Association, big food lobbies, and other players: (New York Times)

Farmers markets get a wholesome wrap, but it turns out many require oversight to prevent fraud by small producers who can be strapped for cash, or tempted to bring in produce they didn’t grow: (Modern Farmer)

Walmart announced an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of its food; is this just marketing speak, or will the country’s largest grocer actually use its clout to sway how much water is used to produce a crop, or to shorten the distance a load of strawberries is shipped? (New York Times)

Out of respect for food traditions and traceability, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher–almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents: (NPR)

Should we reconsider eating octopus, considering its documented intelligence and the labor needed to make it tender and tasty? (The New Yorker)

 


Kiko’s Food News, 10.3.14

Hope you’re hungry for food news, because today brings a double serving….

On-trend caffeine lovers are adding butter to their coffee–not only to enjoy an incredibly creamy cup, but because the high fat content slows the time it takes to metabolize the caffeine, decreasing the risk of slump later:  (Huffington Post)

Donut with that coffee? Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ have made new commitments to source palm oil for frying from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests; their going deforestation-free signals a shift in the fast food industry: (NPR)

Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper said they’ll work to reduce the calories Americans get from beverages by 20% over the next decade by more aggressively marketing smaller sizes, bottled water, diet drinks, and vending machines printed with calorie counts: (Washington Post)

The Paleo diet has ballooned into a cave-man-inspired lifestyle offering Paleo action figures, beauty products, liquors, sleep masks and clothing: (New York Times)

Poultry companies–even the big guys like Perdue–are turning to probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics: (NPR)

But how should bacteria be kept in check after slaughter? American chicken processors use a cap of chlorine per gallon of water in a tank that chills the carcasses, whereas Europeans banned chlorine treatment in the 1990s: (NPR)

Unable to cope with falling prices for their products due to a Russian embargo, French vegetable farmers set fire to tax and insurance offices in Brittany: (BBC)

Mark Bittman postulates that any cooking project can be plotted along a continuum of time and work, and recommends cooking toward the extremes of that continuum: (New York Times)

Unprecedented demand for supply chain transparency is driving a new wave of tools that aim to boost traceability of ingredients: (Specialty Food)

After this big serving of food news, go take a walk! It’s apparently the “superfood of fitness”: (Reuters)