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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)

Kiko’s Food News, 9.18.14

As I pen this, we’re waiting for the results of Scotland’s independence referendum to come in…will Scottish people pay more for food if they go it alone? (Vice)

A top Texas official had a cow this week over Meatless Mondays, accusing school districts that have scaled back on serving meat of succumbing to a “carefully orchestrated campaign” to force Americans to become vegetarians: (Grist)

We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, may bathe and refrigerate our chicken eggs, but here’s why many other cultures don’t: (NPR)

Any of you penny-pinching beer lovers wonder why craft brews are more expensive than mass produced? (Huffington Post)

Suppose you could upload a photo of your fast-food receipts from the past year, and get the corresponding amount of free, healthy, ready-to-prepare food in exchange? (USA Today)


Kiko’s Food News, 9.11.14

It’s exciting to see healthier food marketing to kids pursued not only by removing junk food ads and toys, but by creating fun, nutritious snack food aisles in the grocery store: (Professional Search for Knowledge)

Big Food skeptics like myself should consider this argument that mega food service providers could be ideally poised to healthify eating habits and offerings in the lunch room with their food scientists, testing panels, and clever marketing: (Forbes)

This report identifies the six “Best Places to Farm” in the US, based on an analysis of the profitability, financial efficiency and growth of farming in nearly 3,000 counties:  (Farm Futures)

The Chinese search-engine giant Baidu has rolled out a set of “smart chopsticks” that can detect oils containing unsanitary levels of contamination–useful in a country that has been rocked with scandals from toxic milk to glow-in-the-dark pork: (Wall Street Journal)

Starbucks is testing coconut milk in stores as alternatives to traditional dairy grow more popular; the chain isn’t testing almond milk due to nut allergy concerns: (Reuters)

Sometimes Food News can be as simple as one really satisfying, creamy-crunchy dish: if you’re a fan of avocado toast, check out all of the variations people are whipping up these days! (Brooklyn Based)


Kiko’s Food News, 9.5.14

San Francisco will be the first American city to offer a financial incentive for urban farming; starting this week, owners of empty lots could save thousands of dollars a year in property taxes in exchange for allowing their land to be farmed! (San Francisco Chronicle)

A Harvard study revealed that even though the overall quality of American diets has increased in the past decade, nutritional disparities between the rich and poor are growing; the study’s authors see sugar-sweetened bevvies as a key area where policy can play an even greater role: (The Atlantic)

Perdue, one of the country’s largest poultry producers, announced it will no longer use antibiotics in its hatcheries; the company has overhauled its cleaning procedures and made other tweaks to prevent infection, including experimenting with adding oregano, yucca and herbs to its feeds: (New York Times)

Almost one-third of food workers experience food insecurity at some time during the year; how ironic that one-sixth of our nation’s workforce work in the food-production chain, and so many can’t make enough to put healthy food on the table: (Huffington Post)

The food industry and agribusiness allies that oppose labeling of GMO foods spent $27.5 million in the first half of this year on lobbying that involved labeling–triple the amount they spent last year: (Environmental Working Group)

 


Kiko’s Food News, 8.29.14

Grandma, if you’re reading this, don’t give up your cottage cheese just yet: doctors know that people who eat too much salt should eat less of it, but may be guilty of running too far and too fast in the other direction given that Americans’ average consumption of 3.4 grams of sodium per day is on the low end of the “safe zone”: (New York Times)

It’s worth thinking about why people of lesser means may struggle to maintain a healthy weight, whether it’s due to the challenge of exercising in an unsafe neighborhood or emotional eating that can stem from the stress of making ends meet: (The Atlantic)

In Russian Food News, Putin’s government closed four McDonalds’ in Moscow last week, including one that is in some years the busiest McDonald’s in the world; the reason given by the country’s consumer protection agency was “numerous violations of the sanitary code”, but “Beeg Mak” lovers there know better: (New York Times)

Mexican authorities are restricting food marketing to children on television and in movie theaters, part of an attack plan against staggering obesity rates there; the restrictions follow recent taxes on sugary beverages and calorie-dense snacks: (Wall Street Journal)

Uber is trying its hand in the fast-food delivery industry with its new service “UberFRESH”, which it claims will deliver meals from local restaurants in under 10 minutes: (Forbes)


Kiko’s Food News, 8.22.14

Given the over $1 billion of food the US exported to Russia last year, Putin’s ban on American food imports is going to hit our poultry, pork and nut industries hard; food makers, however, claim they’ll be able to redistribute production to other global markets: (Washington Post)

The next international exposition, 2015 Expo Milan, will gather 140 countries to tackle the question of how to feed a future of 9 billion people without destroying the planet; America’s presence will focus on topics like GMOs and our obesity epidemic, fueled by national faves like lobster rolls and po’ boys: (Washington Post)

French scientists seem to have figured out how to make raw milk cheese safe, so cheesemakers at England’s legendary Neal’s Yard Dairy want to translate a French government cheese manual to unlock the secrets of how to use good bacteria to battle the bad: (NPR)

Whether it’s San Francisco’s Valencia or D.C.’s 14th NW, many urban streets beloved for independent business are losing ground to chain stores that all feel the same; somehow though, the “sleek epicurean village” one entrepreneur is hatching in Paris feels especially dramatic: (New York Times)