Eatocracy – mind, body, wallet and some really fresh technology
September 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET
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All this week, CNN Newsroom and Rick's List is teaming up with Eatocracy to share an in-depth look at the impact your food choices make on every aspect of your life.

Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage of the battle against childhood and adult obesity, advancements in food science, mythbusting, the ethics of genetic modifications, the path your dinner takes to the plate - and some good old-fashioned food fun.

We'll share and expand upon the stories you're seeing on TV (we're keeping tabs in the list below), but we sure don't want you to stay inside, glued to a screen. That's why CNN and Eatocracy have paired up with location-based social network Foursquare to create a Healthy Eating badge that you can unlock at your local farmers market.

Here's how it works.

Whet your appetite? Once you're back from the market and are cooking up your fabulous, fresh haul, take a bite of of these stories you may have missed on TV:

  • Enviropig: the next transgenic food?
  • Scientists at the University of Guelph have added DNA from E.coli and mice to develop a pig that's supposed to wreak less havoc on the environment - but not everyone is squealing with joy.

  • Cooking up change in school lunches
  • Chefs across the country are teaming up with local public schools as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to combat childhood obesity. Their mission isn't an easy one: Get kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of curly fries.

  • Rethinking school lunch
  • Chef Todd Gray is taking on what he describes as "his toughest customers yet" – the students of Washington D.C. public schools.

  • Finding time for healthy kid lunches
  • Advice from a dad – how to make fun, interesting, inexpensive lunches – that they’ll actually eat!

  • Is this news you use?
  • Poll - do these stories make a difference in your life? What can we do to make you a happier, healthier eater?

  • A perfect day for a pig roast - with no Enviropig in sight
  • Eatocracy's managing editor Kat Kinsman and AC360° Producer Susan Chun talk genetically modified pig at an old-fashioned pig roast.

  • Organic produce – when is the splurge is worth it?
  • John Zarella takes a look at why organic food comes at such great cost to the consumer - and where to make some smart splurges.

  • Build a better bagged lunch
  • It's all well and good to pack a healthy lunch for your kid, but will they actually eat it? Katherine Tallmadge of the American Dietetic Association shares her suggestions for adding color, crunch and fun to your kid's midday meal.

  • The Farm at Walker Jones
  • School kids get their hands dirty growing kale, beets and plenty of produce at The Farm at Walker Jones, right in the heart of the nation's capital.

  • Is high fructose corn syrup getting a bad rap?
  • It's on the tip of everyone's tongues - and in a lot of what you eat. But is HFCS being demonized for causing the nation's obesity crisis?

  • Food fight: Chef Tom Colicchio supports free, healthier school lunches
  • The Top Chef head judge has taken his battle for healthier, free school lunch food all the way to Congress.

  • Building a better burger from the ground up
  • The farm-to-table movement has taken root in cities across the country. Meet the force behind Farm Burger.

  • How are you trying to improve your eating habits?
  • We all know that healthier eating is beneficial to our well being. It makes us feel better, look better, be more productive and energetic and possibly help us live longer. Those are all dandy things, but sometimes that plate of nachos just looks waaaaaay too delicious to pass up. So what's an eater to do?

  • Alice Waters on revolutionizing school lunch
  • Alice Waters' call to action on school food
  • Alice Waters, chef and owner of Chez Panisse is founder of The Chez Panisse Foundation, which "envisions a school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future." In this two-part series, she shares her goals for instilling lifelong healthy eating habits in the nation's kids.

  • A new breed of butcher touts "vegetable stimulus"
  • Jennifer Rubell might be the world’s first vegetable butcher. She’s determined to make us all to re-examine our relationship to food and asks, "How can we look at food in a more aware, awake way? How can we think about food in a way that is more mindful? How can we get our children into food?"

  • More men manning the family meal making?
  • A British study shows that men are spending more time in the kitchen and increasingly taking over the task of feeding their family.

  • Parents fear that healthier school lunches are pie in the sky
  • The number one meal served to children in U.S. schools is chicken fingers and French fries. It doesn't take a nutritionist to know that this fat-laden diet is seriously at odds with the National School Lunch Program's mission to deliver inexpensive healthier fare to kids – many of whom eat their most substantial meal of the day at school.

  • Edible garden taken to a whole new level
  • Chef John Mooney's new 80-seat restaurant, Bell Book & Candle, is the latest in rooftop farming ventures. Roth grows the majority of the restaurant’s produce above terra firma with the help of hydroponics and vertical towers – no soil required.

  • Going rogue, speaking easy at an underground supper club
  • Lady Rogue runs a supper club and speakeasy - but you won't find it listed in the phone book.

  • Fresh food options grows in an urban desert
  • Areas devoid of fresh food and supermarkets, like South Los Angeles, California, have become known as a "food deserts." In 2002, this area of more than 125,000 residents and five entire zip codes retained a 30 percent obesity rate and no full-service grocery stores – a problem that Councilwoman Jan Perry told CNN's Casey Wian needed to be nipped in the bud.

    Stay tuned - we'll update the list with the hottest stories as soon as we can get our mitts on 'em.

    Posted by:
    Filed under: Buzz • Eatocracy Week • Foursquare • Television

    soundoff (32 Responses)
    1. Annechristine

      It is only a matter of time that the FDA and all of these companies will be investigated to the fullest...THere is no reason why our foods should contain corn syrup, natural flavor and of course other ingredients not healthy for us. People in Europe don't have half the ingredients we have in their foods and you see less heavy people THey refuse to eat what we eat....Look someone has to wakeup and smell the coffee and stop all this unnecessary garbage in our foods...Some day everyone will be educated and eat properly...What are we waiting for... Let's all ge together and demand our government turn our country into a healthier way of eating. Let's cut out all the unnecessary ingredients in our foods...

      October 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    2. Andrea

      I couldn't help but notice CNN's report on high fructose corn syrup, and I think it's great that the network is exploring the issue, but the one thing I noticed missing is just as important; HFCS is made from genetically modified corn crops (most grown from Monsanto seeds), which, in addition to the syrup's other hazardous effects, is increasing consumer weariness about the multinational corporation and the ethics of eating their products. You all should do a feature just on Monsanto and their crusade to patent nature and monopolize the global food market. Also, an in-depth analysis of the meat industry should be a major focus. If you found out what's REALLY in your hamburgers, you probably would never want to eat another one. CNN should maybe do a feature on the benefits of avoiding those kinds of foods.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    3. Geoffrey Peakore

      A lot of people are turning to "aisle-by-aisle grocery shopping" to help stay true to healthier eating. There's technology from sites like that automate the grocery list development process and delivers it to your mobile phone in an organized, aisle-by-aisle manner. That way, when it comes time to shop, you can stay focused on buying only the "healthy" food instead of the the peripheral "junk" that often lures those shoppers that browse each aisle. At the end of the day, the technology is giving a growing number of people the ability to enter the grocery store with a focused plan – and avoid the lure of in-store marketing or those tempting foods that may be unhealthy. And we all know that avoiding unhealthy foods during the holidays can prove to be especially difficult.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    4. Alonzo Washington

      I am a comic book creator who has comic book designed to teach children how to eat healthy & become more active. Schools are using it to teach children good habits. I work out everyday & I loveteaching kids how to stay fit. The comic book is called Omega Man Battle for Health. My superhero fights childhood obesity.

      September 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    5. Greg

      If you're looking to benefit your mind, body, and wallet through technology check out is a free online fitness tool with a wide array of health, fitness, and nutrition-related information. The site offers helpful tips such as Food Journals, which can help you track, understand, and improve your dietary habits. The site's free fitness instruction can help you balance this diet with the proper amount of physical activity.

      September 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    6. newcardinal

      Read about potential problems caused by HFCS in the food we buy.

      September 29, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    7. ...---...

      I don't think that guy on Rick's List today was giving very good information about food...maybe paid by some dairy group or something. Pretty poor quality information on food out of that guy. I wouldn't listen to him, or perpetuate anything that he thinks he knows about food. He's parroting from food industry or something. No evidence to support what he is saying...maybe market research to sell you more bad food. Not impressed with that guy at all. Did they say he is getting his own show? Must be paid by food industry. not health. not that health is any better.

      September 29, 2010 at 4:31 am |
    8. Mark Rinella

      Talk about stale content. Don't give kids sugar for breakfast. Duh. We needed a crack team of CNN reporters to break this story?

      September 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    9. Jette

      Too bad the young career folks don't have time to throw a couple of tomato and cucumber plants in the ground.
      oh well, at least they have a allready made vegetable tray to snack on at home, i guess it's better than nothing.
      Ah, if they only knew how good "fresh from the garden" tastes. The only thing that amazes me is, they run to the local farmers market and buy produce from the produce truck, they dont understand that it is the same produce you get at the store, and most likely not harvested that morning. Teach your children how to grow vegetable, fruit-let them plant a fruit tree- let them grow flowers, you'd be amazed how much they will enjoy it. no wati-they allready planted a tree on farm land.

      September 28, 2010 at 6:54 am |
    10. Swamprattler

      From now until the super bowl is over, all diets are forgotten, no man shall be held accountible for over indulgence of anything.

      September 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    11. Swamprattler

      veggies make great side dishes with MEAT, ribs, steaks chops, roasts, chicken and fish. Never let some clown ruin your eating habits, after eating a good meal, get off ya butt and move around.

      September 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    12. Veggiehead

      "Healthy eating" and "pig roast" should not appear in the same synopsis.

      This CNN effort appears to lack focus.

      September 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
      • Skinny Omnivore

        I think a pig roast can be just as healthy as anything else. Your posts seem to suggest "calories in, overweight out" but then you are against a pig roast? Everything in moderation, based upon what you body needs. If anything, nix the sweets. I don't eat sweets at all and have not topped 100 pounds in my nearly 50 years.

        September 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    13. Kathy

      Scientists are discovering that chemicals we're exposed to everyday could be a big part of the obesity epidemic. Called obesogens or endocrine disruptors, these natural and man-made chemicals work by altering the regulatory sytem that controls your weight – increasing the fat cells you have, decreasing the calories you burn, and even altering the way you manage hunger. Endocrine disruptors can encourage the body to store fat and re-program cells to become fat cells, prompt the liver to become insulin resistant, which makes the pancreas pump out more insulin that turns energy into fat all over the body, and prevent leptin (a hormone that reduces appetite) from being released from your fat cells to tell your body you are full. High fructose corn syrup is found in everything from sodas to yogurt to pretzels and is an obesogen. This sweet stuff makes your liver insulin resistant and tampers with leptin to increase your hunger, setting up a vicious cycle where you crave more food that is then more easily turned into fat. For more information on obesogens and how to avoid them visit "" and on his home page search for "Understanding Obesogens". There is a wealth of information on organic foods, recipe for homemade natural produce spray (water, vinegar, baking soda & lemon juice), weight loss, etc. I watch the Dr. Oz TV show every morning and take lots of notes. I took the "Just 10" weight loss challenge and I have lost 8 pounds in the last month just following a few simple rules (most important rule was to throw out everything in my pantry containing high fructose corn syrup). I am truly inspired by Dr. Oz because his advice works and it's inexpensive.

      September 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
      • Veggiehead

        You get fat if you eat too much. you get really, really fat if you consistently eat too much. It's energy in and energy out, Kathy. Barring metabolism problems (thyroid, for instance) a person who carries too much fat has no one to "blame" for the weight but him or herself. Read "the End of Overeating," by David Kessler, MD.

        September 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    14. joe

      what i hate worse than anything is health food nuts that tell people whats good whats bad..just butt out and let people enjoy their food and their lives.

      September 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    15. Icebox Chronicles

      At, we've seen how important these issues are, and how many people have chosen not to think about them. However, we've been encouraged by the enthusiasm so many show when they realize how interconnected their choices are, and how simple and delicious the results of a little planning can be.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    16. Icebox Chronicles

      At, we've seen how important these issues are, and how many people have chosen not to think about them. However, we've been encourages by the enthusiasm so many show when they realize how interconnected their choices are, and how simple and delicious the results of a little planning can be.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    17. Becky

      A big part of the childhood obesity equation is physical activity. Kids' activity levels are decreasing due to a variety of factors, including an increase in time on the computer and playing video games and recess time at school being shortened or cut. A new campaign called Recess Rocks aims to bring its program, in which dance instructors are paired with schools to bring fun, creative movement into classrooms, into schools across the nation. You can learn more about the program and bringing it to your local school at

      September 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
      • Veggiehead

        Nope. It's too many calories going into those cute little pie holes. Too much sugar, fat and and salt-filled foods eaten too often, throughout the day. As I posted below, read "The Ed of Overeating," by D. Kessler. It will open your eyes.

        September 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
        • Veggiehead

          should be: "the End..."

          September 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    18. Angelic

      I was trying to locate my comment on Facebook to correct one grammatical error without success. Thank you for the coverage on the certified organic gardening. Thank you! Thank you!

      September 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    19. parkca01

      Fresh food will always be better than any junk, both in taste and in health. To be fair, though, many struggling financially just can't do it. A bag of grapes at the supermarket can usually cost ~4, and it only lasts about a week tops. A bag of chips can be $1.50 and lasts indefinitely! I try to buy to be healthy, but the budget is a severe restriction.

      September 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    20. Dr. Jessica

      I think its important to eat and feed your family healthy foods. I can tell when my daughter is eating junk food and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables because of the dumps on her face. I also think organic taste better; its more flavor.

      Dr. Jessica

      September 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    21. Ley Andrews

      I started gardening aged 6 with my parents in post-war England. I am a Master Gardener for Colorado Springs. The one thing no one has mentioned when discussing "organic" vs. not, is that organically-grown vegetables taste better. I grow my own veggies, especially tomatoes, and every time I share my produce with my friends, the comment is always about taste. My produce has far more taste than any in the stores, even from the Farmers' Market because my soil is far richer than theirs, thanks to annual additions of whatever manure I can find, plus grass clippings Canadian peat moss. This method of gardening is labor-intensive but much cheaper than using commercial fertilizers.

      September 27, 2010 at 10:53 am |
      • Yoni

        Hey Ley! I'm a 22 year old college student in Georgia (US) and I'm wanting to find work in the agriculture field, mainly in crop production, but I am having absolutely ZERO luck. Any advice you could offer me would be greatly appreciated.. thank you so much!

        September 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
      • Guest

        I disagree with you about Farmers Markets as my husband works some here in So Cal and we get our tomatoes & other veggies from the local farmers who sell at the markets he is at. The flavor does vary but are much better than what you buy in the stores. We rarely buy our produce of any kind from the store because we get it fresh from any one of the farmers at the markets. None of the organic farmers use commercial fertilizers either.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
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