Is organic food worth it, health-wise?
August 6th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the director of its Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. He blogs about health policy at The Incidental Economist and tweets at @aaronecarroll. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Recently, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition said that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious.

A press release declared it the "largest study" of its kind. Because of its size and breadth, some people believe that it trumps previous research which showed organic food did not appear to be any safer or more nutritious than conventionally grown food.
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Filed under: Health News • Organic


July 29th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
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Palm weevils. To look at, these tiny bugs are relatively unassuming, perhaps even slightly creepy to the insect-adverse. To Mohammed Ashour, however, they are the solution to many of the ills facing the developing world. The humble palm weevil could potentially eradicate world hunger and malnutrition, it could lift whole communities out of poverty, and bring down global C02 levels. For a creature measuring just a few inches in length, that's a lot of power.

"If anything, our business model is too disruptive," says Ashour, who launched Aspire with four fellow MBA students from McGill University. Their aim is to introduce insect farming to countries with an affinity for insect consumption and a lack of access to nutritional sustenance.
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Filed under: Africa • Food Politics • Hunger


July 21st, 2014
12:45 PM ET
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She chops. She sautés. She whips up whole healthy meals.

Eleven-year-old Esther Matheny is a natural when it comes to the kitchen, using her cooking skills and creativity to contribute to her family's dinner table in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

This spring, she won a chance to represent her state at the White House Kids' State Dinner by creating and submitting a recipe for Michelle Obama and the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a contest co-sponsored by food site Epicurious. Winners from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands were invited to attend the dinner.

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Filed under: Kids • Video • White House


The complicated politics of the school cafeteria
July 16th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Kat Kinsman is the managing editor of CNN Eatocracy. She wrote this essay for the place-themed issue #52 of the SFA's Gravy quarterly.

Angela H. pulled me aside in the lunchroom to tell me that everyone thought my family was poor. This was news to me. So far as I could tell, my sister and I didn’t look anything like the barefoot, swollen-bellied children on the sides of the UNICEF cartons into which we slipped spare pennies. Nor did anyone attempt to gift us with sacks of half-eaten sandwiches, the likes of which our Grandmother Ribando said starving Armenian children would be most grateful to have. (Clean your plates, girls. Clean your plates.)

I pressed her for evidence and she relished the words, tumbling them around in her mouth like a disc of butterscotch before spitting them out on her Jell-O dish: “My mom says it’s weird that your mom wraps your sandwiches in Saran Wrap instead of a Ziploc. And why do you always have carrot sticks and a couple of potato chips when we all have cookies? Did your dad lose his job or something?”

I bought my lunch for the rest of sixth grade, making sure to spring for the chocolate milk instead of white—extra nickel be damned (and sorry, faraway UNICEF urchins). It’s not that I especially enjoyed the grey-meated burgers and leathery green beans slopped on my plate by a rotating cast of conscripted parents, but I loathed the notion that my peers thought they could infer anything personal from my lunch tray.
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