Food Politics/ Big Food, by Shelley Lance, Blog Editor

A post on nutrition expert Marion Nestle’s blog, Food Politics (you can find this under “Blog Buddies” to your right), notes that Big Food postponed their much criticized “Smart Choices” program (Fruit Loops is a “smart choice?”) after the FDA announced it is “in the process of examining front-of-package labeling issues.”

In a more recent post, Nestle reports that the San Francisco Attorney General just sent a warning letter to Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies regarding their front-of-package claim that the sugary cereal “helps support your child’s immunity.”  Does this imply that eating Cocoa Krispies will protect your kid against swine flu? The SF Attorney General is asking Kellogg’s for the scientific evidence that supports this claim.

A post on Grist, (also on “Blog Buddies” to the right,) called “Corn-based meat and ethanol: burning the planet to a crisp,” by Tom Philpott, argues against the concept that “it’s a good idea to devote vast swaths of land to an incredibly resource-intensive crop– corn– and then run that crop through an energy sucking process to create a product of dubious value.” (ie. corn-based ethanol)  According to a policy form piece by University of Minnesota researcher, Tim Searchinger, in Science magazine, the flaw in existing European and pending U.S. climate policy is that “biofuel gets treated as carbon-neutral, ignoring carbon emissions from land-use change.” As Searchinger (isn’t this a great name for a researcher, by the way?) puts it, “Literally, in theory, if you chopped up the Amazon, turned it into a parking lot, and burned the wood in a power plant, that would be treated as a carbon-emissions reduction strategy.”

Editor’s tip: “Grist” and Nestle’s “Food Politics” are two of the smartest and most readable blogs I’ve found if you’re interested in issues of nutrition, environment, sustainability, and more.

October 28th, 2009

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