Category Archives: News

Permalink to Paula Deen’s Missed Opportunity

Paula Deen’s Missed Opportunity

By now you may have heard the news that Paula Deen, reigning queen of Southern cuisine, has Type 2 Diabetes. Actually, she’s had the disease for the past three years, and chose to make the news public only recently after closing a deal with Novo Nordisk to be the spokeswoman for their drug, Victoza.

Articles have flooded the internet, and the backlash has been extreme. Paula claims she didn’t want to make this public until she had something to offer others in the same situation. But I have to wonder, is pushing a drug that only masks the problem the best use of her celebrity? Also, why hasn’t she been working to reverse the disease these past three years? It would have been far more powerful for her to announce that she privately beat the disease by changing her eating habits and lifestyle, and then emerged to show America how to do it by filming a healthy cooking show. Instead, she’s been hanging on by popping pills.  This is a huge missed opportunity.

One of her “healthy” recipes was floating around the internet this week, and I have to say, I’m actually pretty disappointed.  Paula Deen’s Healthy Chicken Recipe (via People)

Yes, when compared to her original recipe, I’m sure there is less sodium and fat, but it’s unfortunate that Paula still relies on processed foods like cream of mushroom soup and jarred mayonnaise. Albeit the “low sodium” soup and “light” mayonnaise, it’s still not as healthy as it could be. Processed foods are a large contributor to the health problems of this country, and the sooner people start removing them from their diets the better. I don’t always side with Anthony Bourdain’s snide remarks about people, but It turns out he was right when he called her “the most dangerous person in America” on Twitter last year.

Resources around the web:

Paula Deen: From Big Food to Big Pharma (Kristin Wartman)

Paula Deen: From Market to Pharmacy (Civil Eats)

Chef Has Diabetes and Some Say, ‘I Told You So‘ (New York Times)

Of Mouselike Bites and Marathons (Frank Bruni, New York Times)

Permalink to News Plate 1.6.12

News Plate 1.6.12

Your weekly roundup of food news is back for 2012! | Here are a few stories you may have missed over the holidays.

Mark Bittman reminds us that “no one is born craving Froot Loops,” and how food marketing is taking its toll on America’s children (12.11.11)
More undercover investigative work, this time at Butterball Turkey farms
The CDC was very busy in 2011. A roundup of the year’s biggest food outbreak reports.
Action Against Hunger reports that without mitigation strategies, the number of undernourished is estimated to rise by 24 million by 2050. (11.29.11)
Some tips on how to reduce your food waste during the holiday season via Civil Eats (12.9.11)
Farm Bill Hackathon winners visualize broad set of food and agricultural issues (12.5.11)
The UN reports that food prices will likely decline in 2012. (1.4.12)
Harvard dispels the myth that milk is our only source of calcium (1.3.12)

Permalink to News Plate 12.10.11

News Plate 12.10.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

New York Times: Surge in free lunches reflects economic crisis (11/30/11)
15 benefits of shopping at your local farmer’s market
According to Forbes, 93% of Americans want GMO foods labeled (12/1/11)
Humane Society | Smithfield Foods recommits to phase-out of gestation crates by 2017

Permalink to News Plate 11.25.11

News Plate 11.25.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

Big news this week for the factory farm industry! Mercy for Animals led an investigative report of Sparboe Farms, causing Target and McDonald’s to cancel contracts due to cruelty reports. Watch the Mercy for Animals video above to see its undercover footage.
New York Times | Find out what Mark Bittman is thankful for this year. (11/19/11)
Food Safety News | Lawsuit alleges major price-fixing scheme in the dairy industry (11/21/11)
Mother Jones | How refreshing! Our tax dollars help Cargill export factory farmed meat. (11/22/11)
Grist gives thanks for no secret farm bill, among other things (11/22/11)
Take a break and read Wendell Berry’s essay The Pleasures of Eating

Permalink to News Plate | 11.18.11

News Plate | 11.18.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

New York Times: Young Farmers Face Huge Challenges to Getting Started (11/13/11)
Civil Eats: The Rethinking School Lunch program offers a planning strategy for revamping food service beyond Berkeley to rural and urban areas around California struggling to improve the eating habits of school children. (11/15/11)
It took more than 10,000 years of domestication for humans to create the vast biodiversity in our food supply that we’re now watching ebb away. National Geographic says that to feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production.
The Ecologist: The secret horror of the world’s ‘mega’ factory farms
Rodale: 10 Food Label Lies. The slideshow might surprise you.
Mother Jones: On Antibiotic Use, Factory Farms Police Themselves (11/10/11)
The Minnesota Independent: Opposition to private drafting of the Secret Farm Bill (11/7/11)

Permalink to Top 25 Food Folks on Twitter

Top 25 Food Folks on Twitter

You love food. You use social media. You want to stay informed on what’s going on in food politics, organic farming, nutrition and the global hunger crisis. Say no more.

Here’s my Top 25 (including a few that Michael Pollan recently recommended), in no particular order. Is your favorite tweeter missing from this list? Leave a comment and let me know!


1. Marion Nestle // Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health

2. Slow Food USA // Building a good, clean and fair food system.

3. Michael Pollan // Food writer and advocate

4. Share Our Strength // Nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America.

5. Mark Bittman // New York Times columnist

6. Ellen Gustafson // Founder, The 30 Project. Co-Founder, FEED Projects + the FEED Foundation. Foodie, Feeder, Fighter for a better food system.

7. Naomi Starkman // Good Food Advocate. Food Policy Consultant. Co-founder/Editor,, Kitchen Table Talks; aspiring organic farmer.

8. Tom Laskawy // Covering food and ag policy for Grist

9. Josette Sheeran // Executive Director, World Food Programme

10. Sarah Wu // No longer anonymous educator who ate school lunch every day in 2010 to raise awareness about school food. Out now: ‘Fed Up With Lunch’ Oct 2011 Chronicle Books

11. // Environmental journalism at its best. A beacon in the smog, if you will.

12. Organic Consumers // Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace and democracy!

13. Earth Eats // Podcast, public radio program and blog from @wfiu. Tweets about local food, food safety, policy, sustainable agriculture, environmental news and recipes.

14. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) // The UN agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

15. Heifer International // Heifer empowers millions to go from poverty to self reliance via gifts of livestock, seeds, trees & training, providing a multiplying source of food & income.

16. Fair Food Network  // We’re a non-profit organization that works to design a food system that upholds the fundamental right to healthy, fresh and sustainably-grown food.

17. Robyn O’Brien // A former food industry analyst, I traded a briefcase for a diaper bag, had 4 kids, wrote a book, gave a TEDx talk on health & founded the AllergyKids Foundation

18. Wholesome Wave // Working to ensure HEALTHY, FRESH, and AFFORDABLE locally grown food is available for all!

19. Anna Lappe // Author, real food advocate, mom, and author of Diet for a Hot Planet, Hope’s Edge, and Grub

20. Bread for the World // A collective Christian voice urging our nation’s leaders to end hunger

21. Food Democracy Now // Creating a sustainable future through positive food and farm policies.

22. Paula Crossfield // Managing editor of Civil Eats, Huffpo blogger, contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show, rookie gardener, avid cook, food policy wonkette

23. Why Hunger // Join WhyHunger in the fight against hunger & poverty. Help create self-reliance, economic justice & equal access to nutritious, affordable food.

24. Andy Bellatti // Registered Dietitian with whole-food & plant-centric approach. Into sustainable agriculture. Food policy activist. Love to call out food industry nonsense.

25. And, The Giving Table, of course!


Permalink to News Plate | 11.11.11

News Plate | 11.11.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

Food Integrity Campaign: One of Monsanto’s shareholders urges it to be transparent about genetically engineered food risks (11/4/11)
Could you go vegan for 6 weeks? Vegucated documentary chronicles two omnivores who try.
TIME: Fast food’s biggest customers are the middle class (11/9/11) Wal-Mart by the numbers: Green vs. Growth (11/7/11)
The Huffington Post outlines six steps for food security (11/5/11)

Permalink to News Plate | 11.4.11

News Plate | 11.4.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

› Food Integrity Campaign: Since 1958, at least 3,000 food ingredients have been deemed safe without any government oversight (10/27/11) U.S.
› Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court to take up treatment of pigs (11/1/11)
› Food Day was a success! CSPI says message reached millions as government officials used the opportunity to push healthier eating habits
› Michael Pollan narrates a short video introducing the new edition of Food Rules
› New York Times: In Famine, Vouchers Can be Tickets to Survival (10/27/11)
› Chicago Tribune: The world has reached 7 billion residents, UN says food production must increase to help feed them all
› Nonprofit Quarterly: Hunger and obesity are both indicators of poverty (10/31/11)
› New York Times: “Companies care more about profits than the health of children…” (11/2/11)

Permalink to News Plate | 10.28.11

News Plate | 10.28.11

Your weekly roundup of food news.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy: New Steve Jobs biography shares Steve’s dislikes about philanthropy, a missed opportunity  to make positive changes in the food system. (10/26/11)
Reuters: Extra billions can be fed, but who will pay the tab? (10/25/11)
Bread for the World Blog: Watch the video of Vice President Biden passionately calling for an end global hunger
New York Times: Institute of Medicine calls for simpler nutritional labels on the front of food packages (10/20/11)
› San Francisco Chronicle: The 2012 Farm Bill is getting heated as California shut out of shocking new farm scheme (10/26/11)


Food for Thought

"To care about food but not food production is clearly absurd." // Wendell Berry

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