We’ve got to start somewhere and why not start in Vermont? Start labeling GMOs, that is. A new federal bill, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know-Act, was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The bill mandates the labeling of GMOs and this one might actually pass in Vermont.
RT.comreported on this issue as the bill passed through the state house last week. The report stated that more than 90 percent of Americans want GMO products labeled. Senator Boxer presented these numbers. RT.com also followed that up by reminding us that right now the Food and Drug Administration still does not consider a GMO to be “materially” different. This means the products cannot be tasted, smelled, or identified. Because of this, the FDA does not require labeling. More than 60 countries in Europe require such labeling; maybe soon, this will change in the United States. Read Full Post >
“They say that moms with children with food allergies do more research than the CIA, and I think that’s true,” quips Leah Segedieat the opening of a three-minute video she’s using to get the attention of moms and and baby formula giant Similac. She wants the company to get rid of the GMOs they put in their line of formulas, something Similac (Abbott Laboratories) decided not to do at their recent annual shareholder meeting.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic. It is being seen in kids and adolescents three times as often as it was in the 1970s. Primary care physicians are reporting seeing more children who are obese than ever before. According to Dr. Garry Sigman, director of Loyola University Health System’s Pediatric Weight Management Program, the cause of this increase in childhood obesity comes down to the many changes in culture and environment.
To combat the problem “try to simulate the way the world was. Not too much restaurant food, eat home meals as much as possible,” Dr. Sigman said. In addition, he recommends eating natural food products and minimizing the amount of processed food kids eat. Beyond food intake, Dr. Sigman feels that children should be cared for in a way that not every cry is interpreted as a need for food. He also stresses that children need to have the ability to move, attributing some of the obesity problem to the lack of time spent being active outside. “The streets are less safe, [the kids] go out and play less and spend far too much time watching screens like video games, computers and TV.”
Dr. Sigman’s focus, however, is not on preventing childhood obesity, but rather on helping those already suffering from it. He saw that children and their families were not receiving the treatment that would be of the most benefit. “The problem is that the health care system is designed to reimburse for procedures but not for the long time it would take…to make the healthy changes, the behavioral modifications,” he said. It was this problem that led to the creation of the Pediatric Weight Management System. Read Full Post >
When my young son came home from school on April 15, I had to share with him the sad news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I was gentle and only gave the information a nine-year-old needed to hear. I had the TV on and he walked into the room and saw the cleared scene of the crime. He immediately said, “Mommy, that’s exactly where we stood.”
I knew that the moment the news broke, my husband did, too. But it didn’t quite sink in until our child was impacted by the closeness of this terrible event. The second timeI ran Boston, my son and husband stood under the international flags and cheered for me as I finished. My son’s world changed on April 15, 2013. It changed in a way that broke my heart.
Erin Kreitz Shirey also had a similar sad moment with her little girl on April 15. Instead of being able to report the winning times, she had to tell her about the tragedy and how the race was stopped.
“What about the kids cheering on their parents? Mom, are they OK? Are the kids hurt?”, innocently questioned Shirey’s daughter that night. Her daughter, like my son, had cheered for her mother at many races as well.
We and many other parents struggled to talk to our kids about this event, especially our fellow running parents. We’ve all had our kids at races, standing on the curbs, hanging on the fences cheering. Now what are we supposed to tell them? Read Full Post >
If you or your kids are regular consumers of Dannon’s Danimals Smoothies, you’ve been taking in about 25 percent less sugar with each serving. Since February they’ve cut back the sugar in their kid-focused yogurt. They purposefully didn’t make a big deal about it as to avoid scaring off consumers.
It’s not the first time a brand has made a change to its formula only to reap the repercussions of consumers who prefer the status quo. McDonald’s faced backlash when switching from an animal fat frying oil to canola over concerns those world-famous fries would taste different. (Today their website boasts the use of a canola oil blend and that all fried foods on its menu are free of trans fats.)
And of course everyone knows the tale of New Coke, when the soft drink company reformulated its soda and became one of the most infamous marketing flops around. So changing something that wasn’t necessarily broken had to be done so in an exacting way by Dannon. It’s no surprise that the brand treaded these sugary waters carefully.
“One thing I have learned is that the main driver of yogurt sales above all is taste,” said Sergio Fuster, senior vice president for marketing at Dannon, to NYTimes.com. “You do not want to send any signal to the consumer that might lead her to believe the taste has changed because she will simply pick up another yogurt — and it may not be ours.” Read Full Post >