Tag Archives: hunger

Dumpster Diving for Dinner: A Mission to Save $165 Billion Worth of Edible Food

DUMPSTER-DIVING

Why would the owner of a marketing company be dumpster diving for food? You could find Rob Greenfield behind your local grocery with his bike propped against the dumpster while he looks for food. He has now completed two rides across America eating primarily from dumpsters. This isn’t a case of extreme cheapskates; Rob’s goal with these rides is to draw attention to how much food is wasted in America.

On his website, he lists these statistics:

  • We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.
  • About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.
  • Just to create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.

With as many as one in every seven American households being reported as food insecure and one in four children living in food insecure homes, the fact that we waste so much food on a daily basis is concerning. Charity Sub reports that 96 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year by restaurants, retailers, farmers, and individual households. In each major city that he visited on his ride, Greenfield created a demonstration with food collected from local dumpsters. He states that in a single night, he can collect from dumpsters enough food to feed hundreds of people in any given city. (more…)

Most Americans Clean Their Plates. Most Americans are Obese. There is a Connection.

The encouragement to eat everything on your dinner (or breakfast or lunch) plate comes in many forms. “Don’t be wasteful.” “Make a happy plate!” “Finish your food or you’ll get no dessert.” Or, my personal least favorite, “There’s starving children in _____ that would love to have that food.”

No matter how you phrase it, most of us are taught from a young age to eat everything that is placed before us.

eating from plate

While wasting food is never a good idea, there are plenty of ways to prevent waste that don’t include stuffing ourselves with every last morsel of food.

However, if you’re part of the clean-your-plate crew, you’re not alone. The average adult eats 92 percent of the food on their plate, Shape Magazine reports, no matter what that food may be.

Eating everything on your plate, healthy or no, could be causing you to overeat without you noticing. In turn, that could cause unwanted weight gain.

The Morning-After Pill for Your Food Baby is Available OTC

Happily, there are some simple steps you can take to “reprogram” yourself out of the need to eat everything placed in front of you. (more…)

Wacky But True: Study Using Voodoo Dolls Proves “Hangry” is a Real Thing

voodooFor years I felt original for using what I thought was my own word to describe how cranky, snippy, and sassy I get when I haven’t eating in a long time. The word is “hangry”, a fusion between hungry and angry, and it describes pretty perfectly the mood that affects many of us when we have low blood sugar. Hearing the first few people use my word was exciting and unifying, like we were apart of the same witty food-pun club! But lately I’ve been hearing it more than ever, so I am reluctant to admit that perhaps I did not, in fact, invent the word hangry. (I’m also being overdramatic, so perhaps I am currently hangry.)

At any rate, science has recently solidified the use of this word: A new study shows that being hangry is a real thing, or at least proves that being hungry definitely affects a person’s mood.

Researchers from Ohio State University set out to prove that low blood sugar is indeed the underlying cause of hunger-induce crankiness. (Read the full NPR report here.) But they didn’t just want to look at how strangers interacted, they wanted to know how we treat our loved ones when we’re hangry, so they studied spouses. 107 couples were recruited for the study and each given voodoo dolls. (more…)

Hungry or Bored: Is Your Eating Emotional or Essential?

Hunger:

1. a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.
2. a severe lack of food
3. a strong desire or craving

Those are the dictionary definitions of hunger. But what does hunger really mean? If you break hunger down to the most basic definition, what is it?

plate and utensils

A medical definition states that hunger is “an uneasy sensation occasioned normally by the lack of food and resulting directly from stimulation of the sensory nerves of the stomach by the contraction and churning movement of the empty stomach.”

We’ve determined hunger is the contraction and churning of an empty stomach. Now when was the last time your stomach was truly empty? Claims vary on just how long a healthy, well-nourished person can survive without food; usually it’s somewhere in the area of three to ten weeks. However, the feeling of hunger usually happens after just a few hours of not eating.

Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, R.D., recommends using the Hunger-Fullness scale to determine how hungry you are. The scale goes from one to ten, with one being extremely hungry and ten being extremely full. “It’s best to train yourself to eat at 2.5-3.0 and stop at 7.5-8.0, and then get hungry again in 4-5 hours.” (more…)

Join ABC’s Tweet-a-thon for Feeding America and Fight Hunger this Holiday Season

On Tuesday, November 19, use your tweets for more than just a way to share your daily witticisms. On that day from 1-2 p.m., ET, ABC is holding a Tweet-a-thon to benefit Feeding America. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s chief medical editor, hosts the event where the network will donate $1.00 to Feeding America, up to $10,000, for every tweet that goes out during the hour-long ABC Health Tweet chat. By simply joining the conversation and using the hashtag #abcDRBchat, you can help fight hunger in America.

feeding america

Feeding America is an organization committed to hunger relief in our country. According to their website, the national food insecurity rate is 19.5 percent. That means almost 20 percent of people don’t have consistent access to adequate food. For children the statistic is even worse. Nearly 30 percent of kids are hungry or are facing the risk of hunger.

A network of food banks is Feeding America’s primary tool in the fight to end hunger. Every state, in addition to Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, has at least one food bank that is a part of that network. In addition to food banks, Feeding America coordinates volunteers, enables activists against hunger, and directs those who are hungry to the resources they need including the food banks and assistance programs. (more…)

The 5 Diet Hurdles You Can Overcome for Weight Loss Success

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?” Today, we are going to talk through the five biggest diet hurdles that many people face and the simple tips to overcome them.

Watch our G+ Hangout with Stefanie Painter, RD from Retrofit who explains more.

True Hunger

With food in our sights while walking down the street, in our office break room, or next to the cash register at the store, we are prompted to want to eat at any turn. Also, many times we will use food for comfort after having a stressful, long, or emotional day. However, our bodies do not know that we got yelled at by our boss, had back to back meetings, or broke up with our boyfriend. So, eating outside of hunger sabotages our efforts. When we have ignored what true hunger feels like for a long time, we have to retrain our bodies (and brains) to understand when and how much we actually should be eating for a healthy weight.

Think of a hunger gauge like a gas tank: On empty, we are the most hungry we have ever felt in our entire lives, like when you have had to fast for a medical test. At full, we are so stuffed that we can’t imagine eating another bite, like on Thanksgiving. These are the extremes that we need to avoid as much as possible. When you are feeling hunger (belly rumbling), then you are at one-quarter of a tank and it’s time to have a meal or snack. As you are eating, slow down and savor each bite so you can feel when you hit half of a tank. This is when hunger is gone. Four to five bites later, you will hit three-quarters of a tank and it’s time to be finished, no matter how much food is left on your plate.

women salad

Moderation vs Deprivation

Most diets require us to take something out of our food choices or make certain foods “off limits.” While this will create a calorie deficit and result in weight loss, it is not realistic for a long term lifestyle, especially because we are often forced to stop eating some of our favorite foods. Deprivation can quickly lead to disaster!

Make ALL foods part of our healthy eating plan! Yes, focus on the healthiest foods — fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy products, and whole grains, as your main choices — but plan for treats and heavier meals in your day or week. For example, if you love chocolate, have one small piece (of dark) every day so you do not feel deprived. If your favorite meal is a burger and fries, make that part of your weekly plan so you can enjoy it. No food is “bad” when we plan for it!

Produce, Produce, Produce

Fruits and vegetables are truly powerful foods. They are super nutritious, low calories, and crazy high in fiber. When we work on adding more produce into our life, we can fill up on lower-calorie, high-fiber foods and decrease our portions of higher-calorie foods. Plus, fiber is much harder for the body to break down, so our metabolism goes in to over drive to digest and use produce for fuel. This helps boost our metabolism and burn more fat.

Getting in more produce can be a challenge, especially when we aren’t used to eating it often. Start small… add a piece of fruit with breakfast, then some veggies at lunch and dinner, and lastly work on using fruits and vegetables as part of a snack. The ultimate goal is to have 50 percent produce at all of your meals and snacks.

Portions

Portion distortion is running rampant. Everywhere we go, bigger is better, but not so much for our waistlines. As mentioned before, one of the best ways to start to decrease portions of higher-calorie foods is to aim to make half of your meal or plate produce.

Another handy tip is to use your hands as a portion size guide. Put both of your hands out in front of you flat, fingers closed, thumbs tucked in, and touching. This is the appropriate portion of a meal for your body. Most restaurant meals, or even meals that we cook at home, are much larger than this. Pairing your hands as a portion size guide with listening to your hunger/fullness queues using the Hunger Gauge is a dynamic combo to keeping your portion sizes in check.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not so much about planning, but more about being prepared for whatever your specific challenge may be.

  • If you are going to a restaurant, check the menu and nutrition info online first so you don’t have to make a choice while you are tempted by the dozens of menu items.
  • Headed to a party? Have a snack before you go,so you are not as hungry, and give yourself a drink and/or food limit, such as, one plate of food and two glasses of wine.
  • If you struggle with nighttime snacking, think about what your nighttime snack is going to be as you are preparing dinner. Put together your nighttime snack then, too. Set an alarm on your phone so you know when and what you will be enjoying as your late treat.

Thinking about diet hurdles you have faced in the past, how can some of these tips help you stay on track in the future?

retrofit weight loss program____________________________

By Stefanie Painter, a registered dietitian for Retrofit. You can save $50 at Retrofit with this coupon. #Sponsored

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3D Food Printers Backed by NASA Could End World Hunger

Imagine sitting at your computer telling a program what you want to eat and how many calories you want your meal to have, then hitting print and feasting on a pizza from your 3D printer. It’s not one of Willy Wonka’s prototypes, but a legitimate concept being developed by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor and NASA.

nasa 3d food printer

Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, was recently awarded a six-month, $125,000 grant to develop the sci-fi printer, which could help eliminate food waste and worldwide hunger. The new technology could also help provide a sustainable food source for lengthy space missions, as the printer’s ingredients will have a shelf life of up to 30 years. It works by synthesizing a meal one layer at a time, using proteins, carbohydrates, oils, water, and powdered foodstuff.

Mechanically engineered food seems like a counterintuitive concept considering the prevalence of foodies and food porn, but Contractor thinks we need to change our perception of what we see as food. Experts agree the earth’s population will reach full capacity toward the end of this century, topping off at a standing room only 12 billion people. “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” said Contractor. (more…)

Sweet Potatoes Are Saving Lives – Will You Help?

Food is the one thing that always unites us – be it a celebration, a mourning, or charitable cause. Today, One.org is using food to unite the blogging community to help a cause we should all be hungry to fight – malnutrition. They’ve banded 25 food bloggers to share the sweet potato love today, and in doing so, help raise awareness of chronic malnutrition, which they say is, “a hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world.”

It’s something that mothers around the globe face for their children. We tend to immediately think of poor, underdeveloped countries – those scenes are stark and real and very much deserving of our efforts. It’s very much a domestic issue, too, but one we think isn’t possible right here in our own neighborhoods.

According to CharitySub.org, which made hunger its charitable focus last winter, one in seven American homes is considered food insecure, with one in four children living in food insecure homes.

One.org thinks we can reverse this trend with one little super food – the sweet potato. “We’re on a mission to make the sweet potato famous. Why? Because it packs a huge vitamin A punch, and it’s saving lives in Africa today.” (more…)

Donate Healthy Items to the 2012 National Letter Carrier Food Drive on Saturday, May 12

The National Letter Carrier Food Drive is the largest single-day food drive in the U.S., and it’s taking place on doorsteps across the country this Saturday, May 12.

This marks the food drive’s 20th anniversary of helping millions of American families in need with the help of thousands of local letter carriers.

The National Association of Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger President, Fredrick Rolando, says the need in 2012 is particularly staggering.

“Sixteen percent of all Americans are at risk of hunger – uncertain where their next meal may be coming from. That includes 1 in 5 children under the age of 18, plus 4 million seniors who are forced everyday to choose between paying a utility bill and buying food,” he said.

Rolando reported that last year, despite many obstacles, letter carriers were able to collect more than 70 million pounds of food, raising the total amount of donations picked up over the history of the food drive to more than 1.1 billion pounds. (more…)

Down Economy Forces Some Schools to Feed Kids Supper

When I was younger and living in New Mexico with my parents and older sister, we were by no means a rich family.

Of the many things I don’t remember about my time there as a 3-8 year old, one thing I do have a vivid memory of is walking down to a nearby park with my mom and sister to get a free lunch that was provided to families in the neighborhood who were going through particularly difficult financial times.

We weren’t starving, but the lunch certainly helped. And while some view programs like this is a handout, that isn’t always the case as they can be a great benefit to communities. Although not everyone agrees, this seems to be the case with a recent trend in schools helping out struggling families by feeding children an extra meal before sending them home for the day.

In light of the economic downturn, there have been a number of schools that have begun serving students supper in addition to the breakfast and lunch they’re already being provided during a typical day at school. (more…)