It’s natural to assume the good in someone, or something. In this case, a brand. Brands like Kashi, Naked, Alexia, Larabar, and Silk have spent millions in marketing and packaging so that we’re comfortable with their do-gooder, earth-friendly, clean and organic food brand personas. These brands are the nemesis of classic grocery store junk. But they just may be the nemesis of conscious eaters everywhere, too, according to a new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org.
The vote in California next month on Prop 37, which would require labeling of GMO and GE food products, is as hot as the presidential election. That vote there, while only immediately effecting California, has the potential to create a new labeling standard across the country. As you can imagine, a GMO labeling law would require transparency where these brands have been able to slip under the radar previously. As well, where companies are the most concerned, it will cost them quite a bit of money to update labeling.
Right there in red and green, you can see which previously assumed supporters of natural, organic, clean foods are just a front for more secrecy behind the label. Dean Foods, parent of Horizon and Silk, has spent a quarter-million dollars to prevent labeling GMOs. Coca-Cola, with their Honest Tea and Odwalla brands, has spent 1.1 million dollars. Something about that doesn’t feel so honest.
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In the first presidential debate of the 2012 election, President Obama and former Governor Romney went head-to-head on issues ranging from taxes for the middle class to how much government should be involved in regulating Wall Street. This first debate held high stakes for each candidate, as historically debates can serve to predict who will get ahead in the polls and ultimately become the next president.
The ongoing health care issue was a hot topic during this evening’s debate, its significance underscored as the candidates frequently referenced it to back up their platforms. The issue deeply polarizes voters as they face the critical question of how they’ll pay for routine and emergency medical expenses.
The importance of how Medicare, Medicaid, and the so-called ObamaCare Act will function in the future could not be overstated for the future health of the nation, with Obama saying outright, “I want to talk about Medicare…because that’s the big driver of our deficits right now.”
A frequently-quoted $716 billion was one point of difference between the candidates, and a touchy subject at that. Obama took it from Medicare and transferred the sum to help pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, a move he defended during the debate. Romney blasted the president’s decision, saying he would return it to Medicare and give states the ability to make their own decisions concerning health care for their citizens.
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Earlier today New York City’s Board of Health ruled to pass Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on over-sized sugary drinks, otherwise known as the Soda Ban. It’s a landmark ruling that is the first of its kind anywhere in the nation. At the most basic, the ruling puts in to effect a law six months from now that will ban the sale of sweetened beverages, like soda, sweetened iced tea, and energy drinks, larger than 16 ounces.
This means you can no longer order a large sweet tea at McDonald’s or a large soda at Subway. In fact, you can’t order anything above a small at any restaurant, street cart, sports stadium, or movie theater in New York City if it’s filled with sugary beverages. The ruling applies to any business that receives inspections from NYC’s health department. At some restaurants, their smallest cup sizes starts well past 16 ounces.
There are always loop holes though, and that is where places like 7-Eleven, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts might be able to help Americans keep getting fatter with every sip they take.
“The restrictions would not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected,” reported the NYTimes.com following the ruling. Large Frostys at Wendy’s are safe; Cokes in that same establishment are not.
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In these tumultuous times while most of our country has its eyes on the upcoming election, some health advocates are turning their eyes in another direction: On school lunches.
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – advocates for vegan diets and is out to bring dairy down, and hard. And where are they aiming their message? At kids, naturally, because they want to abolish milk from the school lunch programs for good. And in place of diary, they want to see other calcium sources on kids’ plates like beans, sweet potatoes and figs.
This isn’t an entirely unreasonable request, however, not everyone’s buying what they’re trying to sell. And perhaps it’s because of the group’s tendency to use harsh, unconventional methods for advocating in the past.
An example of PCRM’s radical ways? Just earlier this year the group placed some controversial billboards in Albany, New York, with images of overweight people grabbing their fat, and blamed dairy as the reason for their weight.
The signs said things like “Your Thighs on Cheese,” and “Your Abs on Cheese,” in an attempt to send the message that dairy is the reason Americans are fat. This, they say, is because of the saturated fat milk contains.
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Are liberals doing more walking than conservatives? If a recent story on ‘The Crisis in American Walking‘ from The Slate is accurate, potentially yes.
But before we get all political and step on toes, maybe it’s not conservatives’ fault. Perhaps the fault lies on the cities in which they live.
Tom Vanderbilt, author of the above mentioned article, investigated why more Americans aren’t walking, why other countries are walking more, and how the decline in walking is affecting our health.
It all began at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Georgia. After attending a class on pedestrian safety, Vanderbilt spiraled into all-out investigation mode on the topic of pedestrians in America, and how the pedestrian has become some odd being traveling on foot instead of by car, horse or plane.
When crossing the street after the class, Vanderbilt noted looking up and seeing a “Stop for Pedestrians” sign and, finding the whole thing odd, thought, “Why not just write: ‘Stop for People?’” What has walking in America become? A hazard? A rarity?
The experience got him thinking, and he began researching the topic, which resulted in a four-part series on the topic of walking in America and why it’s become a problem and point of fixation for many. It seems people either do it or they don’t. And it shows in the way their cities are designed and laid out.
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