Kristin Wartman

Kristin Wartman is a food writer living in Brooklyn. She is a Certified Nutrition Educator and holds a Master's degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz. She focuses on the intersections of food, health, politics, and culture. You can read more of her writing at kristinwartman.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter.

Food

Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap

A good pinch of this won’t do you any harm.For something that’s so often mixed with anti-caking agents, salt takes a lot of lumps in the American imagination. Like fat, people tend to think of it as an unnecessary additive — something to be avoided by seeking out processed foods that are “free” of it. But also like fat, salt is an essential component of the human diet — one that has been transformed into unhealthy forms by the food industry. Historically, though, salt was prized. Its reputation can be found in phrases like, “Worth one’s salt,” meaning, “Worth one’s …

Scary Food

Are you enjoying your daily chemical cocktail?

A 1970s-era Monsanto ad.Photo: Christian MontoneChemicals and additives found in the food supply and other consumer products are making headlines regularly as more and more groups raise concern over the safety of these substances. In a statement released this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asked for reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. The group is particularly concerned about the effects these substances have on children and babies. Last month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) held hearings on the safety of food dyes but failed to make a definitive ruling. The most recent study …

Solving the Ritalin

ADHD: It’s the food, stupid

Over 5 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States, and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. The study’s lead author, Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in the Netherlands, said in an interview with NPR, “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the …

Cereal comedy

Breakfast is not so gr-r-reat when your only option is Frosted Flakes

Breakfast cub: Tony the Tiger says start your kid’s day with big bowls of sweetened corn.Photo: Jim BarkerOne in four children goes without breakfast each morning, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a tragedy to be sure — but are Kellogg’s breakfast products the solution? Last week, Kellogg announced its new project called Share Your Breakfast, part of a national advertising campaign. The project asks Americans to upload their breakfast photos to the website shareyourbreakfast.com, and Kellogg Company will donate up to $200,000 — the equivalent of 1 million school breakfasts to help feed children from food-insecure households. Feeding …

Fat chance

The last days of the low-fat diet fad

The low-fat trend finally appears to be on its way out. The notion that saturated fats are detrimental to our health is deeply embedded in our zeitgeist — but shockingly, the opposite just might be true. For over 50 years the medical establishment, public health officials, nutritionists, and dietitians have been telling the American people to eat a low-fat diet, and in particular, to avoid saturated fats. Only recently have nutrition experts begun to encourage people to eat “healthy fats.” This past December, the Los Angeles Times reported that excess carbohydrates and sugar, not fat, are responsible for America’s obesity and …

Milking it

Palin and Bachmann trash Michelle Obama’s breast-feeding advocacy

Photos: Roger H. Goun, Lord Mariser, and Gage Skidmore Once again, the Tea Party heavyweights are using food to cast First Lady Michelle Obama as a proponent for an all-controlling nanny state. Last month, the first lady’s efforts to rein in the junk-food industry drew the ire of right-wing scolds. More recently, her promotion of breast-feeding, particularly among African-American women, drew controversy. At around the same time, the Internal Revenue Service announced that breast pumps would be eligible for tax breaks. Strangely enough, some conservatives leapt to attack the simple notion of encouraging breast-feeding — which has been shown in …