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Nancy Huehnergarth's Posts

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32 million reasons to cheer new school lunch rules

Photo by the USDA.

There are 32 million reasons why the United States Department of Agriculture's new school meal standards [PDF] are good news. That's the number of children who participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs in the U.S. and who will soon be served far more nutritious -- and hopefully delicious -- school meals.

Announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, who was instrumental in getting the new rules written by ensuring that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010, the updated meal standards are a huge improvement, in spite of last minute meddling by Congress. The standards are based on 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations and they include:

Read more: School Lunches

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McChange doesn't come easy

Photo: roadsidepicturesUnder intense pressure from health advocates, and with the kind of fanfare that only a gazillion dollar multinational company can muster, McDonald's has announced that it will soon include apple slices and a significantly smaller serving of French fries in its Happy Meal. The fast food giant will also cut sodium by 15 percent in all of its food by 2015. While most Americans may find this about as scintillating as cleaning out the cat litter box, the media and public health community clearly found it fascinating based on the number of published articles and blog posts, and the …

Read more: Food

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Not just the facts, ma’am: Why science alone can’t defeat Big Food’s policy stranglehold

Put 'em up, Pepsi.Food-reform advocates like to stick to the facts, believing that if they can just construct a rational, air-tight argument, they'll convince the public and transform policy around food. But that's a bit like bringing a butter knife to a sword fight. As Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, declared at the May 4 Future of Food conference in Washington D.C., "We need to bring as much rigor to the fight [for a healthy, sustainable food system] as we have to the science." (Hat tip to Marion Nestle for highlighting Dr. Ross' speech in …