Parke Wilde

Parke Wilde is a food economist. He teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and U.S. food policy for the Friedman School at Tufts University and edits the U.S. Food Policy blog.

Organic Food

Crop yields are only part of the organic vs. conventional farming debate

Sustainable practices yield fewer grain crops, but is that all that matters? One food policy expert responds to a recent news analysis that claims industrial and organic agriculture are equally important.

Frank discussion

Finally, the USDA names names in its dietary guidelines

The USDA says to eat more of this stuff.Every five years, the USDA formulates new dietary guidelines — advice for Americans on what to eat. And every five years, the guidelines are greeted with a chorus of derision. Critics like Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle have long argued that the agency backs away from directly challenging the food industry — instead of focusing on actual food, the agency fixates on the vague concept of nutrients. For example, rather than “eat less meat,” the agency has been more inclined to trot out abstractions like, “reduce consumption of saturated fat.” In that …

Ticked off over checkoffs

Sorry, McWilliams, the New York Times got the USDA cheese story right

The counterattacks on Michael Moss's exposé of the USDA's hypocritical efforts to get Americans to consume more high-fat dairy are wrongheaded. Milk and pork "checkoffs" do indeed represent the federal government at work.

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