Post 11 – Part 2

On my search for blog topic posts I found something interesting on food politics. Marion Nestle shared some information on the White House and childhood obesity. She explains some ways that food and beverage companies have been controling the policies being made.

One of the topics was that pizza has been declared a vegetable to be kept on school lunch menus. Hmmm.. Well, I wouldn’t be too upset with that if the pizza was a healthy pizza. I’m sure most of it is frozen, covered in yucky sauce, and cheese. Ok so there is tomatoes in the sauce…. how about putting a couple more on top of the pizza? Probably not..

The effort of 24 states to have a soda tax have all been forgotten. I’m not sure how I feel about the tax, but I’m pointing it out just to show how the food industry seems to be calling all of the shots.

Congress also stopped a plan by four federal agencies to reduce sugar, salt and fat in food marketed to children. Michelle Obama may be all about trying to help children fight obesity and learn about being healthy, but I guess Congress doesn’t care.

Reading things like this is frustrating. Why can’t companies make money by selling healthy things? Not all healthy things are disgusting. I don’t find every sugary treat gross, so why don’t we just try it. If the food industry would fight half as hard for healthy food as they do against it, we would be in far better shape. Literally.


Post 11 – Part 1

Last full week of classes!!


Since this week I enjoyed hearing about everyones progress on their projects. It seems like a lot of people have similar ideas. I am very happy that my presentation is over with and I can just sit back and listen to everyone elses.

Since there isn’t much for me to talk about I think I will share a lot of short opinions.

My topic is interesting to me because I love hearing people talk about what foods they are eating or not eating because they are trying to eat healthy or lose weight. There is so much input coming from TV, magazines, people, food labels and so much more that it is hard to tell what you’re really eating or should be eating to meet your goals.

The big debate on the cafe doesn’t really interest me. At first it was just because I don’t live on campus, but then because no one else in the class really wants to put effort into it so it’s annoying to hear about constantly. Personally, I don’t think the food is that bad. I lived on campus last year and ate it. Susquehanna provides a lot more options than other schools that I went to on my college search.

I really enjoyed Ashala’s project because I hear children nagging their parents all the time and I was once one of those nagging children.

Post 10 – Part 2 Follow Up..

My last post discussed how the FDA would finally be addressing the use of antibiotics. I stumbled upon the outcome of the decision on Food Politics. After reading what  Marion Nestle had to say, I decided to see how Mark Bittman was handling the news. To read more on the topic I followed a link to the New York Times. Here is what I found: The F.D.A. has decided that industries should not be able to give antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster. The F.D.A. does support the use when it is needed by a sick animal.  This would require a prescription by a veterinarian. The F.D.A. is allowing this to be voluntary, probably to avoid too much trouble from the industries. The F.D.A. is claiming that they will produce regulations if the rule isn’t followed.

Before I start ranting, I would like to say that I am happy to hear the F.D.A. say that the use is not in the best interest for humans and antibiotics should not be used for the growth of animals. While it is probably just a quick fix to shut up people protesting the use, it makes me feel like I can count on the FDA to be on my side even when big industries are not.

Problem one: Who is jugding “sick” animals? I’m sure that big companies can find veterinarians to pay off. Suddenly a lot of animals are going to be “sick”.

Problem two: Voluntary. I do think that the shame and accountability will cause some companies to reduce or eliminate the use of the antibiotics. The FDA said it’s bad so now they can’t hide behind the says who argument, but some companies won’t care. This isn’t a law.  No one will go to jail and no one will be fined.

In my opinion the FDA did what it could to make both sides happy. A full ban would have opened up a can of legal worms. The FDA would have to have air tight regulations. This can’t happen over night, but they can’t ignore the harm from antibiotics. It’s a start.. It’s going to cost a company a lot of money to pay off vets, hide what they are doing, and lose sales. It will happen, but as long as consumers stick to wanting and only buying antibiotic free meats I think there is hope. I’ll try to be optimistic.

Post 10 – Part 1

Reading Starving For Science by Robert Paarlberg has kind of made me feel stupid for being against GMOs. Learning about GMOs throughout this course has caused me to offer them no sympathy, until now.

GMOs sound scary and unnatural.  My conscience tells me that change like this is bad. Why would we genetically change a plant to grow some where that it wasn’t meant to? That has to be terrible for our bodies, right? Not so much. I agree that consuming a plant that is genetically modified to kill an insect or weed isn’t healthy. Filling our bodies with poison isn’t something to ignore. That trait is one that I wouldn’t support. Changing plants to kill things isn’t the only way to modify a plant though. I’m not an expert, but how can a plant having a gene that allows it to survive in a drought harm me? Just because a pepper needs half the amount of water than it normally would doesn’t mean it is going to poison my body and ruin the environment.

While some of it can be damaging and exploited by companies that doesn’t mean that it should be ruled out completely. Not an countries experience a food surplus like the US. If a country can’t produce all of the food that it needs or afford to import them that doesn’t mean that they should starve. GMOs would allow poorer countries to produce more food for themselves and exports.

I haven’t made my decision yet, but I have an open mind.