Currently showing: Food security > Food waste

15 Jan 14 22:13

There is enough food to feed everyone in the world. Why can't we make it work? Shameful that the US ranks so low for healthy eating.

Where In The World Is The Best Place For Healthy Eating?

The U.S. didn't even make the top 20, even though it has the greatest abundance of cheap food.

Category: Food security: Food waste

Location: Worldwide


Rashunda Tramble - 16 Jan 2014, 1:11 p.m.

Have you heard of "food deserts?" These apparently are areas in the US where healthy food is difficult to obtain without having a car or another form of personal transportation. An example would be a neighborhood where alcohol is more readily available than, let's just say, an apple. These neighborhoods are - either by coincidence or not - mostly always poor.

Maybe it's a chicken vs egg case: is healthy food unavailable in these areas because of lack of consumer demand? Or, is it due to places such as Whole Foods (or even just normal fresh markets) not wanting to do business in these areas.

Also, we've got to do better in terms of educating our children. I'm not sure of what the USDA rules are for school lunches (if there are any), but I distinctly remember my junior high school waaaaaay back in the day having vending machines in the lunch rooms. Most of them offered items such as Hi-C juice, which I didn't find out until later contained almost everything else but fruit juice.:-)

Gardenia - 16 Jan 2014, 4:22 p.m.

There's a great documentary about food deserts called The Apple Pushers: One organization is doing something to make fresh food more available in New York.

I totally agree on education. Look at what Alice Waters has done with the Chez Panisse Foundation.

Marketing makes it even harder to be healthy. I just found out that most of the "natural" tea brands I drink are full of pesticides. And just what is the meaning of "natural" anyway. Even as an educated and motivated consumer, I've been tricked by some bogus claims (at least initially...Vitamin Water anyone?).

Alicia Montoya - 17 Jan 2014, 6:41 a.m.

It's weird, when did whole foods become "a thing"? The way I see it, whole foods are food as it should be, while the rest (junk, packaged, precooked) is not. When I went to school in Spain and California in the 80s, we were fed nothing but canteen-cooked, dare I say healthy, food. No hamburgers, no sodas and definitely no vending machines!

When did schools sell out on the excuse that they needed corporate money to complement scanty budgets? And if they do, when did governments shrink from their responsibility to provide education for all? I'm a big believer in what corporates can do for the world, namely via innovation and responsible manufacturing and trade. But in my view education should be free, unbiased and paid for by our tax dollars.

To Gardenia's point about marketing, I'm with you! Bio, organic, whole food, fair trade... are all being misused to sell what are sometimes the same products at a premium. At the end of the day, if you have any doubts, think back to what your grandma would have fed you: tap water, big plate of veg, plenty of fruit... and remember, real vegetables & fruit "look freaky"

Jennifer Rodney - 17 Jan 2014, 7:12 a.m.

Agree with you Gardenia and Alicia that marketing of health foods can be pretty treacherous! As Alicia says, less processed is usually a safe bet!

One resource I find quite trustworthy is the Nutrition Diva's podcast. She's a nutritionist (also an opera singer!) with a grounded perspective, a practical take on health and no endorsements from anyone in the food industry.

I knew about food deserts but was curious to learn a bit more about how prevalent they are in the US, and came across this great (as in informative, NOT great as in great how many people have limited access to fresh produce...) map:

Rashunda Tramble - 17 Jan 2014, 8:42 a.m.

Thank you for the documentary tip. I watched the trailer and will certainly watch it on iTunes. Oh gosh, the word "natural." There's no set definition for that word or "organic." I'm shocked that no one has tried to trademark them for use on their products.

Rashunda Tramble - 17 Jan 2014, 8:55 a.m.

It seems my old school system is trying to make some changes: . Tony Geraci is director of food service for Memphis City Schools and is trying to bring food from "farm to fork." This article was written in 2011, so I'm not sure how he's getting along.

Rosa Dominguez - 22 Jan 2014, 9:40 a.m.

Again education is the base. We can not forget education comes with example, it does not matter what we do at school as far as at home we do not do likewise...

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