KQED News Mind/Shift – Tove Danovich
“Bullying takes many forms, but when it involves a food that triggers severe allergies, it could be potentially deadly. Once, when Brandon Williams, a 16-year-old from Kentucky, was on a trip with his bowling team, his teammate decided to eat some food from McDonald’s on Williams’ bed. One item had so much mayonnaise that it dripped onto Williams’ bed and jacket. But for Williams, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening egg allergy when he was one, it was a potentially dangerous situation. “I told the person not to eat on my bed,” Williams recalls. His teammate just smiled at him, then he shoved the mayonnaise-laden sandwich in Williams’ face.” (more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
There never seems to be enough time in the day, especially when you have a job and kids. After a long day of work the last thing most of us want to do when we get home is worry about preparing a meal. As a result, many of us stop for take-out, pop TV dinners in the microwave, or go through the drive-through on the way home.
While fast, pre-prepared, and restaurant food is quick, convenient, and satisfying it is often low in nutrients, fiber, and phytonutrients; high in refined carbohydrates; and full of artificial colors and flavors. In addition, these foods are generally easy to digest and high in trans-fats or processed vegetable oils. Worst of all, many prepared foods are designed for “sensory-specific satiety” which makes it easy for us to eat more than we need and to become addicted to the product.
Sadly, the impact of consuming these foods is not usually immediately apparent. In many cases, it takes years or decades for symptoms to develop. As a result, it is easy for parents to overlook the impact food may be having on the long-term health and welfare of their children.
More information on the hazards of poor food choices has reached the mainstream press recently. Dr. Eva Selhub wrote about the connection between food choices, brain structure and function, and mood in the Harvard Medical School Health Blog. “If your brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, or if free radicals or damaging inflammatory cells are circulating within the brain’s enclosed space, further contributing to brain tissue injury, consequences are to be expected. What’s interesting is that for many years, the medical field did not fully acknowledge the connection between mood and food.”
Also, according to research conducted by Sanjay Basu M.D., Ph.D. at the Stanford University Medical Center, “increased sugar in a population’s food supply was (is) linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.”
Although it might seem overwhelming, ditching processed foods is possible even if you have a super busy schedule. The key is advanced planning, selecting healthy items when you get to the supermarket, and cooking enough extra food that you can have leftovers on days when there is no time to cook.
Once you adjust to the new approach to food, you will likely notice that everyone is less cranky and feels better, there are less sick days, and that you have more energy and patience.
The Hill – Lydia Wheeler
“The Trump administration is delaying Obama-era requirements aimed at making school meals healthier for kids. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim final rule Wednesday allowing schools to serve flavored one-percent milk and get a state exemption to serve grains that are not whole-grain rich through the 2018-2019 school year. Schools under the rule also get out of having to further reduce sodium levels in breakfasts and lunches next year.”(more)
The Guardian – Becky Alexander and Michelle Lake
“Eating a good lunch at work is so important: it gives you energy for a busy day, is a break from the classroom and helps balance stress levels. It’s especially key during exam time – long days teaching and invigilating, supporting pupils, as well as all the normal end-of-term activities can take their toll on teachers’ wellbeing. If you don’t have time to nip out at lunchtime and your canteen is heaving, the best option is to take your own food to school. It’s a good idea to have a stash of ingredients in the cupboard, freezer and fridge so you always have something decent to eat. We recommend buying bags of cooked lentils and nuts, tins of fish, and keeping longer-lasting veggies such as peppers, courgettes and radishes in the fridge. Sealed packs of feta, jars of olives and roast peppers all last for ages too and make a delicious, nutritious lunch.”(more)
Medical X-Press – Staff Writer
“The best culinary paths to better health are not always paved with cash, new research shows, and cooking at home can provide the best bang-for-the-buck nutritionally as well as financially. A study by Arpita Tiwari, a health systems researcher at Oregon State University, and collaborators at the University of Washington confirms what many mothers and grandmothers have said for decades: that habitually eating dinner at home means a better diet and lower food expenditures compared with regularly dining out.”(more)
BBC – Staff Writer
“School meals should include fewer puddings and more fresh vegetables, according to a report. Obesity Action Scotland (OAS) said improvements to school meals could play an important part in reducing childhood obesity. It wants to highlight the issue ahead of the council elections in two weeks’ time. The Scottish government said a review of school food and drink nutritional standards was under way. OAS is calling on local government election candidates to commit to transform school meals in Scotland “from a feeding culture to an eating culture”. The organisation said it wanted unprocessed or “minimally processed” foods used wherever possible and vegetables, soup and salads prioritised over puddings.”(more)