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Calorie Labeling: Coming to a Restaurant, Grocery Store, and Theater Near You

The long-awaited final regulations for calorie labeling were released on Dec. 1, 2014. These regulations come 4+ years after the law requiring them passed as part of the Affordable Care Act. And, the regulatory verdict from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is clear: Calories will be everywhere. Nearly all chain food establishments that sell “restaurant-type food” and have 20 or more sites nationally will have to post calories on menus. Despite early signals that some food establishments might be exempt, the final regulations state that fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, movie theaters, bakeries, convenience stores, vending machine operators, and yes, bowling alleys must comply. Schools are pretty much the only entities that aren’t included. The regulations give establishments until December 2015 to post calories; vending machine operators have until December 2016. Keep Reading

Storytelling for Scientists

I had the chance to spend four days at the 2013 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo® with the Lead360 cohort, a group of emerging leaders from 20+ countries. It was an inspiring group of young professionals from universities, industry, and government agencies. One of the themes that emerged from our conversations was the need for effective communication, sharing with others what we do and how we can contribute to society. Keep Reading

CSPI’s 10 Riskiest Foods Really Aren’t: It’s time to stop misleading the public

With a fundamental interest in public advocacy, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) just reported on the top 10 riskiest foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The 10 ‘featured’ foods, many popular and healthy staples of the American diet, according to the report, accounted for nearly 40% of all foodborne illness outbreaks from 1990 to 2006. CSPI’s list in descending order: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts, and berries.

We at The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com are convinced that consumers will change or rethink their eating habits based on the media frenzy now surrounding these foods. Which is unfortunate. This information has already and will cause great confusion to the general population. Keep Reading

Getting Real About Our Modern Food System

Voltaire once said that “common sense is not so common,” a statement that resonates as particularly true lately. In recent years, our modern food system has come under attack by people who may mean well, but they may lack the knowledge, experience, foresight, and/or historical perspective to understand its complexity and importance. Numerous popular press articles, books, movies, blogs, etc., use some truths, some imagination and seductively simplistic, sometimes even misleading, approaches to blame “industrial” agriculture and the “industrial” food system for many of the problems that afflict our society today—energy shortages, environmental degradation, climate change, obesity, diabetes, allergies, etc. My belief is that our modern food system is not perfect, but has served us well, and before we dispose of it, we better design the new one very carefully with creativity, innovation, knowledge, and the responsibility of making life better for present and future generations. As a scientist, I trust science and the progress and solutions it brings, but I also know that science alone will not solve all of our problems. Keep Reading

Food Safety: It’s a shared responsibility

Today, the International Food Information Council Foundation released its fourth annual Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food, Nutrition, and Health. The survey covers a wide range of food and health topics, and some of the results pertaining to food safety are particularly interesting. Keep Reading