Friday, July 17, 2009

American's against food taxes

Would these Americans be willing to pay the true cost of food? Food from unsubsidized corn and soy and including the externalities of the health care costs and environmental damage?

They certainly are willing to spend money of TV ads. This one makes me want to go camping with some Big Red.

Note the coalition members:

Coalition Members 7-Eleven, Inc.
Advantage Vending Equipment
Alabama Beverage Association
Alabama Grocers Association
Alcan Packaging
Allen Beverages, Inc.
American Advertising Federation
American Beverage Association
Americans for Prosperity
Arizona Beverage Association
Arkansas Beverage Association
Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association
Bernick’s Beverages and Vending
Beverage Association of Mississippi
Beverage Association of Tennessee
Beverage Association of Vermont
Beverage Truck & Trailer, LLC
Brinker International
C. C. Clark, Inc.
California-Nevada Soft Drink Association
Can Manufacturers Institute
Canada Dry Bottling Co. of New York
Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
Carolinas Food Industry Council
Chesterman Company
Clark Beverage Group
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Fort Wayne, IN
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Minden, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Winona, MN
Coca-Cola Bottling Works, Inc.
Coca-Cola Company, The
Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc.
Colorado Beverage Association
Colorado Retail Council
Connecticut Food Association
Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works, Inc.
Corn Refiners Association
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Cowan Systems, LLC
Coyote Bait & Tackle
Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Domino’s Pizza
Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Dublin
Dr Pepper-Royal Crown Bottling Co.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Enterprise Leasing Company of Georgia
Entravision Communications
First Choice Vending
Florida Beverage Association
Florida Maritime Leadership Coalition
Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
Food Industry Association Executives
Food Marketing Institute
G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers
Georgia Agribusiness Council
Georgia Association of Convenience Stores
Georgia Beverage Association
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Food Industry Association
Georgia Retail Association
Georgia Restaurant Association
Global Closure Systems OBRIST Americas
Graphic Packaging International, Inc.
Great Dane Trailers
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Hispanic Media Council
Hoosier Beverage Association
Idaho Soft Drink Association
Illinois Beverage Association
Illinois Food Retailers Association
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
Independent Buyers’ Co-op
Indiana Grocery and Convenience Store Association
Indiana Restaurant Association
Institute for Liberty
International Dairy Foods Association
International Dairy Queen, Inc.
Iowa Beverage Association
Kansas Beverage Association
Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association
Kentucky Beverage Association
Kwik Trip, Inc.
L & E Bottling Company
Lakeside Pepsi-Cola
Lancer Corporation
LinPepCo Partnership
Louisiana Beverage Association
Louisiana Retailers Association
Mack II, Inc.
Maine Beverage Association
Maine Restaurant Association
Maryland Retailers Association
MD/DC/DE Beverage Association
Massachusetts Beverage Association
MeadWestvaco Corporation
MEI, Inc.
Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Mexican American Grocers Association
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Food and Beverage Association
Michigan Grocers Association
Michigan Soft Drink Association
Mid-Wisconsin Beverage, Inc.
Minges Bottling Group
Minnesota Beverage Association
Minnesota Grocers Association
Mississippi Automatic Merchandising Association
Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association
Missouri Beverage Association
Missouri Retailers Association
Montana Beverage Association
National Association of Convenience Stores
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Theater Owners
National Automatic Merchandising Association
National Confectioners Association
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Grocers Association
National Restaurant Association
National Supermarket Association
National Taxpayers Union
Neighborhood Market Association
Nebraska Beverage Association
Nebraska Retail Federation
Nei Bottling Group, Inc.
New Hampshire Grocers Association
New Hampshire Soft Drink Association
New Jersey Food Council
New Mexico Beverage Association
North Carolina Beverage Association
North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association
North Carolina Retail Merchants Association
North Dakota Grocers Association
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Ohio Council of Retail Merchants
Ohio Grocers Association
Ohio Restaurant Association
Ohio Soft Drink Association
Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative
Oregon Soft Drink Association
Original Roadhouse Grill
Pace Global Energy Services
Pennsylvania Beverage Association
Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association
Pennsylvania Restaurant Association
Pepsi Bottling Group
Pepsi Bottling Ventures
PepsiAmericas, Inc.
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages
Pepsi-Cola of Florence, LLC
Pepsi-Cola of Rochester, MN
Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Association
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Central VA
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Hastings
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Hickory, NC
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of LaCrosse
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Logansport
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of New York
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Pipestone, MN
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Roxboro, NC
Pepsi-Cola Decatur, LLC
Pepsi-Cola Dr Pepper Bottling Co.
Pepsi-Cola of Northeast Wisconsin
Quail Mountain, Inc.
Quality Retail Services, Inc.
Rehrig Pacific Company
Retail Merchants of Hawaii
Rexam, Inc.
Rhode Island Beverage Association
Ron’s Towing, Inc.
SandenVendo America, Inc.
Seneca Wholesale Co., Inc.
Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets, Inc.
Snack Food Association
South Carolina Beverage Association
South Dakota Beverage Association
Streva Distributing Co. of New Iberia, Inc.
Sun Drop Bottling Co.
Swire Coca-Cola
Temple Bottling Company
Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association
Texas Beverage Association
Texas Grocery and Convenience Association
Texas Roadhouse
Towerwall, Inc.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Utah Beverage Association
Varsity Beverage
Venmart, Inc.
Vermont Grocers’ Association
Virginia Beverage Association
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Vitro Packaging, LLC
Walton Beverage Company
West Virginia Beverage Association
West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association
Western Kentucky Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc.
Wilson Corporation
Wisconsin Beverage Association
Wisconsin Grocers Association
Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Wisconsin Restaurant Association
WP Beverages, LLC
Wyoming Beverage Association
Yum! Brands, Inc.

KOPN Food Sleuth: Investigative nutrition

One of my favorite RD's bringing the truth about food to the American public is Melinda Hemmelgarn.

Her new radio show is available online and she has already had some great guest like Roger Dorion, Founding Director Kitchen Gardeners International, Robyn O'Brien author of The Unhealthy Truth and Julie Fischer on the Missouri CAFO issues.

Melinda Hemmelgarn is a registered dietitian, newspaper columnist, and freelance writer and speaker. She has written her trademarked weekly "Food Sleuth" column for the Columbia Daily Tribune since 1989, and it now appears in a variety of publications nationwide. The "Food Sleuth" mission is to "digest" nutrition research, expose diet fraud and help consumers think beyond their plates.

Melinda's launch into media work began when she learned that most consumers receive their nutrition and health information through the media. She developed (and for 15 years directed) the Nutrition Communications Center at the University of Missouri, where she wrote a nationally distributed newsletter, conducted hundreds of media interviews annually, and instructed dietetic and science journalism students.

Motivated by escalating childhood obesity rates and the inability to effect significant change through traditional nutrition education strategies, Melinda turned her attention to food marketing, advertising directed towards youth, and children's "media diets." She joined the Alliance for a Media Literate America in 2001 and has been conducting national workshops blending media literacy with nutrition education ever since.

Melinda is a member of the American Dietetic Association's Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group, the Society for Nutrition Education, and the Missouri Association for Social Welfare's Hunger Task Force. She is also a new member of the Association for Health Care Journalists, and an affiliate member of the University of Missouri's Center for Health Policy.

Melinda describes herself as a "change-agent," working to improve public health and create a more just and sustainable food system.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Women's health through women

This blogpost is participating in a Registered Dietitian Bloggerfest. Please check back daily and use the links below to read other RD's posts on Woman's Health. This post is dedicated to women coming together is special ways make the world a better place.

Last night I attended my first meeting with The Pleiades, a network of women working for a sustainable world. According to Wikipedia:
the Pleiades, or seven sisters, are an open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. Pleiades has several meanings in different cultures and traditions.
The mission of our group, Pleiades, is to "create a network of leading women thinkers to be an inspirational force within the sustainability movement. Leveraging the talents of its diverse members, Pleiades provides strategic partnerships and educational initiatives that empower the role of women in restoring balance in our lives, our communities, and the natural world."

The group was the brain child of Kathleen Frith, Assistant Director of Harvard's Center for Health and the Global Environment that stemmed from an idea she had in her early 20's. Our first meeting was held at member Ana Sortun's Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge. We enjoyed delectable yet simple, healthy food made of conscientious ingredients and tasted some organic and biodynamic wines. While this seems like the typical "Slowfoodie" event often criticized for being elitist, a fly on the wall would argue that the conversation had this evening was far from elitist.

A round of introductions revealed accomplished writers, activists, scientists, mothers, health care providers, farmers, teachers, artists, environmentalists, all of course, women. I was humbled to be surrounded by such agents of change.

After we enjoyed some nourishment, we moved on to a discussion. Dr. Molly Kile, a research fellow and epidemiologist in the Department of Environmental Health shared her experience in Bangladesh. In the 70's Bangladesh had a Cholera outbreak that was being perpetuated by the people's use of surface water. The international community came together to help fund water pumps that would give the people access to ground water and help control the epidemics. What is saddening is now Bangladesh faces arsenic exposure at daunting levels. It is disheartening to attempt to solve one problem, only to unavoidably create another.

Molly went on to share her story of her recent visit to Uganda, a nation of 30 million people, which according to the World Health Organization had an estimated 10.6 million cases of malaria in 2006. The estimated 70,000 to 110,000 deaths a year seriously hampers economic development. Molly's descriptions of suffering was difficult to hear. Having worked in extreme poverty, she said that regardless, you can never prepare yourself.

What is interesting about this story, and so conflicting to Molly, is that Uganda is being pushed to spray the infamous insecticide DDT to control the mosquito populations. Since the publishing of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, DDT has been banned from the US for its serious wildlife and habitat destruction. While this isn't the only approach, unfortunately things come down to the price, and DDT is cheap and effective. Molly's memory of stepping over dying children conflicts with her knowledge of the repercussions of using DDT and is sympathetically felt.Those who understand sustainability know that trying to solve the malaria problem with DDT only leads us down a path of more complex issues. What seems a silver bullet is actually a shotshell, causing unapproachable damage.

Our conversation turned to some very difficult questions. What is out of balance in the system? How can balance be restored? How does population and population control play a role? How do we address issues culturally? Why is money alway at the root? What can I do?

As the intensity of the conversation began to lighten, Kathleen brought us full circle to answer the question, "What can I do?" Having just spent a couple hours hearing a story, asking questions and discussing what is often difficult to discuss, we had achieved a part of Kathleen's vision for the Pleiades: to learn from and support each other. Through one person's account we all knew a bit more about our world and our place in it. What is interesting about the Pleiades constellation is that it is easier to see clearly out of your peripheral vision. Our group hopes to be seen making change within the peripheral of our community and world.

In a world facing insurmountable issues like poverty, climate change, disease, water and food shortages, habitat destruction and economic downturn, we can often feel helpless. For many women, the strength of community helps lessen the burden and gives an arena to discuss solutions, but this gathering of women is also good for our health. According to a new study when women are under stress they release more oxytocin, which encourages us to care for children and hang out with other women, creating a “tend and befriend” notion developed by Drs. Laura Klein and Shelly Taylor.
Study after study has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. “There’s no doubt,” says Dr. Klein, “that friends are helping us live.”
Want to make a difference in your community? Start a community women's group. Talk about the issues facing your neighborhood and your world. Be a source of strength for each other. A woman's traditional role in the society is the nurturer and our communities could use a bit more nourishment. By creating a space to have the talk that women have when they are together, you are being the change.