Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chocolate formula bites the dust

My colleague from Mead Johnson just informed me that her company is discontinuing their new chocolate toddler formula line, due to a misunderstanding of the product's use. I think this is a big win for the nutrition and consumer world. I am highly against getting kids use to intensely flavored beverages and food, especially with all of the efforts to get them to eat better and different foods.

From the Canadian Business journal:

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) - Children's formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said Wednesday it will discontinue its Enfagrow Premium chocolate toddler drink due to what it called "misunderstanding and mischaracterization" over the product's intended use.

There had been news reports about parents concerned that a chocolate-flavored drink aimed at tots was inappropriate amid skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, although the drink contains no more sugar than other drinks aimed at children.

The company said the product has a "superior nutritional profile" to other beverages such as apple juice and grape juice, but said there has been misunderstanding about who the intended consumer is for the product and the role it is intended to play in a child's diet.

Mead Johnson said the drink was intended for toddlers who have been weaned off breast milk or formula but still need "nutritional support" from their main diet, particularly picky or erratic eaters.

"The resulting debate has distracted attention from the overall benefits of the brand, so we have decided to discontinue production of Enfagrow Premium chocolate toddler drink and phase it out over the coming weeks," the company said in a statement.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Defense Authorization Bill Includes Support for Child Nutrition Programs

From the American Dietetic Association-

Support for reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act has come from an unlikely source: the Defense Authorization bill. During House debate, 341 members voted to support an amendment by Reps. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.), Jo Ann Emerson (R.-Mo.) and Sanford Bishop (D.-Ga.) highlighting the impact of hunger and obesity on military recruitment and supporting properly funding the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.

The amendment does not guarantee funding for child nutrition reauthorization, but it helps build momentum and support. The "Sense of the Congress" amendment says "reducing domestic childhood obesity and hunger is a matter of national security…the Federal Child Nutrition Programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) should be funded at the President's request; and the increases in funding for such programs should be properly offset."

Over the past month, 221 members of Congress – a majority of the House – had already sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D. Calif.) supporting President Obama's request for an increase of $1 billion a year for the Child Nutrition Programs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Job Search for Good Food Movement

I just came across the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association website which has a listing of professional listings.

Foodies know where the good markets are to find the best strawberries, crispy kale and first peaches of the season, but when it comes to finding their dream jobs, the classified ads just won't do. Since my friend and colleagues (self included,)are all in the market for a job that fuels our passions, allow us to live the good life and pays our loans, I thought it would nice to centralize some resources.

1. Comfood listserve- this is a great place for job announcements, up to day news in the sustainable food security movement and discussion about decisive issues. Many of the amazing players in the field can be found collaborating, asking questions, and offering up expertise. Share yours as well.

2. Sustainable Food Jobs (SFJ)- this is a domestic site that is updated weekly and has jobs from sustainable food service, farm to school, Americorps and farming internships as well as CEO positions at non-profits and start-up businesses. The site is cool if you want to search by region.

3. Good Food Jobs- similar to SFJ - this site is due to launch this summer. In the mean time sign up for their weekly email to catch the latest.

4. Idealist- a great place to land a non-profit career or organize with like minded people.Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives. I have been successful searching by key words.

5. Linkedin-When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts. A fun part is you can recommend your colleagues.

You can come link up with me at:

6. Juju- Do a search like "sustainable food jobs"

7. Jobs - search by topic, demographic, or job category. There are also career advisors and other resources.

8. Wise Earth Jobs -helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship connect, collaborate, share knowledge, and build alliances. All tools and content are free to use. The site is commercial-free too.

9. Craiglist-not only good for getting used furniture or sports equipment, Craigslist can be a great place to find consulting gigs, freelance writing or part time work in your new city. I usually use search terms to sift out the junk. Beware of scams or jobs that are posted over and over again. If your bored of the job search, the Best of Craigslist is good for a laugh.

10. HigherEdJobs- A good place to look for adjunct faculty, part time or other teaching positions at community colleges or university. I search "nutrition" and get a lot of hits.

11. Check your local school districts, college websites, and county & city job boards.

12. Good luck and let me know if you have any other resources that may be of assistance!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

McDonalds shows tolerance in ad

I guess when you are a multinational corporate food company, anyone is a customer, which is great for the gay rights movement. I doubt we would ever see an ad like this in America, and if we did there would be a McBoycott. Either way, I found the ad kinda cute. June is gay rights month! Happy tolerance.

The commercial, which is to air in France uses the slogan: come as you are!

Chefs Move to Schools

The Let's Move campaign initiated by Michelle Obama this year is moving into the kitchen and just in the nick of time. As many public schools close their doors for summer, many cafeterias will be poised for making systematic change in the way they feed our children.

From White House Assistant Chef and the Food Initiative Coordinator Chef Sam Kass:
The Chefs Move to Schools program will pair chefs with schools in their communities to bring fun to fruits and vegetables, and teach kids about food, nutrition and cooking in an engaging way. And by working with school food service employees, administrators and teachers -- chefs can help deliver these messages from the cafeteria to the classroom. After hearing fifth graders cheer for broccoli, I know first hand that chefs can have a huge impact on kid’s health and well being.
Chefs and schools that are interested in participating can sign up here or through

My great friend, chef and fellow HEN nutritionist Julie Negrin will be at tomorrow's kick off for Chefs Move to School. She has a great article up on her blog on new and healthy ways for schools to fundraise. Some of the ideas are so cute.

Let's Move also recently announced the Let's Move Outside component.

With all hands on decks, I hope see some real changes in school lunch and child nutrition. Now if we can only stop the hemorrhaging in the Guld of Mexico so we can refocus on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Have you called your Senator?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rebuilding America's Economy with Family Farm Centered Food Systems

Today is a big day for Farm Aid, but also for me! The report that I began last summer as an intern has been launched and it is impressive!

From the Farm Aid Website:

Seeds of hope lie in America’s family farmers and ranchers despite the grim economic conditions facing the nation. Our new report seeks to underscore what we at Farm Aid know as a simple truth: supporting family farmers and family farm centered food systems is a powerful strategy for jumpstarting our fragile economy and revitalizing communities across America.

The report can be downloaded at their website, as well as, a section that makes the case of family farmers being a focal point for economic stimulus, a list of funding opportunities and stories from the field.

The Farm Aid Ideas section is a resource to connect more than 500 organizations developing innovative approaches to producing, processing and marketing food from family farms.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back from Hiatus

Hiatus- From Latin hiatus, the past participle of hiare (to stand open, yawn).

It was a big yawn. One that spanned a couple months and one in which I reemerged with a Masters Degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. The yawn was followed by a long nap, and alas, I have awakened to the next phase of my life. I must admit: I am excited.

This summer will be filled with relevant food policy happenings (Child Nutrition Re-authorization; Let's Move Campaign; Health care bill notification of rules) as well as creative program development in some of my favorite areas (Farm-to-School; Food Corps; Urban Gardening).

My hope is that this post starts my engine (and oils up yours). The Epicurean Ideal is back, and as idealistic as ever.