American Capitalism and the Science of Scaling

Two books of tangential interest to the topic of processed foods have jumped out at me in recent weeks. One, Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan, provides a more balanced view of corporations than we typically experience in our daily reading. He is not an unvarnished advocate of free-market capitalism and American exceptionalism. Neither is he a harsh critic of anything … Continue reading American Capitalism and the Science of Scaling

My personal experience with Hello Fresh

Last year I signed on for 20 weeks of fresh veggies. Every Wednesday I would pick up a box of fresh veggies to cook up for our meals. This year, upon the recommendation of one of my faithful readers, I decided to try a meal-kit solution from Hello Fresh. The best part of last year’s experiment was the number of unfamiliar vegetables I encountered and … Continue reading My personal experience with Hello Fresh

Copycat Snacks: School Nutrition Policy in Action

It is a pleasure to introduce Dr. Georgianna Mann as a guest columnist this week. Last June I published an article on school lunches and waste. Even a hard-core, processed-food guy like me was surprised at all the prackaged foods in our local school lunchroom either served by the staff or brought from home. Dr. Mann, a former student of mine, sent in some comments … Continue reading Copycat Snacks: School Nutrition Policy in Action

Eating clean

Clean or unclean? Close encounter with clean labels I distinctly remember my first encounter with clean labels. A food scientist from a Georgia company came to campus to describe some of the innovations that were going on in his company. He described the push in the food industry to simplify labels as consumer activists were turning against food additives, particularly those that sounded like chemicals. … Continue reading Eating clean

The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating

To anyone expecting a review of Pottlikker Papers this week, I apologize. Unforeseen circumstances have caused me to postpone that review for one on The Angry Chef. I fully intend to provide the promised review sometime in the next two months. Many of us are tired of hearing about the dangers of processed food and how the most recent diet trend can solve all our … Continue reading The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating

Merchants of Certainty—reading too much into a single study

Books that spread an unwarranted message of certainty on food, health and wellness As we try to keep up with what is happening in the world, we are bombarded with BREAKING NEWS. It may be a major international event, a shooting within miles of our current location or the latest breakthrough in health and wellness. I always approach such stories with caution.  We live in … Continue reading Merchants of Certainty—reading too much into a single study

What kinds of microbes inhabit the food that we eat?

Food scientists and and real people have very different concepts of the microbes that inhabit our foods. As I have stated before, we are obsessed with shelf life. From the first day of any food microbiology course students become scared witless as they learn that food kills, or at least the nasty microbes in food kill. Food-micro students also learn that other non-lethal microbes in … Continue reading What kinds of microbes inhabit the food that we eat?

Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World

It may be the hottest area in health research going these days—the microbiome and its relationship to disease. Our microbiome is considered an organ in and of itself and encompasses the myriad of microbes that inhabit us both inside the gut and outside our bodies on our skin. These cells outnumber those that make up our human tissue. Let Them Eat Dirt by R. Brett … Continue reading Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World

Beware of bejeweled watches (and GMO labels)

In November I focused the attention of this site on genetic modification of foods. I asked a colleague and the foremost defender of GMOs, Dr. Wayne Parrott, to write a guest post for the website. The stresses of teaching and other duties at the university precluded an article in November, but he was able to send me this article over Christmas break. I am pleased … Continue reading Beware of bejeweled watches (and GMO labels)