Avoid ultra-processed foods! They are worse than run-of-the mill processed products, we read. The food media embraced the concept that ultra-processed foods cause chronic disease. Many studies suggested this conclusion. Food journalists jumped on the bandwagon. Is this the magic bullet that will lead to a healthy, more fit America? Will it lead to a healthier, more fit world? It must be so. I read … Continue reading Ultra-processing strikes back
In 2019, an estimated 11% of Americans ate the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The numbers have not changed much over the last 25 years. Where have we failed? Telling people that they need to eat more fruits and vegetables does not seem to be working. Can we do better? I hope so. Let’s set a goal of 22% of Americans eating … Continue reading How can we get Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables?
Fill in the blank: The ______ system is broken, and it needs to be fixed. I hear this mantra about something each week. As a society, the United States of America has so many broken systems it cannot function. Yet, somehow it does stumble along. One of the broken systems in the country is the food system. Only yesterday a conference in California concluded. Its focus was to … Continue reading Why I believe that food systems do not exist?
Chain, chain, everywhere a chain Holdin’ up my goodies, drivin’ me insane Buy this, don’t buy that, can’t you break the chain? With apologies to the Five Man Electric Band Something goes wrong these days. Blame it on the supply chain! That delivery supposed to be arriving today is out of stock. Backlogged! Blame it on the supply chain! Empty spaces on the shelves of … Continue reading Designing Value Chains for fresh fruits and vegetables
It was the summer of ’77. I arrived in Massachusetts from Florida. My mission was to learn about the life of a tomato after detachment from its mother plant. Since tomatoes are difficult to find year-round, my model fruit would be the banana. We could find green bananas year-round including the cold New England winters. But, then, as fate would have it, there was a … Continue reading What happens to a fruit or vegetable after harvest?
How do we know if the food we are eating is healthy? Has the American obsession with healthiness turned it into an unhealthy nation? Many of us love math. Why can’t we develop a nice little algorithm that will separate good foods from bad? Part of the problem is that nutrition is complicated. As hard as we try, we can’t find a simple formula that … Continue reading Analyzing Food Compass and other nutrient-profiling schemes
Remember the parable about the blind men and the elephant? When we consider our relationship to food, the situation is similar. Healthiness is the elephant. Food professionals are the blind persons. We can’t escape our education and background. Where do we focus our attention? What do we miss in the process? Food scientists focus on a healthy diet. First comes protection from foodborne illness. To … Continue reading When it comes to food how do we define healthiness?
How do mothers find affordable, healthy food to feed their families? Early this century American social scientists studied food access for low-income families. They adopted the term, ‘food desert,’ as “an area that does not have a supply of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.” Their solution to eliminating food deserts was a supermarket. In urban settings one must be within a … Continue reading Are food deserts real?
Do economic circumstances affect our concept of a healthy diet? Do personal economics make it difficult to stay on a healthy diet? In How the Other Half Eats Priya Fielding-Singh suggests most of us have a clear concept of a healthy diet. Poverty affects the ability to maintain that diet. Note the subtitle, The Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America. It helps us … Continue reading How wealth and poverty affect the healthiness of the American diet
Summary: The cause of poor weight management leading to obesity is excess calories. Excess body fat, adipose tissue, resulting from the consumption of excess calories, is the body’s organ causing the advancement of many metabolic diseases. In offering a perspective dealing with health, disease, and processed foods, there must be compromises or “tradeoffs”. There is no perfect “tradeoff” for any individual to maintain their health. … Continue reading Tradeoffs: Health, Disease and Processed Foods by Dennis T. Gordon