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Food Navigator on what’s happening with the nutrition label

Food Politics - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 6:38am

Food Navigator—USA’s Elaine Watson just put together a special edition on the revamping of the Nutrition Facts label.  Her title: Radical overhaul or a missed opportunity?

To understand what’s happening with food labels, you can start with the FDA’s home page on its proposed revisions.  The comment period has ended.  You can read the comments that have been filed on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts panels, and those filed on the proposed changes to the standards for serving sizes.  These are fun to read; opinions, to say the least, vary.

But back to Food Navigator, which collects in various pieces on the topic in one place.  The “Radical overhaul” piece contains a summary of the major provisions.  Others in the series are also useful (I’m quoted in some of them):

Does vitamin D belong on the Nutrition Facts panel?

FDA proposals to list “added sugars” on the Nutrition Facts panel have already generated heated debate, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that its plan to include vitamin D is proving equally controversial…

Should ‘added sugars’ be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel?

A row is brewing over the merits of including ‘added sugars’ on the Nutrition Facts panel, with critics arguing that our bodies don’t distinguish between ‘naturally occurring’ and ‘added’ sugar – and neither should food labels – and supporters saying it will help consumers identify foods with more empty calories.

 Nutrition Facts overhaul is a missed opportunity for long chain omega-3s EPA and DHA, says GOED

The FDA’s overhaul of the Nutrition Facts panel misses a public health opportunity by prohibiting firms from even highlighting long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA on the panel, says GOED.

What are the biggest contributors of added sugars to the US diet?

Check out this analysis of NHANES data to see where our added sugars are coming from plus read new comments about the ‘added sugars’ labeling proposal from Ocean Spray cranberries and others.

Former FDA commissioner: Nutrition Facts overhaul doesn’t go far enough

FDA proposals to overhaul the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels don’t got far enough, says former FDA commissioner David Kessler, M.D.

Behavioral scientists: Changing serving sizes on Nutrition Facts label could have unintended consequences

FDA proposals to change the way serving sizes are calculated to better reflect real-life eating behavior could encourage some people to eat even more unless the wording is changed, says one expert group.

Until phosphorus gets on the USDA’s radar, labeling policy won’t change: NKF

While phosphorus is an essential nutrient found naturally in some foods such as egg yolk and milk, it is increasingly added to packaged foods via a raft of phosphorus additives, and some experts believe it should be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.

Canada’s proposed Nutrition Label changes emphasize calories, sugar

Health Canada is proposing changes to nutrition labels that would make them easier for consumers to read.

RD: There’s a health continuum for every food; what pillars do you want to stand on?

Rachel Cheatham, RD, founder of nutrition strategy consultancy FoodScape Group, talks food labeling at the IFT show.

Is your product ready for nutrition label changes?

“A 16-ounce drink and a two-ounce bag of potato chips are a single serving. If it’s bigger than that, from 200 to 400%, then you need to declare two columns of information—one for the serving size and one for the whole container.”

Proposed nutrition labels more effective than current labels: survey

Consumers find proposed labels easier to read in less time.

How much do consumers use (and understand) nutrition labels?

New research from the NPD Group is questioning how many US consumers even routinely check nutrition labels anymore.

 FDA’s proposed nutrition label changes emphasize calories, serving sizes

If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories and update serving sizes, while also drawing attention to added sugars and nutrients such as Vitamin D and potassium.

CRN, NPA submit comments on FDA’s proposed changes to food, supplement labels

Both the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association have submitted a comments on FDA’s proposed revisions for food and dietary supplement labels.

The FDA’s next step is to deal with the comments and issue final rules.  By when?

Eventually.  Stay tuned.

The rise and fall of nuclear power, in 6 charts

On-Sustainability Blog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 9:57am

vox.com | Article Link | by Brad Plumer

Nuclear power is slowly going out of style. Back in 1996, atomic energy supplied 17.6 percent of the world's electricity. Today that's down to just 10.8 percent — and it could drop even further in the years ahead.


That's according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014, which charts the rise and fall of nuclear power over time.

The upshot is that significantly fewer nuclear reactors are in operation today than was the case in 2010 — in large part due to the shutdown of 48 reactors in Japan after the Fukushima disaster. On the flip side, only China currently has plans to massively ramp up reactor construction. And new reactors in many countries, from Finland to Vietnam, are falling victim to delays and cost overruns.

That's not encouraging news for efforts to tackle global warming. The proportion of energy that the world gets from carbon-free sources has stagnated since 1999 — in part because of the nuclear industry's struggles. And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that reducing emissions will be significantly more expensive if nuclear power's not available.

Nuclear electricity generation kept rising during the 1990s until it hit a peak of 2,660 terrawatt-hours in 2005. But then it started falling — and generated just 2,359 Twh of electricity in 2013.


Image Courtesey of Wikimedia Commons / Keistutis

Featured Fellow Series: My Path To Localism

BALLE Living Economy Blog - Fri, 11/22/2013 - 10:05am
Fri, 11/22/2013 - 08:00 Fri, 11/22/2013 - 08:00 Show In:  Newsroom Source:  BALLE

BALLE Local Economy Fellow D’Artagnan Scorza shares his personal path to Localism and what drives him to provide opportunity for youth of color in his hometown of Inglewood, California.  

BALLE Local Economy Fellow D’Artagnan Scorza shares his personal path to Localism and what drives him to provide opportunity for youth of color in his hometown of Inglewood, California.  

This year, people throughout our nation celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and commemorated the progress we’ve made since that historic occasion.  The irony is that Dr. King’s speech and many other speakers that day, focused on the fight for economic justice.  Still, some fifty years later, we find ourselves living with an increasing racial wealth gap, high unemployment for Blacks and Latinos, a thriving school to prison pipeline and stifled educational opportunity for the vast majority of youth of color.  As I reflect on the idea that our country promises prosperity - the opportunity to live in a state of flourishing – to those who truly work to achieve it, I am brought back to memories of my childhood. 

I grew up in Watts and Inglewood in California with little to no access to the experience of flourishing.  While my family struggled to make ends meet and I faced the many challenges of growing up around gangs, drugs and violence, I remained unaware of the vast amounts of wealth that existed in our society.  I quickly learned that a solid education would be one of the primary tools needed to achieve prosperity.  As I made my way through undergrad at UCLA, nearly 5 years of service in the US Navy and eventually a Ph.D., I came to recognize the value and power of information in a world where the language of money has to be learned (and taught).  

I know a young man, Darrell (pseudonym) who wanted to start his own business and because his mother was unemployed and unable to feed him everyday, he sought out opportunities to make money to help support his family.  First, he applied at the big chain game store and next at the big-chain restaurant.  Application after application, he was consistently rejected.  Finally, one day he felt exhausted and having run out of options, went to steal a phone from a stranger, was quickly caught and eventually sent to juvenile camp.  His story is the story of so many youth of color — life with much promise and very little opportunity.  Conversely, if there were mechanisms in communities that opened doors for these young men and thriving local businesses who understand the value of hiring locally, investing in the communities in which they live and supporting pathways to ownership, we may have seen this story turn out very differently.  This is what motivates my work at the Social Justice Learning Institute and why I’ve decided to pursue localism as a strategy to achieve equity.

To achieve Prosperity for All, we must evaluate the causes behind our overcrowded jails and invest in strategies that create economic opportunity. We can support local leaders utilizing creative approaches to finance local development and teach ownership.  Further, we can track, analyze and share our progress by collecting data where these leaders experience success and learn falling forward.  In early September 2013, BALLE Fellows Nikki Henderson, Malik Yakini and I brought together our three organizations People’s Grocery, Detroit Black Community Food Security and the Social Justice Learning Institute respectively to lay the foundation for a national collaborative to advance food justice and build local economies.  Our goals are to build local leaders in our communities, generate community capital for local businesses and advance evidence-based solutions that promote equity.  This collaboration represents the type of work that must take place in order to build a prosperous future within communities of color. 

We owe it to ourselves to stand on the shoulders of those who fought hard to make life better for all and not just for a few. This is something I know my ancestors would be proud of.  As a BALLE Fellow, I believe in advancing Localism because I know that the pathway to ownership has the potential to change lives and communities. 

D'Artagnan is one of 16 current BALLE Local Economy Fellows who are reshaping economic development and social justice across North America.  Learn about becoming part of the 2014-2015 BALLE Local Economy Fellowship; applications are due December 15, 2013.

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What's In A Name? Naming Your Farm Or Ranch.

PlacerGrown Blog - Thu, 11/21/2013 - 6:40pm
Arguably the most important marketing decision that you will make is to come up with a name for your farm or ranch. The name of your business will set the tone for every future communication and will have to be written or printed on everything associated with your business. EVERYTHING. There is no getting around it. It is like naming a child: you can’t change it once you choose and you are going to have to say it and write it A LOT. I would suggest choosing a name that you like A...
Categories: PlacerGrown Blog

Generate Positive: Help BALLE Score a $20K Grant to Build Localism

BALLE Living Economy Blog - Fri, 11/15/2013 - 8:17am
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 08:00 Thu, 11/14/2013 - 08:00 Show In:  Newsroom Source:  BALLE

BALLE is a finalist in Sungevity’s Give Back Contest. Your vote could help is win a $20,000 grant from our friends at Sugevity. Between November 11 and December 11, BALLE is vying for the most votes to help us achieve our mission of building real local prosperity for everyone.

BALLE is a finalist in the Sungevity Gives Back contest. Your vote could help is win a $20,000 grant from our friends at Sugevity. Between November 11 and December 11, BALLE is vying for the most votes to help us achieve our mission of building real local prosperity for everyone. Go here to vote for BALLE, and then tell 10 of your friends!

Really want to help us (and the planet) out? Sign up for a solar power quote from Sugevity and BALLE gets 10 votes and you can start powering your life with the most local power possible!

Why solar? Why Sungevity? Sungevity is an innovator is solar power, and is working to empower locals to power local. We know that solar energy generates power locally, but many new, innovative businesses have been building the capacity of locals to power themselves through innovative business structures, community capital financing, and cooperation!

Here are three great examples of Localist solar power innovations:

  1. Mosaic: Founder Billy Parish spoke in Buffalo at the 11th annual BALLE conference about how Solar Mosaic allows the average investor to invest in solar projects around the country. Watch Billy’s inspiring keynote presentation at the 2013 BALLE Conference, and learn how you can invest in solar right now.
  2. Co-op Power: Co-op power is a consumer owned sustainable energy cooperative. Not only do they build local self-reliance through green energy, but their mission is to create a “multi-class, multi-race movement for sustainable and just energy future.” Talk about empowering! Learn more about Co-op Power by downloading our webinar on their innovative organization.
  3. Ohio Cooperative Solar: One of the Evergreen Cooperatives businesses in Cleveland, Ohio that trains residents of Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood to install solar panels. Watch this great video about their innovative employee-owned business building sustainable real prosperity for these Buckeyes.

But most importantly, go HERE to vote for BALLE so that we can generate real prosperity for all!

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FDA Comment Period Now Open: Impact on Local Food with New Food Safety Modernization Act Rules

BALLE Living Economy Blog - Tue, 11/12/2013 - 12:41pm
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 08:00 Tue, 11/12/2013 - 08:00 Show In:  Newsroom Source:  BALLE

Please join BALLE Fellow Anthony Flaccavento and thousands of other local food advocates – farmers, chefs, market managers and consumers – in helping to ensure that FDA’s rules don’t pull the rug out from under a healthier local food system.

UPDATE: The comment period for the Food Safety Modernization act rules has been extended to Friday, Novebmer 22nd.

It may sometimes seem futile, but public comments do make a difference!  We know this because thousands of comments a couple of years back changed the Food Safety Modernization Act for the better, particularly in regards to small farmers, organic producers and other elements of the “local food system.”  The Bill that was passed into law in 2011 mandated that when FDA wrote the rules, they would not threaten small farmers or undermine sustainable production practices.

Unfortunately, several key elements of FDA’s proposed rules threaten to do just that, potentially putting some of the most innovative, healthy and sustainable farms and local markets out of business.  But there are still four days left to comment – through this Friday, November 15th 22nd!  BALLE Local Economy Fellow and organic farmer, Anthony Flaccavento, has assembled a power point that concisely explains the key elements of the rules, highlighting the areas of concern and clearly describing how and where to submit comments.  Please join Anthony and thousands of other local food advocates – farmers, chefs, market managers and consumers – in helping to ensure that FDA’s rules don’t pull the rug out from under a healthier local food system.

Download Anthony's presentation here.

Go here to read more and to submit comments on the proposed rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act.

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Chasing the Zeitgeist: Behind the Conference Program

Bioneers Blog - Fri, 07/27/2012 - 12:02am
When people ask me what the Bioneers Conference is, I say it’s a natural anti-depressant. As someone all too well informed about the magnitude of the destruction and intractable predicaments our world uniquely faces today, I’m grateful I also have the privilege of a job that amounts to a kind of “star search” for the greatest social and scientific innovators of our time. When you’re immersed in the inspiration of BioneersWorld and constantly learning about breakthrough solutions for people and planet, it’s simply impossible not to have hope.
Categories: Non-Profits

Mapping the 2012 Beaming Bioneers Local Community Conferences

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:57pm
Can’t make it to the national Bioneers conference, or want to go local? Our Beaming Bioneers local partners bring home the inspiring Bioneers plenaries plus a treasure trove of live local solutions and leaders to build community resilience and restoration nationwide. Join local allies to activate your region for transformation.
Categories: Non-Profits

Working Like An Ecosystem

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:50pm
How do we train 100,000 new farmers and instill a larger land ethic modeled on nature’s wisdom? How can each of us apply these ecological design principles and practices in our own backyards and communities? Don’t miss the brilliant design science full-day Permaculture intensive at Bioneers 2012 with leading masters.
Categories: Non-Profits

In Praise of Mentoring - An Essay by Carolyn North

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:47pm
Several years ago I had the opportunity to help a 21-year-old gardener realize her dream of creating a mandala garden on land I was stewarding. She was bright, visionary and strong, and could hardly believe her luck at being given the go-ahead to use one acre of a beautiful meadow for her project. And what a garden it was! Two weeks later on the other side of the country in a completely unrelated incident, my 21-year-old musician daughter was approached by a woman about my age who asked her to join the string quartet of her dreams. Unsolicited. She could hardly believe her luck.
Categories: Non-Profits

Inside Moonrise Cultivating Women’s Leadership Intensive Trainings

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:36pm
Each Cultivating Women’s Leadership Training blows my heart wide open, as I am struck by the vision, dynamism and beauty of strong women stepping more fully into their wholeness on behalf of our ailing world. As we take stands on behalf of what we love, in alliance with women from all walks of life, ages, disciplines and ethnicities, it seems the world bends to meet us. As research reveals, as women’s equity improves, so too does the health of all the human and ecological communities around them.
Categories: Non-Profits

Education for Action in Action at the Bioneers Conference

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:34pm
There’s no “summer break” for Bioneers’ Education for Action Program, where budding initiatives are in fast-paced development to serve our expanding educational community in deeper, more extensive capacities than ever before.
Categories: Non-Profits

Indigeneity 2012 | Traditional Ecological Knowledge: The Story of Salmon

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:33pm
I am a member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of California, raised in the heart of the Mojave Desert on our Indian Reservation along the shores of Havasu Lake, CA. My commitment and dedication to my people has afforded me tremendous opportunity to receive degrees in cultural anthropology and photography from Oklahoma State University and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and soon after serve as both a Chemehuevi Tribal Council member and Executive Director of the Chemehuevi Cultural Center. My path and purpose have led me to a life dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of indigenous culture, language, lifeways and landscapes.
Categories: Non-Profits

Building Resilience From the Ground Up

Bioneers Blog - Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:31pm
Nature does not favor centralization. As climate change escalates and too-big-not-to-fail systems unravel, brilliant effective models of building local and regional resilience and economies are mushrooming. It’s time to create a national and globalocal network of resilient communities to build collective knowledge, transfer leading-edge models and tools, and catalyze collaborations.
Categories: Non-Profits
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