Posted by: Kennedy | March 10, 2012

Photo Challenge, Day 6: Food Politics

Day 6: Food Politics

During lectures, my teachers at IHN would often bring up people, events and books they used as resources to support their continuing education in the field. I always took note of them with good intentions to explore them when I no longer had to manage a full-time course load. As I read through one of my notebooks recently, I came across a list of book titles I had kept from one of my first classes. One of them included the book Food Politics by Marion Nestle, a nutritionist, professor and chair of NYU’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health. In the book, Nestle looks at how the food industry influences how our society thinks about and chooses food, thereby influencing our nutritional status and overall heath. I remember thinking it would be a really interesting read. I checked it out from the library the other day and began reading it this afternoon. The introduction contains a lot of stats that would probably shock and depress me, had I not just completed a certification in holistic nutrition. For example, did you know that half of all vegetable consumption in the U.S. is from three sources: iceberg lettuce, canned tomatoes, and potatoes (including fresh, frozen AND processed into chips and fries)? Did you also know that the USDA includes the individual components of mixed dishes when calculating Americans’ intake of Food Pyramid categories? This means they count the apples in apple pie in the fruit group, or the enriched flour in cookies in the grain group. Frightening.

p.s. Nestle has no relation to the billion-dollar food company that makes chocolate bars and Lean Cuisine. That’s just an ironic coincidence. 

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