Neon Tummy

Everyone Talks about eating healthy….so how do we do it?

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene in Maryland.Sally Sampson is a cookbook writer and editor of ChopChop magazine. Recently, Maryland andChopChop announced a collaboration publicizing fresh, monthly recipes for families to make together. Sharfstein asked Sampson to have a conversation about the initiative.

Sharfstein: Sally, thanks for coming over to our Governor’s house for the launch of ChopChop Maryland, a creative effort to promote family cooking and healthy eating in our state. Our state’s first lady, Katie O’Malley, was very pleased to launch this initiative. It’s one part of our state’s strategy to address childhood obesity. With about 12 percent of teenagers in our state obese, and only about a third of adults at a healthy weight, we’re in the market for new ideas. Your first recipe for Maryland Apple Crisp was very well received (at least by my children). We’ve had 50,000 hits to the website in just the first few weeks. We’re going to distribute 12 ChopChop recipes, one a month, over the next year. Why start with a dessert?

Sampson: The intent of ChopChop Maryland is to get families cooking. While we want them to cook all parts of a meal — soups, stews, entrees, side dishes, and salads — it’s most easy to initially draw kids in with dessert. If I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life, it would definitely be a crisp: It’s adaptable to every season (you can substitute almost any fruit for the apples), easy, inexpensive, uses readily available ingredients, fast, and, most important, delicious. People forget that you can make wonderful desserts that are not laden with sugar and fat. In fact, this one is so healthy, I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast.

READ MORE HERE: The Atlantic

Using Color Codes for food labels

Food labels are designed to convey a great deal of information. Not only do they tell us what the product, ideally, looks like but they’re designed, too, to tell us how much we’re buying, what’s contained inside, and to promise our lives will be somehow enhanced with the purchase of that product. What they don’t tell us, of course, is of what the food inside is actually comprised.

Nutrition labeling has garnered more and more attention over the past few years as consumers have begun to take a greater interest in the foods they eat. Granted, much of that new-found interest stems from the dismayingly high numbers of food recalls but, hey, interest is interest. Interestingly enough, that desire to know often turns out to be on a direct collision course with what food producers actually want to tell you.

Last month, Good magazineDesignmatters, and News21, announced the winner of a contest to design a more informative, user-friendly nutrition label. The winner, San Francisco-based designer Renee Walker, devised a dramatically simple, easy-to-comprehend label that with little more than a glance, can provide shoppers with a pretty accurate idea as to what happens to be in that package of tortillas or macaroni and cheese.Using color codes – blue for dairy, for example, green for plants, red for fruit, different shades of gray for various additives – Walker devised a label that tells you almost at a glance how much of that mac and cheese is comprised of grains or cheese or additives. As it stands now, while labels do tell you what’s inside your grape jelly, they don’t reveal the ratio of grapes to sugar.

READ MORE HERE: The Examiner 

The Wall Street Journal: Obesity Fuels Custody Fights

By Ashby Jones and Shirley S. Wang 

The nation’s waistline is expanding, and so too is the role of obesity in child-custody battles in the U.S.

Family-law practitioners and legal experts say mothers and fathers in custody lawsuits are increasingly hurling accusations at each other about the nutrition and obesity of their children, largely in attempts to persuade judges that their kids are getting less-than-optimal care in the hands of ex- and soon-to-be-ex-spouses.

The evidence used to support the allegations varies. In some cases, it’s a grossly overweight child. In others, it’s evidence that soft drinks and potato chips make up a disproportionate part of a child’s diet. In still others, it’s that the other parent is too obese to perform basic child-rearing functions.

READ MORE HERE: The Wall Street Journal 

boston:

Food Day celebrates local, healthy, sustainable
- One hundred million bananas are being labeled with special stickers. Volunteers are harvesting surplus vegetables for those in need, and chefs across Boston are preparing wholesome dishes like pumpkin bisque topped with seared apples. All this is happening for one reason: Food Day.

boston:

Food Day celebrates local, healthy, sustainable

- One hundred million bananas are being labeled with special stickers. Volunteers are harvesting surplus vegetables for those in need, and chefs across Boston are preparing wholesome dishes like pumpkin bisque topped with seared apples. All this is happening for one reason: Food Day.