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Food Insight Blog

Shedding light on the science behind nutrition and food safety.

By: Emily Chin Date: 10/28/11

Throughout the month of October, IFIC has been celebrating various Food Days, including the World Food Prize on October 13 and World Food Day on October 16. On Monday October 24th, we recognized another Food Day here at IFIC. Simply called Food Day, it was a nationwide, grassroots effort that began this year and was composed of hundreds of grassroots events held to raise awareness of food and the role it plays in our health and well-being.  


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By: Kris Sollid, RD Date: 10/26/11

Let’s play a quick game of nutrition word association. I’m going to give you a word and I want you to remember the first thought or image that comes to your mind. Ready?...Low-Fat. What did you think of? Did it have a positive or negative connotation for you? It wasn’t so long ago that eating healthfully was as simple as eating low-fat. If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, the low-fat mantra is entrenched in the minds of many consumers to this day and continues to obscure the beneficial role of fats in our health. Recently, I had the enlightening opportunity to get the lowdown on low-fat at a briefing in New York from Dr. Eric Decker, Professor of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts and Bonnie Taub Dix, MS, RD, Author of Read it Before You Eat It. Here’s some of what I learned.

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By: Cheryl Ghesquiere Molinatto Date: 10/24/11

The fall harvest season is here which brings a time to celebrate food and the choices we have with regard to the food we eat. Living in the United States affords us numerous options for healthful, safe and enjoyable food year-round. We can provide food for our families from a variety of sources each with unique benefits, and in celebrating food this fall harvest, it’s beneficial to remember these benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of the options we have when it comes to the food we eat and the benefits we receive:

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By: Eric Mittenthal   Date: 10/21/11

Two years ago this week, we launched our blog with the hopes of posting a few blogs a week on nutrition and food safety topics.

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By: Christina Di-Marco Crook, Intern and PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Date: 10/20/11

While the term agriculture immediately brings to mind its primary role to provide food on the table, others challenge us to look beyond the customary definitions.  Dr. Lowell Catlett, Dean of Agriculture at New Mexico State University (NMSU), is one such visionary of the unseen opportunities that lie ahead for the role of agriculture both today and in the future.

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By: Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA   Date: 10/17/11

This past weekend I returned to the family farm in Northern Kentucky to visit my 86 year old parents and reflect on the their years of constant labor on the now cow-less dairy farm. All the while, I was appreciating that I’m one of the lucky ones to experience the farm to fork process! Growing up on a dairy farm was not deemed glamorous by me or my friends, but maturity brings wisdom, so as I look back, here are some of my reflections:

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By: Dayle Hayes, MS, RD Date: 10/14/11

Last week Sarah Wu revealed that, as Mrs. Q, she had documented a year of unappealing meals in her Chicago school classroom. Looking at the photos, I understand why she was fed up and, in fact, I agree with many of the action steps suggested in her book.

The problem is that Mrs. Q’s view of school lunch was a narrow snapshot in one school. The good news is that her book does not in any way represent the revolutionary changes that are leading what I like to call the Health-ification of School Lunch. This good news is showcased every day in the entries on School Meals That Rock.

I urge Mrs. Q and anyone concerned about food at school to visit districts of excellence and taste the difference where the food meets the tray. Here are five key facts and outstanding schools where children are well fed every day:

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By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, IFIC Foundation Date: 10/13/11

Greetings from Des Moines, Iowa! As part of our International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation celebration of "Food Days" and the achievements of modern food production, I am pleased to be with 1400 participants from 75 countries celebrating the 25th anniversary of the World Food Prize.

The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the accomplishments of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

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 By: Eric Mittenthal Date: 10/11/12

Last week I was honored to be one of just 17 people selected to go to the White House for the first ever Let’s Move tweetup. The tweetup was arranged to coincide with the White House garden harvest hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Hopefully you followed all my tweets and pictures on the day itself, but if not, here are some of my takeaways from the experience and some of the pictures I took.

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By: Cheryl Molinatto, 2011 IFIC Sylvia Rowe Fellow & MPH-RD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Absolutely, local and processed foods can fit together for a healthful diet! Opening my lunch box is a testament to that fact. Here’s a picture of one day’s lunch: sliced cucumbers and peppers, crackers, hummus, leftover fruit salad, a baggie of nuts and a granola bar. The cucumber and pepper are from a local farm where I have a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. My husband made the hummus. The fruit salad came about after I picked up pineapple and nectarines from the grocery store to go with the cantaloupe from a farmers’ market that was in my fridge. I cut up the fruit to bring to a potluck and fortunately for me, had some leftovers for my lunch. The crackers, nuts and granola bar helped to round out this nutritious meal.

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD Date: 10/5/11

I’ve been a member of the American Dietetic Association for more than five years and have been working in the field of nutrition for many more. Exciting changes are happening within the profession and they were all evident at this year’s ADA Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in San Diego.

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Note: This is blog is part of our new series called "From the Pantry" which will take a historical look at the food we eat and the culture around food.

By: Liz Williams, Southern Food and Beverage Museum Date: 10/3/11

Sometimes knowing something intellectually, even being convinced of it intellectually, isn’t enough. The only way to change your behavior and to realize that there is a disconnect between what your brain knows and your actions is experience. I set out to experience smaller portions.

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On Behalf of the Cook It Safe Taskforce Date: 9/30/11

The IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey found that half of all Americans do not use a food thermometer. Many consumers judge that a food is done by looking at its color, texture or appearance -thinking this is a good way to know when food is safe to eat. None of these methods work. That’s why USDA and our partners urge you to use a food thermometer.

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By: Amber Mosher, intern and MPH-RD candidate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

As we age, many of us may be exploring ways that we can live well and live longer. The good news is that being healthy and happy can be as easy as saying you're A-B-Cs! Start today with these easy tips.

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD Date: 9/28/11

If health is a priority, then eating can often be like playing a game of Scrabble: striving to get the most out of each turn—always searching for that seven letter word. V-E-G-G-I-E-S: a seven letter word that can lead to good health. Add fruit to your veggies to make a colorful plate and get a triple word score.

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By: Kris Sollid, RD Date: 9/27/11

Numbers can be a polarizing topic. Some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em, but we all have to deal with them at some point. Such is the case with sodium consumption, or is it? In light of the increased media attention due to the numerous studies and official reports that have recently been released regarding sodium, most notably the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2011 is the perfect point in time to check in with consumers. Here is a sneak peak of the latest findings from our 2011 IFIC Consumer Sodium Research.

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By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, IFIC Foundation Date: 9/23/11

As I have noted in prior blog posts, earlier this week, Heads of State from around the world met at the United Nations for the High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Control and unanimously adopted a Political Declaration to stand united in a global fight against NCDs, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. Full details on the U.N. events can be found here.

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By: Eric Mittenthal Date: 9/23/11

One of the highlights of our year is upon us once again as several of our staff at the International Food Information Council Foundation head to San Diego for the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. We’ll be especially busy this year, participating in four sessions during the conference. So where can you find us? Here’s a guide:


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By: Tony Flood Date: 9/22/11

A recent report, BPA in Kids’ Canned Food, from the Breast Cancer Fund has once again unduly thrust Bisphenol A back under the media spotlight. This fear-inducing report attempts to draw a parallel between the levels of BPA found in popular children’s meals and health effects from research involving laboratory animals. Currently the research that exists on health effects from BPA is based on animal studies or epidemiologic evidence that cannot conclude a causal relationship between BPA and human health risk.

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By: Susan Piergeorge, MS, RD, Author Date: 9/21/11

Its official—the Baby Boomers have hit middle age. Born 1946 to 1964 we have moved in to the middle part of our lives. And, being that we are known as the rebellious generation, we are likely to rebel against aging as well. Here are a few sensible and solid nutrition tips for Baby Boomers to help them age with gusto.

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