Tag Archives: NPR

In The News: Food

3 Aug

NPR covered two stories today about the local food movement.  The first was about the author of “Ripe: The Search for The Perfect Tomato” who discusses the value of local tomatoes ripened right on the vine!  The second discusses the problems that have the local meat industry is now facing.  With higher demand for local, ethically raised meat, it is hard to find a place to butcher!

“Once upon a time, tomatoes were considered poisonous, even dangerous. But gradually, the plump produce made its way into our homes and onto our plates. Arthur Allen tells the story of the tomato’s redemption, popularization and eventual modification in his book, Ripe: The Search For The Perfect Tomato.

“At the State University of New York’s meat lab, students learn how to kill, cut and grind up beef, pork and lamb. After a month, they get a meat-processing and food-safety certificate and the basic know-how to work in the industry. The program aims to help fill the shortage of butchers and small slaughterhouses — and keep meat local.

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Drink Soda, It Has Water

5 May

More options for soda than options for fruit?

I was listening to NPR’s All Thing’s Considered last night, when they started a report on ‘Soda in America’.

The conversation began by addressing the proposed taxes by many states (and districts) on soda.  Being the good Democrat I am, I feel pretty strongly that soda (an unnecessary, unhealthy, pleasure item) is the perfect item to tax, when you are funding health education in schools.  Through a little more education, to both children and parents, maybe our fellow citizens around these great States will wake up and realize what they are feeding their kids.  (side note, unrelated to soda, the person next to me on the bus the other day was talking about how he caught his baby mama filling up her baby’s bottles with free creamers from 7-11!)

But the tax isn’t what I want to bring up today.  I was blown away by a section of the interview regarding the issue of how healthy/unhealthy soda is for children.  After hearing about why soda is bad for you,  Michele Norris brings on Maureen Storey, senior vice-president for science policy of the American Beverage Association.  Check out the following exchange:

Dr. MAUREEN STOREY (Senior Vice President, Science Policy, American Beverage Association): Soda is comprised mostly of water. A full-calorie soft drink has 90 percent water and a diet soft drink is 99 percent water. Water is the most important nutrient that we have…

NORRIS: Let’s move down, though, if you’re looking at that label on the back of a soda, what else is in there that is of nutritional value?

Dr. STOREY: Of nutritional value, there is either high fructose corn syrup or sucrose and that does provide energy or carbohydrates. And if we are active and need a refreshing beverage after a nice long walk or a run, you can have a beverage and quench your thirst and stay hydrated.

NORRIS: Is it advisable after a nice long run or after going out and exercising – which youve been advocating – to reach for a beverage that has 22 grams of sugar or 34 grams of sugar? Is that nutritionally sound?

Ms. STOREY: Well, I don’t think it’s nutritionally unsound.

I see so many fundamental problems with Storey’s statements.  First of all, nearly EVERYTHING we drink or eat is comprised of mostly water.  Does that mean it is OK for me to start substituting a glass of water with a glass of beer, coffee, or liquid soap?  Of course not!  Then Norris asks, “What else is there of nutritional value?” and Storey has the nerve reply with high fructose corn syrup, because it gives you carbs?  The day that high fructose corn syrup is nutritional, is the day that Americans are healthy.  Unfortunately for Storey, right now 67% of Americans over the age of twenty are overweight or obese (CDC Statistic).

The other eye-rolling statement in this nonsensical interview is this, “And if we are active and need a refreshing beverage after a nice long walk or a run, you can have a beverage and quench your thirst and stay hydrated.”  I’d love to see her go for a nice 10 mile jog and try to rehydrate with a soda.  I can tell you now, it wont work.

I’m glad that NPR is asking these questions, and I admire that strive to tell a balanced story.  I guess this just goes to show you that there IS NO credible argument in favor of consuming sodas, especially as a healthy option.

I’m not trying to hide the fact that I do love a good Coke from time to time, but my parents taught me at a young age that soda is fine in moderation.  That’s what I plan to pass on to my future offspring as well.

You can find the entire NRP story here.  I encourage everyone to check it out, along with this evenings second segment on soda.

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