Every once and a while I like to go back to something old I’ve done and re-do it to see how I’ve changed as an artist. I tried to keep it as close as reasonably possible with the same time limit to the original since this one was about style.
Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the long-awaited revamp of nutrition labels. Serving sizes will be more accurate and labels will reflect modern percent of daily values, but the sugar changes are especially important.
An FDA official saved the US from a generation of children with birth defects such as flipper-like arms and feet by repeatedly blocking the authorization of a drug, already approved in Europe, known as Thalidomide. (source)
Calories tell us nothing other than, if we were to set fire to this food, how much energy would be released?
In “The Number to Avoid on the New Nutrition Labels,” James Hamblin discusses the effectiveness of a major change that will soon befall nutrition labels in July:
Current nutrition labels, legally required on all packaged foods, are to be be replaced with the explicit purpose of improving people’s health. As Michelle Obama said at the unveiling of the new labels on Friday, “Very soon, you will no longer need a microscope, a calculator, or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food you’re buying is actually good for our kids.”
The first two are jokes, but the new labels won’t obviate the need for a nutrition degree. Learning to read them, and to contextualize them, is a critical undertaking. The labels stand to be enormously consequential—maybe more so than any other recent public-health initiative. Poor nutrition (mostly overnutrition) causes more death and disability than any other single factor. Celebrities and gurus can write a billion books on what to do about this, and they’ll all sell very well, but nothing reaches people like the words and numbers written directly on the boxes and bags that stand between humans and food.
The federal government is getting into hip-hop — well, sort of.
For its latest anti-tobacco campaign, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to harness hip-hop sounds, style and swagger to reach black, Hispanic and other minority teens — who disproportionately suffer the consequences of smoking.
The campaign — called Fresh Empire — features videos with dancers, DJs, beat-boxers and rappers.
Add Parmesan to the list of foods that come with more than you bargained for: The FDAwarns Parmesan fraud has become a serious problem for American consumers. Tests show products described as “100 percent Parmesan” routinely have cut-rate substitutes — like wood pulp, and cheaper cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella.
As part of its new leaf, the agency hasstepped up prosecuting industry offenders, and right now it’s in the middle of a criminal case against Castle Cheese, once a top supplier to the big grocery chains, for selling “Parmesan” products that would give old-world cheese-makers in Parma a coronary. Per the FDA, Castle made shoddy cheeses for almost 30 years, and supplied the Market Pantry brand at Target and two others for Associated Wholesale, the nation’s second-largest retail wholesaler, all of which contained “no Parmesan cheese” despite claiming on their labels to be 100 percent.
“And that doesn’t include those who are sickened, needing more
medications from side effects, hospitalization, or years of rehab for
crippling adverse “side effects.” Nor does it include the effects from
over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that lead to an almost equivalent number of
casualties as their prescribed counterparts.“