Food Buzz: Rockin’ the Twitter Feed

Toscana Kale post forthcoming- couldn't resist the picture.

Social media has certainly got a hold on me.  It’s a blessing and a curse for a tireless multi-tasker like myself, looking to stay current and maintain lively dinner conversation by digesting as many news stories as possible throughout the day.  “Tweeting” has officially made this purpose entirely too easy.  By subscribing to such reliable news sources as the Wall Street Journal and NPR Health, I receive text intranet messages as soon as the site posts or “tweets” them.   With the ability to pick your subscriptions, you can tailor the tweets to meet your curiosity and interests.  I also subscribe to some local and national entities that focus on sustainable food practices to keep this blog fresh.  Here’s what’s been showing up in my Twitter feed that may be of interest to CC&T readers:

  • As a follow-up to a previous post, Mayor Nutter’s budget proposal to city council does indeed include a tax on soda and sugary beverages, a 2 cents per ounce tax increase.  With many Philadelphians planning to simply stock up on their favorite ‘liquid candy’ outside of the city, the true impact on the city’s health may be difficult to measure.
  • A recent experiment at SUNY Buffalo suggests junk food taxes may beat healthy food subsidies when it comes to influencing food purchasing behaviors.  The study found that when healthy food was subsidized, the savings were spent on junk food, increasing the total fat, protein and carbohydrate content in their purchases by 10 percent.  I loved the author’s suggestion to subsidize farmers markets where fruits, veggies and whole foods abound and cheap, non-nutritive foods are absent.  Temptation and accessibility are large obstacles when it comes to healthy eating.
  • An article from US Food Safety blog explains the controversy surrounding the genetically-modified (GM) alfalfa patent.  Maintaining the integrity of the organic market runs deep in this issue, as GM crops are forbidden in the organic industry.  An increase in these GM foods means an increase in organic farmer production costs translating to higher prices and lower availability.  March 3 was the last day to submit public comments to the USDA and a tweet from The Center for Food Safety revealed that over 200,000 responded to deny GM alfalfa, myself included!  Following the pasture rule, we need to keep the momentum going for organics.
  • The FDA released a front of package labeling initiative to help prevent manufacturers from making unsubstantiated, confusing claims.  Many examples are posted on the FDA’s web site for consumers to review.  The government agency plans to release guidelines and work closely with the food industry to provide more reliable information for consumers.  The government and food industry are at it again…
  • Finding easy-to-understand resources to help people make informed decisions creates the same amount of endorphins as a 4-mile run for me.  The latest comes from a Civil Eats article about the World Society for the Protection of Animal’s (WSPA) restaurant and grocery store database to help consumers locate humanely treated menus, brands and products.  As the FDA tackles issues around labeling, the WSPA developed a ranking system to help navigate the land of labels that show up on products in markets.

From fiscal matters to labels and law, it has been another eventful week in food news.  The beat of the tweets continues as I try to keep up!

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