Green Bits: October 2012
News and ideas from near and far for a healthier, more sustainable future.
—by Pax Rasmussen
Several times in this column I’ve written about the mounting mountain of evidence finding that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad for you. A study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine found once again that HFCS makes kids fat. In the 18-month double-blind trial, researchers gave kids either a normal soda (laden with HFCS) or a “placebo”—a soda sweetened artificially (containing no HFCS and no calories). The study only used kids who were already soda drinkers (they figured it was unethical to get non-soda-drinking kids hooked on the sugary crack) and contracted with a soda manufacturer to create a custom-made drink that was identical in both appearance and taste. Guess what? The kids on the HFCS soda gained “significantly more weight” than the kids on the control. Oh yeah, one other little detail: The kids only got eight ounces of soda per day…
SLC Community Food Assessment
This isn’t breaking news (the assessment has been going on for a while now)—but it is important. Salt Lake City is in the process of conducting a Community Food Assessment to determine the social, economic and environmental health of our food system—and to identify key challenges, barriers and unmet needs. The assessment will be evaluating the entire life cycle of our food system from production to plate to food waste, and to provide guidance towards crafting effective policies to strengthen it. The assessment will focus on production, processing and distribution, consumption, nutrition and health, nutrition education and food waste.
One particularly interesting aspect of the assessment is the Food Production Mapping Project—you can log onto the website and see an interactive map of Salt Lake outlining areas of the city that have high food production possibilities (my backyard is on the map as a good spot!).
One of the primary ways the city is conducting the assessment is through a survey. See website for more information and to take the survey.
I’m all for eating meat, and I love me a good steak. And although I’ve never really grokked vegetarian logic, I do my best to avoid the hormones and antibiotics pumped into conventionally raised livestock—which is why I think this crowd-sourced map from Real Time Farms and Fix Food (Internet-based organizations dedicated to reforming our food system). The map shows you farms, markets, restaurants and retailers around the country where you can get meat raised without antibiotics. Plus, it’s pretty!