New York Times

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), the nation’s largest organization of school food professionals, is currently lobbying Congress to weaken federal school meal standards regarding whole grains, sodium and fruits and vegetables.  The SNA also opposes aspects of the new “Smart Snacks” rules which have improved the snacks and other “competitive foods” sold on school campuses. But not all members of the SNA agree […]


Getting Kids to Try New Foods: My Advice

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 10, 2014

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is the Food Issue and, if you’re a print subscriber, I need to apologize in advance for sucking much of the joy out of your Sunday morning.  First I shared on TLT the lead magazine story by Nicholas Confessore on school food politics (my companion NYT Motherlode piece here) and this morning on TLT’s […]


My Piece in the New York Times Motherlode Re: The School Food Wars

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 8, 2014

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine will feature a major story on school food, “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground,” and I was honored to be asked to interview the Times reporter, Nicholas Confessore, for a piece on today’s New York Times Motherlode. For those of you who regularly follow this blog and other sources of school food news, […]

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A Pill Too Bitter to Swallow

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 16, 2014

Many years ago, I mentioned to a doctor friend that a woman I knew — a Seventh Day Adventist who never touches alcohol — had been told she was at risk for cirrhosis of the liver due to her poor diet and excess weight.  My doctor friend looked at me skeptically and said I must have misunderstood the diagnosis — one […]


First Lady Defends Healthier School Food in NYT Op-Ed

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 29, 2014

What can I say?  The Michelle O. love I expressed yesterday only deepens. . . . Here’s her piece in today’s New York Times making a strong case for staying the course on healthier school food. Keep in mind that in writing this kind of editorial (and in making her White House statement on Monday), the First Lady is engaging in an unusually […]

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Back in February, I was surprised and honored to be included on a list compiled by Elizabeth Street (with the help of food activist Robyn O’Brien) of the “Top 15 Most Important Moms in the Food Industry.”  I shared the link on Twitter that day, and doing so sparked an interesting conversation with some of my favorite food […]

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How “Optimistic” Should We Feel About the War on Obesity?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 8, 2014

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an opinion piece, “Finally, Some Optimism About Obesity?,” in which bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel and researcher Andrew Steinmetz tell us we should feel good about the country’s anti-obesity efforts* because we’re responding to this health crisis “much more nimbly” than we did with smoking. The dangers of tobacco were first established in the 1920s but it took fifty years before […]


Children and Choking: Preparedness Is Key

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 18, 2013

Back in 2012 I wrote a post entitled “A Preventable Tragedy: Choking to Death in the School Cafeteria.”  I was inspired to cover this topic after reading about a Brooklyn nine-year-old who tragically choked to death while eating meatballs in his school cafeteria.  Media reports indicated that the lunchroom workers on duty at the time were completely unprepared for […]


GMO, “Pink Slime” and Labeling Transparency

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 25, 2013

Earlier this month, the New York Times‘ editorial board published an editorial entitled “Labels for Controversial Ingredients.”  In it, the Times mentioned the recent failure of a Washington State ballot initiative which would have mandated labeling for genetically modified organisms (GMO) and then stated: Instead of requiring labels by law, it makes sense to let […]

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It’s one of those weeks when the school food news is coming in so fast, I can’t keep up!   Here’s a quick round-up of articles of interest: A Fourth-Grader Goes Undercover in the Cafeteria – Are His Findings Accurate? Many of you have already seen on TLT’s Facebook page today’s New York Times blog account of a […]