USDA

#Thanks4RealMichelleObama

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 24, 2014

You may have already heard about a new Twitter hashtag that’s making national news: disgruntled kids are taking photos of their unappetizing school lunches and sharing them on Twitter with a sarcastic #thanksmichelleobama.  A recent Buzz Feed post about the trend has already received an astonishing two million views. Some of the photos shared by students are indeed stomach-turning. […]

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In August, 2013, the USDA made the controversial announcement that it will allow four Chinese facilities to process poultry raised in the U.S., Canada or Chile and then export that cooked chicken back to the United States.  This development was deeply troubling to many advocates due to China’s terrible food safety record and the fact that (by the admission of one of its own officials) China’s food […]

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Standing Up for Citizen Journalism

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 29, 2014

Back in July, many of you saw an Associated Press story which reported that “[s]everal food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network’s coverage of a beef product dubbed ‘pink slime’ by critics.” Because of my successful […]

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Invoking the Cherished Bake Sale to Undermine the Smart Snacks Rules

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 11, 2014

Back in November, 2010, only a few months after starting The Lunch Tray, I wrote about running my children’s elementary school Election Day bake sale.  In that post I expressed a little bit of ambivalence about selling sweets to raise money  — ambivalence that would evolve over the next four years into outright activism against junk food in schools  —  but at the […]

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When the “Smart Snacks in School” rules went into effect on the first of this month, it was good news for the health of school children. These rules, which were mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, represent the first significant federal effort to regulate “competitive food,” i.e., the foods and drinks sold to kids during the school day through outlets […]

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“Copycat” Junk Food in Schools – Why Is Anyone Surprised?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 21, 2014

I couldn’t make it to last week’s School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual national conference (ANC) in Boston, but I closely followed reports coming out of the convention via Twitter and other social media. And one common refrain from some food advocates and reporters in attendance was surprise and concern over the glut of junk food promoted by some food manufacturers at […]

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Reports of Initial Progress in School Meal Talks

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 11, 2014

Today’s Politico Morning Agriculture Report says “[p]olitics stayed out of the room [Thursday] when USDA brought together school nutrition and health groups to hash out school lunch regulatory concerns, say sources who participated in the meeting.”  The full story is on paywall-protected Politico Pro but you can read the Morning Ag summary of the story here. My own […]

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Moms, “Food Fears” and the Power of the Internet

by Bettina Elias Siegel on July 8, 2014

Dr. Brian Wansink, a professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, has published a new study in the journal Food Quality and Preference entitled “Ingredient-Based Food Fears and Avoidance: Antecedents and Antidotes.”  This study, co-authored by Aner Tal and Adam Brumberg, seeks to determine why people – mothers in particular — develop so-called “food fears” about […]

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With all that’s going on in the kid-and-food world these days, I’m getting sucked back into my old five-day-a-week posting schedule against my will!    Here’s the latest: SNA Asks For A Sit-Down with FLOTUS The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has asked for a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of […]

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Some Promising Developments re: Chinese-Processed Chicken

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 19, 2014

As many of you know, in January of this year I, along with Nancy Huehnergarth and Barbara Kowalcyk, launched a Change.org petition seeking to keep Chinese-processed chicken out of school meals and to prevent China from eventually shipping to the United States its own raw, slaughtered poultry. I became involved in this campaign last August, after stumbling upon a serious misrepresentation […]

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