USDA

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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A School Food News Round-Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 17, 2014

The House of Representatives won’t take up the controversial school food waiver issue until next week, but there’s still news to share regarding the fight over healthier school meals: Former USDA Child Nutrition Director Resigns in Protest from School Nutrition Association The Hagstrom Report (subscription only) reports that Stan Garnett, former director of child nutrition at […]

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Several weeks ago, 19 past presidents of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) made news by sending an open letter urging Congress to stay the course on healthier school meals. In doing so, these individuals publicly broke rank with their own organization, which is currently urging Congress to include in the 2015 appropriations bill language which would allow struggling school districts to opt out of […]

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A Recap of Yesterday’s School Food Developments

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 21, 2014

Yesterday I told you that the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the nation’s largest group of school food professionals, is pushing Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to roll back key aspects of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Today, I can report that the SNA has had preliminary success in achieving some of these goals. One of the changes sought by […]

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School Food Professionals vs. Kids: How Did It Come to This?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 20, 2014

When I walked into my first Houston ISD School Food Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting, I knew next to nothing about school food except that my district seemed to be doing a pretty poor job of preparing it. But in the intervening four years, in which I educated myself about the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), started this […]

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