Food in the News and on the ‘Net

Confused by the “new and improved” food guide pyramid? (I think the old one was much more understandable!) Help may be on the way, as the USDA considers updating the 5-year-old plan.

Women are turning out to be a major force in the sustainable food movement, according to Grist.com. (And cheers for Grist.com, which now has a female food editor.) There are some interesting points raised about whether standards for acknowledgment differ between men and women in the food field.

Speaking of adhering to particular standards, I’ve been waiting to see the documentary Lunch Line and was reading TBD.com’s post about a potential conflict of interest involving the movie and Applegate Farms. Having seen Food, Inc. and knowing about the negative press it received regarding the featuring of Stonyfield Farm, I was intrigued by the conclusion of the post:

Maybe this is what it takes to get certain documentaries made: partnering with a company whose interests intersect with the film’s message. Documentaries aren’t cheap, and yet their goal, oftentimes, is to foment change. And change, as everyone working to improve the National School Lunch Program knows, takes a lot of money. Switching from mystery-meat to organic hot dogs would cost millions of taxpayer dollars, but it might be worth it. Last night I ate one of those dogs, all slathered in spicy mustard, and for the first time, ever, I didn’t get a stomach ache.

Hard to say whether “good food movements” should adhere to higher ethical standards when creating documentaries if “big food” is criticized for funding programs that boil down to advertisements for Monsanto and Cargill. Is it better to make a documentary with the involvement of companies whose products are promoted or take the high road and possibly not have the funds to make the project happen?

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