May 8, 2013
Do we need more discussion about the problem with sugary drinks, or is it time to act? Recognition of the harms of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)—any drink with added sugar—is increasing as evidence mounts regarding their negative impact on health. However, little progress has been made in curtailing the high prevalence of consumption; 50 percent of adults and 70 percent of kids and teens consume at least one 12-ounce drink daily according to recent national data. Read More >
May 7, 2013
May 6, 2013
Malik Yakini, April 30 2013
Last week, Malik Yakini hailed the Bloomberg School with greetings from Detroit, “where democracy has been put into a deep coma.” Lamenting the governor’s appointment of an emergency manager, which eviscerates the authority of elected officials in the city, he segued into a lambast of capitalism and how it deprives entire classes of Americans access to “good, clean, healthy food.”
“The food system in this country produces food that’s harmful to humans and the environment,” he said. There are no longer any national chain supermarkets in Detroit, one factor leading to food desertification in the city. The poor, he said, become markets for cheap inferior goods sold by the rich, much like in colonized lands. Read More >
May 3, 2013
The Waverly farmers' market, Baltimore, Md.
A primary role of USDA is to promote U.S. agriculture. Another is to ensure food access for vulnerable Americans. On Monday, April 29, USDA took a step that will do both. The agency did this by expanding eligibility for USDA grants for equipment that makes it possible for farmers to accept SNAP EBT cards (policy brief). While it seems like a small thing, helping overcome this technological barrier will increase access to fresh and healthy produce for SNAP participants and improve farmers’ bottom lines. Read More >
May 3, 2013
Pesticide killing New Brunswick lobsters?
Rep. Slaughter fights back. Last week, the New York Times ran a shamefully shallow letter to the editor from Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine; in the letter, Dunham downplayed the seriousness of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Fortunately, this week the same paper ran a response from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D–NY), who calls out Dunham for her lack of understanding of the issue. Slaughter rightly links the problem of antibiotic resistance to the indiscriminate misuse of antibiotics in industrial food animal production and calls for protection of critical antibiotics for human use. Read More >
May 2, 2013
Cynthia Lawrence, Sadie Barr (2013 scholarship recipient), and Bob Lawrence
The Center welcomes incoming MPH student Sadie Barr into its fold. Sadie is the 2013 recipient of the Cynthia and Robert Lawrence Scholarship, which provides tuition assistance to MPH students at the Bloomberg School of Public Health whose public health interests have a direct bearing on the priorities and focus of the Center .
Sadie is looking forward to focusing her academic work on the issue of food access, and how it intersects with food choices, nutrition, and health. Read More >
April 30, 2013
Concentrated animal feeding operation
Each year, Americans raise and slaughter approximately 10 billion animals, primarily for domestic consumption. Most consumers, however, have no idea how the meat they purchase at the supermarket is produced since the advertising is so misleading: images of happy cows in pasture producing milk and chickens being raised in spacious buildings while the company CEO walks among them making sure they are eating a healthy diet. Read More >
April 29, 2013
An oyster farm in France
Although it’s relatively small for the moment, the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay is about to experience a huge increase in oyster aquaculture. I had the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland’s Shellfish Aquaculture Conference this month. The conference had more than 150 attendees consisting of a few researchers and government officials, but more importantly a large majority were current owners of aquaculture leases or interested lessors. The conference included talks from current successful aquaculture operators and organizers as well as information about how to start an oyster aquaculture Read More >
April 26, 2013
New poultry inspection rules will take a toll
GE salmon. Today is the last day for comments before FDA decides whether to approve genetically engineered salmon, the first-ever GE animal intended for human consumption. The comment period ends at midnight. Already, more than 2,500 grocery stores are committed to not sell GE seafood should it come to market and 260 chefs across the country have signed on to a letter by Chefs Collaborative objecting to the transgenic fish. Read more here. On Tuesday, Representatives Jared Huffman (D–CA), Don Young (R–AK) and Mike Thompson (D–CA) introduced H.R. 1667, the Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States (PEGASUS) Act, aimed at keeping genetically engineered (GE) fish off the nation’s dinner plates and away from our nation’s rivers and oceans. Jillian Fry captured the CLF position in this blogpost. Read More >
April 24, 2013
The Blue Jay's Perch community garden
Monday, April 22, was Earth Day. At JHU, this Earth Day was special—it marked the presentation of the first ever Green Blue Jay Awards. These awards were given to individuals, groups, and departments across the University that had demonstrated the sustainable ideals toward which the University strives.
The day was windy but sunny, and a crowd gathered on the grass outside Gilman Hall to watch Davis Bookhart, director of the Office of Sustainability, present awards to 10 outstanding recipients. Of note were three awardees that made CLF particularly proud. Read More >