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Wise Words from Marion Nestle

March 22, 2012

This week in the New York Times Opinion pages, Mark Bittman profiles a book hitting the shelves in April.  Why Calories Count by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim is definitely on my summer reading list.  Marion Nestle is a renowned professor, author, scientist and food expert.

Bittman includes a few quotes from Nestle that really resonated with me.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Emphasis added. 

When I asked Nestle what she would do, given that people in the United States were obviously eating too many calories and that the resulting excess weight was costing all of us life years and money, she answered quickly: “We need a farm bill that’s designed from top to bottom to support healthier diets, one that supports growing fruits and vegetables and making them cheaper. We need to fix school lunches so they’re based on fresh foods, and fix food assistance programs so people have greater access to healthier foods.”

Her list goes on: fix the food-safety system; make it possible for people to get into farming; fix front-of-packaging labeling.

And a couple of big ones: “Stop marketing food to kids. Period. Just make it go away.” And get rid of health claims on food packages too. “Unless,” she says, reverting to her pure science role, “they’re backed up by universally accepted science. Which would get rid of all of them.”

I am still trying to break myself of some low fat habits and stop buying foods that make health claims.  Change is hard.

The more we know, the more conscious we can be in our food choices.  Mark and Marion, keep up the good work!

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