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Thursday, August 20,2015

Farmageddon

How locavores will destroy the world

By Ari LeVaux
In the last 20 years, the amount of local foods consumed in the American diet has tripled, according to USDA, and now comprises two percent of food consumed in the U.S. As with anything that’s popular, some have seen fit to tear it down. Why do they do this? Do they find the locavores to be annoying, or do they seriously believe, as many argue, that local food enthusiasts pose a threat to the planet?
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Thursday, July 2,2015

Big Food’s profit process

How the top food producers influence nutrition research

By Ari LeVaux
According to a new report, many scientific studies about nutrition, as well as the trusted experts who disseminate this information to the public, are being funded by the very entities that should be scrutinized. The report, “Nutrition Scientists on the Take from Big Food,” details the ways that the world’s largest food corporations (aka “Big Food”) exert their influence on nutrition research and the people who conduct it. The report’s author, attorney and food advocate Michele Simon, has previously studied the influence of Big Food on the nation’s largest organization of Registered Dietitians (RD). Together, these reports paint a disturbing picture of how food corporations collude to manipulate how information on nutrition is researched and disseminated. The coyote isn’t just guarding the chicken coop here; it built the thing, and is holding onto the key.
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Thursday, June 4,2015

Keeping COOL

Country of origin labeling takes heat abroad

By Ari LeVaux
A recent move by the World Trade Organization (WTO) threatens to put more mystery in your meat, while undermining our national sovereignty. On May 18 the WTO ruled that American meat labels violate Canadian and Mexican free trade rights. The labels were created in accordance with the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws, and show where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The labels are directed at American consumers, and were implemented through the American political process. But they put Mexican and Canadian livestock producers at an unfair disadvantage, the WTO ruled. So they must go.
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Thursday, May 14,2015

Setting a table responsibly

Balancing the expectation of having everything in season all the time

By Ari LeVaux
The question of how far food should travel between where it is produced and where it is consumed has become a frequent matter of passionate debate. The popular rule of thumb is that the more local the food, the better it is, and we’ve all heard of the many purported benefits that eating locally has on local economies, the environment and even one’s health.
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Thursday, April 9,2015

A street smart chicken

Why one breed rises above the rest for backyard coops

By Ari LeVaux
There are many ways that a hen can die. If you raise them long enough, you’ll see your share. I’ve been keeping hens since before it was even legal in my hometown, since before anyone in Brooklyn or Portland had even heard of a chicken. Along the way, in both the city and the country, I’ve seen hens meet all manner of early demise.
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Thursday, March 5,2015

Artifical colors: Not so sweet

Some in the food industry are pushing to completely eradicate coloring additives

By Ari LeVaux
Nestlé recently announced plans to remove all artificial colors and flavors from its candy bars. The company said it was doing so in response to consumer preferences, not because there was anything dangerous about the artificial products they were using.
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Thursday, January 15,2015

The meaning of mayonnaise

It’s not all bread buns and tuna fish

By Ari LeVaux
It’s not mayonnaise, complained the plaintiff, food giant Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. Unilever ended up backing down and the suit was dropped, thanks to a perfect storm of public relations blowback it created.
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Thursday, December 11,2014

Trimming the fat on fat

Everything you thought you knew about fat is wrong

By Ari LeVaux
With the salad days of summer behind us and dark, cold days approaching, fat is in season. The holidays, and the accompanying onslaught of rich feasts, present a timely opportunity to think about fat, and there is much to consider these days.
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Thursday, April 3,2014

The mayonnaise of record

What the popularity of one brand says about the condiment

By Ari LeVaux
Mayonnaise is the top-selling condiment in the nation, and is on a trajectory to overtake soy sauce on the world stage. The reasons behind this popularity are diverse and are the subject of much speculation — by me, anyway.
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Thursday, March 20,2014

Shining a light on circadian rhythms in plants

Preserving the living nature of foods could increase nutritional value

By Ari LeVaux
Plant parts, like leaves and roots, keep living after having been separated from the plants on which they grew. For days, weeks, even months after being harvested, the component cells of these plant parts can carry on with their metabolic functions.
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