While Congress battles it out over health care reform, the resulting government shutdown will have far-reaching impacts on food safety, environmental protections, food production and farming. It also has serious implications for the health and nutrition of many Americans.
Here, in no particular order, are the ways this debacle may alter your plate.
There is some uncertainty in these data, but not enough to escape the fact that the vast majority of antibiotics in this country are used in food animals, not to treat sick people.
The U.S. food date labeling system is terrible. Date labels are very poorly regulated, ill-defined and inconsistently applied. And contrary to popular belief, they don't actually indicate when food will spoil, or provide any meaningful measure of food safety.
While in-house or exclusive caterers often seem pricey, their professionalism, experience, and quality cannot be matched by someone who is inexperienced at catering weddings.
I strongly believe that the future of GMO labeling lies in education, full disclosure, and a decision on the part of the consumer that says NO to the food companies that insist on lying to us. How do we do that? By following the European model: If there is no demand, there is no fabrication.
Drawing parallels to the U.S. judicial system, the FDA operates on the premise that the chemicals in our food are "innocent until proven guilty," but in fact don't even carry out an objective and unbiased trial.
There are a few no-no's that U.S. customs will confiscate if you try to get them past the border --some for health reasons, others for complex economic and cultural reasons. In the interest of saving you time, money -- and embarrassment! -- here are a few you should be wary of.
I've been reading ingredients on everything we purchase for the past nine years, ever since my son, Jack, at just 15 weeks of age, went into anaphylaxis in response to his first sip of formula.
Before we march off into this dark future where the source of our food comes from companies that would like to control all seed and food supplies, remember to find a congressman who would vote against the TPP.
It's no surprise that the occupational safety and health analysis behind the rule is so bad. USDA failed to consult with OSHA before the proposal was rushed out the door last year.
On the off chance you were one of the few Americans paying attention to the news in these waning days of summer, you may be forgiven for concluding that, in America, this was the week of the chicken. Seriously, chicken was everywhere.
Unless a brunch or dinner party is in an unheated cabin in the Arctic, beware of foods sitting out for more than a few minutes. A warm room can put some extra protein in those serving platters in the form of bacteria. This is also true of foods on picnic tables during a cookout.
The more we do to sanitize our environment of all pathogens, while also accepting the rampant use of complex agricultural chemicals to control so-called "pests," the less able we are to fend off disease of all kinds in more natural ways, which then increases our own dependence on modern pharmaceuticals to keep from being sick.
The FDA could easily ban unnecessary ingredients like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, mycoprotein, Red 3, and BHA. And it could set safe conditions of use on substances like sugar and salt. But the FDA has done nothing about, or has even defended, each of those unsavory substances.
With dairy and grain farms disappearing off the map every season, it's terrifying to think that one promising avenue for a family farm's viability -- diversification into produce -- may seem out of reach.