Cross-posted from http://goldmindsblog.com/
The majority of my time is spent encouraging consumers to eat more almonds. They are a delicious, good-for-you snack, which makes my job a pleasure. So naturally, as part of my job and because I’m interested, I follow important health-related food news.
A few weeks ago, I was intrigued to read a story in the LA Times that quoted some critics of the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative calling it government interference in business. Certainly, it is not surprising for politicians of opposing parties to criticize the administration and its programs. But I found it intriguing because I’d just returned from a food policy meeting where I learned the following:
Susan Borra from the Food Marketing Institute said that, “Michelle Obama galvanized food manufacturers” by asking for front-of-pack labeling, which has resulted in the Nutrition Keys Initiative, a voluntary effort to clearly show nutrition information on the front of packages. Melissa Musiker from the Grocery Manufacturers Association said we’d be seeing this on up to 80% of our food.
Similarly, Maureen Storey from the America Beverage Association cited results from the voluntary School Beverage Program that has already reduced calories in participating schools by 88%. This program has been under development for a few years as a response to advocates criticizing the soda industry for preying on our nation’s youth.
Whatever your politics or issues of passion, it is hard to argue against shining a spotlight on our nation’s need to educate consumers about nutrition and provide more healthy choices to our children.
And here’s a great example of private industry doing just that…it’s a story in Fast Company about a company trying to convince kids that baby carrots are junk food – so they’ll eat them like they eat chips or cookies. Let’s applaud anyone who is finding new ways to put more healthful food choices in the hands of consumers.