Dietary Advances and Retreats

For the past 60 years the federal government has been advising consumers on how they can avoid heart attacks and strokes.  The federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee took advice from well-known food scientists even though the advising scientists often held conflicting conclusions.  The Advisory Committee’s advice to consumers changed slowly and has often been […]

Consumer Spending and Experience with Food

As society prospered over the past 100 years, we have increased our level of education, enjoyed better health care, earned higher incomes, lived in a more diverse and tolerant society, taken advantage of technological breakthroughs in communications and transportation, and been presented with abundant food choices that are both better and worse, but generally much […]

Food Recalls and Public Health

Our food supply chain typically delivers an affordable and dizzying smorgasbord of flavor, texture, and variety that satisfies consumers. Food that makes us ill is atypical. Fortunately the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are on the job to prevent, or at least minimize, the damage from contaminated or […]

Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolution Be Misled by Food Police

Once again, many of us are following the New Year’s tradition of setting personal goals for the next year.  A resolution for healthy meals and regular exercise is righteous and, in theory, can be improved by expert advice, but we had better think twice before taking advice from the food police. In the second half […]

A Pass on Nutrition, an Incomplete on Safety

Good nutrition and food safety are important to all consumers. While there is some improvement in the nutrition information made available to consumers and a huge leap in Food Stamps, attention to food safety is lagging. To address that shortfall, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed Congress in 2010, but none of the urgently […]

Why Restaurants Are Eclipsing Grocery Stores

In 2014, restaurants have seen a healthy 3.8% revenue growth. That is a welcomed respite from the dismal results during the great recession. The great recession produced free-floating fears and palpably reduced incomes for many people. Their self-protective response was to defer large expenditures such as houses and automobiles and to economize even on essentials […]

The Food Nanny’s Agenda

Assessments of health risk and a proper role for certain foods have been unreliable and sometimes self-defeating.  Government agencies charged with protecting and advising consumers seem to approach the task as true believers.  They act with the conviction of freshly minted deacons in pursuit of whatever chapter of the health catechism they are told to […]

Good Food for Consumers

The food police’s laws have suffered heretical attacks lately.  Opposition toward peanuts by parents of young children seems misplaced.  The increased incidence of allergy is likely a consequence of parental choice in feeding the children.  The standard dogma on saturated fat versus unsaturated fat has been undermined by the National Institute of Health (NIH).  This […]

Adding Imaginary Value to Food Labels

In a recent AP-GfK poll, 66% of Americans want food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labelled as such. Only 7% oppose the labeling. Plant and animal breeding that selects some attributes and suppresses others has been in use for about 14,000 years. Intentional alteration of the DNA within a cell (resulting in a […]

Sugar – The Political Football

First we must stipulate that no consumer was force-fed sugar during the writing and research of this blog. Consumers were merely given all the sugar they wanted at a true market price.  Unlike in our politicized nanny-state environment, no one was denied sugar, and no one was overcharged for it. The state and local sugar […]