View Full Version : Jamie's Food Revolution Season 2 ~ Battle LA

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06-02-2011, 09:15 PM
Speaking of government-issued guidelines:

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/undated-handout-image-provided-Agriculture-Department-shows-department-new-healthy/photo//110602/480/urn_publicid_ap_org111a409f70294508bc4b036ee3d5994 9//s:/ap/20110602/ap_on_re_us/us_usda_my_plate

06-02-2011, 10:31 PM
More good points Prancer. This is part of the issue with government-generated guidelines - we are all different. Many people find that caffeine affects them for example, and others do not. Another issue is cholesterol - many experts will tell you to limit eggs and many people avoid them altogether, or only eat the whites, because of the fear of cholesterol. And yet, there are people who eat eggs every day and have perfectly healthy cholesterol levels.

It's all so maddening.
I think it's the same with exercise. Not all of us have the physical capability to go out for a 20-minute run 3x a week, so we do what we can. Now, I'm sure that the obesity epidemic is partly due to a lot of people not knowing how to start and thus giving up entirely, but I don't really hear of how "maddening" the exercise guidelines are.

We need to start with the basics, as some people mentioned here. Consume foods that have been minimally processed and I think we're halfway there.

06-03-2011, 02:38 AM
Now, I'm sure that the obesity epidemic is partly due to a lot of people not knowing how to start and thus giving up entirely, but I don't really hear of how "maddening" the exercise guidelines are.

Considering how few people exercise, I don't find that surprising at all. Everyone, OTOH, eats, and most American adults have attempted to diet at some point in order to lose weight.

Since researchers can't even agree on the cause(s) of the obesity epidemic, I'm not sure that the "cure" is all that obvious, either. Certainly it would help if people ate a better diet generally, but halfway there? Well, maybe.

06-03-2011, 05:20 PM
I really think that the major problem is that fresh, organic food is often significantly more expensive than processed, preservative-filled crap. We always had good, healthy food in my school cafeteria, but it was a private school so they could afford it. I don't really think people who buy cheezwiz and twinkies buy it for the health benefits. More like they can't afford to go to Whole Foods where they charge you $2 for an organic pesticide-free chocolate strawberry. I''m very, very lucky that my parents were able to buy only the best quality food for our family, but I know that's hardly always the case.

They have to. Fresh is not so difficult, but to be certified organic requires producers to jump through staggeringly expensive legal and certification hoops. It's not as simple as not using bug spray--in the case of some animal products you have to have a couple GENERATIONS of animals not treated with particular products. If the land has been used for non-"organic" farming it can take several years to get it certified as cleared of agricultural chemicals. You have to charge much, much more to cover costs when you're an organic farmer on any scale where a large purchaser is going to do business with you. (Or even small-scale; price stuff out per pound at the farmer's market and buying Market Fresh bag salad at the store is in fact cheaper, especially when you account for prep work done on it--you're buying edible product, not skin, leaves, stems you have to trim and toss.)

In any case nutritionally, "organic" isn't any better. How much chemical you're exposed to is debatable, but the actual food value of a carrot is still the same. (And apparently if you're in Spain and eat organically-grown cucumber you get to lose weight by projectile vomit and diarhhea from the E.coli in it...)

A real trick with kids is getting them to not only have the vegetables and fruit as an option at school but getting them to actually eat it. One objection to banning chocolate milk is that some kids will not drink any other milk and that may be their only low-fat dairy option they have all day. Kids are still H. sapiens and as such they go for the fatty, sugary things that taste good. Our bodies haven't caught up with our lifestyles in the last few thousand years.

06-03-2011, 10:42 PM
(And apparently if you're in Spain and eat organically-grown cucumber you get to lose weight by projectile vomit and diarhhea from the E.coli in it...)

If you're going to talk about something, you should probably get your facts straight first. :P

06-04-2011, 11:54 PM
I have a freezer with about double capacity of the freezer in a standard fridge. Takes up very little space, cost me $150, and has more than paid for itself in the opportunity to take advantage of sales on frozen fruit and breads.

IMO whether or not people can "afford" things is almost always more about priorities than actual cash flow.

Uh, I think you and overedge are talking about different levels of affordability. I know plenty of people around here who cannot afford an extra $150 plus the monthly addition to the electric bill to run said freezer. Assuming where they live can fit one and allows it. To them, $150 is a LOT of money. You can use food stamps to buy food, you can't use them on large appliances.

Plus, buying and preparing fresh food takes another thing a lot of poor people do not have: a lot more time. For TRULY "lower-income" people, food that take a lot of prep and cook time have a much bigger time cost than something you (or the kids who are home alone) can stick in the microwave. Assuming they have access to a store that sells decent fresh produce (forget organic or local, just not rotten is a start) or even a reasonable selection of canned (just as good and in a few cases better for you than fresh as far as nutrient absorption goes).

06-08-2011, 07:04 AM
Speaking of unheathy foods, turns out you can use super-crazy-fatty foods as medicine:

There is no crusade against unhealthful food in our house. Some might argue that unhealthful food is all we let Sam eat. His breakfast eggs are mixed with heavy cream and served with bacon. A typical lunch is full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with coconut oil. Dinner is hot dogs, bacon, macadamia nuts and cheese. We figure that in an average week, Sam consumes a quart and a third of heavy cream, nearly a stick and a half of butter, 13 teaspoons of coconut oil, 20 slices of bacon and 9 eggs. Sam’s diet is just shy of 90 percent fat. That is twice the fat content of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and about 25 percent more than the most fat-laden phase of the Atkins diet. It puts Sam at risk of developing kidney stones if he doesn’t drink enough. It is constipating, so he has to take daily stool softeners. And it lacks so many essential nutrients that if Sam didn’t take a multivitamin and a calcium-magnesium supplement every day, his growth would be stunted, his hair and teeth would fall out and his bones would become as brittle as an 80-year-old’s.

Evelyn; Sam’s twin sister, Beatrice; and I don’t eat this way. But Sam has epilepsy, and the food he eats is controlling most of his seizures (he used to have as many as 130 a day). The diet, which drastically reduces the amount of carbohydrates he takes in, tricks his body into a starvation state in which it burns fat, and not carbs, for fuel. Remarkably, and for reasons that are still unclear, this process — called ketosis — has an antiepileptic effect. He has been eating this way for almost two years.


The boy is not overweight - his lipids and cholesterol is understandably higher than normal, but he is otherwise healthy. And definitely less epileptic.

There's a ton of stuff we still don't know about diet and metabolism. I think my focus on nonprocessed food stems from the debate over whether fatty food can be good for you or not. Situations like the above prove they can be, but I've never seen an example where say, a Twinkie was used for any sort of health diet. :P

06-08-2011, 07:11 PM
Here's some positive news: USDA Targets Food Deserts in Funding for Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants (http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011%2F06%2F0227.xml&navid=NEWS_RELEASE&navtype=RT&parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&edeployment_action=retrievecontent)

06-17-2011, 02:45 AM
Regular milk has protein too. Why should we be feeding schoolchildren the sugar, especially at a time where there is an epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes?

Not to drag Allskate back into this (this is just a convenient quotation to launch my post, nothing more), but the LA school district obediently banned chocolate milk--and gets taken to task for it for leaving orange juice on the menu because "It's more about how people perceive certain foods than the reality."


And school lunches themselves aren't the only issue facing the LA lunch ladies: http://www.laweekly.com/2011-06-16/news/why-los-angeles-school-kids-get-lousy-meals/

09-25-2011, 03:31 PM
Thought of this thread when I read this article by Mark Bittman in the NY Times:

Discussion of price of junk food vs real food, addictiveness of junk food, stats on food deserts, comparison to tobacco industry, etc.

09-27-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the link Jenny.I've been arguing the point for awhile that eating healthy can be done on a budget. Example,someone(a family) buys a large pizza for $5-10 it lasts one meal.You buy a large roasting chicken,that can be used for 2-3 meals.