While weekly food pages are out today, I want to call attention to two important stories in Monday's NYTimes.
—The first, on how California’s well-meaning effort to get kids to eat fewer unhealthy foods, has the unfortunate result of sending the message that homemade cookies and cupcakes are bad for you:
“The guidelines were passed by lawmakers in 2005 and took effect in July 2007. They require that snacks sold during the school day contain no more than 35 percent sugar by weight and derive no more than 35 percent of their calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fat.”
I know my chocolate chip cookies, which are a third each fat, sugar and flour (not counting the chocolate chips and egg) would not pass those guidelines. Are we going to say, "Yes! buy that garbage from Kraft, like Snackwells"—are we really this stupid?! Yes, we are!—and forgo making our own? How about banning processed food from our schools, and allowing the handmade stuff, no matter its fat content?
Another example of how even well-meaning legislation is hopelessly out of sync with intelligent thinking about food and eating.
—And yet another editorial asking us to pay attention to our oceans. At a literary conference I attended over the weekend the notion that the dire straits our oceans are in has yet really to capture the imagination of the country. We can’t see the peril we’re in because, well, it’s below the surface, and there’s plenty of fish on our menus and in our grocery stores, so what’s the problem? The problem is, the fish are vanishing and are not coming back. And as this editorial makes clear, we’re even tapping out the little forage fish (to feed our salmon, chix and hogs) at a deficit—it takes 3# foraged fish to grow 1# salmon (and how THAT affects the fish and the oceans, farming fish, is still a more complicated situation). This is the definition of unsustainable. Why have to pay closer attention to the things we can't see.