Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968Taxpayers Fund Farmers Markets<p> Today, the <a href="http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/business/usda-to-start-program-to-support-local-and-organic-farming.html?referrer=&amp;_r=1">New York Times reports</a> that the US Department of Agriculture &quot;will spend $52 million to support local and regional food systems like farmers&rsquo; markets and food hubs and to spur research on organic farming.&quot;</p> <p> Uh huh...because, why not! We&rsquo;re already $17 Trillion (<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2791835/Super-sized-$90-Trillion-Government-Debt-Underreported">or is that $90 Trillion</a>) in debt. What&rsquo;s a measly $52 million for yet another food program!</p> <p> Need a review of those <a href="http://www.nutrition.gov/food-assistance-programs">other programs</a>? Let&rsquo;s see&hellip;taxpayers already provide 47 million Americans with food stamps. Taxpayers also fund the Women Infant and Children program, the Elderly Nutrition Program, the Head Start and Summer Food Service Programs, the Indian reservation food assistance program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the Child and Adult Care Nutrition Program, and of course, the School Breakfast and Lunch Program.&nbsp; Got all that?</p> <p> But, according to <a href="http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/millions-wasted-in-federal-school-lunch-program">multiple reports</a>, as spending has increased on these programs, so has the food waste. For example, take the school lunch program: According to a Harvard study, 60 percent of fresh vegetables and 40 percent of fresh fruit are being thrown in the trash. Both GAO and a study by the National School Nutrition Association found an increase food waste due to kids not eating the &ldquo;new and improved&rdquo; meals and according to a study from Cornel and Brigham Young Universities, <a href="http://www.westernjournalism.com/4-million-food-thrown-away-every-day-michelles-school-lunch-program/">$4 million a day (yes, A DAY!)</a><a href="http://www.westernjournalism.com/4-million-food-thrown-away-every-day-michelles-school-lunch-program/">&nbsp;is being wasted</a>.</p> <p> So, with all this spending and record breaking waste in mind, why not create a whole new food program designed to help people eat like those sanctimonious food snobs you avoid at school pickup. Hooray!</p> <p> Not surprisingly, the New York Times &ndash; yes, the same newspaper <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2794833/New-York-Times-Hosts-Panel-on-Farming,-Forgets-to-Invite-Farmers">that&rsquo;s hosting a panel discussion of farming, yet forgot to invite farmers</a> -- offers this <a href="http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/business/usda-to-start-program-to-support-local-and-organic-farming.html?referrer=&amp;_r=1">excuse for the program</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> &hellip; local farmers still struggle to market their food. Distribution systems are intended to accommodate the needs of large-scale commercial farms and growers. Grocery stores and restaurants largely rely on big distribution centers and are only beginning to figure out how to incorporate small batches of produce into their overall merchandise mixes.</p> </blockquote> <p> Yes, it&rsquo;s true, food distribution systems currently in use benefit large-scale farmers but as demand for organic food increases (which it is thanks to <a href="http://www.blogher.com/cult-organics">alarmists who tell moms that conventionally grown food is dangerous</a>), the distribution systems will be upgraded to deliver organic products in a more efficient manner.</p> <p> And organic companies have already invested in their own distribution systems to make getting organic products to consumers easier. For instance, by 2011, one of the largest organic companies -- Organic Valley &ndash; <a href="http://www.cias.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/rb80organicvalleyfinal041813.pdf">had 43 regional milk pools across the&nbsp;country and employed more than 500 people</a>.</p> <p> Considering that many organic companies are already designing these distribution centers, perhaps the better solution is for these companies&mdash;not taxpayers&mdash;to spend a little money in building these logistical systems. After all, organic companies are rolling in it. That&rsquo;s right&mdash;organic&rsquo;s going BIG FOOD!</p> <p> Just consider the fact that Whole Foods (hmmm&hellip;is it me or do you get the impression that Whole Foods supports the organic industry and organic farmers) <a href="http://tacit.livejournal.com/596800.html">makes about the same profits as (gasp) Monsanto</a> (h/t <a href="http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com">Nurse Loves Farmer</a>). Maybe Whole Foods should start investing in these systems instead of relying on taxpayers like me who don&rsquo;t even purchase organic food. Or maybe, The Hain Celestial Group, which sells organic products and was <a href="http://www.thestreet.com/topic/21481/top-rated-equity-food-products.html">ranked one 2014&#39;s best food stocks</a>, could help organic farmers with this distribution problem.</p> <p> The point is, the U.S. government should get out of picking winners (pushing farmers markets, helping develop distribution systems, and pushing organic on consumers) and losers (grocery stores and conventional and large-scale farmers).</p> <p> Let the market work and let private industry take a load of the American taxpayer.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2795155/Julie GunlockMon, 29 Sep 2014 12:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Federal Dietary Guidelines could be harmful to your children & Regulations on food industry hurts small, local restaurants • WIBC Garrisonhttp://iwf.org/media/2795140/Julie GunlockThu, 25 Sep 2014 16:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumZero Tolerance Rules: Have they gone too far? • WIBC Garrison Show http://iwf.org/media/2795139/Julie GunlockThu, 25 Sep 2014 16:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFood Industry Making Foods Healthier • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2795135/Julie GunlockThu, 25 Sep 2014 13:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPunishing Big Food Really Harms the Little Guy<p> IWF writers have been following the Big Union-orchestrated fast food walkouts for months and how the demand to increase the minimum wage would largely hurt low skilled workers. <a href="http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/20/higher-fast-food-wages-could-leave-some-workers-behind/?utm_source=facebook&amp;utm_medium=social">Salim Furth at the Daily Signal</a> explains just how this would play out. He writes:</p> <blockquote> <p> &hellip; in the short run, prices would rise 38 percent, production and hours worked would fall 36 percent, and wages would decrease to 1 percent of revenue from 3 percent in 2013. In the long run, some restaurants would close, and the survivors would shift to fewer, higher-skilled workers and more <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRyscGaXM_0">labor-saving technology</a>.</p> <p> Some workers would come out ahead from a $15 fast-food wage: those with the most experience and the highest efficiency. Sadly, marginal workers&ndash;including those with the worst alternatives and the fewest marketable skills&ndash;would be left behind.</p> </blockquote> <p> Higher wagers isn&rsquo;t the only demand. <a href="http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/21/white-house-unions-attack-small-business/?utm_source=facebook&amp;utm_medium=social">According to Stephen Moore</a>, also writing for Heritage&rsquo;s Daily Signal, transforming (maybe destroying?) the very way fast food restaurants operate is the ultimate goal:</p> <blockquote> <p> If the Obama Administration has its way, Ronald McDonald may soon have to wipe that grin off his face as he stands beneath the Golden Arches. One of the most successful models for expanding small-business ownership in America is under full-scale attack from unions and the White House.</p> <p> The political strategy is to fundamentally change the legal relationship between locally owned stores like McDonald&rsquo;s (NYSE:<a href="http://research.investors.com/quotes/nyse-mcdonalds-corp-mcd.htm">MCD</a>), Popeyes (NASDAQ:<a href="http://research.investors.com/quotes/nasdaq-popeyes-louisiana-kitchn-plki.htm">PLKI</a>), Taco Bell (NYSE:<a href="http://research.investors.com/quotes/nyse-yum-brands-inc-yum.htm">YUM</a>) and their multibillion-dollar parent companies.</p> <p> No longer would franchisees be legally classified as independent contractors to the parent company. The left wants the employees of each of the hundreds of thousands of independently owned franchise restaurants, hotels, retail stores and others to be considered jointly employed by both the independent franchisee and parent.</p> <p> This change would overturn a 30-year legal precedent for how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deals with franchisees.</p> </blockquote> <p> We&rsquo;re seeing regulations kill businesses. From <a href="http://thegazette.com/subject/news/kalona-cheese-factory-to-stop-churning-20140911">small cheese makers</a>, to <a href="http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=24761">onion growers</a> to both large scale and small family owned restaurants that can no longer comply with FSMA, Obamacare and other crushing regulations, these businesses and teh workers they employ are in deep trouble.</p> <p> True lovers of food need to understand that by taking down the big guys, you often hurt the little guys much worse. And that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;re seeing with these attacks on fast food. Lefty politicians and food scolds who approve of hurting the fast food industry need to understand the real consequents of these actions: killing jobs for low skilled workers and shattering small businesses and small-scale farmers.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2795103/Julie GunlockTue, 23 Sep 2014 10:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEvent: Hear How Big Food Companies Are Helping You Lose Weight<p> This week, the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sn-sci-us-households-with-kids-bought-less-junk-food-in-2012-than-in-2007-report-says-20140916-story.html#page=1">Los Angeles Times reported some good news</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> American families with kids bought 101 fewer calories per person per day in packaged foods in 2012 than they did in 2007, according to an analysis of a pledge by big food companies to reduce calories in the marketplace. It&rsquo;s an &ldquo;impressive&rdquo; accomplishment but not sufficient to reverse childhood obesity, experts say.</p> <p> The assessments, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, follow on an earlier report on the work of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation -- 16 big food companies that agreed to reduce by 1.5 trillion the total calories they sold by 2015.</p> <p> That mark has been exceeded significantly: The companies -- which together account for about a third of all the calories in the marketplace -- reduced calories sold from 2007 through 2012 by an average of 78 per person, or 6.4 trillion total.</p> </blockquote> <p> That&rsquo;s an impressive accomplishment especially for an industry that so often is wrongly accused of causing the obesity crisis.</p> <p> If you&rsquo;re in the D.C. region and you&#39;re interested in learning more about this coalition of food manufacturers and the pledge to reduce calories in processed food, don&#39;t miss this panel discussion on Wednedsay hosted by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF). The panel will feature two amazing women--Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, President and CEO of The Robert Wood Jounson Foundation and Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Each will discuss the commitment these companies have made and plans to continue healthy initiatives in the future. The panel will be moderated by another impressive women--Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour.</p> <p> It looks like an interesting event. To RSVP, go <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e9sergu8eb60e8cc&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch=">here</a>.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2795098/Julie GunlockMon, 22 Sep 2014 20:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSalt's Not the Bad Guy<p> I&#39;m glad to see the newer studies on sodium and diet getting coverage in the mainstream news media. <a href="http://time.com/3313332/salt-and-blood-pressure/">Time reports</a> on this stunning new research, which suggests (along with many other new studies) salt isn&#39;t the bad actor it&#39;s been made out to be when it comes to hypertension:</p> <blockquote> <p> Sodium has long been labeled the blood-pressure bogeyman. But are we giving salt a fair shake?</p> <p> A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension analyzed data from 8,670 French adults and found that salt consumption wasn&rsquo;t associated with systolic blood pressure in either men or women after controlling for factors like age.</p> <p> Why not? One explanation, the authors write, is that the link we all assume between salt and blood pressure is &ldquo;overstated&rdquo; and &ldquo;more complex than once believed.&rdquo; It should be noted, however, that even though the study found no statistically significant association between blood pressure and sodium in the diet, those patients who were hypertensive consumed significantly more salt than those without hypertension&mdash;suggesting, as other research has, that salt affects people differently.</p> </blockquote> <p> The last line is important because it points to a trend we&#39;ve seen in the newer research on sodium&#39;s impact on human health: the science isn&#39;t settled on this topic. More research is warranted. Yet, the FDA is continuing to pursue regulations on the food industry--creating &quot;voluntary&quot; guidelines for the industry to reduce the sodium content in processed foods. <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/08/22/the-fdas-new-food-regulations-are-a-recipe-for-high-food-prices/">I wrote about this last month in Forbes</a> and I warned consumers that obedience to these &ldquo;voluntary&rdquo; guidelines will come at a cost &mdash; specifically higher prices at the grocery store and in restaurants as companies are forced to invest more in research, testing and product development. The regulations will hit local and mom-and-pop brands particularly hard, as smaller manufactures simply don&#39;t have the resources to comply.</p> <p> I also noted in my<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/08/22/the-fdas-new-food-regulations-are-a-recipe-for-high-food-prices/"> Forbes piece</a> that one industry executive speculated that food companies would face &ldquo;tens of millions of dollars&rdquo; in added costs.</p> <p> So, who do you think pays these costs? The manufacturer? Sure, up front, but manufactures will simply charge consumers more at the back end. That means, ultimately, you and I pay the price for unnecessary regulations&mdash;which won&rsquo;t lead to healthier Americans. Thanks for nothing FDA.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2795044/Julie GunlockTue, 16 Sep 2014 10:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTime to Ban Bossy School Lunch Ladies • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2794999/Julie GunlockThu, 11 Sep 2014 07:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Meal • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2794958/Julie GunlockFri, 5 Sep 2014 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIt’s Time to #BanBossy School Lunch Ladies<p> Convenience stores are generally known for two things: large sugary sodas and high-calorie snack foods. These are the very items the Obama administration has worked doggedly to eliminate from kids&rsquo; diets through school lunch mandates that include bans on what types of foods can be sold in schools. Yet these very school lunch reforms&mdash;shepherded through Congress by First Lady Michelle Obama&mdash;are helping sales surge at these snack food founts.</p> <p> Faced with increasingly revolting school cafeteria meals due to government limits on such flavor enhancers as butter and salt, throngs of children (and some entire schools) have elected to drop out of the school lunch program. It&rsquo;s understandable. Oliver Twist wouldn&rsquo;t have asked Mr. Bumble for another bowl of gruel if there had been a convenience store next door.</p> <p> Critics of the school lunch reforms might rejoice in this development, mistakenly assuming it means parents are taking a more active role in feeding their kids by packing simple brown-bag meals at home.</p> <p> That didn&rsquo;t happen. Instead, kids are simply leaving school during the lunch hour (or going hungry until school is dismissed) in search of something that tastes good. As one school&rsquo;s food and nutrition director&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/19/health/national-school-lunch-program/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_health+(RSS%3A+Health)">explained</a>&nbsp;to a CNN reporter, &ldquo;If they aren&rsquo;t eating with us, they&rsquo;re leaving and eating junk.&rdquo;</p> <h2> Salty Unintended Consequences</h2> <p> This unintended consequence of the 2010 school lunch reforms means booming sales at convenience stores. Like it or not, these small storefronts that specialize in on-the-road snacks now provide millions of hungry kids the very food the Obama administration has fought so hard against. In fact,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nacsonline.com/News/Press_Releases/2014/Pages/PR062614.aspx#.U_N7KsbgWUU">according to the National Association of Convenience Stores</a>, convenience stores in the United States netted record sales in 2013, increasing 2.4 percent to $204 billion.</p> <p> Many of those who supported the school lunch mandates never mention this new trend in how school-aged children are eating. As kids (including kids who previously paid full price for school-prepared meals) reject cafeteria food, schools are finding it difficult to administer the lunch mandates with less revenue. Implementation problems are so pronounced that some schools have decided to opt out of the program entirely.</p> <p> Yet, instead of addressing these problems that many argue the Obama administration created, White House officials lambasted school nutrition directors who have spoken publicly about the struggle to make the mandated changes. The First Lady was also defensive when responding to criticism, saying that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/flotus-cut-sodas-schools">90 percent of schools implemented the reforms</a>, glossing over the fact that fewer kids are actually eating her &ldquo;healthier&rdquo; meals and many kids are actually eating less nutritious meals than before the reforms were put in place.</p> <h2> What Real Reform Looks Like</h2> <p> If the real goal is help kids eat and live healthier, then we need to take a fresh look at these school lunch programs and consider some truly innovative and creative changes. For instance, some communities are already privatizing the school lunch program, which has resulted in happier kids and increased participation.</p> <p> Another way to make school lunches healthier is to eliminate the U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquo;s Depression-era commodity program, which supplies schools with cafeteria classics such as chicken nuggets, French fries, canned cheese, and a variety of branded foods like Tyson Mini Snackers, Pizza Stuffed Meatball Bites, and Smuckers Uncrustables. Replacing these timeworn programs with direct funding to schools is a way to give school nutrition directors more control over what kids eat by allowing them to purchase healthier food on the open market.</p> <p> The administration would also be wise to encourage parents to be more involved in their children&rsquo;s diets. After all,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2792951/Shocking-Breaking-News:-Parents-Matter">multiple studies demonstrate</a>the greater the parental involvement, the greater chance a child stays at a healthy weight.</p> <p> Unfortunately, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 again pushes in the wrong direction: It actually created mechanisms and incentives for states to increase the numbers of kids enrolled in school feeding programs&mdash;effectively diminishing the role of parents in a child&rsquo;s nutrition. Rather than continuing to drive more kids to get their food from the state, which too often ends up meaning convenience-store meals, the First Lady should encourage parents to take the lead in opting out of federal feeding programs by preparing their kids a healthy meal instead.</p> <p> Parents should also take time to lecture their kids that bags of chips and cans of soda purchased at a convenience store don&rsquo;t make for a good meal.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Julie Gunlock is the Culture of Alarmism project director at the Independent Women&#39;s Forum and a contributing author to Lean Together.&nbsp;</em></p> http://iwf.org/news/2794956/Julie GunlockFri, 5 Sep 2014 07:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOne Word for Striking Fast Food Workers: AUTOMATION<p> Fast food restaurants are <a href="http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/216594-fast-food-workers-take-to-the-streets-for-15-minimum">preparing for another set of walk outs</a> as their employees push for an unrealistic $15 an hour.</p> <p> I&#39;ve written about this trend before (<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2792650/Automation:-The-Future-of-Fast-Food">here</a> and <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2792659/What's-Really-At-Stake-in-the-Fast-Food-Debate">here</a>) and it never fails to amaze me that these walk outs are largely organized by big labor unions, the leadership of which are more than aware that technology will soon replace these low-skilled workers. As Alexander C. Kaufman writes <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/fast-food-robot_n_5668600.html">in the Huffington Post</a>: it&#39;s going to be a robot Armageddon for fast food workers.</p> <blockquote> <p> Momentum Machines of San Francisco has invented a fully-automated contraption that can grind meat, slice tomatoes, grill patties, wrap fully cooked burgers and do pretty much anything else human fast-food workers can do. The machine is capable of cranking out 360 burgers per hour, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://momentummachines.com/">Momentum Machines&#39; website</a>.</p> <p> The group plans to sell its invention to restaurants and, eventually, open its own chain to sell gourmet burgers at fast-food prices by eliminating the cost of paying line cooks. This, its website claims, will &quot;democratize access to high quality food, making it available to the masses.&quot;</p> <p> &ldquo;Our device isn&rsquo;t meant to make employees more efficient,&rdquo; co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas&nbsp;<a href="http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2012/06/12/hamburgers-coffee-guitars-and-cars-a-report-from-lemnos-labs/">Xconomy</a>&nbsp;in 2012. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s meant to completely obviate them.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p> If big labor actually cared about these fast food workers, they would back off of these stunts. Unfortunately for these workers who are being fooled into believing these walk outs will help, they will soon be spending their days not walking a picket line but waiting in the unemployment line.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2794938/Julie GunlockThu, 4 Sep 2014 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAmanda Marcotte Almost Gets It Right<p> Amanda&nbsp;Marcotte&nbsp;gets a few things right in her&nbsp;<em>Slate&nbsp;</em>piece &ldquo;<a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/03/home_cooked_family_dinners_a_major_burden_for_working_mothers.html">Let&rsquo;s Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p> Marcotte&nbsp;is right to call out food writers such as&nbsp;Michael&nbsp;Pollan&nbsp;and Mark&nbsp;Bittman, who tell parents that only certain (read: expensive, boutique-shop carrying, organic, local, heirloom, unprocessed) food will do for little Timmy and Susie. This in fact does make moms (and dads) feel increasing pressure to prepare&nbsp;Pinterest-worthy&nbsp;family meals and spend scarce resources on expensive meat and produce.</p> <p> Yet,&nbsp;Marcotte&nbsp;goes off the rails in several important areas. First, she suggests it&rsquo;s only women doing the cooking. Talk about sexism. Second,&nbsp;Marcotte&nbsp;says that the pressure women feel to prepare meals may outweigh the benefits. She bases this on the results of one small study based on interviews with 150 women and observations of twelve families.</p> <p> But before weighing the benefits to mom and child,&nbsp;Marcotte&nbsp;should do a little more research on what the actual benefits are to children who eat family meals. Consider a&nbsp;<a href="http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/homeroutines.htm">large study</a>&nbsp;conducted in 2010 by the University of Ohio and published in the March 2010 issue of the journal&nbsp;<em>Pediatrics</em>&nbsp;that examined the habits of over 8,500 children. It found that children are likely to have a lower risk of obesity if they do three simple things at home: eat dinner with their families more than five times a week, get at least 10.5 hours of sleep per night, and watch two or fewer hours of television on weekdays. Interestingly, children living in households where these routines were practiced were less likely to be obese and this was the case even among children at high risk of obesity (those who had an obese mother, were living in a&nbsp;low-income household, or were living in a single-parent home).</p> <p> Now tell me, is a chance at avoiding childhood obesity less important than mom being burdened by boiling noodles and saut&eacute;ing a chicken breast?</p> <p> About that &ldquo;burden,&rdquo; Marcotte writes that cooking for families is just too much for women (so much for women being tough) and isn&rsquo;t fulfilling: &ldquo;Beyond just the time and money constraints, women find that their very own families present a major obstacle to their desire to provide diverse, home-cooked meals. The women interviewed faced not just children but grown adults who are whiny, picky, and ungrateful for their efforts.&rdquo;</p> <p> I have no idea if&nbsp;Marcotte&nbsp;has kids, but someone might want to tell her that this is all a part of having cranky toddlers. It might come as a shock to her, but it&rsquo;s hardly surprising to the millions of moms who deal each day with the complaints of children who don&rsquo;t want to eat this or that. And as for mom&rsquo;s desire for &ldquo;diverse&rdquo; meals, yeah, sure would be nice if my four-year-old demanded&nbsp;cassoulet&nbsp;instead of a cheesy, carb-loaded casserole,&nbsp;saut&eacute;ed&nbsp;garlic-spiked chard instead of broccoli and cheese and potatoes,&nbsp;dauphinoise&nbsp;instead of mashed potatoes, but you know what, I deal with it because I&rsquo;m a grown up and I know that for a few years when my kids are young and picky about food, I&rsquo;m going to have to make some adjustments.</p> <p> Marcotte&nbsp;also suggests poor families are hardest hit by having to cook for their families. This is typical fare from left-wing writers who often portray low-income Americans as helpless and unable to cope with daily life without the government&rsquo;s help. Yet&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/14/soft-bigotry-of-low-food-expectations/">research by Share Our Strength</a>&nbsp;&mdash; a well-known anti-hunger organizations &mdash; shatters this assumption. The study showed that eight in ten low-income families make dinner at home and from scratch at least five times a week. Families only eat fast food on average one night a week. The report also shows that while some families do struggle to cook healthy meals every night, 85 percent of those polled said they want to make healthy meals and believe eating healthy is realistic for them.</p> <p> Marcotte&nbsp;concludes her piece by suggesting, &ldquo;These obstacles need to be fixed first.&rdquo; She would do better to reevaluate who actually creates the anxiety women feel in the first place: the food writers who set up unrealistic expectations about how to feed kids simple and nutritious meals.</p> <p> &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Julie Gunlock is a mother of three boys who annoy her every night with their picky eating. She writes for the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2794963/Julie GunlockThu, 4 Sep 2014 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy say "No" to No GMO • KNUS Kelly and Companyhttp://iwf.org/media/2794960/Julie GunlockTue, 2 Sep 2014 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFederalizing Lunch: Billions of dollars of healthy school food is wasted • OAN Rick Amato Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2795011/Julie GunlockTue, 2 Sep 2014 07:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNo to No GMO<p> Alarmist weren&#39;t satisfied when General Mills and Post Foods announced the introduction of GMO-free Cheerios and Grape Nuts (which I wrote about <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/12/general-mills-cheerios-genetically-modified-column/5341009/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-cl73OaOf1xDa9XwtqY3U3g">here</a>).&nbsp;Instead, anti-GMO activists responded with calls for more GMO-free food. Their message to these giant food companies: if you can take GMOs out of one of your products, why not all of them? It&#39;s a good question: one that many food companies weren&rsquo;t prepared to answer.</p> <p> Soon after the change was made, people noticed the companies stripped more than just genetically modified ingredients from these much-loved breakfast foods. <a href="http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/02/24/cereals-reformulated-to-be-non-gmo-less-nutritious-than-gmo-versions/">According to the folks at the Genetic Literacy Project</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> Post Foods&rsquo; new non-GMO Grape Nuts no longer include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12 or vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), while the new non-GMO Original Cheerios no longer have Riboflavin on the ingredients list (the old version has 25% of the daily value in a 28g serving while the new version has 2% of the DV).</p> <p> Dr. Wayne Parrott, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia, <a href="http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Goodbye-GMOs-and-vitamin-B12-D-A-and-Riboflavin-New-non-GMO-Grape-Nuts-and-Original-Cheerios-are-certainly-less-nutritious-claims-professor">told Elaine Watson at FoodNavigator</a> that &quot;it was depressing to see that the new products are arguably less healthy given the lower vitamin content&quot; adding &ldquo;Cheerios went from being a major source of vitamin B2 to being almost zip.</p> </blockquote> <p> And now, it turns out profits for these cereal companies are also less healthy post GMO-removal. <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dalebuss/2014/02/20/americans-still-arent-buying-gmo-gospel-ask-general-mills/">According to Forbes contributor Dale Buss</a>, people aren&rsquo;t interested in non-GMO food.</p> <blockquote> <p> Take an interesting but little-reported fact that has just emerged: The new, non-GMO version of Cheerios isn&rsquo;t moving the sales needle significantly for General Mills GIS -0.34% , and the giant cereal company isn&rsquo;t planning any more non-GMO products after it went to a lot of trouble to source non-GMO Cheerios.</p> <p> But these developments aren&rsquo;t being reported anywhere other than in FoodBusinessNews.net, which broke the story. The silence that has greeted them is quite a contrast to the enthusiastic echo chamber that was created by legions of news media, from the food trades and way beyond, that last month hailed General Mills&rsquo; decision to begin offering its classic Cheerios cereal in mostly-non-GMO form. Soon after, Post Foods said that its Grape-Nuts cereal had been certified GMO-free.</p> </blockquote> <p> Hopefully food industry executives will learn from this experience. Pandering to radical food activists gets you one thing: declining sales. Consumers should also note that backing these nonsensical initiatives (like voting to ban GMO products) gets them higher prices for inferior products.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2794894/Julie GunlockThu, 28 Aug 2014 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum