April 2014

Three years ago, I was working as a U.S. Spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and met Lauren Bush, a Princeton student, who designed a bag that would feed kids around the world in school. In February 2007, Lauren and I co-founded FEED Projects, a small (ahem, two-person) company with the mission of selling these “FEED” bags to support WFP’s international school feeding efforts.
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With all the dialogue and commentary on Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed health code amendment to limit portion sizes, it seems an important argument in the Mayor’s favor has been missing — that this ban might actually help to put us back on track for a truly free market in our food supply. Yes, that’s right — “anti-consumer freedom socialists” and “the food police” might want to put down their victory flags. The NYC Mayor’s career to date confirms that he is indeed a capitalist, so I am fairly certain that he does not really take well to the “Nanny State” charge. And if we look one layer deeper at the sweetened beverage issue, it might well be that Bloomberg is helping to fight the “Nanny State” through this progressive effort.
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  • 49 million Americans are still food insecure as food stamps are cut.
  • Fosters Farm chicken linked to a salmonella outbreak.
  • Diet soda consumption is falling and all soda consumption down.
  • Close to 40 percent of food is wasted worldwide.
  • Violence continues in the Horn of Africa where millions of the 850 million hungry people around the world live.

And let’s not forget cronuts or test tube meat.
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If I had a dollar for every time someone said that they don’t buy fruits and vegetables or “healthy food” because it’s too expensive, I could feed a small town all organic food for years! But, of course, it’s true — when you look at the prices of so-called “conventional” junk food compared with local, organic fruits and veggies, on a calorie per dollar basis, the junk often wins. Many people assume that it’s the produce or organic foods that “cost more” than highly processed, shelf-stable ubiquitous and cheap junk food, but what if the price tags that we see don’t tell the whole story?
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