Category: Health

Action on Antibiotics

When the world’s largest fast food chain makes new policy about the food it sources, people listen. That certainly was the case when McDonald’s announced its U.S. restaurants would stop buying chicken raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. See what influencers are saying about the McDonald’s reactions to this and the other biggest stories in food and agriculture in this edition of Influence Feed.

Serving Up Discussion

Thanksgiving marked a celebration of views for influencers, who used the holiday to examine hot-button issues in food production. In addition to the turkey talk, there was plenty of buzz about new rules requiring calorie-count information from chain restaurants, movie theaters, and grocery and convenience stores that sell prepared foods for takeout. You’ll also want to see the food industry reaction to President Obama’s executive order to protect undocumented workers from deportation. Find these issues and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Measuring The Midterms

Influencers chimed in on the Nov. 4 midterm election results, as battles for congressional seats and state and local ballot measures resolved. Ballots determined not only who would fill the seats of congress, but also several measures related to food and agriculture at the state and local levels.

In addition, newly-filed lawsuits drew attention to ractopamine and mayonnaise, while activist groups highlighted the idea of a National Food Policy, Gov. Chris Christie’s upcoming decision regarding sow housing, and the new GMO potato. See how various voices vied for political and legal control of the food and agriculture debate in this edition of Influence Feed.

Preparing for the Polls

Some big ballot issues hang in the balance today, Election Day. The decisions voters make could affect how people drink and how they eat. See which cities and which issues have influencers talking.

You’ll also want to check out reaction to a University of Missouri study that asserts a combination of three common items can increase absorption of bisphenol A (BPA).

Find insight on these items and others in this edition of Influence Feed.

Food Chain Transparency

Two of the nation’s largest companies are making moves to bolster their reputations in the food business, and that’s generating plenty of reaction among influencers. One fast food giant is taking the veil off of its production processes, and one retail giant is supporting sustainability efforts while promoting steps toward selling healthier affordable food.

See who’s making the moves and what leading commentators are saying about them in this installment of Influence Feed.

Legislation and Legal Action

In recent days, influencers have weighed in regarding presidential oversight, reported health risks and production practices for antibiotic use. That’s stirred passionate thoughts about regulation and best corporate practices.

Passions also flared on other topics, such as “Meatless Mondays” in school lunches and regulation of waterways. Even pumpkin spice couldn’t escape scrutiny. You’ll find reactions to these issues and others in this edition of Influence Feed.

CSR Changes for Big Brands

Prominent food manufacturers under scrutiny from consumers and activists are responding — by changing their corporate social responsibility policies. And that has influencers taking notice.

There was positive reaction to the decision by Kellogg Company to address climate change through policy revisions that will reduce the company’s impact on the environment. Nestlé also earned praise for its decision to change its farm practices for animal care.

Other recent influential conversations in the food industry include a debate over sodium intake and whether farming can provide a sustaining livelihood for future generations.

You’ll find a synopsis of the issues that have the food industry talking in this week’s edition of Influence Feed.

Uncovering Data, Fueling Insights

Influencers explored boundaries regarding what’s necessary, reasonable and appropriate when it comes to managing food. Recent discussions include the ongoing hot topic of school lunch, long-term global food production priorities, food safety issues in China, and domestic animal agriculture practices.

As often is the case, it’s not just the information that’s debated but also the motivation behind it. At the top of the list is a review of research regarding the benefits of organics, questioned not only because of who funded the study but also because of the premise: Are organics prized by some consumers based on nutrition, or is it because of production values? The Guardian wrote of one scientific analysis, “The findings will bring to the boil a long-simmering row over whether those differences mean organic food is better for people, with one expert calling the work sexed up.”

You’ll find plenty of debates simmering in this edition of Influence Feed.

Midyear Reflections; Standards and Solutions

This edition of Influence Feed highlights the most highly discussed topics from the first half of the year in addition to providing recent insight from our influencers. After analyzing tens of thousands of communications, some clear leading topics emerged among influencers in 2014: sustainability, food regulation, genetically modified organisms and organic food. Government-led initiatives, agriculturalist feedback and activist responses all had a large impact in discussions of those topics. Additionally, foodborne illness received heavy news coverage following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports and several large recalls that prompted government intervention.

In recent weeks, food safety concerns and fears have dominated influencer conversation. As the latest episode in a year of dealing with Salmonella Heidelberg, Foster Farms issued a recall of some of its chicken. Noted seafood author Paul Greenberg released American Catch — a book documenting the questionable sources of our seafood supply. Meanwhile, a study from Cornell University identified fears — often unfounded — that drive purchasing decisions of food consumers, while a cover story in Bloomberg Businessweek delved into the workings of Monsanto, a company often viewed with suspicion and distrust. Read more about influencer reactions to these concerns.

Food Policy in the Spotlight

Our eating habits are in the spotlight. From reporting new research to advocating calls for urgent action, the media understands that consumers want more information about food. That’s why the changing nature of how we’re consuming food is the major theme for this edition of Influence Feed.

“Food has become America’s all-consuming passion,” writes Bruce Horowitz in a June 4 USA Today article. “Blame it on the Food Network. Blame it on a culture of celebrity chefs whose names are no longer limited to Wolfgang. Blame half on Whole Foods. Blame it on a generation of Instagram-loving Millennials, many of whom would rather post a photo of themselves eating a veggies Thai lettuce wrap than lounging on a Thai beach. Food is the new cool. Food is consuming us” (emphasis added).

In recent days, we saw a series in The Wall Street Journal focusing on “How We Eat.” Butter made the cover of Time magazine in a piece rethinking how we look at fat. Things we once took for granted are under fire, including whether our cereal has too many vitamins and minerals. After decades of being vaguely defined, the word natural is under assault.

Influential voices are weighing in on all these issues, and you’ll find them in this latest summary of the conversations focusing on food and agriculture.