Category: Obesity

Earth Day in Food Policy

Prominent voices have been talking about the sustainability of agricultural practices in recent weeks. Earth Day brought with it new sets of commitments from major companies and organizations and a new report suggested a decrease in meat consumption. Read about these moves and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Third Party Regulations on the Farm

Several recent moves reiterated the role of large corporations in setting food production standards. When Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., announced it would transition to cage-free eggs, prominent voices hailed it as a tipping point for egg sourcing policies. Additionally, a group of British investors urged major restaurant chains to change antibiotic use policies when sourcing meat products. See how other companies are shaping the market and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

2015 Year End Retrospective

This edition of Influence Feed ranks the most highly discussed topics from the past six months as well as recent insight from our influencers. GMO labeling took the spotlight, primarily following congressional debates about state and national labeling rules. Food safety grew in volume due to reports about the safety of organic foods as well as an E. coli outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Influencers also addressed the stewardship of farmland resources in the face of climate change and antibiotic use for food animals.

Additionally, this edition covers recent influencer discussions regarding dietary guidelines, Chipotle’s food safety scares, corporate commitments to cage-free eggs and country of origin labeling.

Antibiotics Progress and Climate Stewardship

National and international groups are working with stakeholders to develop better strategies for tackling complex food issues. In the United States, antibiotic stewardship is drawing industry feedback. Meanwhile, food waste and climate change are prompting commitments from food companies and governments in preparation for United Nations (U.N.) resolutions. Read about these efforts and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

Criticism Flows Against Coca-Cola

Critics were quick to jump on The Coca-Cola Company for its role in funding a nonprofit organization that blamed obesity on lack of exercise. See what detractors had to say about the soda maker and how Coca-Cola’s CEO responded. You can also see what beta-agonist growth promotant was caught in the crosshairs.

N.C. “Ag-Gag” and S.F. Sugar Labels

Two pieces of legislation recently approved in different parts of the country are testing the boundaries of what is considered protection in the food and agriculture industry. And influencers are reacting. In North Carolina, a new law gives civil protection to companies when someone gains access to record and publicize information about its operations. In San Francisco, a health warning on sugary beverages aims to protect consumer health. See why influencers are speaking out about the measures in this edition of Influence Feed.

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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.

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.

Numbers, Figures and the Fine Print

Between announcing the federal government’s first major updates to the Nutrition Facts panel in 20 years and the restriction of in-school advertising of foods that don’t meet healthy guidelines, first lady Michelle Obama had a busy couple of weeks. Those announcements made waves throughout food and agriculture circles, as did a few other players who approached the issues with eye-catching facts to get results. Azodicarbonamide would probably have not been removed from Subway’s ingredient list had a blogger not pointed out that the common dough conditioning agent was also used in the manufacture of yoga mats. The USDA, in an effort to resuscitate its Food Waste Challenge program, calculated the waste figure in the trillions of calories. And a publicity writer compared the cancer risks of eating animal protein to those of smoking, generating a massive discussion about a well-debated topic in an academic study published in Cell Metabolism.

Welcome to Influence Feed

Welcome to the Food and Agriculture Influence Feed from Zoetis, a biweekly report rounding up the top topics in food and agriculture, as determined by the most influential voices from across the industry. We closely follow prominent researchers, channel executives, government officials, journalists and activists. These reports intend to capture the pulse of the issues facing food and agriculture today, with a special focus on the poultry business.

We take a look at the issues that may define the critical discussions influencers will have in 2014. Many of these were first introduced last month and have continued to resonate into the new year. The most prominent of these is the ongoing conversation about antibiotic resistance and animal agriculture’s alleged role in this public health threat. Recent federal restrictions on antibiotic use and a widespread Salmonella outbreak have called attention to the issue — as well as the poultry industry’s ongoing improvements and commitment to maintaining health standards. Influencers also paid attention to recent positive developments in both the American diet and a 2014 Farm Bill.