A recent essay in the New York Times Magazine captures a mini-trend among four California women who are building chicken coops in their backyards. “Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird,” writes Peggy Orenstein.But Orenstein, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., surmises that the backyard farming offers some educated, stay-at-home moms a green and feminist-approved way of embracing domestic life that she calls femivorism. Femivorism, she writes, is a sort of hybrid between feminism and locavorism.
Today, Senator Blanche Lincoln unveiled her version of the Child Nutrition Act and announced that the Senate Agriculture Committee will begin marking up the bill next week, on Wednesday, March 24.Lincoln’s bill boosts funding for child nutrition programs by $500 million per year, and includes stronger nutrition standards and modest support for Farm to School programs. She called it a “record investment in child nutrition programs,” which is technically true – but only because Congress has consistently under-funded school meals in every Child Nutrition Act until now. Lincoln’s bill is a decent step forward, but it’s only half of the $1 billion proposed by President Obama and it’s not enough to transform school lunch in a time when nearly 1 in 3 children is obese or overweight.
Food companies interested in doing something meaningful to prevent childhood obesity are in a bind. Preventing obesity usually means staying active; eating real, not processed, foods; and reserving soft drinks and juice drinks for special occasions. None of this is good for the processed food business. At best, food and beverage companies can make their products a bit less junky and back off from marketing to children. In return, they can use the small changes they make for marketing purposes.
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