For Food On The Go, Bars Are Eating Up The Competition

Dieter, beware: Weight-loss fads can be bad for your health

They are demanding $40 billion be cut from the program over 10 years by denying benefits to those who are not working or in government job-training courses. Thats 10 times the comparably meager $4 billion in cuts included in the Senate farm bill. They point to the programs dramatic growth to $80 billion in 2012, up from to $35 billion in 2007. Whether significant cuts to SNAP are needed remains a hotly debated subject, but there is little argument over the need to reduce fraud in the program. Especially not after the USDAs report , released in August, found retailers willing to pay cash in return for the government food credit stole $858 million annually from government coffers from 2009 through 2011. Thats nearly triple the $330 million stolen annually from 2006 through 2008. Only about 15% of all the food stamps used by shoppers in the U.S. are spent at small stores, but they are also the source of 85% of the fraud, according to the USDAs report . The USDA report is essentially a follow up to a Government Accountability Office report released several years ago that told the USDA it needed to focus on small convenience and grocery stores in order to cut down on food stamp fraud. USDAhas good reason to see these small-scale, privately owned stores as a significance source of food stamp fraud. These stores are often short on the fresh fruit, vegetables and meat that SNAP vouchers are intended to purchase, the GAO report said. The USDA isnt waiting for further marching orders from Congress, having just wrapped up a five-city listening tour aimed at hearing the publics complaints and suggestions regarding SNAP fraud.

Food stamps are pictured. | Reuters

And energy bars sound pretty healthful, right? But the truth is that that just means they have calories. So before you load up for the weekend, read the label. Easy doesn’t necessarily mean healthful. In many cases, Walters says, bars are fast food and not so different from the drive-through. What they can do is fit in a pocket or purse and last for a long time in the glove compartment. Long-distance runners can eat them on the course, and busy travelers can make a meal of them on the plane or subway. The popularity of bars “is a perfect reflection of where we are culturally,” says Mollie Katzen, who has been writing cookbooks since the counterculture days. Her latest, “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” is out this fall Bar makers are slicing the market to attract very specific customers: dieters on Medifast ; the socially responsible with This Bar Saves Lives (which donates to abate hunger); or athletes with Builder’s Max bar, which has 30 grams of protein, made by the 20-year-old company Clif. Many consumers are looking for protein sources that are cheaper than meat, so that’s one draw, but bars are not necessarily cheap; they can top $5. Whatever happened to packing a sandwich or leftovers from last night’s dinner, asks Katzen, who says her daughter, a young adult living in New York City, carries bars in her bag because they’re easy. Shane Emmett, chief executive of Health Warrior, which makes Chia Bars, gets that. The former college swimmer now has a baby, runs and even does push-ups in his Richmond, Va., office. “I wish I could make a giant pot of kale for lunch every day, but I’m too busy,” he says. “Americans genuinely aspire to be healthier, genuinely aspire to push back against the modern Western diet, but they are not going to sacrifice taste and convenience.” Many people are, however, willing to sacrifice a meal by substituting a bar.

Food banks that churches count on are challenged by rising demand, spoilage issues

And although the distribution includes bread, cereal and canned goods, there is increasing focus among church food banks to supply fresh vegetables and meat for the good health of those in need. Fresh food thats the key to lowering high blood pressure and diabetes, said Jeri Bailey, director of the food pantry at the Dupont Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church, who was at the food bank the same day as Nwaneri. We prepare bags for 130families a week that includes a meat, fresh greens, canned goods and other items, Bailey said. But the distribution of fresh food means extra attention must be paid to ensuring that the donated perishables dont spoil. Nearly 36 million tons of food were wasted nationally in 2011, said Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank. Roman recently helped organize a summit in Alexandria to address how local churches and organizations can reduce food spoilage. Participants included Ben Simon, founder of the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland; Elise H. Golan, director for sustainable development at the Department of Agriculture; Tom ODonnell, an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency; and Meghan Stasz, director of sustainability for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents such major brands as Kraft, General Mills and Nestle. Food waste is getting some attention from federal agencies, but [the summit] really connected it to people serving in the communities to begin a conversation that is needed in our region, Roman said in an interview. We are committed to fresh food and vegetables, but we have to pay attention to waste. As panelists talked about how more and more companies are allowed to give out food because of Good Samaritan donation laws, Gerri Magruder, coordinator of the food pantry at First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights , stood in frustration. I want real-life specifics.

“The Scarecrow” Chipotle industrial food commercial haunting but true (Video)

Chipotle lays before the public viewing audience a death-defying view of what the food of today really looks like, on their search to bring back real food to their customers. Cultivate a better world The world of processed food is a frightening one, with food production controlled by industrial giants who are dominating the food system, the way its always been done. The infomercial seem through the eyes of one lone scarecrow, as he sets out to give an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the industrial food factory. Its scary to think this is actually what food production has come to What the animals are put through and what people are willing to ingest, Alfred Hitchcock himself could not have come of with, but a seemingly closer of view of what this commercial portrays can be viewed in the B movie classic from the 80s ,Motel Hell. Unsuspecting travelers are buried up to their necks in the soil in his garden, after they are kidnapped by Farmer Vincent. It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincents fritters Farmer Vincents motto is a parody of the meat industry. His have their vocal chords cut so they cannot scream out. His victims, captured as animals, are fed special food until they are ready. The movie is full of one criminal act after another and who knows and who doesn’t and who eats but pretends they do not know. The victims escape and cant walk-from being buried in the ground, or talk-they hiss and make weird noises, much like the industrial farm animals would do if they broke loose from their industrialized settings they are forced to live in. If people weren’t so freaked out on the B drive-in movie spaghetti scare, and more information about industrialization and the tainted foods that litter the grocery store shelves, they might have realized the statement the movie was trying to make even then. The Scarecrow produced by Chipotle and created by Academy-Award-winning Moonbot Studios The Scarecrow is a revised version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Chipotles mission to change how people see fast food. Making a story that matters to people, the idea is this elaborate production of overproduced food. What do scarecrows do? They protect food.