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Friday Food News Feed: Jan. 20

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Healthy food is all over the news this week, starting with yesterday’s announcement by Walmart executives (joined by First Lady Michelle Obama) that they are launching an effort to offer more healthful foods and push its suppliers to do the same. According to the Washington Post, Walmart will develop more healthful and affordable packaged food items by 2015, build more stores in underserved areas, and increase its charitable donations to nutrition programs.

Some groups like Share Our Strength are pleased because this effort will boost their Cooking Matters program to empower families at risk of hunger. Nevertheless, skeptics abound, like Melanie Warner of Food Fight, who argues that Walmart isn’t doing anything to address the real causes of obesity by making fresh fruits and vegetables as affordable as highly processed foods.

Food Revolution: Also this week, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver continues his campaign to get LAUSD to let him in the door. His most recent stunt was to pour 57 tons of “sugar” (sand, really) into an empty school bus to symbolize how much sugar L.A. students consume each week in the flavored milk they drink in school lunches. Is anyone out there at LAUSD listening?

‘Healthy’ Foods: In related news, a new study from the Prevention Institute finds that foods claiming to be ‘healthy’ for kids – surprise! – aren’t really all that healthy. As reported by the L.A. Times, of the 58 foods tested, only nine met up with the federal government’s dietary standards for “healthy” food.

Food Supplements: Fooducate has an outstanding guest post this week by pediatrician Robert A. Pretlow on how nutritional supplements like PediaSure are not only unnecessary for healthy kids, but can be a root cause of obesity as they get kids accustomed to sweet, creamy foods.

Eating Disorders: At the other end of the spectrum, Thrive Children’s Hospital Boston alerts us to a new report showing that males now account for 10 percent of the eating disorder population, and the disease is manifesting itself in younger and younger populations. Additionally, many overweight people who have severely disordered eating habits may not be recognized as having an eating disorder when they actually do.

Yummy Recipes: In better news, we stumbled across some great recipes this week. We think you’ll like this collection of fruit butters from VegTV, and also this extra-green guacamole from the Sneaky Chef (perfect for football-watching!).

Valentine’s Day Giveaway: Need something even more to cheer you up? Then check out Jolly Tomato’s Valentine’s Day tribute to Mom and Mom’s cooking. Leave a comment by January 31, and you can be entered to win 24 kids’ Valentines from Pear Tree Greetings.

Happy Friday to all!

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