We’ve been desperately searching, foraging, scraping for some good news – any good news – to share on the food front this week. And finally, at the 11th hour, the U.S. Senate came in and helped us out.
The New York Times reports that the Senate on Thursday approved a long-awaited child nutrition act that provides $4.5 billion over the next 10 years to feed more hungry kids and make school food more nutritious. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed the Senate unanimously and now moves on to the House, where passage is also expected. The legislation will expand the number of low-income children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. It also provides for the first non-inflationary increase in the reimbursement rate for federal-sponsored school meals since 1973.
Nice! Now on to the not-so-good news:
Obesity epidemic worsens: Despite this country’s attempts to curb weight gain, the obesity epidemic rages on, according to a new federal report. The number of states in which at least one-third of the adults were obese tripled in two years, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report. Sounds like there’s still a lot of work to do.
Food allergies on the rise: A recent study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that visits to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital Boston for allergic reactions more than doubled from 2001 to 2006. Although this is just one hospital, the findings reflect a rise in food allergies seen in national reports, according to CNN.
Kids need changes: A comprehensive study from Bridging the Gap and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that the nation’s elementary schools commonly offer their students junk food and soda, serve meals that don’t meet current dietary guidelines, and provide little time for physical activity.
ADHD/junk food connection: Australian researchers have linked attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder among teenagers with “western” style diets that include highly processed and junk foods.
There’s gotta be something good we can wrap up with, right? OK, just in time for the dog days of summer, Dish by Trish offers up a great rundown of the best ways to store your fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh as long as possible. Did you know, for instance, you shouldn’t keep your apples next to other fruits and vegetables because the ethylene gases produced by apples can ruin the others? That’s good information to have on hand. So keep eating healthy foods, and preserve them the right way so you can enjoy them even longer.