Soda tax as change agent and NRA's fight with supermarketsA sinking tide should lower all boats, and thus the National Restaurant Association wants supermarkets and convenience stores to share in the work and the pain of the new menu labeling regulations.

The knives are coming out. Entertaining!



As much as New York’s attempted Super Big Gulp “ban” is attracting press in the U.S., there are other efforts to limit the consumption of sugared beverages. The state of Hawaii is considering a tax on sugared drinks to help fund anti-obesity efforts there.

 From the proposal:

..childhood obesity increased by thirty-eight percent in Hawaii between 1999 and 2009, while adult obesity more than doubled between 1996 and 2011. Obesity-related medical expenditures in Hawaii were calculated to be over $470,000 in 2009 and are continuing to increase. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been identified by many scientific studies as a major contributor to the costly obesity epidemic.

Your Committees find that a fee on sugar-sweetened beverages will have beneficial fiscal and health impacts. Economic disincentives are among the most effective tools to change behavior, as tobacco taxes have demonstrated. This measure is an initial step to decrease obesity-related health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and orthopedic issues.

TK: I think that a soda tax is a more effective way to change behavior than a restriction on soda container sizes, though it surely penalizes the poor disproportionately.



 China Daily wrote a story, Asian vegetables entice growers March 26 about the increasing popularity of Asian vegetables in the U.S., both for consumers and, by the pull of that demand, to growers.

The story notes both the growth of U.S.-produced and imported Asian vegetables like bitter melon, baby bok choy and luffa. In addition to some stats on the number of Asian American farmers in the U.S., the story quotes a couple of academic/extension sources from Southern Illinois and California.




Also worth noting this morning are a couple of stories from a Dutch nutrition Congress, Get them used to the taste of vegetables as early as possible

 The story opened with the quote, “Teach babies to get used to the taste of vegetables as early as possible, even earlier than fruit, for improved acceptance,” from Dr Gerry Jager of Wageningen University.

The story also talks about the concept of “healthy obesity,” or obese individuals who are metabolically healthy.




 I see that FarmedHere, describing themselves as "sustainable indoor farming," was receiving a few accolades from Rep. Daniel Lipinski  of Illinois in the pages of the Congressional Record. No indication of scale of the facility yet, but it appears fairly modest at this point.



Other items of note

March 26 USDA AMS news release on PACA violations for produce company in Oregon


Supervalu announces workforce reduction


Wal-Mart’s out of stock problems worsen?


Carrefour’s first organic store opened