Warm Up with Hot Topics: Controversies in Food and Nutrition

Source: Center for Consumer Freedom

Controversial topics are best left off the holiday table, but we’re not shying away from them here this month.

This holiday season, our writers explore controversies in food and nutrition. And in this day and age, there’s certainly no shortage of them.

Katherine Pett takes us on the historical (and trendy) journey through the mysterious realm of gluten, helping to separate science facts from science fiction. Sheryl Lynn Carvajal describes the weird world of coconut oil, and explores its myriad of uses beyond the kitchen. And Melissa Hudec searches for the all-important Vitamin D as we sink into the dark, winter months.

On the policy front, Matt Moore discusses the outcomes of the midterm elections and what they mean for food and agriculture policy — from the local to the national level. Ally Gallop takes a critical look at the new soda tax in Berkeley, California, the only one of its kind that has passed in the country. Brittany Peats discusses the implications of a new requirement that some 1,700 facilities in the Boston area compost their food waste. And Abby Harper from the Friedman Justice League says that too often the farmers and workers who grow our food are absent from conversations about changing our food system. She’s out to show you that they need a place at the table.

Mimi DelGizzi talks with alumna Lisa D’Agrosa (NUTCOM ‘13), Associate Nutrition Editor for EatingWell Magazine, about how she navigates nutrition and food controversies in her writing career. And, Tanuja Kulkarni whips up a cauliflower soup with grilled cheese dippers that proves that food needn’t be colorful to be nutritious and delicious.

Whether you’re studying for exams or gearing up for the holidays, you can use a little spice in your life. Dig into this month’s issue of hot topics!

Lara and Sheryl

In this issue:

800px-Bread_rollsThe Science Behind Going Gluten-Free

by Katherine Pett

“Gluten-Free” may be a fad diet buzzword, but we shouldn’t dismiss the science of gluten digestion.


The Case for Coconut Oil: Elixir of Health and Beauty or Just a Trendy Food Product?

coconutsby Sheryl Lynn Carvajal

Historically, coconut oil has gotten a bad rap for being high in saturated fat.  But recently, there’s been an awakening of the coconut oil craze: claims ranging from improved oral health, to increasing HDL cholesterol, to shinier hair. Find out about the controversy surrounding this trendy plant-based product.


Vitamin D: Are We Deficient?

by Melissa Hudec

Vitamin D is a defender against depression and other diseases, but are we deficient?


Midterm Elections Result in Senate Agriculture Committee Shakeup, Ongoing GMO Battles

by Matt Moore

195ekzts52eckjpgLast month’s midterm elections saw Republicans take control of the Senate, which could greatly affect future food and agricultural policies. In addition to Congressional elections, voters across the nation decided state- and county-level food and agricultural-related ballot initiatives.


Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 4.41.31 PM copyBerkeley’s Soda Tax: Not as Sweet as Expected?

by Ally Gallop

Berkeley’s soda tax, or Measure D, adds 12 cents to the cost of a can of soda. The overarching intent of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is to help lower rates of overweight and obesity. But issues with how Measure D is implemented and what exactly it taxes are misleading.


Massachusetts’ New Food Waste Disposal Ban

by Brittany Peats

As of October 1, 2014, Massachusetts’ facilities producing over a ton of organic waste weekly are banned from disposing of their organic waste in landfills. At least 1,700 facilities are affected by this regulation including hospitals, schools and supermarkets.


Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 2.20.55 PMJustice at the Table: Bringing the Table to the Fields

by Abby Harper

The Friedman Justice League highlights the need for a more inclusive approach to regional food system planning, shedding light on the workers whose interests are currently underrepresented in the process.  


DAgrosa_062013_13124_for_webGMOs and Oxford Commas: An Interview With Friedman Alumna, Lisa D’Agrosa, M.S., R.D.

by Mimi DelGizzi

The Sprout catches up with Friedman alumna Lisa D’Agrosa, Associate Nutrition Editor for EatingWell Magazine, about what it’s like working for a big, fancy publication (and all the stuff you never thought writers had to do).



Recipe: Cauliflower Cannellini Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

by Tanuja Kulkarni

Here’s a recipe for a hearty, nutritious soup in all shades of white that proves you don’t always need to “eat the rainbow.”

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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