Food News Today transcripts for June 8th, 2011

June 10, 2011

MyPlate replaces the pyramid, the new food exhibit at the national archives, reducing diabetes with out weight loss and Chef Charleen Huebner, an instructor at Stratford University on their street food course, For June 8th, 2011. This is Food News Today.

 Good Morning, immediately following Food News Today, we continue with a live discussion in our chat room below. Please sign in and join us. Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news.

So let's get right to our contest winner! Thank you to all who participated in this our first FNT contest.  So where was I? Yeah, I know it wasn't that difficult, I'm right at the bottom in E5.  Yup, that's exactly how I looked in 1983.  So, who's the big winner? And the winner is…Jane Cohen.

We will contact you this morning to get your address.


>Out of Washington always comes change, this time it is MyPyramid out, MyPlate in.  A colorful four-part plate, with a side portion of dairy, replaces the 19 year old food pyramid as the icon of the US Dietary Guidelines with the intent of empowering Americans to eat the correct mix and portions of foods.  Released June 2, 2011, MyPlate, “is the next-generation’s food icon,” commented Robert Post, PhD, deputy director of the USDA’s center for nutrition policy and promotion, to WebMD.  He goes on to say that, “the icon is the visual cue to get to online resources, to online media, and to unified nutrition messages from public- and private-sector efforts.”  Food News Today commends the USDA for taking the step to create a more visual, comprehensive, and interactive representation of the dietary guidelines. It's about time that we learn to communicate 2011 style.  Unlike the confusing and sometimes indiscernible food pyramid logo, shoppers will now have a better idea of what their total diet and general meals should actually look like -- on their plate.  

MyPlate features the five food groups that are vital to a healthy diet - fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Fruits and vegetables take up half the plate  and grains and protein take up the other half, the grains portion is slightly larger than the protein slice. The brilliance of the plate is in its simplicity.  The fact that the plate itself does not suggest any specific foods directly on the image helps consumers choose from a variety of foods- and not get stuck in a rut. The information at is thorough, well thought out and if promoted well and used -and that's a big "IF"-  it will be able to clear up much of the consumer confusion surrounding what and how much to eat for health.

And more to come:  In the fall, the will launch a suite of interactive web-based tools.  Enjoy food, but eat less. We can only hope that the program is successful.  


>The way we look at our foods has evolved, from word of mouth to newspaper and magazine ads to television and now the internet - how we communicate food benefits has become a science. In Consumer Trends today we head to the National Archives and take a look at a new exhibit -  What’s cooking Uncle Sam?  The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.  It's time for all foodies and marketers to head to Washington and visit the National Archives between June 10th and January 3rd 2012 to see the exhibit and learn about the history behind the Government’s involvement with food. Some of the exhibitions may surprise you—like how this poster promoting cottage cheese as a protein substitute was part of the original “Meatless Mondays” during World War I, promoted by the Food Administration under Herbert Hoover.  You can discover what was on the menu at Lyndon B. Johnson’s State Dinners; and how the “Poison Squad” was a group of government volunteers who tasted tainted food and helped scientists better understand the effects of boric acid and other additives.  You probably already know that Birds Eye got the patent for the first frozen-food processing machine; but did you know that  ketchup was among the first commercial convenience foods to take off. Discover why canned meat, and candy were so dangerous at the time of the Industrial Revolution and what was done about it. You can even view Upton Sinclair’s original letter to President Theodor Roosevelt about the meat packing industry and see an actual photo of “The Pig Cafeteria” which was one of many exhibits created to educate farmers.  Spanning the Revolutionary War-era through the late 1900s,  the exhibition is arranged into four themes:  farm, factory,  kitchen, and table.

And hey, does this poster of Uncle Sam remind anyone of the White House garden today? 


>In Nutrition News, it is all about reducing the risk of diabetes without weight loss.  The proportion of the population with diabetes has been rising rapidly in recent years- and continues to do so.  In North America, approximately 12 percent of the population is diabetic, and this figure is expected to rise. Weight loss has been one of the first recommendations of physicians helping patients gain control over their diabetes, but a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition challenges this notion and pinpoints a crucial factor that targets insulin sensitivity.   Researchers, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, found that after eight weeks, participants on a lower fat diet (27 percent fat instead of Americans' average of 33%) had significantly higher insulin secretion and thus better glucose tolerance as well as higher insulin sensitivity- all indications of a decreased risk for diabetes. What does it mean?  It's not the quantity alone that is the culprit - the nutritional quality of our foods may be even more important in risk for type 2 diabetes.   

 >Food trucks are all the rage and now one university creates a food truck college course. In our Retail Trends report we interview Chef Charleen Huebner, an instructor at Stratford University in Woodbridge Virginia.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, around 2.5 billion people around the world eat street food every day. This new Street Food course, will focus on giving students an in-depth awareness about the cuisines, as well as how they may go about owning their own street food business.


Thank you Chef - great idea


For Food News Today, I’m Phil Lempert, thanks for joining us. If you have a colleague in retailing, the media or a blogger who would like to also receive our advance email - please send them to to sign up. Next weeks stories will be in your Tuesday email.