August 29, 2011

In this month's issue of Food, Nutrition and Science: IFIC Functional Foods 2011 Survey, Part I, Sugar Can Farmer, School Cafeteria Lunches Are Getting Better and more...

In this month's issue of Food, Nutrition & Science: IFIC Functional Foods 2011 Survey, Part I, Sugar Can Farmer, School Cafeteria Lunches Are Getting Better and more...

Americans want to take advantage of the health benefits of foods, according to the 2011 IFIC Functional Foods/Foods for Health Survey. The survey asked questions from a random sample of 1,000 U.S. adults about various attitudes toward health and consumer awareness of 34 different diet and health relationships. 

The majority of those surveyed (73%) say that food and nutrition are responsible for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, with exercise (63%) following close behind. Eighty-seven percent of participants believe that certain foods have health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. An overwhelming 90% of those surveyed can name a food and its associated benefit (compared to 77% in 1998).

In a second story, Megan Gravois, 25, grows 3,000 acres of sugar cane, soybeans, Angus cattle, and crawfish. Her family-owned Blackberry Farms is located in the small town of Vacherie, Louisiana, where Gravois was born and raised. Gravois is a fourth generation farmer. We talked with Gravois about the challenges and changes she faces as one of today's young farmers.

And in a third story, over the past couple of years, much attention has been focused on school cafeterias and just about everyone is involved – from the First Lady to celebrity chefs to every parent who has a child eating lunch at school. In Washington, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is in the final stages of issuing new nutrition standards for school meals. Programs, including the White House's Let's Move! Campaign, the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, and partnering with local chefs, have become widespread and have built the foundation for change.

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