In recent years, there’s been a concerted push – at the local and national levels – to make healthy food more widely available, particularly in low-income areas. This is one focus of National Food Day, which local food groups and advocates are celebrating across the U.S on Oct. 24. But while programs and systems are gradually putting fresh food front and center, changing eating habits is even more complicated.
Schools across the U.S. are making room for more fruits and vegetables on lunch trays by serving less meat and bread. The nationwide changes are meant to counter childhood obesity, but some parents have complained that their kids are still hungry after they clean their plates. The challenge for schools and the government will be finding ways to make healthier meals more appetizing before students leave the lunch program.
Thanks to improving technology, the food industry is getting better and better at detecting problems in the food supply, such as e coli or salmonella contaminations. That’s partly why we’re seeing more food recalls today than a few years ago. But the next step -- quickly finding the source and final destination of unsafe food -- that’s a little more complicated, particularly in the fruit and vegetable industry. A recently enacted law requires the produce industry to come up with a system for tracking produce through from field to fork, but there’s a big holdup.
While many farmers were bringing in this year’s harvest, they also were planting. Cover crops — like oats and winter rye — are becoming more popular across the Midwest, despite the time and expense involved in growing green fields that won’t ever make money directly.
Farmers and weeds are in a constant competition. But when the herbicide called Roundup came along it gave farmers a clear edge. Now, a new study finds that after years of exposure, weeds are beginning to catch up and farmers are using more chemicals to try to stay ahead.