2/17/11 Nourishing News Roundup

Our weekly roundup of links to headlines we think you’ll want to read…

Sustainable Aquaculture Standards

As we noted in last week’s story about the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, those guidelines hint at the need for environmentally sustainable food without specifying what they mean by “sustainable.” That’s why I was happy to see that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has a draft for sustainable marine aquaculture policies, which is currently open for public comment. “If done wisely, aquaculture can complement wild fisheries while contributing to healthy oceans and coastal economies,” says Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “As we rebuild wild fish populations, we recognize the world’s demand for safe, healthy seafood will continue to grow. Sustainable aquaculture increases our country’s food security.”

Better Fast Food?

Can a pair of former McDonalds execs and one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite chefs build a healthier fast-food/casual-dining experience. The Los Angeles Times reports on Lyfe Kitchen (as in Love Your Food Everyday–ugh, hate the name…), which is slated to debut in Palo Alto, Calif., this summer. Fried food, butter, cream and high-fructose corn syrup are banned from the menu, which will feature specialties like Niman Ranch burgers and dairy-free desserts.

Lyfe’s team would do well to pay close attention to ingredient quality, especially in light of new NPD Group research into what consumers mean by “healthy” when they eat out.  NPD’s latest survey finds diners are less concerned about calorie counts and more interested in high-quality fresh, natural and nutritious ingredients.

New Rating System

Whole Foods has partnered with the Global Animal Partnership to implement a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system for its meat, pork and poultry. The scale ranges from Step 1 (no crates, cages or crowding) to Step 5+ (pasture-raised with no physical alterations and entire life spent on the same farm).

While Whole Foods is doing its bit to raise animal welfare standards at the grocery store meat counter, Lia notes in her post this week, more CSAs are adding pasture-raised meat, poultry and eggs to their offerings. Both approaches make it easier than ever to choose sustainable meat.

In Case You Missed It…

Last Saturday, TEDx Manhattan’s event “Changing the Way We Eat” streamed lived and inspired lots of real-time conversation. Missed it? No worries. You can watch (or rewatch) it at your leisure and see for yourself what speakers like filmmakers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney (“Truck Farm” and “King Corn”), the Environmental Working Group’s Ken Cook, Laurie David, farmer-activist Karen Hudson, Chef Michel Nischan and others had to say.

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