My name is Hilary and this is my blog for New Food Activism, a class I’m taking this semester! I’m excited to learn about the development of the agricultural industry as it is today and the various legislation that exists to regulate food, growing, and nutritional information. My interests include food regulations and the FDA. I wonder what goes into making the labels for food and what is required for a company to label its food as “organic” or “fair trade” or how accurate nutrient information really is; what are the loopholes, if any, involved in food labeling?
I am fascinated by the manner in which certain trendy diets seem to valorize and/or demonize certain macronutrients. For example, the ketogenic diet, similar to the Atkins diet, asserts that carbohydrates should be limited to net less than 20 per day. It requires virtually all energy be derived from fat and protein. Many other diets advertise minimizing fat intake and maximizing “natural” foods like fruit and vegetables. Every new diet seems to advertise a new breakthrough in understanding how our bodies burn energy and maintain a low BMI and each of these relies on the nutritional information on food packaging we all take for granted. Yet what do these breakthrough mean if we do not understand how the macronutrients are measured for food packaging in the first place?
I hope in this blog to be able to understand a bit more about food regulations and nutritional disclosure. What role does the FDA and other governmental bodies have in ensuring proper advertisement? How can certain companies get around this? Whether or not the “perfect” ratio of macronutrients is ever determined, this all means nothing if consumers do not understand how they are measured.