• The USDA has launched a new food safety ad campaign. While the information is nothing new (avoid cross-contamination while cooking, use a meat thermometer to ensure meats are fully cooked, etc), spreading the word via social media and television is new – and it’s about time! [USA Today]
  • Speaking of the USDA, food writer Kristin Wartman provides a MyPlate version emphasizing the “real food” diet rather than the industry-driven selection of foods provided by the USDA. While I agree with most of her selections, not all of them seem feasible for the average American and some are over-the-top (e.g. avoiding frozen vegetables). You can find her original critique of MyPlate here. [Kristin Wartman]
  • In an opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, weighs in on the food industry’s redesign of nutrition labels (called the Nutrition Keys), and concludes they are overall useless, potentially confusing, and untrustworthy. Instead of providing useful nutrition information, the redesigned labels allow companies to pick and choose which nutrients to highlight on the front of packaging. [GOOD]
  • Monday marked the start of the 2011 Boston Bounty Bucks Program, which allows participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, to redeem their dollars for double value at Boston farmers’ markets. The Red Sox’s Big Baby and Mayor Menino were on hand to promote the program. [Herald]
  • Another cupcakery has opened in Downtown Crossing, right around the corner from recently opened Sweet. Will a cupcake war ensue? [Herald]

Enjoy your 4th of July!