• After a lengthy review process, the Institute of Medicine’s council on front-of-package (FOP) labeling has released its final report. Faced with numerous FOP labeling systems – it seems like every brand, grocery store, etc. has their own – Congress called upon the IOM to evaluate which kind of label would be most useful and informative for consumers who want a quick glance at the nutrient content of packaged foods (because everyone knows the Nutrition Facts label on the side is hard to figure out). After months of research, the IOM endorsed a basic rating system – “a simple icon with 3, 2, 1, or zero check marks [stars]” and calories per serving – but no word on whether this will become standard or mandatory. [Food Safety News]
  • The USDA’s proposed rule to limit the number of servings of white potatoes and other starchy vegetables that can be served as part of the National School lunch menus was struck down on Wednesday in an amendment to the 2012 agriculture appropriations bill. The rule  is part of sweeping regulations that aim to improve the nutrient quality of federally subsidized meals for school children. Restrictions on potatoes were only one small part of the proposed rule, which received more than 130,000 comments in the federal register. The National Potato Council and other lobbyists were vehemently opposed to this part of the rule. The final revised rule will be released in December. [Obama Foodorama]
  • Girl Scouts can now earn a “locavore” badge, given for learning about and cooking with locally sourced foods. The badge encourages scouts to explore their local food communities, and think about the impact of local foods on their health and environment. Cool! [The Food Section]