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food, nutrition, and health news


Food Network

Nutrition & Health News, week of January 20

  • Amongst flying rumors on the interwebs, Food Network queen Paula Deen announced that she has been living with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes for the last couple of years. Her announcement was no surprise to anyone who knows her fondness of everything buttery and deep-fried, and conveniently timed with the launch of her partnership with diabetes drug manufacturer, Novo Nordisk. She’s struck a lucrative deal with Novo Nordisk to peddle Victoza in their new diabetes management campaign, Diabetes in A New Light, causing many people to question her motives and her lifelong promotion of high-calorie foods. Of the criticism, Deen has said, “Honey I’m your cook, not your doctor…I’ve always encouraged moderation.” Really? Her “princess bites” don’t seem very moderate. [The Atlantic, Serious Eats]
  • Research by the CDC indicates that obesity rates in the U.S. have plateaued, with 35.7% of adults and 16.9% of children qualifying as obese. Although this stall is positive and may be due in part to increased efforts to control obesity, the fact remains that the rates are not declining. We will be seeing the impact of obesity for years to come. [New York Times]
  • At a meeting of the nation’s mayors in Washington, D.C. this week, the mayors formed a Food Policy Task Force led by Boston’s own Mayor Menino. According to the agenda, the task force will “focus on issues including reducing obesity, increasing access to healthy affordable food in low-income communities, and increasing local food procurement and entrepreneurship in cities. The task force will review issues and policy barriers to addressing food access, food security issues in urban areas including recommendations on increasing SNAP (Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program) participation via recommendations on best policies and practices, 2012 Farm Bill, support for farmer’s markets, food desert mapping and healthy food retail.” In Boston, Mayor Menino has been instrumental in beginning a number of food policy initiatives for the city. [NPR]
  • Mayor Menino pledged to lose 2lbs per month over the next year during his State of the City speech on Tuesday. He made this promise when talking about efforts to reduce obesity in Boston, where over half of residents are overweight. Will the mayor’s promise encourage citizens to follow suit? [Commonhealth]

Back in the game

Well hello! I apologize for the lack of posting, but I’m now back at school and my schedule is as hectic as ever. I’ll try to keep you updated on the news at the very least.

A couple things:

-I’ve been reading Food Network Addict more often, to make up for the fact that I don’t get it at school (sad, I know). ALSO, Target now sells a few FN shows on DVD! Box sets of Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and Rachael Ray are available.

-Figure out your Health IQ at

Ok, that’s all for now I suppose.

Calling All FoodTv Junkies

For anyone who watches the Food Network as much as I do, you’ll get a kick out of this blog: Food Network Addict. It’s obvious that I don’t watch as much FN as this guy does…but his musings are funny and pertinent.

Speaking of which, I’m watching the Everyday Italian marathon right now…Just watched Giada make Bruschetta with Gorgonzola and Honey – I’ll definitely be making that – and Chicken Tetrazzini. Yummmm.

In case you haven’t heard (but you probably have, because there’s a commercial for it every 5 minutes!), Giada’s new show Giada’s Weekend Getaways premiers tonight @ 9pm. Tonight, she covers Seattle and South Beach.

In case you were wondering, it’s Resolution Solutions Week on the Food Network. Even Paula Deen is making healthy recipes!

Rachel Ray, again!

So I was watching TV and avoiding my homework (already!), when I saw a commercial for Rachael Ray’s new talkshow on ABC. The show premieres on September 18th @ 9am on ABC. Doesn’t this woman ever sleep?! She already has 3 shows on the Food Network, plus she writes cookbooks and just launched a magazine last year! Crazy.

It seems like everyone and their mother has a blog nowadays. I’m not saying that I was early to jump on the bandwagon or anything, but blogging seems to have exploded. Which, conveniently, means that there’s probably a blog out there dedicated to anything and everything you could possibly think of- and FOOD is one of the most popular, it seems.

Poking around online led me to Can’t Boil Water, a blog that you should totally check out. “Can’t Boil Water” seeks to help the novice cook and has mostly recipes, all organized by both type of food and by level of difficulty.

I also ended up at this article: “Rachael Ray: Why Food Snobs Should Quit Picking on Her.” Ok…so with Rachael Ray, it seems like you either love her or you hate her. Snobby Foodies hate her because she has no real culinary training (other than experience, which I think is the best training) and because she uses simple ingredients and occasionally takes a shortcut. But is she not one of the Food Network’s most popular stars, if not the most popular? She’s hugely successful- with 3 shows on the Food Network, her own magazine (Everyday with Rachael Ray), and oodles of cookbooks published. And everyone knows who she is.

On the other hand, she can be overly perky and kind of annoying with her zealous hand-gesturing and overuse of phrases like “YUMMO” and “Deeelish!”. But I like her because she’s got spunk. That’s right, she’s spunky. Her recipes may have stupid names and take slightly more than 30 minutes, but they’re usually pretty good. I admire her for being so successful, despite the fact that she’s never worked in a real kitchen (other than HoJo’s) or been to culinary school- I mean, who cares? She can cook and she knows her audience- the people who watch her show or buy her books are truly looking for quick, easy, and tasty meals. So, if I were Rachael Ray, I’d tell all those haughty chefs that they can shove their truffle oil and homemade pastas where the sun don’t shine. They’re just jealous!


I <3 Brown alums

Guess who I met today?! Dana Cowin ’82, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, who was conducting an interview with Warren Brown. I recognized her face, but not her name and then I realized that she had been a judge on a few episodes of Iron Chef…hehe good ol’ Iron Chef! Skipped class to see the interview, which was entertaining but a little long. I went up to Dana after the interview, who is very nice and approachable. I was like “Ummm I’m a major foodie…Do you need an intern??” but she said the Food & Wine itself does not offer an internship program. DAMN. However, she did say that I should definitely try to get an ASME internship (American Society of Magazine Editors). The deadline has already passed for this summer and, besides that, I’m not qualified. So next fall I plan on taking a journalism class and joining the paper (um, maybe), so I will become eligible and then work my way into some food magazine. And Dana likes to hire Brown alums- so that’s one point for me!

Brown alum, Warren Brown ’93!!

Had a super fantabulous day because I met WARREN BROWN!! For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, well, you should! Warren Brown is the star of the Food Network show, Sugar Rush, and, more importantly, is founder and owner of the very successful and delicious CakeLove cafe in Washington DC (with a 2nd location now in Maryland). He specializes in cakes and other fine baked goods at CakeLove and travels around the country discovering awesome bakeries on his show. Mr. Brown– ok, I really want to call him Warren now that I’ve met him– is an alum of Brown (class of 1993) and is here at the university for a couple of days as part of the new Alumni Spotlight program. Today we had “Cake Break with Warren,” and lemme tell ya, the cake was awesome.

Now that you know who he is, I can tell you how awesome of a person he is! Here’s a guy who graduated from Brown as a history concentrator and went on to become a successful D.C. lawyer in Public Health. But, one day, he woke up and realized he just wasn’t happy enough. So he decided to get into baking– and is now a huge success and loves the direction his life is taking at the moment! So I’m listening to Warren tell us all of this, and it just gives me hope for my own future…he has truly inspired me. I thought my career plans were borderline ridiculous- and then I realized that here’s this guy who has done exactly what he wanted to with his life, and maybe he took a roundabout way of getting there, but at the end of the day he’s so happy with how everything has turned out. And I thought to myself, why can’t I decide today that this is the path I want to take with my own life? I know I want to work in the food industry in some capacity, so why not start now? I was tempted to ask if he needed an intern, but I restrained myself. Anyways, I will hopefully be arranging an interview with him via email. He gave me his business card, so I will probably be emailing him this weekend.

Another thing to love about Warren and his cakes is that he uses all natural ingredients and is a really healthy person. I know that you’re thinking “Umm cake is not healthy…” but in everything he said today, he emphasized the importance of being and feeling healthy every day through a healthy diet, exercise, and by knowing how your body works. Sure, he told us to have a slice of cake once in awhile– but all things in moderation. He believes that you can’t deprive yourself of something your body really wants, like fat. I think that’s just great! I work in a bakery and, yes, people come in for a sweet treat every day and that’s not so healthy, but a cupcake once in awhile won’t kill you. I’m planning on studying nutrition, but I’m all for some cupcakes!

Aaaand speaking of cupcakes, “Cupcakes on the Green with Warren” will be on the Main Green tomorrow from 4-5pm. Before that, I am skipping class to go see Warren being interviewed ala Inside the Actor’s Studio by Dana Cowen ’82, editor in chief of Food & Wine magazine (I plan to ask her for an internship too…). In the meantime, check out his CakeLove blog and all the good stuff going on with Sugar Rush and CakeLove.

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