It’s almost the end of the year and time to review this year’s food news. 

It’s been a big year for nutritional education, awareness, and action!  

Here is my Top 10 Nutritional News List for 2012: 
 
1. Globally, there are more restrictions on USA GMO crops. 

Other countries are way ahead of the United States in keeping their population healthy and safe from untested, potentially toxic food.

Europe and many countries have banned or restricted the import or distribution of GMO crops from the United States. The ban includes the sale, field trials, and planting of GMO crops. In the United States, predominantly GMO crops are soy, cotton, canola, corn, and papaya.
 
2. More people are talking about GMO foods.  

California was not able to get legislation through that would require labeling of GMO ingredients, but public awareness has been raised about GMO foods and how health is affected. The public will continue to demand a choice of whether to be exposed to pesticides, herbicides through untested genetically engineered foods or not.
 
3. School lunches got healthier. 

Calorie limits by age group are being implemented in schools. This year saw the first round of changes. Entrées such as pizza are still served, but they are served with salads and fruit. Students may get extra helpings of fruits and vegetables. Students have protested but children will adjust to having all of the fruit and vegetables that they want.
 
4. The sustainable food movement is growing. 

Sustainability implies that there is minimal harm done to the environment, animals and workers are treated humanely, and non-renewable sources are used at a minimum in all aspects of a farming or agricultural endeavor. 

The sustainable food movement is growing and spreading, and many restaurants are now growing their own produce or buying produce and animal products from local sustainable farmers.
 
5. Eat Local movements have gained significant momentum. 

The public is becoming educated about the distance their food travels and the carbon footprint of eating cheap produce from thousands of miles away. 

Limiting consumption to agricultural products grown or raised within 100 miles of your location has become popular. Even restaurants are featuring local farms on their menus to advertise the local farmers they support and to provide advertisement to local farms!
 
6. The USA became a friendlier place for gluten-free folks. 

It used to be impossible to eat at a restaurant if you had gluten intolerance or insensitivity, but today there are gluten-free options in many groceries and restaurants. Other special diets are also considered, and you can easily find options for dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and other dietary restrictions!
 
7. There was growth in organic, free-range, grass-fed, and other common sense farming methods. 

The public is experiencing an awakening and is demanding and buying ingredients and foods that are grown or raised in pure, traditional, natural ways. Effects from years of exposure to antibiotics and hormones have generated a huge demand for more pure animal products. Many people are growing their own produce in home gardens and enjoying fresh, non-GMO, organic alternatives
 
8. NYC said NO to large sugary drinks. 

New York City banned sugary drinks over 16-ounces in size. Sugar is a toxic ingredient that has been shown to promote bacteria, disease, and chronic health conditions. Marketing of these drinks has resulted in millions of people consuming these addictive, intensely sweetened products without understanding how much sugar they are consuming. Whether the ban spreads or not, the public simply has to take responsibility for their own health and reduce the obesity and diabetes epidemics by limiting sugar intake.
 
9. Kombucha!

Kombucha is becoming a hugely popular alternative drink that is raising awareness on healthy benefits of fermented foods. Kombucha provides acids and good bacteria for the body that encourages a healthy gut. Maybe people will consider replacing their sugary drinks with kombucha!
 
10. Alzheimer’s research is connecting the disease to diet. 

New research on Alzheimer’s disease is indicating that fats, cholesterol, and even insulin may affect Alzheimer’s greatly. Researchers are finding that protein, plaques, Vitamin D, coconut oil, and enzymes are all affecting the disease’s progression. Let’s hope that soon we will know that by eating properly Alzheimer’s will be a disease of the past!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


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