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The Missing Link in Your Worksite Wellness Program

June 6, 2018

How helping employees develop healthy eating habits is crucial for your bottom line

In recent decades America has fallen victim to the ‘save now, pay later’ mentality. Cheap, fast food that wreaks havoc on our bodies and leads to sky-high healthcare costs is a prime example—costs spared on one’s grocery bill will surely end up on one’s medical bills. Full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems cost employers more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year. At the individual level, an unhealthy employee could cost up to twice as much as a healthy employee.

When it comes to your bottom line, business owners have no choice but to pay attention. Employers and CEOs are moving beyond the aforementioned short-sighted mentality and demonstrating their belief in the phrase ‘a business is only as good as its people’ by investing in their employees’ health through workplace wellness initiatives. Some corporate wellness programs see $3-$4 return on every $1 invested.

But what makes for an effective corporate wellness program? All good intentions are out the window if a program isn’t properly implemented or doesn’t target crucial health metrics.

  1. Ease of implementation. Most businesses don’t have the time, resources, or employee motivation to maximize the benefits of intensive programming. A custom, turnkey, targeted wellness tool that takes the work of developing and managing a complex platform off the plates of HR Directors and Benefits Managers is crucial.
  2. Nutrition-focused. Most ‘wellness’ solutions that come across your desk don’t address the core problem—better employee health begins with better food choices each day. Exercise is a key piece of the puzzle, but we are what we eat, and good health and weight ultimately begins and ends with what’s on our plates.
  3. Fun, engaging, and judgement-free. Discussing diet with employees is often considered to be taboo, so how can a company broach the topic of healthy eating successfully? Involving everyone in a unified goal and taking the focus away from weight loss creates a positive, universal and level playing field upon which the entire team can actively engage in developing healthy eating habits to improve their health—regardless of one’s starting point.

A unique solution has been developed using these very principles alongside the latest in behavioral medicine and nutrition—Foodstand’s Team Challenges empower people to make healthy habits an everyday behavior, and build the ‘rules for good eating’ joyfully into daily life. The healthy eating behavior-change platform is mobile-first and allows entire teams to work together to pursue progress over perfection using easy tracking. With an up to 95% completion rate, Foodstand’s bite-sized Challenges are sustainable long term to enable lasting change, helping to keep your company healthy 365 days per year.

Foodstand’s detailed weekly reports reveal trends, behaviors, outcomes, retention and more—saving you time and headache, while providing your company with full transparency. Nutrition education, guidance and inspiration for your staff allows them to focus on the eating habits that will improve key metrics—generating measurable health improvement and cutting your costs. Workshops, intra-office competition and personalized reporting foster team building, mutual support and interaction—the social accountability a program needs for sustained engagement and company morale.

Pave a new path in comprehensive employee wellness by enabling a healthy, achievable, sustainable lifestyle for your employees that’s no-hassle for you. This ‘save now, save later’ endeavor is helping to develop and revolutionize an industry, and keep money in your own pocket. The health of your employees and your business are worth the investment.

Click here to learn more about bringing Foodstand’s Team Challenges to your business.



Five Healthy Eating Tips for Workplace Productivity

June 6, 2018

A company’s most valuable asset is its employees, and employee health is the top indicator of employee productivity. Yet more than a third of adults are obese, putting them at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and significantly compromising their output. Full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems cost employers more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year, and without the benefit of scale, small businesses are especially affected by unhealthy employees.

Thankfully, good health is 80% what we put on our plates and into our bodies, and improving employee health through healthy eating habits can noticeably improve workplace productivity and maximum output. Here are five rules to help you get started!

  1. Hydrate better
    Keep a water bottle handy at all times. Buy reusable ones, slap on your company stickers—whatever it takes to make it your third arm. Often a well-loved bottle is all it takes to stay hydrated, but if some extra inspiration is required, try tossing in chopped fruit or herbs. Some tasty combinations are: watermelon and mint (or cucumber), lemon and basil, orange and mango, and lime and ginger. Why choose tap or sparkling water over soda or energy drinks? Water doesn’t contain any added sugar which can kill productivity when the dreaded “sugar crash” strikes. The crash in-turn triggers cravings for more sweet stuff, cascading into a death spiral of lost productivity. Soda has double the amount of sugar that one should consume in an entire day, quickly converts into fat, can lead to feeling sluggish, cause cavities (who can afford to lose [wo]man power to a day at the dentist?!), and can increase one’s risk of chronic disease—all costly to a business.
  2. Embrace afternoon tea
    Coffee is delicious, but too much is dehydrating and causes the jitters, which impacts productivity (and with back-to-back coffee meetings throughout the day, the cups add up!). Swap coffee for green tea after 12pm—it has much less caffeine, which means an energy boost without the shakes. Green tea also has L-theanine, which is beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks—clearly a boon for business!
  3. Fiber, protein, and healthy fat at each meal
    It’s easy to grab a muffin in the morning or scrounge together a couple of granola bars or fast food for lunch. But well-balanced meals that include fiber, protein and healthy fats will not only boost energy, they’ll also curb those pesky afternoon cravings that lead to one unintentionally eating an entire bag of Fun Size Twix at one’s desk. Opt for a breakfast that doesn’t contain added sugar, such as plain yogurt with berries and a tablespoon of nut butter. And choose a nutritious lunch (or pack a lunch to save some time) such as an avocado, egg and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread; or a grain bowl with brown rice, roasted veggies, and a small piece of chicken or fish. Whatever one is craving, including at least one fruit and/or vegetable in every meal is crucial to maintaining energy and staying satisfied. These meals may take a few extra minutes to prepare before coming to work, but that time will be recuperated in added productivity.
  4. Eat tech-free
    Sometimes it’s impossible to peel oneself away from the phone or computer. But eating tech-free will provide the mental break needed to stay fresh throughout the day. It will also improve digestion, and enjoyment of one’s meal, leading to fewer cravings during that afternoon slump. Put the phone (and smartwatch) in a drawer, catch up on some reading, or eat with another human being! Taking a few minutes to oneself while eating can work wonders for efficiency throughout the day.
  5. Choose whole-food snacks
    Snacking is inevitable, but most office snacks (cue the never ending candy jar) do more harm than good. They are often packed with sugar and calories, and seriously lack nutrients, driving employees to eat more and feel unsatisfied. Swap out chips, sugary cereal, and candy for whole food snacks like fresh fruit, dried (unsweetened) fruit such as mango or pear, raw nuts, raw veggies with hummus, and plain yogurt. Keep the crunch or sweetness, but with the whole-food benefits of fiber and nutrients needed to keep everyone satiated and energized.

Ready to incorporate fundamental healthy eating habits like these into your company? Foodstand’s Healthy Eating Challenges for Teams is the custom corporate wellness program that will help you improve employee wellness without putting more on your plate. Foodstand’s platform is fun, easy and achievable—for both employees and HR Directors and Benefits Managers alike—helping your team make healthy habits an everyday behavior, and build the ‘rules for good eating’ joyfully into daily life. Foodstand allows entire teams to work together to pursue progress over perfection using easy tracking, and with an up to 95% completion rate, Foodstand’s bite-sized Challenges are sustainable long term to enable lasting change, helping to keep your company healthy and productive 365 days per year.

Click here to learn more about bringing Foodstand’s Team Challenges to your business.



The Science of Building Healthy Habits

May 23, 2018

4 behavior-change strategies to build a healthy team.

A poor diet is the leading contributor to death in the United States—higher than cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol combined. While we know that eating healthfully is important, our system has been built by corporations that profit from selling cheap food that’s packed with junk. Good food isn’t the easier choice because our food environment doesn’t support health.

Without a healthy system in place, many employers are trying to improve employee health through worksite wellness initiatives. However, existing solutions have some critical flaws. First, they tend to overemphasize the role of exercise when it comes to chronic disease, obesity and overall productivity. The studies show that good health is only 20% activity-based—the other 80% is all about healthy eating. Second, the worksite wellness initiatives that do target diet focus on counting calories instead of well-rounded healthy eating habits. Additionally, existing solutions are often hard to implement and time consuming for HR Directors and Benefits Coordinators.

The science behind effective behavior-change strategies are clear, and are crucial when it it comes to building employee health and wellness.

  • Baby steps—the tortoise wins. Setting an enormous goal may be tempting, but it’s the small, achievable steps and victories that actually create habits and lasting change.
  • Perfect is the enemy of good. Habits aren’t made by throwing in the towel and thinking you’ve failed whenever you take a misstep. In fact, knowing that you can indulge from time to time makes a new habit sustainable long term.
  • Social-accountability. Research shows that people are twice as likely to maintain a healthy habit if they do it with someone else. By working as a team, your employees are held accountable for their new habits, resulting in greater success at achieving good health.
  • Positive reinforcement. Punishment breeds guilt, resentment, and has been proven ineffective at changing future behavior. Instead, congratulating employees with small and frequent reinforcements upon making a healthy choice will result in better eating habits over time.

Foodstand is a corporate wellness program designed to help teams build basic healthy eating habits into daily life for lasting change. Its incremental level system with strategic free passes incentivizes your employees with achievable goals, tracking and congratulating their choices to eat the better option, and bringing them together as a team through a unique buddy system. Best yet, Foodstand’s Team Challenges are fun to use, easy to implement at scale, and custom-fit for the unique needs of HR Directors, Benefits Managers, and Wellness Directors—making it more effective.

Brian Lacoviello, PhD and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says, “Foodstand is a powerful tool for anyone seeking to make some changes to their relationship with food and eating. Capitalizing on the science of learning and behavior change, and setting this within a supportive and engaging community setting, Foodstand maximizes the chances of making healthy changes to eating behavior. Foodstand makes it easier to do the right thing when it comes to eating.”

More than a third of adults are obese, putting them at a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Since an unhealthy workforce is a less productive workforce, diet-related disease is too important for employers for employers to ignore. An unhealthy employee can cost employers twice as much as a healthy employee. Using the proven science of habit building combined with the latest nutrition research, you can enable your employees to make small changes every day and create new healthy eating habits—the solution to good health, according to nearly all Registered Dietitians.


Click here to learn more about bringing Foodstand’s Team Challenges to your business.


You can’t outrun a bad diet.

May 9, 2018

There has long been a myth that if you exercise enough, you can eat whatever you want without implication. We’ve probably all heard someone say “I better hit the gym tomorrow after eating this burger and milkshake tonight.” However, exercise alone is not sufficient when it comes to general health, performance or weight loss. And not only does exercise burn off only a small fraction of the calories we consume (less than 10-30 percent), the quality of the calories we consume will impact our quality of exercise. For optimal health, you need to combine exercise with a nutrient-rich eating plan.

Exercise is important, but not a stand-alone solution. Let’s be clear that the role of exercise in a healthy lifestyle should not be underestimated. Not only will exercise help you build and maintain both strong muscles and bones, and help with weight loss, it can also help reduce the risk of chronic disease, and boost one’s mood, among many other benefits. The problem arises when we believe that exercise is the be-all and end-all. If one exercises because they think it will fully compensate for a bad diet, they’re in for a rude awakening. It’s much easier to consume calories than to spend them—it could take you an hour on the exercise bike to “burn off” a brownie you consumed in three minutes. You simply can’t outrun a bad diet.

It’s not as simple as calories in calories out. While 300 calories of dessert and 300 calories of salmon do have the same energy potential, the quality of that energy source and the impact it has on your health and performance vary greatly. And because of these varying biological effects, counting all calories equally is not the optimal metric when it comes to good health or performance. Any athlete will tell you that the quality of their food directly impacts the quality of their workout, recovery, and overall health because we derive energy, satisfaction and nutrients differently from different types of food.

Calculating calorie intake and expenditure is a guessing game. Exercise equipment or your smart watch can only provide a best guess since calorie expenditure calculation requires dozens of inputs, which your treadmill and smartphone simply don’t have. Most people overestimate the number of calories they burn, and underestimate the number of calories they consume. Again, calorie counting apps can only provide a best guess for unpackaged foods. (Plus, it’s incredibly time-consuming to record the exact measurement of everything one consumes.) So if weight loss is your goal, your tools might be misleading you. That’s why paying attention to what we put in our bodies matters.

Quality food provides quality nutrition. Eating excess refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and/or trans fats will still increase your risk of chronic disease and general health, even if you exercise. They may also impede your quest for maximum strength and endurance. A diet rich in fiber, protein and unprocessed carbohydrates derived from fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean animal or plant protein foods, and healthy fats is crucial. Keep in mind that your body likely absorbs nutrients from real food sources better than supplements and protein shakes; your body doesn’t utilize a highly-processed “nutrition” bar the same as it does a wholesome, balanced meal.

All of these elements of the relationship between exercise, nutrition and your body are exactly why it has been clinically shown that a combination of regular exercise and good nutrition is the most effective way to reduce the risk of diet-related disease, optimize strength, and maximize weight loss. If you already workout on a regular basis, you’re nailing one part of the equation, but how do you improve your diet once and for all? Keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free…there are a lot of buzzwords out there about food—but what’s actually healthy, sustainable long-term, and right for you?

First, take an enlightening deep-dive into all of the questions you may have about eating this or that (good fats, bad fats, superfoods, ketosis, organic, probiotics, etc.) with Mark Bittman and David L. Katz in their aptly-named article, The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need To Have About Eating Right. Then visit Foodstand to put your newfound knowledge into practice with one of our Good Eating Challenges focusing on limiting processed food, eating more plants, eating less animal products, and eating more mindfully—the four, universally agreed upon pillars of a healthy eating plan. Your health and your exercise routine will thank you.


  •    helps you turn basic principles of good eating into everyday habits
  •    is based on the science of behavior change
  •    has frictionless tracking—no calorie-counting required
  •    provides nutrition education
  •    provides daily support
  •    provides social accountability
  •    is straightforward, judgement-free, easy-to-use, and fun
  •    meets you where you are, and helps you accomplish your personal health goals
  •    has a 95% Team Challenge completion rate

Click here to learn more about bringing Foodstand’s Team Challenges to your business.

Note: For a more in-depth look at a qualitative vs. quantitative evaluation of calories, take a look at “How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. An alternative” by Sean C Lucan and James Dinicolantonio in Public Health Nutrition.

Behind the Plate


October 24, 2016

Becky Ramsing, MPH, RDN is a Senior Program Officer with the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work and interests cover the food system as a whole—from nutrition and public health, to farming and the environment, and have taken her all over the world.

Please tell us about Center for a Livable Future and your role.
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future works with students, educators, researchers, policymakers, advocacy organizations and communities to build a healthier, more equitable, and resilient food system. Our work is driven by the concept that public health, diet, food production and the environment are deeply interrelated and that understanding these relationships is crucial in pursuing a livable future.

I work with the Food Communities and Public Health program. I primarily oversee CLF’s role as science and technical advisors to the Meatless Monday campaign.

You were instrumental in formulating Foodstand’s ‘Eat Less Meat’ Challenge. Why is eating less meat important?
Meat consumption is a part of our culture. Yet, there are consequences to eating excessive amounts of meat. First of all, health. Diets high in animal products, particularly red meat and processed meats, are associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and mortality. On the other hand, people who eat diets that are higher in vegetables and plant proteins generally have healthier weights and lower rates of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Then there is the environment. Producing meat (raising animals for meat) uses up disproportionate amounts of water, land and resources, compared to plant foods. It takes 5-8 times more water to produce a pound of beef compared to a pound of beans. Additionally, 30% of the arable land on the planet is used grow animal food and raise animals. Sadly, Amazon rainforests and other land valuable to the health of our planet are being destroyed for this cause. And, producing animals for meat generates large amounts of greenhouse gases–14.5% of all greenhouse gases globally in fact. The Paris Climate Deal outlines goals to limit growth in GHG’s to under 2%, yet even with major changes in energy, transportation and even farming practices, we can’t reach this goal unless we eat less meat.

Finally, producing the amount of meat people demand has caused a shift toward concentrated facilities in which animals are raised in crowded, dirty conditions that lead to contamination issues and also spur the over-use of medically important antibiotics.

Countries across the world are taking action on their nation’s food systems—for example, Brazil recently added the right to food to its constitution, and introduced enviable and comprehensive good eating guidelines that include everything from nutrition to sustainability. What efforts would you like to see the US take to help the American people eat better?
The U.S. needs to separate science from industry. The Guidelines should be based on the science of nutrition but also on health, climate, environment and animal welfare. Again it’s operating within a system rather than in a vacuum. Because ultimately, our health depends on a healthy and productive environment with clean water, healthy soil and breathable air. If we can’t produce and access quality food, our health will suffer.

How did you become interested in good eating?
I have been in the food and healthy eating field for nearly 30 years. I studied nutrition in college after deciding that it was a skill I could use to make lives better wherever I ended up. It has been a fun journey, especially since good food is often a part of it. During college I worked at a food magazine developing, testing and publishing recipes. While this was enjoyable, it was missing the connection of food and health, so after graduation I moved across the country for a dietetic internship. After training and working as a registered dietitian for several years in Boston, I moved to Tanzania (East Africa) to work with a relief and development agency. I ended up working with the national Nutrition Center focusing primarily on diabetes. Partnering with local health professionals, we developed a training project to help patients understand their disease and how they could eat to manage their blood sugar. Patient-centered care was a new concept for them, and it was exciting to see the nurses and docs realize that patients did better when they had a better understanding of their disease, which was especially important because of the lack of medication and blood testing supplies.

When we came back to the States, I went back to school to study public health (right here at Johns Hopkins) because I wanted to broaden my focus beyond nutrition. Since graduating in 1999 I have been involved in nutrition and health communication in the community, at the university level, in schools, work sites and with individuals. (I also spent another year in Uganda working with a local HIV/AIDs organization.) I have particularly enjoyed equipping families and teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to model and teach healthy eating habits, which most often includes hand on practice shopping and cooking.

Food systems became more alive to me while working with University of Maryland Extension. As I connected suburban residents with farms, children to the source of their food, and families to accessing and utilizing healthy foods, it was evident that the linkage to growing the food enhances the enjoyment and appreciation of food.  It actually takes nutrition out of the main conversation and puts food in the forefront. I find that when people make a food decision based on wholeness, taste and quality, it is ultimately a healthier decision!

While at UMD, I helped start and manage a project in Afghanistan helping marginalized women grow food for their families and income and also take responsibility for the whole process—planning, obtaining resources, managing a garden, preserving and cooking, pricing and marketing. Women became leaders and problem solvers in the food security realm. We also worked with universities in Ethiopia doing similar projects. The program has grown and has now been highlighted by USDA, USAID and several media outlets.

So, coming to CLF has been a culmination of sorts.  Here I can use knowledge, research and collaboration to educate about food and sustainability and to understand how to help people and their communities access fresh, healthy foods. This is especially important in the nutrition field. Registered dietitians are just now starting to understand that their recommendations are not in a vacuum. We need to think about the food we recommend, where it comes from, how it’s obtained, and how it fits in the larger food system.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone trying to develop better, long-term eating habits?
Try new foods. Learn to enjoy vegetables. Cook at home. (I know that’s 3!)

Is there any aspect of your diet that you’ve been trying to improve? If so, how have you been trying to improve it?
I’m a distance runner, so I try to balance pre and post workout food to optimize muscle recovery and synthesis. It’s become a lot more important as I’ve gotten older and more injury prone. I spread out my protein, making sure I get more in the morning and after long runs. I also try to get a lot of phytochemicals from colorful fruits and vegetables. And, I focus on getting nitrates from foods such as beets and arugula to help with oxygen efficiency.

My worst habit is snacking. I keep nuts on hand because they fill me up. I also make sure I am not thirsty. Often I find we snack when what we really want is a drink of water!

What’s always in your fridge to keep you on track?
Almonds are my go-to snack! I also keep peanut butter, good whole grain bread, plain yogurt, and frozen berries. And, of course, lots of vegetables! (I garden and belong to a CSA.) I often roast a bunch of vegetables and use them throughout the week in salads, with grains, or in other recipes. I keep sparkling water on hand for a calorie free drink while I’m cooking and wanting to snack (or drink a glass of wine!).

What’s your favorite meatless dinner party recipe?
Polenta with red pepper sauce and grilled vegetables.

How has studying nutrition in conjunction with agriculture changed the way you envision a healthy food system?
I envision a healthy food system as one in which we can grow and produce diverse, nutritionally optimal foods. It’s not only efficiency or growing staples such as grains, corn, soy; it’s producing a variety of nutrients from a variety of vegetables, fruits, and even a small amount of meat, dairy and fish! And producing foods in a way that optimizes nutrients and the health of the soil without harming the environment or using unsafe chemicals. I also don’t see food as a single unit, or just something to get at the grocery store. When I recommend a food, I look at the environmental impact, the ease of access, even the packaging and processing involved.

Good eating habits need to be developed from an early age, not only to set the foundation for habits one keeps as adults, but also to stop type 2 diabetes in its tracks. What do you think is the best way to educate our children about food?
Get them cooking and trying new foods from the beginning! Let them make choices (but have them decide between two good choices). Don’t be overly strict, but model good eating and expose them to many types of foods early. Move beyond “kid-friendly” food because there really is no such thing! Kids can eat what adults eat in smaller portions!

And remember, you are raising children to be healthy adults—don’t fret if it doesn’t come together when they are 8. You are teaching them habits for a lifetime and modeling the ability to learn and try new flavors. That’s more valuable than always eating the right thing!

You worked on projects in Afghanistan and Ethiopia focusing on nutrition and food security. What’s one thing that experience taught you?
Even people who are poor and lacking resources need to figure out how to solve problems and look for the resources they need. If you just give them things, it fosters a sense of dependency that backfires when assistance is gone. Often people just need encouragement and reassurance that they are doing a great job!

What’s your favorite lesser-known vegetable, and how do you eat/prepare it?
I like Kohlrabi. It’s nice with roasted vegetables or in a salad. Fennel is also great thinly sliced in a salad. Not lesser-known, but I love roasted beets in a salad, on greens and even in chocolate cake!

Favorite meatless proteins?
Beans and lentils–from our years living in Africa, my family loves beans and rice! They are great on a budget and super easy to make. Lentils are really quick—only 30 minutes, so I can make them when I get home from work and serve them with rice or bread.

How do you manage to eat well when traveling or on-the-go?
I bring my lunch to work and carry snacks as much as possible on trips. When staying in a hotel, I will go to a grocery store to get yogurt and fruit for breakfast—or some peanut butter and bread. Then I can justify a better dinner. I avoid fast food as much as possible. When eating out, I look for vegetarian options with lots of vegetables. Ethnic restaurants usually have good options. I’m really happy when I can find a restaurant that serves fresh, locally sourced foods.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
As a registered dietitian, I have been able to do a whole variety of things, which has been really fun. Right now I’m enjoying taking science and communicating it to people who are making decisions—whether it’s a major policy, a program, or what to put on the table for dinner!

Good eating isn’t about perfection, it’s about habits and progress. From time to time we all eat something we don’t feel so great about later. What is your advice for those oops moments?
If you backtrack or eat something you don’t feel great about, just make the next meal better.  Don’t try to punish yourself or make up for it, and don’t wait until tomorrow!

It’s not about perfection. It’s really about doing better. People get stuck when they think there’s only one right way to eat and then they don’t quite succeed. In fact, there are many ways you can obtain a healthy, balanced diet, and we have a lot of options here in the U.S. I find this is especially important for parents. If you are having trouble with family meals and manage to get a home cooked meal on the table twice in the week, that’s 2 days you didn’t go out! That’s progress!

Any parting words?
Eating less meat is not something people think about first when considering the environment or health, but reducing meat can open up so many new culinary possibilities and make a huge difference! I love that the food-world is catching on. Moving meat off the center of the plate has inspired some really delicious menus in restaurants, recipes, food blogs, etc. And it’s “icing on the cake” that it’s good for us and the planet!

Behind the Plate


October 10, 2016


Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, is a dietitian and health coach who focuses on whole-food-based, plant-centric nutrition. With a background in journalism, Andy’s interests in nutrition go beyond our daily practices into food politics, policy, and issues surrounding the way the food industry has shaped our relationship with food.

Please tell us about what you do.
My full-time job is in corporate wellness/corporate health coaching. Additionally, I am the strategic director of Dietitians For Professional Integrity, and I do freelance writing on various food system and nutrition topics.

How did you become interested in good eating?
My current interest in food developed slowly over time. The first significant event happened in 2004 when I watched Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Super Size Me. I walked out of the theater wanting to learn more; so much more. Super Size Me went beyond the unhealthiness of fast food. It was also my first exposure to issues of food politics and the industry’s massive power and influence in shaping policy and the food environment.

I watched that documentary just days after graduating from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. That movie lit the initial spark that eventually led me to get a master’s degree in nutrition and become a registered dietitian.

If you could get the general population to change one aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
Eat more plants. The average American falls woefully short of the daily recommended intake of fiber. That paints a very picture clear: we aren’t eating enough whole, plant-based foods (the only ones that contain fiber).

Talk a little bit about Dietitians for Professional Integrity.
Dietitians For Professional Integrity was founded in February of 2013. A few weeks prior, public health attorney Michele Simon published a report on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ food industry ties that garnered national attention. As a vocal critic of these ties, I saw an important opportunity to mobilize like-minded dietitians and create an organized movement calling for sponsorship reform.

Since our inception, the topic of corporate sponsorships within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics went from being relegated to the back of the closet to taking center stage as a “Mega Topic” at last year’s House of Delegates meeting. Additionally, the Academy created a sponsorship advisory task force. It’s progress.

How do you define good food?
There are many different definitions depending on the context. Above all else, good food promotes health and nourishes. While that relates to a food’s nutritional profile, it has nothing to do with one specific nutrient. Avocados, high in fat, promote health. So do pears, which are 96 percent carbohydrate. “Low-fat” and “low-carb” miss the point. “Low-processed” is more important.

Good food should also promote the health of our planet and the health of workers. A nutritious salad made with tomatoes picked by laborers who are not paid fairly is not “good food”.  Neither is a decadent and delicious chocolate bar made from beans picked by child slaves.

Countries across the world are taking action on their nation’s food systems—for example, Brazil recently added the right to food to its constitution, and introduced enviable and comprehensive good eating guidelines that include everything from nutrition to sustainability. What is one policy effort you would you like to see the US take to help the American people eat better?
Get corporate money out of politics. Many of the policy decisions that influence what we eat are voted on by politicians that receive financial contributions from powerful food industry lobbies. It’s a tangled web, and I can’t say that I have a step-by-step plan of how to do that. Voting for politicians who do not have a record of being in the pocket of industries is a good start.

What’s always in your fridge?
A variety of plant-based milks (the differences in flavors and textures make some a better fit for coffee, and others perfect for cooking oatmeal), broccoli, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.

Is there any aspect of your diet that you’ve been trying to improve? If so, how have you been trying to improve it?
I have become more mindful of my omega-3 intake. I realized that I ate almonds and pistachios on a daily basis. Of course, they are healthful, but I noticed that they displaced plant-based omega-3 fats. So, I now have two to three tablespoons of hemp, chia, and/or ground flax several times a week. They are so easy to sprinkle over a variety of dishes.

How do you incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet?
The key, as I tell my coachees, is to make vegetables taste good so you crave them. So many people equate vegetables with mushy peas and carrots or bland salads. Blegh. I love lightly steamed broccoli with a drizzle of hemp oil and a few shakes of nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper, roasted root vegetables (the caramelization brings out their flavors, and a pinch of salt adds the perfect contrast), dipping cucumbers in hummus, adding arugula to homemade pesto, and sautéeing lacinato kale in olive oil and garlic (goes great with whole wheat pasta).

Good eating habits need to be developed from an early age, not only to set the foundation for the habits one maintains as an adult, but also to stop childhood-onset type 2 diabetes in its tracks. What do you think is the best way to educate our children about food?
Lead by example. I recently had a coachee who was in awe that, once she made it a point to serve vegetables with family meals, her toddlers started eating vegetables. She told me she didn’t think much of it before because she didn’t think her children would want to eat them. By simply offering vegetables with meals—and never requiring her children eat them or bribing them with dessert—she normalized the behavior.

Good eating is more than what you eat, it’s also being mindful about how you eat it. What is your favorite way to enjoy a good meal?
Of course a meal with a few close friends (I don’t like large group meals) is always fun. That said, I live by myself, so I’m totally guilty of eating dinner while catching up on vacuous reality television (sometimes it’s Rachel Maddow though, so cut me some slack).

How do you manage to eat well when traveling or on-the-go?
I usually travel to large cities where healthful food is widely and easily available, so I can’t say I have to put forth a lot of effort in that sense. If anything, the part that requires some forethought is airports, but I bring snacks with me. My go-to travel snacks include roasted chickpeas, low-sugar snack bars, and dark chocolate.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
Seeing the tangible results of improving one’s diet. I have been a health coach for almost five years and can think of many people who, as a result of simply eating better, improved all sorts of biomarkers: triglycerides, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. Many of them even halved their medication dosages or gotten completely off of them.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone trying to develop better, longterm eating habits?
Identify one particular habit that you think currently gets in the way of your health goals, and focus exclusively on that goal—on a daily basis—for at least 60 days. Then, and only then, should you even begin to entertain adding another goal. One very common mistake many people make is simultaneously trying to eat more fiber, cut back on sodium, cut back on added sugar, and go from a sedentary lifestyle to working out six days a week. It’s a recipe for frustration.

Good eating isn’t about perfection, it’s about habits and progress. From time to time we all eat something we don’t feel so great about later. What is your advice for those oops moments?
I always tell my coachees to keep the 80/20 or 90/10 rule in mind. What ultimately determines your health is what you do 80-90 percent of the time. That leaves the remaining 10-20 percent for special occasions, celebrations, indulgences, and times when your life gets turned a little upside down (consider how much your eating gets disrupted when you move, for example). If you want to eat well 99% of the time, more power to you. But that isn’t the only way. When you think of the big picture, you realize that enjoying a cupcake at a baby shower is a non-issue. Of course, I also think it is important to differentiate between savoring and truly enjoying treats, as opposed to turning to those foods to fill emotional voids.

Behind the Plate


September 19, 2016
Photo credit: Bill Hayes

Photo credit: Bill Hayes

Professor Marion Nestle teaches in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. She is an internationally known and acclaimed public health advocate, and has authored a number of award-winning books such as Food Politics, Why Calories Count, Eat Drink Vote, and Soda Politics.

Want to meet her in person? Please join us tomorrow night (Tuesday, September 20th) in NYC for a riveting book chat with the one and only Dr. Marion Nestle! We’ll be discussing the soda industry, sugar, who’s doing what, and what we can do to change the paradigm. In the meantime, you can check out Marion and follow her on Twitter @marionnestle to whet your food politics appetite. See you tomorrow!

Please tell us about what you do.
I teach, give lectures, do research, and write about issues related to food politics.

How did you first become interested in good eating?
I learned to love food when I discovered how terrific it tastes when fresh. I’ve told this story many times. I was at a summer camp run by a fabulous cook—everything she made was wonderful and based on produce from a large kitchen garden. It was my turn to pick vegetables for dinner. I had never tasted string beans straight from the vine before—a revelation!

What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone trying to develop better, longterm eating habits?
Eating healthfully is not all that hard: eat vegetables and fruits, balance calories, don’t eat too much junk food and enjoy what you eat!

What is the main thing we should know about big food, and how it controls what we eat?
Food companies are businesses, not social service agencies. Their primary job is to sell their products and make as much profit on them as possible.

Countries across the world are taking action on their nation’s food systems—what is one thing you would like to see the US do to help the American people eat better?
Put some restrictions on marketing to children.

How do you define good food?
Minimally processed, as fresh as possible, grown sustainably.

You take on the soda industry in your book Soda Politics. Do you think the soda industry can change for the better?
Yes, but whether it will is another matter. It could stop marketing to children, stop marketing to minorities, stop fighting public health initiatives, and stop lobbying against public health measures—for starters.

If you could get the general population to change one aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
Smaller portions! Understand that larger portions have more calories.

What’s always in your fridge?
Milk for coffee, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, lemons, and whatever fruits and vegetables I’ve just picked up.

Is there any aspect of your diet that you’ve been trying to improve? If so, how have you been trying to improve it?
I follow my own dietary advice above. It leaves lots of room for pleasure.

How do you incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet?
Fortunately, I love salads.

Good eating is more than what you eat, it’s also being mindful about how you eat it. What is your favorite way to enjoy a good meal?
Much of my social life involves dinners with friends and colleagues.

How do you manage to eat well when traveling or on-the-go?
It’s always possible to find something good and healthy on the go, even at airports. As I said—fortunately, I love salads.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
I think I’m so fortunate to have a job that pays me to teach, do research, and write about food and food politics. I love doing all of that.

Good eating isn’t about perfection, it’s about habits and progress. From time to time we all eat something we don’t feel so great about later. What is your advice for those oops moments?
Enjoy them!

Behind the Plate


May 19, 2016
Photo credit: Matt Monroe for Jamie Magazine

Photo credit: Matt Monroe for Jamie Magazine

Daniel Nowland is the Head of Technical at Jamie Oliver Ltd. What does that mean? (We had to ask too.) Basically, anything involving food values, ethics and sourcing is Daniel’s domain—he develops Jamie’s Food Standards, and implements them. So he helps spread the sustainable, good-food word across the world!

You can help spread the good-food word, too—tomorrow is Food Revolution Day! Join Foodstand at the farmers market for our Jamie Oliver recipe demo. Can’t wait to see you there.

Tell us about what you do at Jamie Oliver Ltd.
My role is to manage Jamie’s food values, which affect how we run our business as well as set the tone for engaging with other organizations. The role involves a lot of learning, as the issues affecting our food systems continually evolve. I also then help to ensure we are in line with our own values, across everything we do.

How do you define good food?
I’d say it’s food that has been responsibly produced and responsibly consumed. Good food can include the basic nutrients we need to be healthy, as well as the pleasurable, less healthy stuff that keeps us smiling.

What does a Food Revolution mean to you?
I think it’s that moment of realization for people that good food is better for everyone, including the planet and the producers. It’s where people wise up to the dangers of too much cheap, processed food, and discover the benefits of consuming food more responsibly.

What does the food world look like post-revolution?
It is simply where people make well-informed choices about the food they source and how they consume it. Consumers will understand that price and value are very different things. Transparency in supply chains will allow consumers to select foods based on their values, tastes and quality. Consumers won’t be mislead or sucked in by multimillion dollar marketing campaigns for food that will slowly kill them and the planet.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Knowing that my job is to help drive positive change, and seeing the influence we can have with Jamie behind us. Working for a business with a real sense of purpose is an honour, and something that I never take for granted. There are few businesses in the world that genuinely put responsible behaviour and ethics at the heart of what they do.

What are the personal beliefs you have on the overall food system that make their way into your everyday business (e.g., curbing food waste, sustainable sourcing, local sourcing)? Do tell.
For me it is about animal welfare and livestock systems. My most memorable day as a food science student was when I visited a slaughterhouse for the first time. It’s where the penny dropped in terms of how animals we observe on farms are linked to the products on our supermarket shelves. It sounds silly, and kind of obvious, but it’s not until you see a large animal being slaughtered, and the process involved, that you fully appreciate the scale of the systems behind the supermarket meat aisle.

It did not put me off meat, but it made me very aware of what I was buying. I went on to work in the meat industry after graduating, and was aware that animals were living and dying in order for me to eat well, and to pay my mortgage. The compassion I gained working in this sector is something I have definitely brought to the Jamie Oliver business. I have helped to define standards for good animal welfare which we use internally, as well as spread through our relationships with other organizations.

If you had to make a food resolution this year, what would it be?
I believe me and my partner are in a good place already with the food we buy, cook and eat. We cook from scratch as much as possible and now make all of our own bread. However, I travel a lot, and therefore rely on food service in train stations, airports and hotels. I need to find ways to eat better food when I’m away from home. It’s really hard to make responsible choices when you don’t have your kitchen anywhere close. It’s really frustrating that food service doesn’t have the same level of transparency on things like animal welfare as the retail sector does.

What are Jamie’s sustainability practices?
We have a set of food values which include Ethical Buying, Environment and Waste as key topics. We believe when responsible practices occur in all three of these areas, we are helping to improve the sustainability of our food. Our Ethical Buying policy ensures all animal products in our business are from “higher-welfare” sources and our seafood is responsibly sourced. Our values in these areas not only determine how we run our business, but they also shape the work of our foundation, and our campaigning.

Food issues have barely made it into the race for President. If you could ask the future President to consider a food issue that needs to be addressed, what would it be?
Gosh… I could write a very long list! If I had to pick one, it would be to regulate the environmental footprint of livestock. i.e. incentivise producers to focus on more sustainable methods of rearing livestock, and discourage the mass production of low quality proteins, as the long term effects they have on human health, environment and sustainability are horrific.

If you could get the general population to change ONE aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
Eat less meat, enabling you to buy better when you do.


What’s one of your first (and most memorable) interactions with food?
I was obsessed with TV cookery shows as a kid, and was never really interested in kids TV. I would then beg my mum to let me cook our family meals so that she could have the night off. By the age of 14, me and mum were sharing all of the cooking in our household, and generally all sitting and enjoying meals together as a family. I loved to be the one providing nourishment for my family through good food, although my early cooking was really basic (mainly putting things from the freezer into the oven!).

I remember working in a Fish and Chip shop on Tuesday nights as a teenager when Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef” first appeared on TV. I was hooked and would end up getting orders wrong as I was more interested in the 14 inch TV I was watching. I’m not sure what I was more in love with, Jamie himself or the food he was cooking! I dreamed I would meet him one day, but never imagined I would end up working directly for him.

Not everyone has access to farmers markets or a wide variety of fresh, sustainable produce. What does Jamie recommend for those with limited resources?
We’ve never suggested that farmers markets are the only option for responsibly produced foods. Supermarkets stock some fantastic food too, but you need to be able to tell it apart from the rubbish they can also sell. Using supermarkets, but avoiding the poor quality processed foods is a good way to shop. Base your shopping on whole fruits, vegetables and quality meat and fish. Always read labels on meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and go for products certified for higher-welfare or sustainable sourcing.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t wrapped up in the food industry as seriously as I am now, I would have liked to be running my own small cafe somewhere. I’d love to be working in a food environment and working closely with the general public. I would of course be championing only responsibly produced food! A cafe with a view of the sea would definitely be a bonus.

Who is one famous person, dead or alive, that you want to share a meal with? And where?
A few years ago I’d have said Jamie Oliver, but I’ve done that many times now! I would love to have dinner with John Cleese. He is a comedy hero of mine, and I’d love to spend the whole evening talking about Fawlty Towers. (It’s a British comedy about a small chaotic hotel made in the 1970’s). Ideally in a good British country pub drinking beer and eating a beef and ale pie.

What’s your favorite meal-on-the-go?
My favourite food-on-the-go is a burrito from Chipotle. I get the chicken burrito in the UK, or the Tofu Sofritas if I’m in the US!

What’s always in your fridge? What do you use it for?
My fridge trick is to always keep the drained fat from bacon or sausages in a jam jar in the fridge door. I then use it for sweating vegetables or making pasta dishes, as it gives a lovely salty, smoky depth to food, without having to add any actual meat.

What was your biggest #foodfail?
My biggest #foodfail was when I was working as a chef in a pub in my teens. I was serving a roast beef lunch to around 100 guests after a wedding. I had miscounted the plates and servings, which meant around 10 guests never received any meat. The bride was in tears and blamed me for ruining her wedding. The groom was so angry a fight nearly broke out too. It was a day I was glad to put behind me.

Favorite meal?
Aside from lovely British food, my favourite food is traditional Greek. I spent all of my childhood summers in the Peloponnese, which is the Southern mainland of Greece. There the food is very local, seasonal and extremely fresh. My most favourite meal is a simple Greek salad, crusty bread and fresh fish. Whilst I’m tempted to keep it a secret so that it never becomes too busy, this place is probably one of the best spots on earth to enjoy a Greek salad, local table wine and fresh fish whilst looking out to the Aegean Sea!

Your good food wish?
Think about every item of food you buy. Every purchase of food is a vote for the system it came from!

Behind the Plate


May 11, 2016

Photo credit: Daniel Sheehan

Michael Moss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who has most recently developed an important and successful career writing about health, marketing, policy and corporate interests relating to the food industry. His illuminating book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a must-read. In fact, Michael will be joining Foodstand’s Food Book & Film Club to discuss the book on Tuesday, May 17th—please join us!

How do you define good food?
It’s all good to me. Seriously. Well, maybe not okra, just because my mom made a pretty slimy version that still sits in my 8-year-old memory bank. And maybe not soda, which I’ve pretty much written off as pure evil. But just last week I made a cake for my 12-year-old’s birthday, and it was all salt, sugar and fat. And yesterday, I wolfed down some potato chips, also salt, sugar and fat (the sugar in the form of potato starch that our bodies convert to glucose.) For me, the issue is controlling that stuff rather than letting it control me. So day in and day out I’m looking to eat food that I cook from scratch, lots of vegetables (with the above mentioned exception) grown by farmers and farmhands who are fairly compensated, meat from animals that are treated as kindly as possible before they have one really bad day, and I try to keep a damper on the raging bliss point for sugar that both my boys have because they are kids.

Do you think big food can be part of a better food future?
No. Well, yes, but indirectly. The Food Giants have never been good at true invention. About the last thing they invented, in fact, was instant pudding, and that happened only because the company panicked that it was going to get beaten at this by a competitor. Their idea of a new product is one with a new package color. What they can do is buy up small start-ups that do invent stuff, and it’s these little entrepreneurs who are now racing to reinvent processed food to be low-cost, convenient, tasty and actually good for you, too. So if the Food Giants are smart, they’ll buy the best of these entrepreneurs and hopefully won’t ruin them by scaling up.

What was your biggest challenge writing Salt Sugar Fat?
Cravings. I’d be spending time talking to the guy who figured out why potato chips are so irresistible, and it would take all the effort in the world to resist grabbing a bag for myself and pigging out. Just the talk, and extraordinary science the companies use, would send the reward centers of my brain into overdrive. (Once I finished, however, things changed, and now I can walk through the grocery store and just laugh at those chips, knowing all that goes into their design and marketing, which oddly enough empowers me to make smarter decisions about what to buy.)

What first inspired you to write about health and food?
A couple of FBI agents and a really smart editor at the New York Times. In 2008 I was in Algeria reporting on militants there when the agents showed up at the paper in Manhattan, looking for me. Since 2005 I had been traveling to Iraq, tormenting the Pentagon for failing to equip American soldiers with body armor, and then reporting on how the war was empowering terrorists to recruit new help, which the agents said had landed me on an Al Qaeda hit list. I hustled back to New York, and right into another war, this one over food. My editor, Christine Kay, had spotted an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts processed at a factory in southern Georgia that were sickening thousands of people, used by a $1 trillion processed food industry that had lost control over its ingredients, and Christine recognized this for the huge story it was. A year later, after investigating the industry’s shoddy handling of hamburger, I started looking at three things the industry intentionally adds to its products with huge repercussions of public health, namely salt, sugar, and fat.

Talk a little about “bliss point”—what is it? And how did you react when you first heard the term?
Well, as the food scientist who coined this expression, Howard Moskowitz, said, “What are you going to call it, `optimum sensory liking?’ ” You have to love the language the processed food industry uses to describe its efforts to maximize the allure of its products. Its people talk about “engineering” products to be “craveable,” “snackable” and have “more-ishness.” And the bliss point is right in there. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness, not too little and not too much, that sends us over the moon and their products flying off the shelf, and when I first heard Moskowitz describe this, I was sort of blasé. I mean, well of course the industry does this. We are creatures born to love sugar. Just look at our taste buds. The ones that like sweet are all over the tongue.

Do you think it’s possible to reset America’s bliss point?
The problem with the bliss point and sugar is not that industry has perfected the sweetness for cookies and ice cream, things we know as sweets and should be treating as treats. The problem is that the industry has marched around the grocery store adding sugar to, and engineering bliss points for, things that didn’t used to be sweet. So that bread now has added sugar and a bliss point for sweet. Some yogurts came to have as much sugar per serving as ice cream. And pasta sauce, forget about it. Some brands ended up with a couple of Oreo cookies worth of sugar in a tiny half cup serving, and what that has done is create an expectancy that everything we eat should be sweet, which is a problem especially for those little walking bliss points for sugar called kids when you drag them over to the produce section and try to get them to eat some of that okra. Instant rebellion.



What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I’m first of all a reporter, and so I still get a big kick from crawling inside the underbelly of the processed food industry to discover some new, totally surprising scheme on its part to get us to not just like its products, but to want more and more. But I’m also spending time these days working on my speaking, with some pretty good success, and so I’m having great fun holding an audience captive for an hour or more, telling my food story, and the most rewarding moment is when someone tells me the book or the talk has changed their life.

Are you making a food resolution this year?
Not to make tacos for dinner more than twice a week. My kids are actually pleading for this. My wife is working long hours, so cooking has fallen to me, and boy is it hard to go week to week without boring the shit out of the family with the same old recipes.

Food issues have barely made it into the race for President. If you could ask the future President to consider a food issue that needs to be addressed, what would it be?
What do you mean barely? Didn’t Cruz say he loved eating cheese on cheese? He would have been perfect for the dairy marketing schemes I wrote about that tripled our consumption to 33 pounds a year on average by moves like stuffing cheese in the crust of pizzas. And Clinton recently came out for the soda tax, which I’ve come to like. I’d ask the now-presumptive Republican nominee to champion the use of smarter marketing practices by the produce industry to sell more vegetables, and thus nudge us all toward better health. Didn’t he hear they were all aphrodisiacs?

If you could get the general population to change ONE aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
I can tell you what one Food Giant’s chief technical officer did when he blew out his knee and could no longer run marathons to burn off calories. He stopped eating his company’s own products, cold turkey, knowing that he was one of the many of us who couldn’t stop eating snacks until the whole bag was gone. He also stopped consuming calories in liquid form, that is drinks, which I think is really interesting. I’m trying to do the same, and thankfully everyone knows that wine and beer don’t have calories.

What’s one of your first (and most memorable) interactions with food?
I was a latchkey kid at age 10, and loved to come home to strawberry Pop Tarts. Then just a while ago, I was visiting the secret R&D facility of Kellogg’s in Battle Creek, Michigan, where way off in the corner someone was cooking up a huge batch of Pop Tarts, and wow, the aroma wafted over and took me right back to childhood. It’s incredible what those memories can do.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Taking pictures. In a war zone. I was so glad I went to Iraq as a reporter, not a photographer, because they have to shoot while the bullets are flying and that’s totally addictive. It was hard enough for me to give up reporting on war, and I wasn’t even a war reporter, but rather just dabbling.

What’s always in your fridge? What do you use it for?
I’m a little nuts about sourdough bread these days, so in my fridge is a starter, and in the freezer is a variety of flour. Friday night after family movie time I’m usually in the kitchen plundering the starter for a Sunday bake.

What’s your favorite meal-on-the-go?
Lately, walking down the street, I like a nice handful of pistachios in the shell.

How have your eating habits changed since writing the book?
Not terribly. We started eating better in my house when my now 16-year-old son was born, thinking that was one thing we could do to avoid ruining him. More recently, after reporting on some shocking experimentation undertaken by the Department of Agriculture to make farm animals more profitable at the expense of their well-being, I’m pretty ruined even for taco trucks unless I know the chicken or ground chuck is not industrial and instead comes from animals the USDA hasn’t ruined.

Sugar, salt, and fat continue to be at the forefront of food discussion—e.g. “sugar is the new fat, fat is the new delicious…” What are your reflections on the book given the current environment?
I love that “salt sugar fat” has become a thing. But I have a confession. As much as I focused on them, and the industry’s own deep reliance on them has been getting us into trouble, the solution is not to just dial back on salt sugar fat, which all the Food Giants are now racing to do, concerned about losing the trust of consumers. The biggest way to better health, nutritionists tell me, is getting more vegetables and other good stuff into your mouth, which the companies have lots of trouble putting into their products.

Your good food wish?
That we should all be so lucky as to be in love with food and with eating.