What, exactly, is a healthful food?

I have a confession to make…I just discovered Marion Nestle and her blog Food Politics. I know, I’m slow on the uptake sometimes.

I find that my feelings about food are becoming somewhat activistic…I am getting more upset by the industrialization of our food on a daily basis. So you can expect to see more of these posts in the coming days…

When it comes to food, defining “healthy” is a major preoccupation of food companies these days. Marketers are falling all over each other trying to label food products with numbers or symbols to convince you that their products are better-for-you choices. These, as I keep saying see posts under “Scoring systems”, are about marketing, not health.

Now, the Strategic Alliance, the component of the Oakland-based Prevention Institute devoted to “promoting healthy food and activity environments,” has produced a working definition of a healthful food. Its report, Setting the Record Straight: Nutritionists Define Healthful Food, applies three principles: Healthful food should be 1 wholesome, 2 produced in ways that are good for people, animals, and natural resources, and 3 available, accessible, and affordable.

via Food Politics » What, exactly, is a healthful food?.

p.s. Mark Bittman has the same reference on his blog today. He links to the pdf for the organization…

Our definition of healthful food is not limited to the nutrients that a food contains. Our definition recognizes that healthful food comes from a food system where food is produced, processed, transported, and marketed in ways that are environmentally sound, sustainable and just. The current industrial food system, with its heavy reliance on fossil fuels, pesticides and fertilizers, antibiotics, and intensive farming practices fails to meet this standard. It pollutes the air, water, and soil, harms farm animals, and endangers the health of those who work to feed us.

via Setting the Record Straight: Nutritionists Define Healthful Food

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