Authored by Bryan Roth / Originally published on Duke Today
Name: Emily Sloss
Position: Project coordinator, Duke Campus Farm
Years at Duke: 3 months
What I do at Duke is: I manage everything that happens at the Duke Campus Farm, from food production to educational programming. Another part of my job is working with faculty and staff to incorporate the farm into education and academics. Read the rest of this entry »
Food Labels—Is there Value in The % Daily Value?
The food label – you’ve seen it, and either a) paid absolutely no attention to it, or b) have familiarized yourself well enough to know the can of spray cheese may not be the healthiest option under the sun.
Why do we even have a food label? And how come it hasn’t evolved (like everything else) to be much more user-friendly?
Food Label of the Future: Coming Soon to a Supermarket Near You
Actually, you may be happy to find out the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is hard at work re-designing the nutrition information panels on food labels – which, as you’d guess, is not an easy task. The trick is to make these labels easy to read while getting people the most useful information at a glance. Who would choose to read War and Peace if you had the option to read War and Peace: SparkNotes? Um, Sparknotes, please!!
Take a minute and think about food labels. What irks you the most? Is it the confusion around % Daily Values? Whether you should be looking for saturated fat or trans fat? Maybe it’s the portion sizes that get you – which can be the most misleading part of the label.
Portion Sizes: Luckily for us, some of that confusion will be taken care of. The proposal for the redesign will include more accurate representation of portion size. Think about it – if you open a can of soup that has two servings, you will probably eat both servings, right? Wouldn’t you agree you should know how much you are getting in a realistic serving?
Calories: Also the new labels will likely emphasize calories since many people rely on this information for weight control.
It’s safe to say that the information provided will more than likely continue to be quantitative in nature – not shying away from those lovely numbers and percentages (given the ongoing concern for America’s expanding waistlines.)
Say Good-bye: So what will they be cutting out in this new, abridged version? Other listings such as Calories from Fat and the Daily Percent Value – numbers that show how much of each nutrient an average-sized individual needs each day -will no longer be included.
Looking Past the Food Label: Planning a Healthy Diet
You know you’ve seen em, yet you may not know how helpful these little guys are. The Daily Values are dietary reference values you’ll find on the nutrition facts label, which can actually help you plan a healthy diet. These values are based on 2,000-calorie diet – about average for a college-age active student – and are listed as “% DV.” This percentage shows you how much of the daily recommended nutrients that particular food provides. If the daily value is between 10-19%, you can decide whether a food is considered a good source of a nutrient or not.
And remember, we’re considering the quality of our diet as a whole, so think of what we eat in relation to how it affects our overall health – not just the number on our scale. If a food like a Snackwell’s cookie has fewer calories but provides little to no nutrition other than calories – a better option may be one that is higher in calories but provides more nutrients, such as protein, fiber, and Calcium. So keep an eye out for the nutrient section (listing vitamins and minerals) and aim high! Afterall we eat nutrients, not just calories!
The Duke Food Project is a student organization that oversees the Duke Campus Farm and the Duke Community Garden. The Duke Food Project is seeking undergraduates interested in leadership roles around food issues, farming, and gardening at Duke. Read the rest of this entry »
(Phot courtesy of Amelia Chen)
A photo of a Duke student’s brother cooking was the winner of Sustainable Duke’s first “Eat. Snap. Share.” photo contest. Read the rest of this entry »
Join us October 29th for our first skill building workshop at the Duke Campus Farm. If you’d like to attend, please sign up here. Keep reading to learn more about how Ali of This & That Jam came to love preserving food and why it’s so important.
When Ben and I moved from Brooklyn to North Carolina we realized we had the opportunity to re-work our business model and really take a look at our goals not just as entrepreneurs, but as human beings. We’re both very interested in social change, Ben focused on the anthropology of food in school, my research focused on language acquisition in low-income populations. We both have a passion for good food and we really love to create things together- we cook, we bake and of course, we make jam. Read the rest of this entry »
What does food mean to you? Our daily food choices are complicated and deeply personal. From health to hunger, farmworker issues to animal rights, sustainable farms to local and organic food, we want to know what you think about when you fill your plate.
In celebration of National Food Day on October 24, Sustainable Duke is hosting the Eat. Snap. Share. Photo Contest. Students, faculty and staff are invited to submit a photo capturing what food means to them. Entries must be submitted before noon Oct. 20.
Here’s a fact: breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States. It’s true there are many risk factors for breast cancer that are not within our control, such as gender, age or family history, but there are some factors that are within our control, such as diet and exercise. Here’s where we, your nutrition team at Duke, come into play.
While cancer may not be on your radar just yet as a college student, it’s an important topic that deserves adequate coverage. October is devoted to breast cancer awareness, so we thought we’d take the time to direct you on the right path to wellness. Read the rest of this entry »
Regardless of what you’re studying here at Duke, chances are you’re pulling a few late nights or waking up for Organic Chemistry on very little sleep. If you haven’t already, you may find coffee or tea may be your new best friend, even if you weren’t a coffee drinker before. In case you’re wondering a bit about it, we’ve decided to dedicate this post to caffeine. Read the rest of this entry »
In case you didn’t learn enough about dirt in my last post, you’re about to learn more. Soil is that important. In fact, soil is more important than two measly blog posts – some argue that soil is the foundation for life on earth.
We’re always learning methods to improve our soil health at the Duke Campus Farm. If our soil is healthy, our crops are correspondingly the healthier and more abundant. Moving to no-till is part of that effort, as is our crop rotation plan. Read the rest of this entry »
This past summer, the Duke Campus Farm crew visited nearby Frog Pond Farm owned by Larry and Libby Bohs. Larry is a part-time professor at Duke University and a part-time farmer – an enviable career path, in my opinion.
This visit in early summer, which I wrote about here, has been the source of inspiration for the Campus Farm workers. Larry and Libby have a gorgeous, productive, innovative and highly sustainable farm. Frog Pond models many of our future plans for the Duke Campus Farm: incorporating permaculture such as fruit trees and bushes, integrated pest and weed management, and practicing no-till.