How Much is Too Much? — Thoughts from the New Dietary Guidelines

Today, the federal government issued its much-anticipated update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  For a read of the new guidelines, click here.

Most of the new guidelines sound familiar: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume more seafood and whole grains, and  cut down on salt, refined grains, sodium, saturated fats, and trans fats.

One new recommendation stands out: we should limit added sugar consumption to no more than 10% of daily calories.

How much added sugar amounts to 10% of daily calories?  Continue reading

The Debate on Healthy School Lunch – A Year in Review

12-26-2015.Image1It has been almost three years since the enactment of Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 2012. Under this rule, schools are required to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans-fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. How has this rule affected the students across the country? What is the reality of today’s school lunch systems in America?  Continue reading

Farming with Nature – Reflections from an Urban Farm

In the heart of the Silicon Valley urban area, on the bank of the San Francisco Bay, there is a historic farm where vegetables are cultivated and livestock are raised in traditional farming ways. Here, we see organic vegetables that have the garden-fresh look you cannot find on the shelves of large-chain grocery stores. Here, we find grazing livestock happily roaming on natural pastures. Here, we witness crops being harvested and freshly supplied to our local community year round. And here, we feel closer to nature and to our community.

Located in Fremont, California, Ardenwood Historic Farm is home to more than 20 picture2different fruits and vegetables as well as over 10 different farm animals, serving the much-appreciated local farmers’ markets for more than 360,000 residents in the Tri-Valley area.

On a recent visit to the farm, I asked a worker why he has worked on the farm for 15 long years.  Continue reading

Do You Want To Be A King And A Prince?—Common Bad Eating Habits Among High School Students

It’s one of those busy school days. You are summoned up from bed by the alarm clock, barely having enough time to wash your face and brush your teeth before Eat1you rush to the school. You tell yourself and everyone: I do not have time for breakfast. When you get hungry in the later part of the morning, you gobble up a bag of potato chips while rushing between classrooms during the break. By lunch time, your stomach is full and you now do not have an appetite for lunch—the school lunch is not palatable anyway, plus you have club meetings at lunch time. You skip the lunch with perfect justifications.

The routine above may be common among your peers, but it reveals a serious, health-threatening problem among high school students. Continue reading

A Quote about Food

Thanks to fellow blogger Stephy@Stephysweetbakes, I am nominated for “Post A Quote Challenge”. So I am posting one of my favorite quotes about food:

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.”

By Louise Fresco

I like this quote because it touches the very essence of food: food is not just something that sustains our lives and well-beings, but something through which we can communicate with, give to, and learn from the world, something from which we never have any reason to hide our feelings, something towards which we are entitled and empowered to devote our passion and efforts, and something with which we can show what we truly value. Continue reading

Why Should High Schools Have Bottled Water Vending Machines On Campus?

Have you ever craved for some water to drink while at school? Have you ever run around campus searching for that precious water fountain only to find that it is bottle-vending-machine-300x291not working? If you answer yes, you are not alone. I recently conducted a survey among students in five high schools in the San Francisco Bay area. About 80% of them indicated that they regularly felt thirsty or extreme thirsty while attending school, and more than 90% stated that having better access to drinking water while at school would help improve their performance at school. Continue reading