US Food Policy In 2013Wed 30 Jan 2013
Story by The Food Revolution Team
2012 saw some much needed progress in US food policy through the work of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, however, the hard work must continue in order to ensure that this progress is built upon and that promises made by businesses, states, government and organisations are kept. Plus there’s a lot more to work on in 2013!
From the 1st of January this year, the use of arsenic in poultry feed in Maryland was banned showing that real change can be made from grassroots actions. Do you know what the status is with the poultry feed in your state or what goes into the feed you eat? If not, 2013 is the time to get investigating and educate yourself on food practises in your area.
On March 12 2013, Mayor Bloomberg’s limit on the size of sugary drinks available in eateries across New York City will come into play fully in a step to help curb the obesity epidemic and educate New Yorkers on portion sizes. The city Health Department will enforce the regulation that sodas over 16oz cannot be served in eateries, theatres and street carts around the city. While there will be a three-month grace period, the ban will then result in $200 fines for those not adhering. Read more here.
The new meal standards for school food will continue to roll out and from October 1st this year, the 6 cents per lunch reimbursement will become available for school districts certified to be in compliance with these new meal patterns.
Next up for schools, are the proposed ‘competitive food standards’ which will impact anything that can be purchased from vending machines, schools stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines. These foods are often sugary drinks, salty high fat snacks and are called ‘competitive’ foods as they compete with school meals for student’s spending. The ‘competitive food’ rule is set to be released by the USDA this April. Stay tuned to find out exactly what they mean and how you can act on this important topic.
Following progress made in 2012 whereby the Walt Disney Company in their food advertising to kids, at the end of last year, we joined with hundreds of other organisations and individuals to ask Nickelodeon to step up and do the same. If you haven’t already – you can do so too! Simply visit bit.ly/dump-the-junk and let’s make the more progress marketing food to kids in 2013!
As we reported earlier in the month – a Farm Bill extension was included in the ‘fiscal cliff’ tax bill which was passed on New Year’s Day, meaning that the current Farm Bill has been extended until September of this year. Big changes will need to happen within the bill so that the new Farm Bill supports the people that need it most. Find out more here.
Food Revolution Day
Also coming up on May 17, is the second annual Food Revolution Day! Food Revolution Day is a global day of action for people everywhere to come together to focus energies and amplify the message that food skills are a key life skill and food education should be at the top of our agendas. It is a united effort between Jamie’s three charities, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (US), the Better Food Foundation (UK) and our partners in Australia, The Good Foundation along with our global community of voluntary ambassadors across 68 countries. In the US, specific to food policy, we’ll be looked at ways to best amplify the message of Food Revolution Day with our key partners to ensure our voice is heard and decision makers better understand how easy it can be to incorporate better food education. Check out some of the highlights from Food Revolution Day 2012 here, sign up for updates here and stay tuned to find out more about the day and how you can get involved!
Here’s to the Food Revolution in 2013!
The Food Revolution Team
Photos: Images taken from our 'School Foods Rule' Pinterest Board
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