Published on Feb 2, 2014
Greetings friends and foes. I'm Oskar Castro and welcome to Open Resource, the news show about food and the environment it is grown in.
Today we have a cereal, hated by most kids, announcing it's going non-GMO, while the makers of Fruit Loops tells us something that we already knew. We look at how rising obesity rates are linked to income, and a city in America's Heartland desperately needs a grocery store. All this, on Open Resource. Stay tuned.
Non GMO Grape Nuts and Fruit Loops is all the Same Flava
U.S. Anti-GMO advocates are buzzing about an announcement from Post Foods saying that it has introduced a non-GMO version of its Grape Nuts cereal and is considering adding more non-GMO verified products into the market. With a growing anti-GMO advocacy movement and the issue of labeling GMO foods being a dominant discussion, this seems to be a sign of corporate capitulation and awareness that the US consumer food market is getting more concerned about knowing whether or not their food is genetically modified.
Oddly enough, news of this major change at Post Foods comes at the same time that it is discovered that Kellogg's has fooled us all. It seems as if the different colored pieces of the popular cereal Fruit Loops, are actually the same flavor.
Independent researchers at Food Beast conducted a scientific blind taste test and had this to say about their findings. "Each loop does in fact taste like mildly sweetened cardboard, with negligible or no differences between them."
Originally hailed as the first organic health food breakfast cereal company in the US, Kelloggs has not, as of yet, announced that it will make a non-GMO verified version of the sugary cereal likely tied to the epidemic of diabetes and among the reasons why so many children are given Ritilin every morning to wash down their breakfast.
Obesity Rate Disparity
In related news, a new study suggests that there are growing socioeconomic disparities in the obesity rates they've been tracking and that access to healthy and nutrient rich food is a big reason for this. The study undertaken by Harvard University reveals a falling rate of obesity in higher income classes and a rising of obesity among those dealing with poverty.
The study is in contrast to one undertaken by researchers backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2013, revealing that for the first time in 30 years, obesity rates in every state in the US - but one - were holding steady.
According to the new study, food deserts are believed to be the major factor in the rising rates among low-income people. Poor people, particularly those in urban areas, often times do not have access to fresh fruits or vegetables, and many often choose the cheaper, overly processed food-like items to get more bang for their SNAP dollar.
The US Department of Agriculture says counties with the highest percentage of food-desert households in 2008 had obesity rates 9 percent higher than households that were less impacted by food-deserts. They also shared that the counties with more food-desert communities had diabetes rates 5 points higher than in those counties that were less impacted by food-deserts as well. Perhaps this is why we see so many dialysis centers popping up in the poorer parts of our cities.
Those of us paying attention may scratch our heads and ask ourselves the question, so what can we do?
Citizens organize to get a grocery
Well, a developer in the city of Lawrence, Kansas is working with community leaders to advocate for the creation of a grocery or market in a low-income area of Lawrence where 18,000 people live in a food-desert.
According to the Lawrence Journal-World, the last grocery store closed its doors in the mid-1990's and Warehouse Arts District developer, Tony Krsnich, is looking for people who have a business plan with a solid balance sheet that could gird the creation of a small grocery store in East Lawrence. Until then, residents there are relying on food pantries, seven community gardens that only operate during a traditional growing season, and some farmers markets that accept SNAP cards.
While some strides have been made such as getting the area Dollar General to carry a wider variety of grocery items in its food section, a full-service grocery selling fresh produce is sorely needed.
Grocery stores are not always the income generating projects many developers look for, Tony Krsnich said, "You have to have vibrancy and sustainability for something to make it in the long run. For those reasons, we are kicking and screaming for something like a grocery store to come in." Most of the people living in the marginalized sections of Lawrence would likely agree. Anyone with a viable plan is encouraged to contact the Tony Krsnich at the Landmark Investment Group in Kansas City MO.
What ??? There are places with thousands of people where you can't buy proper food
Rachelwordsmith wrote: I'm a comparative religions, anthropology, history geek and atheist with a lot to say based on untenable facts
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