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Big Food and Public Health Don’t Mix

Going Beneath the Headlines

Remember that time, not that long ago, when tobacco was seen as an innocuous pleasure? In the early 1940s, my grandmother’s doctor even suggested she take up smoking after she had her first child, to calm her nerves. She took his advice, and never stopped. In these intervening years, thanks to advocates and public health officials standing up against the industry, we’ve come to understand the real impacts of tobacco and have…
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by: Anna Lappé – Winter 2018

De-Junking Paradise

Like many of its Pacific Island neighbors, Vanuatu faces astronomical rates of chronic, preventable, diet-related illnesses. These diseases have skyrocketed over the past several decades as local foods have been replaced with processed Western imports and sugary drinks. But at least one province has so far managed to avoid the worst impacts of this public health crisis, and is taking a stand to keep it that way. Torba, an isolated group of…
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by: Anna Lappé – Autumn 2017

Hope’s Edge

Nearly two decades ago, I stood on a train platform in the city of Bhatinda in the north Indian state of Punjab at sunrise. Flies buzzed. Young men dozed nearby with legs curled up for warmth. Next to me stood Afsar Jafri, an organic farming advocate who had been with us for days, taking my mother and me on a tour of nearby farmlands devastated by decades of chemical agriculture and communities…
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by: Anna Lappé – Spring 2017

Good Food Rising

When you picture school lunch what comes to mind? Gooey pizza and floppy French fries, or fresh organic produce and chicken raised without routine antibiotics? My guess is the former. But thanks to advocates around the country, someday it may just be the latter. Every year the National School Lunch Program spends almost $13 billion to feed over 30 million children. For years, school leaders and community activists have been working to…
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by: Anna Lappé – Winter 2017

Will the Real Litterbug Please Stand Up?

On October 13, 1953, executives from beer, soda, chewing gum, cigarette, and candy companies, as well as the packaging and chemical industries, launched a new organization: Keep America Beautiful. As The New York Times would write a year later, the group called itself “a national public service organization for the elimination of litter.” photo by Lee CourseySoda companies have been lobbying for decades to shift the burden of bottle recycling to taxpayers.…
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by: Anna Lappé – Autumn 2016

Why Hawking H20 Is Radical

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest players in basketball history. But he will be remembered for another reason, too: He was the first major celebrity athlete to turn his back on multimillion dollar endorsement deals for soda and instead embrace water. Yes, water, and not the bottled stuff, but tap water. In his statement about the deal with water filter company Brita, Curry…
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by: Anna Lappé – Summer 2016

Un-bottling Water

photo Taneli MielikäinenNational Parks are banning plastic in favor of refillable water bottle hydration stations. The majestic half-dome of Yosemite. The psychedelic-colored hot springs of Yellowstone. The jaw-dropping ravines of the Grand Canyon…. Piles of plastic water bottles? Until recently, all of these – yes, plastic bottles included – could be considered iconic of our nation’s national parks. In the Grand Canyon alone, the park was recycling more than 900 tons of…
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by: Anna Lappé – Spring 2016

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