All Posts By Amy Reiter

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire and Wine Spectator, among other print publications, as well as for websites including The Daily Beast, MSN, Babble, AOL/Huffington Post and Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer.

News Feed: Organic Food, McD’s Kale Salad, Vacation Weight Gain

by in Food News, February 12, 2016

Organic may be a good deal

If you pay the premium for pricey organic food when you shop for groceries, you may wonder if it’s worth it. A review study just published online in the journal Nature Plants has concluded that when it comes to sustainability — as measured by “productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social wellbeing” — organic food is definitely worthwhile. Read more

News Feed: Genetically Modified Salmon, Sugar Limit, Frozen Produce

by in Food News, February 5, 2016

New hurdle for genetically modified salmon

Looks like it’s going to be an upstream battle for purveyors of genetically modified salmon. A scant two months after U.S. authorities deemed it safe for human consumption, the FDA has issued a ban on the import and sale of genetically engineered salmon until the agency sets forth guidelines as to how it should be labeled — a step that, the Washington Post notes, could take years. The ban was issued in response to a bill recently passed by Congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, who had pushed for labeling, called it “a huge step in our fight against ‘Frankenfish,’” adding that she believes “mandatory labeling guidelines must be put in place as soon as possible so consumers know what it is they are purchasing.” Read more

Nutrition News: “Healthy” Trumps “Diet,” Eating Snow Deemed Safe, Healthy Fats Could Save Lives

by in Food News, January 29, 2016

Diets Are Out, but Healthy Is In

Have you given up dieting? Consider yourself on-trend. Brand-name diets like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine are falling out of fashion, NPR’s The Salt reported. Healthy eating is in. In a recent survey by the market research firm Mintel, 94 percent of respondents said they’ve ceased to see themselves as “dieters” and doubt the healthfulness of brand-name diets. “Consumers are not dieting in the traditional sense anymore — being on programs or buying foods specific to programs,” Mintel analyst Marissa Gilbert told The Salt. Those who are trying to lose weight are increasingly taking what market research firm Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy described as “a more holistic, more health and wellness approach.”

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Nutrition News: Fiber’s Sleep Effects, Sugar Warning Labels, Coffee and Exercise

by in Food News, January 22, 2016

Eat right, sleep tight

Looking for a good night’s sleep? (Who isn’t?) Try eating foods that are high in fiber. A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, concludes that eating a high-fiber diet may correlate with sleep that is deeper and more restorative, with few interruptions — it’s called “slow wave sleep” — whereas consuming a diet that is low in fiber and high in saturated fat and sugar has the opposite effect. What’s more, the researchers found, just one day of high-fat, low-fiber eating can negatively affect the quality of your night’s sleep. So you may want to lay off the buttery sugar cookies before bedtime — or have a high-fiber snack instead.

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Nutrition News: Best Diets, Blown Diets and Why Red Wine Is Better than Grape Juice

by in Food News, January 15, 2016

Resolve to Forgive Yourself

If you’ve already blown your New Year’s resolution to diet, don’t be too hard on yourself; it may be evolution’s fault. According to researchers at the University of Exeter, in England, humans have a natural urge to overeat in the winter because our ancestors needed to build and maintain body fat to survive when food was scarce. “Storing fat is an insurance against the risk of failing to find food, which for pre-industrial humans was most likely in winter,” Andrew Higginson, the study’s lead author, said in a news release. “This suggests that New Year’s Day is the worst possible time to start a new diet.” Now they tell us.

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Nutrition News: Healthier School Lunches, Coconut Oil, Juice Cleanse Details

by in Food News, January 8, 2016

School lunch success

School lunches get a bad health rap, but they may be getting better. A new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicates that the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a 2012 federal law that aims to nutritionally boost school lunches by making whole grains, vegetables and fruits more available and requiring students to select one fruit or vegetable portion per meal, has prompted kids to consume more essential nutrients and fewer calories. The study’s lead author, Donna B. Johnson, a professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, told The New York Times that the study proves the policy has “improved the quality of meals served to millions of children every day” and that “kids are healthier because of it.” Read more

Nutrition News: Craft-Beer Labeling, Gluten Sensitivity, Healthier Checkout Lanes

by in Food News, December 18, 2015

Craft beer clarity

Pretty soon, when you order a craft beer at a chain restaurant or brewpub, you’ll know a lot more about its nutritional value and calorie count than you do now. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations that would require craft breweries to list nutritional information on the beers offered at chain eateries, specifying a December 2016 deadline. Although the new rules may be costly for small brewers to implement, many have embraced the move toward greater transparency, ABC15, in Arizona, reports. “Craft brewers would love ingredients to be listed as well … because that’s really what separates us as ‘craft,’” Mike Lawinski, owner of Fate Brewing Company, in Boulder, Colo., told the station, “and a lot of the bigger breweries are using GMO ingredients and high-fructose ingredients.” Read more

Nutrition News: Coke-Funded Group’s Demise, Bite Counting and Portion Reduction

by in Food News, December 11, 2015

Coke-funded obesity group goes belly-up

That didn’t take long. The Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit organization that played down the role of calories from food and beverages in the obesity epidemic  (and which, a New York Times expose revealed in August, was funded by Coca-Cola), announced last week that it would shutter immediately “due to resource limitations.” In November, the University of Colorado, where the organization’s leader is a professor, said it would return a $1 million donation from Coca-Cola, while the University of South Carolina, where another of the group’s leaders is on the faculty, says it plans to keep a $500,000 donation from the beverage giant. The announcement came only days after Coke’s chief science and health officer, Rhona S. Applebaum, who helped orchestrate the Global Energy Balance Network’s establishment, announced her retirement.

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Nutrition News: Healthier Hershey’s Kisses, Pregnancy Weight Guidelines, Ditching Sugary Sodas

by in Food News, December 4, 2015

A healthier Kiss

The thing about Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars is that they’re always reliably the same, right? Not this year. Hershey’s has announced that both of those candy staples will now be made with simple, recognizable ingredients and no artificial flavors. The formula change, starting with holiday Hershey’s Kisses, is part of the chocolate giant’s larger commitment to greater transparency about ingredients. “We started making our great-tasting chocolate in 1894 with ingredients you might find in your pantry, like cocoa, milk, sugar and vanilla, and we’re continuing that tradition today,” Mary-Ann Somers, Hershey’s vice president and general manager of U.S. confection, said in a press release. “People want to see ingredients that they know and are familiar with in their foods and we’re listening.” The holiday Kisses will also come in packs featuring a SmartLabel QR code that provides consumer access to information about nutrition and allergens. Read more

Nutrition News: Millennial Diets, Cage-Free Taco Bell, Green Tea and Metabolism

by in Food News, November 20, 2015

Green TeaDiet-Ditching Millennials

Ah, youth. Millennials are less concerned about calories and fat in the foods they eat than the population at large and are more inclined to use technology as a health and wellness tool, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2015 Food and Health Survey. The survey also found that millennials (born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) are more likely to believe higher-protein foods may have unhealthy attributes, are more apt to use diet-related apps and online support groups, rely more heavily on the support of family and friends in their efforts to maintain a healthy diet, and tend to trust health and nutrition bloggers and to feel more optimistic about the healthful potential of food innovations and new inventions. “Millennials are a unique generation, and their approach to health and fitness is no exception,” Sarah Romotsky, R.D., director of health and wellness for the IFIC Foundation, told Food Business News.

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