Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday

Marion Nestle will be the subject of today’s Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I am following Marion Nestle's adage to eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food as part of my journey to better health. Well, there is much more that I would like to share with you about her work.

Dr. Nestle's research examines scientific, economic, and social influences on food choice. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002; revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Recently she was a featured speaker at the Nobel Conference. Her talk is interesting and compelling. Excellent web based technology brings together both her deliver of the talk and the actual slides which make for a highly engaging and easy to understand talk for a general audience, including all of you. One of my favorite illuminations is when she discusses the research of her former student who found that "larger portions have more calories!"

Dr. Nestle is committed to raising the “dietary literacy” of the general public, an advocacy that gets her noticed. Dr. Nestle opposes marketing commercials targeted at children for foods of minimal nutritional value (aka: junk foods) from children’s television programs and schools. She views “tax and price policies” on items such as soft drinks, candy, chewing gum, and snack foods (Food Politics, p. 370) as options that would clearly “influence buying decision and can thus be manipulated to improve dietary intake.” Fellow health and nutrition experts are not exempt from Nestle’s scrutiny especially as noted in Food Politics where she questions the objectivity and perceived independence of nutritionists and other health experts when they enter into partnerships and alliances with food companies (p. 371). Such positions place her squarely in the center of controversy around food, nutrition and food policy, and often. It is her commitment to raising dietary literacy and her healthy skeptism regarding food and food policy that made her a clear choice for the slate of this Nobel Conference on making food good.

And something that many people do not know: Marion is an avid gardener even in New York City. Her NYC apartment balcony is rimmed in potted vegetables that she waters with a drip irrigation system. At the time of the Conference, she was still picking tomatoes from her own plants. How is that for eating local??

Yes, that is yours truly (me) with her! I was her faculty host for the Conference. Believe me it was an incredible experience. Finally, Dr. Nestle is someone who talks the talk and walks the walk, too. When asked by me if she lives by her adage: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food? Her reply was: “Absolutely. Nothing could be easier.” I hope you will enjoy listening to her talk.

TTFN and stay strong in your journey to better health! Michele


  1. How incredible for you!! I'm so glad you had this opportunity! Very special :-)

  2. Since the first time you mentioned Dr. Nestle, I have thought it ironic that her last name is one so often associated with unhealthy food items! Bet she gets ribbed about that constantly!

    Thanks for the info. I'll listen to her talk.

  3. How awesome that you got to attend -
    and get a pic!
    You are beaming here!

  4. That must have been fantastic to be at and thanks for the information!

  5. Hey Michele, were so lucky to see her in person and get a photo. That's cool.
    I love her thoughs about the move more, eat less, no junk...very good idea.
    Thanks for stopping by. I loved seeing my blog on your list of inspiring.
    Take care and God Bless!!