Marion Nestle

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Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002, paperback 2003) and Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (2003, paperback 2004), both from University of California Press. Her book, What to Eat, published by North Point Press/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux (2006, paperback 2007), was named as one of Amazon.Com's top ten books of 2006 (Health, Mind, and Body) , and a "Must Read" by Eating Well magazine. Her most recent book is Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, published by University of California Press in 2008. Her forthcoming book, co-authored with Malden Nesheim, is Feed Your Pet Right (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, May 2010).

Latest Articles

(This blog post by Dr. Marion Nestle was published June 6, 2014, on Food Politics and is republished here with her permission.) Understanding why school nutritionists want to scrap USDA’s nutrition standards takes some effort. The question: Why is the School Nutrition Association (SNA) — the organization that represents the interests of “lunch ladies” — supporting Republican attempts to derail the nutrition standards? SNA has a long and honorable history of fighting for better nutrition for…
Last Wednesday, Emily Main of Rodale Press sent me this question: “Have you ever heard of this new ‘sweetness enhancer’ that just got approved by the FDA? It’s called Sweetmyx and is made by a company called Senomyx, and is apparently licensed by Pepsi for exclusive use. All I can really find out about it is that it enhances the sweet flavor of other sugars, so soda companies can use less sugar in…
(This blog post was originally published Jan. 15, 2014, on Food Politics.) By an act of Congress, dietary supplements are regulated less strictly than conventional foods, so much so that some beverage manufacturers would much prefer to have their products labeled as dietary supplements than foods – energy shots, for example. Under the law, FDA pretty much has to keep its hands off of supplements, except when something egregious happens, like people getting sick…
At long last the USDA released Interim Final Rules for competitive foods—the snacks and sodas sold from vending machines and carts outside of federally supported school lunches. They were worth the wait. The new  standards are tough and will change the food landscape in schools much for the better.  They are summarized in a handy flier.  The new rules require: Snacks to be rich in whole grains, have real food as a first…
Since 1980, U.S. dietary guidelines have advised eating less sodium (salt is 40% sodium, 60% chloride).  Although sodium is an essential nutrient, most Americans consume way more than they need or is good for them—around 3,400 milligrams a day. The 2010 guidelines advised healthy people to consume no more than 2,300 mg per day (~6 grams, or 1.5 teaspoons).  They advised even less, 1,500 mg, for people with or at high risk for high blood…
I am a strong supporter of labeling GMO foods. Consumers have the right to know. That’s enough of a reason to support California’s Prop. 37. There is no need to muddy the waters with difficult-to-interpret science. My e-mail inbox was flooded with messages yesterday about the new long-term rat study reporting that both GMO corn and Roundup (glyphosate herbicide) increase mammary tumors in mice. The study, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, concludes: The results of…
While Congress is fussing over the farm bill, Michele Simon’s new report, Food Stamps: Follow the Money, identifies the businesses that most stand to gain from the $72 billion spent last year on SNAP.  This program, formerly known as food stamps, gave 46 million Americans an average of  $134 per month to spend on food in late 2011. Just as health and anti-obesity advocates are working to bring agricultural policy in line with…
Ordinarily I find government plans of this type to be soporific but this one is especially well written and well thought out (with some caveats). The report is a statement of FDA commitment to what it is going to do in the next four years in food areas that affect people and animals.  It includes many promises, among them this one of particular interest:  Program Goal 4: Provide accurate and useful information so consumers can…
The “pink slime” furor gets curiouser and curiouser.  It’s hard to keep up (see yesterday’s post) but here’s my summary of where we are with this for the moment. What is the furor about? The best place to start is with Michael Moss’s December 30, 2009 investigative report in the New York Times on the ammonia process used by Beef Products, Inc to make LFTB (lean finely textured beef). The article contains the first…
Bacterial contamination of meat is an ongoing problem and everyone wishes for an easy fix–one that does not require meat producers and packers to prevent contamination. Irradiation works, but raises feasibility and other concerns. How about electrocution? Food Production Daily reports that hitting meat with electrical current reduces toxic E. coli O157:H7 on meat surfaces by 2 log units. The research report says researchers inoculated meat with the bacteria and then applied electrical current.  But…