TIME Innovation

Why Food From Forests Could Help Feed the World

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Education alone won’t end income inequality.

By Maureen Conway in the Aspen Journal of Ideas

2. Here’s why ISIS is so successful at recruiting young people.

By Jesse Singal in the Science of Us

3. Are there moral limits on free speech? (What if it gets someone killed?)

By Noah Feldman in Bloomberg View

4. Could food from forests help feed the world?

By Bhaskar Vira in the Conversation

5. Use data, not nepotism, to deliver aid to Nepal.

By Ravi Kumar in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The Weird Thing That Packs on Calories—And Pounds

Getty Images

A new study says an increase in food brands is leading us to overeat

A quick trip down the frozen-food aisle at the supermarket can be anxiety-ridden. Given the sheer range of options for everything from popcorn to cereal to tomato soup, it’s tough to know what to buy (if you’re not going based on cost alone). Now, a new study suggests having so much variety may be wreaking havoc on our waistlines.

The new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows having so many different brands of the same food may be making us overeat. The researchers asked people nearly 200 people about their consumption of pepperoni pizza. In the study, there were over 70 different pepperoni pizza brands consumed, and the calorie content varied by well over 300%. The researchers then compared the eating habits of people who regularly ate multiple varieties of pizza to people who only regularly consumed the same brand.

The researchers found that the people who ate multiple brands of pizza were more likely to view pizza as less filling compared to people who ate one brand, and they were more likely to overeat when they were eating pizza to avoid being hungry later, suggesting they were unable to accurately compensate for the calories they were consuming on a given day.

“It would appear that this high variability of food items makes it more difficult for people to learn about food and manage their consumption which exposes a new feature of Western diets and which has potential public health implications,” study author Charlotte Hardman, a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool said in a statement.

The findings suggest that having so many options may distort people’s perception of how filling a given food is. Historically, our ability to regulate our own expectations of food satiety was based on sensory experiences with that food. The researchers suggest that the influx of brands for foods that have the same taste, but not necessarily the same calories, may be throwing us off. And that might be bad news for the number on the scale.

TIME Companies

Panera to Drop 150 Ingredients From Its Menu

A Panera Bread Restaurant Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images The Panera Bread Co. logo is seen on a cup of iced tea and a bag arranged for a photograph outside of a restaurant in Torrance, California, on Oct. 21, 2013.

The list of "no-no" ingredients will be eliminated by 2016

Panera Bread is cleaning up its menu.

The fast-casual restaurant chain will drop or change 150 of the 460 ingredients on its menu to fit new standards the company set to provide a healthier dining experience to customers. In an interview with Fortune, Panera CEO Ron Shaich said banning ingredients like saccharin, aspartame, synthetic benzyl peroxide, and maltodextrin is what customers want.

“Consumers are looking for alternatives that are less processed,” he said. The company published it’s so-called “No-No List” on Monday and hopes to have all “clean” ingredients by 2016.

The company is the latest to jump on the trend of shifting its menu to more natural ingredients. Chipotle announced recently it would no longer be using genetically modified ingredients, and both McDonalds and Tyson Foods recently banned the use of human antibiotics in their poultry.

Read more at Fortune

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Kids Overeat When They’re Stressed, Study Says

Especially if their parents use food as a reward

Next time you watch Bambi with your kids, you may want to hide the ice cream: A new study shows that 5-to-7-year-old children tend to eat more when they’re sad.

According to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, kids are more likely to overeat when they are upset, especially if their parents have used food as a reward in the past. The study notes that stress eating is a learned and unnatural behavior, since stress and emotional turmoil usually reduce appetite, rather than increasing it. The fact that children were found to have stress eating tendencies at this age suggests that emotional overeating is something children learn in early childhood, perhaps because of the way their parents feed them.

The researchers divided the kids into two groups, asked them to color a picture, and then told them they would get a toy once the coloring was done. With one group of kids, the researchers withheld a crayon that was needed to complete the drawing, which meant the kids couldn’t get their prize. This was a “stressful situation” for the children. While the researchers pretended to look for the crayon so the kids could complete the drawing, kids snacked on a few different items around the room. Afterwards, the researchers found that the kids in the “stressful” situation ate more than the kids who were able to finish their drawing and get the toy, especially if their parents said they had used food as a reward in the past.

The study found that children were much more likely to stress eat if their parents over-controlled their eating, by doing things like using food as a reward or withholding food for health reasons. According to the researchers, these practices can override children’s natural hunger instincts, instead making food into a reward or an emotional comfort.

But because the sample size is relatively small (41 parent-child duos) more research is needed before we’ll get a clearer picture of how exactly parents’ feeding practices affect the way kids think about stress eating.




Want to Help the Hungry? Stop Wasting Food.

Food waste
Getty Images

Jilly Stephens is the executive director of City Harvest, a food rescue organization. Dana Cowin is the editor in chief of Food & Wine and a member of the board of City Harvest.

Businesses and consumers need to come together to fight hunger by eliminating food waste

In the U.S., up to 40% of food that is grown and produced is thrown away. That’s about $165 billion dollars of unused food. At the same time, an estimated 14.3% of American households were food insecure some time during the year in 2013, meaning they struggled to put meals on the table regularly for themselves and their families. Redirecting surplus food to food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters is the key to productively utilizing the consumable food waste that is generated, and a start to ending hunger in this country.

Food waste is defined by the U.N.’s Eat Think Save campaign as “food that completes the food supply chain up to a final product, of good quality and fit for consumption, but still doesn’t get consumed because it is discarded.” In other words: perfectly good food that is thrown away.

While everyone has been guilty of buying too much, storing improperly, cooking too much and throwing away leftovers, the food industry plays a big part in this flawed cycle of stocking more food than needed. Food waste has negative humanitarian, environmental, and financial implications. It also contributes to a waste of environmental resources and the creation of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. If we rescued 15% of good food from being wasted and redirected it to community food programs, it would be enough to feed 25 million Americans. By this calculation, saving 30% of wasted food means we can get closer to eliminating food insecurity in the U.S.

Recovering and preserving perishable surplus food from along the supply chain—including farms and distributors, restaurants and grocery stores—is what we call food rescue. Unfortunately, for the amount of food the U.S. produces, too many people continue to go hungry. It’s clear that America does not have a food supply problem but a food waste one. Food rescue is one of the ways to address the gap between those who have more than they need and those who need help. It is key to combatting food waste and ensuring millions of Americans have access to a quality meal.

Food waste isn’t just an abstract concept impacting the environment. It impacts our local neighbors, too. After seeing the waste from supermarkets and restaurants in stark contrast to her hungry neighbors in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Pastor Delores Boyd was moved to start an emergency food program in her community. To start, she purchased food with her own money but soon secured funding to create Mizpah Assemblies to serve people in a more permanent way.

Like Pastor Delores, we can all be a part of the solution. Take to social media to raise awareness and educate friends and family about food waste. Volunteer with organizations combatting hunger and food waste, and participate in local food drives. Suggest to your local restaurant and grocery store that they donate excess food to a local food rescue organization like City Harvest. Thanks to supportive policies, businesses and restaurants can increase food donations, offer flexible portions and track food waste. Creative programs like the concept behind pop-up restaurant wastED and a new documentary, “Just Eat It,” are putting the issue of food waste into the spotlight.

Businesses and consumers need to come together to fight hunger by eliminating food waste. Small steps from each of us can go a long way to end hunger.

Jilly Stephens is the executive director of City Harvest, which is the world’s first food rescue organization and is dedicated to helping feed the more than 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger each year. City Harvest is a member of Feeding America.

Dana Cowin is the editor in chief of Food & Wine, reaching a total audience of more than 12 million. Cowin is a member of the board of City Harvest and recently launched the #loveuglyfood campaign to encourage people to cut down on food waste.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

These Charts Show Every Genetically Modified Food People Already Eat in the U.S.

See all the GMOs you may already be eating

Chipotle announced Monday that the chain will no longer serve food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO), raising the bar for transparency in the United States, where there’s no requirement to indicate the presence of GMO ingredients on food labels or in restaurants. Likewise, biotechnology companies aren’t required to report which genetically modified seeds are used in production.

Yet the use of GMOs is undoubtedly widespread. Since GMOs were approved for commercial use, and then first planted into U.S. soil in 1996, their production has increased dramatically. More than 90% of all soybean cotton and corn acreage in the U.S. is used to grow genetically engineered crops. Other popular and approved food crops include sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, papaya and summer squash. More recently, apples that don’t brown and bruise-free potatoes were also approved by the FDA.




GM crops produced in the U.S. are listed at the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech. Deregulated crops are tracked at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

8 Smoothie Bowl Recipes You’ll Love

These hearty smoothie bowls can be served as a meal or shared as a snack

By now there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the glory of the smoothie bowl: the taste and texture of a smoothie, but with health-boosting, satisfying toppings. Aside from being delicious, whipping up one of these is an opportunity to get creative. The possibilities are endless—below are just 5 tasty variations you’ll love to get you started.

For each these recipes, simply blend everything together in a blender (a high-speed one works best). If the mixture gets stuck, stop the machine and shake the cup and try again, or add a little bit more liquid. Too thin? Blend in some ice cubes.

Note: These are hearty; have one as a meal or share as a snack.

MONEY Food & Drink

Uber Will Deliver Food in 10 Minutes in NYC. Seriously.

Uber will begin offering food fast food delivery in New York City by partnering with local restaurants.

MONEY video

Tyson Faces Criticism Over Move to Antibiotic-Free Chickens

The company says it will stop giving human antibiotics to its chickens, but critics say Tyson isn't going far enough.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com