Nicci Micco's Blog
The other night on my drive home, I heard something on National Public Radio that really got under my skin. Some schools across the country are outlawing flavored milk. And crusading for the cause is Ann Cooper, who I must admit, I generally respect as a school-lunch-reform maven: she called chocolate milk "soda in drag." Cooper, Nutrition Services Director for Boulder Valley School District, has outlawed flavored milk from her district, just one of many other schools to do so. (Enough have banned the drink to prompt the dairy industry to rally the many pediatricians and dietitians who vehemently oppose the ban on chocolate milk for a new campaign called Raise Your Hand for Milk...read full post »
This week, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association came out with the news that the risks of drinking might outweigh its potential health boons. In other words, all that good news we’ve been hearing about how moderate drinking helps your heart, protects against Alzheimer’s and may even strengthen bones is only half the story.
I’m not surprised by their statement, given some research that’s come across my desk recently, including that even moderate sipping might increase risk for breast cancer. Since there’s so much conflicting scientific information on alcohol and health in the news, we decided to go straight to the experts for help in...read full post »
As a nutrition editor, I know the value of eating loads of fruits and vegetables. I prefer to buy local when I can, but I’ve never been a purist about eating only organic. Now that I’m a mom, there are some foods I feel more comfortable about buying organic. Apples are one of these foods. Apples still rank high on the nonprofit Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. Long-term exposure to pesticides has been associated with cancer, infertility and neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s.
I know that pesticides are far more dangerous to children (whose bodies are smaller and whose nervous...read full post »
Every fall, when I was growing up in western Pennsylvania, my parents took me and my younger brother, Angelo, apple picking. We’d usually go in late September, always on a Sunday. Angelo and I loved picking—but even more, we loved the savory apple recipes and sweet apple treats that my mom made with the bushel of apples (roughly 45 pounds) stored in our downstairs fridge.
My favorite was my mom’s apple squares—sweet apple filling spread thin inside two layers of flaky crust. But I also loved her apple crisp (see EatingWell’s version below) that she made when my parents’ friends and their kids came over after the high school football games...read full post »
Until a few months ago, I never gave much thought to E. coli. Or salmonella. Sure, I studied these foodborne bugs when I was getting my nutrition degree, but back then I saw them more as organisms that occasionally infect food, not perpetrators that destroy lives and families. And although I took note of the occasional food recalls I heard about in the news, I didn’t much worry about getting sick. That all changed when I edited an article for EatingWell’s September/October issue about all the ways food can make us sick. I became sick—with worry.
While working on the story I read about toddlers who’d eaten spinach or ground beef tainted with E. coli and, days later, were fighting for (and sometimes losing) their lives...read full post »