D.c. Food Truck Operators Feel The Pinch Of A Government Shutdown

VIENNA, VA, JANUARY 9, 2013: Winter salad of shaved cucumber, radish and endive with lemon vinaigrette. Dishware courtesy of Crate & Barrel. (Photo by ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post)

“If they had just labeled from the start, as the original GMO product, the Calgene Flavr Savr tomato did, none of this opposition would have built up,” she said. Gregory Jaffe, who directs the biotechnology program of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., says the real answer would be to give FDA mandatory authority to ensure that these crops are safe to eat before they get to market. Currently FDA oversight is voluntary. Despite fears on the part of some consumers, “there’s an international consensus among the best scientists and regulators around the world that foods made from those crops are safe to eat,” says Jaffe. “But that doesn’t justify FDA not taking a hard look at them before they get to market.” In September 66% of Washington voters said they would vote for labeling, says Stuart Elway, whose Seattle firm conducts polls in the state. Those numbers may change as both sides roll out their ad campaigns, he said. “I was watching TV the other night and saw a couple different ones on the anti-side. They’ve got the former secretary of agriculture for the state and a farmer. They’re well produced so they’re rolling out the heavy guns,” Elway said. Caitlin Carter of Maple Valley, Wash., says she wants labeling. “I feel I have a right to know the source of my food.” Some of the information she’s read made the argument that labeling will be costly to consumers, “but I’m not convinced,” the marketing executive, 37, said. Even if it did, that’s her decision, she feels. “It’s like buying organic: I get to make the choice.” Many who study the food industry believe that were labeling to be required, companies would stop using genetically engineered ingredients because of fears consumers would reject them. “It’s just like with transfats, when you had to label them they stopped using them,” said Nestle, author of Eat, Drink, Vote: An illustrated guide to food politics.

GMO protest

Manning had the most ads for food and beverages with 25, followed by baseball player Ryan Howard with 21. Howard, the researchers wrote, endorsed the fewest energy-dense, nutrient-poor products. Underlying the research is a recommendation from the World Health Organization for policies limiting young people’s exposure to food advertising. “Professional athletes are in a unique position to use their highly visible status to promote healthy messages to youth,” the researchers wrote. Efforts to reach the athletes’ spokesmen were not immediately successful. The American Beverage Assn., a trade group, issued a statement saying, America’s beverage companies have a longstanding commitment to responsible advertising and marketing practices, including not directing advertising to audiences comprised predominantly of children under 12. The statement notes that children under 12 are the not the age groupthat is primarily viewing food- and beverage-related advertisements that include professional athletes. Football star Manning reportedly earns $10 million a year from contracts with Papa Johns Pizza, Gatorade, Wheaties and other companies that do not sell food, the researchers said. Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant earned an estimated $12 million a year from his endorsement contract with McDonalds, they said. James, also a basketball star, was reported to receive $5 million to endorse Bubblicious Gum; one flavor was called LeBrons Lightning Lemonade. Such money suggests “how much food and beverage companies value associations with celebrity athletes,” the researchers wrote. But, they said, future research should “examine how professional athletes endorsement of food products affects consumption, attitudes toward food and beverage brands, and intentions to purchase.” The researchers quantified professional athletes endorsements and evaluated the nutritional quality of those foods and drinks, and determined the number of TV commercial exposures of the endorsements and commercials. They looked at 100 athletes in Bloomberg Businessweeks Power 100 rankings in 2010. The list ranks athletes according to their endorsement value and prominence. They also used an advertisement database called AdScope, as well as Nielsen ratings. The researchers watched the ads and collected nutrition information for each food product, then generated scores based on the nutrients in them. (For restaurants, the top five marketed products were used.) Beverages were considered nutrient-poor if all of the calories came from added sugar, healthful if the total was less than 100%.

Star athletes like LeBron, Serena cash in on junk food endorsements

food truck operators feel the pinch of a government shutdown (Ricky Carioti/ The Washington Post ) – Food trucks line the street on 7th Street SW at L’Enfant Plaza on Friday in Washington. By Tim Carman , E-mail the writer Jacob and Carl Triplett launched their food truck in the spring in part to compensate for the income they lost when Jacob was let go from his banking job last year. On Tuesday, the Tripletts learned that their budding business would have to support them both: Carl was furloughed as an IT management analyst for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The problem, he said, is that the partners arent sure they can squeeze more money out of Carolina Q , their barbecue shack on wheels, which sells chopped pork shipped straight from a North Carolina smokehouse. After all, the government shutdown that temporarily put Carl out of work is the same one that is crippling the food truck industry in the District. Sales at several gourmet trucks are down 50percent or more; another has had to lay off employees; and others have decided not to operate, or operate less frequently, until the shutdown is over. Shutdown talks sputter as focus turns to U.S. debt Zachary A. Goldfarb A meeting between the president and congressional leaders fails to yield a deal, and Obama warns of a potential default if the debt ceiling is not raised. Lawmakers declining pay during government shutdown Ed OKeefe Dozens of members of both parties and chambers say theyll donate to pay the debt, or to charity. Michael E. Ruane and Mark Berman Barricades around memorials on the Mall werent doing much to keep veterans and other visitors out. The shutdowns unexpected closures Stephanie Merry, Fritz Hahn and Maura Judkis If you had plans to golf at East Potomac Park, bike along the towpath or see a show at Fords Theatre, think again.