IRN Digest - Issue 3 > September 14, 2015


Feature Story:
The Lesson in Fat's Bad Rap


In the 1970s, dietary fat, especially saturated fat, was deemed a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In response, a low-fat food movement swept the nation and changed the way we eat. Contrary to expectations, our national health deteriorated in response to the change. Today, science is shedding light on what went wrong. Read more »

The Big Debunk
Energy Balance is Marketing Mythology

  Eight primary diseases related to metabolic dysfunction account for a staggering 75 percent of the healthcare costs in the US. In order to escape culpability for their role in the pandemic of metabolic disease, food and beverage corporations have diverted the focus of responsibility to the consumer by hiding behind a pseudoscientific concept called “energy balance”. They have used this narrative to dominate the conversation about food and fitness for decades, wielding this so-called “science” to discredit any and all who would dare challenge them.

Food marketing relies on the classic propaganda principle: if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Learning how to separate fact from fiction is essential if society is going to make any progress toward improving our collective health. Read more »



10 Day Clean Eating Challenge
The IRN is partnering with MyFitnessPal to host a 10 Day Clean Eating Challenge from September 14th through September 23rd. The Challenge is simple: just eat real food for one, two, or three meals per day. The Challenge meets you where you are, so anyone can do it. Read more »

September Webinars
In the spirit of the Clean Eating Challenge, the IRN and MyFitnessPal are hosting two webinars on September 16th and September 21st. The webinars will simplify eating real food and help you stay motivated. Register »

What the Pediatrician Says
Dr. Maya Adam, MD: Child Nutrition


"Real food is any food that supports you in all the amazing things you achieve today and dream of achieving tomorrow. It's food that brings you joy and satisfaction while always keeping your longterm health in mind. Real food is food that is worthy of you…because it was made with love." -Dr. Maya Adam. Read more »

What's the Number?


> 1,000 %. What do you think this number represents? The first person to answer correctly will be featured in our next newsletter and win a prize!

Partner Highlight

Dorothy Mullen and The Suppers Programs: How You Feel is Data


There are various models for creating food system change – business models, organizational models, academic models, etc.  The Suppers Programs champions the community model – eschewing approaches that monetize change. The Suppers Programs thrives on the currency of love and community, relationship building, powerful concepts such as “harm reduction,” and the idea that “logical miracles” are possible when your needs are met for nourishing food, social support, and having a safe place to experiment and self-observe while you change old habits. Dorothy and the co-founders of the The Suppers Programs have forged a powerful learn-by-doing approach for everyday folks who come together to cook, eat, taste, learn, and feel their way to vibrant health using whole, real food. No dietary dogma or bias - there are vegan, vegetarian and omnivore meetings. Read more »

Healthy Chefs: Great Recipes
Broiled Salmon with Asparagus and Coconut Milk from Dorothy Mullen


Dorothy's Suppers Programs brings communities together to achieve wellness through cooking. Dorothy shared this recipe with us as one of several incorporating coconut milk, which contains healthy fats. The Suppers Programs demonstrate how cooking with real food doesn't have to be complicated. Read more »

Elias Rosenthal, founder of Teens4Health


Elias Rosenthal is a high school sophomore who runs Teens4Health and Teens4Biz. He enjoys studying nutrition–from learning to read misleading ingredient labels to understanding why teens crave unhealthy foods with artificial ingredients–and he's helping other teens expand their nutrition knowledge too. Read more »

Real Food Sources


A great online resource for finding sources of real food in your community is the USDA Local Food Directories - a gateway to locate local food retail and wholesale market outlets. You can search for markets and operations according to zip code, product availability, payment method and even whether the market participates in Federal nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Farmers Market, CSA, Food Hub and On-farm Market Directories are now available for public viewing. The IRN maintains a list of Real Food sources here.



We asked "What is real food?" and got this great response from Harry Pearce. "Real foods are foods that are either close or identical to their natural state (i.e whole grains, legumes, raw milk, whole fruit and vegetables), and either by themself or mixed with other whole foods (mixed nuts, homemade dips and dressings, etc) or “processed” in traditional ways (minced, ground, shredded, sun-dried, diced, etc)."

We also polled our followers on which phrase is the most meaningful to them: real food or clean eating. 82% preferred "real food." 

Next question
We have two webinars coming up on September 16 and 21 to help you stay motivated through the 10 Day Clean Eating Challenge and to help simplify eating real food. What questions about clean eating and real food do you want answered? Let us know.

Quote of the Month


"You don't get fat from eating fatty foods just as you don't turn green from eating green vegetables.” - Gary Taubes



Need a quick recap of where sugar is Hiding in Plain Sight? You're just 4 minutes away from being a hidden sugar guru.



What is fat exactly?
The concept of fat is a complicated one. There is the fat that we eat and the fat in our bodies. There are good fats and bad fats, and we were once told (ok, indoctrinated with) the myth that eating fat makes you fat. Let us help clarify! Read more »

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