On the first day of spring, first lady Michelle Obama planted seeds of change on the South Lawn of the White House. With the help of Washington D.C. elementary schoolchildren, she broke ground on a new organic White House “kitchen garden” that will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners as well as a nearby soup kitchen. But the garden’s most important role is to educate the public about healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables to help prevent obesity and diabetes and save costs.
Last week Natural Products Expo West, the country’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products trade show, was marked by gluten-free products at virtually every turn and an astounding array of new products sweetened with agave nectar. The trends toward more gluten-free and agave-sweetened products both sound like positive developments, but consumers need to beware of the unadvertised pitfalls of these foods.