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 “Detroit tries peddling produce like ice cream,” - The Associated Press
Produce truck serves a community with no easy access to fresh food

DETROIT - In a U.S. neighborhood served by 26 liquor stores but only one grocery, a community group is peddling fresh fruits and vegetables like ice cream.

Five days a week, the Peaches & Greens truck winds its way through the streets as a loudspeaker plays R&B and puts out the call: “Nutritious, delicious. Brought right to you. We have green and red tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes. We have greens, corn on the cob and cabbage, too.”

Some states get share of stimulus faster,” - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Stimulus money is flowing far more slowly to some states than others, a USA TODAY analysis shows, despite the Obama administration’s push to speed up spending to help jump start the nation’s economy.

Nearly six months after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill, some states, such as California, have collected more than half of the money that’s been promised to them so far. Ten others, such as Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming, have been paid less than a quarter, the review of federal spending reports shows.

Rate of severe childhood obesity up sharply in U.S.,” - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of severe obesity among U.S. children and teenagers more than tripled over the past three decades, a new study finds.

Using data from a long-running government health survey, researchers found that as of 2004, nearly 4 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. were severely obese.

Written by Keith Forest

August 13th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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 ”Playgrounds: They’re safer but still can be dangerous,” -  USA TODAY

Playgrounds have come a long way from the asphalt jungle gyms of the 1960s and 1970s.

Monkey bars and hot metal slides have virtually disappeared. They’ve been replaced by colorful plastic castles with guardrails and ramps and rounded edges. And instead of blacktop and concrete, many new playgrounds are covered with soft wood mulch or springy rubber chips made from recycled tires.

Yet in spite of these improvements, many playgrounds still fall short on safety, experts say.

Stimulus Law Bolsters Food Bank Offerings,” -  The New York Times

Struggling to meet a demand for food that spiked with the unemployment rate, some food pantries have had to turn away people seeking help. Others are packing a little less food into each shopping bag they give out. But recently the nation’s food banks received a $100 million windfall of extra food, as part of the federal stimulus law.

The grant is a big boost for the food bank program, which usually gets $250 million a year from Washington, and the amount of food it can buy seems supersize, even for a field that routinely measures servings by the millions of pounds.

 ”Bay Area entrepreneur makes plans to open eco-friendly building-supply stores,” - Contra Costa Times

Bay Area entrepreneur aims to square off against big-box hardware stores — and buck a sour economy in the process — by offering green construction materials to builders of all sizes.

San Rafael-based New Home Inc. is planning to open a chain of building-materials stores, including some in the East Bay, that will cater to builders who want to be completely eco-friendly in their construction projects.

Written by Keith Forest

July 31st, 2009 at 5:45 pm

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From the Spanish Steps to Spanish Harlem,” - The New York Times

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times Gianni Alemanno, right, the mayor of Rome, visited Mad Fun Farm, a student-designed urban farm in East Harlem, on Tuesday afternoon.

After meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at City Hall on Tuesday, Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, arrived in East Harlem on Tuesday afternoon for a guided tour of a neighborhood garden run by 7- and 8-year-old children.

 ”The Slimming Figures of Childhood Obesity,” - The Wall Street Journal
Studies Suggest That Rates Are No Longer Rising, but Researchers Lament the Paucity of Data and Spar Over Methodologies

Evidence for the expanding epidemic of childhood obesity is thinning.

Nutritionists, health advocates and media reports have been sounding the alarm about a rise in childhood obesity, which could lead to diabetes, heart disease and other problems. But a series of studies from half a dozen countries suggest that rates have held steady over the past five to 10 years, albeit at levels much higher than in the 1960s and 1970s.

Written by Keith Forest

July 22nd, 2009 at 8:52 pm