Health Science

Study Finds That US Schools Have The Most Nutritious Food Amongst Places We Buy From

Photo: Africa Studio // Shutterstock

We get our food from a whole lot of different places, whether it be grocery stores, ordering from restaurants, or at work.

Turns out that where we get our food from has some correlation to the nutritional quality of those meals, and the ones with the highest quality actually come from schools.

A recently published study from Tufts University that looked at nutrition data patterns found that from 2003-2018, school meal quality rose to the point that they were our most nutritious food source (2018 is the most recent year that national data for this is available).

Just under a fourth (24%) of the meals consumed at schools were of poor nutritional quality by 2018. In order from lowest to highest percentage of badly balanced meals, the next best food sources were grocery stores (45%), entertainment venues/food trucks (52%), and restaurants (80%).

It should be noted that the above numbers were in terms of meals served to kids. For adults, meals consumed at schools were not evaluated, but the most nutritious food source was grocery stores (33%), followed by food trucks/entertainment (45%), work sites (51%), and restaurants (65%).

A press release from Tufts University attributed the high quality of school meals to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which created new standards for school and early child care nutrition. The policy contributed to a 33% drop in proportion of poor quality meals served at schools over the last 13 years.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act also resulted in highly equitable changes across the board, with the nutritional improvements coming from school meals being on par across ethnicity, education, and household income.

In contrast, other food sources had “significant disparities” when it came to improvements in quality across these different demographics.

While it’s great that we know where the most nutritious food can come from, it should be noted that just nine percent of all calories consumed by children in that time period came from schools. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, it’s likely that number has even been lower in more recent years.

The study overall found that across the United States, all major food sources could improve on the nutritional quality of their meals, and special attention needs to be given to the equity of how the food is bettered.

Celebrity Grub Features Health Opinion Packaged Food

Why Caviar Might Become The Next Big Sports Supplement

Aspiring athletes are always looking for that next big health food to give them the competitive edge. Right now, especially in the NBA, that happens to be plant-based meats, with big names like Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and more jumping onto that movement.

While a vegan product is taking up the athletic spotlight right now, one item is gaining some traction and the possibility of being the next nutrition craze: caviar. The fish eggs, more widely known as a delicacy, just recently got selected to be part of an NBA Labs project. Tins of Brooklyn-based Pearl Street Caviar can now be purchased with logos of various basketball teams on them, signifying a co-signage between the basketball community and the consumption of caviar.

Photo courtesy of Pearl Street Caviar

This is the latest, but not the most recent, example of caviar and sports associations teaming up. In 2015, the Swiss Katusha cycling team got brand Caviar de Riofrio to sponsor them, which included supplementing the athletes with tins of the fish eggs.

Look, I know how crazy that sounds. Caviar is a luxury good rarely seen outside of fine dining, right? What are NBA players, or athletes in general, going to do with such an expensive, tiny scoop of fish eggs?

There’s actually quite a bit of potential for what anyone can do, as the narrative around caviar is beginning to change. As caviar has increased in production volume while maintaining a high quality, its price has begun to drastically drop, to the point where even the NBA was confident enough to put out tins of the luxury good with team logos emblazoned on it. Given all of the nutritional properties caviar possesses and its potential to drastically increase in accessibility, it could very well be a food that we all begin to eat as part of our active lifestyles.

Caviar may just be regarded as an expensive, frivolous accompaniment, but it actually comes packed with a ton of nutrients. Sarah Dimitratos, a registered dietitian and PhD candidate in nutritional biology at the University of California, Davis, told Foodbeast that in particular, caviar can match and even surpass sports drinks in certain scenarios.

“Caviar may be closer to sports drinks with regards to electrolyte profile,” Dimitratos said. “However, caviar will certainly surpass sports drinks with regards to overall micronutrient content. ”

A single ounce of caviar contains significant amounts of minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium, according to the USDA’s Food Composition Database. It also contains nearly the entire recommended daily value of vitamin B12, one of the key nutrients we need in our diet. For reference, an ounce of caviar would be approximately 3 full scoops of caviar from one of those ornate, miniscule mother-of-pearl spoons they typically come delivered with.

That’s not a lot of caviar, but it still has 7 grams of protein packed within it, which is surprising given how small a portion is. You would definitely need a larger tin to get to the equivalent of a scoop of protein powder, which may not be possible given the whopping amount of sodium you’d ingest (420 mg per ounce). However, when treated as a complementary recovery item, like a sports drink, it could act as a more natural and bio-available substitute.

Dimitratos doesn’t recommend using caviar as a protein supplement, however, seeing as you need 3 servings worth (and nearly a day’s worth of sodium) to get the equivalent of a meal or snack. “It is generally recommended that active individuals consume meals or snacks containing 20-30g protein, spaced every 3-5 hours throughout the day to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis,” she stated.

Thus, while it may not make sense to replace your protein powder with caviar, it can be something you could consider instead of a sports beverage mix. Dimitratos implied that it could be more beneficial, since “obtaining nutrients from whole food sources (like caviar) is generally regarded as best practice due to enhanced bioavailability.”

Of course, despite all of the potential nutritional benefits caviar contains, there’s still the big question surrounding its cost. To properly be designated as caviar, the fish eggs should come from sturgeon. Based on the sturgeon’s location and breed, caviar’s price normally falls around $50-$75 an ounce at minimum.

While that may have been the case in the past, an increase of production in China has drastically affected costs. China’s takeover of the caviar industry has sent prices plummeting in the US, despite a 25 percent tariff implemented earlier this year. According to the Washington Post, the wholesale price of caviar has plummeted 13 percent in the past year, and 50 percent over the past 5 years. At a current price of $350,000 a ton, getting caviar from China has allowed the price to significantly drop. The Pearl Street Caviar x NBA tins, for example, costs $25 for a 12-gram tin of Siberian Select, which comes out to just under an ounce.

Why is so much caviar coming from China, you ask? The country’s sturgeon farmers can produce caviar at a higher, more consistent quality than most places here in the US, and at a higher capacity to boot. Thus, everyone from Michelin-starred restaurants to Pearl Street is utilizing Chinese caviar, and can use it a lower cost to themselves, as well. Photo courtesy of Pearl Street Caviar

Caviar definitely has the nutritional profile and lowering cost to make it a more appealing workout nutritional aid. Historically, it hasn’t had much use, although USSR Olympic athletes were persuaded to eat caviar because of its protein content.

In today’s modern world, however, it’s not as common, even in the sports organizations that are starting to back the usage of caviar. Interviews Foodbeast conducted with multiple players in the NBA revealed that while it’s still used to show off at dinners and such, caviar hasn’t yet made it as a health food.

“I personally never heard of any basketball players eating it on the regular,” Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin told Foodbeast. “Maybe a few international players here and there!”

Indian Pacers center Myles Turner concurred with Augustin’s words, saying that “I personally don’t know a lot of players who use it as a dietary thing. I personally like it a lot! Most of the time when guys are at fancy dinner they’ll try it just to say they have, but it’s grown on me over the years.”

While it hasn’t seemed to have broken a ton of ground in the NBA, that doesn’t mean the potential for caviar to make it as health food doesn’t exist. However, if patterns in price slashes continue, the electrolyte and micronutrient profiles of caviar could make it convincing enough for professional athletes in the US to incorporate it into their diets. If that pattern begins to grow, caviar could become the next big nutritional supplement in the athletic community.

Health News

Study Shows That We Waste Nearly A FIFTH Of The World’s Food Supply


We all know that food waste is a huge issue. We just didn’t know it was this bad.

A new study out of Edinburgh just revealed that we waste ONE FIFTH of the world’s entire food supply on dumping out food and overeating. According to the study, which was published in Agricultural Systems, about ten percent of the world’s food supply was wasted via overeating, and another nine percent was tossed out. That translates to BILLIONS of tons of food going to waste every single year.

In terms of discarded food, livestock production was the biggest waster of food, with the 840 million metric tons that get wasted in the making of cattle feed accounting for over 40% of all agricultural crops lost. Cattle feed is typically produced from crops, and what doesn’t get eaten or used up before going bad ends up getting tossed, which in this case, about 78 PERCENT of the feed gets thrown out.

What’s even more troubling about these statistics is how much of the food waste is attributed to overeating — a staggering ten percent of the world’s food supply is lost as a result of it. Just think about what that ten percent could be used for otherwise — like feeding those in the planet that are severely malnourished or food insecure (those lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food). As an example, 42.2 million Americans — about eleven percent of the population — are food insecure, with 13.3 million of those being children. If that overeaten food and wasted food could be diverted to feed the food insecure in America and around the world, we could feed and properly nourish so many more than we currently do.

The research team told ScienceDaily that ways to combat this massive waste issue would be to encourage decreased consumption of animal products, not exceeding nutritional needs when eating, and reducing or repurposing food waste.

If we can all find ways to reduce food consumption and reutilize food waste, we’ll have the ability to feed the entire planet in a sustainable manner.

We just gotta throw out less food and eat less food — both of which are definitely possible.

Health Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Packaged Food

These Snacks Might Be Able To Replace Traditional Protein Bars

There is a portion of this world that likes to be super active, whether it’s going on a hike, climbing Mt. Everest, or just gettin’ down ‘n dirty in the gym every day. With my 2-3 gentle yoga classes per week and a total lack of stamina when it comes to most anything else, I wouldn’t even dare to place myself within this pristine group of humans, but I appreciate what they do. I like to show my support by being a cheerleader or by taking on the responsibility of making sure everyone gets fed – two things I excel at on a daily basis.

While I may be a gym noob, I do know the most important part of working out is what you eat afterwards to replenish your nutrients. Here’s where Caveman Foods comes in. This company, co-founded by the dude who made Muscle Milk, strives to create delicious snacks packed with protein to give you that perfect post-workout or post-scaling-Mount-Everest fuel.


Caveman Foods has three main products: Primal Bars, Bites, and Jerky. Most of these snacks are not for the faint of heart, and by faint of heart I mean vegans/vegetarians. All three of these products use chicken meat as their base, which provides for a high protein and low fat snack. However, while they aren’t advertised as much as these baseline products, Caveman Foods does make nutrition bars that are nut-based and meat-free.

Let’s talk about these meat snacks for a second, though. In all honesty, eating meat in this format was a new thing for me. I’m usually an eat-steak-hot-off-the-grill kind of gal, but I found myself getting into this. Here’s my rundown of the products:


Chicken Bites: These are such a great idea. First of all, they’re portable and bite-sized, which makes everything better in my book. Also, it’s pretty incredible that these have 10 grams of protein per serving. Second of all, they come in interesting flavors, like habanero & green chili, sun dried tomato & kale and applewood smoked BBQ. The BBQ was definitely my favorite, as its smokiness really shined through. The habanero and green chili, on the other hand, was super spicy. I could definitely imagine it being a good pick-me-up after the gym.


Primal Bars: The primal bars are essentially the chicken bites but in a larger format, except they have 18 grams of protein instead of *just* ten. If you ask me, this format is probably the most efficient way to regain what you lost at the gym. If you’re a fan of fruit flavors with your meat (weird thing to say, but some people aren’t), you’ll definitely be into the sweet cherry flavor. I would say it’s more tangy than sweet, which was a good flavor combo with the chicken. The smoked jalapeño was a winner. What can I say, I love smoked meats. The texture of these bars are somewhat precarious, since the chicken is cooked and then chopped and formed into the bars. It was just a new texture for me since I’ve never eaten anything like this before.


Jerky: I’ve been eating jerky for as long as I can remember. It was always my dad’s go-to snack whenever we were on the road. Caveman Foods has a pretty dope take on this classic snack. Again, their jerky is made with chicken, which provides you the most protein with the least amount of fat. The texture of this snack is what you’d expect with a good jerky. I was pretty sold on this, especially because I tried the buffalo flavor. I am obsessed with buffalo to the point where you could probably douse anything in buffalo sauce and I will eat it. Please don’t take that as a challenge because I will probably lose.


Nutrition Bars: Okay, these were LIT. I would eat one of these every single day if I could. These come in almond cashew and maple nut flavors, of which the maple nut was definitely my favorite. This bar kind of tasted like those Nature’s Valley sweet & salty peanut bars but a million times better (and better for you). A lot of nut bars can be difficult to eat because they’re overly chewy or the nuts aren’t roasted and sweetened enough, but there were none of those issues here. Each bite was deliciously chewy and sweet, but not overly so. Totally a home run on this one.

Long story short, Caveman Foods is one of the good guys out there. For those of you with dietary restrictions, most of their products are gluten-free, milk-free, peanut-free, and many are 100% paleo. They also use only all-natural chicken and refuse to put nitrates in any of their products. If you’re looking for the perfect snack to refuel, Caveman Foods has got your back.



Photos by: Analiese Trimber


Pining for Moby

If you’re native to Los Angeles, you’re lucky. You grew up in one of the most culturally diverse cities in America and you were raised with a palate that’s had the opportunity to savor everything from sticky Korean chicken wings, superior seafood and indisputably the best tacos north of the border.

If you’re new to Los Angeles, you’re also fortunate. Our city’s food scene has swelled in the past five years, giving rise to more chef-driven restaurants than ever. Food trucks have taken a back seat to beautiful brick and mortars, where atmosphere is just as important as what is on the plate.

This expert knows what Los Angeles is all about—unique cuisine, changing tastes, fresh ingredients and a creative look on what it means to bring people together over a good meal.

Expert: Moby, Founder of Little Pine Restaurant, Musician

Green Rockstar: A vegan for almost three decades, Moby has worked with organizations like Greenpeace to promote education on climate change.

Moby’s highly anticipated organic vegan bistro opened last November to a community that had been clamoring for the new restaurant ever since news had broke in early spring. Located on Rowena Avenue in the trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake, Little Pine has fast become one of the city’s most talked about restaurants. We sat down with Moby, celebrated songwriter, musician, DJ, activist and owner of Little Pine to get all of the details on his new creative venture.

Q: What inspired you to create Little Pine?

Moby: I’ve been a vegan now for 28 years. In that time, veganism has completely transformed. Twenty-eight years ago being a vegan was just … sad. There were only a handful of vegan restaurants in the world. Now, Bill Clinton is a vegan, Miley Cyrus is a vegan and it’s become so much more mainstream. I am also an investor at another vegan restaurant here in LA, Crossroads, and it’s great to see all of these celebrity vegans come out of the woodwork —Johnny Depp and Paul McCartney eat there all of the time. As veganism has become more popular, so has the quality of the food. Twenty years ago, vegan food was your typical beans and rice—now vegan food has become so interesting and sophisticated. The goal here is to have a fairly cohesive Mediterranean approach to vegan food; in a broad sense, drawing in from France, Italy, Spain and the Middle East.

Q: Tell us about your work with Greenpeace and focusing on the issue of climate change.

M: As time has passed, I’ve learned that being vegan has many benefits, but the environmental impact of raising animals for food is astounding. Twenty-five percent or more of climate change is a result of animal agriculture—more than every car, bus, boat, and plane on the planet combined. Since there is so much interest in climate change, now my goal is to draw people’s attention to the role of animal agriculture in climate change.

Q: Are you going to use Little Pine to conjure activism in the community?

M: Yes, but in a subtle way. What I’ve found is, as far as promoting veganism, it’s easier to do when you have beautiful food in a beautiful space filled with attractive people. I don’t want to yell at people or be didactic about it; I just want to have a lovely restaurant that happens to be vegan.

Q: The design happening inside is not what you would expect from the Art Deco exterior. The interior has a modern, midcentury look. Tell us about the design process while you were building the restaurant.

M: I’ve always said there are two LA’s: the LA of palm trees and the LA of pine trees. I’ve always identified with the LA of pine trees, like Mt. Baldy and the Angeles National Forest. I wanted Little Pine to have a Scandinavian and midcentury feel, without being too kitschy–just modern and clean, with lots of natural wood. Simple and unpretentious.

Q: How did you and Chef Kristyne Starling come together?

M: [After the departure of our first chef] I spent months trying to find a vegan chef, with no luck. I hired Kristyne to help me find a chef, and we liked working together so much that we decided she would be the chef. She, along with our other chefs and line cooks, may not come from a vegan background, but they’re all bringing their traditional cooking skills to a vegan restaurant. Kristyne also has great relationships with several farmers, which enables us to source as locally as possible.

Q: Are the beers and wine served organic as well?

M: Yes. The criterion is that everything in the restaurant is organic. The only exception to that is that there are certain farmers who can’t afford the certification process, but they are just as, if not more, organic than bigger farmers who can pay to get certified.

Q: First timer’s must-try plate for dinner?

M: The thing I am most excited about is really simple. When I was growing up one of my favorite things was stuffed shells. So our chefs have created stuffed shells with house made vegan ricotta. The dish is served with three giant shells. One is stuffed with a Kalamata olive ricotta and topped with a pesto sauce, another with a lemon and white wine ricotta with a leek sauce, and a ricotta with basil and a classic marinara sauce. There’s also a panzanella salad that’s amazing.

Q: Take us through a typical day at Little Pine.

M: Well, we’re open every day from 7:30 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week. It’s ambitious, but I lived in France a long time ago, and I love how French bistros work; you go for breakfast, then maybe go back for an afternoon tea, and then can even go back for a romantic dinner. I want Little Pine to function like that for our community. Every day we have an afternoon tea service with a sort of modern take on a traditional tea service. We have about 60 different types of tea. I love restaurants in the middle of the afternoon when they’re calm and kind of empty.

Q: What can we expect to find in the retail shop?

M: Basically the city of LA said that because we only have six parking spaces, we had to have a retail space. At first I was turned off by it, but then I got really excited to curate it. It’s pretty much all picked out by me. When possible it has a local quality to it, a lot of the art books are from friends of mine or people in the community.

Q: Does social media affect how you develop your brand?

M: I’m very active on social. I don’t think you can really have a commercial enterprise in the 21st century and not implement it, especially when there is a strong visual component. There’s the design, the architecture, the retail space, the food and it’s all very photogenic, so by definition social media has to be part of it.

Q: Are you working on any other projects in addition to Little Pine?

M: I am putting out a memoir this year. The memoir takes place over 10 years, from 1989-1999. In 1989, I was living in an abandoned factory, making around $4,000 a year. I didn’t have running water or a bathroom. I was a straightedge, vegan, Christian-Bible-study-teaching DJ. Then I moved to New York, got a record deal, started drinking again, and went to the other extreme of degeneracy and debauchery. The book ends at this very low moment when I’ve lost my record deal and my mom had passed away. All these terrible things were happening, and then the album Play comes out. The book is called Porcelain [a song from the album Play] and will be out this May.

Written by Christine Williamson, Locale


Study: Eating Within This Magic Time Frame Will Make You Thinner Regardless of What You Eat


With all the hustle and bustle of our workaholic, technology-laden lives, our days seem to be subsequently getting longer and our bedtimes later. A new study suggests that the evening meals we consume in order to fuel our longer waking hours may also be why our waistlines are getting wider.

Researchers from the Salk Institute have found that the time frames within which we eat are much more impactful on our weight, cholesterol levels and risk for diabetes than what we are eating.

The study, published today in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that eating within an 8-12 hour time frame, as we did a century ago before the advent of processed and fast foods, helps us stay trimmer and healthier.

Salk professor and the study’s lead author, Satchidananda Panda, said:

“We found that animals fed within a window of eight to twelve hours had a number of protective and therapeutic health benefits compared with animals allowed to eat the same number of calories from the same food source at any time.”

After testing nearly 400 mice put through different time-restricted feeding schedules and fed with diets either high or low in fat and sugar, the authors of the study found that those mice who were restricted to eating only during 9-12 hour time frames stayed leaner, no matter what their diet was. Some of those mice on the 9-12 hour feeding schedules were allowed to binge freely on the weekends, and the researchers found that they stayed just as trim as those who were not, showing that this type of diet can resist interruptions.

The results of the study demonstrate that there is a circadian rhythm-type of synchronicity to our genes when it comes to consumption and expenditure of calories. One of the researchers behind the study, Amir Zarranpar, said:

“You don’t have to really calorie count. What this really works on is your own biology and letting your body use its own evolutionary metabolic pathways to shuttle energy appropriately.”

The study’s researchers plan to test time-restricted feeding schedules on humans next, which will add to the growing theory of chrono-nutrition.

Written by Alan Van for NextShark


Close Enough.

close enough

PicThx All That Spam


FDA Proposes Nutrition Label Redesign Because After 20 Years Americans Are Eating More Than They Used To

fda label

In the last twenty years the amount of calories and serving sizes that Americans consume has dramatically changed. To better reflect the changing times the FDA has proposed a redesign of its nutrition labels. The FDA has also recalculated servings sizes based on what Americans actually eat, because we all know that serving sizes are more of a suggestion than anything else.

The Servings Per Container line has also been enlarged, as has the methodology used to calculate these servings. 20-ounce bottles of soda would be counted as one single serving, instead of 2.5 smaller servings.

As seen in the comparison above changes to nutrition labels would also include the calorie count of items in a larger, bolder font. With the serving size and servings per container moved to the top of the label the FDA hopes to make nutrition facts easier to read. With the significant increase of obesity and specialty diets over the last twenty years the label redesign would help Americans better understand what exactly they are consuming.

Of course these changes won’t happen right away. If the proposal is approved companies would have two years to adhere to the new policy.

H/T The Verge + PicThx The New York Times