Watching What You Eat

After all of the food borne illness scares of the past few years, do you still approach spinach and peanut butter with the same trepidation that I do? If so, you’ll be relieved to learn that congress has recently approved a bill that will allow for a much needed overhaul of the food safety system in the U.S.

In recent years, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has earned the reputation of being inconsistent and ineffective when it comes to managing and controlling the various food production systems in the U.S. As a result of this poor management, tens of thousands of people become seriously ill each year from contaminated or improperly handled food, many of whom die as a result. In my opinion this is inexcusable and it appears as if congress finally agrees.

According to the new bill, the Food and Drug Administration will be given more power to not only regulate food that is produced in the U.S., but also products that enter the U.S. from abroad. This means more oversight on farms, more frequent and thorough inspecting of processing plants, clearer guidelines for food produced outside of the U.S. and more systems put into place that will help to prevent future outbreaks of food related illnesses before they occur.

I’m certain that books like Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation and films like the recently released Food Inc. have all played a part in increasing public awareness around this subject and helped to show people what a poor job the FDA has been doing with regard to food safety. The folks on Capital Hill seem to finally be getting the message as well.

The optimist in me believes this is the first of many steps, and that any change in the right direction is a good thing. The pessimist in me can’t help but wonder how, with the financial issues confronting Washington right now, the FDA is going to possibly be able to fund the the workload and staff increase that putting this bill into effect will most certainly require.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see and hope for the best. In the meantime, there is plenty that we as consumers can do to protect ourselves from food related illnesses by ensuring that we are being responsible and smart in the ways we purchase, handle and prepare food.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
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            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
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