2 International Drive

Rye Brook, NY 10573

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September 18, 2017

As of now, the following qualified health claim will be allowed on food packages:

For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.

To learn more about this claim and other qualified health claims, click here.

July 11, 2017

In case you missed part 1, here’s where you can read about the basic types of claims and what some of them mean.

Now let’s dissect the terms healthy, natural and organic:

Healthy – The FDA is currently re-evaluating the word healthy, so stay tuned the next few months for their updated definition. Currently, food manufacturers are allowed label products as “healthy” if they (1) not low in total fat, but have a fat profile makeup of mostly monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids, or (2) contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of potassium or vitamin D.

Natural - the FDA has not developed an official definition for use of the term natural. However, the term may be used if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.


  • Organic - can be used to label any product that contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, excluding salt and water.

  • 100% Organic - can be used to label any produc...

June 20, 2017

Up until the late 1960s, there was little information on food labels to identify the nutrient content of the food. During that time most meals were prepared from basic ingredients at home, and there was little demand for nutritional information. However, as the number of processed foods increased, consumers began to request for more information on food labels that would help them understand the products they purchased.

Today, all packaged foods by law must specify: the common name of the product, the ingredients, the Nutrition Facts, the 8 major allergens, the name and address of the manufacturer, and the amount of food in the package expressed in weight, measure or numeric count. Along with this required information, almost every packaged food in the supermarket today also bears a variety of claims such as low sodium, nonfat, or not bioengineered. While food claims might seem like marketing tactics used by companies to get customers to buy their products, certain claims are regulated b...

March 6, 2014

The following is an archived post

Big news in the nutrition and health world recently!

Check out the New York Times summary on the proposed FDA changes to nutrition labels. Pay particular attention to the graphic highlighting the redesign as well as expert opinions.

Any thoughts?

November 11, 2013

The following is an archived post

The news hit last week that the FDA is targeting artificial trans fats in an effort to remove them from the food supply once and for all. Small amounts of trans fats exist naturally in some meal and milk products; but it is the artificial trans fats that result from food processing in the form of partially hydrogenated oils that pose the health risks, particularly related to heart health, that public health officials are seeking to avoid.  In fact, the CDC estimates that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply could prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.

This is significant. Already banned in some European countries, the FDA

July 12, 2012

The following is an archived post

A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examined the availability of competitive beverages in U.S. public schools and discovered that schools are increasingly removing less healthy options and sticking with water, low-fat milk and 100% juice.

A summary of this study can be found here.

At FISD, we have long sought to not only meet the beverage guidelines as recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for all age groups, but to exceed them whenever possible. What is interesting for us, however, is that independent schools are not subject to USDA standards and may have other relationships with various groups (including student groups) or vendors that provide outlets or purchasing opportunities for sugary beverages or competitive beverages. School preference and philosophy is also a factor.  While all of this tends to be more relevant with older age groups, the importance of an ongoing dialogue with our scho...

June 4, 2012

The following is an archived post

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since the USDA launched the MyPlate campaign to replace MyPyramid.  Food, health and education professionals near and far are conducting activities to celebrate the anniversary of this campaign and all of the different ways to put together a healthy plate.

Wish MyPlate a happy birthday and check out other resources by clicking here

January 25, 2012

The following is an archived post

There are a large number of concerns about genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering.  Many feel that there has not been sufficient testing of the effects of this technology on both the environment and humans. Specific concerns about genetically modified organisms include:

Allergic reactions: One potential problem is that with known allergens; for example, inserting genes from nuts into other foods without the public’s awareness.  There is also the fear that all of this playing around with genes could create new allergies.

Gene mutation: There are questions about the stability and integrity of organisms after forcing genes from one organism into another. Could this lead to abnormalities and further organism mutation? How would this affect human DNA?

Antibiotic resistance: Most GMO food contains antibiotic resistance “marker genes.”  These help producers determine whether gene transfers have been successf...

January 18, 2012

The following is an archived post

GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a living thing in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology,” sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering.”

This allows individual genes to be selected and transferred from one organism to another as well as between non-related species (for example, wheat and tomatoes).  These methods are used to create genetically modified plants/crops.

Today, crops that are most subject to genetic engineering are corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets. The original goal of this technology was to strengthen varieties of crops, (especially those commodity crops just mentioned) and improve yields, but has since its inception sparked much debate among scientists, farmers, corporat...

June 8, 2011

The following is an archived post

Big news in the health and nutrition world!  Last week, the USDA has launched a new food icon, MyPlate! This image replaces MyPyramid.

This is truly a new model for healthy eating, as nutrition educators have for years taught healthy eating with representations of plates. In fact, FISD has its very own signature program, Color Your Plate Healthy, which was based on the former pyramid but translated into putting together a balanced and colorful plate!

The pyramid had been around for decades in a number of forms and had often been a source of confusion and vagueness. MyPlate clearly promotes fruits and vegetables, which cover half the circle. Grains occupy an additional quarter, as do proteins such as meat, fish and poultry. A glass of milk rests to the side. Desserts and sweets (formerly part of the “Other” food group) have been eliminated. With support of first lady Michelle Obama, many experts and policymakers feel...

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