Sandy Szwarc

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Sandy Szwarc is a food editor, writer and publisher of the blog "Junkfood Science".[1] She was a contributor to TCS Daily, a project of Tech Central Station, between May 2003 and October 2005.[2]

Background

A biographical note from November 2006 states that Szwarc is "registered nurse with a biological science degree and 30 years in neonatal intensive care and emergency triage; medical outreach and health communications; and research."[1] She has had freelance articles published in Dallas Morning News, Austin Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, New Mexico Magazine, Hemisphere Magazine, Mountain Living Magazine, Newsday, Country Woman, Washington Times, National Review, International Quarterly of Community Health Education and International Food Forum Quarterly. I’ve authored and contributed to several books; and recently wrote, designed and produced Blue News for Kids, a health newspaper for children in New Mexico to address their health issues in a positive way."[1]

An earlier biographical notes from February 2005 stated that "I'm zealous about research and committed to giving sound information. I won the 2004 international Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism for an article on mad cow that you can read here. And I was a 2005 international Bert Greene Award nominee for an article about fears of methylmercury in fish," it continues.[2] (Szwarc's article which won the Internet category of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Bert Greene Award[3] argued that the risk of mad cow disease affecting humans, especially in the U.S., was negligible.[4] Her article approvingly cited Frank Furedi, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Cattlemen's Association, the American Meat Institute and a USDA commissioned study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis).

A biographical note states that Szwarc "has also written and spoken on junk science; risk analysis and communicating risks to consumers; food and health fears; and the economic, political and public health implications of science-based policy decisions. Contributing to Competitive Enterprise Institute and Tech Central Station, she authored Fishy Advice: An Examination of the Evidence and Politics Surrounding the Dangers of Methylmercury in Fish and Mercury Emissions (Competitive Enterprise Institute, Issue Analysis, December, 2004)."[2]

A biographical note on her blog in November 2006 stated that she continued to "work as a freelance marketing consultant and writer for commercial clients and PR agencies, developing marketing strategies, on-line and newsletter content, creating promotional materials, planning and overseeing photography, and performing competitor and trend analyses."[5] (The biographical note also stated that at the time she was the food editor for New Mexico Magazine, a position she no longer holds).

Her biographical profile on the website of TCS Daily states that she is a "member of the National Council Against Health Fraud, Society for Risk Analysis, Association for Size Diversity and Health, Advisory Board for NAAFA, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Her upcoming book is The Truth About Obesity and Dieting--Dangers and good news we're never told." [2]

Articles published by Sandy Szwarc

Szwarc's written works have also included a series of articles published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. libertarian think tank. Her articles, published between March 2004 and January 2006, sought to convey reassuring messages on mercury in fish and from power plant emissions."Fishy Advice: Why We Need not Fear Methylmercury in Fish", was the headline of one. "The fear factor: Benefits of sale, healthful fish lost in sea of methylmercury concerns" was the headline on another.[6]

She has written several article mitigating the effects of mercury toxicity on humans,[7][8][9] disputing the scientific research which has shown that methyl mercury harms consumers of fish and that mercury spills in schools are harmful to children. She has argued that United States' Environmental Protection Agency moves to curb mercury emissions were excessive.[10]

She has also written to argue against legislation restricting or banning phthalates, asserting that the chemical poses no threat to the health of infants.[11], and genetically modified organisms as a danger to future agriculture.[12] On her former website, swfoodie.com, she has also published articles, including one claiming contracting mad cow disease is essentially no threat to humans.[13]

In a review of a book on biotechnology by Henry I. Miller and Greg Conko, Szwarc railed against what she described as the "'absolute safety at all costs' perspective that's been skillfully fueled by scares and misinformation from special interests. As a result, foods and technological developments that can and are bettering our lives and can save lives, are being maligned, feared and resisted far out of proportion to their potential risks. The result of overly-cautious, inaccurate tenets is regulatory policies rife with blunders and inconsistencies that hurt consumers, most of all the poor and disadvantaged. We not only deny ourselves better choices, as well as perfectly safe foods, we deny them to others who may more desperately need them".[12]

"Virtually every food and health fear today fits this description: the "obesity crisis," pesticides in fruits and vegetables, mercury in fish, mad cow from beef, hormones in milk, "bad" fats in snacks, refined sugars in treats, arsenic in water, and the countless other unfounded scares bombarding us. But understanding how fears take hold, what's behind them, and what they're doing to us, is the first step towards helping ourselves," she continued.[12]

Junkfood science Blog

Szwarc's current blog is "Junkfood Science", which it states that it aims to debunk "popular myths, explains science and exposes fraud that affects your health". On it she states that the site "has had no sponsorships or funding to date." The blog's "Food Science, Safety and Nutrition" links, aside from that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are to the websites of Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Fight Bac - Food safety education, the Foundation for Food Irradiation Education, the Center for Global Food Issues and the Hudson Institute, the Egg Nutrition Center and the Ocean Trust.[14]

Books

  • Sandia Shadows Winery Cookbook (Sandia Shadows Winery, 1995)
  • Real New Mexico Chile--An Insider's Guide to Cooking with Chile (Golden West Publishers, 1996);
  • contributor to Saveur Cooks Authentic American (Chronicle Books, 1998)
  • Best American Recipes 1999 (Houghton Mifflin, 1999)
  • writer of One-Pot Meals American Heart Association (Clarkson Potter Inc., 2003)

Contact Details

Blog: http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Introduction and why I created this blog", Junkfood Science blog, November 13, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Sandy Szwarc", TCS Daily, accessed July 2008.
  3. "Bert Greene Awards Past Winners: 2005", International Association of Cooking Professionals, accessed July 2008.
  4. Sandy Szwarc, "Don't Have a Cow Man", TechCentralStation.com, December 29, 2003.
  5. "Meet Sandy Szwarc, RN, BSN, CCP", swfoodie.com (Blog), page archived in the Internet Archive on November 26, 2006.(Szwarc's blog is no longer online other than pages archived in the Internet Archive).
  6. Competitive Enterprise Institute, "Publications by Sandy Szwarc", Competitive Enterprise Institute website, archived page from September 2006. (This is a page from the Internet Archive).
  7. Sandy Szwarc, "Fever Pitch on Mercury Fears", CEI's Monthly Planet, May/June 2005.
  8. Sandy Szwarc, Henry I. Miller, "Methylmercury Madness", Regulation, Vol. 28, Issue 2, pp.7-9. (June 22, 2005)
  9. Sandy Szwarc, "Clearing the Air", Washington Times, March 29, 2005.
  10. Sandy Szwarc & Henry I. Miller, "Let’s Clear the Air: The sky is not falling.", National Review Online, March 23, 2005.
  11. "Using the Most Vulnerable" 27 June 2005
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Fear for Profit" 28 Dec 2004
  13. Sandy Szwarc, "Don't Have a Cow Man", TechCentralStation.com, December 29, 2003.
  14. "Junkfood Science", Junkfood Science (Blog), accessed July 2008.

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