All Posts In Food News

Nutrition News: Healthy Food Choices, Fructose and Trans Fat Under Fire, Top Produce Picks in June

by in Food News, June 5, 2015

Now in Season

This month brings us not only the official beginning of summer (on June 21), but also all of those wonderful summer fruits and vegetables to add to our healthy diets. Look for sweet strawberries, thick asparagus spears, fresh peas, juicy peaches, earthy summer beats, and green garlic and spring garlic to appear at your local farmers market or CSA. “It is brilliant whole grilled and on pizza, or mince it and use it as you would garlic cloves or leeks, where it will impart a slightly milder, rounder flavor,” cookbook author and food blogger Tara O’Brady told Time. Read more

Nutrition News: Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Get Real, Kids’ Summer Fitness Tips, Skim vs. Whole Milk

by in Food News, May 29, 2015

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Aim to Get Real

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, both owned by Yum Brands, have announced plans to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from their menu items. This means that Taco Bell’s seasoned beef will soon feature black pepper rather than “black pepper flavor,” and artificial dyes including Yellow No. 6, Blue No. 1 and carmine will be removed from the chain’s nacho cheese, avocado ranch dressing and red tortilla strips, respectively. High-fructose corn syrup, unsustainable palm oil and some (though not all) artificial preservatives will also be phased out, although fountain beverages and co-branded products will not be affected. Pizza Hut, meanwhile, aims to eliminate artificial colors and flavors by late July and will then begin listing ingredients online. Read more

Nutrition News: Packaged-Food Changes at Target, USDA GMO-Free Labels, Banishing Belly Fat

by in Food News, May 22, 2015

Target to Promote Healthy Foods

These are not great times for the packaged-food industry, thanks to Americans’ increasing interest in fresh ingredients and growing disregard for things boxed and canned. Target has just informed some of the nation’s biggest food companies that its stores will no longer be promoting their products or featuring them as prominently as Target has in the past. This means that instead of pushing sugared cereals, processed snack foods, canned items, and stuff like mac and cheese in the front of the store, close to checkout areas, Target will be promoting healthier foods like yogurt and granola, which happen to have a higher markup. Industry analyst Amy Koo told The Washington Post that Target’s move may signal a shift at other retail outlets as well. “Fundamentally, food suppliers are going to have to grapple with this new landscape,” she said.

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Nutrition News: Added-Sugar Labeling, Mediterranean Diet Benefits, Panera Bread Slices 150 Artificial Ingredients

by in Food News, May 15, 2015

Candy maker’s sweet surprise

The movement to limit the use of added sugars and to clearly label the amount of sugar on packaged foods now has an unlikely advocate: Mars, Inc. The candy company behind M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix and other best-selling chocolate bars just sent the honchos at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture a letter saying it supports the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation that people limit their added sugar consumption to no more than 10 percent of daily energy intake. Mars also endorsed the clear labeling of added sugars and “off-label nutrition education” to “help guide decisions about their sugar intake.” Wow — sweet! Read more

Matcha Madness

by in Food News, May 11, 2015

Matcha, the trendy green tea beverage, is nothing new. In fact, it has been an integral part of Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries. It’s only in the past year or so that it’s made the move from zen to chic and started showing up in hip coffee shops. And now matcha is going mainstream — you can even find your matcha latte fix at your local Starbucks (careful, this coffee chain adds sweeteners to its mix). Read more

Nutrition News: Defining “Natural,” Healthy Kids’ Meals, Calorie Counts in Question, and a Coconut Oil Warning

by in Food News, May 8, 2015

It’s only “natural.”

What is “natural”? Food writer and thinker Michael Pollan, in a New York Times Magazine essay, mulls the specious use of the word on labels for everything from cheese puffs to chicken nuggets — and the Food and Drug Administration’s reluctance to clearly define the word and therefore open the way for the legal system to adjudicate claims of its misuse. Pollan argues that the FDA may be right to demur, because the word “natural” itself has come to mean nothing, at least if we define it as something that hasn’t been altered by humanity. Still, Pollan says, we can rely on our common sense. “It’s not hard to say which of two things is ‘more natural’ than the other: cane sugar or high-fructose corn syrup? Chicken or chicken nuggets? G.M.O.s or heirloom seeds?” he writes. “The most natural foods in the supermarket seldom bother with the word; any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.” Naturally.

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Nutrition News: Chipotle Goes GMO-Free, Diet Pepsi Ditches Aspartame, and The Reason Your Diet Is Doomed

by in Food News, May 1, 2015

 GMO-Free Burrito Bowls, People

Calling all burrito lovers! Chipotle has announced that it has eliminated all genetically engineered ingredients from the food it prepares. The New York Times calls the move “a first for a major restaurant chain,” but notes that it is yet another milestone in the move by many companies to remove GMOs from the foods they offer consumers. “Over the years, as we have learned more about GMOs, we’ve decided that using them in our food doesn’t align with [our] vision,” the company said in a detailed explanation on its website. “Chipotle was the first national restaurant company to disclose the GMO ingredients in our food, and now we are the first to cook only with non-GMO ingredients.” Prices may go up slightly as a result, the Times notes, adding that the company will continue to serve soft drinks that may use genetically engineered corn sweeteners. Read more

Nutrition News: Greek Yogurt Is in Schools (But Is It Beneficial?) and Junk Food Does Serious Damage

by in Food News, April 24, 2015

 Greek Yogurt Goes to School

They may study English, Latin, Spanish, French or Mandarin in their classrooms, but in the cafeteria, more American school kids will soon be eating Greek — Greek yogurt, that is. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced plans to offer Greek yogurt as a protein-rich alternative to meat in school lunches nationwide beginning this fall. The move follows a 12-state pilot program, which helped the USDA determine that there was sufficient student demand for Greek yogurt. And its higher level of protein than conventional yogurt was enough to earn Greek yogurt a permanent place in the national school lunch program. Robert Post, the senior director of nutrition and regulatory affairs for Greek yogurt maker Chobani, which was involved in the pilot program, says he is thrilled about the nationwide rollout. “The success of the pilot is a testament to the growing popularity of Greek yogurt and USDA’s recognition of the value of Greek yogurt as part of a healthy meal for kids,” Post said. Read more

Nutrition News: Dining Out Risks, When to Eat, and How Healthy is Your Snack Bar?

by in Food News, April 17, 2015

 Another Reason to Cook at Home

Most of us enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant now and then, but a new study has found a link between eating out and hypertension. Researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore found that young adults (18 to 40 years old) who ate meals away from home had an elevated rate of prehypertension and hypertension. Even eating out one extra time, the researchers found, boosted the odds of prehypertension by 6 percent. The study, conducted via a survey of university students of Asian descent, underscores how important it is to be aware of the salt and calorie content of the foods you eat, according to the research team. Read more

Nutrition News: What Kind of Vegan Are You, Eggs and Diabetes, Brain Benefits of Leafy Greens

by in Food News, April 10, 2015

All Vegans Are Not Equal

Which kind of vegan do you think is more likely to stick to the diet: those who eschew animal products for ethical reasons or those who do it for health reasons? Ticktock … ticktock … Time’s up! The answer is ethical vegans. According to a study recently published in the journal Appetite and cited by Time, people who are vegans for ethical reasons follow the diet for about eight years, on average, and are also more likely to eat soy and vitamin supplements. Those who go vegan for health reasons, by contrast, stick to the diet for about five-and-a-half years, but they do eat more fruits and fewer sweets than ethical vegans.

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