All Posts In Food News

Nutrition News: NYC Salt Proposal, “Healthy” Foods to Skip, Real vs. Artificial Sugar

by in Food News, June 19, 2015

NYC’s Planned Salt Shakeup

During his long reign as mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg introduced public health initiatives, including banning trans fats in food prepared in NYC restaurants and requiring restaurants to post calorie counts. Now, his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has proposed requiring chain restaurants to print a warning symbol (a little salt shaker) next to menu items that contain more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the recommended daily intake per U.S. guidelines. The Wall Street Journal reports that restaurants aren’t happy about the plan, which the city’s Board of Health will vote on in September. “Every single ingredient if it’s in excess could obviously cause you problems,” restaurant industry advocate Melissa Fleischut griped to the Journal. “Do we label every ingredient?” Read more

The Next Hybrid Fruit is… The Peacharine

by in Food News, June 17, 2015

If you’re a big fan of peaches and nectarines, this news was made for you. You can now purchase a hybrid of summer’s top stone fruits in one juicy bite: the peacharine. The ones we tried from the Baldor Mobile Market were the Magenta Queen variety (available only in June) from Kingsburg Orchards in California. With the fuzzy outside of a peach and the sweet and smooth inside of a nectarine, this is the perfect combination of two seasonal favorites. Plus, it’s a one-for-one swap for the peaches in all of your favorite peach cobblers, crisps and pies.   Read more

Nutrition News: Commercial Egg Shortage, Labels and Local Foods, and a Way to Eat Fat and Stay Lean  

by in Food News, June 12, 2015

The Great Egg Crisis of 2015

Worried about the commercial egg supply crisis brought on by the rapid spread of deadly bird flu across U.S. farms? Rightly so. The H5N2 virus has stricken and in many cases killed nearly 47 million birds, most of them hens who provided eggs for processed foods or bakeries. In only weeks, a third of the commercial egg supply has vanished, leaving bakers scrambling. The good news is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has approved the importation of egg products from the Netherlands to help relieve the pressure, and seven countries are now approved to import shell eggs for use by bakeries and food processors: Chile, Argentina, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. Even though the flu will likely abate when temperatures rise, the effects on egg supply may linger for years. Meanwhile, the price of eggs for consumers has skyrocketed more than 120 percent, prompting some shoppers to buy less-affected cage-free and organic eggs, which haven’t seen as great a price surge. Read more

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