Tag Archives: diet

Eating Whole Grains Is Great For Your Health

I’ve long been a fan of whole grains.  Eating whole grains helps you stay fuller longer making you significantly less likely to constantly eat.  Your body takes longer to digest the whole grains.  Look for the whole grain seal on bread, cereal, oats, etc. and make sure you are eating your whole grains!

Whole Grains Each Day Linked to Longer Life

Eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of dying early, a new meta-analysis finds.

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People who reported eating at least three servings of whole grains daily were 20 percent less likely to die early from any cause compared with people who reported eating less than one serving a day, the researchers found. The analysis included 14 previous studies; all of the studies were at least six years long, and many were more than 10 years long.

The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. They found that eating three servings of whole grains a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer, compared with eating one serving or less of whole grains daily. 

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three or more servings of whole grains each day.  However, Americans eat, on average, less than one serving a day, according to the study, published today (June 13) in the journal Circulation.

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Indeed, “these findings lend further support to the U.S. government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest high consumption of whole grains to facilitate disease prevention,” Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the senior author on the study, said in a statement.

The studies in the meta-analysis included a total of more than 786,000 people. There were nearly 98,000 deaths in all of the studies, including more than 23,000 from heart disease and more than 37,000 from cancer.

“Multiple individual studies consistently revealed a reduced risk of death among people who consumed more whole grains,” Sun told Live Science.

Moreover, each serving, or 0.5 ounces (16 grams), of whole grains a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from any cause, a 9 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from heart disease and a 5 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from cancer, the meta-analysis found.

The researchers noted that the types of whole grains people ate varied from study to study. However, in the U.S., more than 70 percent of whole grains that people eat come from breads and cereal grains, which include oatmeal, rice and barley, according to the study. 

This is not the first study to suggest whole grains have health benefits, nor is it the first meta-analysis to do so.

Two previous meta-analyses, for example, found that whole grains were associated with lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and lower amounts of body fat, the researchers wrote.

A number of compounds found in whole grains could contribute to the foods’ effects on health, the researchers wrote. Fiber, for example, may lower cholesterol and help people feel fuller so they eat fewer calories. Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And other minerals and antioxidants may help fight oxidative stress, they said.

Based on the new findings, “health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population, as well as patients with certain diseases, to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.

In addition, whole grains should replace refined carbohydrates in a person’s diet, because these carbohydrates have been shown to have negative health effects, the researchers wrote.

(via Live Science via Yahoo! News)

Cinco de Mayo 2-Layer Nachos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

 

Who doesn’t love nachos?  Enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

NPNachos1

Nachos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 min (active) + 1 hour (inactive)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients
  • 1 14 ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 1 pound ground meat (turkey or beef)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 ounce bag of shredded cheese (taco or mexican blend)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Avocado Cilantro Sauce

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 8 ounces sour cream
Directions
  1. Chop onions and saute in olive oil.
  2. Add meat, stir.  Once meat is brown add water and taco seasoning. Remove from heat once cooked.
  3. Place tortilla chips on a cooking sheet, making sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
  4. Add a layer of seasoned meat followed by tomatoes, and cheese.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  6. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes.
  7. While nachos are baking, peel and pit avocado, then place cilantro, sour cream and juice from 1 lime into a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  8. Remove foil and place kale over nachos and drizzle avocado cilantro sauce over.
  9. Enjoy!

This is a really easy recipe to make!  You can add or take away ingredients as you please.  For example, add black beans, jalepenos, mushrooms, corn, etc.  You can serve with basic sour cream and/or salsa, or eat as is.  Wash it down with your favorite beverage!

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Major Food Chain Pulls Back on Local Ingredients

This is the second major E.coli outbreak that has plagued Chipotle in just 2 months, with several other food contamination cases in the last 6 months.  Chipotle’s position highlights are larger issue with sourcing of local produce and the incidence of bacteria and other microbes being present.  Chipotle’s reaction should be applauded though we will see if they will be able to shift back towards local ingredient sourcing once the problems are identified and addressed.

Julie Jargon (12/16/2015)–Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has touted its use of local ingredients and fresh produce to help differentiate it in a crowded fast-food market. Now a string of disease outbreaks is forcing the once-scrappy upstart to act more like the big chains it long has derided.

Copyright Bloomberg. No Copyright Infringement Intended

Chipotle expects to lower its use of locally sourced ingredients and is centralizing the preparation of some vegetables as it seeks to shore up food safety following an E. coli outbreak that sickened 52 people in nine states and a norovirus episode in Boston. The burrito chain hopes the steps can help it regain consumers who have shunned its outlets, eroding sales.

Health officials haven’t been able to identify the source of the E. coli outbreak but say produce was the probable cause.

At an investor conference in New York last week, Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, described the chain’s new practice of dicing, sanitizing and hermetically sealing tomatoes, cilantro and lettuce in a central kitchen where they are tested for microbes and then shipped to restaurants.

Mr. Ells said the extra steps don’t change the quality of the ingredients and that whole avocados and jalapeños will continue to be brought into the restaurants. The new techniques minimize the number of people and surfaces coming into contact with the ingredients.

“You could bring fresh cilantro right out of the field into the restaurant and wash it there. I don’t think that would be any better than washing the cilantro in the commissary,” Mr. Ells told investors. “And if dried properly and then sealed in the bags, it’s a delicious product.”

Chipotle said it has long used pre-washed cilantro in its restaurants.

Mr. Ells apologized for the outbreaks on NBC’s “Today” show last week and said Chipotle is trying to make sure they don’t happen again. “I’m sorry for the people who got sick. They are having a tough time, and I feel terrible about that,” he said.

Chipotle had moved away from centralized produce preparation for taste reasons. For many years, the Denver company chopped and washed tomatoes in a Chicago kitchen and shipped them to restaurants in bags. Last year, it began chopping them at its restaurants in dicing machines, because executives said they tasted better when prepared on-site.

“They are still the same tomatoes, they are simply cut, washed and packaged before they get to our restaurants,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said. “Any difference in taste would be slight, if even perceptible,”  

“Produce is the leading vehicle of single-source food-borne outbreaks in the U.S. Even if the contaminant was something else, like a spice, they still need to get it right with produce,” said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

Chipotle has experienced five disease outbreaks since July, including a salmonella outbreak involving tomatoes that sickened 64 people in Minnesota.

The company has warned its fourth-quarter earnings would fall well below analyst forecasts and its same-store sales would drop 8% to 11% because of the incidents.

It isn’t clear which restaurants may be benefiting as Chipotle loses customers. A spokeswoman for restaurant-consulting firm Technomic Inc. said direct Chipotle competitors such as Qdoba Mexican Grill or Moe’s Southwest Grill may benefit, but upscale burger chains like Smashburger that offer fresh, made-to-order foods also tend to attract similar customers and may get a sales lift.

Melissa Arnoff, a senior vice president at crisis-management firm Levick, said Chipotle’s safer practices might actually create a new problem for the company by turning off customers who like watching their food being prepared in front of them. “Hermetically sealed tomatoes are 180-degrees from the image they want to portray,” she said.

 

“Our commitments to better ingredients—including meat raised without antibiotics, pasture-raised dairy, and local and organically grown produce—have not changed. None of the plans and programs we are putting in place call for diminishing the quality of ingredients we use,” Mr. Arnold said.

Though there is no evidence that Chipotle’s multistate E. coli outbreak originated with a local supplier—and it likely didn’t, given that people from Oregon to New York got sick—, some smaller farmers Chipotle has long praised may be unable to keep supplying the chain if they can’t implement the kind of sophisticated pathogen testing it now is requiring.

Chipotle, which has nearly 2,000 restaurants, has talked up its local growers ever since it began the sourcing program in 2008. By 2010, the company said it was buying more than 50% of at least one ingredient locally throughout the country, although it initially referred to “local” ingredients as those sourced from within about 200 miles of its restaurants and now defines as local those grown within 350 miles.

Until last week, Chipotle hadn’t disclosed the percentage of its produce that is locally grown, but Mr. Ells told investors that the total amount of locally grown produce Chipotle buys in a given year amounts to just about 10%—a figure that is likely to decrease, Mr. Arnold said.

The spate of disease outbreaks marks something of a comeuppance for a company that has satirized so-called factory farms in its marketing, criticizing their mechanized growing practices, as well as fast-food chains for using preservatives. In October, Chipotle produced a fake commercial in which a customer walks into a fictitious restaurant chain named “Cheapotle,” where she finds a slew of artificial ingredients going into her food.

Choosing how to communicate its food-safety changes poses a dilemma for the company that wants to assure customers that its food is safe without alienating those who share its “food with integrity” ideals. 

Executives recently told investors that they will wait until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declares an end to the E. coli outbreak before launching an ad campaign about Chipotle’s food-safety steps.

Until that happens, once-loyal customer Sergio Pereira won’t return.

“With all the food poisonings there, I haven’t been to a Chipotle in the last three months and I won’t let anyone in my family go, either,” said Mr. Pereira, the 54-year-old president of Quill.com, a division of Staples Inc. He added that if Chipotle told customers they are sanitizing produce off-site, it would help give him the confidence to return, but that he still wants to know more.

“The company needs to rebuild trust and they need to tell people that they’ve made very concrete changes,” he said.

(via The Wall Street Journal @Yahoo! News)

Big Soda is fighting science on sugar

Sugar has been high on my radar for the past few weeks.  I personally do not drink soda for the very reasons contained in this article, but many people still do.  It is important to note that the soda/beverage industry is not the only player in “Big Sugar” and sugar–er “High Fructose Corn Syrup”–is present is a host of different foods and condiments that would quickly send you over the FDA suggested sugar limit even without soda!  Be on the look out for a full series on sugar in 2016!

Lawmakers and consumers are turning against big sugar, and soda companies are reeling.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that Americans should eat and drink no more than 50 grams of sugar — roughly the amount in a can and a half of Coke — each day.

The new proposal has been years in the making: Chatter of the need for a cap on sugar has been circulating among consumers, lawmakers, and public-health advocates since research in the early 2000s first linked our excessive consumption of the stuff with obesity, weight gain, and other health problems — especially in children.

Not surprisingly, soda and processed-food companies are less than pleased.

The American Beverage Association, the soda industry’s main lobby group, has since invested millions of dollars fighting laws to tax and label sugary beverages. For its part, Coca-Cola has been accused of pumping money into misleading research that champions exercise over dietary changes for health and weight loss — the company has promised to increase transparency about these research partnerships going forward.

But if our diets are any clue into whether a sugar cutback could be useful, they reveal a pretty big area for improvement.

Is sugar the enemy?

yogurt, Yoplait, grocery, food, disposable containers Flickr / PKMousie

Just two containers of strawberry Yoplait (which is 99% fat-free) contain the FDA’s new daily suggested limit of sugar.

Before sugar was the enemy, it was fat.

Headlines of the 1980s and ’90s were filled with missives that butter, oil, and meat were killing us. Soon, grocery store shelves were filled with low-fat alternatives to every rich food: Margarine, skim milk, and eggbeaters lined the shopping bags of every health-conscious consumer.

Now we know fat is not the enemy, thanks to an outpouring of recent research showing that in small amounts, probably no single food — be it salt, sugar, or fat — can be targeted as the cause of all of our problems.

As several writers and researchers have since suggested, this process of demonizing specific ingredients harkens back to the crusades against Big Tobacco.

Candy Cigarette MachineSteve Snodgrass A candy cigarette machine.

“Soda follows tobacco’s playbook to the letter,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and the author of the book “Soda Politics,” which explores the relationship between soda industries, politics, and public health, told Business Insider. 

While there’s no doubt that fat or sugar are anywhere near as bad for us as cigarettes (as Nestle says point-blank: “Sugar is not tobacco”) some headlines seemed to suggest as much. And the food and beverage industry reacted accordingly, scrambling to remove fats from foods.

Ironically enough, food makers began replacing all this fat with another ingredient: sugar.

Hence the makers of yogurt, cereal, and snacks started smacking “non-fat” or “low-fat” labels on all their products.  Even candies like Twizzlers and Lemonheads — which each contain roughly 20g of sugar per serving (close to half the FDA’s new daily maximum recommended allowance) — were proudly declared “fat free.”

Consumers, lawmakers, and a growing body of scientific research side with the FDA: Too much sugar is bad for us

And as far as processed convenience foods go, soda may just as bad of an offender as candy.

systematic review of 50 years of studies published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition in 2006 found a link between the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages people consumed and weight gain and obesity.

Specifically, the researchers found “strong evidence for the independent role of the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly soda, in the promotion of weight gain and obesity in children and adolescents,” they wrote in their paper.

In the years since, the research has continued to pile up. A 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine written by seven experts in public health, nutrition, and economics made the links between sugary drinks and America’s obesity problem explicit:

“The science base linking the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to the risk of chronic diseases is clear,” the authors wrote.

One of the reasons soda may play such an important role in obesity has to do with how sugar is processed in the body.

All carbohydrates — bread, cereal, or potatoes — are ultimately broken down into glucose, which circulates in our blood and gives us energy. Sugars get broken down quickly and tend to raise blood glucose the most dramatically.

But while many foods that are high in natural sugars (fruit, milk, etc.) also contain other nutrients, like protein and fiber, which help build strong muscles and keep us feeling full, soda does not.

A traditional 12-ounce can of Coke, for example, has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar and no protein or fiber to help round out the impact of the sugar. This is part of the reason sugary drinks, like Coke or Gatorade, are called “empty calories” — they most likely contribute to weight gain because they don’t fill you up.

“The correlations between soda and obesity are extremely strong,” said Nestle. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly one-third of all the calories Americans get from added sugars are from soda and sugary drinks. They get the other two-thirds from processed foods like snack bars, cakes, breads, and ice cream.

And the science suggests that cutting calories, especially in the form of sugary beverages, has the potential to have a far larger effect on weight than exercise.

“Studies tend to show that in terms of weight loss, diet plays a much bigger role than exercise,” Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas, told Business Insider.

Efforts to curb our soda habit

In 2013 while still in office, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg tried (and failed) to ban oversized sugary drinks; around the same time, Berkeley, California, passed a tax on sugary beverages. And San Francisco recently slapped warning labels on drinks with added sugar. In all, 33 states have laws taxing sugary drinks.

Vintage Coke Adunknown

But experts have said these taxes are still too low to meaningfully affect consumption, with some going so far as to propose a higher penny-per-ounce amount. And if Bloomberg’s XL-soda ban was a test of how far consumers are willing to go to take action on sweetened beverages, the odds of a real shift in consumption aren’t looking great.

Still, once Bloomberg was mocked for advocating for a different kind of ban — outlawing smoking in restaurants and bars, something that has become the new normal across the US.  Anti-obesity advocates are quick to draw comparisons between tobacco and beverage industry groups, saying that the American Beverage Association creates its own science and misleadingly rebrands products in a way that is reminiscent of Big Tobacco’s prior efforts.  Now these advocates are attempting to use similar strategies to those that drastically reduced tobacco usage to do the same when it comes to sugar.

There are signs that this change is coming, if slowly.

Across the board, per capita soda sales are down 25% since 1998, The New York Times reported in October.  Juice sales are similarly dropping, with orange-juice consumption down 45% per capita in the same period.  On a related note, in November, the University of Colorado School of Medicine gave back a $1 million grant from Coke after discovering that the funds were spent on an advocacy group for that research.

Soda companies are taking notice, and exploring ways to make up for the losses

Pepsi and Coke are trying to recoup their lost sales and taking a dual-pronged approach: In addition to trying to reframe products and convince consumers that sweet beverages are ok to drink, they’re also investing outside of traditional sweet beverages.

Nestle says these moves harken back to the same strategy Big Tobacco used in the 1980s. “First, they attack the science. Then, they fund community groups, promote exercise as a solution, and say they’re self-regulated and don’t need to be regulated by an outside source,” Nestle said.

If soda companies want people to continue to drink sodas, they need to present evidence that the beverages aren’t always the sugar bomb that scientific research is presenting. A major way to do that is to cut calories — not necessarily by reworking recipes, but by making serving sizes smaller.

Coca-Cola is going “back to its roots” by shifting focus toward smaller cans and bottles. According to the company, retail sales of smaller cans and bottles, including mini cans and glass bottles, were up 17%. So even as per capita consumption of soda by the gallon go down, sales of smaller packages go up.

These changes allow the chains to put a positive, healthy spin on the brands without requiring major changes in sodas’ nutritional makeup. For example, when the American Beverage Association pledged in 2014 to cut drink calories by 20%, that doesn’t necessarily mean a can of Coke or Pepsi will have 20% fewer calories. It may just be 20% smaller.  Last August, Reuters reported that Coke and Pepsi’s mini cans — 7.5-ounce versions of the traditional 12-ounce sodas — had been one of the few bright spots in US soda sales in the previous month.

“That’s the soda industry’s response,” Nestle said of the mini-can campaign. “They want to be part of the solution, and they charge more for them.”

coke pepsi mini cansReuters Coke and Pepsi’s new mini cans, which they released in 2009.

Still, while Coke and Pepsi are exerting a lot of effort to make sure their namesake beverages stay on the shelves, the companies are also very aware of the need to bring in some lower-sugar options.

In October, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told investors that focusing solely on carbonated soft drinks was “a thing of the past.” Instead, noncarbonated beverages are “driving all the growth in the whole industry.”

Nearly half of Pepsi’s beverage sales are now in low- or zero-calorie drinks, juice, or sports drinks, more than double the proportion these drinks represented 15 years ago. In the past few years, Coca-Cola hasinvested in brands including Monster Energy, coconut-water company ZICO, and organic-focused Suja Juice. Both companies reportedly were in talks to invest in Greek yogurt maker Chobani.

“Today, more than 1,000 reduced-, low- or no-calorie options are available in our global portfolio, representing more than 25 percent of the beverages we offer around the world,” a Coca-Cola spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider (PepsiCo declined to comment for this story). “Of our top 20 brands, 18 are now available with reduced-, low- or no-calorie options.”

Of course, many of these products are still high in sugar (a 32-ounce bottle of PepsiCo’s Gatorade, for example, can easily exceed the 50g sugar limit). However, they do represent a major change in what Americans are drinking.

Should you quit soda?

It’s no doubt that exceedingly high levels of sugar are bad for us. Sports drinks and sodas squeeze more of the stuff than we should consume in a day into a single serving.

But, as a growing body of research is showing, no single ingredient alone can be blamed. Rather, it’s the amount and the types of food we’re eating that need to be reassessed. Our portion sizes, for example, have ballooned in recent years, having increased up to 700% in some foods.

Giant sodas masquerading as a standard component of any meal are no exception.

(via Business Insider)

Eat fresher? Another major food chain to drop artificial ingredients

Eat fresh, now with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.  Banana Peppers colored with Yellow 5 is very interesting. It again shows that things are often not what the seem in food or cosmetics. In this instance there is no label to read to educate yourself.  There really is a shift occurring in fast food, or so the marketing suggests.

NEW YORK (AP), By Candace Choi, June 4, 2015 — Subway wants to give new meaning to its “eat fresh” slogan by joining the list of food companies to say it’s dropping artificial ingredients.

The sandwich chain known for its marketing itself as a healthier alternative to hamburger chains told The Associated Press it will remove artificial flavors, colors and preservatives from its menu in North America by 2017. Whether that can help Subway keep up with changing attitudes about what qualifies as healthy remains to be seen.

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Elizabeth Stewart, Subway’s director of corporate social responsibility, said in an interview that ingredient improvement has been an ongoing process over the years. More recently, she said the chain has been working on removing caramel color from cold cuts like roast beef and ham. For its turkey, Subway says it plans to replace a preservative called proprionic acid with vinegar by the end of this year.

Among its toppings, Stewart said Subway is switching to banana peppers colored with turmeric instead of the artificial dye Yellow No. 5. Without providing details, she said the chain is also working on its sauces and cookies.

The purging of artificial ingredients is quickly becoming the norm among major food companies, which are facing pressure from smaller players that tout their offerings as more wholesome. That has prompted so-called “Big Food” makers including Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Kraft and Nestle to announce in recent months they’re expelling artificial ingredients from one or more products.

Subway’s announcement comes at a challenging time for the chain, which grew to be the world’s largest restaurant brand by number of locations with the help of weight loss pitchman Jared Fogle.

The company is privately held and doesn’t disclose sales figures. But last year, sales for Subway stores in the U.S. averaged $475,000 each, a 3 percent decline from the previous year, according to industry tracker Technomic.

Subway is facing evolving definitions for what qualifies as healthy, said Darren Tristano, an analyst for Technomic. While older generations looked at nutritional stats like fat and calories, he said younger generations are more concerned about qualities like “local,” ”organic” and “natural.”

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“Change has come so fast and rapidly, consumers are just expecting more and more,” Tristano said.

And although Subway markets itself as a fresher option, he noted that people don’t necessarily see it as the healthiest or best product around.

Last year, Subway’s image took a hit when food activist Vani Hari, known as the Food Babe, launched a petition calling on it to remove azodicarbonamide from its bread, noting the ingredient was used in yoga mats. Subway has said that it was in the process of removing the ingredient, which is widely used as a dough condition and whitening agent, before the issue became a controversy.

Tony Pace, Subway’s chief marketing officer, noted the chain is already seen as a place for low-fat options, but that it needs to keep up with changing customer attitudes.

“As their expectations go up, we have to meet those expectations,” he said.

Pace said the use of simple ingredients is becoming a “necessary condition” to satisfy customers, but that it won’t be enough on its own to drive up sales.

FDA Sends Warning Letter To Popular Granola Bar Maker

(This is our 200th post!  Not surprising that another brand has been called our for deceiving their customers into thinking they are eating something healthy, when in fact the reality is the opposite!  Do you read nutrition labels?  If so, do you understand them?

Kind Bars may not be so kind after all.

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to the maker of the snacks saying the company must remove the term “healthy” from its labels.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that regulators found that the company’s products contain too much saturated fat.  According to the Bloomberg article:

‘Your products do not meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy’ on a food label,’ William Correll, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in the letter, dated March 17 and released publicly on Tuesday. ‘You should take prompt action to correct the violations.’

The Fruit & Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew products, all have over 3 grams of saturated fat. The FDA states that a product must have less than 1 gram of fat to be labeled “healthy.”

In a statement, Kind said it’s working to comply with the FDA’s standards: “Our team at Kind is fully committed to working alongside the FDA, and we’re moving quickly to comply with its request,” the company said. “We’re also taking it upon ourselves to conduct a thorough review of all of our snack food labels and website information to ensure that they’re compliant.”
The FDA’s warning comes as Kind has seen a sales boom recently. As Bloomberg reported:

‘Kind has seen its sales surge in recent years as Americans have moved toward savory snacks and demanded better ingredients. Kind products are now in 150,000 retail stores in the U.S. The company sold 458 million units in 2014, more than tripling over the last two years, according to Daniel Lubetzky, the company’s chief executive officer.’

(via Fortune)

Product Review: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest

Pulchritude Critique: Kasi Cinnamon Harvest

Pulchritude Critique: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest

Some years ago I made significant dietary changes.  One of those changes was to stop eating heavily refined grains, which lead to me finding Kashi.  Cereal is a staple breakfast food in my diet so finding a cereal that was not sugar laden and refined was critical.  Kashi offers various products including cereal, breakfast bars, and crackers that typically are high in whole grains.  I have been eating their cereals for years and recently tried their Organic Promise Cinnamon Harvest, which I found in a local grocer.

NPKashiBack

Product

This product can be considered a healthier, organic alternative to shredded wheat cereals. This product is USDA certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified. The cereal is very high in whole grains, so if you have a gluten allergy this cereal is not for you. The high whole grain content makes this product very filling, satisfying, and energizing, providing a great start to the day.

1 Globe

Flavor

As the name suggests, this product has a strong, but tolerable, flavor of cinnamon which is accompanied by a subtle sweetness. Accompanied with either soy or almond milk, this product retains its flavor, as opposed to becoming bland and ‘soggy.’

0.95 Globe

Texture

This product is very similar in texture to shredded wheat cereals. The subtle differences in this cereal and similar types is that the shreds of each biscuit appear thinner. The biscuits absorb milk but do not immediately become soggy, maintaining some of its crunch.

1 Globe

EnviroFactor

Ingredients: Organic Whole Grain Wheat, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Cinnamon, Natural Cinnamon Flavors.

Ingredients & Nutritional Facts

This product contains FOUR ingredients.  Typically, the less ingredients the better the quality.  One 55 gram serving of this product contains almost a full daily recommendation of whole grains (47 grams out of 48 grams), 6 grams of protein, 24 grams of dietary fiber, only 9 grams of sugar, 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, and 1 gram of fat. The fact that this product is USDA organic is an added bonus.

logos

1 Globe

Overall, this is a healthy, nutritional, and organic cereal that is a great start to the day.  High in whole grains and fiber, it is also very flavorful, with cinnamon providing a spicy note to jump start your day.

3.95/4 Globes
Nature’s Pulchritude All-Star!

This 16.3 ounce box retails for about $4.49, but can be found on sale in most grocers periodically.

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude.  All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.

Have you tried this product, what was your opinion? Will you try this product?

The Truth About Chicken

I recently read the cover story “The high cost of cheap chicken” in the February 2014 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine.  In short, the article details the ‘high costs’ of the large scale ‘cheap’ production of chicken in the United States–bacterial contamination of chicken and the increase of antibiotic-resistant ‘super bugs.’  The full article is available online on ConsumerReports.org

 

Courtesy of Consumer Reports

Part of the article discussed the misconceptions about labels on chicken sold in grocery stores.  I was shocked to learn that trendy marketing key words were just as prevalent in the chicken industry as they were in cosmetics and other foods, albeit it should not have been much of a surprise.  The above infographic details the labels used on chicken and their validity, if any.  It should be noted, as it was in Consumer Reports, the differing prices of chicken (and eggs) based on these terms.  Should you really pay $2+ more for eggs because they are “free range” and spend 5 minutes outside a day?

The article also pointed out that “organic” and “no antibiotic” chicken had the same levels of bacterial contamination, though the article seems to point out that these types of chicken were favorable because they are less likely to carry antibiotic-resitant bacteria, which means the consumer has a decreased chance of being exposed to such bacteria.

Courtesy of Consumer Reports

Label Poise is not limited to cosmetics.  Nature’s Pulchritude will be including food products in our Label Poise series!

Have you read this article?  Does the ambiguity of the chicken and egg (and food) labels surprise you?