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Vegetables and meat-free eating, juicing, childrens health, food allergies – news to April 26, 2013

What’s in the news about food choices

  • Veggies (and fruits) are becoming more popular and moving to the center of the plate – along with more meat-free eating
  • Juicing is trendy; easier to buy juices including fruit and vegetable juices
  • Lots of studies on the effects of foods on babies and children
  • Some big studies being carried out on food allergies
  • Gluten-free still going strong, with many U.S. adults avoiding or wanting to cut back
  • Fewer people are saying they’re dieting – instead they’re “focusing on healthy eating”
  • Water is once again more popular than soda, after decades
  • Bacteria found in many different types of meat

Here are links and summaries for recent news and opinion about food choices.

Vegetables and fruits: Fresh, frozen, center of the plate

Seaweed harvested in England as trendy chefs boost prices Nov-11-12 Telegraph UK
Seaweed is being commercially harvested in England for the first time after fashionable chefs turned the knotty marine algae into a sought-after delicacy that commands prices of up to £200 a kilogram.

UK: Food industry pledges to push fruit and veg Nov-16-12 Just Food
UK food retailers will add more lines to their produce sections and manufacturers will put more fruit and veg in ready meals, the country’s government has announced. The moves come as part of the industry’s so-called “public health responsibility deal” with the Government to tackle obesity in the UK. The policy is based on the concept of “nudging”, where consumers are encouraged to live more healthily, and avoids introducing regulation to ban products or restrict consumer choice.

Birds Eye Reports Success With ‘ICarly’ Partnership Nov-21-12 MediaPost Daily
A multi-pronged Birds Eye campaign (part of Birds Eye’s commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America) in partnership with Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” live-action series has yielded strong engagement metrics and sales gains for the brand that helped lift the frozen foods category as a whole during the promotional period.

Fruits, veggies tied to lower breast cancer risk Dec-6-12 WebMD
A new study from Harvard Medical School suggests that women with higher levels of carotenoids (nutrients found in fruits and vegetables) have a lower risk of breast cancer — especially cancers that are harder to treat and have a poorer prognosis. They may help high-risk women most.

Fresh fruit is top and fastest growing snack consumed in America Jan-8-13 PRWeb
During the two-year period ending March 2012, fresh fruit was consumed as a snack in 10 more snack occasions a year than chocolate, the next top snack food, and 25 more occasions a year than potato chips, the third most popular snack food. It is also a favorite snack across all age groups.

Cauliflower makes a move to the center of the plate Jan-27-13 New York Magazine
Cauliflower is taking the role of Vegetable Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Piece of Meat. Increasingly, the crucifer is being butchered into so-called steaks, a cross-section cut that enables the florets to cohere with the stem and offers a wide surface area for charring.

Kids prefer veggies not too raw, not too cooked Feb-13-13 My Health News Daily
Young children may be more willing to eat their vegetables when the foods are cooked for just the right amount of time –  not too quickly and not too slowly, a new study from Australia suggests.

Birds Eye vegetable sales mark progress in obesity fight Mar-7-13 Bloomberg
Anti-obesity efforts by 48 companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walgreen Co., have led to more fresh foods in poor neighborhoods, reduced soda consumption and a jump in vegetable sales, a U.S. report shows.

California Giant Berry Farms zeros in on traceability Mar-14-13 Progressive Grocer
FoodLink’s Item solution allows the supplier to place an individualized QR code on every strawberry container next to the UPC code. Each unique code will contain information about the specific growing location for each package.

USDA study finds school kids eating more fruits, vegetables Apr-2-13 From Field to Fork
From 2010-2011, students at elementary schools participating in the program consumed 15 percent more fruits and vegetables, according to an evaluation study of the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Increased consumption of fruit accounted for most of this change.

Culinary Institute of America menus survey shows produce use in restaurants on the rise Apr-4-13 From Field to Fork
More than 94 percent of respondents have already increased the use of produce in their operations and 100 percent believe that increasing the use of produce is a long-term trend.

Frozen food image campaign Apr-22-13 NPR The Salt
Studies comparing the nutrient content of frozen vegetables with fresh find that frozen ones are almost as good. But there are plenty of variables, including how long fresh vegetables have been stored since picking, how long their frozen counterparts have been interred in the home freezer, and how both types are cooked.

EWG releases Dirty Dozen 2013 Apr-22-13 HuffPost Food
Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale/collard greens/other greens, summer squash/zucchini

Vegetarian and meat-free: Rising trend; meatless alternatives

Which food trend will make the biggest impact on your menu in 2013? Dec-3-12 SmartBrief
Survey – 36% say Growing demand for flexitarian/meatless dishes; 27% Ethnic/fusion cuisine; 22% Customization; 15% Consumers’ increasing snack habit

Chipotle wins PETA2 award for vegan-friendly fare Dec-21-12 FastCasual
“Chipotle’s vegan menu items help customers looking for health-, animal-, and Earth-friendly food stay right on track,” PETA Youth Marketing Manager Emily Rodriguez, said. “And with so many locations, Chipotle makes delicious vegan eating for people on the go more convenient than ever.”

Plant-based dairy alternatives on the rise Jan-7-13 Food Product Design
According to new market data from Innova Market Insights, there has been rising interest in the use of other plant-based alternatives, including cereals, such as rice, oats and barley and nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. After soy (78%), rice was the second most popular ingredient (17%), followed by oats (11%) and almonds (10%) (adds up to >100% – includes blends)

US pea protein market ‘ready to explode’ Jan-29-13 Food Navigator-USA
For a long time in the shadow of soy as a plant protein source, pea protein is establishing itself in food and beverage applications, with the US market set to explode, say industry experts.

Burger 21 bets big on nonbeef burgers Feb-8-13 SmartBlog on Food & Beverage
Burger 21 in Tampa, Fla., is winning over more than red meat lovers with a menu split down the middle between beef burgers and poultry, fish and veggie alternatives to win over the “veto vote” of customers who eschew red meat. Some 40% of burgers ordered at Burger 21 come from the nonbeef side of the menu.

Fewer meals with meat or poultry Mar-2013 Phil Lempert Figures, Facts & The Future
Shoppers are preparing fewer meals with meat or poultry in an average week.  Out of five home-cooked meals per week, 3.6 include meat or poultry, down from 4.1 a year ago.  Meat/poultry experiences at home vary by household income: 3.9 per week for $100K+ households versus 3.4 for $35K and less households.

College millennials set trends Apr-12-13 Food Product Design
There are nearly 20 million 18- to 22-year-olds currently attending college, and the dynamics of food attitudes and behaviors of this generation will shape future food industry trends for years to come. More go meatless; Chickpeas; Nut butter; Variety of fruits and vegetables (expansive salad bars, unique vegetable side dishes and more vegan and vegetarian options); Asian cuisine; Ethnic comfort foods; Portable foods (snack foods are here to stay);

Juice: Rising trend; health, detox, weight loss; fruit and veg

Starbucks gets juiced Feb-14-13 FastCasual
Fourteen months after Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh, an organic juice company, Starbucks has expanded distribution of the cold-crafted juices to its East Coast units, increasing the availability of Evolution Fresh juices to nearly 4,000 locations nationwide – to be expanded to 8,000 by year end, to continue to build market share in the $3.4 billion super-premium juice category.

Jamba Juice tries new stores, juices (kale) Feb-28-13 LA Times
The company is expanding its current lineup of orange, carrot and wheat grass juice to include eight options made with apples, lemons, ginger, pineapples, beets and kale. Going organic won’t be a priority.

Tropical Smoothie Café debuts new vegetable smoothies Mar-8-13 QSR
Available now at all locations, the 332-unit chain is unveiling two fruits and vegetable smoothies, incorporating the entire fruit and vegetable.

The great juice rush of 2013 Mar-22-13 QSR
There are dozens of flourishing and expanding juice brands, like Juice Press and Squeeze Juice, but look no further than Starbucks’s $30 million acquisition of Evolution Fresh for signs that the juice rush is on. Hotels, bars, spas, and other businesses are also offering juices – for health, cleansing/detox, or weight loss

Juice category hits hard times in North America Apr-8-13 Food Navigator USA
North America is the world’s largest juice market, but firms active there are losing share within soft drinks due to high price perceptions and mixed health and wellness messages.

Juicing trend Apr-12-13 Food Digital
Juice trends are continuing after a blast of interest since New Year’s

Babies’/children’s health and food

Baked eggs tolerated by some egg-allergic children Nov-9-12 DoctorsLounge
Just over half of children with hen egg allergies can tolerate baked eggs in an oral food challenge; and more than a quarter of children over the age of 10 with food allergies develop tolerance.

Link between introduction of fish, childhood wheeze Nov-12-12 Physician’s Briefing
The introduction of fish between the ages of 6 and 12 months, but not consumption afterward, correlates with a reduction in the risk of wheezing in children at age 48 months, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

New risk for diabetes found that starts in the womb Dec-5-12 EmaxHealth
According to findings from Spanish researchers, one way to thwart the incidence of diabetes is to ensure that pregnant women eat a healthful diet that focuses on fruits and vegetables and is also low in animal fats, much like the Mediterranean diet. According to the researchers more than half of pregnant women fail to get nutrients during pregnancy that can protect their babies from being born with already high levels of glucose and markers insulin resistance.

More salt in kids’ diets may mean more obesity Dec-10-12 WebMD
Limiting children’s salt intake could be one way to reduce childhood obesity, new research suggests.

New mothers turn to an old Chinese diet Jan-13-13 LA Times
Zuo yuezi, or sitting the month, is a 30-day regimen of food and rest to help new mothers recover from the rigors of childbirth. Skeptics say the claims are unsound.

Junk food in schools: USDA proposes calorie, sugar limits Feb-2-13 HuffPost Food
Under the proposal, the Agriculture Department would set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on almost all foods sold in schools.

Pregnancy snacking can turn children into “junk food junkies” Mar-1-13 Daily Mail UK
Pregnant women who munch on foods high in fat and sugar can turn their children into ‘junk food junkies,’ a researcher has warned. Junk foods have the same effect on the body’s chemistry as opium, heroin, and morphine, according to the study.

AAAAI advises early introduction of highly allergenic foods Mar-4-13 Wall Street Journal
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, highly allergenic foods such as peanut butter, fish and eggs can be introduced to babies between 4 and 6 months and may even play a role in preventing food allergies from developing. The recommendations are a U-turn from 2000, when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines that children should put off having milk until age 1, eggs until 2 and peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish until 3.

Most pre-packaged meals for toddlers have high sodium levels Mar-25-13 Food Business Review
Nearly 70% of commercial pre-packaged meals and savory snacks for toddlers in the US have high levels of sodium, which may present long-term health risks, according to a new study from the CDC.

Early move to solid food may set baby on path to obesity Apr-11-13 Food Navigator
Premature consumption of solid foods could significantly increase the risk of early weight gain and metabolic damage.

Study finds no harm in occasional drink during pregnancy Apr-18-13 NPR The Salt
According to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, there doesn’t seem to be any measurable risk. The study found that drinking up to two alcoholic beverages per week during pregnancy is not linked to developmental problems in children. But even the study’s authors caution that abstaining from alcohol is still best for mothers-to-be.

Food allergies: Large studies

Allergies to cinnamon, vanilla, and other spices Nov-8-12 HealthDay
Spice allergy is responsible for 2 percent of food allergies, but is under-diagnosed because there are not reliable allergy skin tests or blood tests. Triggers can include cinnamon, garlic, black pepper and vanilla. “Boiling, roasting, frying and other forms of applying heat to spices may reduce allergy-causing agents, but can also enhance them depending on the spice.” “With the constantly increasing use of spices in the American diet and a variety of cosmetics, we anticipate more and more Americans will develop this allergy.”

FDA to assess safe food allergen levels Dec-13-12 Supermarket News
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking information to establish “safe thresholds” for the most common food allergens. Specifically, the FDA seeks to define what constitutes “an allergic response that poses a risk to human health,” and identify which food allergies are most prevalent and the size of the at-risk population.

Smartphone apps offer few shortcuts for those with food allergies Dec-26-12 NPR The Salt
Aydogan Ozcan’s new smartphone-based food chemistry lab –  the iTube uses a standard cellphone camera to analyze a food’s chemical composition. A user need only pop a chunk of food into one of the two test tubes attached to the phone, wait 20 minutes, and get laboratory results, in parts per million.

World’s biggest food allergy study Mar-22-13 Food Navigator
The world’s biggest study of food allergies will see global experts and industry leaders including Unilever and Eurofins join forces to produce develop new standards and processes for allergen management in food production. Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy.

Gluten-free: Restaurants; lots of U.S. adults want to cut back

Chuck E. Cheese gluten-free menu items Nov-13-12 QSR
Chuck E. Cheese’s is introducing two food products to its menu—an individual size gluten-free cheese pizza and a chocolate fudge cupcake— addressing the cross-contamination concerns of parents with children that have special dietary considerations.

Burke now delivering gluten-free meatballs Nov-27-12 Fast Casual
The popularity of gluten-free menu items has inspired Burke Corporation, a provider of fully cooked meats and pizza toppings, to roll out its Gluten-Free Meatball.

Dunkin’ test markets gluten-free products Jan-3-13 Food Business News
Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. confirmed that it is test marketing gluten-free products. “A few select Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Boston and Miami area are currently carrying gluten-free muffins and donuts.”

The Counter builds entire gluten-free menu Mar-6-13 FastCasual
The Counter Custom Built Burgers now has an all gluten-free menu featuring signature burger builds, buns, starters, beer, wine and shakes. The menu will be available year-round.

About a third of U.S. adults want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets Mar-6-13 NPD Group
30% of adults claimed to cut down on or avoid gluten completely in January 2013.

 “Dieting”: People don’t say they’re on a diet any more – “healthy eating” instead

80% of UK consumers focused on healthy diets Nov-9-12 Food Product Design
A new report from Leatherhead Food Research reveals more than 80% of U.K. consumers in 2012 reported taking a proactive approach to healthy living by following a healthy diet, up 10% since 2004. There is a broader level of understanding towards what constitutes a ‘healthy’ diet, which now includes a greater emphasis upon factors such as eating fresh fruit and vegetables, having a balanced diet, drinking enough fluid, higher intake of oily fish, and a diet low in salt/sugar.

Fewer people say they’re on a diet Jan-7-13 USA Today
On average, about 20% of people said they were on a diet during any given week in 2012, down from a high of 31% in 1991, according to new data from the NPD Group, a market research firm. In 2012, 26% of all dieters said they followed a diet for less than a month; 36% for one to six months; 11% for seven to 12 months; 27% for more than a year. 9% of all dieters have been on a diet for more than five years.

U.S. News best diets: How we rated 29 eating plans Jan-7-13 U.S. News
A panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes, and heart disease reviewed our profiles, added their own fact-finding, and rated each diet in seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease. Once again the (government-endorsed) DASH diet came on top and paleo diets were near the bottom.

Lighter menus appeal to diners and owners Feb-7-13 New York Times
Driven by pressures like consumer demand and looming federal regulations that will require them to post calorie counts on menus, restaurant chains around the country are adding more nutritious choices and shrinking portion sizes. Lower-calorie menu items were driving restaurant growth over the last several years.

Marketers are avoiding the word ‘diet’ like the plague Feb-19-13 Food Navigator-USA
While obesity in America has reached epidemic proportions, manufacturers seeking to help us battle the bulge are avoiding the word ‘diet’ like the plague; cutting sugar, fat and salt by stealth; and instead promoting more positive messages about food quality, protein and health and wellness, says Datamonitor.

Report outlines remedies for UK obesity epidemic Feb-21-13 Food Product Design
Standards in hospitals and in/near schools; duty on sugary soft drinks; traffic light food labeling; spending on weight management services; ban on advertising foods high in saturated fats, sugar, and salt before 9pm

Sugars and sugary foods: Less soda, more water; no ban on large sugary drinks in NYC

Sports drinks’ role often overplayed Nov-13-12 LA Times
Gatorade, Powerade and other bottles of candy-colored drinks are a common sight at athletic events. And not just on the playing fields. But are they really helpful? New research suggests water, in moderation, may be best.

Majority of Americans trying to consume less sugar and HFCS Nov-26-12 Food Navigator-USA
Survey data from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) indicates that 70 and 63% of consumers trying to consume less sugar and HFCS, respectively.

Availability of sugar influences rate of diabetes Feb-27-13 LA Times
A worldwide analysis shows that regardless of its effect on obesity, the ebb and flow of sugar in a country’s diet strongly influences the diabetes rate there.

Shoppers are more concerned about how much sugar they are eating than which type Mar-4-13 Food Navigator-USA
A new survey from Mintel Research Consultancy suggests that consumers are paying a lot more attention to how much sugar is in their foods, but are less concerned about its source, with just a tiny fraction of those who look at sugar levels on labels expressing concerns about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Water becomes America’s favorite drink again Mar-11-13 USA Today
For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time. Americans now drink an average of 44 gallons of soda a year, and 58 gallons of water a year.

Judge overturns ban on sales of large sugary drinks Mar-11-13 Wall Street Journal
New York state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling declared invalid Mr. Bloomberg’s plan to prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces.

Soda and sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths a year Mar-20-13 Consumer Reports
130,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 6,000 cancer deaths in one year worldwide were attributable to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (including sodas, sports drinks, and fruit drinks).

Smaller soda sizes may actually increase sales Apr-12 13 Food Navigator
Consumers tend to buy more soda when offered it in packs of smaller sized servings than when offered a single large drink, according to new research.

Issues with meat: Horsemeat; bacteria

Report finds high rates of bacteria in pork Nov-29-12 Food Product Design
A new Consumer Reports’ investigation released Nov. 26 found high rates of the bacterium yersinia enterocolitica in pork chop and ground pork samples obtained from grocery stores. A separate test also found very low, but detectible, levels of the antibiotic ractopamine in the meat.

EU pushes for DNA tests on beef products Feb-14-13 Just-Food
The European Commission called on the EU’s 27 members states to test for horse DNA in beef products. They said member states should test for traces of horse drug phenylbutazone, or bute, in establishments that handle horsemeat. Bute can harm humans in rare cases.

Horsemeat in UK beef Feb-15-13 Just-Food
After a fraud where horsemeat was mislabeled as beef, and a number of products were pulled off the shelf, retailers and the FSA tested and cleared beef products in most of the country’s retailers.

Report on U.S. meat sounds alarm on resistant bacteria Apr-16-13 New York Times
More than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef collected from supermarkets for testing by the federal government contained a bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report.

CSPI issues ‘riskiest meats’ report Apr-23-13 Progressive Grocer
A new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called ground beef and chicken the “riskiest meat and poultry products in the American food supply,” and asserted that they posed “the greatest likelihood of hospitalization” for consumers.

Unusual foods: Human fat, alligators, pythons, beavers, lion meat

Frying up snacks in human fat Jan-18-13 FastCasual
Dutch TV – croquettes fried in human fat discarded from liposuctions

Burger joint serving alligators and pythons and beavers Mar-1-13 FastCasual
Bull City Burger and Brewery brewpub, a fast casual concept based in North Carolina, is celebrating its second annual Exotic Meat Month. BCBB is serving burgers made with exotic meats, including caribou, python, elk, ostrich, beaver and alligator. No corn syrup, no added hormones, no antibiotics.

Illinois considers banning lion meat Mar-27-13 NPR The Salt
Lion meat has been gaining traction among adventurous foodies who argue that the meat can be an ethical alternative to factory-farmed animals — if the meat comes from American-raised circus and zoo animals that were sent to the slaughterhouse in their old age. Earlier this year, Rep. Luis Arroyo introduced a bill in the Illinois General Assembly that would make it illegal to possess, breed, buy or sell lions for their meat.

Junk food and fast food: Addiction; Americans eating less

The science of addictive junk food Feb-20-13 New York Times
Food manufacturers use salt, sugar, and fat to attract more sales.

Americans eating less fast food, says CDC survey Feb-21-13 NewHope 360
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report explaining that Americans are eating less fast food. The study showed that between 2007 and 2010, on average, 11.3% of American adults’ caloric intake came from fast food. This percentage is down from 12.8% for 2003 to 2006. The group that consumed the most calories from fast food from 2007 to 2010 was adults ages 20 to 39, and those age 60 or older consumed the least amount of fast food calories, at 6%.

Eating junk food makes a bad mood worse Mar-21-13 Food Navigator
New research found that women who were concerned about their diet felt worse after eating junk food if they were already in a bad mood.

Taco Bell promises better nutrition — by 2020 Apr-10-13 USA Today
The nation’s largest Mexican fast-food chain on Wednesday announced new nutritional plans to have 20% of its combo meals (a main item, a side dish and a beverage) meet one-third of the federal government’s recommended dietary guidelines – calories and sodium – by 2020. One-third was chosen because the guidelines are based on an average three meals consumed daily.

Other: Protein on food labels; low-carb still popular; and more

Doomsday dining a growing trend Nov-13-12 The Food Channel
Sales are up for so-called “survivalist food,” aka “emergency foods,” typically freeze-dried and/or vacuum-packed ready to eat fare that come with a three-decade shelf life. Manufacturers report sales increases ranging from 20 percent to 100 percent annually since 2008.

Do consumers understand and trust functional foods? Not really, say experts Nov-20-12 Food Navigator
Consumers have a real problem with trust and skepticism about functional foods.

Healthiest airport food options in the country Nov-25-12 ABC News
The overall trend is toward offering passengers the nutritious meals they need to maintain a healthful diet and handle the stress associated with air travel.

Drugs that interact with grapefruit on the rise Nov-27-12 WebMD
The number of drugs that can be risky when taken with grapefruit is on the rise, largely due to the influx of new medications and chemical formulations.

Eating like the ancients: Heirloom grains return Dec-10-12 Wall Street Journal
“Heirloom,” “heritage,” or “ancient” grains (including einkorn, sorghum, millet, and teff) and pseudo-grains (amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa) are now in supermarket breads, health-food store pasta and cookies. They are billed as exceptionally nutritious and, in some cases, safe for people who can’t tolerate gluten. Some dietitians say they aren’t necessarily better than modern whole grains, and new research casts doubt on the gluten safety of some products.

Ben & Jerry’s announces plans to utilize Fairtrade ingredients Jan-17-13 Food Business review
US-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has announced that it will be collaborating with its long-term partner, Fairtrade International (FLO), to utilize Fairtrade ingredients for its products. In 2013, Ben & Jerry’s products in the US will transition to carry the international Fairtrade certification mark.

Baking to be a top UK trend for 2013 Jan-23-13 Just-Food
Waitrose has revealed that 2013 looks set to be the year of homemade bread and baked comfort foods thanks to The Great British Bake Off, a TV show, as well as a flurry of baking books. Sales of bread mix have risen by 12.3% YTD; also sales of strong white flour increasing by 8% and yeast rising by 9% (year on year).

Au Bon Pain phasing out pork suppliers using gestational crates Jan-23-13 FastCasual
Au Bon Pain announced that it will begin eliminating from its U.S. supply chain pork from animals bred using gestation crates. It has also pledged to become cage-free by 2017 in the supply of eggs for its menu. ABP buys all of its pork sausage from Niman Ranch which adheres to a 100-percent gestation crate-free policy.

Gatorade to remove controversial ingredient Jan-25-13 Yahoo! News
PepsiCo Inc. is removing brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from its Gatorade sports drink in response to customer complaints. They are replacing it with an ingredient called sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which they say will maintain the flavor and taste of the drinks.

California Pizza Kitchen launches seasonal menu items Feb-11-13 BusinessWire
California Pizza Kitchen announced the launch of two new seasonal menu items.

Study finds local foods’ importance growing among consumers Feb-12-13 From Field to Fork
According to A.T. Kearney’s Buying into the Local Food Movement study, local food is a much more important consideration than organic food, with consumers embracing local food options because they think doing so helps local economies (66%), delivers a broader and better assortment of products (60%), and provides healthier alternatives (45%).

Most Americans eager to buy seafood that’s ‘sustainable’ Feb-12-13 NPR The Salt
80% of Americans who regularly eat fish say it is “important” or “very important” that the seafood they buy is caught using sustainable methods. About 67% of respondents said they’re “somewhat confident” in labels that call seafood “sustainable,” while 20% don’t believe them at all, and 14% said they’re “very confident” in what labels suggest about how the seafood was caught. 52% of those surveyed told us they believe that wild-caught fish or seafood has more health benefits than other types of fish.

Diet and acne: For a clearer complexion, cut the empty carbs Feb-20-13 NPR The Salt
Researchers are revisiting the connections between diet and pimples, and a growing body of evidence suggests that eating a diet rich in high glycemic index foods may be tied to flare-ups. Researchers say foods that spike blood sugar can also increase hormones. The hormones can stimulate oil production, which in turn, can trigger acne.

Qdoba introduces brown rice to its menu nationwide Feb-20-13 QSR
“In addition to offering vital nutrients such as iron and several vitamins and minerals, Qdoba’s brown rice is lower in sodium and calories and higher in fiber than our cilantro-lime rice to help fit our guests’ wide variety of taste and dietary preferences.”

Natural colors overtake artificial/synthetic colors Mar-13-13 Food and Drink Towers
A new report into the food colors market combining market expertise from Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research reveals that, for the first time in 2011, the value of natural colors have overtaken that of artificial/synthetic colors globally.

Trader Joe’s, Aldi and more stand against GMO salmon Mar-21-13 Food Digital
At the end of last year, the declared FDA biotech company AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon “safe to eat.” In response, a number of grocery chains have joined the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood.

Americans unsure how best to reduce sodium intake Mar-28-13 Progressive Grocer
According to new research by Mintel: 72% of consumers who are currently limiting their sodium intake say they cook with less salt and 64% say they salt their food less.  However only 39% buy fewer packaged foods and less than one-third (32%) say they eat at restaurants less often.

What’s new in food marketing? Protein! Apr-5-13 Food Politics
Food companies are placing more prominent protein labels on packaging and adding protein to such products as drinks, bars and cereals. When people see the word, they also believe the product will make them feel more full or give them energy.

Kroger commits to sustainable palm oil Apr-16-13 Just-Food
Kroger has pledged to source all palm oil used in its own-label products from sustainable sources by the end of 2015.

The gourmet-cupcake market is crashing Apr-17-13 Wall Street Journal
Demand for gourmet cupcakes exploded in the early 2000s, but sales are now down.

59% of Americans say organic label an excuse to upcharge Apr-17-13 Food Product Design
Men are the most skeptical about organic, with 63% agreeing the labeling of food or other products as organic is an excuse to charge more versus 54% of women. 55% of Americans believe that organic foods are healthier than non-organic. In addition, 41% think organic food tastes better and/or fresher than non-organic.

Eight in ten U.S. parents report they purchase organic products Apr-4-13 PR Newswire
81 percent of U.S. families now report they purchase organic at least sometimes. The majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than a year earlier. New entrants to buying organic now represent 41% of all families – demonstrating interest in the benefits of organic food and farming is on the rise.

Low-carb trend still packs punch Apr-22-13 Supermarket News
About half of American adults say they have used low-carb food and beverages over the past year, according to NMI survey data.

Low carbon food for Earth Day 2013 Apr-23-13 Food Management
Every year since 2008, Bon Appetit Management Co. has hosted Low Carbon Diet Day, using food as a vehicle for starting conversations about the environmental impact of crops such as corn, wheat, rice, fruit, dairy and coffee.


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