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food industry



Baby Carrots Getting Junk Food Marketing Makeover

UPDATE 10/14/10: To date, this campaign, which challenges the establishment’s dominance over snacking culture, has been a wild success. Now carrot farmers are looking to add to the success this Halloween by creating “Scarrots”. Scarrots are 1.7 ounce single-serve bags of baby carrots, offered in a master bag containing 25 servings in 3 unique designs.  Also included is a sealed pouch containing 25 temporary glow-in-the-dark tattoos of masquerading baby carrot characters. 

If you are a food company that sells baby carrots, how do you get kids interested in your healthy product, when what they really want are those Fruit Roll-Ups, or some other snack with a flashy cartoon character and brightly colored logos?

As they say, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

It’s back-to-school time, so there’s no better time than now to make a bold move to be the choice snack for kids’ brown bag lunches. So, basically the entire baby carrot industry is making radical changes to their presentation, mimicking the junk food packaging that is so successful.
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What You Should Know about Interesterified Fat

Now that Americans, food manufacturers and restaurant chains have made trans-fats part of their every day vernacular and a daily avoidance in their diets, enter a new unhealthy fat also found in processed foods: Interesterified fat.

A bit more difficult to pronounce than “trans fatty acids,” but equally dangerous, interesterified fats are liquid oils, rather than a semi-solid fat, like the now taboo, trans fats.

To get a jump on this new addition to the health dictionary, read on to learn where this additive may be lurking in your kitchen and how it might be hurting your health.


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FDA’s Reportable Food Registry Helps Protect Consumers

FDA Site Help Protect ConsumersIn 2007, several major outbreaks of food-borne illness prompted the FDA to come up with a new strategy for intercepting contaminated foods. In an effort to step up food safety surveillance, the agency developed a website where potentially hazardous foods could be immediately reported. The Reportable Food Registry site launched in September of 2009, requiring manufacturers, processors, packers and distributors to report any contaminated food, animal feed and per food that could pose a health threat.

Although it is too soon to compare the effectiveness of the site to prior years, the site appears to have positive results. Between the site’s launch in 2009 and March 2010, 125 reports were filed by both domestic and foreign sources. Once report resulted in the recall of hydrolyzed vegetable protein that had been contaminated with salmonella. The product is a flavor enhancer that is used in hundreds of foods like dressings and dips. The recall prevented any incidents of illness.

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Food Companies Fight to Advertise to Children

A food-labeling campaign began last year called Smart Choices, backed by most of the largest food manufacturers in the U.S., was “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.” This included the campaign’s “check mark of approval” on food packages.

The problem is, some of the food held up as “healthy choices” include sugary cereals like Fruit Loops and frozen fried dinners.

But there’s an effort afoot among government agencies to create tougher advertising standards for what foods can be marketed to kids. Last year, Congress ordered the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  to recommend standards for children’s food advertising.


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Start the Week with Meatless Monday

Farmers marketMany times when I was asked why I became a vegetarian, or pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish), my answer was twofold. One of the first reasons was due to the treatment of animals, which in a recent film I watched were actually termed “animal cities” and that term was not meant as one of endearment. The quality of life our animals have, from cows to chickens to pigs, is horrendous. Whether being kept in pens or tight quarters where slight movements are difficult or never seeing sunlight, I could not fathom taking part in allowing this to continue so I stopped giving those stock yards and farmers my money.
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