This year’s National Nutrition Month, held every March, has been a disaster for registered dietitians. I speak for myself as one of the rank and file when I say our professional association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, threw us under the bus. Again.
The fiasco started on March 12th when The New York Times ran an article titled, A Cheese ‘Product’ Gains Kids’ Nutrition Seal. It described how the Academy gave Kraft permission to add our ‘Kids Eat Right’ logo to Kraft Singles, those individually wrapped slices of pasteurized prepared cheese product. ‘Kids Eat Right’ is a nutrition education program run by the Academy’s foundation. Kraft Singles is the first product to carry the logo, in the form of a seal. It looks like a product endorsement, but the Academy maintains it’s not. Unfortunately for them, it quacks like a duck.
Due to the absurdity of an organization of nutrition professionals promoting Kraft Singles, major news outlets, including ABC News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, US News and others, picked up the story. They called into question the credentials of registered dietitians. It was guilt by association for us. But none was worse than Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, who quipped while pointing to a package of Kraft Singles, “the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an academy in the same way this is cheese.” Oh, the shame! (more…)
It’s easily arguable that many families have a box of macaroni and cheese mix in their cabinets right now. It’s basically a staple in most homes, especially those with children. Many of us grew up with mac and cheese, and not just any brand, but specifically the blue box, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Today the brand is just as popular, but those who read labels have discovered that this food contains some of the most family unfriendly ingredients and they want it changed.
Vani Hari runs the website Food Babe and Lisa Leake is the voice behind the blog 100 Days of Real Food. Together these two women have made some noise as they have brought the ingredients of Kraft’s mac and cheese to light. The American version of this boxed food contains artificial food dyes, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Hari and Leake are out to change this.
The two women have created an online petition to the Kraft company asking people to understand the dangers of the dyes and then sign the petition to get them removed. The information around the petition states that the mac and cheese in the UK does not contain the dyes. They were removed when the public cried out. Curious why they were left in the American product? Hari and Leake are too. (more…)
The other night my husband and I were knee deep into one of our favorite sitcoms on Hulu when a commercial interrupted our program. This is usually the opportune time for me to take a bathroom or wine break since I’m generally put off by commercials. They all tend to be a bit on the cheesy side, altogether irrelevant, or completely disconnected from reality. I blame it on the overdone drug commercials, but they’re all pretty bad if you ask me.
But this commercial by Kraft Foods struck a different chord with me and caught me by surprise with its message of cooking real food. Quite the revolutionary idea, isn’t it?
From what I gather, Kraft is about real food and that’s a principle they’ve modeled most of their products after. I’m not saying they’re all perfect, some containing ingredients I’m not 100 percent on board with. But I appreciate that they’re trying to create more wholesome products that can be used in conjunction with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to help their customers create healthy, satisfying meals for the whole family. Any time someone is in the kitchen instead of in a restaurant, that’s progress to me. (more…)
We’ve all been at the grocery store, holding up two products trying to decide which is better for our health. With miles-long ingredients lists and confusing nutrition labels, picking the right foods for our families can be a daunting task – especially when cost is a major consideration. Throw in the factor that organic is supposedly superior and it’s enough to make your head spin.
We’ve been curious for a while now if organic packaged foods are really that much better for you than their non-organic counterparts. A little research proved that our suspicions about organic food were confirmed: they really are the healthier choice on the basis of nutrition.
Yes, the organic Oreos may cost more and taste different than the non-organic version, but we found that organic foods concentrate much more on whole, natural ingredients and leave out the artificial and highly-processed items that are ultimately harmful to our health. If cost wasn’t a factor, we’d tout organic all the way. But we’ve comprised a slideshow with a side-by-side comparison of ingredients and nutrition so you can decide which products are worth going organic for.
While organic packaged foods are often healthier than non-organic, always keep in mind that eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods and keeping processed foods to a minimum is always the best diet approach.
If you have been to the supermarket lately, you might have noticed that the prices of your favorite groceries have increased a little bit. The price of almost everything from fresh veggies to bread to milk is increasing. Hershey has even recently announced that they will be increasing the prices of all of their goods by 10 percent.
By increasing their prices, some companies worry that these straightforward price hikes will result in consumers buying less of each product or choosing cheaper alternatives, such as store-brand cereal instead of General Mills. The answer to this dilemma for the food companies? Decrease the amount of food in the packages but keep the prices the same- and, sadly for consumers, the food companies have no obligation to the consumers to tell them about this reduction.
So how much of a reduction are we talking about? The largest reduction from our list will go to Reese’s peanut butter cups, who will reduce their chocolate-peanut-butter goodness by 37 percent, or 0.1 ounces. Chicken of the Sea Tuna will be reduced by 1 ounce, or 17 percent of its total weight. Heinz Ketchup will also take four ounces of their standard bottles, reducing the bottles by 11 percent. However, it’s not only food products; non-food products are also taking a hit. Bounty paper towels will be reduced by 10 sheets, or 7.2 percent. Toilet paper and moist towelettes are also likely to be reduced in the near future, if not already.