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What Do Americans Eat? Kale, Gluten-Free, and Organics Top 2014 Food Trends

food statistics

Food trends come and food trends go. One year we’re all raving about Sriracha, the next we’re falling for the cronut. For the last 30 years, Parade has surveyed those trends and other American eating habits.

This year, foods like snack bars and frozen sandwiches have risen in popularity. As more people eat on the go, convenience foods are going to see a natural rise. According to Parade‘s survey:

  • 27 percent of main dishes made at home are frozen or ready-to-eat meals.
  • 80 percent of our meals are prepared at home, and over half of them are made from scratch or fresh ingredients.


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Pick a Pocket Full of Pawpaws: Sure to be the Hottest New “it” Fruit

pawpaws

Now is the time for “pickin’ up pawpaws and puttin’ ‘em in your pockets” as the children’s chant goes. The best pawpaws are the fully ripe fruits that have fallen to the ground between mid-August and mid-October, perfect for stuffing your pockets or your face!

Pawpaws are the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. and are an indigenous plant to 26 states east of Nebraska, reaching from Florida to New York. The fruit was an important food for Native Americans and early settlers. Pawpaws graced George Washington’s table in colonial days. And even animals aren’t missing out on this delicious treat — squirrels, raccoons, possums, and bears happily feast on aromatic pawpaw flesh.

Pawpaws are large fruits, similar to mangoes or papayas, ranging in color from yellow to green with skin often flecked. When over-ripe, the skin will turn brown like a banana. They have big black seeds that are easy-to-remove, a custard-like texture, and a flavor that is related to bananas, mangoes and melons. They are known commonly as a poor man’s banana.

“It has a sweet, yet rather cloying taste….a wee bit puckery” is the way their taste was described by a botanist of yore.   
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7 Basic Steps to Cleaner Eating Without Going Paleo

paleo-clean-eating

It’s quite the buzzword these days. Much like “organic,” “gluten-free,” or “free range,” you can’t avoid the term “clean eating” when looking to live healthier.

What’s all the fuss about eating clean? It goes hand-in-hand with the often fitness-inspired Paleo Diet, and the idea that we should all be consuming less processed food-like products and more real, whole, natural foods. Going Paleo can be a bit extreme for some, so clean eating is a little less structured and a little more attainable for anyone no matter how they get fit.

Here are 7 basic principles to clean eating:

1. Avoid processed and refined foods. 

This includes things like white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains or Paleo alternatives such as almond or coconut flour as your base for baked goods. These Back to School Cookies are super clean, but you wouldn’t even know it!

2. Get label savvy. 

Eating clean typically promotes choosing less packaged foods, but when you do opt for anything with a wrapper, learn to read the label. The shorter the list the better. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then your body can’t either.
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Kirstie Alley’s Organic and GMO Food Beliefs Don’t Align With New Jenny Craig Partnership

Kirstie Alley is back at Jenny Craig. That’s the big celebrity diet news of the week, and Kirstie is loud and proud about it. Would you expect anything less from her?kirstie alley

She’s “excited” to be back at Jenny Craig, saying she missed her consultant. It’s undoubtedly her most lucrative partnering with the brand yet. She spent much of the early part of the decade as the spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, losing a lot of her highly publicized weight. She left in early 2008, citing a desire to create her own brand. Today, that’s known as Organic Liaison. Today, it’s also no longer her brand.

Jenny Craig’s mother company, CI Holdings (which bought Jenny Craig from Nestle recently), not only signed Kirstie to rep the brand once again, but bought her company. Now the program is what Kirstie is calling “a hybrid approach,” as it will “very, very soon” be incorporating her Organic Liasion weight loss products in to the Jenny Craig menu of offerings.

“I can get to millions [of new customers] with this,” Kirstie told us in an interview yesterday. Initially, Jenny Craig customers will be offered Rescue Me, the most popular product in her supplement line. It’s something the actress has told us she drinks every day, throughout the day.

“If I wasn’t drinking Rescue Me, getting these specific nutrients and specific antioxidants, it would be two weeks and I’d be back to craving sugar and heavier foods,” she told us in an interview last January.

In that same interview she told me that she “worships energy and organic eating,” and that, at least to me, is where the plot thickens. Kirstie and I spent about an hour in her comfortably beautiful home in Wichita, Kansas last January, where the bulk of the conversation revolved around organics, GMOs, and other aspects of clean eating in the name of health. Something quite amiss from Jenny Craig foods.
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Whole Foods Severs Ties With Chobani, Citing GMO Concerns

It’s another blow for Chobani as the year draws to an end. The popular Greek yogurt company will no longer be sold at Whole Foods stores starting in early 2014.

This move by Whole Foods is unrelated to the Chobani recall that happened earlier this year. In September, more than 100 people became ill after eating yogurt that had been contaminated due to Mucor circinelloides, a mold commonly found in dairy. Though frequently used to produce natural flavor compounds, the mold had been causing products to swell and bloat.

whole foods market

Chobani powered through the recall without much fallout and looked to a smooth end to a year that saw Greek yogurt making up 50 percent of all yogurt sales. That changed last Wednesday when Whole Foods announced they would no longer sell Chobani yogurt.

Whole Foods has said this decision is due to its desire to sell more non-GMO and organic yogurts. Chobani produces Greek yogurt made with milk from cows which are often fed GMO feed.


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