Artificial colors are so last year. Or that’s what the recent announcement from Mars, Inc.—the maker of colorful candy brands such as M&Ms, LifeSavers, and Skittles—suggests. With it, Mars joined a growing number of large food companies, including General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Mondelez, and Nestlé, which are all in the process of eliminating artificial food coloring. Read more
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As folks dig into Chinese fare to celebrate the Lunar New Year, they might be surprised to hear that they’re getting an extra helping of sodium. Popular main dishes such as General Tso’s Chicken can contain as much as 2,325 mg of sodium in one serving, 25 mg more than the amount FDA recommends eating in an entire day. Read more
The dust is beginning to settle on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). And while the final guidelines turned out to be very similar to those from years past, they came close to changing in some very significant ways—including a recommendation that Americans consider sustainability when deciding what to eat. Read more
For the third year in a row, a bill that would have put warning labels on sodas and other sugary beverages sold in California will not be considered by the state Legislature this session. Senate Bill 203, the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, this week met the same fate it did in 2015, failing to move out of the Senate Health Committee despite widespread support among voters. Read more
After much public debate and anticipation—including Congressional hearings, nearly 30,000 public comments, and letters to cabinet secretaries from health professionals and elected officials—the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines were finally released yesterday.
And, as it turns out, they look a lot like the 2010 guidelines. As well as just about every other set of guidelines that have come out for the last 35 years.
It’s one of the great ironies of the holiday season: Many of us donate food this time of year, but it’s not usually the type of food that improves the diets of food-insecure folks.
Patrick O’Neill, the founder of a new crowdfunding site called Amp Your Good, estimates that upwards of 75 million people make donations to food drives around the country every year. “All those people are well-intentioned,” he says. “But it’s often the wrong kind of food.” Think boxed macaroni and cheese, canned fruit in heavy syrup, and other canned and processed options. Read more
Today’s big food and agriculture companies work hard to protect their images. Companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Monsanto spend a lot of time and money diverting attention away from negative science related to their products and associating themselves with groups that promote healthy food and families.
For a long time, those tactics appeared to be working; but several of this year’s developments suggest that they might not work for much longer. In fact, you might say that 2015 was the year transparency re-entered the picture. Here’s a timeline of what happened.
The holidays are a busy time—but many of us also paradoxically read more this time of year, thanks to travel, time off, and a slowed-down inbox. If you’re looking for your next big read or a gift for a food-minded friend, look no further. We asked our editors and contributors to recommend some of the books they enjoyed most this year. Read more
Say you’re making spaghetti and red sauce and you want to avoid eating processed foods. Which of these would you choose?
1. A jar of a branded sauce dubbed “Organic Traditional,” with an extensive “all natural” ingredient list that includes soybean oil, sugar, and Romano cheese.
2. A can of organic tomato puree, with a label that reads “organically grown and processed tomatoes.”
3. A quart of crushed tomatoes that your neighbor preserved in jars using a water bath canner. Read more
There’s a memorable scene in the documentary In Defense of Food that could change the way some Americans look at food. In it, a group of hunters from the Hadza tribe in Tanzania are tracking a kudu, a member of the antelope family, through the bush. The animal stops, giving one tribesman a clear shot. He places an arrow—its tip coated in a potent poison—onto his bow, silently draws the string back to his ear, and lets go. From the trail of fresh blood in the dirt, the tribe knows the kudu has been hit, and their hunt comes to an end when they finally spot the animal, lying dead with the arrow in its side. Read more