Archive for October, 2009

  1. It’s a HoliDAY
    A) trick: Despite what the stores say, Halloween is just 1 DAY – and Halloween shouldn’t start CANDY / TREAT week, or season
    B) treat: if you make it one day you can TREAT yourself – enjoy your favorite candy and / or baked goods
  2. “Better For You” Sugar
    A) trick: “sugar-free” but made with artificial sweeteners; often time they don’t even taste as good. Or what about when it says “No Sugar Added” (there’s already enough sugar in there, they didn’t need to add more) or “Naturally Fat-Free” (hint hint, there never was any fat in Twizzlers – where this label comes from — but there’s also no Twizzler tree in Nature – nothing natural about it — and it has enough sugar to make a lot of fat in the body if we eat it beyond our 1 day HoliDAY).
    B) treat: naturally sweet (organic fruit), organic fruit-juice sweetened, organic sugar…I like Yummy Earth and Surf Sweets as well as mini-Glee Gums (more…)

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WSJ: FDA Targets Nutritional Claims on food packaging

Finally! Is all I can say.

Finally! Is all I can say. The above Wall Street Journal article examines the issue that led to a “Smart Choice” labeling on a box of Froot Loops (Thank you folks like Bill Mahrer for publicly outing this ridiculousness).

My take? I have a long history with food packaging claims -12 years ago, I sat in my first packaging development meeting (I worked for an ad agency whose client was a global cereal company). I learned quickly that what appears on the package results from hours of analysis and dollars spent to determine what will BEST attract the buyer.  What I also realized is that many of the 3rd party endorsement logos (even from “non-profits”) were “for sale,” and further more that some food companies helped in the development of the criteria for these logos – not very 3rd party, eh?

As a student of nutrition, I struggled with understanding these same criteria, which often represented one aspect of the nutrition picture. For example, “fat-free” =heart healthiest – but don’t we know that certain fats are very heart healthy, and that some “naturally fat-free” (like the statement that appears on Twizzlers) products contain much sugar so that they likely wouldn’t be heart healthy for anyone and certainly not overall body healthy.

Years later, after helping countless clients navigate the grocery store aisles and teaching them how to interpret a package (only one part label reading, the other parts were what specific claims did and did not mean), I was further convinced that we needed something to help, TRULY HELP, the consumer navigate the world in which thousands of new products enter each year. Because while it may be a bit of naivete and even as some have said, a touch of laziness, that has us turning to logos and claims to influence our purchase. Isn’t it really we just want to look up and be able to TRUST what we see is truth? (more…)

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I get a lot of questions about plastic – and until recently I struggled to find a great resource, but I love Renee Loux’s Easy Green Living (pg 120) for its plastic safety information (as well as just about everything else!).

So check it out and learn that 1,2,4,5,7* (asterisk is important here) seem to be safer.

That said, reusing non-plastic bags, mugs, and steel containers present great options for skipping the whole debate (check out company listings on the AKA recommended accessories on www.ashleykoffapproved.com)!

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