Reducing the amount of sugar in our diet undoubtedly improves our health. However for the processed food industry, increased consumer concern over sugar is one of the top threats to their profits. After all Big Food is highly dependent on sugar to make its products taste better and drive cravings that keep people coming back to buy more and more.
To address this challenge food and beverage companies have been on the hunt for a silver bullet to cure their sugar addiction. One company that Big Food has enlisted for support is Senomyx, an American biotech firm that creates additives that change how our food tastes and smells. By mapping the tongue and using its proprietary technology to understand what chemicals trigger our taste receptors, Senomyx has created a pipeline of artificial and natural additives that they hope will transform the foods we eat and drink. The question is, are these additives safe? And given the processed food industry’s track record, will we even know what’s being added into our food? Continue Reading >>
What do you get when you mix big food and beverage companies with non-profit organizations that are desperate for cash? Yes, cause marketing (sigh!). If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably already heard me express concerns. And while the dastardly practice of linking health-related causes to unhealthy products is still quite active as this National Heart Month can attest, I’m optimistic that change is in the air.
“Why,” you may ask? More and more people are starting to speak up. In fact, when I researched my post about Pinkwashing last fall, I learned there are entire efforts like Think Before You Pink that are fighting to protect their cause from loosing relevancy at the hands of frivolous, misleading promotions. And when a mom recently wrote me about her family’s experience with food, health, and cause marketing, I couldn’t resist asking her to share her story. Continue Reading >>
Well they’re doing it again. When the New Year rolls around, Big Food companies start peddling their insane weight loss programs filled with leanwashed, “healthy” food options. It’s pretty ironic if you think about it–the very same processed food companies that mislead us into eating more and more empty calories then turn around and sell us even more processed foods that pretend to help us lose weight. Much like the carpetbaggers who went South for political and financial gain after the Civil War, these weight loss carpetbaggers don’t really solve any problems. They just profit from them. Continue Reading >>
Last month Californians lost their fight to label GMOs with the defeat of Prop. 37. Thanks in large part to Big Food and Ag companies spending over $46 million on misleading and blatantly false advertising, consumers will remain in the dark about what’s really in their food.
But false and misleading advertising is nothing new to the food biz. As consumers have become more and more interested in simple, real foods, Big Food companies have become even more aggressive in refashioning their highly processed (hush, GMO-ridden) products into pure and pristine gems picked straight from nature’s fields. Nowhere is this advertising trend more evident than in the $10 billion U.S. cereal category where leaders Kellogg’s and General Mills are going head to head to claim the new high ground in food, simplicity. Let’s take a look at both of their advertisements: Continue Reading >>
This post was originally published on November 30, 2011.
Yes, I’ve battled a Coke “addiction” a couple times. Just when I think I have it beat, a couple years later it worms its way back into my life. No, this Coke isn’t that white, powdery stuff. This Coke comes in a can, and my particular “drug” of choice is Cherry Coke Zero.
Do you ever wonder why soft drinks and processed foods have such power over us? Are we just weak? Or are our bodies simply outmaneuvered by slick Big Food companies? An interesting 60 Minutes episode entitled “The Flavorists: Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings” sheds some light on the subject. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out here: Continue Reading >>