The Top 17 Health Claims Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and More

Learn former insider Bruce Bradley's Top 17 Health Scams Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and MoreIt’s Weight Loss Season (again)! If you’ve watched any TV the past couple weeks you’ve seen it happen before your eyes! The ads for diet plans and diet aids are streaming before us. And after months of pushing indulgence the food industry is now promoting health … or at least its version of health.

As a former food marketer who’s run countless processed food businesses in many categories, I understand how the food industry works. And this isn’t the first time I’ve written about Big Food’s paradoxical concern over weight loss. From the insanity of a “weight loss season” wedged between the holidays and the Super Bowl, to the deception of weight loss carpetbagging brands like Kellogg’s Special K, the food industry’s insincere attempts to make us healthier only accomplish one goal … making them boatloads of profits!

But after watching too many misleading ads to count and walking through several traditional grocery stores this week, I decided to share the latest ways the food industry is trying to scam us. So here’s my list of the TOP 17 ways you may be tricked with health claims: (more…)

Learn former insider Bruce Bradley's Top 17 Health Scams Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and More

Continue Reading The Top 17 Health Claims Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and More

Recipe: Crazy Good Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

Over the years Cranberry Quick Bread has become a festive, holiday classic. In fact when I ran Pillsbury’s dessert and baking mix business, Cranberry Quick Bread sales were so important that they were a big part of making our profit goals in November and December. And part of the marketing strategy behind these mixes was to portray them as a fresh, home-baked alternative to scratch baking. But when you take a closer look at what’s really in them, you might want to “beware of the box” and make a REAL, homemade recipe instead.Learn why boxed mixes may not be your best option for holiday baking (more…)

Bruce Bradley's CRAZY GOOD Cranberry Orange Quick Bread is lightly sweetened and uses only REAL ingredients

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Recipe: 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie Crust

There’s a myth about pie crusts, and I’m not sure where it comes from. For some reason, people think pie crusts are hard to make. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true. While I’ll admit it can take a little practice to get them looking perfect, the only thing you should be scared of when talking about pie crusts is some of the ingredients in those store-bought versions.

Do you know what's really in your store-bought pie crust? It's not good!

Here’s a quick rundown of some reasons I like to avoid those refrigerated pie crusts: (more…)

Bruce Bradley's Recipe for 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie Crust

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Recipe: Refrigerator Whole Wheat Rolls

Have you ever seen that holiday commercial where two brothers “fight” over the last crescent roll. If they only knew what was in those rolls their fights might end for good.

Do you know what's in your dinner roll? It may surprise you how UNREAL it is!

Although the exact ingredients may vary slightly by manufacturer, here’s a run down of what’s in the average can of refrigerated crescent rolls:

Do you know what's in your dinner roll? It may surprise you how UNREAL it is!

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Skip the fake, store-bought refrigerated rolls and switch to homemade

Continue Reading Recipe: Refrigerator Whole Wheat Rolls

Recipe: Rosemary & Herb Whole Wheat Stuffing

If there’s anything that brings back my childhood memories of preparing Thanksgiving it’s stuffing. When I was a little kid I’d help my mom put together our family’s homemade stuffing. As a child of the 70’s, though, our stuffing recipe was filled with white bread and then later bags of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix. Unfortunately these bags of stuffing have become the norm. But when you take a quick look at the ingredient label most of us will agree, we can do better!

Skipped the popular bagged stuffings and choose REAL ingredients instead

Here are just some of the things I don’t like about the popular bagged stuffing mix. (more…)

Rosemary and Herb Whole Wheat Stuffing

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Recipe: A Healthier Green Bean Casserole

One of Big Food’s tried-and-true strategies to drive sales is to create recipes that call for use of their products. Most larger food companies have a team of home economists designing these recipes. Sometimes contests like The Pillsbury Bake-Off ask consumers to share recipes.

Bruce Bradley's REAL food version of the classic Green Bean Casserole

These days even bloggers are getting in on the action by designing “sponsored” recipes. But every so often one of these recipes literally becomes so profitable it’s what industry insiders call a “signature recipe.”

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Bruce Bradley's REAL food version of the classic Green Bean Casserole

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Recipe: Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup for cooking with or eating!

If you venture into a grocery store this time of year  you can start to see them stacked high. Like red and white mountains towering from the supermarket shelves, these cans adorn end-of-aisle displays and pop up across the store. Yes, it’s the American processed food classic—Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup.

It's finally time to kick condensed cooking soups to the curb!

Founded in 1869 the Campbell’s Soup Company has become an icon of the packaged food industry. It’s a surprise to some, but its famous condensed soups weren’t invented until 1897.  When I ran the Progresso Soup business, Campbell’s was the 800-pound gorilla of the soup aisle. Yes, Progresso’s adult soup strategy carved out a bigger slice of the category, but Campbell’s still called the shots. Its condensed recipe soups were an American staple and a “cash cow” for Campbell’s and grocers alike.

click here for help planning a real food Thanksgiving

But when you take a closer look at the condensed Cream of Mushroom soup label, it’s hard to feel very good about this popular item.

There are many concerning ingredients in condensed mushroom soup!

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It's finally time to kick condensed cooking soups to the curb!

Continue Reading Recipe: Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup for cooking with or eating!

Recipe: Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Canned cranberry sauce was a mainstay on my mom’s Thanksgiving table. Refrigerated and cut into slices, it was exceptionally easy and popular—even us picky kids ate it up! But somewhere along the line a good friend of my mom’s introduced us to REAL cranberry sauce. Over the years hearing the “pop” of cranberries on the stove has become a new tradition, and something I think your family might enjoy as well.

Ditch the canned cranberry sauce that's full of HFCS and maybe even BPA. Here's a recipe for a fresher, REAL alternative.Why should you consider Kicking the Canned Cranberry Sauce? It’s pretty simple. With a whopping 24g of sugar per 70g serving, Ocean’s Spray’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce is OVER ONE-THIRD added sugars. And by the way, we’re not talking unprocessed sugars. Nope! Ocean Spray uses Big Food’s finest sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. If that’s not enough reason to make the switch, another is to avoid Ocean Spray’s continued sketchiness about BPA in their cans. After going around and around with their staff, the closest I could get to a statement was, “yes, our cans contain trace amounts of BPA.” Unfortunately, more and more research suggests it doesn’t take much BPA to effect your body, so I think we can all do better.

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Ditch the canned cranberry sauce that's full of HFCS and maybe even BPA. Here's a recipe for a fresher, REAL alternative.

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Confessions of a Former Turkey Farmer

If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, probably one of the most important decisions you can make for your Thanksgiving dinner is what kind of turkey you’re going to serve. Unfortunately many of the things we should know when buying our Thanksgiving turkeys have been hidden from us.

Do you know where your turkey comes from? Learn the dirty truth about the poultry business from a former turkey farmer!

A while back I had the chance to speak with a former turkey farmer, George “Buddy” Black, about his poultry business. To help shed some light on the importance of understanding where our food comes from, I wanted to share that conversation with you, and George graciously agreed. So let’s talk turkey!

Q: George, tell me a little about how you got into the farming business?

A: I was adopted into a rural farming family in the fertile river valley of Arkansas. I was raised on a small to mid-sized farm where all aspects of life were observed—from birth to death and everything in between. Over the years our family farm grew to several hundred acres, and we raised corn, wheat, soybeans, and cattle. Only later did we add a contract poultry and commercial dairy milking operation.

Q: How did you end up farming turkeys?

A: As we grew our farm, poultry farming seemed like the perfect fit for us. At first we raised chickens thinking not only could we use the chicken manure as fertilizer for our crops, but also use poultry farming to provide another profit stream. In 1990 we switched from raising chickens to turkey—the chicken business had already become very competitive, and we thought raising turkeys would be more profitable.

Q: How big was your farm?

A: Originally we had three chicken barns that we converted. Then we built an additional six, state-of-the-art turkey barns. Although this left us in HUGE debt, we were producing a minimum of 250,000-300,000 turkeys a year.

Q: How was poultry farming different than other forms of farming you’ve done?

A: As a contract poultry farmer you really don’t have ANY flexibility in your operation. Let me explain a little.

As independent farmers who raised beef, dairy and row crops the freedom was all ours. We had the flexibility to grow what we wanted and invest in the spots where we saw greater profit margins. We had the opportunity to work with nature and build our lives and our children’s lives. We had more of an upper hand on our business and where we wanted to invest—so year to year that might mean planting more corn and less wheat, or to expand or shrink our dairy—growing as we deemed acceptable, how, where and when we wanted.

Contract poultry was none of this. Corporate supplied the birds, feed, medications, and veterinary expertise, and by contract they received a constant supply of birds that were predictable in size, weight, health and harvest percentages. In exchange the farm received free fertilizer (from the poultry manure) and a minimum pay scale per bird plus bonuses if feed conversion, mortality, grade-ability were above the industry set standards. Theoretically we had the “freedom” to run the business as we pleased, but corporate really controlled most the variables, and when you signed up, you were locked into that company for 5 years. It’s frightening to look back now and see just how bound we were to the corporate ways. Yikes!

Q: When did you first realize your move into turkey farming might be a mistake?

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Do you know where your turkey comes from? Learn the dirty truth about the poultry business from a former turkey farmer!

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Recipe: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Chicken Broth

It's about time we kick canned chicken noodle soup to the curbOne of the many businesses I ran while I worked in Big Food was Progresso Soup. At the time we positioned the brand as a more adult choice with bigger and better ingredients. Turning Campbell’s iconic, condensed soup can into a symbol for watery, kiddie soup was the strategy, and we closed the ads with the sell line with “It’s time to go Progresso”. While this marketing campaign was very successful, I think if we take a step back and look at the broader canned soup category, many of us may conclude it’s time to “kick the can” altogether and make the switch to homemade.

The reasons to ditch canned soup probably aren’t a big surprise to many of you, but here are several of my concerns: (more…)

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is a great option to canned soup.

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Recipe: Fast & Easy Roasted Chicken

This fast and easy roasted chicken will be your new, go-to favorite recipe

When I worked in “Big Food” probably one the biggest struggles I’d hear moms share was answering the question, “what’s for dinner?” While more and more dads are learning about this predicament, the problem is no less vexing. Here’s the typical situation:  you have a busy life—work, kid’s activities, maybe helping out with your parents, paying bills, and who knows what other kinds of stressors—and in this crazy, mixed-up equation, figuring out what’s for dinner drops to the bottom of the list. And what’s the result? We end up buying fast food or some other-convenient, highly processed meals to feed our families. Unfortunately, most of these so-called solutions only lead to more problems since they’re anything but healthy!

Over the years I’ve found the answer to this dilemma comes down to a developing your “cooking muscle memory”. What’s muscle memory?   Lifehacker.com defines it as “memories stored in your brain that are much like a cache of frequently enacted tasks for your muscles.” Once muscle memory is developed, tasks operate more like reflexes and require little thought. And that’s exactly what we need to do with our cooking skills … make them more intuitive and less stressful!

For generations cooking skills were passed down from mother to daughter. But when women started entering the workforce in droves during World War II, and convenient processed foods started replacing homemade meals, cooking traditions were lost, and skills disappeared. Today that’s happened to such a large extent that some households have lost the ability to cook real meals for themselves.

Big Food hasn’t made it any easier for us. They’ve convinced us that their highly processed bags and boxes are perfect substitutes for real food. In fact, in many ways they’ve been able to position them as superior. After all, processed foods are oftentimes cheaper and take less time to prepare. But as our waistlines have continued to grow and our basic barometers of health (blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.) have gotten worse, we’re learning the price we’ve paid for the highly processed Western diet is very high.

The solution is sure to require some work since we’re not going to learn new skills overnight. But the problem is not insurmountable—it just requires a little investment in developing a repertoire of what I call “go-to” meals. These are the meals that you can make with your eye’s closed (well, maybe not literally closed). But with a little practice they become such a part of your routine that you don’t have to think about them. Instead, your muscle memory kicks in. So now when you’re trying to answer that question, “what’s for dinner?” you’re not paralyzed.

To help you make the transition to real food, I’ll be sharing some of my family’s “go-to” meals. Hopefully they’ll help you make some simple changes and improve your health! (more…)

Continue Reading Recipe: Fast & Easy Roasted Chicken

Hello Again!

Hello Again! I'm back to blogging!Hey, there. Bruce Bradley here. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but before I get back to blogging, I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’ve been up to, why I stopped actively blogging, why I’m coming back, and what you can expect from my blog going forward.

When I started this blog over three years ago, it was all about revealing the truth behind processed foods. I had just written my novel, FAT PROFITS, and it brought to life in an entertaining fashion many of the problems with the food industry. My hope was to use my blog to help punctuate those problems with some real life examples, and get the word out about my book. After all, as one of the only former “Big Food” marketers speaking out against processed foods, I have a really unique perspective to share.

But after blogging for almost two years, I was worn out. While I’m proud of the blog posts I wrote, I was drowning in gloom. Although it’s entirely possible to write non-stop about what’s wrong with our current food system, I finally figured out I’m not wired to work that way. I can’t thrive in a constantly negative world, and I was struggling. What came next, however, was totally unexpected—a series of experiences that have helped me rediscover my passion and a new way to go about sharing it!

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We wake up every day to inspire people to overcome this noisy food world...

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