Archive for December, 2013

Newly reformulated 10-calorie sodas leave fructose levels a mystery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by ecofrenfood

 

Newly reformulated 10-calorie sodas leave fructose levels a mystery

Posted by — May 16, 2013

Are you an ‘ex-Pepper’? If so, The Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group hopes to bring you back into the fold.  In an effort to lure what it refers to as “consumers who have left the soft drink category” the company is working feverishly to blanket the country with a new lineup of products, consisting of some of its biggest brand names reformulated with a witches’ brew of synthetic sweeteners – a combination of high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and acesulfame potassium (what the company calls its “proprietary blend”).  The selling point is that each supposedly contains no more than 10 calories per 12-ounce serving, which accounts for the special designation under which they’re being marketed  –“TEN.”

Since HFCS is the second ingredient in the three “TENs” I looked at, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, 7Up and Dr. Pepper, I couldn’t help wondering what the fructose amount is in the HFCS being used. After all, Archer Daniels Midland, one of the biggest manufacturers of this test-tube sweetener, has run ads for a product called “Cornsweet 90” a HFCS blend containing 90 percent fructose that it has called “the ideal choice for reduced calorie foods such as beverages…” And the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) itself has acknowledged in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration that this mega-fructose additive has been in use “with FDA knowledge for decades” (more on that in a minute). So I called the Dr. Pepper Snapple company press office with my question.

In the short conversation I had with company spokesperson Chris Barnes, I leaned more ‘ad speak’ than I could have in a Mad Men marathon. Terms like the “broader TEN platform,” “mouth feel,” “broader flavor system,” and my favorite, the “lapsed soft drink consumer” were dropped repeatedly in our talk. But when I got to my fructose question, Chris didn’t have an answer for me other than “I don’t know that we do share specific ingredient information beyond what’s on the label.” He did ask why I was interested and promised to follow up with the research and development department, but felt fairly sure the company wouldn’t divulge that information.

Although I didn’t get any further insight about fructose amounts from Barnes, he did tell me how “very excited” the company is so far with how “TEN” is “performing,” allowing folks who had concerns over taste and calories to now have the “benefit” of a soft drink once again.

A shocking acknowledgment

Now admittedly, the question of fructose amounts in HFCS is a touchy subject, something the CRA likes to gloss over by repeatedly asserting that the additive isn’t really high in fructose (one reason it had unsuccessfully sought to change its name to “corn sugar”) and telling consumers over and over that HFCS is “virtually the same” as real sugar, which is a 50/50 combination of glucose and fructose.

But contrary to the big public relations blitz put out by the CRA claiming that “sugar is sugar,” a growing body of evidence has come to light showing  that HFCS is apparently being used by food and beverage manufacturers in highly fluctuating fructose amounts, including the mega-90 version. Such findings led Citizens for Health to file a petition with the Food and Drug Administration last September, which asked the agency to take action against manufacturers using HFCS with fructose levels above 55 percent, the highest amount the FDA allows, and in the interim, to require the actual amount of fructose it contains to be specified on product labels. (To sign and support that petition, click here).

The CRA response to the FDA about that petition was a shocking acknowledgment that, in violation of FDA regulations, HFCS-90 has been used in the food supply “with FDA knowledge for decades.”  The letter, signed by CRA interim president J. Patrick Mohan, also refers to “fluctuations in fructose levels above 42 or 55%” in HFCS, that he apparently believes “would be expressly permitted” by the agency.

But despite Mohan’s apparent belief that all is fine and dandy regardless of what the actual fructose amount in an HFCS blend might be, the FDA has made it perfectly clear that HFCS 90 “contains a substantially different ratio of glucose to fructose than…HFCS-55,” and that the agency doesn’t have enough information to “ensure that this product is safe.”

Numerous medical experts and extensive studies have linked excess fructose consumption to a wide variety of health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, liver and heart disease. And for the CRA, which spent many millions of dollars to tell consumers that HFCS really isn’t high in fructose at all, this statement is quite telling.

But for now, the matter of just how much fructose might be in those new Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group formulas remains a mystery. Which is something you might want to keep in mind before you reach for a “TEN” on your supermarket shelf in the belief that you can now have the “benefit” of drinking soda without having to worry about the consequences.

 

http://foodidentitytheft.com/newly-reformulated-10-calorie-sodas-leave-fructose-levels-a-mystery/

Hidden MSG and the ‘soup wars’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Hidden MSG and the ‘soup wars’

Posted by Linda Bonvie

March 1, 2012

It says “No MSG,” but this product contains autolyzed yeast

2008 could go down in the annals of advertising escapades as the year of the “soup wars.” I’m not sure who fired the first shot, but by the fall of that year, Campbell and Progresso were flinging slings and arrows back and forth claiming one had more MSG-free soups than the other.

The biggest skirmish in the battle came when Progresso took out ads saying: “Campbell’s has 95 soups with MSG; Progresso has 26 delicious soups with No MSG.” Campbell’s responded with an ad in The New York Times that showed a can of Progresso soup with the caption “Made with MSG,” alongside cans of Campbell’s Select Harvest soup saying, “Made with TLC.”

Along the way the Glutamate Association, the trade group that represents users and manufacturers of monosodium glutamate, entered the fray saying all this was merely a “marketing gimmick” that will confuse consumers into thinking that MSG, “…a perfectly safe product poses a health risk…”

The Glutamate Association did get something right: it was a “marketing gimmick,” a sneaky one known as “clean labeling.”

A “clean” label is one that does not list ingredient names consumers look to avoid, the kind that will get the product put back on the shelf rather than in the shopping cart. Where MSG is concerned, “clean labeling” can mean listing such flavor-enhancing ingredients as “yeast extract” or “hydrolyzed protein” instead of the better-known (and often shunned) “monosodium glutamate.”

MSG-Free It’s Not

If a food contains monosodium glutamate, according to the Food and Drug Administration, that fact must be stated on the label. However, monosodium glutamate is only one of many ingredients containing “free” glutamate (or manufactured glutamic acid) that is used in processed foods.

A check of Campbell’s Select Harvest, “No MSG added, 100 percent natural,” Savory Chicken and Brown Rice soup offers a good example of a “clean” label. Using yeast extract, a source of ‘hidden’ MSG, and “natural flavors,” which are typically another place to conceal free glutamate, Campbell’s goes to town advertising the naturalness and ‘MSG free-ness’ of its product.

In an interesting aside, the Campbell’s website (which doesn’t list the actual soup ingredients) contains an “ingredient glossary,” to help you “learn more about the ingredients found in our soups.” However while there are definitions for things such as lime juice (“the juice of limes”), and barley (“a hardy cereal grain”), there are none for monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, and natural flavors.

This “No MSG” product contains “yeast extract”

It’s natural, right?

Another selling point for some of these foods is the assertion that the MSG, from whatever source, is “naturally occurring,” as in “hey, we didn’t put it in on purpose, it just naturally happened when we added these ingredients.” Don’t believe it. “Naturally occurring” is never defined, and the free glutamate, whether referred to as “monosodium glutamate” or by any other name, was added for the purpose of improving taste and sales. It didn’t get there by accident.

Here are some more sneaky names of ingredients that contain free glutamic acid:

autolyzed plant protein,
autolyzed yeast,
calcium caseinate
glutamate
hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
maltodextrin
monopotassium glutamate
sodium caseinate
soy protein concentrate
textured protein
yeast food or nutrient
yeast extract

(For a complete list, as well as lots more information on monosodium glutamate and free glutamic acid, click here.)

In an interesting test (although not a scientific one, by any means) of how many shoppers are avoiding MSG, a large supermarket a few miles from where I live that is going out of business (and reducing all items by 80 percent) had just about been stripped clean of all products last time I was there, with the exception of a full stock of jars of Accent – a flavoring ingredient comprised of pure monosodium glutamate.

The “soup wars” may be over, but if you want to be a savvy consumer and avoid all forms of free glutamic acid under whatever name it masquerades, nothing takes the place of reading the ingredient label. Because no matter what you call it, it’s all still MSG.

Linda Bonvie, FoodIdentityTheft.com

– See more at: http://foodidentitytheft.com/hidden-msg-and-the-soup-wars/#sthash.TSj03JWS.dpuf

14 Things People Probably Do Not Want To Know About Their Favorite Foods

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by ecofrenfood

14 Things People Probably Do Not Want To Know About Their Favorite Foods

November 4, 2013 | By |

April McCarthy, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

There are hundreds of food industry facts that are sheltered from consumers and only made public by food scientists if absolutely necessary. The following are 14 of the more well known industry insider secrets that have been exposed now for some time, but still not common knowledge to millions of consumers.

Many consumer watchdogs have found that food label claims such as ‘pure’, ‘fresh’, ‘non-artificial’, ‘natural’ and ‘real’ are largely unregulated and false when these claims are investigated. Moreover, the processing of most foods, ingredients used in manufacturing, their byproducts, waste management and other details are often kept hidden from the public until they’ve been exposed by those willing to publicize the information.

1. The manufacturing of Greek yogurt produces millions of tons of toxic waste every year, and nobody knows what to do with it.

For every three or four ounces of milk, companies who manufacture greek yogurt can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers. That could turn a waterway into what one expert calls a “dead sea,” destroying aquatic life over potentially large areas. Spills of cheese whey, a cousin of Greek yogurt whey, have killed tens of thousands of fish around the country in recent years.The $2 billion Greek yogurt market and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it. Source

2. All grocery retail orange juice that is “not from concentrate” is processed with “artificial flavor” to ensure that each bottle tastes exactly the same.

No matter what time of year and regardless of the origin of oranges, large juice manufacturers like Pepsico are consistently blending perfectly flavored orange juice specifically through carefully controlled processes and artificial flavor calibration. These mixtures are added to replace the natural flavors lost when the juice chemically separates oxygen (“deaerates” ) to be able to maintain shelf life for more than one year without oxidizing.

Because the added flavor is technically derived from orange oil extract (although it is completely, artifically and a chemically manufactured derivative), it does not need to be specifically listed in the ingredients.Source

3. Vegetarian burgers are far more toxic than conventional beef patties.

More than 99% of vegetarian burgers at grocery retailers are made with soy protein isolate (aka textured vegetable protein, aka soy meal). These substances derived from defatted soy flour are mostly used in pet foods, but sweetened up with sugar and spices to help improve their taste. Soy oil is generally separated from flaked soybeans — leaving defatted meal that’s ground into flour — using a chemical called hexane, one of the volatile organic compounds that constitutes natural gas, crude oil and gasoline. Since more than 95% of soy is also genetically modified, you’re also getting a nice dose of transgenic DNA in your veggie burgers.The Cornucopia Institute, a U.S.-based progressive farm policy outfit, had samples of soy oil, soy meal and soy grits tested, and both the soy meal and soy grits exceeded the hexane limit in food of 10 parts per million. A bigger question we might be asking ourselves is why there is a hexane limit in our foods in the first place??? Source

4. Conventional milk is made by high heating, homogenizing, pasteurizing, re-packing and combining the milk of hundreds of cows fed genetically modified grain and injected with hormones.

Old-time farmers will say they can tell where their cows have been grazing by the taste of the milk. By contrast, the milk we buy in supermarkets will be uniformly white. Its cream won’t rise. And a lactic perfume will be detectable only if the milk is ultra heated.Cows are kept in herds of about 800 and fed not grass, but standardized mixes of genetically modified grains, old citrus, alfalfa and nut husks. Today, according to UC Davis estimates, about a third of the herds in California are treated with hormones to increase production. The milk will be standardized, fortified, pasteurized and homogenized. Translated, this means that it will be taken apart and put back together again, not always in the same proportions. Then it will be cooked and emulsified. At that point do you think it’s still milk? Source

5. Producers of maraschino cherries chemically bleach (through a preserved brine solution) and then marinate the cherries in huge vats of corn syrup and food coloring (FD&C Red 40) to make the cherries red againSource1 Source2

progressosoup_nImage Source

The food additive “MSG” is a slow poison which hides behind dozens of names, such as natural flavouring and yeast extract. Currently, labeling standards do not require MSG to be listed in the ingredient list of thousands of foods.

Secretly, soup manufacturers admit that they have refered to MSG as “natural” (that is refined from vegetable protein and yeast) and establish it in the list of ingredients as ” yeast extract “or” hydrolyzed protein. “War of ads broke in 2008 because Campbell and Progresso were so worried that customers would not buy soup if they knew the amount of MSG containing. Source

7. Processed canned soups go through such violent processing that manufacturers must grow mutant sized vegetables so they don’t disintegrate in the soup.

The food you make at home isn’t reheated while being violently shaken. In order to destroy any pathogens, FDA requirements dictate that soup, once canned, be heated to 250 degrees; many manufacturers speed that process by agitating the can, thereby ensuring that the heat distributes itself more rapidly. This requirement changes the flavor of soup also changes the way the soup itself is actually made.Soup companies shy away from ingredients that break down in the canning process so they grow special freakish mutant vegetables like carrots which look like tree limbs–they’re like baseball bats. But once they go through the cooking process, they come out looking like the small young ones that you’d put into your soup. Source

8. Most ice creams are thickened and stabilized with a slew of toxic ingredients. 

These include a variety of emulsifiers which prevent the ice cream from destabilizing. They include polysorbate 80, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, carrageenan, xanthan gum, guar gum and soy lecithin. If your store brand or parlor ice cream melts rapidly, that’s a good sign as it likely has a low overrun and little fat destabilization, which means a lower percentage of toxic emulsifiers and stabilizers. Source

9. Hot dogs are filled with a sticky mixture of cuts of mechanically separated chicken, pork, fats and starch or “grain fillers.”

The red or light brown dog varieties usually on sale everywhere contain very little real meat. Instead, they are made up of 64 percent mechanically-recovered chicken and 17 percent is pork. Mechanically-recovered meat is the slimy paste created when a carcass — stripped of all traditional cuts — is forced through a metal sieve or blasted with water. The process is banned for beef, but is permitted for pigs and poultry, and the meat produced is ten times cheaper than normal meat.Most hot dogs typically contain, high fructose corn syrup, starch, milk protein, sodium nitrite, flavors, potassium and sodium triphosphates, polyphosphates (E452), sodium ascorbate and carmine. Source

10. Many olive oils “extra virgin” imported (and expensive) are actually made with cheaper oils of seeds and nuts.

To boost profits, for example, some producers have been caught adulterating the oil they label as “extra virgin” with much cheaper hazelnut, soy, or sunflower seed oil, among others, as well as mislabeling its country of origin.

Read the fascinating (and hilarious) report by Tom Mueller on olive oil fraud business, that eventually became the book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. Source

11. Food products that are red and pink are often dyed with cochineal extract, also known as tiny crushed insect bodies.

Cochineal extract sometimes appears as carminic acid or carmine. You can learn more about the process of making the dye hereSource

12. Coffee creamer is made from corn syrup and (trans fatty acids/hydrogenated) vegetable oils.There is no cream. These are the ingredients listed on the label of the original liquid cremora Coffee – Mate:

WATER
SOLIDA VEGETABLE OIL
MOSTLY HYDROGEN SOYBEAN AND / OR COTTON SEED OIL
LESS THAN 2% OF SODIUM CASEINATE (DERIVED FROM MILK)
Dipotassium
Mono-and diglycerides
SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE
ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR
CARRAGEENAN
Source

13. To make bacon, the pork bellies hanging in this strange wash cabinet are bathed in a shower of “liquid smoke”.
The creepy red rain converts the flesh tints to a more familiar color of bacon that consumers desire. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is investigating the safety of liquid smoke as a food flavoring. Source

14. Shredded cheese is packed with refined wood pulp to prevent sticking.

Cellulose made of decomposed plant fibers (including wood) and is a common food additive to make make ice cream creamier or thicken salad dressing without adding calories. Since it is natural, even packaged foods labeled as organic often include cellulose. Mmmmm Sawdust! Yummy.

About the Author

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.