Thursday, December 10, 2015

Food Companies Respond to Consumer Pressure

In the short time I've been writing this blog, I'm thrilled to say the tide is turning. Manufacturers have seen a shrinking of their bottom line because YOU have voted with your shopping dollars and shunned foods that contain artificial ingredients (preservatives, coloring, etc) and too much sugar.

Last month an article in the New York Times reported that a seismic shift in how people eat has caused big food companies to scramble. Manufacturers are responding by changing their ingredients to reflect the demand for healthier food.

I originally wrote about the dangers of manufactured food, particularly in breakfast cereals, back in 2011 called The (Mad) Science of Food Packaging.

Let's look at what is coming out of the research labs of the food companies and celebrate the victories consumers have achieved.

In Food Makers Try to Paint With Nature's Palette, the Wall Street Journal reported how food companies were replacing artificial ingredients with real food alternatives in response to consumer demands for ingredients they might "find in their own pantries." The article sites General Mills' experience to change the artificial colors in Trix, a kid's breakfast cereal. The final color palette is minus two colors and looks very different from the un-natural colors of the artificially colored version, but now appears wholesome and natural. A step in the right direction.

Next we'd like to see them labeling any genetically modified ingredients, such as corn in the Trix. Or better yet, replacing with non-GMO sourced ingredients and getting verified by the non-GMO project.

In my blog The (Mad) Science of Food Packaging, I focussed on Kellogg's Froot Loops. Unfortunately Kellogg's is one year behind the progress of General Mills. They still show the same artificial ingredients. Oh wait... I see they changed Blue #2 to Blue #1. You can see the difference between artificial (Froot Loops in the title image) and natural (above in the Trix image and labeling).

I've copied the ingredients below:
Froot Loops Ingredients: Sugar, corn flour blend (whole grain yellow corn flour, degerminated yellow corn flour), wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, oat fiber, modified food starch, soluble corn fiber, contains 2% or less of hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut, soybean and/or cottonseed), salt, natural flavor, red 40, turmeric extract color, yellow 6, blue 1, annatto extract color, BHT for freshness.
At any rate, we have made a difference. These changes are because of YOU! Give yourself a pat on the back and continue to vote with your wallet.


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