Clean Label Segments

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

The abundance of package claims and ingredient complexities across the FMCG landscape puts a burden on consumers.

 

Not only do they need to decipher and decode, they also need to determine which claims are most relevant to their needs.

 

For many, the approach is simple: Buy from companies that are more transparent and clear in their claims and labels.

The bottom line is that transparency and clean label are not point-in-time fads.

Transparency Is Winning In The U.S. Retail Market

It looks like big food and big ag has gotten so big and so complicated, that consumers are having a hard time figuring out if their purchasing criteria are a match for their values.

Consumers are paying more attention to what they buy—and that goes for foods, beverages and non-food categories like personal care, vitamins and supplements.

They’re paying so much attention that our entire processed food system  is under consumer review. Local food, farm to fork, sustainable practices and social equity are all becoming part of the buying process for American consumers.

The Rise Of Clean Label & Sustainable Products

The natural products industry has long been in the lead when it comes to developing clean labels and good manufacturing processes. That’s because their customers always expected as much.

The mainstream packaged goods companies have been quite late to this opportunity. Their approach has been to green wash their products, announce a reformulation, sell themselves to a larger conglomerate or acquire a natural product company.

Despite the growing use of the term “clean” to describe products across the fast moving consumer goods space, there is no universally accepted definition for what constitutes a clean product. Just like “natural”.

However, in order to provide some analytical rigor to this term and to understand how sales have shifted toward cleaner products, our friends at Nielsen and Label Insight have created a progressive definition of clean label, shown in the chart at left.  Thanks a bunch guys. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

Looks Like We’re Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

We live in a world with unending information. Given the state of information flooding the world we now live in, success for packaged goods manufacturers will depend on clear communication with consumers and a focus on what matters to them.

The number one thing above all others is not to have those products harm the planet or injure the consumer. That’s a very tall order and it’s causing all the disruption we’re seeing in the food space.

Clean label is a spectrum, and companies need to know where the shifts are happening. The bottom line is that transparency and clean label are not point-in-time fads.

They have gone mainstream and competition for consumers seeking clarity, purity and responsibility is only going to increase. The cleaner the better. From a consumer-centric view, that’s what playing the “Is It Healthy?” game looks like.

Unscrambling The Labels On Your Egg Carton

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Do You Know What The Label On Your Eggs Really Means?

What kind of eggs do you want? Brown eggs, cage-free eggs, free-range eggs, natural eggs? When you go to the store, you’re assaulted by more than a half dozen choices.

Some of those terms aren’t even regulated. So how do you know what eggs are best for you? Do you think cage-free is the way to go?

Brown Eggs

If you’ve ever gotten fresh eggs directly from a farm, you probably know that color really doesn’t mean anything. When I get eggs direct from a farmer, I get a dozen different colors. Some chickens even lay blue eggs. An egg’s color has absolutely nothing to do with nutritional value, so don’t worry about picking brown eggs.

Vegetarian Eggs

The chickens that make these eggs are force-fed a plant-based diet. So if you’re looking for humanely-treated eggs from chickens that got to choose what they eat, leave these in the refrigerator section.

Natural

This term is yet to be regulated by the FDA. As of right now, it’s simply a marketing term that can be used as long as it’s relatively true. All eggs can be considered natural because they all come from chickens and aren’t manufactured. So don’t let this term trick you into paying a premium price.

Cage-Free

It’s sad, but these chickens aren’t much better off than their caged counterparts. They often live in multi-level aviaries. As you’d think, they don’t have to have access to the outdoors to be able to use this on the label. These chickens are not running freely around a yard eating whatever they want.

Free-Range

Surely these chickens can run around and eat whatever they want though… Well, that’s not entirely inaccurate. To qualify for free-range, the chickens simply have to have access to the outdoors. They don’t actually have to go outside their cages. A chicken is going to do what it wants to do. Unfortunately, many of them will stay in their cage and not go outside.

Organic

It’s best to assume people are trying to trick you at this point. And they are. To qualify for organic, the hens just have to be fed an organic diet. So at least you’ll get better nutrition than a regular egg. Bit unless there’s something else on the label that denotes otherwise, these chickens are probably still living in a cage.

Pasture-Raised

Finally, these are the eggs you’re looking for. It’s going to cost you a lot more though. But, these chickens are raised more humanely than their counterparts, they get plenty of access to the outdoors, and they can eat the bugs and seeds and whatever else they find in the yard. Unfortunately, this term is not yet regulated by the FDA either. So you’d be wise to call the farmer or stop by for a visit.

Your Best Option

Buy Directly from a Farmer

There are plenty of farmers that raise chickens and sell eggs. By buying directly from a farmer, not only are you supporting your local economy, but you’ll also be able to see the hens that are laying the eggs. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Of course, it’s going to cost about $5 a dozen. But if the farmer is providing you with eggs from hens that get to roam around the yard, these eggs are going to be a lot more nutritious than the other eggs that are available in your grocery store (excluding pasture-raised because they’re probably on the same level).

Which Eggs Should You Buy?

If you have access to local fresh eggs, $5 a dozen is a lot to ask for something you can pay just over $1 for. If you can’t afford $5 a dozen, then make your selection based on what you can afford and the guide above.

 

The 2017 Top Dirty Dozen List Of Produce With The Most Pesticides

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products were found on the thousands of produce samples analyzed.

The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

Key findings:

  • Nearly all samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.

  • The most contaminated sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides.

  • Spinach samples had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop. Three-fourths of spinach samples had residues of a neurotoxic pesticide banned in Europe for use on food crops – it’s part of a class of pesticides that recent studies link to behavioral disorders in young children.

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Environmental Working Group

WASHINGTON – Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen™ list of the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues.

EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

“If you don’t want to feed your family food contaminated with pesticides, the EWG Shopper’s Guide helps you make smart choices, whether you’re buying conventional or organic produce,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst. “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic. If you can’t buy organic, the Shopper’s Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides.”

Lunder said it’s particularly important to reduce young children’s exposures to pesticides. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture maintain that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.

“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. “EWG’s guide can help by giving consumers easy-to-use advice when shopping for their families.”

Landrigan, Dean of Global Health and Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai, was the principal author of a landmark 1993 National Academy of Sciences study, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The study led to enactment of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act that set safety standards for pesticides on foods.

For the Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. In addition to strawberries and spinach, this year’s list includes nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.

Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year’s list.

By contrast, EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues includes sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them.

“From the surge in sales of organic food year after year, it’s clear that that consumers would rather eat fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic pesticides,” said Lunder. “But sometimes an all-organic diet is not an option, so they can use the Shopper’s Guide to choose a mix of conventional and organic produce.”

 

How ”Extreme Levels” of Monsanto’s Herbicide Roundup in Food Became the Industry Norm

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Vitamins, Minerals and Roundup

TruthOut
By Thomas Bøhn and Marek Cuhra

Food and feed quality are crucial to human and animal health. Quality can be defined as sufficiency of appropriate minerals, vitamins and fats, etc. but it also includes the absence of toxins, whether man-made or from other sources. Surprisingly, almost no data exist in the scientific literature on herbicide residues in herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) plants, even after nearly 20 years on the market.

One of the supposed benefits of genetically modified crops was supposed to be a reduction in pesticide use. So how’s that working out?

The global market for agrochemicals was valued at USD 207.5 billion in 2014. It is projected to reach USD 250.5 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2% from 2015 to 2020.

Asia-Pacific dominated the global market with a share of around 36.7%. The European region is expected to be the fastest-growing market in the near future, for the growing concentration of farmers towards technology driven agriculture practices.

So what is the recommended daily dose of toxic pesticides?
Read More >>>

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