Monthly Archives: May 2009

Food Ingredient News You Can Use: Soy, China and You

Soy from China

Soy from China

Editor’s Note: FoodFacts begins a series of groundbreaking reports about the impact of food ingredients and their role in the foods you eat. We begin with soy. What do you really know about it? Read on.

New Report: Many Organic Soy Food Brands Importing Beans from China

You might have heard about this: We no longer trust these imports to feed our pets. They have no place in organics.

Tremendous growth in the organic soy foods industry has occurred over the last two decades as consumers seek healthy dietary alternative sources of protein. Many companies touting their “natural” or “organic” soy brands have found favor in the supermarket. A report released by The Cornucopia Institute, lifts the veil on some of these companies, exposing widespread importation of soybeans from China and the use of toxic chemicals to process soy foods labeled as “natural.” Continue reading

Food Allergy Awareness

Food Allergy Awareness

Food Allergy Awareness

FoodFacts is a very strong advocate of food allergy awareness. Our site’s initiatives include the world’s first and most comprehensive food ingredient and nutrition database, and our resources, tools and community are dedicated to empowering the consumer with the information needed to be in control of a positive nutritional and health experience. Continue reading

Here comes the gluten-free backlash

Gluten isn’t inherently evil?

Everyone, it seems, is gluten-intolerant these days. It’s the new lactose. Industry of course has jumped on the bandwagon with all sorts of products that can help you avoid the demon protein yet still have your cake.

Well, a small study published this week in the British Journal of Nutrition may be the beginning of the end of the ‘we’re all gluten-intolerant’ phase. The study found that those who ate a gluten free diet had lower gut levels of healthy bacteria, and higher levels of unhealthy bacteria.

It all comes back to following the diet that’s meant for you. Gluten intolerance is a real condition and many people do suffer from it. One of the problems is that the symptoms of Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance) seem to be universal: tiredness, weight gain OR loss, and other general symptoms many suffer intermittently that can be caused by anything from what you ate to something your boss said. If you’re not gluten intolerant, you may be doing more harm than good by scarfing down gluten-free processed baked goods. Gluten intolerance is an immune condition, or triggers an immune reaction, and the immune system is a curious and complex thing. Sometimes being overly clean can backfire with a weaker immune system, which I know does not compute for many Americans.

If you think you may have trouble digesting wheat proteins, take a look at this brochure from the Celiac Foundation. It will give you the basics about symptoms and testing. The NIH also has good information to compare. If you do get a diagnosis, a bright spot is that there has been an explosion of processed gluten-free products, so you can still avoid a whole foods diet (just kidding).


Store Brand vs. Name Brand

The Scott family gave us their grocery list...and taste tested brand names vs. store brands.
The Scott family gave their grocery list…and taste tested brand names vs. store brands.

Soup, cereal, a spoonful of peanut butter and one hungry family.

Recently, preparation was underway for  a one-of-a-kind meal for the Kansas-based Scott family to compare price, nutrition and taste.

Stephanie, Cameron and their two kids say they’re picky about certain brands but the rising cost of groceries is changing that.

“We used to just get name brand and in the last six months or so we’ve been getting more of the store brand,” says Stephanie Scott.

Stephanie gave a reporter a copy of her grocery list – which was taken to area stores to see how much it would cost. Continue reading

Gluten-free diet might not be friendly to gut bacteria: Study

Gluten Free Diet

Gluten Free Diet

Following a gluten-free diet may be detrimental to gut health, which may also affect immune health, according to a new study from the Spanish National Research Council.

According to results of a small study with 10 people consuming a gluten-free diet, populations of beneficial gut bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, decreased, while counts for Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli increased. Continue reading

Soy: Back In Good Graces

Soy Foods

Soy Foods

If put on a pedestal, you can only go down. That’s what happened to soy foods, which were once touted, then controversial, and now more greatly understood.

About 20 years ago, claims that soy helped deter heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis took hold. In 1999 the FDA, based on the available scientific literature, approved the health claim that 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Continue reading

The Truth About Organic Foods, Wines, Sulfites and You

Sulfite Headache

Sulfite Headache

Let’s turn our attention to the ever-present and often confusing topic of organics. At least since 1990experts been fighting the good fight trying to sort it all out. That’s when Congress passed the National Organic Foods Production Act in an effort to standardize what “organic” really meant. The goal was to clarify for consumers and producers alike what was, and what wasn’t, acceptable when it came to organic food production processes. Well, standards may abound but there is no fine print on a label; it can be difficult to understand what’s really in the bottle. Let’s see if we can’t simplify matters: Continue reading

Michael Pollan wants Americans to get back to basics: Eating real food

Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan can’t make himself as ubiquitous as convenience stores or fast food ads, but it seems like he’s trying.The author is on a mission with his latest book, “In Defense of Food,” just out in paperback. He uses terms like “social movement” and “manifesto,” the latter in his book’s subtitle: “An Eater’s Manifesto.”

Pollan explains the thesis that Americans stopped eating actual food years ago and, through no fault of their own, replaced it with food-industry food. Long-term, that’s making us overweight and sick, he said. Continue reading