Category Archives: Foodfacts

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Know your ingredients with All My Food Facts app: Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake

Protein shakes are made from a protein powder combined with other ingredients, mixed into a liquid such as water or milk. They are a supplement that many people use for enhancement in order to reach health and fitness goals.

Protein shakes are typically consumed after a workout and as a replacement for a meal. Added to one’s daily diet, protein shakes provide excellent benefits, such as weight control, muscle building and better nutrient absorption.

This week on FoodFacts.com’s Know your ingredients with All My FoodFacts app series, we are featuring Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix. We are pleased to find that it scored a B+ in our health grading system!

Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix is vegan; it contains proteins from plants such as pea, cranberry and rice. Plant-based proteins are naturally low in sodium and cholesterol. They are also rich in phytonutrients that fight diseases and cholesterol-lowering fiber. The mix also contains flax seeds and chromium, which are great in regulating diabetes, plus all these other vitamins and minerals:

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Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix is only available for purchase from one of the independent consultants that belong to the company’s network. There are similar chocolate-flavored vegan protein shake mixes that can be bought from groceries and health stores. However, none of them fare as well as Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix. For instance, we took a look at one of the store products with the All My FoodFacts app, and this is what we found.

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Note: If you are able to get protein naturally, please continue to do so. Some of the best sources of protein among plants are: beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils. 

Find out if the protein mix you’re using is doing your body more harm than good with all my foodfacts app. Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

Celiac

The challenges of living with celiac disease

Living with celiac disease couldn’t possibly be a walk in the park. Despite having a month dedicated to its awareness, and the collective efforts of the medical community, advocates and celiacs themselves, many people are still in the dark as to what it really is. Or, quite simply, people just couldn’t comprehend the day-to-day struggles of those afflicted with the disease. FoodFacts.com shares a few of the the challenges that celiacs often face.

Cut-and-try testing

As previously mentioned, it takes six to eight years for celiac disease to be diagnosed correctly. Many people who manifest symptoms of the illness are, more often than not, diagnosed with other conditions, which may not at all be connected to celiac disease. For instance, a celiac could have vomiting symptoms whenever he or she ingests gluten, and then gets diagnosed with and treated for some form of eating disorder. In many cases, a person undergoes a number of other tests and gets misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly. The truth is, there are many people who do not have the resources to be passed on from specialist to specialist, let alone go through various expensive tests. Needless to say, this is an exhausting cycle for anyone to endure.

Being misunderstood

For unknowing celiacs, the scorn is on the “lapses” in their behavior. People who suffer with celiac disease may appear tired after having eaten a small piece of food that contains gluten. Others usually perceive the fatigue as laziness and lack of interest or commitment. And, in the example mentioned above, a celiac who throws up after his or her meal are frequently mistaken for being calorie-obsessed and figure-conscious.

Healing process

The suffering doesn’t end when celiacs are finally correctly diagnosed. It is never easy for anyone to give up their favorite foods, no matter how sick they get after eating them. Also, change doesn’t happen overnight. A newly diagnosed celiac may go gluten-free immediately, but it may take months or years for his or her body to fully heal.

Persistent challenges

There is a widely believed misconception that gluten-free diet actually means eating healthier. Unfortunately, the popularity of this food trend has inadvertently made celiac disease some sort of a joke. From late night shows to grocery stores and restaurants, many celiacs find themselves regarded as – and ridiculed for – being hypochondriacs riding on the gluten-free fad.

As with any health condition, celiac disease is not something one would hope to live with. However, it is a delight to see how many people who have this illness power through their everyday lives. As Celiac Disease Awareness Month comes to a close, bear in mind that gluten-free is not just a multi-million dollar trend with a 44-million-strong market. There’s actually a large number of that market who consume it as a health necessity.

Tip: It’s convenient to head over the grocery aisle that holds processed, ready-made gluten-free foods. However, these products may not necessarily be the healthy way to nourish your body, especially when it has suffered years of damage. It’s always best to seek out natural, gluten-free ingredients and prepare your meals yourself. Use the all my food facts app to find products that are safe for you to eat. 

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Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

Agave nectar

Know your ingredients with All My FoodFacts app: Madhava Agave Nectar Amber

Agave nectarAgave nectar is a product of blue agave plant that typically thrives in Southern Mexico. The agave plant is fairly low on the glycemic load chart, and larger amount of sweetness than refined sugar. This means that a small amount of agave nectar goes a long way. According to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the agave plant contains phytochemicals that are beneficial in strengthening the immune system.

Agave nectar comes in light, dark, amber and raw varieties. The amber variety has a medium-intensity caramel flavor. It is commonly used for savory dishes and sauces, healthy fruit drinks and most especially desserts. The amber agave nectar can also be consumed directly from the bottle as a topping for pancakes and French toast.

Agave nectar is sometimes called agave syrup or agave sweetener. It is similar to honey, and is therefore widely used by vegans as a substitute because it is not derived from animals. This week, FoodFacts.com took a look at Madhava Agave Nectar Amber with the All My FoodFacts app, and here’s what we found.

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Note: The product information shown above is only a general overview of Madhava Agave Nectar Amber. Sign up on our website for personalized specifications on which products are good for you and which you should avoid based on your dietary data, or you can get the All My FoodFacts app on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

Tips to help you transition to veganism

vegan-1161192If you’re planning to transition to veganism, you couldn’t have chosen a better time. In the recent years, there has been a burgeoning popularity of organic produce as well as awareness on the health benefits of meatless diets. In addition to that, a vast number of people became more concerned on the environmental costs of meat production, including the cruelties involved in animal farming.

There are varying reports as to the percentage of the U.S. population that is vegan. However the number is large enough to catapult vegan restaurants and food manufacturers, and other related businesses. Vegan blogs and social accounts are also thriving. Needless to say, there are plenty of resources out there that cater to the vegan market and can also help those who wish to make the transition. Foodfacts.com shares some helpful tips to kick-off your plant-based diet.

Do your research

While we’ve known that fruits and vegetables are good for us since kindergarten, that piece of wisdom merely scratches the surface of what you need to know as you embark on this journey towards veganism. Educate yourself on how the lifestyle can be beneficial for you before taking the leap.

Find recipe inspirations

If you need get over the notion that meatless diets are boring, all you need to do is look for vegan recipes. Creative vegans on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the run-on-the-mill recipe blogs will show you just how enticing vegan food can be.

Tip: Look for instructional posts that teach you how to turn your favorite foods into vegan meals. Almost every animal product has a plant-based substitute. The texture and taste will definitely be different, but this trick has found a lot of success in helping people switch to a vegan diet.

Keep it simple

If the whole vegan meal preparation intimidates you, start with the basics. Keep things simple - oatmeal with chopped fruits for breakfast, soup or salad for lunch, and seasoned, roasted root vegetables with quinoa for dinner. Throw in some fruity smoothies for refreshments, too!

Remodel your shopping list

Focus on what you’ll be gaining, not what you’re giving up. Instead of thinking you shouldn’t buy meat, eggs and milk on your next trip to the grocery, realign your psyche on shopping for quinoa, sweet potatoes and coconut milk. Besides, no one ever brings a things not to buy list to the grocery stores!

Take it easy

Remember to take it one day at a time and transition at your own pace. If you’re not ready to go all out, start by incorporating these vegan superfoods in your daily diet. When you’re finally ready to give up meat and meat products, be sure to avoid processed vegan foods. Opt for a variety of vegan whole foods to keep your diet balanced.

The all my foodfacts app can help with your efforts towards becoming vegan. By selecting the types of food that you want to avoid, all my foodfacts will show you which products contain them. In this case, when you add “animal-derived” to your avoid list and run a search on condiments, the app includes the products that are derived from animals in the results and indicates that you should avoid them. 

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Find out if the products you are using are really vegan with the all my foodfacts app. Get it on iTunesGoogle Play and Amazon!

Vegan superfoods you should add to your diet

sweet-potato-1241696No, veganism is not just another food fad. It’s a way of life, and has been practiced in many different cultures for centuries. However, there has clearly been a significant rise in the number of people around the world who have switched to a vegan diet in the recent years for a number of reasons. Whether it’s for personal wellness, for the animals or for the environment, this shift in behavior has contributed to an organic products phenomenon.

The thought of giving up meat can be daunting as it is not an easy feat. Thankfully, there are lots of materials and communities that can help with transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. But if you’re not ready to make that commitment (or are just simply set with being an omnivore), Foodfacts.com recommends these vegan superfoods to incorporate in your daily meals.

Lemons

It doesn’t get any simpler than these bright yellow fruits! Enjoy them as a lemonade drink or squeeze them in everything! Lemons are rich in vitamin C and adds a zesty, citrusy flavor to your dish. In addition, lemon juice can enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron from plant sources, making lemon vinaigrette the perfect dressing to your salad!

Dark Chocolate

Who can say no to chocolates? Just be sure to avoid the sugary, dairy-filled milk chocolates. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. It can improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases.

Walnuts

Walnuts are essential sources of Omega-3 that helps in keeping your heart and brain functioning. Eat them as a standalone snack, add as an ingredient to your meals, or as a topping to your salad and ice cream!

Nooch

Nooch is short for nutritional yeast. This superfood is rich in B vitamins, protein and fiber. The best part about nooch is that it is the ultimate add-on. Sprinkle it on salad, soup, popcorn or whathaveyou to make them all taste better.

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Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, C and D, and potassium, magnesium  and iron. They are a good source of beta carotene, which not only helps improve eyesight and immune system, but also fights cancer.

Disclaimer: Although these superfoods generally offer great health benefits, they may not all be right for everyone. We highly recommend that you discuss your plans to make dietary changes with a nutritionist or your doctor.

 

Know your ingredients with All My FoodFacts app: McCormick Gourmet Anise Seed


AAniset FoodFacts.com, we are committed to informing you of the nutrition found in the food that you are consuming. We have decided to start a new series on the FoodFacts.com blog, which will feature a product and its ingredient data to be published every Friday.

In our previous blog post, we shared the most commonly used spices that can cause allergic reactions, and anise is one of them. Anise is an aromatic plant used as an herb for centuries for cooking and medicinal purposes. It is similar in taste to tarragon and fennel. Typically, anise leaves are only used only for additional flavoring, and the seeds are used as a spice ingredient added to a recipe.

If you’ve been using McCormick Gourmet Anise Seed to season your dishes, then we have good news for you! Using the All My FoodFacts app, we found that this product scored an A on our healthgrade score based on its ingredient data!

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Note: The product information shown above is a general overview of McCormick Gourmet Anise Seed. Sign up on our website for personalized specifications on which products are good for you and which you should avoid based on your dietary data, or you can get the All My FoodFacts app on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

Healthy meals to prepare for Mother’s Day

Mom’s cooking is the best, alright, but this Mother’s Day, give your favorite resident chef a break! Spoil mom with these delicious and healthy meals to show her how much you love and appreciate her.

Whether you’re making breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a little snack for mom, Foodfacts.com has got you covered!

Breakfast: Organic buttermilk blueberry pancakes

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Wake mom up with the smell of freshly-cooked pancakes delivered to her bed. These organic buttermilk blueberry pancakes are sure to get her ready to start the day!

Get the recipe: Buttermilk blueberry pancakes

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Organic Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mixes

Lunch: Grilled pork chops and peaches

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This seared-on-the-grill, caramelized, charred pork chops-and-peaches combo is guaranteed to be a hit! Add in some kale, and you’ve got the perfect lunch!

Get the recipe: Grilled pork chops and peaches

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce

Dinner: Sun-dried tomato and feta stuffed artichokes

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End the day with this light, scrumptious and nutritious dinner. The burst of flavors these tasty sun-dried tomatoes and tangy feta cheese stuffed in hearty artichokes is sure to be a party in her mouth!

Get the recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Stuffed Artichokes

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Wegmans Traditional, Feta Cheese in Brine, Fat Free

Dessert: Chickpea Cookie Dough

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Of course, mom gets to have some dessert. Treat mom with these sweets, minus the guilt!

Bonus: It makes for a great opportunity for quality time to make them together with mom, too!

Get the recipe: Chickpea Cookie Dough

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Nature’s Agave Premium Raw Agave Nectar

 

Note: Though some of these meals require some level of kitchen experience, don’t worry about messing them up. It’s practically impossible for mom to get disappointed at any gesture on Mother’s Day. You could get all the recipes all wrong, but she’ll still love them anyway — and you even more!

Happy New Year … a look at 2015 in food

foodcollageHappy New Year! As FoodFacts.com looks forward to a healthy, educational 2016 in a world with fewer unhealthy ingredients, and more nutritionally aware consumers, we’re looking back at 2015 to see what we can find in terms of trends and important food issues that came to the forefront this year. Here’s a look at 2015 in food.

Cage-free, antibiotic-free, artificial-free. Sound familiar?

Many of the world’s biggest food companies announced major changes this year — in what they purchase and how they manufacture their food.

Many of the big moves we saw came from companies striving to bring more transparency to their supply chain. McDonald’s pledged to source chickens raised without antibiotics. Dunkin’ Donuts and Costco are switching to cage-free eggs.

Some companies signaled to customers that they were “cleaning up” and simplifying their ingredient lists. Panera ditched dozens of additives. Even Lucky Charms and Butterfingers are getting minor makeovers: General Mills and Nestle said they’re removing artificial colors and flavors from their products.
“Big Food is definitely feeling the pressure,” Scott Allmendinger, who consults with food companies for the Culinary Institute of America, told us. Packaged-food companies lost $4 billion in market share last year, according to a Fortune analysis.

A 2015 Nielsen survey found an increasing number of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium for “all natural,” “clean” and minimally processed foods. (As we’ve reported, it’s hard to know what any of these terms actually mean. The federal government is soliciting input for how to define “natural.”) And, it seems, these foods marketed as cleaner and more natural are blending into mainstream grocery stores. One example: the success of Kroger’s Simple Truth line of products, which focus on “simpler” and organic ingredients.

“Consumers are slowly migrating away” from the center aisle of the grocery store that’s filled with processed baked goods and canned foods, says Jack Russo, an analyst with Edward Jones, a financial advisory firm.
At the same time, the sales of foods marketed as “local” have surged to $11 billion a year. The organic and natural sector, including GMO-free and gluten-free, is growing at about 8 to 10 percent a year, says Russo.
Russo sees this trend continuing, with growth continuing in the 6 to 8 percent range for the next few years, he says.

Food Waste
Another issue that gained traction this year: the 133 billion pounds of food wasted in the U.S. annually.

To put a visual to this estimate, imagine filling a huge skyscraper such as the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) 44 times.

That’s the image that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack used when he announced in October a new national goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Everyone who eats could play a role in reducing waste. And we have plenty of moral imperatives to do it. As Pope Francis once said, some food waste is akin to “stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.” The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that the typical American family tosses out about $1,600 a year in groceries.

There’s plenty wasted on farms, too, some of which is entirely unavoidable. But as we documented in this story, a lot of food isn’t harvested simply because it’s not quite up to our cosmetic standards. Often, bags of salad and plenty of other edible food items end up in landfills because they won’t stay fresh long enough to be shipped across the country. A number of NGOs and startups are trying to figure out how to get more of it into the hands of the hungry and the people happy to pay less for imperfect produce.

The environmental footprint of food waste is significant. As we’ve reported, all that food we toss out is creating billions of tons of greenhouse gases, and costing us precious water and land.

Foodborne Illness
This year also brought some high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness. If you’re a Chipotle stockholder, you’re probably well aware of the fallout.

As we’ve reported, Chipotle Mexican Grill is linked to two separate outbreaks of E. coliinfections. The first outbreak sickened 53 people in nine states and prompted the temporary closure of many Chipotle locations in Washington and Oregon.

Then, in early December an outbreak of norovirus sickened at least 120 people in Boston, mostly students at Boston College. Most of the sick students reported eating at a nearby Chipotle.

As our colleague Dan Charles reported, city health inspectors cited Chipotle for allowing a sick employee to work his shift. In the violation report, the inspectors specified that the restaurant should follow its employee illness policy.

Though the Chipotle outbreak got a lot of attention, there are thousands of outbreaks of norovirus each year.

The CDC says norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne disease in the U.S. It’s estimated that about 20 million people a year get sick with it.

The vast majority of outbreaks are caused by infected workers. So, hopefully, the lesson learned in 2015 is this: Restaurants need to keep sick workers off the job.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 food service workers has gone to work while sick with vomiting or diarrhea. “It is vital that food service workers stay home if they are sick,” says the CDC’s Aron Hall. He says businesses should consider measures such as paid sick days.

Innovation And Investment In Food And Agriculture
While Big Food is hustling to keep up with changing consumer tastes and values, hundreds of new and nimble companies are entering the marketplace to compete with them. A report by the Dutch banking group Rabobank found that investment in food and agriculture is set to surpass $4 billion by the end of the year.

Rabobank thinks we’re headed toward a “smarter food system.” And plenty of companies and investors want to help us get there. How? Mainly, with technology and (big) data tools for both consumers and farmers.

Venture capitalists are excited about food and agriculture, too, and are pouring money into startups. Entrepreneur reported earlier this year that “startups all along the food chain — from farmers and tech companies to home cooks — are reaping huge rewards [from venture firms]: $2.06 billion invested in the first half of 2015 … nearly as much as the $2.36 billion total for 2014.”

FoodFacts.com likes the direction in which we’re headed. We’re excited to see consumer trends following a healthier, more natural path. And we couldn’t be more pleased about how food manufacturers are reacting to that consumer path. We’re expecting to see more of the same in 2016 and beyond!

Happy New Year!

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/29/460589462/the-year-in-food-artificial-out-innovation-in-and-2-more-trends

Do you REALLY know how much sugar is in your food?

FoodFacts.com just recently discovered this, and we figured we would share it.

Thank you Cousin Marilyn for sending in this information!

4.2 grams = 1 teaspoonful of sugar = 1 cube.

**Each cube is a teaspoonful.**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, wishing you the best from FoodFacts.com!

All the Cows Go Mad — The Latest on Mad Cow Disease

 

Photo from CNN.com

FoodFacts.com would like to address the news of confirmed “mad cow disease” case in California.

Think back to a little less than a decade ago, when “mad cow disease” was first mentioned in the United States. The widespread panic that ensued following a presumptive diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow disease,” in Washington took over news headlines for weeks.

In 2006, the phrase “mad cow disease” came up again, when a cow in Alabama was confirmed to have BSE.

And then today, news broke that South Korea had suspended the sale of beef from the US following the confirmation of BSE in a dairy cow in California.

Some people may fail to remember why the panic ensued back in 2003 and 2004 – just that the term “mad cow disease” resulted in fear across the country. But the fear is valid, given the deaths of 150 in the 1980s and 1990s in Britain that were cause by BSE.

What is BSE and why should we fear it? What does it do?

BSE is a fatal neurological disease in cattle, and is related to something called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans, which is an incurable disease that results in the decrease of mental function and movement, and eventually, possibly death. Humans can contract the disease following the consumption of beef from an infected cow.

Should people be concerned? According to public health officials, people in the United States have a very low risk of consuming beef from an infected cow or contracting the illness, and no extra precautions need to be taken.

Wishing you the best from all of us here at FoodFacts.com!