False advertising lawsuit filed against Almond Breeze: shockingly few almonds in the almond milk

Almond-Breeze1People love their almond milk. It tastes great. It’s healthy for you. It’s dairy free. Depending on the brand you buy, it’s a natural product. Unfortunately there are more than a few brands that are riding the coattails of that “health halo” that has formed around the product itself. Just do things the FoodFacts.com way and check the labels of some of the popular brands and you might be surprised. Now a new difficulty has come to the forefront in the form of a false advertising law suit against Almond Breeze almond milk.

According to a class action lawsuit filed in New York this past May (and amended on July 14), these popular items are more full of lies than they are actual almonds.

A pair of brave citizens are squaring off against Blue Diamond Growers, the largest processor and marketer of almonds in the world (according to their company website) in civil court. The plaintiffs, Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis, are claiming that Blue Diamond’s almond milk brand, Almond Breeze, has been fraudulently advertising itself as primarily containing almonds, when in actuality, it only contains about two percent.

According to the amended complaint, available to the public, Albert and Malaxianis were avid almond milk lovers — Albert even residing in California, where Blue Diamond helps produce a significant amount of the almonds grown in the U.S. every year. However, they became shocked when they learned that their Almond Breeze, according to nutritional information displayed by its UK counterpart, only contained two percent real almond. No such disclosure exists on the U.S. side of the almond milk aisle.

“Defendant is using its website to lead distributors, grocery stores, restaurants, consumers and other buyers and resellers of almond milk in the United States to believe that their almond milk branded products are primarily made from almonds,” read their complaint. “Said information from Defendant’s website has created a false perception amongst the public that Defendant’s almond milk labeled products are premium products that are healthy for you because they are primarily made from almonds.”

Regardless of the outcome, the civil case, filed in New York because of Malaxianis’s residency there, is coming at a time when almond milk has become incredibly popular. An article referenced by the complaint notes that sales of almond milk cleared over $700 million last year, with Blue Diamond the top dog (the original suit also named Whitewave Foods, which produces Silk, a brand that now includes almond milk). According to research they conducted online, the average amount of almond that should be found in almond milk is around 25 to 35 percent.

The two, fighting on behalf of themselves and “all other persons in the United States” who have ever purchased Almond Breeze, are claiming the company has committed unfair and deceptive business practices, false advertising, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

So it appears that Almond Breeze almond milk contains only 2% actual almonds. Of course, they needed to leave room in the product for the carrageenan and evaporated cane juice that are used to make Almond Breeze the tasty alternative to dairy milk so many consumers enjoy. Like we said, make sure you read the labels.


Saturated fats not as detrimental as trans fats

150811215545_1_540x360Is butter your enemy? How about other saturated fats like those that come from milk, meat or egg yolks? The theories surrounding these foods change over time and research. We had an entire decade filled with fat-free anything and everything – even cookies and cheese. That faded as more emphasis was placed on the importance of the presence of fats in our bodies in specific quantities and types. But FoodFacts.com knows that there are still rumblings among the folks who lived through the “fat-free” era about these and other types of fats. This new research may be of interest.

A study led by researchers at McMaster University has found that that trans fats are associated with greater risk of death and coronary heart disease, but saturated fats are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes.

The findings were published today by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The lead author is Russell de Souza, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics with the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

“For years everyone has been advised to cut out fats. Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear,” said de Souza.

“That said, we aren’t advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don’t see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health.”

Guidelines currently recommend that saturated fats are limited to less than 10 per cent, and trans fats to less than one per cent of energy, to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.

Saturated fats come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows’ milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils. Trans unsaturated fats (trans fats) are mainly produced industrially from plant oils (a process known as hydrogenation) for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods.

Contrary to prevailing dietary advice, a recent evidence review found no excess cardiovascular risk associated with intake of saturated fat. In contrast, research suggests that industrial trans fats may increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

To help clarify these controversies, de Souza and colleagues analysed the results of 50 observational studies assessing the association between saturated and/or trans fats and health outcomes in adults.

Study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias, and the certainty of associations were assessed using a recognized scoring method developed at McMaster.

The team found no clear association between higher intake of saturated fats and death for any reason, coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischemic stroke or type 2 diabetes.

However, consumption of industrial trans fats was associated with a 34 per cent increase in death for any reason, a 28 per cent increased risk of CHD mortality, and a 21 per cent increase in the risk of CHD.

Inconsistencies in the studies analysed meant that the researchers could not confirm an association between trans fats and type 2 diabetes. And, they found no clear association between trans fats and ischemic stroke.

The researchers stress that their results are based on observational studies, so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, the authors write that their analysis “confirms the findings of five previous systematic reviews of saturated and trans fats and CHD.”

De Souza, a registered dietitian, added that dietary guidelines for saturated and trans fatty acids “must carefully consider the effect of replacement foods.

“If we tell people to eat less saturated or trans fats, we need to offer a better choice. Unfortunately, in our review we were not able to find as much evidence as we would have liked for a best replacement choice, but ours and other studies suggest replacing foods high in these fats, such as high-fat or processed meats and donuts, with vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains.”

Clearly, trans fats do not belong in our diets. And, not so clearly, saturated fats (within limits) aren’t the enemy at all. It can be difficult to wrap our arms around the idea that butter isn’t the enemy. Overdoing anything IS the enemy. Moderation and balance are imperative for a healthy diet … and certain fats (especially those that have been – or will be – manufactured industrially) are the things we need to avoid. Eat real food. Buy ingredients at the grocery store (milk, eggs, cheese, produce, protein, nuts, grains, spices). Keep your diet balanced and interesting. We’ll all be on the right track for health and wellnesee.


Put that salt shaker down! New possible risk factor for multiple sclerosis has been identified … high sodium diets

Salt-Watch_111It really does seem that sugar and salt are in the news weekly with new research uncovering new links between them any number of avoidable health conditions. FoodFacts.com honestly doesn’t think we need any more motivation than what we’ve already had to start monitoring the amount of sugar and salt we consume on a daily basis. But just in case you need an additional push in the right direction, read the latest surprising association between too much sodium and your health.

New research in mice shows that diets high in sodium may be a novel risk factor in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) by influencing immune cells that cause the disease. Although this research does implicate salt intake as a risk factor, it is important to note that dietary salt is likely just one of the many environmental factors contributing to this complex disease, and very much influenced by one’s genetic background. This finding was published in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal.

“We hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of how and why environmental factors interact with individuals’ unique genetic make up to influence autoimmune diseases such as MS,” said Dimitry N. Krementsov, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medicine, Immunobiology Program at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont.

To make this discovery, Krementsov and colleagues fed a high salt diet or a control diet to three genetically different groups of mice. Researchers then induced a disease in these mice that mimics human MS. In one genetic group, both males and females fed a high salt diet showed worse clinical signs of the disease. In the other genetic group, only females showed a negative response to salt. In the third genetic group, there was no response to salt. Genetics were the critical factor. In the mice that did respond to salt, there were no direct changes in the function of their immune cells, but they showed signs of a weakened blood-brain barrier.

“As is the case with other things, you need to get enough salt so your body functions properly, but not too much or things start to go haywire,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “This report helps shed light on what can go wrong in individuals with genes that make one susceptible to autoimmune disease. It also helps us understand how much salt is just right for any given individual.”

High salt intake and MS. There’s another really good reason to go easy on the salt. Let’s learn to enjoy the actual taste of our food again. Let’s avoid fast food and fast casual chains where one component of any one meal might contain your entire day’s recommended daily sodium intake. Let’s read labels vigilantly. Let’s stay healthy.


Going where no breakfast sandwich has gone before … Dunkin’s Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich

1368630299433If you go to the Dunkin website and look this one up, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is promoted with the tagline, “Going Where No Breakfast Has Gone.” If you’re FoodFacts.com, a line like that can be pretty scary as it can imply any number of things that essentially translate to “stay far, far away.”

To be honest, making a sandwich out of a glazed donut strikes us as a messy, sticky meal and does not push any of our happiness buttons. We understand that there may be others that aren’t left with that immediate impression. So if you’re one of the folks out there who’s wondering whether or not to indulge, let’s explore more about the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                360
Fat:                         20 grams
Saturated Fat:      8 grams
Sugar:                    13 grams

Honestly, considering the idea that the sandwich is a glazed donut WITH eggs AND bacon, the nutrition facts are fairly reasonable. They aren’t great, but honestly we expected to see worse.

What about the ingredients?

INGREDIENTS: Glazed Donut: Donut [Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts and Beta Carotene), Eggs], Glaze [Sugar, Water, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Mono and Diglycerides, Agar, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Artificial Flavor]; Fried Egg: Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sautee Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; Bacon: Pork, cured with: Water, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Smoke Flavoring, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.

There are far too many controversial ingredients in here – a few of which really stand out from the pack. Things like Natural Sautee Flavor, Artificial Butter Flavor and Smoke Flavoring are terrible additions to this ingredient list.

So in addition to the major possibility that the sandwich itself is messy and sticky, the contents in the sandwich in our opinion are messy and stick. We wouldn’t have indulged before we knew what was really in here. We’re certainly not going near it now.


Taco Bell’s new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken – it really is too much

pdp-smothered-burrito-chickenIf you’ve heard about the new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken from Taco Bell and you’re considering giving it a go, FoodFacts.com would like to suggest that you wander over to the Taco Bell website and do a little research before you indulge.

What you’ll find is an image of the burrito that honestly looks just a bit over the top. One look at that image and you have to know that the nutrition facts and the ingredient list won’t be good because the product itself is really just too much … of everything. Here’s the Taco Bell description, “Our Smothered Burrito is filled with shredded chicken, premium Latin rice, hearty beans, and creamy chipotle sauce. Then it’s smothered with red sauce, loads of melted cheeses and topped with reduced-fat sour cream. Also available with seasoned beef or marinated premium thick-cut steak.”

Here are the nutrition facts:

Calories:                         640
Fat:                                  27 grams
Saturated Fat:               9 grams
Sodium:                         2,220 mg

Just imagine what the seasoned beef and steak versions look like! The sodium content in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken is waaay too high and the calories are pushing it for a menu item featuring chicken. Why bother? Taco Bell has lost the appeal of featuring chicken in a product when the nutritional benefits are completely buried by everything else going on.
And here’s the everything else that’s going on in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken:

Red Sauce: Water, seasoning (modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, paprika (VC), salt, tomato powder, onion powder, spices, garlic powder, natural flavors (contains gluten), xanthan gum, malic acid, caramel color (C), ascorbic acid, citric acid, trehalose)., Shredded Chicken: Chicken breast, water, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, tomato powder, modified potato starch, garlic powder, dextrose, paprika (VC), onion powder, spices, maltodextrin, citric acid, safflower oil, disodium inosinate & guanylate, vinegar, sugar, soy lecithin), canola oil, rosemary extract (P). Contains: Soy, Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Refried Beans: Pinto beans, soybean oil, seasoning (salt, sugar, spice, beet powder (VC), natural flavors, sunflower oil, maltodextrin, corn flour, trehalose, modified cornstarch).,Premium Latin Rice: Enriched long grain rice, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, sugar, maltodextrin, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried cilantro, disodium inosinate & guanylate)., Three Cheese Blend: Part skim mozzerella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey pepper jack cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, water, cream, sodium citrate, jalapeno peppers, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic Acid (P)), anti-caking agent. Contains: Milk, Reduced-Fat Sour Cream: Milk, cream, modified corn starch, contains less than 1% of modified tapioca starch, maltodextrin, gelatin, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, citric acid, potassium sorbate (P), natural and artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, locust bean gum, carrageenan, vitamin A. Contains: Milk, Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk

How’s that for a too-long ingredient list? Double-digit controversial ingredients. And honestly, even some of the ingredients that aren’t considered controversial are somewhat disturbing. Tomato powder, anyone?

We don’t think anyone should ever be this hungry. Sorry, Taco Bell.


Carbs played an essential role in human brain development

Oxalis-tuberosaWe don’t like carbohydrates much these days. They’ve been the new avoidance food for quite a while now. A few decades back, eggs and beef were off the menu. Then we went through the anti-fat revolution which saw the dawn of every fat-free product imaginable in our grocery stores. Today, we try to avoid carbohydrates as much as we possibly can. We should be more specific and talk about the avoidance of starches. Many of us aren’t eating potatoes, rice, grains, breads, pastas, etc. Honestly, we do lose weight that way. It is restrictive, though. In addition, whole grains are very good for us. So do carbs get a bad rap? Maybe … if you consider new information that credits carbohydrates with the development of our human brains.

It is widely accepted that the addition of meat to our ancestors’ diet contributed greatly to the evolution of the brain into the complex organ it is today, but for the most part the role of carbohydrates has been overlooked. What’s more, in recent years carbohydrates have been somewhat demonized as a major contributing factor for obesity. A new study, however, is suggesting that carbs, specifically starches, have had a significant role to play in the evolution of the human brain over the last million years.

Lead author Karen Hardy and her colleagues analyzed archaeological, anthropological, physiological, anatomical, and genetic data in order to prove their hypothesis that starchy foods were no less important than animal protein for making humans smarter, reports Phys.org. The researchers argue in their paper, aptly named “The Importance of Dietary Carbohydrate in Human Evolution”, that starch-rich foods were essential for satisfying the increased energy needs of the growing human brain during the Pleistocene period and later. The digestion of carbs was helped by the development of cooking, which transformed many foods rich in difficult to digest carbs into a form that ensured easier digestion and subsequently higher levels of blood glucose – an essential development because the brain consumes as much as 60% of blood glucose, as well as a quarter of the body’s overall energy needs.

Another argument in favor of starchy foods having played a key role in the evolution of humans is that they contributed to the expansion of our lung volume and to “successful reproduction”. Hardy et al note that a modern human needs a reliable source of what are called glycemic carbohydrates – carbs that can be metabolized into glucose – to support the function not just of the brain, but also of the kidneys, red blood cells and the tissues of the reproductive organs. Although there is still a debate on whether carbohydrates are essential for the proper functioning of the body, seeing as glucose can be synthesized from other food groups such as fats, evidence seems to point towards a certain necessary minimum of glycemic carbohydrates – 30g to 50g daily – in order for the brain to function properly.

Starchy foods, such as potatoes and some seeds and nuts, are a widely available source of glycemic carbohydrates. Evidence from archaeological sites around the world shows that tubers, seeds, and nuts were often found in abundance in areas occupied by early hominins, which would have made them a readily available source of nutrition.

Alongside cooking was a genetic evolution which aided human’s consumption of carbs. Hardy and her team found that salivary amylase – the enzyme that is crucial for the breaking down of carbohydrates into sugars – is present in around six gene copies in modern humans. To compare, other primates have it in just two gene copies. While the exact point in time when this multiplication of amylase-bearing gene copies occurred remains uncertain, genetic evidence suggests it was some time in the last million years. In other words, cooking, the addition of carbohydrates to the human diet, and the increase in gene copies responsible for amylase in the salivary glands happened or evolved at around the same time, spurring the rapid growth of our brain size in the last 800,000 years.

Really fascinating. Is it enough to tell us that carbs are an important component in our diets. We need somewhere between 30 and 50g a day in order for our brain to function properly.
FoodFacts.com understands that most are eating far more than that requirement. We can – and do – overdo just about anything. But never eating a potato again is probably not the best way to maintain a healthy weight. Just some food for thought.


Spice things up for a longer life

150804202650_1_540x360Like a little spice in your life? Your proclivity for spicy foods may actually help extend your lifespan. While FoodFacts.com has long understood that previous research has linked health benefits like reduced risk of obesity, inflammation and cancer to certain beneficial spices, we thought this newest finding was particularly interesting.

An international team led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences examined the association between consumption of spicy foods as part of a daily diet and the total risk and causes of death.

They undertook a prospective study of 487,375 participants, aged 30-79 years, from the China Kadoorie Biobank. Participants were enrolled between 2004-2008 and followed up for morbidities and mortality.

All participants completed a questionnaire about their general health, physical measurements, and consumption of spicy foods, and red meat, vegetable and alcohol.

Participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, and stroke were excluded from the study, and factors such as age, marital status, level of education, and physical activity were accounted for.

During a median follow-up of 7.2 years, there were 20,224 deaths.

Compared with participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods 1 or 2 days a week were at a 10% reduced risk of death (hazard ratios for death was 0.90). And those who ate spicy foods 3 to 5 and 6 or 7 days a week were at a 14% reduced risk of death (hazard ratios for death 0.86, and 0.86 respectively).*

In other words, participants who ate spicy foods almost every day had a relative 14% lower risk of death compared to those who consumed spicy foods less than once a week.

The association was similar in both men and women, and was stronger in those who did not consume alcohol.

Frequent consumption of spicy foods was also linked to a lower risk of death from cancer, and ischaemic heart and respiratory system diseases, and this was more evident in women than men.

Fresh and dried chili peppers were the most commonly used spices in those who reported eating spicy foods weekly, and further analysis showed those who consumed fresh chili tended to have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and diabetes.

Some of the bioactive ingredients are likely to drive this association, the authors explain, adding that fresh chili is richer in capsaicin, vitamin C, and other nutrients. But they caution against linking any of these with lowering the risk of death.

Should people eat spicy food to improve health? In an accompanying editorial, Nita Forouhi from the University of Cambridge says it is too early to tell, and calls for more research to test whether these associations are the direct result of spicy food intake or whether this is a marker for other dietary or lifestyle factors.

* A hazard ratio is a measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time.

Some of us are bigger fans of spicier foods than others. So, if you’re a little on the spicy side, you may want to kick up the heat in your meals on a regular basis. While it’s not proven, it certainly can’t hurt!


Caution: White bread may be depressing.

dsfkjadfalsdkflasdfWhy do people become depressed? It’s an old and crucial question and one that science is still working on finding answers to. FoodFacts.com knows that more and more diet has been linked to depression. Fast food and other junk foods have been identified as culprits. But there seem to be other dietary catalysts.

White bread, rice and pasta have been known to have villainous effects on the waistline, but it seems that they are about to become more villainous to as a new study found out that these types of refined carbs are linked to increased risk of depression.

The new study which linked white bread to increased risk of depression was published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”. In the recent study, the researchers studied data involving more than 70,000 women who were participants in the women’s health initiative program of National Institutes of Health between 1994 to 1998.

The researchers found out that the more women consumed refined grains and added sugars, the more they were at risk of new on-set depression. In addition, women who integrated white bread, rice and pasta into their diet had higher scores on the glycemic index (GI) which is used to measure the rate of how the carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed in the human body.

Women who consumed food rich in whole grains, dietary fibers, non-juice fruits and vegetables were discovered to be at lower risk for depression.

“This suggests that dietary interventions could serve as treatments and preventive measures for depression,” wrote James Gangswisch, along with his co-authors in the study. Gangswisch is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

In conclusion, the researchers explained that refined foods awaken a hormonal body response that reduce blood sugar levels. When this happens, the human body goes into a “sugar high” mode and eventually end up in “sugar crash” after. This means that consuming white bread, rice and pasta (which are famous for their refined carbs and added sugars) are main culprits that lead to mood swings, fatigue, and linked to increased risk of depression.

Having a healthy and balanced diet, focusing mainly on whole grains, fruits, and fresh produce is still one of the best ways to steer clear from the path of depression.

That healthy, balanced diet answer seems to present itself in so many health situations, we’re hopeful the idea is finally catching on. It’s pretty simple. Eat real food and your body functions better and has fewer difficulties.

For those that always thought that white bread was depressing (fairly flavorless without any real texture), turns out you were right all along …


Love that Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad from Wendy’s? Get the facts here.

unnamedThe Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad has a lot of fans. In all fairness, Panera Bread was the first chain to make people fall in love with strawberry chicken salad. But the Wendy’s version certainly has a huge number of folks that wait for it’s coming and mourn its passing each and every year.

Strawberries and chicken are a great combination. Incredibly summery with bright flavors, there’s a freshness about the salad that’s surprising for a fast food menu item. But it is fast food and it does leave FoodFacts.com wondering what’s really in there. Let’s explore that and see what we can find out.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                         550
Fat:                                  30 grams
Saturated Fat:               10 grams
Sodium:                         1630 mg

These facts are for the full size salad, which is what most people order for a meal. Fortunately, the nutrition facts DO include the dressing. Unfortunately, These aren’t the best facts for a health-conscious salad lover.

Let’s find out if the ingredient list is as fresh as the flavor of strawberries and chicken:

Applewood Smoked Bacon: Pork Cured With: Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Eryhthobate, Sodium Nitrite. Blue Cheese Crumbles: Blue Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, penicillium roqueforti), Powdered Cellulose (to prevent caking), Natamycin (to protect flavor). CONTAINS: MILK. Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Sugar, Honey, Corn Starch, Calcium Stearate (anti-caking agent), Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Lactose (from milk), Xanthan Gum, Soybean Oil. CONTAINS: MILK, SOY. Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette: Water, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Concentrated Apple Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Shallots, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, White Vinegar, Onion Juice, Mustard Seed, Salt, White Wine, Natural Flavour (yeast extract, salt, sugar, bacon fat, water, natural flavour), Spices, Natural Flavour, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Xanthan Gum.
Strawberry Fields Salad Blend: Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spring Mix (baby Lettuces [red & green romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla rosa, tango], spinach, mizuna, arugula, tatsoi, red chard, green chard), Strawberries, Red Onions. Grilled Chicken Breast: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (sea salt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, gum Arabic, dextrose), Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Rubbed with Paprika and Spice. *Grilled, Homestyle, and Spicy Chicken Fillets are cut on a common cutting board

We’re not fans. There are far too many mentions of natural flavor occurring in this ingredient list. It’s like the loophole for fast food chains. Let’s make something that appears fresh and natural, promote it as fresh and natural even though it has natural flavors which aren’t fresh and natural.

We can easily make this salad in our own kitchen. The ingredients will be better. The taste will be better. And we’ll be a lot happier for the effort.


Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade … not the best way to beat the heat

THE WENDY'S COMPANYFoodFacts.com has noticed a trend in fast food lately. Chains seem to be introducing beverages outside of the soda category in an effort to listen to their consumers who are moving away from sodas in their beverage choices. We do like the trend, but some of the beverages have proven fairly questionable.

Today we’re taking a look at Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade. In the heat of the summer this certainly sounds like a great choice with summery blackberries and old fashioned lemonade combining to quench our thirst. We feel like we have to investigate before we indulge though. So here’s the inside information.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:              390
Fat:                       0 grams
Sugar:                  93 grams

Wow. If we order the medium sized Blackberry Lemonade (depicted in these nutrition facts), we’ll be consuming over 23 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR!!!! We really don’t like this at all and we can’t think of anyone that would.

Lemonade (sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon pulp, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor), Blackberry Syrup (sugar, water, strawberries, blackberry puree, corn syrup, ginger, modified cornstarch, blackberry juice concentrate, natural flavor, raspberries, citric acid, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate [preservatives]).

We’re not particularly fond of the ingredient list either. Come on Wendy’s, why do we need natural flavors when the lemonade contains actual lemon juice and lemon pulp and the blackberry syrup contains real fruit? Why can’t that be flavorful enough? And we don’t understand the need for the sodium benzoate either.

Sorry Wendy’s, the new Blackberry Lemonade did not make our list of summer thirst quenchers. We would appreciate the opportunity to report on just one of these non-soda fast food beverages in a positive way. It appears, though, that we’ll have to keep waiting for that opportunity. This one is certainly not it.