Tag Archives: candy

So what’s really in that beef you’re eating for dinner tonight?

FoodFacts.com has come across some information that might make you think twice before purchasing, cooking or eating beef from you local butcher or grocery store. It seems that the drought has hit ranchers very hard this year and some have been unable to keep up with the rising prices of corn – the usual feed for cattle.

As an answer to the problems, some cattle ranchers have switched their traditional feed sources and have come up with some “out of the box” solutions in order to survive this very difficult time. The only problem with that is that it may make the rest of us question whether or not we really want to be eating their beef.

Second-hand candy has become an alternative to regular cattle feed. Ranchers have explained that because candy has a higher ratio of fat than corn, they were concerned that the candy might not be effective. The candy is mixed with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient. In this manner they can provide a more balanced ration of fat while still maintaining cattle health. The cows being fed this mixture are gaining the appropriate amount of weight from the feed.

The ranchers are purchasing the candy from companies at a discounted rate because manufacturers have deemed it as salvage – or not acceptable to retailers. Sadly there is some information that states that there are times the candy is fed to the cattle in the mixture while still in their wrappers. Not a very pleasant meal, if I you ask us.

In addition, some ranchers are also feeding cattle a mixture called “blood meal”. This is created from clean, fresh animal blood, and should not include material such as hair,
stomach belchings, and urine but it is acknowledged and accepted that trace amounts of these materials may occur even in good manufacturing processes.

There are several other options for cattle ranchers in terms of feed. These are a few of them that are gaining in popularity because of the higher corn prices ranchers are facing. And while we sympathize with the rising costs of traditional cattle feed, we are more than a little concerned about the quality of the beef showing up in our butcher shops and grocery stores.

FoodFacts.com makes every effort to let you know what’s REALLY in your food. This is an issue we’ll keep a close eye on and make every attempt to provide you with further information in the days ahead. Meanwhile, read more: http://www.wpri.com/dpps/entertainment/must_see_video/cows-eating-candy-during-the-drought-nd12-jgr_4323303 and http://www.uwex.edu/ces/dairynutrition/documents/byproductfeedstuffs.pdf


FoodFacts.com hopes you have a great Halloween with your family! Tonight, after you’ve tucked the little ones in bed, you’ll probably engage in the tried and true parental secret tradition that’s existed since the very invention of trick-or-treating … the annual parental dig through the candy bag.


You know you’ve done it year in and year out. Kids are picky, and most of the time their favorites and adult favorites are two very different things. So we adults go through the stash piece by piece, finding the candy that we know our kids aren’t going to eat and we make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

So, exactly how detrimental is our yearly sweet, secret tradition? And are some of our favorites worse than others? Here’s a short list of our most popular Halloween treasures with the basic information we need to figure out how much damage we’re doing.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 230 calories, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated f, 20 g sugar (one large peanut butter cup)
Snickers, 280 calories, 14 g. fat, 5 g. saturated f., 30 g. sugar (regular bar)
M&M’s, 210 calories, 9 g. fat, 6 g. saturated fat, 27 g. sugar (1 ½ ou.)
Hershey’s Kisses, 230 calories, 13 g. fat, images-418 g. saturated f., 21 g. sugar (9 pieces)
Nestle Crunch, 220 calories, 11 g. fat, 7 saturated fat, 24 g. sugar (regular bar)
Three Musketeers, 260 calories, 8 g. fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 40 g. sugar (regular bar)
TWIX Caramel Cookie Bars, 280 calories, 14 g. fat, 11 g. saturated fat, 27 g. sugar (one package)

You can see pretty clearly that there really isn’t that much difference between these popular candies, although the sugar content spikes in a few of them. We do have to be careful though, just a little bit of any of these choices goes an awfully long way, and each packs a punch of calories and fat that we really don’t want to overdo. So if one isn’t enough (and it usually isn’t) it’s very easy to go overboard with calories, fats and sugar.images-21

So … remember the old rule you’ve repeated to your children so many times … sometimes more isn’t better. Enjoy your stash! And Happy Halloween!

Fast Foods and Food Stamps?

blog.foodfacts.com to learn more!

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

Approximately 45 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which provides food stamps to purchase produce, meats, dairy, breads, and packaged foods. There has been much controversy over which foods should actually be allowed to be purchased with food stamps based on nutritional value. Currently, items such as sodas, candy, and chips are able to be purchased, despite seeing trends in the rising obesity epidemic which is largely seen in low-income communities.

Recently, the Yum! Corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s have been lobbying to have their fast food restaurants included within food stamp programs. They’ve caught on to the increasing use of food stamps during these rough economic years and would like to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What are people saying about this? Some anti-hunger coalitions are actually encouraging it! They’re reasoning, not everyone can get to a grocery store, so a fast food restaurant may be the optimal choice for some. At Foodfacts.com, we’re aware that many people are facing a tough financial time. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to recommend a 2 minute walk to get a KFC Double Down, when you may have some access to whole foods with proper nutritional value.

In good news, many public health organizations are rallying against this movement. They argue that the more revenue these fast-food chains bring in, the more health complications we see, and the higher price we pay later on. Try to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible!


What is the food additive BHT?

Foodfacts.com wants you to know what controversial food additives are really being put into your foods. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a food additive which is used as a preservative, and when it appears on food labels, it indicates that the manufacturer is concerned about the potential for the food to go rancid. BHT is also used as a preservative in a number of other things, ranging from cosmetics to jet fuel. The substance was developed in the late 1940s, and approved for use in the 1950s.

This substance is an antioxidant, preventing oxidation damage to fats. When foods which are high in fat are not treated with preservatives, the fats can go rancid very quickly, causing the fats to taste bad, and potentially creating health risks for consumers. By using preservatives like BHT, manufacturers can ensure that their foods are shelf-stable longer, and that their flavors will be retained. Essentially, BHT intercepts free radicals, preventing them from attacking the fats.

BHT often appears in things like potato chips, which tend to be high in fat, along with baked goods and a wide variety of other foods. In cosmetics and other products, BHT works in the same way, protecting the fats in the product from damage which could cause the product to separate or go bad in other ways. In some instances, a related substance known as butylated hydrooxyanisole (BHA) may be used instead of BHT. BHA began displacing BHT in the 1970s, due to concerns about the health risks of BHT.

In pure form, BHT is a crystalline white power. It is highly fat soluble, allowing manufacturers to mix it into food as it is produced so that consumers will not notice the appearance or flavor of BHT. Like other food additives, BHT must be identified on a label; you may also see it identified as E321 in the European Union, which uses a system of numbers to mark various food additives.

The health risks of this food additive are a topic of debate, and further research is clearly needed. Some studies have linked BHT with an increase in tumors and malignant cancers, while others have suggested that it may help to protect the body from free radicals which cause other cancers. BHT also seems to have some antimicrobial and antiviral activities, and it has in fact been used in medical research for treating conditions like herpes. The Food and Drug Administration still considers BHT to be safe, although consumers who wish to avoid it may want to check their labels carefully.