Saturday, March 9, 2013

FOOD NEWS! For fun, for luxury, and just plain crazy

All right, it's no secret that I read a lot about food.  I also get all the trade magazines, and for the most part, read them as well.  I don't care about the price of wheat and corn, but the other stuff in them is pretty interesting.  This week, I learned some interesting things that I thought I would tell you all about here as you may not ever see them, as some are pretty whacky.

First off, IHOP is launching a new line of breakfast sandwiches.  Omelet sandwiches.  A made to order omelet on grilled sour dough bread.  To quote IHOP, "Our culinary team has created three delicious varieties of Griddle Melts, each using the finest ingredients and in a hearty size that requires both hands."  Finest ingredients?  Really, I bet they use that liquid butter flavored canola to grill the bread with.  Yuck.  It tastes like nasty oil to me.  Oh well, an interesting idea, and shows they are thinking.

Second, Hagen-Daazs is now coming out with gelato.  Yow, that could be dangerous for me.  Flavors will be the incredible and fabulous Stracciatella, sea salt caramel, dark chocolate chip, vanilla bean cappuccino, limoncello, black cherry and my second favorite flavor, amaretto.  Should be in stores by April, I personally am looking forward to this one.

Third, Mountain Dew, which is wholly owned by the demon Pepsico, is launching a new line of breakfast drinks.  They are to be called, Kickstart.. It is a caffeinated sparkling juice drink.  Makes me wonder if they will actually have any juice in them and if they will have the same problems 7up did with their marketing their chemically fruit flavored 7up flavors that they lost a huge lawsuit over because they had large pictures of real fruit on the labels, yet had no fruit at all in them.  I can't read the ingredients on the little tiny pictures of the cans, but I am 99% sure that the main ingredient is going to be High Fructose Corn Syrup Poison.  Oh well, buyer beware.

Fourth, Pizza Hut, another Yum! Foods company, is introducing mini pizzas.  Pizza sliders.  Nine for ten bucks.  Really?

Fifth, Dean Foods is reformulating chocolate milk.  It has 40% less sugar and gets its sweetness from lactose and natural sucrose.  Or so they say.  And it supposedly does not have any HFCS, so that could be a good thing.  We have to remember though that big dairy has petitioned the FDA to allow them to add aspartame and 4 other artificial sweeteners to chocolate milk and 17 other dairy products and NOT put it on the label.  That hasn't been approved yet, but I hope this isn't them just getting ready for that action.

Lastly, is Coca-Cola Co.'s incredibly profitable Simply Orange brand of juices.  They are coming out with more fruit and orange blends along with their fruit and lemonade blends as well.  They say they are nothing but fruit, but the label states right on it, "natural flavors"  Hmmmm, I wonder what they mean by that.  Let's try to remember that Coke patented a process to "purify" stevia  and claims the same thing, they make tea out of natural stevia. Then they process it.  The actual Coke patent for the process outlines a 40+ step process that includes the use of acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol to "purify" the stevia extract.  That is not natural.  What is in their "natural flavors"?

Food news is sometimes entertaining, the omelet sandwich is an interesting idea, messy maybe, and the pizza sliders, sort of unique.  When I was a kid, we made pizzas out of little deli breads, crackers, or bigger ones on English muffin halves, so it is not new, just a commercialization of an old concept.  Will they work?  Hard to say, however the actual news is that big business is attempting to change things.  Just not enough.

Some things that everyone can do that will help is to ask questions when you eat out or buy things at the supermarket.  Number one question I think that everyone should ask is if the meat they are serving/selling certified free of Ractopamine, the chemical added to feed that caused Russia and China to BAN all imports of American meats.  And of which the US is only one of 3 countries in the world that allows it to be added to our meat.  Number two question to ask, are any of the foods they sell GMO free.  (I got kicked out of a Safeway for doing this very thing)  Let everyone around you hear your questions, the sad fact of the matter is that most people have no idea about GMO foods and how scientific research has now proven that they are harmful when eaten long-term.  These types of news items aren't seen on the daily news or in the daily paper.  And the reason is, news stations and papers get most of their advertising revenue from agribusinesses and they CAN'T say bad things about their advertisers mains source of income. 

It's up to us to help get the word out to all consumers.  Talk about it, write about it, let the world around you know.  Maybe someday soon the news I report from the food business magazines will have news about how certain big food companies have remove canola, or gone non-GMO, or stopped adding toxins, or some other great and wonderful thing that puts the health of consumers above profits.  Now that would be news!

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