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Archive for September, 2010

In rather shocking news, an 11-member advisory panel of the US FDA found that there is still not enough data to determine if the new AquAdvantage salmon is safe for consumers. It is interesting to note that in addition to consumer concerns, the safety of the fish themselves was put into question.

The Washington Post reported that, “AquAdvantage is an Atlantic salmon that has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish, which allows the salmon to grow twice as fast as a traditional Atlantic salmon. It also contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon.”

Be Food Smart considers this ruling a huge victory and will keep you updated as new information on this story become available.


ABC News

Washington Post

If that soda can had a warning label which stated “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children,” would you give it to your child? This is the decision parents in the European Union (EU) now have. After numerous studies indicated that artificial food dyes caused behavioral and hyperactivity issues in children, the EU finally took action. On July 20, 2010 new food coloring legislation went into effect in the EU which requires special labeling of foods containing six colorants.

Here are the six offending dyes:

In the US, it is very difficult to avoid consuming synthetic food dyes. Virtually every type of brightly colored candy contains food coloring as does soda, sports drinks, cereals, packaged snacks and most medication designed for children.  Food colorings in general, whether artificial or natural, have one thing in common: They are added to the food ONLY to make it look more appealing. Now, I try to avoid processed snacks and junk food as best I can, but throw a few Red Vines, gummy sour watermelons, or Peanut M&Ms in my line of sight and watch my willpower crumble.
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Be Food Smart Launches Website Today

Official Be Food Smart Launch!

We created Be Food Smart to help people understand what is really in the foods they buy and eat everyday. After 6 months of hard work, we are so excited to finally be launching our website to the world. Don’t forget to check out these links:

Take a look at that loaf of bread, soda can, or the ice cream carton in the freezer (yes, that one).  Do you know what every ingredient is? Chances are, there will be at least a few ingredients that you can barely pronounce and have no idea what they really are.  Here is where Be Food Smart comes in: test out our site by searching for those weird additives in our ingredient database. You’ll get easy to understand information with a quick visual (Report Card Score) on every ingredient.  Warning: once you start reading labels, it becomes addictive and you’ll find yourself a full-fledged “package flipper” (constantly flipping over food packages to find the ingredient label).

We are still in beta mode and would really like to hear your feedback. Leave your comments on this blog post or contact us. We hope you find our website a valuable resource and appreciate your help in spreading the word!

Dina & Jonas

Be Food Smart Giveaway: iPod Shuffle

UPDATE: The contest is now over (congratulations to Brandi our winner). Please stay tuned for future giveaways. By ‘Liking’ us on Facebook or submitting your stay informed info on our home page, you will automatically be notified of new contests.

To celebrate the launch of the Be Food Smart website, we are giving away a Special Edition iPod Shuffle! Enter the contest by simply answering this question:

What do you like most about the www.BeFoodSmart.com website?

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this blog post
  2. Contest runs September 15-21, 2010
  3. One entry per person
  4. We can only ship to a United States shipping address
  5. Winner will be selected and contacted on September 22

Win this special edition iPod Shuffle!

iPod Shuffle is a 2G Special Edition Red Product (1GB)

Today, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) issued a press release stating that they are petitioning the FDA for the option to use the term “Corn Sugar” as an alternative to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Their main goal? To eliminate consumer confusion.

“Consumers need to know what is in their foods and where their foods come from and we want to be clear with them. The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from – corn.” – Audrae Erickson, CRA President

Wow, where do I begin. First, could this new initiative have anything to do with the nasty consumer backlash the CRA has experienced against HFCS? I’m starting to see “No HFCS” on all sorts of products. Do you think the HFCS manufacturers are starting to feel a pinch to their bank accounts? Consumer groups and active shoppers have sent manufacturers a message: they don’t want HFCS in their foods. What does the CRA do? Hey, we got it, let’s just change the name!

Second point, “eliminate consumer confusion?” The only confusion consumers will have if this petition is approved is trying to remember to look for Corn Sugar and HFCS on ingredient labels. There is not a clearer example of a group trying to hide their product behind a new name in hopes people won’t notice.
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I didn’t realize I was in love until about 10 years ago. You know those relationships where you fall in love with a friend you’ve known all your life? Well, that was me and Trader Joe’s. I’d been hanging with TJ since I was a little kid. My folks knew TJ and frequented his establishment. Now, as a mom myself, I find I hang out with TJ about 90% of the time.

The reasons I love TJ:

  1. He reads ingredient labels so I don’t have to be so crazy vigilant (okay, who am I kidding, I still read ‘em)
  2. He hates partially hydrogenated oils, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified ingredients as much as I do
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