processed food

Extract the goodness, to put some of it back

Wonder Bread signWhen I was a kid, and maybe still today (I don’t care enough to look it up), Wonder Bread touted that it “buil[t] strong bodies 12 ways.” What was really going on is that its food technologists had started with grain products of nature, “refined” it beyond recognition, and then tossed in a bunch of nutritive additives to make up for what they had taken out. In effect they were saying, “look at all the goodness we’ve added, so you won’t notice all the goodness we took out.”

What resulted, of course, were slices of blindingly white near-paste that could be compressed into a ball that would have hurt if launched in a food fight. It seems so ‘60s, but check this out:

PepsiCo is seeking to patent a method of adding fiber- and polyphenol-rich co-products from fruit and veg juice extraction back to juices and other beverages in a bid to improve their sensory and nutritional profile, and minimize waste from the juice extraction process. ~ FoodNavigator-USA.com

Still crazy after all these years — breaking what’s good down into its parts, and then trying to figure out how to put more of it back in. How ‘bout, don’t break it down in the first place?


"Fed Up": Klobuchar and Harkin, distant neighbors

Amy Klobuchar, major disappointment

An interesting contrast that arises from “Fed Up,” the new documentary pitched as the “Inconvenient Truth” for food that had its Boston premiere on Wednesday at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) are Senate Democrats from neighboring Farm Belt states. Harkin is accorded sainthood status after decades-long efforts against childhood obesity. Of industry mouthpieces who come before him in committee and swear that, for example, that sugary beverages have no ill effect on children who drink them: “Sometimes I just want to ask: Do you have any shame at all? … How could these people sleep at night, knowing they were lying through their teeth? … How do they live with themselves?”

He also observes, “The Federal Trade Commission has less authority to regulate ads for kids than adults. You’d think it would be the other way around.”

But Klobuchar, who is included in the film’s closing graphics as one of a long list of voices who refused to be interviewed for the film, comes in for — as it seemed to me — a level of opprobrium slightly higher than she deserved, expressly because she was such a disappointment. As in, we expect Big Food to be this way, but you were supposed to be with us, with your female, progressive-leaning self.


Food-manufacturer responsibility: "It is not zero."

I do not have permission to post the following, and if the author, Paul McDonald — a lawyer, no less — wants me to take it down, I will. But I'm entirely in agreement with his views, and want to extend their reach by whatever small measure I can provide. This article was published on politico.com (maybe they'll object, too?), and I saw it via Michele Simon, a public-interest advocate I admire.

Opinion: Big Food bears some responsibility


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - processed food