The Food Products

The Food Products

9 Deceiving Facts About the Food Industry

Posted on February 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Eating healthy is always a good thing but don’t be fooled by food companies that use marketing or loopholes to trick you into thinking something is healthy when it actually isn’t. Before the 1950’s the average consumer wasn’t much concerned about the nutrition of their food. However, in the 1960’s companies started to notice consumers taking notice of what they eat. Let’s visit the top 9 Deceiving Facts the food industry doesn’t want you to know.

9. Sugar Free Products

It’s easy to blame sugar as the cause for the rapid increase in the countries obesity problem. However, the truth is we need sugar in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The biggest trick the food industry uses to say a product is sugar free has to do with chemicals. Sugar free sweeteners are some of the most toxic things we can consume and have been linked in an array of troubling health conditions. Look for products that use natural, unprocessed sugars like maple syrup or honey and avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

8. Trans Fats

The US FDA’s guidelines state that any food product with an amount of fat under 0.5g per serving can be listed as 0g on the packaging. If you take a look at a lot of frozen and prepackaged foods you’ll see they print “0g Trans Fat” in bold on the front of their products. Simply look at the nutrition panel to see the ingredients to get the bigger picture. If they list any type of hydrogenated oil you can be sure this product will fail lab testing for 0% trans fat.

7. Serving Sizes

The easiest way for any food product to look healthier is by manipulating the serving sizes on the nutrition facts panel. If the item is something that most people would consume during one sitting logic says this is one serving. However, it’s not uncommon to find more and more companies decreasing serving sizes because they count on you not noticing. If the item says “servings per container: 3” you have to then multiple each listed nutritional fact item by 3!

6. Luxury Labeling

Would you pay more for a Mercedes than a Honda? Food companies know you would so they spend a lot of money on fancy packaging and marketing to turn that $2 can of spaghetti sauce into a $6 jar. The easiest way to ensure your money is going into a quality product is by comparing the ingredients on two similar items.

5. Peaches

Peaches easily bruise and are a favorite fruit of insects. This is why companies soak them in chemicals before shipping them to your local grocery store. It’s always a smart idea to purchase only organic produce but if you can’t make sure you wash these items aggressively before consuming them.

4. Defects

The US FDA has guidelines for unavoidable defects in food items, which they claim present no health hazards for humans. Taken straight from their handbook, canned mushrooms are allowed to contain 20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams and golden raisins can contain an average of 1,250 or more insect fragments per 10 grams.

3. Aluminum Cans & Plastic Bottles

The chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA) is used to provide an anti-septic function to the food products it contains. Studies have shown BPA puts children and adolescents at greater risk of heart and kidney disease. The US FDA has since banned the chemical in food packaging but this hasn’t stopped companies whom make aluminum cans. In order to avoid BPA and other dangerous chemicals, choose glass whenever possible.

2. Ground Beef

Ground beef is made by gathering waste trimmings from multiple cuts of beef. It is then exposed to low heat so the fat can separate and finally sent through pipes to be treated with ammonia gasses. The US FDA allows beef products to be treated with ammonia to “clean” the meat from bacteria. Small batch and local beef producers follow different guidelines. Try to purchase meat locally when possible, from responsible organic farmers.

1. Bugs

The cochineal is a scale insect that produces carminic acid which is used to make food coloring. The bugs themselves are actually crushed to produce a vibrant red color used in food items most famously Starbucks Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino a few years back. Cochineals are considered safe for food consumption; however, many may be disgusted and concerned about eating a living thing.

Preparing for Your Food Product Development Consultation

Posted on February 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Whether you’re scaling an established product line or creating something entirely new from scratch, your food product development consultation will set the tone for the rest of the collaboration. It pays to be prepared – this guide will help you gather the materials and information that your development company will surely request.

Understanding Food Product Development

If this is your first time working with a product development firm, it helps to familiarize yourself with the services typically offered. Some firms keep things relatively basic – going no further than typical consulting – and others will have full scale laboratories that can analyze your product from top to bottom completely in-house.

Full service firms even have marketing experts on staff to direct everything from market research to launch, and development companies often have close connections with graphic designers and packaging agencies as well. Scour every development company website you can find so that you’ll know what the development company can likely handle and what you’ll have to take to a third-party resource.

What You Will Need

A strong description of your goals, current capabilities, and long-term projections are necessary. Your product development firm needs to know which resources you have at your disposal and how you plan to scale your product in the future.

Goals are important, but your recipe will take center stage. Your recipe should detail a list of ingredients by weight, the quality standards you use to choose ingredients, whether your ingredients are wet or dry, and the brands or formulations that you prefer. A detailed explanation of your current production process is also important: how long you marinade certain ingredients, whether you stir gently or vigorously, cooking and cooling times, etc.

The food product development company will also want a sample of your recipe as you make it.

Other non-recipe related requirements will include a workable budget and projections for scaling needs. You will also need to have a good idea of how you will approach production now and in the future – whether you use a co-packer, shared kitchen, or your own commercial prep space. These will all affect the way the development firm will approach your new commercially-viable product.

Before talking to any development firm, you’ll want to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The firm itself often provides this agreement – a firm that starts asking questions without an agreement should raise red flags. Stories of stolen recipes are rare, but surprisingly there is a market for such things.

Don’t worry about having every single piece of information documented and filed. The entire job of a food development company is to make the process easier for you, whether you are a brand new startup or an experienced culinary genius. Just get out there, keep an open mind, and let your initial consultation serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for the lengthy development process.


Gasoline Prices And Their Influence On Commercial Agriculture Vs Local Food Production

Posted on February 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Most of the places I’ve lived, I’ve had a small garden adjacent to my home. I’ve been able to walk right out my door and harvest fresh herbs, greens, sometimes tomatoes, peppers, or fruits like strawberry, raspberry, or cherries. This experience is very different from the food supply most people in the United States experience, and which I also partake in.

Most food in the U.S. is consumed when people go to the supermarket, purchase the food, and then take it home. Behind the scenes though, a lot of things needed to happen in order for that food to reach the supermarket: the store had a whole infrastructure supporting it. Larger supermarkets often have central supply and distribution centers, which collect the food and then ship it out to smaller stores. Trucks deliver the food. Food is shipped around the world on barges and across continents on railroads and by long-distance truck lines.

The disparity in gasoline or petroleum usage in these two models

There are many differences between the model of growing your own food, and buying it at the store, but one of the most striking ones, and the one that I will focus on here, is their difference in gasoline or petroleum consumption.

Growing food outside your own home takes minimal fuel; it can be accomplished with no fuel at all, and if it uses any fuel, it is only in driving to the garden center to buy plants or driving to the store to buy some tools–and these trips only occur at most a few times.

On the other hand, the model of food production and distribution that gets food to the supermarket is petroleum-intensive. Fuel needs to be burned at each stage of the shipping process, and since most people drive to the supermarket here in the U.S., fuel is also burned in that last stage of the process. There is typically even a lot of fuel used in the production itself, to fuel large agricultural machinery, as well as shipping of supplies to the large commercial farms that produce the food.

Commercial agriculture is more sensitive to gasoline prices or oil prices

Considering the massive disparity in fuel usage, it is obvious that large-scale commercial agriculture is much more sensitive to gas prices than home gardening or small-scale local farming. In many cases, you can even observe this influence in the price of various goods on the shelf in the supermarket. When oil prices go up, certain food prices tend to go up, and vice versa when prices fall.

If we want to support small-scale local food production

There are numerous, compelling reasons to shift food production in our society away from large-scale commercial agriculture and towards more small, local production. These include greater economic self-sufficiency, greater sustainability, reduced pollution, reduced dependence or oil, diversification of local economies, increased freshness of food and the health benefits that come with it, and increased knowledge and experience with plants, farming, and agriculture that comes with more people being closer to and more involved in the food production.

I see two takeaways from this: the first is that rising gas prices create a strong incentive for smaller-scale, local food production. The second is that supporting this more traditional system of food production, even if it is with something as simple as having a garden at your home, can help us to become less dependent on oil and help our food supply to be less sensitive to gasoline prices.

A hidden benefit of the federal gas tax

The federal gas tax has historically been unpopular, but there has been growing support in recent years to raise this tax as a way of funding the unsustainable costs of road and highway maintenance and construction. The dependence of commercial agriculture on petroleum illustrates another hidden benefit of raising this tax–the creation of stronger incentives for local food production.