Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?

Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?
By: Laura Cipullo, RD CDE CEDRD CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

For all of you New Yorkers out there, have you noticed the new trend on the streets of NYC? And, no, we’re not talking about shoes, clothes, or fashion trends. We’re talking about fast food: healthy, fast food to be exact.

 

If you’ve walked down a city street recently, you’ve most likely noticed a new restaurant or food store. While New York City is known for its abundance of restaurants and diverse food scene, we’ve been noticing a trend among newly opened restaurants. Not only are they focusing on fast service, but also, they’re offering healthier menu options to boot. To name a few, we’ve made a list of some these healthier restaurants, a couple in NYC and a handful located across the US:

 

 

Chipotle

www.chipotle.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mexican

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

Chipotle offers a Mexican cuisine with sit-down and takeout options. This restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, plus the majority of their menu is gluten-free, as long as you avoid the tortillas. We love the fact that many of the menu items have a high amount of fiber and protein; you can view this by using their nifty nutrition calculator! Their vast food options make Chipotle a great place to eat, whether you want to sit and relax or pick up while you’re out and about.

Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Veggie burrito bowl with black beans and brown rice. With just over 500 calories, this veggie bowl has over 30 grams of fiber and about 13 grams of protein, this veggie bowl makes a fast and balanced meal.
  • Chicken quesadillas with black beans and brown rice. This children’s meal option ranks in with under 500 calories, 12 grams of fiber and over 25 grams of protein. Even though it’s for the kids, we adults like to order this from time to time.

 

 

Fresh & Co

www.freshandconyc.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

Fresh&Co is a popular lunch choice for those working in Midtown Manhattan. With pre-prepared meals and freshly prepared items on their menu, you are sure to find something to suit your fancy. Fresh&Co serves locally grown foods that are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and additives. They offer salads, pastas, and sandwiches on their menu, all of which can be calculated on their nutrition calculator found on their website.

Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
  • Sesame Ginger Seitan with quinoa, kale, seitan, white cabbage, carrots, daikon, broccoli, scallions, pickled ginger and cilantro with soy ginger sauce this is a delicious lunch/dinner option that will surely satisfy.
  • Long Island Local salad with kale, baby spinach, baby arugula, grilled chicken, grilled sunchokes, and apples this salad is loaded with healthy greens and has over 20 grams of protein from the chicken, making this a great meal to grab during your lunch break.

 

 

Hu Kitchen

www.hukitchen.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Natural

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$$

 

On its website, Hu Kitchen totes itself as the first “ultra-high quality restaurant and market” that makes food for humans. Hu Kitchen works under an 8 Pillar approach: “unprocess, count ingredients – not calories, pull plants – push animals, minimize grains – always whole, embrace fat, get back to animal too, sweeten wisely, and eat clean”. Located just below Union Square, on 5th Avenue, Hu Kitchen offers everything from fresh juices and coffee, to soups and burritos. Plus, their entire restaurant is gluten-free, and a good majority of the menu is dairy and grain-free. While the prices can be a bit steep, you know that you’re getting quality nutrition for your buck.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Grandmaster Veg with eggplant, carrots, green cabbage, cashews, garlic, chili flakes, and a homemade marinara sauce this is a vegetable powerhouse of a lunch.
  • Hu Bowls with options of quinoa, vegetable mash, or a vegetable medley, these bowls are sure to please. Plus you can add beef, mushroom, or chicken on top for some added protein.

 

 

Hummus and Pita

www.hummusandpitas.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

This lovely establishment currently has two NYC locations, Chelsea and TriBeCa, and is a great option when you’re looking for a quick meal. Whether you want to sit at a table, order takeout, or have your lunch delivered to work, Hummus and Pita, Co can do it all! With a make-your-own-meal style, you can virtually customize any dish to your liking. There are a number of vegetarian options and while there is not a separate children’s menu, you can find a variety of options for kids. We especially love their large selection of hummus!

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Falafel pita with beet salad, chickpeas, hummus and tzatziki. This lunch option comes in at just over 500 calories, 16 grams of fiber, and over 20 grams of protein.
  • Chicken taboon bowl with baba ganoosh, corn and carrot salad, brown rice and tahini this meal is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat.

 

 

Muscle Maker Grill

www.musclemakergrill.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

This franchise first opened shop in Colonia, New Jersey. Due to its increasing popularity, owner, Rod Silva, officially made Muscle Maker a franchise in 2007 and now has over 200 restaurants across the US. The restaurant offers salads, wraps, and shakes, just to name a few items. Plus, they provide a children’s menu, cater to vegetarians and offer some gluten-free options. With so many locations, Muscle Maker Grill makes a great option for those looking for a quick, and healthy meal.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • European wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted peppers and Parmesan cheese. This meal boasts over 40 grams of protein which will leave you feeling satisfied until dinnertime.
  • El Mexicana with grilled chicken, fajita vegetables, cheese and salsa all served over brown rice and beans. It’s a tasty dish making it a great choice for lunch or a convenient dinner.

 

 

Prêt A Manger

www.pret.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$
If you live in NYC, you’ve probably seen a few Pret A Manger’s around. This franchise is a great place to go when you’re looking for a salad or wrap to go, or if you want to sit and enjoy a coffee. With a café-like environment, Pret A Manger offers a nice environment and good quality food. Their website states that they create handmade natural food and avoid ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ foods. They offer online ordering and are conveniently located around the city, making them a great option for your new lunch spot.

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Photo courtesy of Prêt A Manger

 

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Balsamic chicken sandwich with antibiotic free chicken, avocado, mesclun, and balsamic vinegar served on granary bread. This meal is an easy grab and go sandwich with 8 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. So when you’re in a rush and literally need to pick up a sandwich, you can find this tasty sandwich waiting for you at Prêt A Manger.
  • Aztec quinoa chili with cannellini and pinto beans, quinoa, amaranth and millet, this grain-filled chili won’t disappoint. Not only is it suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but it also has over 10 grams of both protein and fiber.  

 

 

 

We have to ask: do you think that these establishments are changing the face of fast food? We love the fact that we can purchase food conveniently without having to sacrifice nutrition or taste. We’d love to know your thoughts on these healthier fast food options!

 

A LARABAR Giveaway

Image courtesy of LARABAR
Image courtesy of LARABAR

Happy Saturday EALM readers! We hope you’re staying dry and warm in this crazy winter weather we’ve been experiencing. To help combat those winter blues, we’re holding a giveaway featuring LARABAR! If you’re new to the brand, LARABAR has a variety of snack bars that are both delicious and nutritious! With less than 9 ingredients per bar they contain a blend of fruits, nuts, and spices. For more information on LARABAR click here. And to enter the giveaway, pick one (or a few) of the options below.

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Image courtesy of LARABAR

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Loving Chocolate This Valentine’s Day! – the latest scoop on cocoa!

ChocoPeru3By Laura Cipullo, RD CDE CEDRD CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Though we don’t encourage showing your love through food, we thought you would love to know the benefits of eating chocolate since we all know chocolate is the official food of Valentine’s Day! That’s right, chocolate has been shown to have numerous health benefits when eaten in moderation.

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1. A study performed in Sweden found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate weekly had a decreased risk of stroke when compared to women who ate less chocolate.

2. A study published in the Journal of American Medicine Association found that eating small amounts of “polyphenol-rich chocolate as part of a usual diet efficiently reduced blood pressure in healthy individuals”.

3. Eating chocolate can be beneficial to your skin? Dark chocolate, that is. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dietary flavanols from cocoa contribute to “endogenous photoprotection, improve the blood circulation and improve hydratation” of the skin.

4. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that cocoa can have both anti-clotting and blood-thinning properties. These properties were found to closely resemble the effect of aspirin.

5. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the fat in chocolate is composed of cocoa butter and contains about 1/3 of oleic acid; a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil.

 

chocoPeru1

ChocoPeru2

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Did you know, the average piece of dark chocolate contains almost double the amount of healthy monounsaturated fats than its milk chocolate counterpart? Dark chocolate contains less sugar (the average bar has about half the amount of sugar than milk chocolate) and roughly 4 times the amount of fiber than milk chocolate. For more information on the comparison of dark and milk chocolates click here for Prevention Magazine’s infographic.

 

ChocoPeru4

Screen shot 2014-02-09 at 9.43.05 AM

  • Endangered Species Chocolate – this brand of chocolate has a wide variety of options from plain dark chocolate to dark chocolate with cherries. According to the company’s website the bars are made with ethically traded cacao and they donate 10% of their profits to conservation efforts.
  • Alter Eco Chocolate – with under 10 ingredients per chocolate bar, this chocolate brand uses sustainable practices and are certified organic. They also have a chocolate bar with quinoa inside.

 

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Red Velvet cake actually has chocolate in it. In fact, unsweetened cocoa powder is one of the main ingredients. It is believed that the original red velvet cake got it’s red coloring from a chemical reaction caused by the cocoa powder and the acidity of the buttermilk. According to Chenected, a chemical engineering website, the anthocyanins found in natural cocoa powder create a reddish hue when they come into contact with acid.

 

ChocoMuseum
Pictures in this blog post were taken at ChocoMuseo in Lima, Peru. More information can be found here.

Lunching Revelations While With Your Nutritionist

Photo Credit: caribb via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: caribb via Compfight cc

Lunching Revelations While With Your Nutritionist
A client of Laura’s opted to go to lunch with Laura one day. Here are her notes on the experience:

A belated happy “Take your Nutritionist to Work Day”! Okay, so it’s not a real holiday…yet (give politicians or Hallmark a hot minute), but I celebrated it a few weeks ago.

 

See, I have this love-hate relationship with my office cafeteria. My midtown office “caf” is just like most office cafeterias. It’s run by one of the big companies that do these sorts of things, and they offer a lot of selections—hot foods, ethnic food days, taco stations, salad bars, soups and sandwiches. I’ve been eating at the caf off and on through five jobs and for a total of 17 years now. And the experience still stresses me out! So I decided to seek professional help and get nationally recognized nutrition expert and general fun person Laura Cipullo to help me out.

 

I’ve been working with Laura for a couple of years now. I’ve participated in her meal group (“Supper Club” we called it, even though it wasn’t at all like a Supper Club…starting with the “no alcohol” part) and seen her individually as a private client. While growing up, my parents always expected me to clean my plate. Now, I’m trying to get accustomed to “Mindful Eating.” But I’m getting better at it…and I have fewer food rules. I learned a great deal during our lunch together—both about how to navigate a caf lunch (as well as lunch generally) and my eating habits.

Photo Credit: alykat via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: alykat via Compfight cc

“Walk around,” Laura says, whispering like we are in a movie theater… without the popcorn smell or the movie! I tell her she doesn’t have to whisper; we can talk like grown-ups. She explains that at lunch, we want to get the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck. “Keep it basic,” she says. She tells me to skip the hot food—that it’s better to spend those calories on food when there’s a nice environment and I can really enjoy it. I like my desk, but she’s right. Even when I grab a minute and sit down to eat at a table (ideally with someone), it’s not the swankiest setting. “I want to savor my cornmeal crusted calamari at a fancy restaurant,” Laura says with a smile…and I agree. She’s right about these things!

 

Still in the cafeteria, I bump into some good friends and introduce Laura. By now, she is using a normal inside voice. She reminds me that there is no “perfect”— and that this is a choice, not a rule. Good thing, because I’m starting to feel a little stressed. She asks me about breakfast and dinner plans. We talk about what I have brought with me for a snack…or what I could pick up.

 

I end up with one of my regular go-to meals—a salad from the taco station made out of lettuce, black beans (a little soupy), mango, corn and jicama, mixed with a chipotle dressing. I get some guacamole added on the top plus about eight corn chips. She gets a salad from the salad bar with chicken and cheese as her protein. She notes the salmon and the steamed green beans that are the chef’s special along with wasabi mashed potatoes. Laura says that would be a good option if I passed on the mashed spuds. She also okays my go-to veggie burger (no fries). I do know that the buffalo chicken wings (available every Friday)—even if I put them on top of a nice bunch of arugula—are a “Sometimes” food, so I don’t bother to ask about them.

 

Laura and I then head over to the salad dressing station to talk about the hidden dangers lurking thereon. Later, she texts me that the little plastic dressing cup which looks so cute and innocent­ actually holds four tablespoons— TABLEspoons! The salad dressing station is like a little island of deceit! Laura recommended to stick with the oil & vinegar and limit the reduced fat dressings – they’re often higher in sodium and added sugars. Laura’s all about the olive oils!

 

We check out (I’m a privacy lawyer, so I’m using my anonymous credit card that’s not tied to anything that knows I’m me), and I can tell that Laura’s scanning the next aisle to start on a discussion about snacks. I’m glad; I need all the help I can get.

 

I long ago realized that my biggest issue was letting myself get way too hungry—generally for dinner. But by then, I’m not able to think rationally about portions…or listen to how hungry I am…or even to figure out what foods go together. While knowing the problem is always the first step to solving it, there are still times when I look up from my computer and realize that I have skipped having a snack. And then I’m beyond hungry and don’t have any snack with me!

 

Laura suggests that I eat half of my salad, take the other half back to my office, and then check in with her in an hour and a half to two hours. We chat about travel plans and what’s going on generally. (Uh, did she tell you that she authored a Rodale cookbook? Ahem!)

 

We spend 35 to 40 minutes eating—far longer than I usually put into lunchtime chewing if I’m on my own and eating at my desk. I confess that I’m satiated for now with the half-salad, but I wonder (out loud, she flits over my shoulder even when she’s not really here, for goodness sakes) how much of that is because I ate it so slowly…relatively slowly!

 

And back to the snack dilemma: Laura picked out a Kashi bar (yum) and a yogurt for snack options. I went with the Kashi bar and expanded my horizons (yogurt is my usual snack).

 

So to summarize:

  • Those little plastic salad dressing containers are not to be trusted unless you have measuring spoons.
  • Eating at my desk makes me eat faster and more.
  • I overthink lunch…and pretty much everything else too! “More healthy and less fancy,” Laura said.
  • Salad dressings are not to be trusted! Stick to the vinegar and oil.
  • As in so many things, keeping it simple is best!
  • And there’s still no “perfect”!

 

For more tips and tricks on navigating food choices in the office environment, take a peek at Laura’s blog on her sister blog Mom Dishes It Out by clicking here.

From Supersized to Downsized

Photo Credit: KRoark via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: KRoark via Compfight cc

From Supersized to Downsized
By Laura Cipullo and the Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

7-Eleven proudly offers a 44-ounce “Super Big Gulp”. KFC has something called the 64-ounce soda bucket – an entire gallon of liquid that is sold as a single portion. According to Reader’s Digest, this is the caloric equivalent of a KFC Honey BBQ sandwich, a house side salad with ranch dressing, macaroni and cheese, and half an apple turnover (roughly 780 calories and 217 grams of sugar). When did drinking an entire gallon of soda in one sitting become commonplace and acceptable?

 

Outrageous soda sizes like these and others prompted former Mayor Bloomberg’s health board to pass a law in March of 2013 prohibiting the sale of sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces in New York City. This “soda ban”, as it was widely known, was immediately met with criticism, especially from the American Beverage Association and fast-food restaurants. Critics argued that drinking gallons of soda is a personal choice and the government shouldn’t be allowed to regulate that choice. After much deliberation, the Supreme Court ruled against the ban and by August of the same year, New Yorkers were free to eat, drink and be merry – but at what cost?

 

These issues were debated at the very first MOFAD Roundtable event, a new program from the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) which aims to bring together experts and advocates to debate current controversial food issues. The event took place on December 5 and featured the following diverse panel of experts:

 

  • Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger
  • Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College
  • Parke Wilde, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
  • J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst, The Center For Consumer Freedom
  • Lisa Young, Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University

 

Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director of the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College moderated the discussion and started off with the following facts: Over the past 20 years, sugary beverages have contributed to a 60% increase in overweight among 6-11 year olds and teens consume half their calories from sugary drinks. In very recent years, the soda trend has diminished slightly but it is still predicted that this generation will live less years than the previous one. So what is the solution? Is it more education? Unfortunately, pro-ban panelists argued, by itself, health education does little to change behavior; we need to do more and the soda ban is a good place to start. While critics argue that removing a choice created a “nanny” state and even went as far as calling the mayor “Nanny Bloomberg”, aren’t “Nanny Pepsi” and “Nanny Coke” doing the same thing? Wouldn’t a real nanny offering a gallon of sugary soda to a child on a regular basis be charged with negligence?

Pro-ban panelists also raised a good point in saying that when people think that limiting the power of government influence increases individual power, what it really does is increase the power of big business. “Obesity is directly related to larger portion sizes,” explained Lisa Young, a professor at New York University and author of The Portion Teller Plan, “It’s time to reset the environment; we need an environment that promotes healthy choices.” Pro-ban panelists also argued that the ban is not really a ban at all – people can still buy four smaller cups if they are really craving more soda. Rather, it’s the idea of not giving people the option of mindlessly drinking 64-ounces in one sitting. If someone is genuinely thirsty after the first 16 ounces, they have to actively make the decision to purchase more.

Photo Credit: poolie via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: poolie via Compfight cc

Choice was a big issue with anti-ban panelist J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst for The Center For Consumer Freedom, arguing that the government trying to remove our choice is only sending a message that people aren’t smart enough to make healthy decisions on their own. “With these policies, we’re removing all personal responsibility for one’s health,” he said, “and dramatically changing one’s weight requires a whole lifestyle change.” Joel Berg, Executive Director for New York City Coalition Against Hunger countered that it’s the “economic environment that’s preventing personal responsibility. When you’re poor, you don’t have a personal choice. Soda is cheaper.” Young also raised a good point in saying that with $190 billion in healthcare costs, are the choices being offered to us really choices at all? Is a choice of a 32-oz, a 44-oz, and a 51-oz at the movie theatre really a choice? None of those are healthy choices in her book.

With an issue like this, one that scares people into thinking their personal choice is taken away in the “land of the free”, there is no easy answer. In the end, it is certainly up to the individual to make healthy choices but when there are so many unhealthy ones being thrown our way, our judgment may certainly be clouded. A soda ban would have at least removed the mindless gulp of a gallon’s worth of sugary water just because it was there. Here at EALM (Eating and Living Moderately Blog) we strongly encourage our readers to make mindful choices and recognize the consequences of these choices.

 

What do you think?

A Look Back at 2013

We covered a number of topics this past year, from hangover remedies, hydration, gluten, and positive body image. 2013 was a great year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for EALM and our readers. To take a trip down memory lane, we compiled a Table Of Contents of our 2013 blog posts. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past and we wish you all a healthy and happy 2014!

Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 4.33.12 PMJANUARY

Hangover Remedies

The Pros and Cons of Being a Vegetarian Fitness Enthusiast

6 Nutrition Trends of 2013

What a Difference a Title Makes: Nutritionist vs. Dietitian

4 Smart Superbowl Swaps

Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc

FEBRUARY

The Feast on Fat Tuesday for those Who Don’t Cook

Boosting Positive Body Image

Love Your Heart with 8 Heart-Healthy Foods

Power Up with Phytochemicals!

MARCH

My Exercise Allergy

Protein, Fiber, and a Booty Barre Class? Sign Me Up!

All About Gluten: Your Questions Answered

Calcium and Vitamin D

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Compfight cc

APRIL

Spring Training…Let’s Head to the Races!

Genetically Modified Foods

Healthy in the Mind and the Body

Super Foods Super Expensive

Olive Oil, Extra Virgin, or Cold-Pressed…What’s the Difference?

Photo Credit: mischiru via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: mischiru via Compfight cc

MAY

How to Eat Your Water and Stay Hydrated

To Prevent Kidney Stones

Is Your Favorite Organic Restaurant Actually Organic?

JUNE

How To Choose Safer, Sustainable Seafood

Fun and Easy Outdoor Activities for Father’s Day

Sprouted Grain Bread vs Whole Wheat Bread

3 New Moves

Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc

JULY

Wheatgrass

Vitamins: The Basics

Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

A Day at the Beach: So What’s for Lunch?

Join the Challenge on Food Waste

AUGUST

Nuts

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

Is Greek Frozen Yogurt Everyone’s Answer to Dessert?

10 Foods to Help You Fuel Your Day

SEPTEMBER

Workout from Within

New FDA Ruling Making Waves in Gluten-Free Community

How to Feed a Fast!

National Celiac Awareness Day

Contrary to Popular Belief – Men, Also Suffer From Eating Disorders

OCTOBER

What’s the Story with GMOs?

“Shattered Image”: An Interview with Brian Cuban

The Latest Diet Recommendations for Breast Cancer

Healthy Snack Options for Diabetics

Prostate Cancer: News and Recommendations

Canola Oil: Is It Healthy?

NOVEMBER

Should Your Oil be Cold-Pressed?

What Exactly is Diabulimia?

5 Simple Tips for a Simply Healthier You This Holiday Season

The Art of the Bliss Point

DECEMBER

Out with ORAC

Eating in “Peace”

Eating Healthfully When Gluten-Free

Happy and Healthy Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Meals with Dessert!

Nutrition Trends: 2014 Edition

Who Owns That Health Food Company?

Photo Credit: ChowKaiDeng via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ChowKaiDeng via Compfight cc

Do you have a favorite food brand that you constantly buy? We all have our go-to, tried and true brands that we stock in our cupboards and pantries. Maybe your favorite brand is a classic like Progresso breadcrumbs or Hunts tomato products. Or perhaps it’s a smaller brand like Alexia Foods or Happy Family Foods.

 

We all pick the foods we purchase based on different reasons. Some of us decide depending on the price of the food, the ingredients, the nutrient content, or even the company’s mission and values. Take natural food brands for example, they advertise their efforts to only choose natural and wholesome ingredients, maybe they’re organic or don’t contain GMOs. And who doesn’t love the idea of supporting a company that gives back to the community?

 

Maybe you pick a food brand to avoid another brand whose mission you don’t agree with? You may not purchase the major soda brand because you don’t agree with their negative health effects, so you opt for the all-natural, organic juice company instead. You may think that you’re avoiding the big soda company, but you might actually be purchasing from them anyway. That’s right, the larger food corporations own a number of these smaller natural and organic food companies. To see what we mean, take a look at the list below:

 

 

Coca-Cola Company

  • Odwalla Smoothies and Juices – listed under brands on the Coca-Cola website. Coca-Cola purchased Odwalla in 2001 in an effort to compete with rival company, PepsiCo.
  • Vitamin Water – listed under brands on the Coca-Cola website.
  • Honest Teapurchased by Coca-Cola in 2011

 

 

ConAgra Foods

  • Hunt’s Tomato Products – Hunt’s wears the label 100% natural on the majority of its products. It is listed on ConAgra’s list of brands.
  • Alexia Frozen Foods – Alexia Foods also totes the 100% natural label. They are also listed on ConAgra’s list of brands. ConAgra was sued earlier this year when customers questioned the company’s “all-natural” labeling and their use of a chemical to prevent browning in their potato products. The case settled.

 

 

General Mills

  • Cascadian Farms Organics
  • Food Should Taste Good – This company was acquired by General Mills in 2012 as an addition to it’s Natural Snack Food Business sector. The founder of Food Should Taste Good, Pete Lescoe, continues to act as the company’s creative director.
  • Larabar – Larabar is listed under General Mills’ brands on their website. A letter written by Lara, the founder of the acquisition of the company can be found here. The site also states that Larabar remains 100% committed to their values.

 

Photo Credit: Shutter Ferret via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Shutter Ferret via Compfight cc

Group Danone

  • Happy Family Brands – their site states their partnership with Group Danone earlier this year.
  • Stonyfield Yogurt – According to a press release on Dannon’s website, Group Danone acquired 40% of Stonyfield Farm in 2001, with Gary Hirshberg remaining as active CEO, chairman, and President. Group Danone currently owns Stonyfield Farm and Gary Hirshberg has since resigned as CEO, but remains an active chairman.

 

 

To put these lists in perspective, we wanted to share The Cornucopia Institute’s 2013 Organic Industry Structure chart. Their newly updated chart has grown immensely from their 2008 Organic Industry Structure chart.

 

 

Were you aware that these small companies are owned by larger food companies? Will this change your choices the next time you go to the grocery store? Tell us your thoughts below.